Hard NOC Life: Reflections on Disney’s Live Action Remakes

This week, Dominic and Keith bring honor to us all by breaking down all of the developments in Nerd Pop — specifically, Disney’s live action remake phenomenon.

Continue reading “Hard NOC Life: Reflections on Disney’s Live Action Remakes”

‘Mulan’ is Still the Wokest Disney Princess Movie Your Kid Hasn’t Seen 600 Times Yet

Originally posted on Melancholyball.

The “Disney Princess” mythos is a genre as restrictive as it is globally-superpowered, but in terms of the Official Princess Movie with the most patriarchy-subverting politics, I think it’s no contest: Mulan is by far the most progressive-minded cel-animated Disney Princess film, while also performing its essential sedative-hypnotic function on your child’s developing emotional vocabulary. (Pocahontas has an argument too, but for my taste, the underlying colonization-conquest story is so far outside of Classic Disney’s natural lane, you kinda wonder what they’re even trying to say, and also the songs in Pocahontas are not my jam.)

Continue reading “‘Mulan’ is Still the Wokest Disney Princess Movie Your Kid Hasn’t Seen 600 Times Yet”

Of Cyberspace and The Sea: A Magical Afternoon at Walt Disney Animation Studios

When I was 10, I wanted to be a Disney Animator. It happened around the time my single-parent mother, who was always working to make end’s meet for us, managed to scrounge up enough money to take us kids to Walt Disney World in the mid-90s. One of the parks we ended up visiting, the old MGM Studios Park, had this attraction called “The Magic of Disney Animation.” Sure that park also featured attractions for Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and not to mention the first-of-its-kind “Tower of Terror.” But for me, The Magic of Disney Animation was everything that made the park so special.

For 15-20 minutes, I got to see how true art was made. I learned about how the hundreds of talented artists came together and brought to life the iconic “Be Our Guest” sequence from Beauty and the Beast, and how those same people were working hard at that second to bring together future classics, Mulan and Lilo and Stitch. I went into that building a complacent boy who only watched movies, and exited a person inspired by a dream and a drive to make it come true.

Continue reading “Of Cyberspace and The Sea: A Magical Afternoon at Walt Disney Animation Studios”

‘Ghost in the Shell’ and the Complexity of Cultural Appropriation

by Trungles

There is an old fairy tale popularized by Hans Christian Andersen as The Little Mermaid. I’m one of those odd first-and-a-half generation Vietnamese American immigrants, and tales of living in between spaces have always held my attention. The story goes that a little princess from a world under water wants to live on the land. She falls in love, exchanges her tongue for a pair of legs, and finds herself thrust into the unenviable circumstance of navigating a strange space where she literally has no voice. Ultimately finding no place for her in the world for which she had given up everything, she casts herself off the side of a ship into the ocean, drowns, and dissolves into sea foam. Victorian sentiments about Christianity and moralizing stories for children eventually got Andersen to amend the ending. This is more or less the state of Asian American identity politics. We’re always finding ourselves caught between “where we come from” and wherever we yearn to belong.

The buzz around the 2017 Ghost in the Shell film, among many other film and television projects of its ilk in recent memory, has ignited a bevy of thinkpieces about cultural appropriation and the nature of Asian American identity politics. The topic is complicated.

Continue reading “‘Ghost in the Shell’ and the Complexity of Cultural Appropriation”

An N.O.C. Halloween: Our Children’s Edition

Amongst my friends and family, it is no secret that the only holiday I care about is Halloween. No, it isn’t just because the candy is free and flowing — although this is a huge bonus. What I love the most about he holiday is that there is this unbridled demonstration of ingenuity, creativity, and imagination. People get to step a little outside of their mundane lives and step into the realm of the fantastic.

Another thing I love are the costumes. I don’t think I’m alone in this, especially amongst my fellow NOC. While many of us were too busy to dress up, we made sure that our children did.

I would like to present to you the NOC Parade of Costumes: Our Children’s Addition.

Continue reading “An N.O.C. Halloween: Our Children’s Edition”