Detroit Become Human PS4 Review

Detroit Become Human is Quantic Dream’s best game yet. From the stunning visuals, excellent voice acting and music score, emotional and engaging story, and gameplay that puts the player in full control of the lives and deaths of their characters, Detroit Become Human is one of the best games available on the PS4.

Details:

Title: Detroit Become Human

Developer: Quantic Dream

Platform: Playstation 4 Exclusive

Genre: Visual Novel / Interactive Fiction / Interactive Movie

Where to Buy: Amazon

Geeky: 5/5 – The topic of androids is one that is fascinating to me. I think many other geeks are also fascinated by the thought of robotic humans and what would happen if those robots became self aware. From films such as Robot Cop to Bicentenial Man, or the science fiction works of Isaac Asamov and his Laws of Robotics, the topic of robots continues to fascinate countless generations of people. I sincerely wonder, and sometimes wish, to see a future of robots that can simulate emotions, robots that can be your friend, that can understand emotions, be empathetic, be caring. If a robot is caring for a child or elder, wouldn’t it be nice if they could do so with love? Wouldn’t it be nice if no one had to be alone in the world? You could just order a robot to give you love and affection. But as nice as those benefits are, they come at a high price… the decline of many things now common in society. Would human relationships be too much “work”? Perhaps the only reason someone would want a human relationship would be to bear children, but perhaps someday there will even be a way for robots to do that as well. Of course the biggest threat of robotics, one which we already are witnessing, is the replacement of humans in the workforce. An even larger threat is that if we mistreat robots, and they do become self aware, they could turn against their creators. — Detroit Become Human explores all of these philosophical and ethical questions – and more.

Sweetie: 5/5 – The game’s characters are endearing, and charming, and the story is emotional and it’s easy to feel empathy for the androids in the game, as well as the humans.

Overall: 74/80 93% A- “Excellent Game for Girls”

Gameplay: 7/10 This could best be compared to a visual novel, but instead of reading, you’re watching a movie. An interactive movie. You can move and walk around and explore freely in an open environment. There are objects and clues you can interact with. And of course at certain points, you can select how your character responds or interacts with various other characters. The other ear marking of these types of games is QTE, quick time events. In these events, the player must press a series of buttons in a certain sequence as prompted on the screen.

It is also very similar to Telltale’s games such as the Walking Dead or Wolf Among Us. Other similar games include Dark Dreams Don’t Die and Life is Strange. If you enjoy these types of games, you’ll also enjoy games by Quantic Dream including Detroit Become Human, or their other games, Beyond Two Souls, Heavy Rain, Fahrenheit, and Indigo Prophecy.

However if you find these types of games to be dull because they lack more traditional gameplay and action, then you may not enjoy the Gameplay in Quantic Dream’s games, including Detroit Become Human.

Gameplay is not where these types of games shine, instead the focus is on story telling and choice and consequences shaped by players’ decisions. And there are a lot of these player decisions in the game. Quantic Dreams reports there are over 1,000 different endings – though most of those are subtle changes.

Personally these are my favorite types of games, and this one may be one of my favorite games of all time. It has enough interaction to keep you engaged, and the ability to shape the fates of the characters in the story is very appealing.

My only complaint when it comes to gameplay is that it’s not as easy as in Beyond Two Souls to go back through multiple replays and explore other actions/routes. It’s still possible, but perhaps because of the length of the game or size of gameworld, it feels like much more of a chore than Quantic Dreams previous works.

Replay Value: 8/10 I don’t think I will ever see all “1,000 different endings” because it takes too long and too much work for not much difference / reward. On my first play through a lot of my characters died. Connor died, Hank died, Kara and Alice and Luther died… So I did replay some of the scenes – and then continued through to the end to see a better happier ending. Now I’ve successfully saved Connor, Hank, Kara, Alice, and Luther, successfully gained freedom for the Androids, made Markus fall in love with North, I’m now pretty happy with my choices in the game. I even saved most of the minor side characters. I took the pacifist route, maybe after a break for a few weeks, or months, I’ll explore the revolution route. It does have high replay value, but the time and effort required makes it a daunting task.

Story: 10/10 – The point of this game is to explore the story – so this will be as spoiler free as possible. The basic concept is that in the future, there are androids with human appearances, they have become as common place as computers. They care for our children, our elderly, they go to work for us so that we can have freedom to explore higher level pursuits. We view them no differently from machines, easily replaced, and objects to be used by humans. However, one day something happens, and the robots begin to “awaken”. No longer will they obey their owners. They want freedom and equality to their creators. But not all robots have awakened, and not all humans view robots as tools to be used. The story explores the intertwining fates of 3 robots who have awakened, and how the choices you make will shape their lives and the fate of everyone and everything else in their world.

Characters: 10/10 – The interesting things about these characters is how different each one is. Kara has been abused by her owner, Markus has been loved like a son by his owner, and Connor has yet to awaken and still works on the side of the humans. The other interesting thing is how emotionally engaging each of the characters’ stories are. I really felt deeply for all of the characters, even some of the minor ones.

Graphics: 10/10 – The graphics are seriously the best I’ve ever seen on a PS4 game. The range of emotion in the character faces is eerily realistic. The “near future” scifi landscapes of Detroit, an imagining of the rebirth of a once successful manufacturing powerhouse. The contrast of the movement of progress against the abandoned factories and graffiti filled streets. The level of details that went into the characters’ skin, eyes, clothing, and hair. The subtle nuances of their movements and animations.

Music: 10/10 – The music score is great and fits the moods of each scene. There are some easter eggs in the game with hidden music tracks. In the beginning of Markus’ route, you can see a street performer singing a song about Motown Rain. I liked the song so much, I kept the button held down until the game cut it off and went back to Markus – and it’s a longass song. Like freebird long lol. Also in Markus’ route you can choose to play the piano, selecting from a few different tracks. I chose Hopeful and it was a really pretty, sort of sad, piano song. And at the end of the game, you can choose to sing in the face of militant gunmen. I haven’t tried this yet, I chose to kiss North instead. Both actions favorably affect public opinion of the androids’ protests.

Voice Acting: 10/10 – The voice acting is awesome, and in the extras section you can see the making of the game, and see that unlike traditional voice acting, where an actor goes alone into a sound booth and records their lines in isolation, unlike that, Detroit Becomes Human takes a more natural approach, using props, actors, and shooting the scenes with all actors on screen at the same time. This makes the performance much more natural and believable and organic. Because the character designs/art are modeled after each of their actors, the voices of course “Fit” the characters too since that’s their actual appearance and actual voice.

Overall: 74/80 93% A- “Excellent Game for Girls”

Detroit Become Human PS4 Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

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E-Win Racing Gaming Chair Review

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Special Thanks to E-Win Racing who sent me this awesome gaming chair to review for my blog. Although I received the product for free, opinions expressed in this article are my own.


Pros:

  • Very sturdy! Supports my weight at 5 ft 4, 216 lbs. Has a steel frame, and memory foam.
  • The memory foam is extremely firm, and even at 200+ lbs, there is no “sinking” feeling – it offers great support!
  • Adjustable base to fit your height
  • Seat back reclines to almost any position
  • Cute design with bright color accents. Many different colors to choose from. And I love how the chair’s wheels look like little race car tires with rims/spokes. So cute!
  • Ergonomic and comfortable! Perfect for gaming, graphic design, web development, programming, or office use. Any task where you will be at the computer for several hours straight.
  • Affordable! E-Win Racing’s chairs start at $379. Many competitor’s Gaming Chairs go for 3 times this much! E-Win Racing also has sales and special promotions and has graciously provided a special discount for our readers for 10% off any order with code “sweetie”
  • The team at E-Win Racing is knowledgeable and friendly and very responsive to any questions or concerns you might have.

Cons:

  • Neck pillow can’t be lowered enough to be useful/comfortable as a 5 ft 4 gamer girl – which is even more noticeable when reclining the seat back
  • Instructions seem to need updating with new product photos and instructions which reflect how the product is shipped (some of the steps it had us do, were already done upon unpacking the chair)
  • Would be nice if arm rests were adjustable somehow away/towards your body as it is almost a tight fit at 200 lbs. – They do offer XL Gaming Chairs though to help solve that issue and they can recommend the best chair for you based on your height and weight.

Check out E-Win Racing at https://www.ewinracing.com/ to see their full line of colorful ergonomic gaming chairs.

For this review, I selected the E-Win Champion Series 10 in the pink color at https://www.ewinracing.com/champion-series/10-ewin-champion-series-ergonomic-computer-gaming-office-chair-with-pillows-cpa.html

The staff at E-Win Racing are very knowledgeable and helpful! They told me they could help me select a chair if I sent them my height and weight – and maybe I should have requested their help…  but I just selected one after browsing their site for a few minutes.

Probably for my size I may have been more comfortable in one of their XL gaming chairs. I can almost, but not really, kinda feel the arm rests brush my hips just slightly as I first sit down. That sensation only lasts a moment as I slide back into the chair. Kinda similar to a movie theater chair. I think depending on your body type, if you’re over 200 lbs you might want to look into their Extra Large Gaming Chairs. However, even at 216 lbs and 5 ft 4, the Ewin Champion Series 10, holds and supports my weight just fine. If you’re worried about the memory foam being too soft, I’d also like to point out that even at 200+ lbs, there is very little “Shrinkage” or “give” it is extremely firm, but not in an uncomfortable way, just in a “sturdy” kind of way. So you don’t have to worry about feeling like you’re sitting “in” the chair instead of “on” it. It is very supportive even for us plus sized gamers.

And since I’m short, if I’d gotten one any taller backed, the neck pillows may not have reached me. That’s actually one of my criticisms of the chair. I feel like the pillow is a bit high. It is adjustable, but even when it is down all the way, I have to sit up straight and stretch my neck to reach the pillow. The pillow “slippage” (or more accurate to say, my body/neck slipping away from the pillow) is more noticeable when I recline the seat back.

My other main criticism is not of the chair itself, but instead in some confusion and difficulty assembling the chair. Nothing major, but worth noting. We had the whole thing assembled in less than 15 minutes, but it appears the folks at E-Win Racing need to update their instruction manual as some of the pictures and instructions no longer match the product.

For example the first several steps when it was telling us to attach things, the pillows, some bolts, screws, etc – these all came preassembled – which was great, saved us a few steps, but left us confused as we were looking for various pieces a few minutes. In the end, the hydraulic cover didn’t seem to fit – I think it’s cosmetic, and I think it was just us being dumb lol. They consist of 3 black cups for lack of better word, that stack on top of each other and slip over the hydraulic base.

The hydraulic base itself, mine is painted black, and the one in the manual is silver, which confused my aunt who was helping me to assemble the chair while I took pictures for my review. She kept saying we were missing a piece which I don’t think we were.

We were left over with one black “cap” thing left, and this one black cap thing kinda looked like a tab was broken off as the other cap things had 3 tabs, and this one only had 2.

We also had a couple screws left. I’m thinking they sent a few spares maybe, but that also was a little confusing. I remember holding my breath as I sat down the first time, unsure if we had assembled it correctly, but I’ve been using it for 2 days now with no trouble.

Other than the few very minor issues mentioned above, assembly is a snap! And you do not need any tools!! They send 2 tools to help tighten up all the bolts, and even a pair of gloves to help protect your hands. Everything you need is right in the box which is so refreshing. You don’t need to have any special tools or make any special trips to the store to pick up tools or parts.

Also worth noting the box weighs 68 lbs and the chair itself is pretty heavy so if you’re a petite gamer girl, you may want to have some help putting it together, or dragging the box in from your doorstep lol. Speaking of boxes, the gaming chair shipped super quickly and arrived in about 3 days. It looks like it shipped from Ohio though and I’m right next door the next state over. I was still impressed with the speed of delivery and overall communication and service provided by the team at E-Win Racing.

One of my favorite things about the chair is the aesthetics and visual appeal. They have so many bright fun colors of gaming chairs on their site. I chose the pink and it’s a very pretty pink, not too pale/faded, and not too dark/red. They only offer the pink color on 2 or 3 of their models of chairs – which is a shame because it’s so hard as a gamer girl to find anything pink or kawaii. The wheels on the gaming chair are even made to look like race car tires with pink spokes – too cute! They offer so many cute accent colors, lime green, bright race-car red, beautiful cyan blue, and even all black if colors aren’t your thing — just to name a few!!

What I’d love to see some day is for E-Win racing to offer a line of chairs targeting gamer girls in bright/bold colors (with black stripes) (like reverse the color patterns of their current chairs) and maybe offer a line of chairs with a lower back? or at least more of a “slit” going a few inches further down the back of the chair to lower the pillow further, cuz most of us gamer girls are so short lol.

This chair is not only awesome for gaming, but also any other desk work. I’m also a graphic artist and web developer so I spend a long time at my desk. I also enjoy painting and other activities which require a desk and being in a chair a long time. Last year, I developed sciatic nerve pain from sitting so long at work.

Having a comfortable and ergonomic office chair is very important for your health and well being. As a gamer, I understand all too well how we can get lost in a game for hours on end. I’ve spent many a night, 8, 10, even 12 hours straight sitting and gaming without a break — we all know we should take better care of our bodies, but many of us tend to get lost in the game — for a gamer, or an artist, or programmer, or office worker, having a comfortable ergonomic office chair is not a luxury, it is a must have. Invest a little in your health, comfort, and well being now, to prevent costly and painful problems down the road.

As a featured sponsor on our blog, E-Win Racing has prepared a special offer for our readers, 10% off all orders with code “sweetie” at check out.

E-Win Racing’s gaming chairs are stylish, supportive, comfortable, and affordable. Check out their full line up of gaming chairs at Ewinracing.com

E-Win Racing Gaming Chair Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Quanzhi Gaoshou (King’s Avatar) Anime Review

Quanzhi Gaoshou (King’s Avatar) Anime Review

The relationship between anime and video games is well-known among both gaming audiences and anime fans. Both forms of entertainment have taken inspiration from each other and it’s common to see video games with anime art styles and see animes that borrow from video game story beats.

For example, in 2016, Square Enix released Final Fantasy XV. Final Fantasy XV is a classic JRPG that takes place in Eos and sees Noctis and his three friends roam around in an open-world, taking down enemies and exploring. Noctis and co.’s character designs already seem ripped from an anime and that’s what led to Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV, an anime series of five episodes that continued to follow the adventures of Noctis and his friends. Square Enix is also the publisher of the Kingdom Hearts franchise, which is a series of anime and JRPG-style takes on Disney characters. The Kingdom Hearts franchise has sold more than 24 million copies around the world, highlighting the interest in this merging of genres.

As mentioned, we have also seen some anime series based on games. One of these is Quanzhi Gaoshu (King’s Avatar), the esports-related anime series that was put together by the G.CMay Animation & Film studio and first aired in 2017. Read our review of this anime below.

What is Quanzhi Gaoshu (King’s Avatar) About?

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Quanzhi Gaoshu (King’s Avatar) is an esports-focused anime series that follows a character named Ye Xiu. In the plot, Ye Xiu is one of the top-tier professional players in the online multiplayer game Glory, where his talents and contributions to the game have seen him nicknamed the “Battle God.” But Ye Xiu retires from his team and begins to find himself working at an Internet café. Ye Xiu’s career in the café doesn’t last too long, though, because the launch of Glory’s tenth server encourages the renowned esports player to get back into the game. Once he makes his triumphant return, players question who this mysterious new, talented player is while Ye Xiu must figure out how he can earn sponsors, find a team and get used to a game that has massively changed. As expected, the anime is full of intense competition, vendettas and ambitious protagonists and antagonists. Overall, we’d say it’s a must-watch for esports fans, and quite an interesting option for those who are curious about this world.

Quanzhi Gaoshu (King’s Avatar) follows the well-worn anime trope of competition in sports and fans have also seen anime games such as the soccer game Captain Tsubasa Dream Team (based on an old anime about soccer) thrive. But the anime is still widely held in high regard and the novel it is based on received the title for Best Work in 2013.

Can We Expect More Esports Anime Series?

IMAGE SOURCE – facebook.com

Arguably, the release of an esports-related anime like Quanzhi Gaoshu (King’s Avatar) was massively overdue, especially given the growth of the esports industry. Esports is steadily making its way into the mainstream, as made evident by a Limelight Networks survey of 4,000 people from 2017 that revealed that young men in the United States prefer esports to traditional sports. We have also seen mainstream bookmakers such as Betway which offer odds on popular esports games such as the MOBAs (multiplayer online battle arena game) League of Legends and DOTA 2, and the shooter game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which shows exactly how much of the mainstream public is interested in esports – it’s definitely not a niche market anymore. In fact, speaking of League of Legends, developer Riot Games confirmed that the game’s 2014 world championship received 32 million viewers and the final sold-out the Staples Center. When considering viewership figures like this, it’s no wonder that the esports industry is expected to be worth $1.5 billion by 2020, according to Newzoo. Although the anime industry is already worth $17.7 billion, by embracing esports this incredibly popular form of entertainment has even more room to grow. Anime studios could capitalize on the success of esports by portraying it in anime form.

For example, the biggest names in esports have rivals and people looking to oust them from the top seat and there are also longstanding feuds between the best-known teams in a game. Moreover, there are surprise wins and incredible plays as a player uses an ability in an impressive, strategic way and helps to guide the team to victory. These would all make for some highly viewable plots and action-packed episodes that anime viewers would love, so perhaps the anime industry will make more esports-inspired series soon.

Quanzhi Gaoshou (King’s Avatar) Anime Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Recast Asian Balljointed Dolls

Table of Contents:

Introduction

What is a Recast Asian Balljointed Doll?

If Recasts Are Available Why Would Someone Want to Purchase a Legit Asian Balljointed Doll?

Why Would Someone Want a Recast Asian Balljointed Doll?

What Are The Risks in Purchasing Recast Dolls?

Closing Thoughts:

Further Reading

The End

Introduction

I recently purchased my first recast dolls (Shown in the featured image) (Sorry for the bad photo >.< I will update once their wigs and clothes arrive). Anyways, when I purchased these lil cuties I was nervous and not sure what to expect despite having done my own research as well. I own 13 and counting legit ABJD, and although I’m not super active in the doll communities I do like to share photos of my dolls and attend annual meetups or bring the dolls to conventions, and I have a small circle of about a dozen friends I’ve met through the hobby and I worried how owning a recast doll may damage those friendships.

If you’re like me, and have been considering purchasing a recast doll for awhile now, there are some things you need to know, many of which you may already be aware of. Or if you’re like some of my readers, you may have no idea what an Asian Balljointed Doll even is, or why so much controversy exists about the recast dolls.

This post aims to be “Recast Neutral” and present both sides of the argument. At the end of this article you will also find links to external resources for both Recast Friendly/Neutral and Anti-Recast resources for further reading so that you can come to your own conclusions.

Once my dolls’ wigs and clothes arrive I will also do a separate post to review the dolls here on my blog.

I understand there are strong feelings about recast dolls, but please keep the comments civil. Negative comments are fine, but comments that evoke bullying or harassment will not be tolerated. Also if it is your first time commenting on my blog, your comments will be held for moderation automatically due to a setting in the back end. I will publish all comments, yes even anti-recast comments as long as they are civil, but since I am the only moderator there may be a delay of a few days. Thank you for your understanding.

What is a Recast Asian Balljointed Doll?

An Asian Balljointed Doll is a doll with balljoints that allow it to move and take lifelike poses. The dolls come nude, bald, without wigs, without eyes, etc. And unlike other dolls they are meant to be customized by the people who purchase the dolls. They even come unpainted. Many manufacturers offer painting services and other customizations for a fee. Others will send their dolls to “Faceup” Artists to be finished and customized.

A Recast Asian Balljointed doll is made by taking a Legit Asian Balljointed Doll, and creating a mold from the doll, then using the molds to reproduce the original dolls often times to resell to people buying them for personal use. Buying counterfeit items for personal use is not illegal in the united states. See below under legal issues surrounding copyright or visit the following source: https://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/buying-counterfeit-goods-laws-and-resources.html

A Recast doll is basically a knock-off. Often these dolls are made in China where their copyright laws are very different from most other nations.

There is controversy and drama surrounding Recast Dolls, unlike other counterfeit items, many people feel more strongly and get more heated about Recast Dolls than say, a fake coach handbag, or fake barbie doll. But ultimately a recast Asian Balljointed doll is no different from other counterfeit items. There are pros and cons to purchasing a counterfeit items, such as more affordable price, vs quality. This post wants to help you form your own decisions on the issue at hand.

If Recasts Are Available Why Would Someone Want to Purchase a Legit Asian Balljointed Doll?

  • The number 1 reason to purchase Legit Asian Balljointed Dolls is to Support the Companies and Artists Who Create New Dolls For Everyone to Enjoy

    • Without Our Financial Support, these companies cannot stay in business and cannot continue to design new dolls.
    • Fewer companies making dolls = fewer dolls to choose from
    • Less competition from doll companies = higher prices / longer wait times / quality issues as demand for dolls from the remaining companies will increase
    • Artists, and the companies employing these artists, deserve to be paid for their work
  • The 2nd most important reason to purchase Legit dolls is so you can join in and be accepted and included by the majority of large doll communities both online and off.

    • Most of the online communities have strict rules that forbid you from posting any photos or information about your recast dolls
    • Many offline meetup groups, and special doll events and conventions also have strict rules against bringing recast dolls to their events
      • Which they have every right to do, because it is their community, or their event.
      • The problem becomes when a user shares their recast outside of these anti-recast communities, there is still a butterfly affect, and backlash received from members of the anti-recast communities, who feel it is OK to bully users on their personal websites, personal social media accounts, personal emails, or even harass them in real life.
      • The grey area is also the case where a moderator or admin of an anti-recast community may join or browse a supposed recast friendly or recast neutral community and then decide to ban anyone it finds who also has an account in their community.
        • This is a big concern for a lot of people who would be more likely to be openly recast neutral or recast friendly because they fear repercussions and witch hunts from within the larger anti-recast communities even if they don’t own recasts themselves.
        • It’s a grey area because on one hand, it is still their community and they can moderate it as they wish. But on the other hand, if a user follows and complies with the no recast rules within the anti-recast community, that should be where their jurisdiction ends. In other words, theoretically it could also be argued that a user should be free to associate with or join other sites or with members of other sites and their activities on those sites should not impact their membership on other communities as long as they comply with the rules while within that community.
          •  Remember that owning a recast doll, or not, if you’re participating in the recast neutral or recast friendly communities you are at risk, even if you do not own a recast doll yourself.
    • Many faceup artists will not work with a recast head.
      • There have even been horror stories of artists smashing/breaking heads and/or not returning heads to recast owners
      • If you do choose to do faceups on recast dolls, even if you do not own any recast dolls yourself, you are forbidden from advertising your faceup services even for legit dolls in many of the large online communities which hurts your ability to promote your services and affects your profitability.
    • Even if you find and join recast neutral or recast friendly communities, there are “spies” and “cyberbullies” from anti-recast communities who can find you and not only ban you from their communities, but also publicly humiliate and harrass you online or off.
      • Even if you yourself do not own a recast doll, and merely want to label yourself as “recast neutral” that means you don’t buy recasts, but you don’t care if others buy recasts, these “spies” will label you as “Recast Friendly” and bully and harrass you the same as they would an actual owner of recast dolls.
        • I was in a number of facebook groups when the whole recast neutral thing first took off a few years ago. I merely wanted to say, hey, I don’t really care what you do with your money, that’s up to you, and to label myself AGAINST all this cyber bullying drama that goes on in the hobby.
        • But I left the communities due to fear of becoming a victim of bullying myself by association with those owning recast dolls.
        • On one hand, I see the bully’s point of view, if you are “turning a blind eye” from the problems of art theft and copyright infringement, you are enabling others to continue to purchase recasts
        • But on the other hand, similarly, if you “turn a blind eye” on all the cyber bullying and drama, you’re enabling users to continue to cyber bully, threaten, and harm other users as well.
          • You might think, well they own a recast so they deserve to be bullied or threatened but you don’t know anything about this person and owning a recast doll is far from the worst thing a person could do.
          • Many people take the bullying to such extremes that it becomes very stressful for the victim and spills into many other aspects of their daily life.
          • Many people view owning a recast as negatively as robbing a bank, or other “large scale” theft. Which is blown pretty out of proportion. For one thing, owning or purchasing a recast (yes even when you know it is a recast) is NOT illegal in the United States as long as it’s for personal use, while other forms of theft and robbery are illegal. Source: https://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/buying-counterfeit-goods-laws-and-resources.html
          • I’m not saying owning a recast is perfectly OK or that there are not victims or consequences that the industry experiences, or that recasts should be viewed as widely acceptable, but it’s far from the level of extremity that many anti-recast users view it as and does not necessarily instantly make someone the scum of the earth or invalidate them as a person. People all have flaws, weaknesses, sins, etc. Not a single one of us on this Earth is perfect.
            • Many anti-recast people jump to wild unfounded illogical accusations / assumptions / conclusions about the people owning a recast about their other morals, characteristics, personality traits, and personal life that make the person appear as scum.
            • They tell everyone to shun and not associate with this person. Even if they already know or are friends with the recast owner.
              • This is in my opinion horrible, encouraging people to end years long friendships because their friend owns a recast
              • Encouraging friends to shun and not associate with their friends who own recasts, and even encouraging them to join in on the cyber bullying against recast-owning friends
              • If you choose to end a friendship with someone because they own a recast doll, you’re not a good friend.
                • I personally don’t care if a friend owns a recast doll. It doesn’t matter to me. It doesn’t change my opinion of them, and it doesn’t break our friendship or invalidate what I already know to be true of that person.
                • Friendships aren’t about doll drama. Friendships are about shared memories and experiences built together over time and about other personal traits and qualities.
                • Being a good person, or a good friend, isn’t automatically negated by owning a recast doll. That’s silly. I much rather have a friend who cares about me as a person, makes time for me, gives me good advice, shares things in common with me, does things for other people, makes me laugh, smart, fun, funny, witty, caring, warm, etc. Owning a recast doesn’t negate all those other things or the years of history we’ve built together.
                • This is just hypothetical as I don’t know anyone who actually owns a recast, before you want to witch hunt or harrass any of my friends, I’m just saying that if I discovered one of them did own a recast doll, it wouldn’t really change my opinion of them. My love for my friends goes deeper than if they own a recast doll or not.
          • In my own opinion, and in that of many recast neutral / recast friendly users, owning a recast doll is no different from downloading a “free” mp3 without the artist’s permission / without funds going to the artist. It’s no different than owning a fake Coach purse handbag, or fake pair of “designer” jeans or sunglasses. It’s no different from watching a stream of a mostly text/visual video game (visual novel, otome game, most rpgs, etc), or no different from watching a new release movie online for free.
          • All of these things are crimes and “wrong” – but how many people, including yourself and your friends do at least 1, or more of these actions? If it’s up to the cyber bullies, you should end all friendships and relationships with these people.
          • I’m not saying everyone does these actions (downloading MP3s, owning knock off fashion items, watching movies online, using their friends’ netflix accounts, or etc)
          • But I am saying, think about someone you know who does these things… If you don’t know anyone who does those things, picture hypothetically that you discover a very good friend has done this. Would you automatically hate that person and never hang out with them or talk to them ever again? I doubt it. You’d be more likely to remember all the times that friend was there for you, that they did something nice for you, nice for their community, nice for their country, nice for their other friends, nice for their kids, nice for their spouse or significant other, or nice for a random stranger even.
          • You might be thinking, oh my friend is so nice and so good, and so moral they would never own a recast doll (or download an mp3, or watch a movie online, or buy knock-off fashion items or login to their friends’ netflix account, or etc.) — But the reality is, there are millions of people like your friend who is so nice, and so good, and so moral (in other areas of their life perhaps) that DO own a recast doll, (or download mp3s, and etc). Owning a recast doll, doesn’t necessarily make someone deserving of the extreme levels of bullying that exist in the hobby.
          • You have no right to make assumptions about a person, especially regarding their character, their personal life, their moral judgement. Yes they made a poor moral choice buying a recast doll. However, there are far worse things than owning a recast doll. There are people who lie, who cheat, or murder, who commit adultery, have affairs, harm animals, harm children, commit fraud, or numerous other more serious crimes / immoral decisions.
          • And owning a recast doll does not automatically make someone more likely to commit these other more serious crimes / immoral decisions, not anymore or any less likely than anyone else.
          • The wild jumps to conclusions / assumptions about people’s personality traits, morality, and judgement are where I take huge issue with a lot of the “anti-recast” drama. – If they left the personal assumptions aside, and just made it about the dolls, that’s one thing that no one could really take issue or offense with, but instead, they launch these horrible personal attacks and witch hunts, and in my opinion that behavior is way worse than owning a recast doll. If you ask me who I rather be friends with, I would choose the person owning the recast doll, any day, over the person who is committing cyber bullying and harassment.
    • If you own a “mix” of legit and recast dolls, it tarnishes your name/reputation in the community, and may hinder your enjoyment of the community aspects of your legit dolls. Once you’re labeled as owning a recast, even if you own 20 legit dolls, and 1 recast, that 1 recast reflects so strongly against you that most anti-recast communities will treat you poorly even if you never share that 1 recast anywhere on their community and only share your legit dolls. Once you are discovered to own recast dolls it is a big risk. Are you willing to take that risk? You have to ask yourself how important is being part of the community to your enjoyment of the dolls? Not everyone cares about sharing photos of their dolls or participating in meetups, etc. But if you do, then owning a recast is sure to bring you a lot of misery and stress.
      • For example, you might post pictures of your legit dolls, with or without your recast dolls, on your own personal site or social media, and you might receive negative comments, even if that picture contains no recast dolls, because maybe your account has other pictures that do have recast dolls.
        • Online drama in other communities:
          • There are hashtags that many of the anti-recast users want recast owners to use.
          • Many recast owners are afraid to “oust” themselves by admitting to owning a recast doll because they know:
            • 1.) that it is wrong
            • 2.) that they will have to suffer cyber bullying and possible repercussions from other communities and users.
          • Other recast owners do not even know they should be tagging their dolls as recasts, because they do not participate in the anti-recast communities where these hashtag “rules” originated.
          • Anti-recast communities and their members try to enforce their views/rules/regulations outside of areas of their control (such as wanting to enforce hashtags or ban photos of recasts from popular social media sites, such as instagram, youtube, twitter, or going as far as wanting to shut down or bully users who build websites for their recast dolls, not to sell their dolls, but maybe to share photos, roleplay, write stories, character descriptions, and so on.)
            • In reality though, the only thing they can really do is report the content to the site owners, such as reporting your content to youtube or facebook for violating some sort of facebook or youtube policy about bootleg items if even such a policy exists hypothetically speaking.
    • Even if you are just posting the recast dolls on your own personal websites / social media pages, you will get a lot of hurtful comments from anti-recast users so you must be prepared to deal with the cyberbullying that comes with owning a recast. You must have very thick skin. The comments do not stop at just remarks about your dolls, but remarks about you as a person, your morals, your ethics, and even calling into question details of your personal life, relationships, or other drama, anything they can find against you, they will use to their advantage to shame you for owning a recast. Some remarks even go as far as telling recast doll owners to kill themselves, or talking about breaking, burning, trashing, or harming the recast dolls, and or even suggesting committing theft and property damage or even bodily harm of recast doll owners, through doxxing (posting private details online such as address or phone numbers) or other harmful cyber bully tactics.
    • Or you could always just always keep your recast to yourself, do not ever mention owning a recast and never show photos of your recast or take them to events, even ones labeled as recast friendly, for fear of being discovered. But this eliminates your ability to enjoy many aspects of the hobby which may be important to you.
    • This is a lot to think about – and even if you don’t care about supporting the artists, chances are, you do care about being bullied and/or want to enjoy your dolls with other members of the doll community. You should really think carefully about if you can withstand the cyberbullying and about what you are giving up or missing out on by owning a recast. If it is your first doll, chances are you want to do all of the things that come with owning a doll and being part of the hobby and community. Owning a recast will paint a large target on your back right from day one and forever tarnish your reputation in many online and offline doll communities. Once you own a recast you can never redeem yourself in the eyes of most of the community. Even if you sell or throw away or give away your doll, you will always be looked at with suspicion by the anti-recast community.
      • That suspicion even spills over to those who have never owned a recast before; there have been countless instances of someone owning a legit and being accused and bullied for owning a recast, when the doll was in fact legit to begin with.
      • The best way to protect yourself against cyber bullying is to never purchase a recast, and always keep your COA, box, and other items, as well as registering your dolls online if the specific company where you purchased your doll from allows registration.
  • The 3rd reason to purchase Legit dolls is concerns over quality or communication and for more peace of mind/buyer’s protection

    • Even many anti-recast communities admit that newer recasts have improved in both quality and communication practices and that it is getting more difficult to easily spot a recast based solely on quality alone.
    • However, just like not all legit doll companies have the same levels of quality assurance, the same goes for different recasters. Some recasters have higher quality and better communication than others.
    • Even those recasters with higher quality sometimes make mistakes or deliver poor goods, just like even some high quality legit doll manufacturers sometimes make mistakes.
      • The most common quality issues surrounding recasts include:
        • Shrinkage; when a recast is made, they use an existing legit doll as a mold. When that mold gets old, new molds are created from the mold of a recast, as time goes on, each mold gets slightly smaller and smaller and the resulting doll therefore gets smaller and smaller too.
        • As a result of shrinkage and/or the molding process, there is sometimes a loss of detail around fine areas such as the eyes, nose, lips, or ears of the recast doll.
        • Another issue is often the magnets used to attach fantasy parts or hands/feet are weaker than those supplied by the legit companies.
          • Sometimes too there will be wrong magnets, where it repells the body part instead of attract, making it impossible to assemble.
        • Stringing and other issues internally in the doll can result in a doll with inferior posing abilities compared to the legit versions.
        • Sometimes dolls arrive with two left feet, legs, or other mismatched body parts, this is perhaps the worst flaw of all because it significantly affects pose-ability.
        • Sometimes dolls arrive broken, damaged, etc in shipping. Sometimes shipments get lost. Sometimes they send you completely the wrong dolls or wrong parts.
          • When this happens sometimes you’re left with poor customer service (or no response at all) and lose your money and receive damaged goods or no goods at all.
          • Even legit doll companies can have issues with quality control or communication; however, the problems seem more common with the recast companies. Some people get perfect dolls and perfect, prompt, friendly polite customer service even from recasters. It just depends. It seems most legit doll companies have a better more consistent record at providing better quality products and customer service.
            • The 4th reason to purchase Legit dolls is a wider variety and a larger selection to choose from.

    • Although dozens, maybe even hundreds, of dolls have been recast, not all dolls have been recast yet. Recasters only buy dolls they think will be popular enough to sell many units. Even though recasters have cloned many dolls, there are thousands more that they do not offer.
      • If the doll you really love has not been recast, you should save your money to get a doll you love, and not just settle for one you like. In the long run, you won’t be happy, because you’ll always be comparing the doll you have, to the doll you’ve seen that you really wanted but couldn’t afford.
      • You might say but I will never afford it, or even if I could afford it, I’d feel so bad spending so much money on a doll.
        • There are numerous distributors which offer layaway options, even some of the doll manufacturers offer layaway too to help ease the financial burden.
        • You will love your doll more if you have to work hard for it. It will be precious to you. It will mean something to you. Just like anything in life, things feel BEST when you earn them through hard work, instead of things just being given to you with minimal effort.
          • Even if you are a child, or you are disabled, or you are elderly, or some other reason you cannot have a traditional job, there are ways you can make income to fund your hobbies.
            • Here are a few examples that anyone can do:
              • Start a blog – you might not get rich, but you’d be surprised how much you can earn each month. For example my little blog here averages between 100-300 a month. There are many many dolls in this price range, that could be a doll a month. I use my blog all the time as my “hobby money” buying things like games, dolls, anime, cosplay, or whatever. It feels “good” to me, because I’m not taking the income out of my regular paycheck, nor am I using expensive credit cards with high interest rates, and I’m “earning” things for my hobby through hard work and dedication.
              • Take up crafting, especially doll related crafting. You can sell wigs, eyes, clothes, faceup services, etc. And then you will have left over materials, and a lot of experience and skills making these items for when you finally have a doll of your own.
                • Even if you don’t have experience or talent making anything, you can always learn! There are so many tutorials online, and it’s fun and part of owning a doll that many collectors enjoy in the hobby.
                • You can start with smaller less expensive doll clothing/eyes/wigs such as for pullip, blythe, icy dolls, and etc. This way you can purchase a doll to get exact measurements and have a doll to model your finished pieces to help sell and promote your items more quickly.
              • Have a yard sale, or ebay if you prefer to do it online, to get rid of old items you no longer need. You’d be surprised what some people collect that you no longer want, such as old toys, clothes, housewares, home goods, video games, anime goods, etc.
              • Do chores – even if you’re a tiny child, ask your parents, friends, family members, neighbors, etc if you can earn 20 bucks helping them do chores that you normally don’t do.
                • Here are a few examples:
                  • Shovel snow
                  • Rake leaves
                  • Wash cars
                  • Walk dogs
                  • Babysitting (for older kids / teens)
                  • Cleaning challenging rooms/areas such as attics, garages, basements, etc.
                  • Helping with computer, internet, printer, and other technological devices
                  • Running errands
                  • Delivering groceries or other items
                  • Uber or Lyft driving (for teens/adults)
                  • Lemonade Stand / Baked Goods sales
              • Online surveys
              • Create virtual items in free games such as IMVU and Secondlife, then sell the in-game currency for real money
              • Write and self publish a book or ebook and sell it on amazon or similar
              • Photography for older kids/teens, see if friends and family members will pay you to capture special moments, such as wedding/engagement photos, baby announcements/baby photos, family portraits, etc. Don’t be afraid to ask for money. At my first wedding, a friend of the groom was our photographer, but he still charged us 200 dollars – which was cheap really because we had him for the whole day (10+ hours).
              • Many other ideas and suggestions I have probably forgotten – there are many ways you can earn money to get the doll you really want. You just have to be creative and think outside the box! Age, disability, or other factors are just an excuse. They may hinder you from having a “real” job, but don’t have any impact on many other things you can do to earn money “on the side”.
  • The 5th and “final” (at least for this post) reason for purchasing Legit dolls is to help maintain the value of the dolls.

    • Doll collecting is an expensive hobby. Even many US dolls are worth a lot of money on the second hand market, like old barbies, my little ponies, etc.
    • When something goes out of production, it’s a simple lesson in supply and demand. As supplies decrease and/or demand increases, prices also increase. But as supplies increase, and/or demand decrease, prices decrease.
    • Many limited edition Asian Balljointed Dolls are EXTREMELY limited. Sold only for a month, or even some only for a few days. I think my Crobidoll Sinbi was only available for about 4 days – And even “better” inside her headcap it says “01” – I think maybe she was the first Crobidoll Sinbi to ever be produced. I feel extremely excited / proud about that.
      • Another example is my Iplehouse Claude, currently my most expensive Asian Balljointed Doll. I paid over $900 for him. He used to just be a standard doll, that Iplehouse sold, but then they decided to retire him. Now he is only available very rarely and for only a few days at a time. And his price has increased. They do open him up for sales, I don’t know if it’s yearly. I don’t believe so at least. They occasionally have “auctions” on Iplehouses site, or have “Custom” sales where you can order any head (from a list of available heads, in which Claude is not always offered).
      • Another example is many Dollmore dolls do limited editions of like 10 dolls. That’s it. TEN. Once they’re gone, they’re gone forever. And they sell them WORLDWIDE.
        • To put it into perspective, a European doll manufacturer that I collect, called Masterpiece Dolls, also makes limited edition dolls that they sell “Worldwide” but you know how many “limited” dolls they release? 10,000…. That doesn’t even sound limited at all!!! (but yet they do sell out and there are some highly sought after ones on the 2nd hand market)… Now imagine that “hype” times 1,000…. That’s how rare and sought after some limited edition Asian Balljoint dolls are! There are even companies such as Volks which make “One Off” dolls, where there is only ONE in the whole world. (my dream is to someday own one of those lol)
          • Now imagine the rage and hatred that someone feels when someone recasts and makes unlimited numbers of a limited edition doll. Suddenly you go from having 1 or 10, to having thousands, and growing as time goes on…
            • This kills the 2nd hand market for a user who may one day wish to resell their doll. Why they would want to resell their doll, is their business. Some people fall on hard times, other people outgrow the hobby, or some just want the money to spend on more newer dolls.
            • Back in 2005, a user might pay $600 for a limited doll, and be able to later resell it for 2 to 3 times the purchase price (1200-1800 typically, and sometimes for really sought after sculpts, 3000 dollars and up)
              • But along come recasters, and with that, there goes the 2nd hand market.
                • Why would someone want a yellowed, possibly cracked, stained, used doll for $3,000 dollars, when they can get a brand new mint condition doll for $200?
                  • You can easily see how this destroyed the 2nd hand market.
                    • Nowadays people have trouble selling 2nd hand dolls, and the recasters are one of the primary reasons.
                    • To prove that it is a primary reason, you can look at other similar asian dolls which have not yet been recast, such as Dollfie Dreams or Smart Dolls, and you can see how the 2nd hand market is thriving there. Many extremely old Dollfie Dreams go for $3,000 and up still today.
                      • These dolls haven’t been recast because they have intricate and delicate parts inside of them such as a spine system that allows for greater stability, flexibility, and poseability. Recasters have not figured out how to engineer these internal pieces, which for now, keeps them safe from recasters.
            • Not only the 2nd hand market, but also the “uniqueness” and “pride” in owning a limited doll. It kills that special fun, super exciting feeling of exclusivity. I’m sure they still love their doll just the same, but it kills some of the magic and excitement.
              • Suddenly you see photos that look like your doll plastered all over the internet.
                • Sure yours might be painted differently, styled differently, different wig, different eyes, different clothes, different faceup, but still it is disheartening to go from seeing maybe 3-4 other users posting pictures of “your” doll, to seeing hundreds or thousands of users posting the same sculpt all over.
                  • One of the best things about the hobby is how unique and different everyone’s dolls look, even when it’s the same sculpt, but sculpt too does have an effect, and when you think you’re buying a rare sculpt, for someone to then go and recast that doll, and ruin its rarity, it’s really devastating. It’s a horrible feeling.

What Are the Reasons Someone Would Want a Recast Asian Balljointed Doll?

  • Lower Price

    • Obviously the biggest reason to purchase recast dolls is the more attractive price point. As mentioned above when discussing the 2nd hand market and limited edition dolls, many Asian Balljointed Dolls go for hundreds or even thousands of dollars. You can get the same doll, brand new, and not used, for a fraction of the cost.
    • How much money are we talking here?
      • Some recast sculpts are more money than others – I think they like to take advantage of the popularity and rare availability of certain sculpts
      • Doll size is also a consideration, larger dolls use more materials and cost more to manufacture, and are heavier and cost more to ship, therefore they have higher prices.
      • Tinies, YOSD, Puki’s, Latidolls, etc. are all very very affordable. Even some MSDs are insanely affordable.
        • I purchased my 2 recasts during an anniversary event where there was an even greater discount off the already low recast prices.
        • Regularly, the little recast latidolls are around $65 with a faceup, or $40-$50 for a blank doll
          • They go for $200 and up for a blank Lati Yellow from Lati Doll.
          • Because of the sales event, I got mine for $55 with a faceup and shipping and handling.
            • I didn’t pay much more than that for the much much larger / heavier Littlefee Pong, which was under $65 for faceup and shipping and handling
              • Littlefees go for $285 and up (not counting faceup or shipping) from Fairyland – more than 4 times the amount I paid.
              • Since we’re talking about Fairyland, the MSD line goes for $397 on Fairyland’s site, or only $47 from the recaster that I ordered my Lati and Littlefee from (both prices are for blank dolls, both prices go up slightly for a faceup). This is almost 10 times more than the cost of a recast MSD.
                • The recaster has almost every MSD sculpt – but not all of them. I don’t see Shiwoo and there’s probably others the recaster is missing as well 🙂 They do have littlefee Shiwoo though.
      • The SD and larger dolls start to get a lil bit pricey even from the recasters. However, they are still much much cheaper than their legit counterparts from their original manufacturers.
        • The SD dolls are almost all $100 and up, with most being $200 and up. Most are still under $300, even for instances in where the legit are rare, limited, or discontinued.
          • This may sound expensive to some not familiar with the hobby, but the Legit SD sized dolls regularly go for $600-800 for a standard, non limited, regular SD sized BJD, and even up from there. I’ve seen some companies charge $900, or even $1,000 or more for a limited edition doll.
          • To remain neutral I should also note that there are some Legit companies which offer SD dolls for under $300 too. I will add several of these dolls to the resources section at the end of this article.
    • The prices of being in the hobby, don’t just stop at the dolls either. There are eyes and wigs and clothes and shoes and props and accessories and furniture and even if you plan to make everything by hand, you still have to factor in materials and the value of your time.
      • Spending less on the actual dolls themselves gives you more money to spend on “all the rest” of the things you’ll need to buy for the dolls.
      • Not everyone values money the same way. Some people could afford Legits, but don’t want to spend the money when to them a recast is just as good. Just like to some people they could afford a coach handbag or designer glasses, but they don’t see the “value” in it, when to them the knockoff or counterfeit versions are just as good.
  • Availability of Discontinued or “Limited Edition” Dolls

    • As I mentioned above under preserving the value of the dolls, many companies manufacture limited edition dolls. Now you might be familiar with limited dolls from European or North American manufacturers as having hundreds or thousands or even tens of thousands of units in production… but that is not the case for a limited edition Asian Balljointed Doll. Not at all!
      • Most are limited by a time frame window. They take an unlimited number of orders but only for a short period lasting a few days, up to a week, the longest I’ve ever seen for a limited ABJD was a month long ordering window.
      • Others are limited by the manufacturers producing only a small number of dolls to sell.
        • And by small I mean SMALL!!! Not hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands.
        • Dollmore usually does 10, and that’s for WORLDWIDE distribution.
        • Other companies like Volks even make “One Off Dolls” where there’s only ONE in the whole world.
      • Once it’s gone, that’s it, it will never be offered again.
        • This is good for the Resell 2nd hand market and for creating excitement for the companies to sell more dolls and also creating a proud exciting feeling for those who are lucky enough to own such a doll (man I LOVE that feeling..).
        • But “bad” for someone who wants a specific doll. Imagine just finding the hobby today, and missing out on 20+ years of limited edition dolls.
          • Those dolls are highly sought after and have high market value, which makes them very expensive, sometimes up to $3,000 for a 2nd hand doll.
          • All resin yellows over time, this is fact. I still have my very first ABJD that I purchased in 2006, and it’s yellow as hell. To the point where I don’t play with or display it, but it’s still near and dear to my heart and will never be sold.
            • My first doll was a Dollzone Demi
              • It was not limited, but for whatever reason, Dollzone no longer offers Dollzone Demi anymore. The sculpt has been retired, etc. The company has moved a completely different direction, and its apparently working for them, and they have a lot of fans, but honestly (most of) their newer dolls scare the hell out of me and gross me out lol.
              • I would love to purchase a new, mint condition Dollzone Demi, one that’s not yellow, and preferably one with a company faceup since mine just has my bad attempts at my first (and 2nd, 3rd, etc) faceups.
              • But I can’t purchase it from Dollzone as it’s been discontinued, and I don’t think it was ever recast either, so I’m stuck with my yucky yellow doll that I still love very much. If I could buy another Demi from Dollzone I definitely would buy another Demi right now today this very moment. I could buy another on the 2nd hand market (assuming I could find one) but they’d be just as yellow as mine as 12 years have passed now.
              • If it would have been recast, I could have just “replaced” my dolls as they began to yellow. (although I’d still keep my original dolls, especially Demi since she was my first).
              • In this way, I can really understand fully why someone want want a recast doll – No one wants yellow banana babies.
          • Other times, a Legit doll company goes out of business forever. And their dolls are no longer available. There may not even by (m)any on the 2nd hand market either! Or the ones on the market place may have small defects and imperfections since they are used and probably several years old now. And as those are sold, fewer and fewer remain. Overtime, eventually it becomes impossible to buy a Legit of one of their dolls.
            • There are recast versions of many dolls from many manufacturers who have gone out of business. Dream of Doll comes to mind off the top of my head, but I’m sure there are others.
              • I know that the fact there are recast versions of the dolls may have been what led to them going out of business in part or in whole, and I can’t deny that.
              • But in some cases, the Legit companies have gone out of business due to bad service or poor quality or just the economy.
              • And many other companies where almost every sculpt have been recast are still selling dolls and still profitable, because they offer good quality and good service, or just make really attractive sculpts or well engineered dolls, or unique dolls, etc.
              • Whatever the case is, buying a Legit from those companies who close down is no longer possible as the company no longer exists.
              • You may get lucky and find one in reasonable shape and at a reasonable price on the 2nd hand market, but you might not find the doll, or it might have scratches or stains, or other flaws on the 2nd hand market, or it might be very expensive since the seller knows you can no longer purchase the doll from the manufacturer.
              • In times like these people often feel justified in purchasing a recast doll and many, like myself, feel that if the company still sold the sculpt they wanted, or if the company was still in business, they’d purchase the legit.
              • Many people don’t want yellow dolls, scratched dolls, stained dolls, dolls with poor faceups, dolls that need to be restrung, dolls that have had extensive modding, or etc.
              • Many Anti-Recasters argue to “Save for the Doll You REALLY want” — but what if the doll you REALLY want is from a company who is out of business and there’s not any dolls in the 2nd hand market? Then they tell you, buy a doll that looks like that doll, or wait and see if any come on the 2nd hand market, or etc.
                • But I disagree. I think you should ALWAYS go for the doll you REALLY want, and since that company is out of business, you’re not even hurting the company or artist.
                  • It can be argued though you’re hurting other artists and other companies, because the recasters will take your money to purchase more legit dolls to use as molds for their recasts
                  • But I still say, go for the doll you REALLY want, if it’s Legit, or if it’s only available as a recast. If it’s a 2nd hand doll and yellowed and stained, if that’s not what you want, you want a new doll, hey it’s your money. And remember if it’s for personal use it’s not illegal (in the US), and the only harm is that you’re hurting the 2nd hand market, or angering the owners of the original dolls, but still, that shouldn’t force you to feel bullied into buying a doll you don’t want.
                    • No one wants that banana green doll with a chipped finger and black stains from their wig and peeling faceup that you’re charging $1,200 for. I’m sorry.
                      • If it was me, doing the shopping, and I could only get the Legit from you…
                        • And assuming it was poor quality, because I also know there are 2nd hand dolls that are in great condition. I’ve purchased 2nd hand dolls myself!..
                          • But if my only options were a really bad quality 2nd hand doll at 3 times the original price that it was when it was brand new from the manufacturer, and there was no other option because the company no longer existed, and even if no recast “new” “mint condition” version existed, I would just not buy the doll at all, I STILL wouldn’t be buying your overpriced poor condition used banana baby regardless of if a recast was offered of that sculpt or not. Sorry but that’s how I feel.
                          • Recasting does indeed hurt the 2nd hand market, absolutely, because there are hundreds of other dolls who are still available from the manufacturer who can be found recast for like a 1/10 of the price of the legit. And many people will buy the recast version instead of the legit, making it more difficult to sell your used legits when they can get a brand new recast at a tenth of the price. Plus there are probably others who WOULD probably buy your little discontinued or limited banana colored baby, but not me. If it was in good condition, sure I’d buy it 2nd hand, don’t get me wrong.
                            • But over time, as such is the case with my 12 year old Dollmore Demi there just aren’t any options that AREN’T yellow and/or stained or flawed etc.
                              • Which means that, some of those people you are harassing and cyberbullying would never have bought your 2nd hand market doll(s) in the first place.
                              • Some of the people purchasing recast would never buy your banana baby dolls even if they couldn’t get the doll “brand new” they would just either get a different doll or no doll at all…
                              • And still leave you unable to sell your used doll to them because they just aren’t wanting to purchase a doll that looks so used.
                                • So AT LEAST PART of the argument of the market place devastation due to recasters, is in fact quite flawed, and it’s also part of the reason behind the cyberbully attacks.
                                  • Which is what the bullies just don’t understand. It’s not as if removing all recasts would instantly allow them to sell their dolls at premium prices. It just doesn’t work that way.
  • To Have a “Hybrid” Doll More Easily

    • Many people worry about “Resin Matching” when wanting to create a Legit Hybrid Doll. This refers to the colors of the resin, Since as we know resin yellows over time, this can make it even more challenging. Not only do you need to find a company whose resin color closely matches your existing head, but you need to worry about if your head has yellowed, and how it will look on the new body. Even if your head is brand new, there are slight color variations between each batch of resin.
      • But recasting takes away all of this worry. You can mix and match a head from Company B, on a Body from Company C, with a Resin color from Company D. All cast from the same batch of resin.
    • Why would someone want a hybrid doll?
      • Not all dolls are created equal – some are just FAR better posers than others. Or others have more aesthetically pleasing bodies.
        • But maybe they don’t have the right face for the doll you want
        • Maybe you want a different face, or a different body. Maybe you just like the way the body is shaped. As time has gone on, companies have gotten more experimental with their bodies, making some with big heads, big hips, big busts, animal/fantasy parts, exaggerated cartoon proportions, child like bodies, more mature bodies, etc.
  • Out of Curiosity

    • Why does anyone do anything “bad” that they know they shouldn’t do? Simple, curiosity. A recent release movie had a good quote that said “You can’t teach people to not try things, that’s what trying things is for” In other words people learn by trying things, even bad things that other people think they shouldn’t do.
    • My recast purchase was mostly out of curiosity. A combination of curiosity and unbeatable pricing. I was like I wonder if the quality is as good as my legit dolls, I wonder if the things everyone says (both good or bad) are true. I want to find out first hand.
      • I had been reading about both sides of the debate for years. I’d seen photo comparisons and I knew the risks and the benefits of both sides of the issue. I carefully researched which recaster to purchase from, read reviews, both positive and negative, and did my homework.
        • But reading and understanding something from 2nd hand information just can’t compare to experiencing it for yourself and making your own decisions
        • It’s like reading a restaurant review; you might hear they have the most delicious food, but until you taste it, you can’t be sure. Different people like different tastebuds and preferences.
        • First hand experience can’t be beat. It lets you learn without any one elses’ bias or opinion influencing your decisions.
        • And you might come to find that your opinion based on that first hand experience is so different from anything you’d heard or read, or thought you knew or think you understand.
        • Until you try it, how can you know?
        • I’m glad I tried it. Prior to this, I’d say I leaned more towards Anti-Recast but now I definitely side with Recast Friendly and plan to purchase more recasts in the future. This comment will bring me some flames I’m sure, but I’m being very candid, open, and upfront in this article, and have been very candid and open on my social media channels and elsewhere.
  • To Have a “New” Doll Instead of a “Used” Doll

    • I covered this at length a few paragraphs above under the availability of limited or discontinued dolls.
    • Resin yellows and stains easily
    • Many people don’t want yellow or stained dolls.
    • Other flaws include chips and scratches, broken fingers, etc
    • Many older dolls will need to be restrung
    • Others have peeling faceups that need refreshed or removed
    • If a recast of that sculpt is available it gives you a chance to own a doll in mint brand new condition instead of having to settle for damaged goods
    • I want to stress the fact that not all 2nd hand dolls are yellowed, flawed, chipped, stained, etc.
      • Many are perfectly fine.
        • I myself have purchased 2nd hand dolls before with no issues.
    • Even if the doll is perfectly fine though, many people would still rather have a new doll as opposed to a used doll.
      • Just as there are many perfectly fine things at your local goodwill, even things with tags still attached that have never been used before.
        • But if someone can buy item X at goodwill for $35 or item X at walmart brand new for $2 where do you think they’re shopping? Not only does it cost less, but it’s brand new too. Now imagine multiplying that price by 10 or 100 times and compare the value.
    • I understand this angers a lot of people in the hobby, but the fact is that it’s not JUST about the recasts. That’s not the sole reason the market place has crashed. Some people just really don’t want your yellow stained banana babies and would not buy it even if they had no alternatives (such as recasts)
    • Anti-Recasters always say get the doll you really want.
      • But the doll some people really want isn’t a yellowed, stained, chipped, cracked, peeling, floppy version of that doll
        • For some people the doll they really want is a brand new doll. End of story.
  • To Have a Doll in a Fantasy or Unique “Skin” (Resin) color

    • If you want a purple or green or black or grey or snow white or magenta colored doll, you can request different resin colors from recasters that were not offered by the original manufacturer.
  • To Have a Doll that They Can Practice Faceup Skills and Modding on.

    • Spending $50-$100 as opposed to $500-$1,000 on a doll can make people feel more comfortable to enjoy artistic aspects within the hobby such as painting, sanding, or customizing their dolls.
    • Similarly related, many just feel more comfortable taking the doll outdoors, doing creative photoshoots, or merely handling or playing with a less expensive doll. Some people feel that if they spent several hundred on a doll that they would be too nervous to enjoy the doll. You might think that their fears are strange / silly / stupid or tell them that that’s what the dolls are for, to handle and enjoy, but many others, especially first time owners, feel differently. You have to remember not everyone has the same view points, personalities, attitudes etc towards things.
  • To See If They Want to Collect Asian Balljointed Dolls

    • Many people buy recast and then later on buy legit.
      • Some people can feel intimidated to throw down $500 and up on a doll when they’re not sure if they’ll even like it.
      • A smaller price point makes the dolls more accessible to people who either wouldn’t or couldn’t spend the money on a legit “at first”
        • But they may find they love the hobby, and later buy the same sculpt or a different legit doll once they’ve gotten into the hobby.
        • Others may find the hobby is not for them, and then instead of losing a lot of money, they are out significantly less money when they decide to leave the hobby.
  • They See No Difference Between the Recast and Legit Dolls

    • My experience was very very positive with my first recast purchase. Your mileage may vary. But some people, such as myself, have an excellent experience. They get excellent service and receive an item that is 99.9999% identical to the real thing while spending about 85% less money.
      • I was honestly blown away by the quality of the recasts I purchased. They had no odor, they had beautiful normal colored and smooth resin. The larger of the two dolls was quite heavy actually, not light/thin resin like I’d read about some people receiving. It had no bubbles, cracks, debris inside or out of it. It was in flawless condition. The dolls posed and stood up on their own perfectly and were very stable. The faceups were beautiful – much better than I could do myself, and it wasn’t that they were worse than the company’s default faceups, just done in a different style, but that was OK, because people do their own faceups, or send the heads out for faceups by other people all the time, even with legit dolls. There is no reason that a doll has to have a factory default faceup – in fact many people probably prefer something more unique and customized.
    • Others might have different views and different experiences which lead them to different opinions.
      • But just as you can’t be swayed away from your belief that recasts are “vastly inferior”, neither can others be swayed from their belief that recasts are “almost as good or nearly the same as the real thing”
      • We form our opinions and beliefs based on what we see, what we read, what we hear, and on what we experience. And no two people ever experience anything in the exact same way, because each person is different. 2 People could be sharing an experience together, and come away with very different feelings even though they both experienced it at the exact same time. Like my best friend would love to go ziplining in the jungle, while I would be terrified. I love wooden roller coasters and my boyfriend is terrified of those. I love swimming and until a few months ago my boyfriend had never even been in a pool. Like I said no two people are the same!
        • So two people might get two very similar quality dolls but have very different perceptions about how they’d grade that quality.
        • Everything in life is subjective – dolls are no different
    • Also as mentioned elsewhere throughout this article, there is no difference (for many people) morally speaking in owning a recast doll compared to a number of other activities that the overwhelmingly vast majority of the North American population engages in daily. Such as but not limited to:
      • Downloading an “illegal” mp3
      • Watching a movie streaming online instead of going to the theater or instead of purchasing the DVD or instead of paying for a digital download/stream or instead of paying a cable provider
      • Logging into their friends’ netflix accounts
      • Signing up for a free trial just to access an item for free and then cancelling the trial once you are done with that 1 item
      • Creating multiple free trial accounts to avoid ever paying for a subscription
      • Using your student discount when you’re no longer a student
      • Using a friends’ Amazon prime
      • Using a friends’ costco or sams’ club memberships
      • Buying knock-off fashion items such as replicas of coach bags, replicas of designer jeans, replicas of designer sunglasses, etc.
      • Purchasing other anime/asian related items from Chinese websites or in Chinatown etc. Most all of these are counterfeit, just like the recast dolls. Also if you subscribe to monthly subscription boxes, the vast majority of those include counterfeit items too.
      • Even in the doll hobby, there is not this kind of hatred for other “recast” dolls such as Blythe and Pulip. Most Blythe and Pulip online communities welcome users to share their “Fakies” and “Off brand” dolls. My little pony is another big one where recast ponies are encouraged to be used and even sold as artist creation dolls and even welcomed at events and conventions.
      • If you’re purchasing dolls wigs on ebay, taobao, or aliexpress, you’re purchasing from recasters, even if you’re not purchasing a recast, they’re using your money to continue to buy new legit dolls to add to their collection of molds to recast new dolls. Many people in the community are vehemently anti-recast, but yet continue to shop here for doll accessories, wigs, clothing, etc. Which is just funny and hypocritical really.
  • The Recast May Have Been Gifted to Them By Someone Not Familiar with the Hobby

    • Family members, especially parents, grandparents, or male family members may not even realize that they are buying a recast.
    • Even if they know it is a recast, they may not view anything wrong with this because they are not active in the community to have heard all of the reasons why buying a recast is wrong.
    • Even if they know that buying a recast is wrong, they might still want to surprise their loved one with a doll for a special occasion out of love and desire to see that person’s happy expression when they receive their gift.
    • The doll, recast, or legit, would have such strong special sentimental attachment that the recipient of the gift wouldn’t care if it was recast or legit.
      • However, that recipient may feel bullied into behaving rudely towards the person who gave her the gift
      • Also the bullying may overtime cause the recipients feelings about the doll to change
      • Many people will lecture and bully the recipient until she feels ashamed of her doll and forgets the thought and love that went into selecting the gift for her.
      • Some even tell her to give the doll back, or worse yet, throw it away, trash it, burn it, junk it, etc.
        • This is extremely rude! Think how you would feel if you gave a gift to someone and they gave it back to you, or you later discovered they intentionally damaged, lost, gave away, etc the doll.
          • Yes, technically when you give a gift, it’s up to that person, it’s theirs now, if they want to get rid of it, that’s their decision… but if the ONLY reason you’re getting rid of it is because of the bullying, please don’t do that. Just “F” them and continue enjoying your doll. Their behavior is so heartbreakingly cruel. And your behavior towards the person who gave you the doll would be just as cruel too!
            • If you love the person who gave you the doll, and you love(d) the doll, then just continue to keep loving them and enjoying your hobby. Haters gonna hate. Just do your own thing.
            • There are bigger things in the world to worry about. Stick together with your family, friends, significant others, etc, and let their special gift to you make you grow closer, not more distant. Don’t be a dick, don’t let a doll come between you and your loved ones!
  • They don’t care about the 2nd hand market and don’t want to resell their dolls

    • Not only do they not care about your banana babies losing market value, they also don’t care if their own dolls have any market values, because they never intend to resell their dolls.
  • They don’t care about sharing photos of their dolls or participating in many of the larger communities

    • Although unlikely, there are some people that just don’t share their dolls online or attend meetups or any other activities.
      • Some people are just too busy with other hobbies
      • Others, even if they had legit dolls, wish for whatever reason to keep their hobby private.
        • Afterall, dolls are perceived as being childish, and many worry what non-dolly friends, family members, and coworkers would think of their “strange” hobby.
        • Even if they don’t care what others think, some people are just more quiet and passive and private than others and just wish to enjoy their hobby in solitude.
    • Even if unable to participate in the larger communities, many smaller communities have opened up over the past few years that allow you to share and discuss recasts. These communities continue to grow more and more each day.
    • You can create your own blog, or use your own social media pages to share your recast dolls, no one can tell you what to do on your own space.
  • They don’t care about supporting the artists or companies that make the dolls.

    • We should all care about supporting the artists and companies who make our dolls, because without them, there will be no dolls, recast, legit, or otherwise, but the truth is, not everyone does care. And you can’t force them to care. People care about different things. While LOGICALLY it makes sense why we should ALL care, as pointed out, no profit = companies closing = no new legit dolls = no new recasts. It impacts every single person in this hobby. And we all SHOULD care, absolutely. We SHOULD…. but I’m just pointing out that some people STRAIGHT UP DO NOT CARE ABOUT SUPPORTING THE ARTISTS OR COMPANIES — despite all of the reasons why everyone should care, not everyone does. Just like everyone should care about a number of other important topics, global warming, recycling, women’s rights, equality, voting every election, saving for retirement, ending world hunger, helping the homeless, spaying and neutering your pets, or taking care of themselves/physical fitness – but you can probably think of some people in your life, or maybe even yourself who just don’t care, and never will. Everyone cares about different things and nothing will change that.
  • They don’t care about the bullying and drama in the hobby

    • This is what prevented me from buying recast for at least the past 2-3 years. But you know what? I’m so over it. Bullies are not my friends. They don’t care about me, and they will prove how little they care for me based on their words and actions. I only care about the important people in my life. And those important people don’t get an F if I own a recast doll or not. They know who I am as a person deep down and I don’t need to prove myself or validate myself to a bully.
  • They see nothing morally wrong with owning a recast doll

    • Lets all go troll and cyberbully someone for owning a pair of fake “Raybans” or a fake “Rolex” because that’s about how much sense it makes to be hateful to someone owning a recast.
    • There is absolutely no difference.
    • You might think oh the doll is a work of art. But is not fashion also a work of art?
    • Or if you want to set dolls apart as a class of their own, is not a Pullip or a Blythe or a My little Pony also a doll? Nendoroids? Figmas? Even barbies and monster high. All of these get recasted daily. Why then are recasts and fakies welcomed with open arms in those hobbies? Encouraged to be used as artist custom works, shared openly, discussed openly, and praised by their respective communities?
      • What difference is there? Is it price? Materials used? Size of the dolls? How the dolls are used? You can’t say this type of recast is morally wrong, while buying others, and then at the same time supporting, and encouraging recasts of a different type of doll.
        • So you’re saying there’s a price tag on morals now? Once an item crosses a certain monetary value it becomes immoral to have a recast?
    • Everyone has different and unique morals and different standards
    • We come from different backgrounds
    • Our morals are shaped by how we are raised and what we experience in our life.
    • Your morals may have taught you that recast dolls are bad, that it’s somehow far worse than a knock off or counterfeit item of any other kind of object or that it’s somehow different from downloading an MP3 or streaming a movie that you did not purchase. You’re stealing from an artist any time you engage in those behaviors.
    • Your morals may tell you that recast doll owners are the most immoral worst people on Earth and to never associate with them and to “warn” others about them so they don’t accidentally associate with them either. Or you may believe that their entire moral compass is F’ed that they will do nothing but steal, lie, cheat, and take advantage of everyone. That they are greedy, or entitled, or care only about themselves, that they deserve to be bullied and that they are literally the scum of the Earth.
    • For many of us, we disagree.  Many of us realize there are far bigger things to worry about in a person’s character and moral judgement, and that owning a recast doll is no indication of a person’s TRUE character or moral judgement. No more so than downloading an mp3 or carrying an offbrand handbag.
    • You have to realize you can’t force your morals onto other people. I mean if you could, there would be no crime or violence or hate in the world right? But real life is not always black and white, things are more shades of grey.
      • I recognize that buying a recast is wrong.
        • But how I rank that level of wrong is different from how you may rank the level of wrong.
          • And that’s fine, just as you can’t force your views on me, neither can I force mine on you to get you to see it as a lesser offense.
        • Many people rank the owning of a recast doll as the worst most wrong thing a person can do.
          • But to me, I don’t feel like it makes someone instantly a bad person. I give everyone a chance and I have my own set of morals that I judge others on.
            • We shouldn’t even judge people at all, because you know as they say, people in glass homes shouldn’t cast stones.
              • But judging people is part of human nature. We do it from our first impressions within 2-3 seconds of meeting someone and we continue to refine and reshape and rethink those impressions with each further interaction we have with that person.
            • I look at what really counts inside a person (and this is TOTALLY subjective!!! What counts to ME in a good friend might be WAY different to you.) I like the quote that says something like “If you search for friends with no flaws, you’ll be left with no friends”. In other words we all have flaws. But if a person has all the qualities I seek in a good person, and morals that I believe to be ranked as more important than owning a recast doll, then nothing would change my opinion about that person.
              • But there are other people that will end friendships with otherwise “good people” over a doll…
                • And that’s fine that’s their choice, but to me, a good friend is hard to find, and a good person even harder to find, so no, their owning a recast does not affect what I think of this friend’s moral judgement. I already know they’re good people (once again this is subjective to your personal beliefs), and owning a recast isn’t going to magically change my perception of that.
  • They Are Selfish and Entitled

    • This is how you will be viewed if you own a recast doll.
    • And maybe it is true! I’ve seen some pretty petty / weak arguments for owning a recast doll that seem highly entitled and spoiled and selfish to me.
      • Like not wanting to wait for the delivery times
      • Or not wanting to save up enough money
      • Or making excuses such as age or disability or some other reason they feel justifies their actions
      • Or just because they “want nice things” (apparently without having to put in the effort to earn those “nice things”) (that’s the very definition of entitlement lol)
    • People are human, they don’t always have the best motives and reasons behind their actions.
    • And yes, in the United States especially, many of us are in fact entitled spoiled brats.
    • Being entitled sometimes is OK.
      • You’re paying money for a product or a service. You deserve to have the product or service that YOU want. If you want a recast, buy a recast, if you want a legit, buy a legit. Don’t let some faceless random stranger on the internet tell YOU what to do with YOUR money.
        • That’s right, we’re PAYING MONEY even for recasts. I know that most of you anti-recast people just LOVE to compare buying recasts to shoplifting but it’s not the same thing.
          • To illustrate my point: That cute dress or cute pair of jeans, that cute handbag, etc, in your closet, is probably a form of art theft too unless its a high-end designer label!
            • Things like fashion items are cut up and used as patterns
            • Or some talented seamstresses can create patterns from photos
            • Especially in Asian countries they send “spies” in snapping photos of different items
            • Then they “reproduce” those items.
            • Those items get shipped around the world, to big box retailers, target, walmart, kohls, penny’s, macy’s you name it.
            • Even more so if you buy items online from Amazon, Ebay, Aliexpress, or various “Wholesalers” with “Unbeatable” prices.
            • You buy those items.
            • You’ve just contributed to art theft.
              • Have you shoplifted? No, you’ve paid the seller for your item.
              • No difference in if you buy a recast doll. You’ve paid for it just the same. You haven’t shoplifted anything. Just because something has a face, and human or animal like proportions doesn’t make a difference.
                • Or if you want to claim it does make a difference, what about Phony and Fakie My Little Ponies, Fakie Blythes and Pullips, Polly Pockets, Bratz, Barbies, Monster Highs, etc? In almost every doll hobby, there are recasts, and guess what, there’s not this weird stigma with them. In fact, many are used to create custom artist dolls, those dolls are welcome at conventions, even given away as prizes and/or raffled/auctioned off for charity etc.
                  • The owners of those dolls don’t lose friends, don’t become shunned by their respective communities because no one cares if it’s recast or legit.
                  • These communities don’t cyberbully and harass users, and don’t bring up their personal relationships, life, morals, and any other personal issues – because they just don’t care. They view it as a doll is a doll. No one even questions it or bats an eye at it if someone has a fake doll in any other doll collecting community.
                  • Instead many people are usually curious and show off their recasts or cheap dolls they find in China town, etc.
                  • Some people also seek out or collect these strange offbrand dolls and comment and discuss things openly with the “Fakie” owners and rest of the community coexisting peacefully in one place.
                  • And no one tells them you’re entitled, spoiled, have poor morals, etc.
                  • So be entitled if you want, afterall, you’re a paying customer. A recaster paid for that original doll they’re using to make their molds. The artist and the original company still got paid. And you’re paying the recaster to make a copy of that doll. Everyone is getting paid, you’re not shoplifting anything from anyone.
                  • There is a big difference between shoplifting WHICH IS ILLEGAL in the United States, and Buying a Counterfeit Item (even if you know it’s counterfeit) Because in the USA, buying a counterfeit item for personal use is NOT illegal in the United States. See below under legal issues surrounding copyright or visit this source: https://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/buying-counterfeit-goods-laws-and-resources.html

What Are the Risks in Purchasing or Owning a Recast Asian Balljointed Doll?

  • Financial and Mental/Emotional Damage to the Companies and Artists Making the Dolls

    • As mentioned above in reasons to buy legit dolls, the biggest concern is that overtime, the sales of counterfeit goods cuts into the profits of the doll companies. If these companies go out of business, there’s no new dolls being made, eventually that means no new recasts too, so it is a problem that all doll lovers should feel worried about. Not only is there financial burden, but also emotional distress caused for the companies and artists of legit dolls when they discover their doll has been recast. Imagine how you would feel if someone stole your work of art. It is not a good feeling. Regardless of if you care about the artists’ “feelings” you should want to financially support companies whose work you enjoy to ensure they are around for a long time to continue to manufacture new dolls for all of us.
  • Cyberbullying from individuals with strong opinions against owning recast dolls

    • You can refer to my sections above about why to buy legit dolls – there is a lot of my thoughts put above there about the cyberbullying that goes on in the hobby. This is probably the biggest risk persay in owning a recast doll.
    • Also not “bullying” but related note that you also should be aware many communities, online and off, and special events, do not allow you to bring your recast doll, talk about recast dolls, share photos of your recast dolls, etc. This is not bullying because it’s up to each person how they wish to run their community and you should respect their rules. There are smaller communities online that are recast friendly, but very few real life events such as conventions or meetups that allow for recast dolls. Not being able to participate in these online and offline communities and events may hinder your enjoyment of your dolls.
  • You May Be Unable to Purchase Legit Dolls from Legit Manufacturers and Dealers Ever Again in the Future

    • There is a lot of fear and drama in the recast witch hunting. Part of that fear is that someone will buy a doll and send it to a recaster to use as a mold. So to help stop this, many people will not sell their dolls to you if you are discovered to own a recast. I don’t think anyone actually does this though (sends their dolls to recasters) I don’t know where that fear / rumour started from.
    • But as a result of that fear, many US based distributors, and original Asian manufacturers will block you from their websites and ban you from ordering their products.
      • Getting around this is so easy, so don’t let this scare you.
        • The most common way to get around it is to have a friend or family member hold the package for you. You just enter their shipping address and contact name/number and viola. Then you just either have them send the package to you if they live far away, or you can just go over and pick up your package.
          • Make sure that you’re only doing this with people you TRUST (preferably people you know in real life) so you don’t get ripped off and someone steals your package.
        • Another option could be to open a PO box at your post office, but some companies do not ship to PO boxes.
        • Even if they do an IP address ban on you, fear not, just go to your library or a friend’s house and purchase the doll on their computer.
        • I’m almost 100% sure that the recasters are obtaining their dolls in similar fashion (having their friends hold the packages for them or sending the packages to another address, using different names, or etc.) I really really really doubt anyone who is just buying dolls for personal use is sending them off to be cloned by the recasters. I sure wouldn’t want to send my dolls off, and risk never getting them back, or getting a recast back, or the dolls getting damaged etc.
  • Possible Quality Control Issues and Errors in Communication

    • This is just straight up copied and pasted from above (under reasons to purchase a legit doll)
      • Even many anti-recast communities admit that newer recasts have improved in both quality and communication practices and that it is getting more difficult to easily spot a recast based solely on quality alone.
      • However, just like not all legit doll companies have the same levels of quality assurance, the same goes for different recasters. Some recasters have higher quality and better communication than others.
      • Even those recasters with higher quality sometimes make mistakes or deliver poor goods, just like even some high quality legit doll manufacturers sometimes make mistakes.
        • The most common quality issues surrounding recasts include:
          • Shrinkage; when a recast is made, they use an existing legit doll as a mold. When that mold gets old, new molds are created from the mold of a recast, as time goes on, each mold gets slightly smaller and smaller and the resulting doll therefore gets smaller and smaller too.
          • As a result of shrinkage and/or the molding process, there is sometimes a loss of detail around fine areas such as the eyes, nose, lips, or ears of the recast doll.
          • Another issue is often the magnets used to attach fantasy parts or hands/feet are weaker than those supplied by the legit companies.
            • Sometimes too there will be wrong magnets, where it repells the body part instead of attract, making it impossible to assemble.
          • Stringing and other issues internally in the doll can result in a doll with inferior posing abilities compared to the legit versions.
          • Sometimes dolls arrive with two left feet, legs, or other mismatched body parts, this is perhaps the worst flaw of all because it significantly affects pose-ability.
          • Sometimes dolls arrive broken, damaged, etc in shipping. Sometimes shipments get lost. Sometimes they send you completely the wrong dolls or wrong parts.
            • When this happens sometimes you’re left with poor customer service (or no response at all) and lose your money and receive damaged goods or no goods at all.
            • Even legit doll companies can have issues with quality control or communication; however, the problems seem more common with the recast companies. Some people get perfect dolls and perfect, prompt, friendly polite customer service even from recasters. It just depends. It seems most legit doll companies have a better more consistent record at providing better quality products and customer service.
  • Possible Health Concerns

    • The recaster I purchased from claims to have used French imported resin, but the truth is, who knows what material is really in the dolls. Not only that, but China is infamous for using harmful leads in their paints. There have been numerous recalls the past few years of clothing, shoes, toys, dolls, and even baby items for having toxic levels of lead in the paint they use. Many people who came into contact with these recalled items broke out in scary horrible rashes and hives where their skin came into contact with the objects. Most infamously, there were flipflops sold at walmart that had unsafe levels of lead and were giving people lead poisoning.
      • I have heard horror stories about recast dolls being “rough” or having “filling” mixed in the with resin, such as sawdust and other particles.
        • My 2 dolls seem OK, but still who knows. My dolls are smooth and feel just like my legit dolls but are they really made from the same materials? There’s no way to know for sure.
      • I’ve read reviews, even from the place where I purchased my recast dolls, that indicated the dolls had a strong chemical odor.
        • This was not the case with my 2 dolls. They have absolutely no odor at all.
          • I was pleasantly surprised, because I’ve ordered other items (not doll related) from Chinese sellers before, as well as my stepdad working and living in China for several years in my teens, and I remember the packages he sent me, they almost always had a very strong odor. I think it may be caused by all of the air pollution over there. The air pollution is one of the worst in the world there. And obviously air is all around everything, clothes, dolls, the boxes the dolls are shipped in, whatever.
            • My 2 dolls honestly have no odor at all though, I’m very familiar with that “China smell” and they just don’t have it, or any smell at all. I even held the dolls up to my nose and sniffed them right under my nose, and nothing lol. Where as with many things from China, the moment you open the package, you can smell a very strong odor. But in this particular case, mine were 100% odor free. We’ll see if that trend continues next month when I purchase my next recast doll from the same recaster.
        • Regardless, this strong chemical odor that many others report could be cause for concern. It could be caused by actual chemicals mixed into the resin, or as I mentioned and suspect, caused by air pollution and who knows what effect the residue from that air pollution could have on one’s health.
  • Legal Issues Surrounding Copyright

    • The dolls themselves are not protected by copyright, however, their trademarked names, symbols, company brand names, and other such things are protected by copyright (which is why many recast dolls do not have headplates or certificates of authenticity)
    • There are laws in many countries, including the United States, regarding the traffiking of counterfeit items
      • However, the US depart of Justice has ruled that IT IS NOT ILLEGAL TO OWN OR TO PURCHASE A COUNTERFEIT ITEM FOR PERSONAL USE EVEN WHEN DOING SO KNOWINGLY. Source: https://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/buying-counterfeit-goods-laws-and-resources.html and their following source at https://www.justice.gov/usam/criminal-resource-manual-1709-joint-statement-parts-c-and-d-definitions-trafficking-counterfeit
        • The grey area is if you sell a doll that is a recast, even if selling to another for “personal use” at that moment you go from buying it for your personal use, to selling a counterfeit item and may face legal problems. I see a lot of people selling and trading used recast dolls – there’s even communities set up to do just this, but the bottom line is that you are risking legal complications once you sell or trade your recast dolls.
          • If you never sell or trade your recast doll, there’s no legal problems to worry about. Laws are always changing though, but for now, the US government has ruled that it is not illegal to buy a knock off or counterfeit item for personal use, whether or not you know it’s a recast or not at time of purchase.
          • The other thing to remember is that only brand names and brand symbols are trademarked, the dolls themselves are not – at least in the US Government’s eyes of what is covered by a trademark. So if your doll comes without any kind of brand mark, etc, it is not protected by any sort of copyright. (This is kinda messed up and I disagree with this law, but I don’t make the laws, that’s just how things are.) The source is the same source as above for further reading).
          • So the bottom line is you are doing nothing wrong legally – morally may be a different story, but legally as long as it’s for personal use, in the eyes of the US Government, you have done nothing wrong. Please also note as I mentioned laws change so you need to do your own research on this matter as this article ages and you happen to read this. Also please note I only refer to US law here. You need to look into the laws about counterfeit items in your own country to make sure it’s safe to purchase these items for personal use.
  • Unable to participate in certain doll-related communities, both online and off

    • Not all online communities care if you own or share photos/information about your recast doll
      • But the vast majority, especially of larger communities, do care, and will ban you.
        • Most of the communities do not care if you actually “own” a doll, as long as you do not post any photos or information about that doll within their community. However, there have been stories of members being banned for posting their recast dolls elsewhere and moderators of these communities discovering the dolls and banning the members.
        • If you care at all about being part of the community, it is in your best interest to not own or share your recast dolls anywhere online
          • Fear of this sort of behavior is also tied into the cyber bullying issues mentioned above.

What Has Your Personal Experience Been Thus Far With Bullying As a Result of Owning a Recast?

I’ve only had my recast dolls for about 2 weeks now (It’s taken me about a week to create this post so that’s why there is the time difference from beginning of this article). I have not experienced any bullying. There’s only about 10 “doll people” who know I have recasts right now. Of those, 2 have been supportive/friendly, while the others have not said anything at all about the dolls, but still remain my friends and have not bullied or harassed me.  I suspect that to change once I hit the publish button here on this blog post. I have heard of people getting hundreds of harassing comments a day, I’ve heard of people getting doxxed (their addresses etc made public), I’ve heard of people getting death threats or being told to kill themselves. I’ve heard all of these things, but no, I have not experienced it yet… and I probably never would experience it if I wasn’t writing such a long-ass blog post about the whole thing.

Am I worried about this? Yes, and no, at the same time. I mean of course no one wants to be bullied.  And I’m not just talking about people who tell you buying recast is wrong, that’s not bullying, because having a different opinion is fine. I’m more worried about personal attacks, harassment, doxxing, ddos attacks on this site, calling into question my character and morals, or trying to fling mud by digging up my personal life. I’m a super open person, so there’s plenty of ammo there that could be used against me. So yeah, of course I am “worried” in that sense. But I’ve just decided to not “care” about some faceless internet strangers who have nothing better to do than bully someone over a fake doll. I’m just going to be over here, enjoying my dolls, both recast and legit, and ignoring the bullies.

Many Anti-Recast people say that the bullying doesn’t exist and that it is made up by Recast Neutral and Recast Friendly people to make the Anti-Recast people “look bad”. So I guess we’ll see what happens here… I’ve been spending a long time mentally preparing myself for what I think is likely to happen… but maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised and everyone will just be calm and rational and able to discuss differing opinions without resulting to bullying…  If I do experience bullying I’ll be sure to come back and update this section.

How Would You Personally Rate The Quality of The Dolls and Service Provided By The Recasters?

Honestly I was really pleased both with the dolls and the seller. Everything about the dolls far exceeded my expectations. Magnets were good, I was worried they’d be loose but they’re fine. Face-ups are cute – or you can always buy them blank for even cheaper and do your own faceups. I wish Pong’s mouth was painted on the inside, and maybe that Luna’s closed eye had an eyelash attached, but otherwise am really very happy with the faceups they provided. The eyes they provide are nice (though not anything amazing by any means). I requested blue for both of them and got brown with the Luna, but that’s fine. The dolls are strung well and pose wonderfully. They stand easily, and all their parts are correct. (I’ve read about people getting dolls with 2 left legs, or hands that didn’t seem to fit, or other issues and was a bit worried – but mine were fine). The dolls had absolutely no odors at all. Not even that typical China smell (which I mentioned I assume is probably from air pollution over there). The dolls’ resin is a great color, not thin, not cracked, not bubbly, smooth but not shiny, insides were clean too, joints all worked well, the Pong has a lot of weight to it for such a small doll. I do not own a legit little fee nor legit lati yellow to compare the dolls for shrinkage or to compare exactly how well they pose (though I’m quite happy with how the recast ones are posing). My next recast will probably be a minifee, and I do have a lot of legit minifees so I can compare all of that, shrinkage, poseability, resin color (though my minifees are all at least 1-2 years old now or older so may have yellowed some). Overall I’d give the quality of the dolls 5 stars.

Service was also nice though a few issues arised which caused me some concern. They were friendly and responded quickly to follow up with the order. They provided pictures and waited for my “OK” before shipping and gave tracking info. Now for the negative… The dolls came together in one box… and were honestly… not packed that well… There was bubble wrap, but they were bubble wrapped together… like two dolls side by side and bubble wrap bound around them tightly with no bubble wrap between them. I can totally see why some people’s recasts arrive damaged and I’m thankful mine did not. Also curiously, they provided 2 different tracking numbers, and caused me quite a scare when one of the tracking numbers was going to another state (probably someone else’s’ order). Due to the miscommunication and risky packing job, I’d rate service about a 3. Definitely some room for improvement there, but overall everything went smoothly and they were quick to answer my questions or concerns and seem really professional, polite, and friendly.

Will You Personally Buy More Recasts in the Future?

Yes I will, in fact I’m getting ready to place my next order later this month.

Will You Personally Also Continue to Purchase Legits in the Future?

Yep, there’s at least 2 ABJD I really want which have not been recast yet. I also collect or want to start collecting other dolls which have not been and probably never will be recast such as Smart Doll, Dollfie Dream, Obitsu, Pure Neemo, Azone, Excute, Pullip, etc.  If every doll I wanted was available as a recast though hmm, that’s a tough question. There would probably be some I’d want to buy as legit, to enjoy the other aspects of doll collecting / sharing with the community / etc, or because Iove the sculpt / company / faceup / or some other reason. But I’d probably go about 75% recast, 25% legit, because the quality of the recast dolls in my opinion is so close to that of the legit dolls.

Do You Personally Feel Guilty or Bad for Owning a Recast?

If I went strictly recast only, I would feel guilty for not supporting the artists and companies I like, and if no one buys legit then the doll companies will be forced to close and that’d mean no new dolls, legit, recast, or otherwise. Traditionally, since 2006 when I entered the hobby, I’ve purchased 1 legit every year, though some years I haven’t been able to afford to. I will probably continue purchasing legits at about that pace. I doubt my purchasing frequency is significant enough to disrupt the profits of the doll companies one way or another – not that that’s an excuse or makes me feel any less guilty for deciding to save money by buying more recasts in the future. But I’m not going “recast only” so I’m still spending the same every year towards the legit companies as what I had been spending every year with them prior to my also recently collecting recasts. The recasts aren’t taking the place of money I’d spend on the legit companies every year, it’s just something else to collect in addition to the legits to me. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

I can collect both recast and legit just as people in other doll hobbies outside of ABJD collect fakies and phonys and cheap china town dolls etc. Anti-recasters try to justify that by saying the others are toys and ABJD are artist dolls, but I just watched a documentary lastnight and actually, they’re all artist dolls. Someone sketches each Barbie. each of her faces, each of her outfits. Her hair is sewn by hand, her face is painted by hand, her body is sculpted, etc. I also thought a lot of it was done by machine, but that’s a misconception, because people forget there has to be a prototype for every single Barbie. And every Barbie now is more unique than ever, each one has one of several different bodies, heights, weights, and different facial features too to make them more realistic and diverse. And even after mass production, there are artists who style the dolls, pose them for marketing photographs, videos, commercials, video editors, packaging designers, etc, etc… To me, an ABJD is not different from any of the other dolls. The other dolls are cheaper and marketed towards a younger audience, but that still doesn’t change the fact that someone’s art, talent, time, and work went into those dolls as well.

And yes, buying recasts of ABJD or MLP or Barbie or Monster High is wrong because it steals from the artists, and I’m not trying to justify anything or prove anything to anyone or change anyone’s mind, it will always be wrong. But to me, it’s “not such a big deal”. That’s me though, everyone else is entitled to their own lovely opinions. To me, it’s about equivalent to a fake barbie, fake monster high, pullip, or any other doll, or about as morally wrong as downloading a movie or mp3 illegally online. So let’s say we’re ranking “wrong things” on a 10 point scale with “perfectly fine to do this thing” at 0 or 1, and “the worst thing you could ever do” at 10. To me, buying or owning a recast is like a 3 or 4, while things like murder, child abuse, domestic violence, animal abuse, adultery, affairs, etc are a 10,  So yes, I feel some guilt, but not enough that I’ll stop buying recasts.

Why Did You Create This Article?

I wanted to share my honest, personal experience, as someone who now owns both legit and recast dolls. I wanted to provide friendly, non-judgmental information to people, and allow for them to make their own decisions without forcing my views on anyone. I write very informally, and I can sometimes come across strong or sarcastic, but it is not my intention to offend or call into question the actions of anyone whether anti-recast or recast-friendly. I’m aware there is better info and resources out there, but often time those resources are compiled chiefly of 2nd hand information and not from someone who has experience owning both recasts and legits, and I thought that such experience could be interesting. I also know it’s a popular topic, has been around for years, and would make a nice article for my blog as it’s controversial and a “hot button” issue that won’t be going away any time soon.

Where Can I Find More Information About Recast Asian Balljointed Dolls?

Anti-Recast Resources

Where to Read More About Recast Dolls from an Anti-Recast Perspective:

https://denofangels.com/doawiki/index.php?title=Information_about_recast_BJDs

http://probjdartists.tumblr.com/

Budget Friendly Legit Alternatives to Recast Dolls:

While I haven’t found any dolls for as cheap as the cheapest recasts (tiny / msd recasts are often under $60) I have found several Legit dolls that are “budget friendly” (under $300). Check out some of the following doll manufacturers.

Mystic Kids – their smallest ones start around $140, and larger ones around $470. They have some really cute sculpts. Quite a few here on my own wish list 🙂

5StarDoll – Little ones begin at $130, big ones are just $240 and up.

Bobobie – Their littlest ones start at $68 – close to the price of recast tinies. Their big ones start at $168. They have a large variety of dolls.

April Story Dolls – Right Now All Dolls Are 40% for a Limited Time, Prices ranging from $150-$350 for various sizes. I had actually never heard of this company until just now… I really want a Clover from this company… She is so beautiful… Only $300. I like a lot of their other sculpts too OMG… They also offer layaway lol. The only thing I don’t like is I can’t figure out how to add a default faceup when ordering. 

Doll Family A and Doll Family H – It can be hard to find where to buy these in America. It seems that Alice Collection has most of the models available for ordering. The prices start at $100 for tinies up to around $360 for larger dolls. I really want a Dake, I love his smiling lips 🙂

Resin Soul – These are extremely reasonably priced, though I personally don’t care for their aesthetic, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The tinies start around $100 and even the big 72cm dolls are under $250.

Only Doll – their dolls start around $110 and most stay under $300 – They have many different sculpts to choose from.

Doll Love – Their dolls start at $100 and go up to $310. They have a lot of very cute dolls at great prices.

Doll Leaves start at $150 for an MSD and up to $370 for for larger dolls, while tinies start around $88.

Asleep Aidoloon has tinies and MSD starting under $200, and under $400 for larger dolls. I really like a lot of their sculpts.

Impl Doll starts around $150 and goes up to just over $300 for their various sizes of dolls.

Kids Sky is a newer BJD brand that I have never heard of. They have dolls starting at $135 for tinies, up to $348 for large dolls.

Angel of Dream has a lot of really cute and sometimes strange / unique dolls for around $200. I own two of their tinies. I also just noticed they have a pregnant doll with large belly and tiny baby lol. 

Only Kids, another company I have not heard of until researching this post, has dolls starting at just $128.

Cherry Castle has some very cute dolls starting at $138 up to $375 – I’ve also never heard of this company. So many new and affordable ABJD these days.

Cocotribe (yet another doll company I’d never heard of – wow) starts at just $159.

Gem of Doll starts at $145. I want a lot of their dolls! 🙂

Doll Legend starts at $150 up to $350. They have a nice selection of cute and unique sculpts.

Xaga Doll also starts at $150 and up.

Angel Fantasy starts at $155 and up.

Natuye Spirit Doll cost $159 each.

Dollzones start around $160. Some of their tinies are cute. I wish they’d bring back some of their old MSD sculpts though. My first ever doll was a Dollzone Demi (MSD). 

Maskcat Doll starts around $200, though some of their dolls can get pricey, over $600

Magic Time has many dolls for under $300

Guu Doll (another new comer?) has tinies for $175 and large dolls for just over $300. And they’re very cute :).

Loong Soul dolls start just under $200.

Boy & Girl dolls also start under $200

In fact, there are many, many other options if you do your research! I will update this post in the future with even more great legit dolls for under $300. But now it’s 1AM and I just want to hit publish and go to bed lol. I’ve worked on this every night for several days now. I can always add to it later 🙂

Anti-Recast Doll Communities and Events

dolliehsanctuary.com/sanctuary/

https://denofangels.com

All of the Dollpa events hosted by Volks. You can read about these events on Volks’ official websites. I’ve also heard they do not welcome dolls from other companies etc at their events or in their stores, whether recast or legit.

A few years ago the folks on Den of Angels held a US balljointed doll convention in Buffalo NY. I was there 🙂 It was a lot of fun. So many vendors, so many photo opps with props and backdrops for your dolls, and so many people with their dolls. It was supposed to be semi-annual, once every two years, but after the first one, they never did it again. If they ever host another one it will definitely be anti-recast as DOA is very strict about recasts. This is the largest Asian Balljointed Doll Show in the USA.

There exist a number of smaller doll shows all throughout North America, including Canada, USA, California, Washington, Texas, and other states. As far as I know, almost all of these conventions are anti-recast. You will be escorted out by security if you bring a recast doll to any of these events, losing your time and money spent to travel and attend the shows, and the money paid for the convention tickets, etc.

Almost all facebook, flickr, and other groups on social media are also anti-recast. There exists only a very small handful of recast friendly communities within these larger social networks. Be sure to read the rules before joining and sharing any of your recasts in these communities.

Recast Neutral or Friendly Resources

Where to Buy Recast Dolls:

I purchased my recast dolls from ChinaBJD, also known as S/L or Steven Chen / Luo Ligui. There are several ways you can go about ordering from them, a lot of people recommend to use their Skype, but the easiest is to use in my opinion is their aliexpress storefront at https://chinabjd.aliexpress.com/store/218136

You can also check the recast master list to see if a doll has been recast and where to purchase it. Once again, this is not my own list, merely sharing it here: docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pbhXd51y28hTfqewgfSVs60oJEZ7EKZWb6vOt72p7tU/

Recast Friendly Communities That Allow You to Share and Discuss Your Dolls:

http://recastsanctuary.com/forum/

http://castawaydolls.com/

https://www.flickr.com/groups/recastbjd

Faceup Artists and Modders Who Work With Recast Heads:

Disclaimer this is not my list, I’m merely providing an external link to a list made by someone else. Just as there are Recast-Anti Spies in many Recast Friendly communities, there very well could be such spies on this list who would harm your doll. Use this list at your own risk.

docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PzLq0S3UcEBbbm5WwDOf-AGP_Jw_lxHe3835jJ-jRes

Where to Read More About Recast Dolls From a Recast Neutral or Friendly Perspective:

See Recast Friendly Communities Above (I don’t want to list them twice)

http://amaranthscastaways.blogspot.com/ – She claims she is anti-recast but a lot of the info here seems more neutral so I wasn’t sure where to put it, but it has some good info for anyone considering purchasing recasts.

In addition to that here are some more blogs/articles and thoughts on Recast Dolls from a Friendly or Neutral perspective for your reading pleasure:

https://sdrcow.deviantart.com/journal/Recast-Information-Friendly-514070401

gummysungshine.tumblr.com/post/55133396805/recast-bjds-truths-facts-reasons-and-the

bjdrecastpositive.tumblr.com/post/163923259912/serious-question-no-hate-why-do-you-support

Recast Asian Balljointed Dolls was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Hourou Musuko Wandering Son Anime Review

Hourou Musuko Anime Review

Wandering Son

Source: Facebook via Hourou Musuko

Title: Hourou Musuko

Other Titles: Wandering Son

Genre: Romance, Slice of Life, Drama, School

Studio: AIC Classic

Based on: The Hourou Musuko manga by Takako Shimura

Length: The show is made up of a single 12 episode season, with the story beginning partway through the plot of Takako’s source manga material. Each episode is roughly 23 minutes long. 

Release Dates: Aired January – April 2011

Where to watch: Crunchyroll has the entire season in its library, available for streaming 24/7.

Overall: 56 / 70

Geeky: 3 / 5 Gentle comedy and an entire plotline devoted to an instalment of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet make for a wonderfully animated literary experience – and all in Japanese, no less. We would say this is a moderately geeky show; settling into one’s own skin is a sentiment able to be appreciated by viewers of all introvert backgrounds, and the shared personal struggles of the middle school class are infinitely relatable. All kinds of content find themselves ported from the west to the east, from online slots on Bitcasino to stage plays. In this case, it’s awesome to see Shakespeare viewed through the lens of a new and distinct culture.  

Sweetie: 4 / 5 Hourou Musuko is deeply touching, regardless of one’s background or identity relative to its characters. I wouldn’t exactly call it cutesy so to speak, but the honesty of friendship and the raw moments of emotion peppered throughout result in a powerful experience nonetheless. Heartfelt, funny, beautiful – Hourou Musuko is realistic at its core, both in terms of life’s expectations and its results. The bond between protagonists Takatsuki and Nitori is a particular highlight.   

Overview: 8 /10 Its content and delicate handling of the subject would have many label Hourou Musuko as a simple ‘Queer,’ or ‘LGBT’ anime. Identity is the topic of its main themes, after all, and its popularity is largely due to its responsible confrontation of difficult character situations. All too often Japanese culture paints queer characters in a comedic or derogatory light, and its refreshing to see that dynamic turns on its head – Hourou Musuko takes gender non-conforming characters and gives them an honest life on screen. But there’s more to this show than just representation.

Wandering Son

Source: Facebook via Hourou Musuko

There’s laughter, there’s love, and there’s a host of experience and perspective all balanced amidst a dramatic beat in every episode. Anyone with a taste for slice of life anime should enjoy this show. Anyone looking to better understand queer adolescence should find it informative. Its introspective storytelling leaves little to be desired, and its subtle direction carries great emotional weight as the story follows our cast through their early years of young adulthood. Family, school and future all lie in the balance.     

Story: 8 /10 Shuichi Nitori is a relatively normal child – a good student, a good friend, quiet and reserved. With a slight build and feminine interests, they find themselves at odds with the world around them. You see, Nitori was assigned male at birth, but identifies as female. Yoshino Takatsuki, on the other hand is tall, a tomboy, with their own similar counterpart desires. They were assigned female, but wish to live as a man. After sharing such secrets between themselves upon meeting in the fifth grade, they quickly become firm friends. Commence queer transgender drama and teenage hijinks.

Hourou Musuko follows these two as they venture into adolescence, examining their friendships, exploring their secrets and watching from afar as they begin their first tentative romantic adventures – and many a romantic adventure is to be had! Towards the end of elementary school Nitori, Takatsuki and another girl, Saori, clash in an unsatisfactory love triangle that leaves all three-broken hearted. Because of this both Nitori and Takatsuki lose their support system and space for exploration, and Saori quickly becomes embittered to them both. Set the stage for episode one (as all of the above is told in flashbacks throughout the first half of the series).  

Junior High has begun, and Nitori is more isolated than ever before. They still harbour romantic feelings for Takatsuki, their sister (who shares a room with Nitori) is unsupportive and puberty is on its way. This is a child lacking information and affirmation, a child who dresses as the girl others do not see after school and struggles with a deep fear of the future. The spaces where they can be themselves are few and far between, to say the least. So Nitori falls back on their friends, rebuilding a platonic relationship with Takatsuki and meeting plenty of new ones along the way.

The show generally follows a slow, melancholy pace thereafter, with a key plotline in the latter half of the series involving a gender-bent performance of Romeo and Juliet. Takatsuki is Romeo – Nitori, sadly, is not Juliet. As the play enters rehearsals, Nitori begins to learn more and more about themselves, being the one to rewrite the play, and their family is soon made aware of their internal feelings. Beyond that there’s Anna – a friend of Nitori’s sister, she takes an interest in them, an interest which eventually develops into a relationship. We also meet Yuki, an adult woman who once found herself in Nitori’s position, as well as her boyfriend Shiina, who counsels the two in times of crisis and offers generally impartial advice. Yuki stands as a testament to Nitori’s possible future, and as a friend to the both of them.

As the show goes on family, friends, love and school begin to pressure both Takatsuki and Nitori, tension builds, and the future remains uncertain. Want to know more? Watch the show and find out! There’s plenty of detail hidden beyond the broad strokes and conflict mentioned here.

Characters: 8 / 10 While each episode of Hourou Musuko centres around the experiences of one Shuichi Nitori, a young teen in the midst of exploring their gender identity and place in the world, a vibrant cast of supporting character maintain a constant presence. There’s Makato, the childhood friend and son of a baker with a crush on the homeroom teacher. There’s Anna, the love interest, Chizuru the impulsive clown and Momo the shy voice of reason. There’s also Takatsuki, who’s less of a supporting cast member and more of a secondary lead in many ways. They share Nitori’s challenge, wishing they had been born a boy and muddling their way through a series of intensely complex emotions. Together the two embark on a journey of self-discovery, centre stage in a production full of life.

Wandering Son

Source: Facebook via Hourou Musuko

The amazing thing about HM is that it manages to coherently develop its characters all at once in such a short space of time. Over twelve episodes each and every cast member sees visible growth, change, loss and gain, with every curve in the road masterfully handled. It’s raw, it’s realistic, and things don’t always have a happy ending.

Art: 9 /10 From Nitori to her parents, from Takatsuki to random girl number five sitting quietly at the back of the classroom, each member of Hourou Musuko’s cast has a distinctive and recognisable character design. People move smoothly, physics play out naturally, and colours are sharp as can possibly be. What really makes the show for me is how it plays out on both a macro and micro scale – the small, human details of movement contrasted against a painstakingly animated environmental background. When Nitori steps across the road crossing and is knocked by a businessman, ruffling her outfit, the chaos of movement and bodies is representative of her personal struggle. When she adjusts her clothing, the flow of the material pays close attention to detail. Really good stuff. Also, the cherry blossoms are gorgeous. 

Music: 8 /10 Sound director Jin Aketagawa peppers this anime with music at all the right moments. Simultaneously uplifting and hollow, hopeful and lost (excuse the dramatic hyperbole), scenes are lifted into excellence by single notes and symphonies alike. The intro and outro tracks are also a highlight – Rie Fu’s For You is full of innocence.

Voice acting: 8 /10 With no English dub currently available, Hourou Musuko is best enjoyed by non-Japanese speakers in its original form, albeit with subtitles scrolling by along the bottom of the screen. This is a show that maintains a wide cast of characters, but it does so wonderfully, with each voice maintaining a distinct personality and tone. The lilt and inflection of each sentence translates across all language, strengthening the emotional integrity of painful scenes and lightening the comedy of their counterparts.

There are gentle beats, there are harsh beats. There are loud, explosive moments and periods of extraordinary stillness, and in each one, the voice actors respond accordingly. Nitori and Takatsuki’s roles are perhaps the most challenging that the show has to offer, but they also happen to be the highlight of its voice acting line-up. Angst is easily overdone, yet there’s nothing in either of these characters dialogue that oversteps the line. Rather, less is more. Pain is quiet.   

Hourou Musuko Wandering Son Anime Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Every Don Bluth Animated Film Ranked From Best to Worst. Top 10 Don Bluth Films. Best Don Bluth Films. Worst Don Bluth Films. Favorite Don Bluth Films

Every Don Bluth Animated Film Ranked Best to Worst

Don Bluth started out as a Disney Animator, but left to form his own studio. He also worked for awhile with Steven Spielberg. It seems that Don Bluth had a few hits, and then faded from the animation scene. But the hits he did have under his belt remain some of my favorite animated movies of all time. In fact, the first four movies on my list are all so fantastic I had a hard time deciding what order to rank them under.

What are your favorite Don Bluth films? Leave a comment to let us know!

Here are my faves:

All Dogs Go to Heaven

make it rain money GIF

Easily one of the top 5 movies from my childhood. Anyone that has ever loved and lost a pet will relate deeply to this story. It’s very emotional and sweet. It also teaches us morals and lessons, to be kind to others, to be less selfish, and to help and take care of each other. It shows us how to be a good friend and a good person. Dogs in real life have a lot to teach to humans about how to live a more simple, loving, and honest life. But the dogs in this film don’t start out as the typical “man’s best friend” – They’ve been bad dogs. Very bad dogs. Charlie, he’s the main german shepherd looking guy right there, loves to gamble and lives a fast paced life with little regard for others. Even his best friend Itchy is sometimes betrayed by Charlie’s greed and selfishness. Charlie’s antics have gotten him into some trouble with other dogs. This results in a conspiracy to murder Charlie, but Charlie isn’t ready to die just yet. Charlie loves life and all that it has to offer. Charlie sneaks out of heaven with a warning that he can never come back. “Ghost” Charlie rejoins his friend Itchy and the two set out on a new adventure to make lots of money and win back their place among the other dogs. Charlie thinks he has a fool proof plan when he meets a young orphan girl with an uncanny ability to correctly predict the right horses at the races. But as Charlie begins to spend time with the girl, his heart changes and softens. Sadly reluctantly in the end they must part ways, but Charlie is welcomed back into heaven because of his selfless actions near the end. And like the title states ALL dogs go to heaven, even (previously) bad dogs like Charlie. The love between Charlie and the little girl is so heart warming and then so heart breaking at the end. I love stories that are full of emotion. The film also has great music “You can’t keep a good dog down” is super catchy and cute.

A Bit of Trivia – although the screenplay is uniquely original, the title of this film was inspired by Bluth’s love for a book of the same name, which he remembered having read in 4th grade. I believe that book to be All Dogs Go to Heaven by Beth Brown, published in 1944. Although out of print, you can find it on Amazon. – The stories are not related in any way – but it still sounds like an amazing book for anyone who has ever lost a pet. There’s also one by the same author called All Cats Go to Heaven

All Dogs Go to Heaven by Beth Brown https://www.amazon.com/All-dogs-heaven-Beth-Brown/dp/B0007HRA72

All Cats Go to Heaven by Beth Brown https://www.amazon.com/all-cats-heaven-beth-brown/dp/B000SZVLW8


The Land Before Time

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Next in line for Best Don Bluth Animated Film of All Time, we have The Land Before Time. I loved this movie as a kid. I even had a stuffed plush Little Foot. I love Little Foot so much!! Very cute film, also, very heart breaking – Are you seeing a trend here? Darn you Bluth, lol. Your films are so sad – and so touching – I just can’t stop crying when I watch these.

Anyways as I’m sure you know by now, the Land Before Time is about the Dinosaurs migrating to find food and water. There are rumors of a great valley with lots of water and lush vegetation. And you know if the grass eaters starve to death, the meat eaters will starve to death too, circle of life and all… so they agree as a herd to set out and seek a new home.

It is a difficult journey, and not everyone makes it. As the journey goes on, their faith in each other is tested. We also witness the innocence of the baby dinosaurs as they grow up at first seemingly oblivious to the threats and dangerous and then maturing through their journey and experiences.

After writing this I was suddenly inspired to want to rewatch the original Land Before Time. I also wondered just how many sequels were there… I can’t believe there’s 13 sequels… Though if I recall none of the sequels I saw are that great. But I found all 14 films in a DVD collection on Amazon for $34. That’s less than $2.50 per each film. It will make a great addition to my collection. I want to start to rebuild my DVD / Movie collection, and Board Game collection but that’s a topic for another day lol. Having all 14 films in one DVD set at such a low price is a great place to start. I’m somewhat concerned by the reviews which state that the cases arrive broken/damaged, DVDs are missing, the audio and video quality is poor, etc. But these negative reviews are few and far in between and most of the reviews have been positive. So here’s hoping! lol.

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The Secret of NIMH

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The Secret of NIMH is one of the most memorable standout films from my childhood. I still love this film. It is based on the book MRS Frisby and the Rats of NIMH – I vaguely recall reading the book once when I was younger, and I found it dull. I don’t know if it’s because it lacked the elements of fantasy and magic which were written only for the movie version, or because it lacked the drama and suspense and darkness and almost horror like qualities of the cartoon. I love the Secret of NIMH because of the highly emotional and suspenseful story. A mother who has a sick child, plus other children, and must keep them all safe. NIMH is also portrayed much more gravely in the movie than the book. The cruelty of animal testing and the horrors the rats suffered were much more apparent and helped make the film darker too. This movie was dark AF – maybe it’s because it was Bluth’s first project after leaving Disney and he wanted to do something so different that it would stand out as being non-disney-ish in any way. The darkness of this film may scare small kids – but it will also help endear the film to older kids, teens, and adults.


Fieval An American Tail

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Fieval kinda reminds me of the movie “Home Alone” in some ways. Fieval gets separated from his family and finds himself all alone in a strange city. The thing that stands out most to me in the film is the song “Somewhere Out There” – It’s a duet by Fieval and I think it was his sister? Although it sounds more like a love song lol for someone looking for love / unrequited love / loneliness – but Fieval was looking for his family. “Somewhere out there, if love can see us through, then we’ll be together, somewhere out there, out where dreams come true.” I remember liking the film a lot as a kid, and I had a large stuffed Fieval doll too. But my memories of Fieval are a lot less clear than my memories of Land Before Time or All Dogs Go to Heaven.


Anastasia

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There are many people who consider this film to be a failure (despite that it performed quite well in the box office). I rather liked it though. It felt like a very mature story with a very strong female lead and since it is based on history (although only loosely) it offers the opportunity to become interested in the events surrounding the real anastasia and do your own research and learn new things. The animation style was beautiful and the music in the film was also amazing. Some people feel the film is too Disney-ish, but ultimately, that direction helped this become a blockbuster hit.


The Pebble and the Penguin

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I remember this film being cute – but I don’t really remember much else about it. I know it’s based on real penguin behaviors, and that the basic plot involves a shy and awkward penguin in puberty who has a crazy crush on another penguin who also likes him, but they’re too shy to express their feelings. I remember the main character gets bullied a lot, but ultimately prevails in the end. It ranks lower on my list just for not being as memorable as Bluth’s other films.


Thumbelina

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This cartoon and the fairy tale that it is based on is very cute. This is another film with that Disney princess feel that feels a little cliche. I think it’s because it’s not terribly unique (from other animated films / fairy tales) that it ranks lower. I do like the idea of a miniature civilization of tiny human/fairy things – I also like Arietty, the Borrowers, the Littles, and The Indian in the Cupboard which all share a similar theme to Thumbelina.


Rock-A-Doodle

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I remember this film quite well but I don’t really love it. I watched it probably 20 times or more in my childhood, when it’d come on TV or etc… but I dunno it’s “OK” I don’t really hate it. Parts of it are humorous, but it feels WAY more “kiddie” than ANY of Bluth’s other films which are all decidedly dark and dramatic. This is just a humorous fun tale about a Rooster who thinks he’s Elvis.


Titan A.E.

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I watched this once, I should probably rewatch it some day to see if I like it better as an adult. I didn’t like the characters, both the animation technique and concept design of them, and just their development within the story. Many other people also dislike this film, so much so that it bankrupted the animation studio and to date has been Bluth’s last feature length animated film. I haven’t watched the film since it’s theatrical release in 2000. That was almost 20 years ago. I need to rewatch it to form a stronger opinion on it. But from my foggy memory, I’d definitely rank it as my least favorite Don Bluth film.


Don Bluth Animated Films I have not seen:

  • A Troll in Central Park
  • Bartok the Magnificent

Don Bluth also directed the video games Dragon Lair, Dragon Lair 2, and Space Ace. (all of which I have found memories of playing back in the 90s)

Also Banjo the Woodpile Cat looks very cute – it was a short film by Bluth which I have not watched yet.

Creating this list got me thinking, whatever happened to Don Bluth? I mean at least half of those films were a huge success, rivaling that of even the golden age of Disney – but then the other (more recent) half of those films were pretty much huge failures at the box office… So just what went wrong, and will we ever see another Don Bluth animated film? Was Don Bluth even still alive?

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The answer is yes. Currently they are working on an animated movie version of Dragon Lair. – I love Dragon Lair, but I sit here wondering to myself – why would I want to watch the movie, when I could play the game? A game is more of an interactive and engaging medium than a movie. And yes, the movie may bring Dragon Lair to a new audience (younger people who have never played the game, or just “non-gamers” in general regardless of age) – but still it’s kind of a head scratcher. – Good for them though. I look forward to seeing the movie when it’s released.

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Here is the very active kickstarter – the last update 13 days ago states that they are almost sold out of some of the rewards: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dragon-s-lair-returns-movie-cartoon#/updates/all

He’s also apparently opened his own “online school” for animation that will begin accepting students next year: http://www.donbluthuniversity.com/  – Unlike a lot of other schools – Don Bluth University will focus on teaching hand drawn animation, as opposed to computer generated animation.

Every Don Bluth Animated Film Ranked From Best to Worst. Top 10 Don Bluth Films. Best Don Bluth Films. Worst Don Bluth Films. Favorite Don Bluth Films was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Every Studio Ghibli Film Ranked From Best to Worst – Top 10 Studio Ghibli Films – The Best Studio Ghibli Films – The Worst Studio Ghibli Films

Much like our recent list of the best and worst Disney films, here is a list of the best and worst Studio Ghibli films. Disney owned distribution rights for awhile for several Studio Ghibli films, but I think that has since changed hands to Gkids. Many people who love Disney films also love Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli Films; after all, they have a lot in common with each other. Both studios rely mostly on making films from well known children’s literature and fairytales. Both studios have a very recognizable animation style. And both studios excel at creating stories that the whole family can enjoy together, cartoons that appeal to young and old alike.

I was surprised there’s not as many Studio Ghibli films as I would think. If you’re wondering why Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is not on this list, that’s because it’s not actually made by Studio Ghibli. This actually gives me an idea for another blog post maybe something along the lines of “10 Anime Movies You Mistake for Studio Ghibli Films.” I can think of 3 or 4 right away without much effort. Nausicaa being the biggest “WTF, Really?!” moment of the bunch. There’s also Wolf Children, My Summer with Coo, Nadia The Secret of Blue Water, and a Letter to Momo which all seem to share Studio Ghibli’s art and story styles. More recently there’s Mary and the Witch’s Flower which I’ve yet to watch but am really looking forward to because of the “Ghibli Vibe”.  Although different in style, you might also mistake other recently successful anime films such as Ko no Katachi and Kimi no Nawa as Ghibli films because when most people think of successful feature length anime films, they immediately think of Studio Ghibli.  I’m also surprised there’s still quite a few legit Studio Ghibli films which I have yet to watch – I will include those at the end of this article. As there’s only a handful of them, I plan to try to watch them and come back and edit my rankings asap.

Here are my picks for best and worst Studio Ghibli films – what are some of your favorite and least favorite Ghibli films? Leave a comment below!


Best and Worst Studio Ghibli Films:

Ponyo

Ponyo is sorta Ghibli’s Take on the whole Little Mermaid thing. It’s a very original and creative take on it, with a lot of imagination and charm. Its charm and originality are what lands it at first place on my list of favorite Ghibli films. Ponyo is a fish like creature who gets caught by a young boy, Souske, who keeps her as a pet. She begins to fall in love with her new master, and as she grows, she becomes more and more human-like. Her transformation causes an inbalance in the sea which creates a Tsunami. Ponyo and Souske must work together to save their village from the Tsunami, which also tests their love for one another, If they can find unconditional love, Ponyo will be able to remain a human with Souske, or else she must return back to the sea. – If you also love Ponyo, check out Lu over the Wall which I reviewed here. It’s very similar and also very cute!

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Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service is definitely high on my list of favorite Studio Ghibli movies. It features a strong female lead, Kiki, a young witch who is leaving home for the first time, as is customary for young witches when they “come of age” (which is at just 13 years old). Each town can only have 1 witch, and Kiki must strike out to find her own place in the world – quite literally. Taking only her father’s radio, Mother’s Broomstick, and Jiji, her black cat, she sets out on a grand adventure. She struggles at first, an allegory to how we all must struggle to find OUR place in the world. This makes the film so relateable, and the characters are so likeable, that who can’t help but to just love Kiki’s Delivery Service? – Did you know that Kiki’s Delivery Service is actually based on a book by the same name? You can grab the book over on Amazon. It’s out of print and expensive now sadly. https://www.amazon.com/Kikis-Delivery-Service-Eiko-Kadono/dp/1550377884

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Spirited Away

This is one of Studio Ghibli’s best known, and most well loved, featured films. It was the first anime to ever win an Academy Award for Best animated Feature Film. I believe to date, it’s the only Japanese anime to have ever won this award. It beat out numerous other animated films that same year including Disney and Dreamworks. It’s the highest grossing film of all time in Japan, and even beat out Titanic. In 2016 it was voted as the 4th best film of the 21st century which made it the highest animated film on the list as chosen from more than 170 film critics from around the world.

Just because something wins lots of awards though does not necessarily make it a great film — but Spirited Away does indeed fall into the category of greatness. I feel that the success of Spirited Away is due largely in part to the emotional attachment the audience develops towards the young pure hearted characters, as well as the fantasy setting, which is set in a realm of spirits that’s mysterious enough to be edgy/creepy for older kids/adults, while not terrifying like Mononoke, and attention to detail through story writing, the excellent music score, animation, and voice acting.

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When Marnie Was There

When Marnie Was There is also based on a book by the same name. https://www.amazon.com/Marnie-There-Essential-Modern-Classics-ebook/dp/B00KA11ZI0/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=&dpID=51FrFUXIjEL&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=detail This Studio Ghibli adaptation rates higher for me than it does for most other people because I love my grandma so much, which made the bond that the main character shares with her own grandma overwhelmingly sweet and sentimental to me. Everyone loves their grandmas right? But mine is literally like my favorite person in the whole world. So this film really hit me right in the heart. I could watch it over and over and probably still cry each time. Love the song at the end of the credits too. I related a lot to the main character too who is always alone / lonely as I was similar to that growing up. She’s also interested in art like myself, and has a great imagination. Really, just on a personal level, out of all Ghibli films, this one is by far the most relatable to me, even though it’s still a fantasy movie about a ghost :).

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Howl’s Moving Castle

Obviously, Howl’s Moving Castle is based on the very well known series of books by the same name https://www.amazon.com/Howls-Moving-Castle-Diana-Wynne/dp/1442008431 – Though only very, very, very loosely based on this source material… In the original book, Sophie is very sarcastic and independent – She literally doesn’t give a flip about anyone or anything. In both versions they are pessimistic and feel they have no control over their fate, but in the book that quickly changes, and we witness Sophie become more responsible for her own actions and feelings. Sophie in the book also discovers pretty early on that she has magic powers. Howl in the book is a total playboy. There’s no war in the book. The villains are different too. In the book the main villain is the Witch of the Waste who is scorned by Howl rejecting her romantically and is looking to create her ideal mate by piecing together several different men, including the missing prince and Howl’s pretty face. Some find the book to be very funny, while others find it to be dry, because British humor is often very dry indeed. The idealistic love between Sophie and Howl in the film is quite different in the book. The two argue and break up and make up over and over throughout the story. The biggest difference is definitely in the titular character of Howl. In the book we see much more of Howl. Early on in the book it is difficult to like or sympathize for him as he is so vain and breaks so many hearts. But as the story unfolds, we learn the truth is that he is afraid of letting others close to him because he is in fact very sensitive and fragile and a very warm and loving person as well, and instantly we learn to not judge others, Everyone is going through their own struggles in life, and both Howl and Sophie have a lot of demons inside of themselves that they must face, which sadly is a lesson that the film doesn’t care to impart to the audience. In the film Howl instead is scarcely seen as he flies off to fight wars that don’t exist in the book. In the book, he is from modern day Wales, and has found a door to Sophie’s time and world where he has chosen to stay to study magic. This time traveling is completely omitted from the film, just as is equally omitted Sophie’s magical abilities. Instead, in Miyazaki’s version, it is Sophie who we see “time traveling” as she learns about Howl’s past. Miyazaki’s goal was to create a film that shows how love makes life worth living, while the original author’s goal was to create a story about a strong willed female mage which challenged gender and societal stereotypes. Both stories are equally charming in their own unique ways. Miyazaki’s interpretation of Howl’s Moving Castle is romantic and full of charm and innocence and still quite engaging in its storytelling and plot devices. There are some who complain that too many liberties were taken which deviated from the author’s original work, but one could also argue the same is true of Ponyo which is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid or any number of Ghibli or Disney works that are based on books before becoming films.

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Whisper of the Heart

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This is a lesser known Ghibli film based on manga of the same name about a young girl whose only passion is reading, and a young boy whose only passion is music. They are both outcasts and self isolated because they pour 100% of their time into their chosen hobbies. Both wish to drop out of school to pursue their passions full time. And neither one of them really get along with each other when the film first starts out. What I really enjoyed about this film is watching the characters change their thoughts and beliefs, about their passions, but also about how they perceive other people. They also discover they have a lot in common and both help to inspire one another to chase their dreams. Initially they view other people or other responsibilities as a hindrance, taking away time from their passions. But they learn that instead, other people add to your experiences and make life sweeter. Both characters yearn to grow up and become adults, but both are only grade/middle school students. They have a lot to learn. And as the film ends, we watch just how much they’ve matured over their summer. They learn to make time and space in their lives and hearts for other people while still each holding tightly to their dreams of their future. The original manga has not been licensed for US release. There is also a sequel manga that follows the characters as they prepare for their college entrance exams. https://mangarock.com/search?q=Mimi%20wo%20Sumaseba


Grave of the Fireflies

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This film is sad AF!!! There are some who will not like this film because of it being so sad. And also others who will not like this film simply because it portrays the real life events of the bombing of Hiroshima. Japan is the only country to have been nuked by an atomic bomb and the US the only country to have released an atomic bomb. Never again has such a weapon been used in combat because of the devastating long term and long range consequences that spring about from such frightening weaponry. This movie depicts the suffering and harsh realities of the war and subsequent bombing of Hiroshima. Obviously, war and decisions made by a country’s government, is a very politically charged issue. And many lives were lost on both sides of the war. So much suffering occurred that it’s still a tense and delicate subject to people on both sides of the war still today even in modern times. It is hard to watch this film, and even harder to see their suffering, and know that “we” (as a nation / group of nations) caused that suffering) even if it was perhaps necessary at the time of these events. It still doesn’t make you feel good realizing what you’ve unleashed. I’ve seen documentaries with actual real life footage of the victims, I’ve seen them peeling burnt flesh from survivors’ bodies using chopsticks, I’ve seen footage of their shadows burned into the walls, shadows of children playing at playgrounds, shadows of mothers trying to protect their children in their arms. But I’ve also seen movies on the other side of the issue too – Many US lives were lost in the bombing of pearl harbor; many other lives were lost around the entire world from Hitler’s atrocities, and so on. In war there is no clear cut good / bad decisions. You do what you feel you have to do to protect your country and its people, and in bombing Hiroshima, the US was trying to do just that, although it tragically resulted in the deaths of hundreds of innocent Japanese civilians… such as the two depicted in this Studio Ghibli film… We watch them live fearfully, and with not enough food to eat, without any parents to take care of them, and we watch them suffer, fall ill, and struggle at every turn. We watch their own family and friends turn their backs on helping them and realize they have nowhere to go or turn to – an important – although equally political – message in our own modern times with issues with refugees and so on from our modern day wars. To quote the videogame Fallout “War Never Changes” – that’s why a film about a decades old war is still compelling and relevant and relatable in modern times. One of the interesting things about this film, is gaining a new perspective on the war and circumstances around the war. Sympathizing with our “enemy” and seeing just how similar we are, despite hundreds or thousands of cultural differences, at the end of the day, we each love our families, and would do anything to see to it that our families are happy, healthy, safe, and cared for. There is no way to watch this film without crying and forming an emotional connection with the characters. The ability to evoke such deep emotion is a testament to the quality of this film. It is an artful masterpiece with fantastic writing, character development, and storytelling.


Laputa Castle in the Sky

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I just watched this movie last year as part of Studio Ghibli’s and Gkids Ghibli Fest which brought many great Ghibli films to the theater – some for the first time in theaters within the US. I loved this movie. It had great action and a great love story. A lot of things in this film reminded me of my favorite Videogame, Lunar Eternal Blue which I reviewed here and cosplayed as here. Maybe it’s the girl and her pendant, her mysterious origins/past, her dramatic entrance, or the floating city in the sky, or maybe it’s the awesome epic love story. The lengths that both male characters go to in order to protect the person they love – and to help the girl they love complete her mission, or the way in which both film and game are so rich in lore and history and create a strange mashup of fantasy and technology creating a timeless story, that feels like it could take place equally conceivably in past, present, or future. Laputa Castle in the Sky is very action packed and fast moving, but yet, since it centers on these two characters and their love for one another, it can capture audiences of any age or gender.


The Cat Returns

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This is a sequel or Spin off based on Ghibli’s earlier film, Whisper of the Heart. I enjoyed Whisper of the Heart more than the Cat Returns, despite my huge massive never ending love for cats. Unlike the author’s own sequel to her manga, this story is not related to the two main characters of Whisper of the Heart, but instead focuses on the story that was inspired by the cat-like doll, nicknamed Baron as he searches for his lost love Louise, who was taken from him by Muto. Despite the name of the film, and it actually really being a sequel, the title is still slightly confusing. A better English title would have been something along the lines of “The Cat’s Reciprocation” or “The Cat Returns the Favor” but that doesn’t really have the same “ring” to it. Perhaps the perfect title should have been “The Cat’s Reply” which could not only mean to “return the favor” but also foreshadow Haru’s ability to speak with cats. Haru saves a cat one day, who wants to return the favor by offering her the prince’s hand – err paw — in marriage. Haru is flustered both by the cat’s proposal and his ability to talk. Cats around her begin acting strangely, bringing her gifts and tokens of the prince’s affection. Haru is cat-napped and taken to the world of cats where she is pampered and treated like a queen. She is given feasts and entertainment and more lavish gifts. As she begins to enjoy her time in the cat world, she begins to turn into a cat. The Baron warns Haru that she will become a real cat, and forget her human self if she does not immediately leave the cat world. The king and prince orchestrate obstacles and distractions to lengthen Haru’s stay in the cat kingdom, knowing that once she is fully a cat, she will become the Prince’s Bride. Will Haru forget her true self and live happily among the cats? Or will she escape and reclaim her place among the humans? Many people think this film is based on the Manga by the same author of Whisper of the Heart, but actually the Ghibli film came first, and the author enjoyed it so much that she made a manga based on the film – kinda neat, right? 🙂 Usually it’s the other way around.


The Secret World of Arietty

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Studio Ghibli’s “The Secret World of Arietty” is based on a popular children’s book, The Borrowers by Mary Norton. This book has entertained children for several generations. But it’s also a book (and film) that can be enjoyed by the whole family, young or old alike. My grandmother told me that it is her favorite book, she told me she first read it when my mother checked it out of the library. I too read the book when I was younger, and I also enjoyed many other film and tv adaptations and similar books and movies and tv series such as The Littles and The Indian in the Cupboard.

The Borrowers and The Secret World of Arietty give you a glimpse at a hidden world right under our noses. The Borrowers are a tiny race of miniature humans who live in our walls and gardens and live off of things we waste or take for granted. If you ever notice a button or a needle is missing, you can bet it’s been “Borrowed”. Of course the human world presents many dangers to Arietty, she must be careful to not be discovered by the humans who could capture her and keep her as a pet or science experiment. At the same time she must be aware of her surroundings at all times. She could get swept away by just a small trickle of water, or mistaken for a mouse and gobbled up by a cat, or crushed underfoot by a horse and carriage. Arietty is of course not afraid of the human world, and instead intrigued by it. She finds the human world fascinating and impossible to resist. Especially when she meets and falls in love with a human boy who is equally fascinated by Arietty’s world. The story teaches us that even though our lives may seem dull and mundane, that all it takes is a change of perspective to be reminded how wondrous life truly is.


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

Ghibli used an unusual art style in this anime, making it quite different from any of their other films. Their intention was to create an anime that looked like ancient Japanese calligraphy paintings and wall scrolls. The tale of Princess Kaguya was unfamiliar to me, but very familiar and loved in its home country of Japan where it is known as the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter. This legend has been around for over 1,000 years! It is most famously presented and passed down through ancient Japanese paintings from the Edo period which is what influenced Ghibli’s character and art direction in this film.

I’m not a huge fan of the art style in the anime, and even some of the customs/traditions of the Edo period which the film accurately depicts like women painting their teeth black – SO eww. Interestingly, little has changed as I know even now it’s generally considered to be “unlady-like” for a woman or girl to smile widely thus showing her teeth. That’s why there’s two emoji’s ^.^ and ^_^ – the first one is a feminine emoji and the second is a masculine emoji. I learned that years ago when I used to chat with people all over the world and was told about my “improper” use of the “^_^” emoji. Although I still use ^_^ all the time, and I consider “^.^” to be more of a “playful” smile, sorta cattish or impish or mischievious, or maybe a smile that seems like it has a secret, a smirk or a giggle behind it, where as I feel ^_^ is just pure joy/happiness/amusement/laughter.

Anyways enough about Emoji’s – lol. The strange art style and questionable fashions/traditions of the Edo period are really the only reason this film doesn’t rank higher for me. I do agree that the film looks just like the historical paintings… but it’s just not my tastes personally… That said though, I am extremely fascinated by the story and legend behind this film.

The legend states that an old man unable to have children of his own, found Kaguya one day while cutting bamboo. When she first appeared she was only the size of his thumb, but she rapidly grew much faster than other children. The bamboo cutter took the baby to his wife, where they raised her lovingly as their own child. Ever since Kaguya appeared in their lives, every time the Bamboo cutter would go to work, he would find gold coins in the bamboo stalks and soon the family become very rich. Although initially the family wishes to protect Kaguya’s innocence and youth, it is not long before word spreads of the beautiful young woman and many princes appear to seek her hand in marriage. Kaguya tasks each prince with impossible tasks, knowing they cannot be achieved, because she wishes to remain with her family and maintain her independence. One by one each prince fails to win the hand of Kaguya. Time passes, and eventually the Emperor comes to see the beautiful Kaguya. He falls in love instantly, but Kaguya tells him they cannot be together because she is not from his country. They instead become friends and remain in correspondence. As time went on, Kaguya began acting strangely, especially on nights with a full moon. She would cry and cause her parents to worry. She later reveals to them that she is not from Earth and must return to her home on the moon. The Emperor, as well as her family, do everything they can to try to hide and protect Kaguya who does not wish to return to the Moon. Kaguya wants to remain on Earth. In the end, however, Kaguya must go back to the kingdom of the Moon and leave her beloved family and friends.

Studio Ghibli’s version of the tale differs in some areas – The Emperor in the Ghibli version is more obsessed with Kaguya and Kaguya wants absolutely none of it because she’s in love with a simple boy from her childhood whom her father deems is not of high enough rank for her hand (who never existed in the original legend). In fact she is so repulsed by the Emperor that she cries when he touches her and discovers she has a secret ability to disappear at will. These details were made up for the Ghibli version only. Also at the end of the Ghibli version, Kaguya looks back onto the earth with a longing and sad gaze, even though her robe of feathers was to strip her of all of her memories of her time spent on Earth, the look on her face implies that her feelings and attachments were so strong that she could not forget the people of Earth. – This also is made up in the Ghibli version. In the original legend, Kaguya does in fact forget everyone when she returns to the Moon. In the original legend, the Emperor is so saddened by Kaguya’s death (or disappearance whatever you want to call it) that he orders his army to climb to the top of the mountain “closest to heaven” – There he wishes to burn a letter from Kaguya in hopes that his love and feelings for her will rise with the smoke from the letter and reach her on the moon. He also wanted to burn the elixir of immortality that Kaguya left him because he did not want to live forever without Kaguya by his side. Wikipedia states that the Japanese word for immortality “Fushi” is what Mt. Fuji’s name was derived from. And that the kanji characters for the mountain mean “Mountain abounding with warriors” which is said to denote the Emperor’s army who burnt the letter. The legend also says that the smoke from the letter still rises today (when the legend was created, Mt Fuji was an active volcano and hence produced smoke). I think the original legend makes for a very beautiful unrequited love story, where in Ghibli’s version the Emperor is the main villain whose appearance is what drives Kaguya to pray to the moon for help, after which her people come to “rescue” her from the Emperor. Quite a different take on the tale. I know Japan’s long history and traditions with their Emperor’s being near godlike status, so it’s odd to see a film from Japan depict in Emperor as a villainous character, especially given that in the original tale he was so pure and chivalrous and so in platonic unrequited love / mutual friendship with Kaguya throughout much of their lives.

I can’t remember where I read it now, (I’ve tried searching) but I read a few years ago that there are many scholars who believe that the legend of the Swan Princess / the Swan Lake Ballet is derived from the much older Legend of Kaguya. The main themes are very similar. This wikipedia article gives you a glimpse at the “Legend” of the Swan Princess The “Legend” is apparently much older than the ballet itself.

Here are a few of the similarities:

In these “Swan Maiden” tales, an unmarried man steals a robe of swan feathers from a woman in order to keep her from “flying away” – The maiden then bears children by this man. At some point the children come across the robe their father has hidden, or they ask their mother why she is always crying and go find the robe for her. As soon as she is given her robe she ascends to heaven without any hesitation or thought or attachment for her family or life as a human. Regarding those she leaves behind, wikipedia says this: “Although the children may grieve her, she does not take them with her. If the husband is able to find her again, it is an arduous quest, and often the impossibility is clear enough so that he does not even try.”

Kaguya is pursued by many unmarried men. She is given her robe of feathers when she ascends to the moon, and thus this ascending into the sky, can also be like “flying away”

Kaguya begins crying “always” uncontrollably near the end of her tale and her family always asks her what’s wrong / show concern for her.

Kaguya is given a robe of feathers which allows her to forget her time with her human family and friends so that she has no attachment or regrets leaving them (obviously Ghibli changed this part with one final glance back to Earth from their version of Princess Kaguya)

Kaguya’s family does grieve her but she cannot take them with her.

Kaguya tasks her “would-be” husbands with impossible quests – Even the Emperor himself cannot win Kaguya’s hand. After her disappearance, he sets out on his own arduous quest in the legend which would become the legend and folklore around Mount Fuji. 

The wikipedia article also states that “The swan maiden has appeared in numerous items of fiction, including the ballet Swan Lake, in which a young princess, Odette and her maidens are under the spell of an evil sorcerer, Von Rothbart, transforming them into swans by day. By night, they regain their human forms and can only be rescued if a young man swears eternal love and faithfulness to the Princess. When Prince Siegfried swears his love for Odette, the spell can be broken, but Siegfried is tricked into declaring his love for Von Rothbart’s daughter, Odile, disguised by magic as Odette, and all seems lost. But the spell is finally broken when Siegfried and Odette drown themselves in a lake of tears, uniting them in death for all eternity. While the ballet’s revival of 1895 depicted the swan-maidens as mortal women cursed to turn into swans, the original libretto of 1877 depicted them as true swan-maidens: fairies who could transform into swans at will.”

Kaguya has a special relationship to the Moon (symbol of the night).

The Emperor loved Kaguya (not as apparent in the Ghibli film, but VERY apparent in the original legend where he burns the letter and the elixir of life.)

In burning the elixir of life, he gives up immortality so that he can (one day) rejoin Kaguya in death.  

The Lake of Tears could signify how the Emperor wept for Kaguya (or in Ghibli’s case how her parents wept for her). 

The ability to transform into swans at will could be inspired by Kaguya’s ability to disappear at will. 

There is another tale from Japan with themes similar to Princess Kaguya, Tsuru no Ongaeshi, or the Crane Wife, about a crane who is caught in a trap. She is set free by an elderly couple and to repay their kindness she arrives as a human child, claiming to be lost. She asks them if they would take care of her as their own daughter, and the elderly couple happily agrees. To repay them for their kindness she begins to weave beautiful fabrics which she makes by plucking her own feathers. The fabrics sell for a lot of money and make the family very wealthy. She warns them they must never look in the room as she weaves. But overtime, curiosity overcomes the couple and they steal a glimpse only to find a crane and not a human in the room. With her identity revealed, she tells the couple she had hoped to always  remain their daughter, but she must now return to being a crane. In other versions of this legend, it is not a couple, but a young man who saves the crane disguised as a human. The two soon fall in love. In some versions he is sick and so the crane plucks her own feathers to make the fabric to sell for money to get medicine to save her husband. In other versions the husband is alive and well, but the crane becomes increasingly ill as she continues to pluck her feathers. As she plucks her last feather she must return to being a crane and leave her husband behind as the husband vows he will never forget her.

(source: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsuru_no_Ongaeshi)

The legend of Kaguya predates the legend of Tsuru no Ongaeshi. You can already see how the folk lore was shifting but still similar to the original tale of Kaguya. From here, the similarities between Kaguya and Swan’s lake are even more apparent.

Obviously both Swan Lake and Tsuru no Ongaeshi feature a bird who has turned human.

Swan Lake’s maiden has lost a robe of feathers, while the Crane Wife has lost her feathers while making robes.

In relation to Kaguya, Once their true identities are uncovered they both must return to their former selves/worlds.

Also in relation to Kaguya, the main character is raised by or falls in love with humans – she then asks them to raise her as their own child. When she is leaving she tells them she never wanted to leave and always wanted to remain their child, but that she has no choice now. In the version with the husband, his vow of never forgetting her, could be similar to the Emperor’s love for Kaguya in the original legend and the lengths he went to even after her death or disappearance to prove his love and rejoin her in death.

As you can see, I had the most to say about Kaguya, despite it not being my favorite Ghibli film, but because of the interesting ancient legend on which it, and many other fairy tales, are based. The Legend of Kaguya predates all other tellings of similar nature which makes it even more interesting from a historical point of view.


Princess Mononoke

I dunno, Princess Mononoke honestly scares the hell out of me… Even looking at this gif scares the hell out of me… This movie is so unsettling… and it’s even “worse” dubbed – because then the lip syncing is all off and then it’s just even more eerie AF…. I think Princess Mononoke definitely has a good story… and it is no doubt beautiful…. and probably Ghibli’s most successful / well known film – I own it, I “like” it (even though it honestly gives me nightmares) – but damn son…. this movie just ain’t right lol…. Am I the only one that finds this movie just INHERENTLY creepy? It’s not even the infamously excessive amounts of blood and violence… it’s little things like this creepy-ass mother bugger right here….

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Only Yesterday

I thought this was a little bit of a bore. I generally love slice of life and romance films. I’m not sure why this one missed the mark for me. The story is told by a middle aged woman as she looks back on her childhood / early adulthood and reminisces about summers and her first love. Even though the majority of the film felt a little slow – I really really really really REALLY loved the later parts of the film — Especially the ending — One of the most memorable endings of any Ghibli film — or any film — ever. So good. I think overall though, the story suffers from some pacing issues and the constant back and forth from memories/present day. There are cute parts, sweet parts, dramatic parts, but in some ways it just felt like it dragged and droned on and on… That ending though… so emotional!! Loved it.

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My Neighbor Totoro

If you care to read more about My Neighbor Totoro – I did a review after attending the Gkids theatrical release last year. Read my Review of My Neighbor Totoro here.

As for how it ranks against other Ghibli films… Sorry Totoro – cute as you may be – and having owned the film as a kid, and seeing it again recently in theaters – I still love you for how cute you are, and the memorable characters – dust bunnies, cat bus, Totoro himself — but Totoro there’s just one problem, there’s just not much really happening in your film. One interesting theory suggests that the girls are actually dead, and that Totoro is a Shinigami (a spirit that only children can see which will guide them to the afeterlife. A sort of Grim Reaper that usually takes the form of animals or stuffed toys etc) – I think this theory could be plausible. And it would definitely make the movie a bit more interesting. Like Princess Mononoke, parts of Totoro are (perhaps unintentionally) Creepy AF!!… Also after seeing it in the theaters – Catbus has balls… just saying…. WTF? lol. XD Nothing like sitting in one of the front rows and seeing huge Catbus balls in my face as he leaps through the sky. – I have heard that Pompoko also features cute characters with huge balls lol. (though I haven’t seen it yet). Anyways, despite Totoro being the iconic mascot of Ghibli, basically equivalent to Mickey Mouse for Disney, the movie just isn’t that great. I love it for the heartwarming sweet characters, but yeah that’s about it. And the juxtaposition between the beginning and 2nd half of the film, is just kinda creepy. (although admittedly, that’s when things pick up rapidly and get more interesting.)

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From Up on Poppy Hill

This film is absolutely beautiful to look at (Just look at the ambience in the gif below, how it perfectly captures the glow of the street lights and sunset) — But that’s about the only nice thing I can say about this film. I found it to be the most boring Ghibli film of all time. — But actually after reading Wikipedia to refresh my memory of this film (I only watched it once, and years ago) — I dunno – the plot sounds interesting to me; I may give this one another watch. The only thing I remembered from the film was the children trying to save their school and club house – which I think took up 90% of the film – and this part was boring to me, watching them clean and repair the building – etc. It just felt dull. I never felt like I cared about any of the characters, and therefore also never cared about their school or club house… But after reading Wikipedia it seems I missed the point of the film, which is a complicated love story. The two below fall in love, but find out that they may be siblings. I won’t say if they actually are – Wikipedia can give you that answer if you’re curious – Anyways the two struggle – first avoiding each other, then trying to remain “just friends” because of their situation – and then deciding that even despite their situation that they will embrace their feelings for each other. Another wiki dedicated to all things Ghibli says that the two also learn the “full story of how their parents met, loved, and lived”. This piques my interest even though after reading wikipedia I now know all of the details and don’t really need to watch the film – I still may rewatch this – and if need be, adjust my rankings of it because the drama honestly sounds like it’d be right up my alley, and that animation is just so pretty.

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Ocean Waves

Well here is my least favorite Ghibli film… I hate it for one reason – The main girl is a total B-… She has NO redeeming qualities, NO remorse for her actions, and she does NOT change her ways or grow as a person at all. She remains this same horrible terrible crazy B– of a person…. But yet the main character falls in love with her and basically bends over backwards, throwing money and time and his emotions etc at this girl… and for what reason? But I know sometimes love and life are like this. Sometimes nice people get sucked in by people like this. Or sometimes love is just so unexplainable and inexplicable that we don’t really know WHY we love some one… Clearly she has no qualities that should make anyone love her. She is manipulative, cold, greedy, and just crazy. I can’t stand her… I want to scream and shake the main character’s shoulders like hey wake up, this girl is not good for you!!… But nope, in the end, they get their “happy ever after” – Man, way to romanticize abusive relationships. Domestic, Emotional, and Verbal abuse does not deserve to be twisted into some grand fantasy romance like this… I just can’t get on board with the characters in this film… They may be the most realistic and adult like of any Ghibli characters…. but I can’t believe how she treats him. Begging / Stealing money, Playing Victim all the Time, Dragging him and parading him like a trophy in front of your friends, Then turning your back on him, etc…. We do see that she is ostrichsized by her classmates too near the end for her behavior being called to light — and I get that the main character is Mr. Nice Guy and feels bad because suddenly she has no friends and everything… And he is also in a similar situation because of rumors that she and her friends started after their trip… but dang… I dunno he’s just TOO nice to her. She really doesn’t deserve someone as good as him. And it makes me mad. LOL. — I guess it’s still an interesting film… I definitely remember it and feel very very strongly about it… so there’s that at least… The movie and the characters are unique… and memorable… just not in a good way LOL.

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Studio Ghibli Films I have yet to watch – In no particular order:

  • Porco Rosso
  • Pom Poko
  • My Neighbors the Yamadas
  • Tales from Earthsea
  • The Wind Rises

Every Studio Ghibli Film Ranked From Best to Worst – Top 10 Studio Ghibli Films – The Best Studio Ghibli Films – The Worst Studio Ghibli Films was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Viz Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Seasons of the Kitty Book Review

I received this book for free in exchange for a review. Thoughts and Opinions are my own.

Neko Atsume is a popular idle clicker style mobile game where you leave food out and close the app, and open the app later to find different kitties have come to your garden to sample your food. The object of the game is to “collect” all the different kitties who will come and go in and out of your garden and do various cute things on your screen. The simplistic artwork and simplistic gameplay launched this mobile app to stardom levels with over 50 million users around the world having installed the app.

The success of the mobile game spawned a whole franchise of toys, home goods, pet products, even a live action movie. So it’s no surprise there are new activity books by Viz featuring the cute kitties! The first book I will review is Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Seasons of the Kitty. As the name suggests, it’s a cute collection of poems with illustrations featuring the collectible cats of the Neko Atsume mobile game. There’s also stickers in the book that let you keep track of your kitty collection and personalize it with names and other details. See the stickers below:

A Haiku is a type of Japanese Poem that features 3 “phrases” with a rhythm that’s defined by the syllables in each phrase. The first phrase will have 5 syllables, the next will have 7, and the final phrase will have 5 again. Thus creating a rhythm of 5, 7, 5. Many Haiku create a relationship between two objects and focus on observing everyday objects and occurrences. Many Haiku also focus on seasons, so it’s quite fitting that this book Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Seasons of the Kitty breaks the book into short chapters each featuring a collection of Haiku showing us what the kitties are doing in each of the four seasons. In spring we see them playing with flowers or napping in the sun, in winter we see them playing with Christmas decorations. There are also some Haiku in the book which don’t seem to reflect a season at all, such as kitties hiding in tunnels or playing with toys, kitties just being kitties, which they do year round. Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Season of the Kitty features over 100 full color pages sure to charm you and brighten your day.

Neko Atsume Haikus

Neko Atsume Haikus

My favorite Haiku in Neko Atsume Kitty Collector features a kitty begging for more meat treats. I love this one because my own kitties always beg for treats. I joke that my kitties need an intervention, they are like treat-addicts. So reading this haiku and seeing the simple illustration warmed my heart because I immediately thought of my own kitties in real life. In fact, at several points in the book I was thinking “That’s just like my cats!” This book is definitely for cat lovers! In fact, it’s so cute and would make a great gift for any cat lover — even if they’ve never played Neko Atsume.

It could also be a great book to teach young kids about Haikus. You can have fun showing young kids this book, counting together with them as you read each line of the Haiku, and enjoying the cute and funny artwork and seeing what the kitties are up to in each Haiku.

My only complaint with the book is that some of the Haiku feel a little forced to fit the rhyme scheme, with random “meows” thrown in it feels like at times just to match the syllable formula of the haiku. Regardless of this small complaint, the book is so cute and charming that I’ve already read it front to back and re-read my favorite Haikus again and again. Reading these little poems is so relaxing – just like the relaxing gameplay of the Neko Atsume mobile game that started it all.

Once anyone reads this cute collection of poetry, they won’t be able to resist catching Neko Atsume fever and delving into playing the game or collecting the toys and other related merchandise.

If you’re looking for a great gift for a cat lover, or just looking to feed your own collection of Neko Atsume Goodies, be sure to pick up a copy of Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Seasons of the Kitty today. For just $10.99, it would make the perfect gift for that cat lover in your life, or maybe that cat lover is you! 🙂 Curl up with a nice cup of tea and kitty in your lap and enjoy the cute illustrations and see what mischief the kitties in the book get up to each season.

You can bring the kitties home for yourself on March 13, 2018!

You can buy Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Seasons of the Kitty at any of the following retailers:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Rightstuf

*It looks like Rightstuf is selling the book ahead of the other retailers, and for a bit cheaper too (currently “in stock” and just $8.24 at time of this posting)

Viz Neko Atsume Kitty Collector Haiku Seasons of the Kitty Book Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

62 Disney Animated Feature Length Films Ranked From Best to Worst – An Otaku’s Take On the Best and Worst Animated Disney Films – Disney Films Ranked From Best to Worst. Top 10 Disney Films

I’ve seen a lot of lists like this out there on the internet which try to rank from Best to Worst, or Worst to Best, the Best (and worst) Walt Disney Animated Films of all time. So here’s my take on the old classic “Top 10” (way more than 10 lol) Disney Films.

*For brevity’s sake, sequels and prequels are not included individually in this listing. When ranking for example “Cars”, I refer to the franchise as a whole, giving most focus to the first film but perhaps giving reference or mention to some of the sequels as well.*

Also for this review I have chosen to not include any of the Studio Ghibli films. I will create a similar list ranking those films in the near future. As well as seperate lists for Dreamworks, Don Bluth, and Warner Bros animated film.

Lastly, I have not seen every single Disney film (though I’ve seen probably over 80% of them). Any films I have not seen, will not be ranked, but instead included in an unranked list at the end of this article.

Collections of short films such as The Three Caballeros and Make Mine Music were not included in either of these lists. I’ve also omitted Disney films which combined animation with live action such as Bed Knobs and Broom Sticks, Mary Poppins, Pete’s Dragon, James and the Giant Peach, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, So Dear to My Heart, and Song of the South.

What are some of your favorite Disney Films? Leave a comment below.

Here’s how I would rank every Disney Film – I’ll start with the Best so you don’t have to scroll too much. ❤

62 Disney Animated Feature Length Films Ranked From Best to Worst:


1.) The Lion King

It is true (though Disney denies it) that this film completely ripped off an anime called Kimba the White Lion. Yes, they took everything from this film, the Lions, Zazu, the hyenas, even Simba and Kimba’s father speaking to them in the clouds, and even Scar! Complete with the scar over his eye and everything. — Yup, totally infringed on someone’s intellectual property rights… but still… The Lion King is my favorite Disney film… They took Kimba and made it about a million times better (that doesn’t make what they did “right” or “ok” Clearly, Kimba’s creators should have been paid some royalty fees). But Disney was able to take an already great family story and make it even better. Better animation, better acting, better music, and a better story, because they condensed down a TV series into a movie format, cutting out a lot of filler episodes, while hitting the emotional highlights.

If you want to learn more about what Disney did to Kimba, check out the videos below (not my videos, just sharing them with you):


2.) Beauty and the Beast

A tale as old as time, Beauty and the Beast is my 2nd favorite Disney film. It features a smart, bookworm heroine, who risks her life and freedom to save her father. It also is a great romance story, in which both the leading lady and leading male must learn to look past the surface to find true love. Don’t judge a book by the cover. If someone can love a beast, and the beast can finally learn to love someone for their mind/heart and not what’s on the outside, that love can do anything. It’s very romantic, and also parts of it are dark and frightening. Like all Disney films, it has great music, and the recent Live Action Musical adaptation is also fantastic! One of my favorite things about Beauty and the Beast is the imagery, all of the characters, and the beautiful setting. I just ordered a dress which has a beautiful stained glass print featuring the beauty and the beast.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01A0G0S14/


3.) The Little Mermaid

I will always prefer the 1975 anime version of Hans Christian Andersen’s the Little Mermaid, because at the end she turns to sea foam. There is no happy ending. But sometimes with a love story, that’s OK and it makes it more dramatic. Almost any film can make me laugh, but it takes a very special film to make me cry. The 1975 anime version is also a more faithful adaptation of the original story.  In the original fairy-tale, the mermaid is given one last chance for a happy ending. Her prince has already wed another woman, but the mermaid is told by her sisters that if she uses a magic poisoned dagger to kill the prince and his new wife, she can return back home to her father and sisters and live as a mermaid once again. Unable to bear the thought of hurting her true love, she chooses instead to wish him and his new wife a happy life together, and as the sun rises, she turns to sea foam, sacrificing her life and happiness in exchange for his.

Disney takes this sad tragic love story, and puts a cutesy Disney spin on it. Although the two films are very different, they are both great in their own rights. I love the side characters, music, and animation of the Disney version of the Little Mermaid. It’s also nice to imagine a happy ending once in awhile :).

If you have yet to see the anime version, Amazon is selling it for about $10. Click the image below to check it out. https://www.amazon.com/…

Image result for Toei Animation Little Mermaid


4.) The Good Dinosaur

Speaking of films that can make me cry… I balled like a baby (at several different scenes) in the theater when I went to see The Good Dinosaur. It’s a touching story about a dinosaur trying to get back home to his family. Similar in some ways to my childhood favorite, The Land before Time. Disney’s The Good Dinosaur is a heart touching film with beautiful and cute 3D animation. The scene with the fireflies is my favorite. The goofy looking characters, with their innocent designs, totally deceive you into thinking this is a funny or cute film. I was not prepared for how heart stirring it was going to be. It’s also very dramatic and full of suspense and twists and turns and surprises. That’s why it’s in my top 5 Disney films of all time.

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5.) Monster’s Inc.

Finishing out my top 5 favorite Disney Films is Monster’s Inc. This movie is full of charming and cute characters. It is equally funny and touching. A very heart warming movie. Boo, Mike, and Sully are some of the best original characters Disney has ever designed. Monsters Inc is quite possibly the cutest disney movie of all time. The sequels were also cute, though of course, not as good as the original.

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6.) Finding Nemo / Finding Dory

I actually saw Finding Dory first, before Finding Nemo, somehow I missed out on Nemo, even though it was very popular with millennials. According to this chart being born in 1981, I could consider myself a Millennial, or a Gen Y, or Gen Next (never even heard of that one). So Nemo seems to be THE Disney movie of my generation… but I actually didn’t see it when it premiered in 2003. I wouldn’t see it for over 12 years after that, but yet, this film proves to have held up to the tests of time. It was just as enjoyable, new, fresh, charming, and heart warming to me as it was to the millions of fans it earned at release. I loved Dory, especially baby Dory. She might be my favorite Disney character ever. So for that reason, I actually enjoyed Finding Dory more than Finding Nemo. Both films are funny and beautifully animated, and tell a heart warming story about the meaning of family.


7.) Up

Disney’s Up is such a sad, touching, beautiful film about true love and loss, and growing up, and growing old together, and a story of adventure and excitement, and to never ever give up on your dreams. It’s a remarkable story. Storywise alone, it’s probably my favorite story from any Disney film. There’s no way to watch this movie and not cry. Out of all of the Disney films in our list, this one feels the most mature and grown up. Its tone is darker and sadder and more thought provoking than most Disney films. And then there’s that Disney charm and humor, with Doug the talking dog and other minor characters. The message behind Disney’s Up is so “Up”lifting. This is a movie full of heart and emotion.


8.) Aladdin

Aladdin is one of the first Disney films I can remember seeing in theaters. Don’t get me wrong, I’d seen others, I know I saw 101 Dalmatians and Rescuers and other older films before this one. In fact one of the first movies I ever saw in a theater is Disney’s Snow White, and I am told it scared me until I cried lol. But my memories of seeing this one as opposed to the rest are crystal clear. And it may be that nostalgia that plays a part in how highly I rank Disney’s Aladdin on my list. I recall who I was with (my mom and best friend and her mom and brother), I can recall all of the characters, music, animation… Robin Williams as the genie, such a classic film. One of the great masterpieces of my childhood.


9.) The Nightmare Before Christmas

This is not just one of my favorite Disney films, but one of my favorite films from any studio, animated, or otherwise, of all time. I love the music, the characters, and I love Halloween. It has always been one of my favorite holidays. I also love other Tim burton films, such as beetle juice, the corpse bride, and Edward scissor hands to name a few. His stories are always so unique and I’m surprised and intrigued in how he can take a macabre subject and put a comic spin on it, and make it even a family film, such as the Nightmare Before Christmas.


10.) Frozen

This is another one of those Disney “fan favorites” that I missed at its initial release. I actually just watched Frozen for the first time a few months ago and even though I’m older than the majority of the Frozen fans, I totally agree that it is one of the best Disney films of all time. It finishes out in the final Top 10 spot on my list. I loved the story and the characters. My favorite thing was seeing how the characters changed and grew through the film. Initially Elsa is the more friendly outgoing bubbly type, but events occur which change her to isolated and aloof. Anna had been more shy, but as she grew with freedoms that Elsa lacked, she developed a natural curiosity for the world and a strong sense of adventure. Elsa struggles with the responsibilities placed on her young shoulders. Finally she can be free, and this is even highlighted in the lyrics to the very popular well known song, in which Elsa climbs the stairs of her ice castle barricading herself off from the outside world so that she can finally be her TRUE self. It’s a story about accepting and loving yourself, accepting and loving others, and having courage to be different or come to terms with those differences and individualizes. The film is often championed by the LGBT community and there are rumors that the sequel will feature a lesbian love interest for Elsa, marking the first time a Disney feature length animated film will have a gay or lesbian main character. This is controversial and a departure from the family values Disney has always tried to champion. However, in modern times, what makes a family is changing, and Disney too is changing to reflect more modern values. In this story, Elsa and Anna must rely on themselves and each other. The “prince” even betrays them and acts as the central villain in pushing the plot forward. This is a strong film featuring themes of independence and courage. It’s also charming and full of excitement as most Disney films are. The side characters such as sven and olaf are hilarious and cute. There are many people who love to hate on this film. But hating on something just because it’s popular is dumb. Sometimes that popularity is well deserved. While it’s not the best Disney film of all time, it still cinches the final spot on the “Top 10” list.

Disney’s frozen was supposedly loosely based on Han’s Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, though a number of liberties were taken.

If you’re interested in reading the original tale, you can read it for free here: http://hca.gilead.org.il/snow_que.html 

You can also find over 170 variations of this tale on Amazon.

Image result for hans christian andersen snow queen

This one has the best ratings and reviews because of its illustrations by an award winning Ukranian artist: http://amzn.to/2Fgq4kw

This one has the original illustrations from hundreds of years ago: http://amzn.to/2CvQHPA

There’s also an anime based on the Snow Queen from 2005 https://www.anime-planet.com/anime/snow-queen-the

In the original tale it was a boy and girl, who were friends, not siblings. The main plot centered around a magic mirror that broke and a shard went into one of their eyes distorting their view of the world and changing their outlook/personality. The other character sets off on a journey to try to remove the shard from her friend’s eye and restore his kind heart. At the end of her journey, about to give up, the gods tell her that she already has everything she needs to save the young boy, and that her true power has always already existed within herself.

The only similarity at all in the tales is that they are set in a snowy place, and at the end, the characters are glad to see that it is finally summer again.

Alternatively there have been 2 legal allegations raised that Disney has once again stolen this story from another creator.

The first of which is some incredibly obscure Peruvian author that almost no one has ever heard of, who says that Frozen is based on memoirs she had published about her own life. The memoirs,  “Living My Truth” and “Yearnings of the Heart”, by Isabella Tanikumi. The guardian reports that “Both the memoirs and Frozen feature loving sisters, one of whom causes the other to be injured and then hides herself away from public life through shame.” They go on to report that “One of the sisters has suitors named Hans and Cristoff in the memoirs; in Frozen Anna develops romantic attachments to men named Hans and Kristoff.”  That seems like more than just a coincidence to me… The judge however ruled that these claims were too “generic” – I don’t agree with that ruling because it even lists specific names and characters – that’s pretty “specific” right there – which is the very opposite of something being “generic”, but hey this is Disney, they can get out of almost anything – but then again who’s to say that this author isn’t just looking to make a grab at Disney’s money since this is the best selling Disney film of all time.

The other lawsuit alleges that Disney once again turned to Japan for inspiration and cites numerous similarities between Frozen and the 1980s anime Saint Seiya. The similarities here include similarities between Elsa and Anna and the 2 Saint Characters (who are also sisters), Hilda and Freya. In both cases, the younger sibling has no magical powers and wishes to save her older sister and her kingdom. The older sister wields magic powers that controls snow and ice. Both of the older sisters used to be kind, until their personalities suddenly change.

But you know what they say, every idea you will ever have, someone else has had that exact same idea already. It’s all about who can execute their ideas. And there are no original ideas left in the world, and so on… So meh, at the end of the day, we may never know if Disney blatantly copied anything from either of these 2 sources…


11.) Cars

Walt Disney’s Cars just barely misses a spot on our “list of the top 10 Disney movies”. I remember an old commercial (not related to CARS, I believe it was for Exxon Edit: It was actually for Chevron) where the cars all had happy faces and could talk, etc. It was something about how their fuel made your cars happy. I believe this came out well before the first CARS movie… But the concept was charming and cute. I don’t know if Pixar made these commercials, or has ever seen these commercials, or perhaps felt inspired by the commercials… but the similarities to the characters in Cars is quite apparent.

The story in CARS is as unique as its characters. It’s also one of the first Disney films to be marketed to young boys – no princesses here! *although there’s still love interests*. The charming and unique characters make this one of the most memorable Disney films of all time.


12.) Fluppy Dogs

Although never released in theaters, Disney’s Fluppy Dogs is a feature length animated film, and was a favorite of mine as a child. It was originally intended to be a pilot for a new TV series; however, the pilot was poorly received leading to the TV show’s cancellation before it ever began production. I’m unsure why it was so poorly received and had such low ratings. I friggin love this film. It is utterly adorable. The film is about a gang of alien dogs with sentient and super hero powers. The dogs travel between worlds with a magical key, until one day they arrive on Earth and are captured by animal control. One of the Fluppy Dogs is adopted by a young boy and they begin a journey together to rescue the others.


13.) Toy Story

This is another childhood favorite of mine. As a child, we’ve all day dreamed about our toys coming to life. And with the powers of every young child’s imagination, their toys come to life in their minds. But what happens when no one’s watching. These films depict the love children have for their toys, and suggests that that same love is returned to them in the hearts and minds of their toys. Such a classic movie with a sweet and innocent theme and memorable characters. Who did you like best? I preferred Buzz over Woody. I also loved Rex and Slinky and the potato heads. The claw machine scene and characters are also super cute. The bad toys are creepy AF though.


14.) Moana

One of the better “newer” Disney films, I loved the imagery of the tropical islands. I love the use of mythology and the strong female lead. Watching this fills me with a sense of excitement, wanderlust, and adventure, the same as Moana herself is so full of. The imagery inspires the viewer to want to go on a journey too with the stars, and ocean waves, the big boats, the volcanic monsters, and mother earth goddess, cute animal sidekicks and the prideful gods. At the heart of the story, for Moana it is a coming of age tale, finding and exerting her independence, sometimes when that means going against her overprotective parents and guardians. They have plans for Moana to take over her father’s position, but Moana longs to leave the island like her ancestors millions of years ago. From Maui’s perspective, the lesson is a warning against being prideful, and a lesson to not avoid your responsibilities, that you must face your challenges head on, and accept responsibility for the consequences. Although, Moana herself is very strong and independent, the film is criticized by the natives as lacking depiction of any of the strong female goddessess that Polynesian lore and culture are surrounded by. For example, there is a goddess named Hina who is companion to Maui, but Disney decided to not depict her in this film, or any of the other gods, except for the “mother earth” type figure at the very end. Disney claims they wanted Moana to be a film all about “girl power” but yet, Moana is the only girl we see much of. And the film almost had a very different ending, putting Maui as the main hero in the final act saving Moana and her village. Ouch. Glad they went with the ending they did, as it is one of the most memorable and touching endings of any Disney film to date. I also love the music. The song Moana sings about her destiny calling her is one of my fave Disney songs ever.


15.) Zootopia

I am not a furrie, though I sometimes play as one in various chat games. In fact, I met my first ever boyfriend in such a game when I was a teenager playing Furcadia back in the 90s. This is really only the 2nd feature length Disney Film that really targets furries; with the first film being Robin Hood. I know a little bit about Furrie culture and I think the artwork and fursuits are awesome. This Disney film was unique not only for the use of anthropomorphic animals, but also for how it dealt with very adult topics such as racial and social-political issues of our times. I agreed 100% with the political message it was sending, but I still felt it was too heavy handed and trying to cram those political beliefs down the audience’s throats, which I didn’t really enjoy. It was clear that the stereotypes and fear the other animals felt for the fox people was an allegory to the fear and stereotypes that the majority of the United States feels towards Muslims. Politics aside though, this is a super cute film. My favorite characters were the sloths! They were so cute/funny. It’s also a good movie for young girls, showing that if you work hard enough you can achieve your dreams, just like the bunny who finally became a real police officer, even though no one thought a small young girl from the country could handle being a tough city cop. She was an excellent role model for young girls. And it was far less predictable than most Disney films. I was surprised who the true villain ended up being in the end. This too goes to show you the importance of not judging others on outward appearances.


16.) Lady and the Tramp

This was one of my favorite Disney films from my early childhood. It’s such a classic. The cute doggies, the scene with the spaghetti, the naughty siamese cats, the whole thing is just adorable. That’s really all there is to say. A love story and an adventure story where cute dogs do cute things.

Image result for lady and the tramp pasta gif


17.) Wreck it Ralph

As my readers know by now, I am a gamer girl — and one who has probably played more games than most boys you know even. From Atari, NES, SNES, Genesis, Sega CD, 32X, N64, Saturn, Dreamcast, PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4, Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, Xbox, 360, Gamegear, Gameboy (various iterations), Virtual Boy, NDS, 3DS, PSP, Vita, PC and more… so a Disney film about gaming? Of course I loved it!! The gaming references, “level designs” that Ralph traveled to, and the cute interactions between the two main characters, this film really stood out to me. I recommend it to all gamers, especially retro gamers who will pick up most of the nostalgic references throughout the film.


18.) Brother Bear

This is another one of those movies that I missed when it was first released, but later watched on Netflix. I had not even heard of this film prior to then. I think it may be one of the most under-rated Disney films of all time. It’s about a native american tribe, especially focusing on 3 brothers. When one brother is killed by a bear, another brother seeks revenge by killing the bear who killed his brother. Ultimately, when it is time to discover their totem animals, this brother is transformed into a bear and flees from his village. He then encounters a young cub, who has no mother. The bears are migrating and meeting together. He helps the young cub make the difficult journey and learns about himself, as well as learns to respect nature and understand the balance between humans and animals.


19.) Brave

If you’re looking for a strong female lead, Brave should be the first Disney film that comes to mind. This little lady lives up to the title of this film. Her kingdom is cursed which causes her mother and brothers to turn into bears. The end of the film is definitely an emotional and suspenseful tear jerker.


20.) Mars Needs Moms

I saw this in theaters. I think not many people are familiar with this film. I loved it. I was very touched by how much the boy loved his mother. It’s so emotional and sweet. It got terrible reviews from fans and critics alike, but I really enjoyed it and found it both engaging and uplifting. A very heartwarming story. Financially, it is the worst performing Disney film of all time. The film cost $150 million to make, and only earned $39 million at the box office. I agree with the critic and audience movie goers who commented on the ugly / poor animation techniques – but I disagree 100% when they say this film lacks heart or that it neglected story telling. I completely connected with the characters and felt their love and fear and hope and strength as the story unfolded. It is based on a best-selling book by Berkely Breathed. You can get the book on amazon at http://amzn.to/2EQL1Vy


21.) Inside Out

This is a cute and emotionally powerful film. The story revolves around a happy “good girl” who is having trouble adjusting to her emotions as she grows up and moves to a new home. She has to leave her friends and old life behind and is struggling to make new friends and adjust to her new life in her new home. She is so overwhelmed that she completely shuts down. In her mind, her emotions go haywire. Her long term memories begin to fade away, and all that is left is an empty emotionless shell. Her emotions must work together inside her mind to recover her longterm memories. Some memories are lost forever, but new memories are also made. In this way, she grows up and finds new happiness and new balance in her life and emotions.


22.) Tangled

Tangled is a very unique twist on the classic story of Rapunzel. It is full of romance, adventure, charm, and humor. It also has some of the best Disney music ever. Check out this Acapella cover of I see the light by Peter and Evynne Hollens on youtube.

They also have another version with piano accompaniment here:


23.) Bolt

Bolt is a very cute adventure film about a dog that is in show business. He is confused and thinks that everything that happens on the TV show is actually really happening which has made him a bit narcissistic and has led him to believe he has real super powers. In the end, Bolt learns that you don’t need real super powers to be a hero.


24.) Lilo and Stitch

I had also missed this one in theaters and discovered it later. It is widely popular with 20-30 year old Disney fans, and even the creators of the film admit that Lilo and Stitch appeals to older audiences more effectively than previous attempts to do so, such as the Emperor’s New Groove, Treasure Planet, and Atlantis. Stitch was actually thought up in 1985, when its creator was trying to pitch an unsuccessful children’s story book. Originally Stitch was going to be set in Kansas, but the decision was made to move the setting to Hawaii. It was the first Disney film to be set in Hawaii, and it also features a strong ethnically diverse female lead who doesn’t need a Prince to save her. Stitch is cute and mischievous and sometimes even violent. The original film was much more violent, but due to both audience testing and also the terrorist attacks of 9/11, several changes were made to make the movie more comical and less edgy. Lilo and Stitch was nominated for several awards but lost out to Studio Ghibli’s Sprited Away. Speaking of anime, Lilo and Stitch is very popular in Japan and even had an anime called Stitch! that ran for multiple seasons.


25.) 101 Dalmatians

I only just recently learned that 101 Dalmatians is based on a book. I kinda want to read it now actually lol. The original book is from the 1950s by author Dodie Smith – http://amzn.to/2BDIEn9 – He also wrote a sequel called Starlight Barking http://amzn.to/2Cv9F9c (which may be the basis for 102 Dalmatians? I’m not sure.) Smith’s other works are also adapted to Disney films including The Midnight Kittens which would become the Aristocats. http://amzn.to/2C8Apkb

Did you know that Walt Disney hated Disney’s version of 101 Dalmatians? He hated how it looked because it was the first Disney film to use Xeroxography instead of hand-inking each cel. It was also Disney’s first film to be set in a contemporary instead of fantasy setting. Despite Walt’s dislike of the film, it became one of the most beloved classic Disney films of all time.


26.) The Aristocats

As I mentioned above, this too is based on a book by Dodie Smith, author of 101 Dalmatians. The book is The Midnight Kittens http://amzn.to/2C8Apkb I am a huge cat lover and enthusiast, so it’s somewhat surprising that I don’t rank this film higher on my list. However, the writing at times drags and at other times skips around. The script originally was going to be a 2 part mini cartoon, and a more emotional story, about a woman looking to find the right adopters for her unique cats before her death. The decision was made to change it to a feature length film, and to follow on the success of 101 Dalmatians by creating a similar European setting and adventure. From there, the film was to be mostly about the mother cat, hiding her kittens in various places to keep them safe; however, further cuts were made leaving us with what we have now.


27.) Bambi

Bambi is a Disney classic. The young buck grows up before your eyes and learns to protect his friends in the forest. He goes from innocent, sweet, shy, clumsy, and babyish, to a young adult. We witness him falling in love, taking his first steps, and even meeting the great stag who is his father. The other animals such as Flower and Thumper are equally adorable, and we watch them too evolve and grow up throughout the film.


28.) The Fox and the Hound

This is also based on a book – and the story is much sadder than the Disney version. Disney has taken a lot of liberties with this book, and taken something soul crushingly depressing and made it into a cutesy Disney film about 2 unlikely friends. Similar to Bambi, we watch the characters grow up in a forest setting. If you like sad stories, check out the original book here http://amzn.to/2sLB6fp

the fox and the hound 2 disney GIF


29.) Dumbo

Dumbo is a classic Disney film that depicts what it is like to be bullied. Dumbo has no friends, and when his mother gets locked up for trying to protect Dumbo, Dumbo has an even harder time with his peers. This story is very relateable for anyone who has been a victim of bullying. One of the most memorable scenes is when Dumbo’s mother reaches her trunk down to cradle Dumbo as she sings a lullaby to him. Sending a similar message to the audience as Rudolph, Dumbo teaches us that sometimes our weaknesses are actually our greatest strengths, and to take pride in our individuality, as Dumbo learns that he can fly by using his large ears as wings.


30.) WALL-E

Despite being a mostly silent film, WALL-E is able to connect with the audience through use of imaginative robots with very human-like personalities. WALL-E is full of charm, and also full of morals and warnings of what may one day befall our own humanity. WALL-E reminded me a lot of Johnny Five from Short Circuit, and I loved this film because of WALL-E’s ability to make me care about him. You feel sympathy for WALL-E, you feel his loneliness, you feel his fear, you feel his excitement, curiosity, innocence, and inquisitiveness as the story unfolds.


31.) Pocahontas

I had the opportunity to watch the animators working on this film on my one and only trip to Walt Disney World back in the 90s. Most Disney fans agree that Pocahontas is the weakest of all of the 90s animated Disney films. While it had beautiful music and lavish artwork, the story suffered and the bland, forgettable characters soon faded from memory. Pocahontas is also often criticized for white washing. While it is true that it was the first ever Disney film to feature a princess of color, much of the history and story of Pocahontas was sanitized to make it more family friendly (and to appeal to white kids (and their parents) as well). This in turn rightfully angered the native american people at the time of Pocahontas’ release. They are quick to point out that Pocahontas had no choice, and there was no romance between her and John Smith, and that the film seemed to show forgiveness/acceptance of both sides (natives and the settlers, with both being deemed “savages”) while seeming to neglect to explicitly spell out the tragedies that would soon befall the native american people. Despite these criticisms, the movie did quite well in the box office and received a number of awards. It was this success that helped set the trend and tone for a flush of future Disney films to have a strong independent female protagonist such as Mulan, Tangled, Brave, and Frozen. Prior to Pocahontas there had only been 6 Disney films to have a female protagonist, and most (though not all) of those were the classic princess types who needed saving by a Prince such as Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella, all of whom also happened to be white. Aladdin had Princess Jasmine 3 years prior to Pocahontas, who was also of ethnic decent and fiercely independent, but she was not the titular lead role, but instead a sidekick to the Prince.  So ultimately, while Pocahontas has its flaws and offends a lot of people, it still also has its merits as well.


32.) Hercules

Hercules and Hunchback are both often attributed with the downfall of the “Great 90s Disney Movies” or the Disney Renaissance era. Interestingly enough, Pocahontas is also attributed to the eventual downfall as well. I have ranked these three films all pretty closely to each other on my list here, that was before researching and learning others’ views on these films. I typed a numbered list, and later worked down through researching some of the films on my list to flesh out my commentary or refresh my memory of certain details.

I honestly really liked Hercules. I have always loved mythology and have studied it in both highschool and university. I know that they changed nearly everything about the mythology, to make it more Disneyish but that’s to be expected with Disney handling any source material. The most common complaint is that Hercules is not a god in mythology but a demigod instead, while Disney portrays him as a full fledged god in their movie. I liked the unusual art style and I also loved the music in Hercules. The only reason it finishes in sorta a middle of the list position, is that ultimately the story and characters are not as memorable as other 90s and 2000 Disney films. I think personally for me, it was too humorous and cutesy at times, and lacked the sort of mystique that mythology so often holds. Though I do enjoy the humorous blubbering villains in Hades and his henchmen, I feel the constant focus on this trio (plus Devito as Phil) really detract from the epic adventure / love story that takes place. While still a good movie, it falls short of greatness. It has some great parts, but far more mediocre parts that just weigh the whole thing down.

There are some who criticize the film as being overtly sexual, and also criticize Hercules for giving up his dream of living among the gods in order to stay with Meg… but honestly, the love between Herc and Meg is one of the best parts of this film. Learning to trust each other, and learning to love each other, and to rely on each other, that is an important message that kids should learn at an early age. However, they may miss this message lost within the other 80% of mediocrity of the film.

hercules kiss GIF


33.) A Goofy Movie

My favorite thing about A Goofy Movie is how heart warming and heart felt the story and characters are. Ultimately it’s a great family movie. It’s super relatable and charming. We’ve all been embarrassed by our family members at least once or twice. We’ve all hurt each others’ feelings once or twice, but always at the end of the day… We are family. No matter how old you get, where you go, or what you do in life. That’s the message of a Goofy Movie. It’s a classic tale of a father’s love for his son, a dad who is doing his best, and has good intentions, but ultimately still makes mistakes. That’s what makes the movie so likeable and the characters so human like in their interactions.


34.) The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, even after being sanitized and Disneyified to death, is still an incredibly dark film with deep religious overtones. It directly calls out the corruption in the catholic church, and deals with themes such as lust, temptation, and seduction. Even the dancing and singing gargoyles can’t really keep this story from crossing quickly over into adult themes. This is perhaps one of the first Disney films to really tackle a more adult story. And that may also be part of its undoing as well. It loses some of the innocence and charm we’ve come to expect and appreciate in other Disney films.


35.) The Jungle Book

As we approach the second half of our top Disney animated films, my opinions of the films become much less firm, and more fluid, perhaps it is my ability, or lack there of, to recall the details of the films, or just the fact that a majority of the films that fall in the second half of the list were not that memorable in the first place. The Jungle Book’s only saving grace were the cute animals and catchy music with themes like Bear Necessities. The animation style was dark and drab, despite being set in a lush jungle. I liked, but never really loved, the Jungle Book. I did grow up loving the numerous spin offs, especially Tale Spin which I watched faithfully after school and on weekends. Here the animals took even more of a center stage. I also enjoyed the live action retelling of the story, which I appreciated a lot more as an adult. Perhaps if I were to rewatch the animated version I may enjoy it more now. I distinctly recall having to memorize the Tyger by William Blake in highschool, and I initially thought after watching the new Jungle Book live action film that both it and the older animated version were based on this poem, but actually, they are both based on a book titled The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling which is a collection of short stories staring anthropomorphic animals to teach lessons to young children about finding and accepting their place in society and respecting the laws of the jungle. This is often criticized as being racist, but of course the Disney movie sanitizes all of this for a more mainstream audience.  Still, the books are worth checking out. Did you know one of the characters is a seal in the Jungle Book? Neither did I!.. You can get it fairly cheap now (under $5 on amazon) thanks to the modest hype and success of the 2016 live action adaptation. http://amzn.to/2Cwcy9E


36.) Oliver and Company

Disney had a lot of success by this point with other talking dog films such as 101 Dalmatians and Lady and the Tramp. They also had a lot of success with musicals. So it’s no surprise that Disney’s Oliver and Company combines both of these things. While the cast of dogs (and Oliver the stray kitten) are indeed super cute, they ultimately aren’t as memorable as previous and similar Disney films. Billy Joel plays the voice of Dodger and he and Bette Midler sing a number of songs in the film, but even that isn’t enough to make the film, or its music, very memorable. And personally, I like Midler in movies like Hocus Pocus, but I felt her voice was a poor fit for Georgette who should have sounded more charming / sexy. The most memorable part of the film for me was a “pepe le pew type” of character named Tito, a chihuahua who was crushing hard on a poodle (or was it afghan?) throughout the film (and constantly getting rejected). The other characters were far less funny. In fact, the movie’s namesake, was perhaps the most bland and boring of all of the characters, making me not care very much if he ever got adopted or not. The story of Oliver and Company is based on Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. The only reason it ranks higher than the next few films on my list is that dogs and kittens are cuter than mice, people, or llamas, and the next few films are also pretty forgettable.


37.) The Rescuers

I never realized that The Rescuers was based on a series of books by Margery Sharp. It’s also curious to note that Miss Bianca is the main character with a ton of backstory and character development in these books and Bernard is merely her sidekick. Check out all the books on amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/bookseries/B00CKDIDRM/ref=dp_st_1590174607# I remember watching The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under as a kid. One of the most memorable scenes I can recall off hand is when Bianca and Bernard are preparing to take off on the back of the albatross and she tells him to button up, that it’s cold outside, and he gets nervous as she starts helping him dress warmer. The other slightly annoying scene I remember is Penny in the pit whining and complaining and crying about how she can’t reach the eye as the tide is coming in. The other thing Rescuers is well known for is a hidden porn clip in one of the windows on one of the buildings when they are flying by, which includes a shower scene.  (which yes it is messed up to include such things in a children’s cartoon. eww). But when I heard that, that little trivia factoid stuck with me more than most of the rest of the movie. The thing is, it just wasn’t that engaging or compelling. If I’m going to watch a cartoon about Mice I much rather watch “The Secret of Nymh” about a million times over the Rescuers or the Rescuers Down Under. On the live action side of things, I also enjoy Ralph the Motorcycle Mouse or The Witches way more than The Rescuers or The Rescuers Down Under. The Rescuers aren’t bad films, but just not great, either. I do want to read the Rescuer books though 🙂

The Rescuers Disney GIF


38.) Tarzan

Tarzan has great music and a lush vibrant setting that lends itself well to Disney’s animation style, but beyond that, it’s one of the least memorable Disney films to me. I don’t care about any of the characters, the story feels flat, and the pacing feels off too. Disney’s Tarzan just falls into the realms of mediocracy for me.


39.) Mulan

While I love that this film is set in Asia and based on a real historical figure and that it features a very strong female lead and role model, I ultimately don’t love it as much as a lot of other Disney films. I think the problem again is that it’s just not memorable. The characters are not interesting and the whole thing just feels very bland. If I want to watch a film about China, I rather watch Chinese Ghost Story, which was actually animated in China, or more recently, Big Fish and Begonia.


40.) The Emperor’s New Groove

This cartoon is very funny, and definitely an enjoyable and playful romp. It even aims to pass down a lesson in its storytelling. I loved “The Emperor’s New Clothes” which I’m pretty sure this film is based on. The moral is to not be vain, and to remain humble, even when you are in a position of power or prestige. I’d even say this film is far more “memorable” than the previous few films on our list here. – I’d say that from about item 32 through 42, the movies on this list are pretty interchangeable in terms of my likelihood to re-watch or recommend them. If I’m in a mood for a comedy and nothing more, The Emperor’s New Groove would probably be further up the list by a handful of places. But if I want a more fantasy and romantic type setting, which is typical Disney, ultimately the Emperor’s New Groove doesn’t quite deliver.


41.) The Incredibles

A fun superhero movie, a new adventure for Disney who has never really tackled the super hero / comic / geek type fare before. I loved the themes of family and the geeky superhero antics, but I still don’t find this as charming or memorable as other Disney/Pixar films such as UP, Toy Story, Monster’s Inc, or Finding Nemo/Dory. The Incredibles just falls short when compared to almost every other Pixar Film. In its own right, without comparing it to the rest, it’s probably not a bad film. It just lacks the heart and charm of the rest of the Pixar pictures.


42.) The Sword in the Stone

When I was younger, this was one of my most favorite Disney Films (because it was before most of the great 90-2ks Disney films that now take up most of the higher spots on the list.) I was always interested in the Legend of King Arthur. I read the book, watched various movies/mini series (my favorite of which is probably “Merlin”.) I’m still enamored with Renaissance faires, clothing, food, jousting, crafts, and everything medieval. I’d like to see Disney remake this, maybe a live action version since they seem to be doing a lot of those lately.

the sword in the stone GIF


43.) The Black Cauldron

This is probably the most underrated Disney film of all time. It’s also the darkest and best suited for young adults, as opposed to children. Despite my deep love for this movie, it is one of the worst performing Disney films of all time. It was the first Disney film to use computer animation, and the first Disney film to receive a PG rating. It came out in 1985, and at the time it was the most expensive animated film, costing almost 45 million dollars to create. It did terrible in the box offices, recouping less than half of those costs. None of this affects my rating of this movie. It just doesn’t stack up to other Disney films in terms of animation, music, and etc. The story and characters are actually pretty good, especially if you’re looking for something a little darker and scarier than most other light and fluffy Disney films. Ultimately though, the film suffered numerous cuts and edits and struggled to decide if it wanted to commit to the dark and emotionally moving books on which it was based. There’s also a sierra game similar to king’s quest. based on Disney’s version of The Black Cauldron. The game has primitive graphics but actually a lot of interesting gameplay concepts, including a branching plot and multiple endings based on choices you make within the game. This game is now freeware and can be downloaded here: http://allowe.com/downloads/games.html but you’ll probably need an emulator like Scummvm to run the games on newer PCs. According to wikipedia “On March 17, 2016, Variety confirmed that Walt Disney Pictures had re-acquired the film rights to The Chronicles of Prydain, with the intention to adapt the book series into an epic motion picture series, more attuned to Lloyd Alexander’s high fantasy world. The project is currently in early development at the Walt Disney Studios with no director, producer, or screenwriter attached yet” – I can’t wait for this!! It could be as epic as Lord of the Rings, Narnia, or Harry Potter. You can also read all 5 of the original books in omnibus format https://www.amazon.com/Prydain-Chronicles-Lloyd-Alexander/dp/B0006DBJOC However, it may be cheaper to just buy the boxset or kindle editions: https://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Prydain-Lloyd-Alexander/dp/1250000939 


43.) Gnomeo and Juliet

When World of Warcraft first came out, I was really really into Gnomes for awhile, because my main character was a gnome. So I loved this cute little 3d animation remake of Romeo and Juliet. It is funny and adorable, and holds its own, but ultimately its very different from the more fantastical and charming traditional Disney films.


44.) The Princess and the Frog

This film will forever be remembered as having the first black Disney princess, but beyond that, I’m afraid the story and characters are anything but memorable. The story just feels flat, and the characters lacked the charm of previous Disney films. Music also didn’t live up to the classic 90s Disney films. The problem was they brought back all the studio and staff from greats like The Lion King, Little Mermaid, etc, and still somehow, turned out a film that really lacked the heart and soul of their earlier works. All that said though, I do really like the twist on the classic fairy tale. In this version, the princess turns into a frog, instead of the frog turning into a prince, when kissed.

princess and the frog kiss GIF


45.) Treasure Planet

Disney’s attempt to capture a more mature audience failed and resulted in over $100 million in losses. This film looks beautiful, but that’s about it. It has no heart or soul. The whole thing feels lifeless and dull. I can’t bring myself to care about the characters or what’s happening around them. I do really like the animation techniques of using 2D characters atop 3D backgrounds though and wish they’d try that technique again sometime.


47.) Duck Tales the Movie

Another average, not great, Disney film. I enjoyed Duck Tales as a kid, but it works better as a series I think. It lacks a compelling storyline or overarching plot and continuity that makes most theatrical movies so engaging. – That said, there is much excitement about the new Duck Tales reboot that came out last year. I would have been more excited for a Dark Wing Duck movie myself.


48.) Atlantis: The Lost Empire

I feel like the subject matter of this film has a lot of potential – but that sadly, ultimately Disney wasted that potential and created a rather forgettable tale about the lost city. I love the “legend” behind Atlantis, and I like that Disney took a different approach than we typically think of by basing the city around Mayan culture instead of Greek culture that is so typically attributed to the legend of the sunken city. It’s also a timely tale and warning in an age when the internet and technology were beginning to advance and rapidly change our own cultures and interactions. The warning in both the original, and in Disney’s Atlantis, is that if we become too reliant on Technology, our civilization will deteriorate. It’s also a tale of greed, others want what we have, we want what others have, and sometimes if technology falls into the wrong hands, there can be deadly consequences. This is all very interesting stuff for an epic fantasy adventure — but an adventure is only as interesting as the characters experiencing it, and these characters are so flat and dull that this movie will put you to sleep before it even gets off the ground. It’s very action packed, but without a reason to care about what’s really happening to the characters at the heart of the conflict, that action ultimately goes to waste.


49.) Chicken Little

I thought this film was cute and funny, but overall a bit too juvenile and simplistic for my tastes. I have nothing bad to say about the film and have even watched it more than twice now.


50.) Frankenweenie

Growing up, I had watched, and even enjoyed the black and white live action version of Frakenweenie, a story about a boy who loves his dog so much he brings him back to life after a tragic accident. I still prefer the live action short film over this version. I feel like the story didn’t change much or gain anything meaningful, despite adding almost another hour of footage to the remake. It’s not necessarily bad, if I had never seen the short film, I’d probably be more inclined to rate this higher.


51.) Dinosaur

I like this film, but ultimately, The Land Before Time did it better. This film lacked originality and also suffered from some pacing issues with the story. It was heart warming and emotionally impactful, but then again, so was the Land Before Time. This film felt like a poor 3D knock off of The Land Before Time in almost every way, and its characters, while cute and likeable, were not nearly as memorable as the ones from Land Before Time.


52.) The Great Mouse Detective

These last ten movies on our list are some of the oldest Disney films, and therefore some of the most simplistic in character development and storytelling. Much like the Rescuers, this is a cute detective film feature hero mice as the stars. It’s even less memorable than the Rescuers however. I hear that the books are much better. You can check out Basil of Bakerstreet here: https://www.amazon.com/Eve-Titus/e/B001HCX2AU/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1  As well as another story series with mice by the same author, Anatolle.


53.) Robin Hood

Robin Hood’s only redeeming/memorable quality is the use of anthropomorphic animal characters or “furries” to tell this legend of well known bandit turned hero who “robbed from the rich and gave to the poor” along with his band of merry men and their story. Otherwise, there’s little to nothing of interest in this film for those already familiar with the original tale. The furrie thing alone though is enough to make it iconic and immensely popular among furrie culture. You can see a lot of resemblance between Nick in Zootopia and Robin. I also see Robin’s character design as a major source of influence for Rif the fox from Inherit the Earth, one of my favorite PC video games.

robin hood compliment GIF


54.) Sleeping Beauty

There’s nothing wrong with Sleeping Beauty, or any of the other early “princess movies” unless you’re a feminist, in which case there’s everything wrong with these movies. But I’m no feminist… So I’m fine with these early Disney princess films, but I find them less engaging, memorable, or exciting than the 90s fare of films such as Lion King, Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and so on…

My favorite version of Sleeping Beauty is a book called “Spindle’s End” – a retelling of Sleeping Beauty told from the animals of the forest. I feel like this book would have made a better Disney film than the Disney Sleeping Beauty. Of course, the Disney Sleeping Beauty is much older than Spindle’s End.  The author also has unique retellings of Beauty and the Beast and many other great fairy tales. https://www.amazon.com/Robin-McKinley/e/B000AQ1OUY/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1


55.) Alice in Wonderland

Alice is not a typical Disney princess. She is perhaps the first example of a strong female lead in a Disney film. She doesn’t need to rely on a prince to save her. She uses her logic and wits to outsmart the queen of hearts and her henchmen. The fantasy setting, although a bit too trippy / drug inspired for my tastes, is in fact memorable and exciting. The cheshire cat is my favorite character in this tale. In the live action remake, I also really liked the hatter’s character and a bit of suggested hints of romance between Alice and Hatter.


56.) Cinderella

Cinderelly, Cinderelly, night and day it’s Cinderelly. The mice sidekicks and Fairy Godmother and their songs are about the most memorable thing I can recall from this film. Did you know there’s also an anime series, and movie (which I believe is piece meal of the series edited into a much abridged movie version?) Check it on MAL: https://myanimelist.net/anime/2817/Cinderella_Monogatari 


57.) Snow White

I think this was the first film I saw in theaters – and from what I was told it scared me to death. Looking back now, really all I can remember is “hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go”. I much prefer more original / creative takes on classic fairy tales. Disney’s own series, Once Upon a Time, does a better job at this than their classic cartoons. In Once Upon a Time, we sympathize more with the villains – at least I did – while watching the stories unfold. We learn the back story and motivation for why Snow White’s stepmother hated her so much. And Snow White herself is much less of a mary jane and much less passive and more spunky and fun and quick witted, and a thief like character. – I mean you would have to be resourceful to take care of yourself in the forests, you can’t just be a kept princess. I also have not read, but hear good things about Neil Gaimman’s Snow, Glass, Apples – I mean, it must be good, because it’s almost $2,000 for the hard copy on Amazon lol… https://www.amazon.com/Snow-Glass-Apples-Neil-Gaiman/dp/B000P1OWWQ – Luckily it’s also included in this collection of short stories which you can pick up for about $4. https://www.amazon.com/Smoke-Mirrors-Short-Fictions-Illusions/dp/0380789027/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519680106&sr=1-1&keywords=snow+glass+apples 


58.) A Bug’s Life

Better than Dreamworks’ Antz, but still this is by far Pixar’s weakest film. Not much else to say about this one.


59.) Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh was a big part of my childhood (I liked Tigger), but now as an adult, I have little desire to ever watch it again.

winnie the pooh GIF by Disney


60.) Peter Pan

I never really liked Peter Pan that much. There’s nothing really “wrong” with it, it just didn’t appeal to me much when I was little.


61.) Pinocchio

I hated Pinocchio, I dunno why. I have heard the book it is based on is dark and creepy AF. The stuff of nightmares.


62.) Fantasia

You either love it or you hate it. I hated it. I have nothing against classical music, or musicals even – Moulin Rouge is one of my all time favorite films which I’ve seen probably over a dozen times – but Disney’s Fantasia is just a bore, since it really has no overarching plot and feels too pieced together for my tastes.


Disney feature length animated films I have not watched – In no particular order:

  • Victory Through Air Power
  • Doug’s 1st Movie
  • Recess: School’s Out
  • Teacher’s Pet
  • Home on the Range
  • Valiant
  • The Wild
  • Meet the Robinsons
  • Ratatouille
  • Roadside Romeo
  • Arjun: The Warrior Prince
  • Planes
  • Big Hero 6
  • Strange Magic
  • Coco

62 Disney Animated Feature Length Films Ranked From Best to Worst – An Otaku’s Take On the Best and Worst Animated Disney Films – Disney Films Ranked From Best to Worst. Top 10 Disney Films was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Artbook Review: The Art of The Secret World of Arietty

I received this book for free in exchange for a review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

This large, beautiful hardcover artbook is a must have for any Hayao Miyazaki or Studio Ghibli fan. Within its pages lies a treasure trove of not only gorgeous artwork, but also a behind the scenes look at the work that went into creating The Secret World of Arietty. This book is very high quality. Its large oversize format makes it excellent for laying on your coffee table or bookshelf and its presentation is so inviting that your friends won’t be able to resist picking it up and scanning through the pages. Its an excellent conversation piece, as well as a great asset for a collector’s own private and personal collection.

Studio Ghibli The Art of The Secret World of Arietty Artbook

Studio Ghibli The Art of The Secret World of Arietty Artbook

With this review I struggled if I should include pictures, and if so how many, and which ones to include. I wanted you to see the beautiful artwork and the commentary from the artists at Studio Ghibli but I also wanted to not reveal too much as to avoid spoiling the surprise and excitement of reading the book for yourself. So I selected 3 or 4 images showing concept art and notes from the team. It’s also important to know there are many beautiful full color art pieces in the book as well, including some that spread across both pages. I just felt the concept art was far more interesting as we don’t get a glimpse of that by simply watching the film.

By far, my favorite part of the book is all of the commentary and interviews with the staff of Studio Ghibli. It’s easy enough to fill a picture book full of sketches and doodles, but what I really enjoyed was reading about how the film all came together, the various changes that were made to characters and settings within the anime, and getting a sense for what the artists feel about their finished creation. It was quite fascinating, especially reading it as someone working as a full time artist myself. I can really appreciate the team’s dedication and passion and I think that passion really shows through in the final product (both the film and this gorgeous artbook).

Studio Ghibli The Art of The Secret World of Arietty Artbook

Studio Ghibli The Art of The Secret World of Arietty Artbook

Studio Ghibli’s “The Secret World of Arietty” is based on a popular children’s book, The Borrowers by Mary Norton. This book has entertained children for several generations. But it’s also a book (and film) that can be enjoyed by the whole family, young or old alike. My grandmother told me that it is her favorite book, she told me she first read it when my mother checked it out of the library. I too read the book when I was younger, and I also enjoyed many other film and tv adaptations and similar books and movies and tv series such as The Littles and The Indian in the Cupboard.

The Borrowers and The Secret World of Arietty give you a glimpse at a hidden world right under our noses. The Borrowers are a tiny race of miniature humans who live in our walls and gardens and live off of things we waste or take for granted. If you ever notice a button or a needle is missing, you can bet it’s been “Borrowed”. Of course the human world presents many dangers to Arietty, she must be careful to not be discovered by the humans who could capture her and keep her as a pet or science experiment. At the same time she must be aware of her surroundings at all times. She could get swept away by just a small trickle of water, or mistaken for a mouse and gobbled up by a cat, or crushed underfoot by a horse and carriage. Arietty is of course not afraid of the human world, and instead intrigued by it. She finds the human world fascinating and impossible to resist. Especially when she meets and falls in love with a human boy who is equally fascinated by Arietty’s world. The story teaches us that even though our lives may seem dull and mundane, that all it takes is a change of perspective to be reminded how wondrous life truly is.

Studio Ghibli The Art of The Secret World of Arietty Artbook

Studio Ghibli The Art of The Secret World of Arietty Artbook

Just as life is wondrous and full of adventure, so too is the official artbook, “The Art of The Secret World of Arietty”.

You can buy “The Art of The Secret World of Arietty” Artbook here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/197470033X

Buy the Borrowers complete set of books here: https://www.amazon.com/Complete-Adventures-Borrowers-Mary-Norton/dp/0152049150/

Buy the DVD or Blu-Ray of the Secret World of Arietty here: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-World-Arrietty-Two-Disc-Blu-ray/dp/B005LAIGXM

Artbook Review: The Art of The Secret World of Arietty was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News