torstai 22. joulukuuta 2016

lauantai 10. joulukuuta 2016

Frozen Miniature Christmas Tree



 I finally got to finish my Frozen Christmas scene

On sale in my Etsy shop:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/498312609/frozen-miniature-doll-house-christmas





 Olaf is so exited about the presents!




 Carrots for Sven
Of course there is hot chocolade for Elsa















sunnuntai 16. lokakuuta 2016

Fairy Tarot

School has kept me busy but there are some Fairy Tarot illustrations  I have managed to finish.

Tower in Rider Waite decks is traditionally portrayed to be struck by lightning and being on fire. In my personal life Tower has always meant either inner or outer conflicts. Crisis happening within relationships and sometimes because of events one could not for see. That is why there is duel in my Tower illustration. 
























Earth is quite the opposite compared to the tower deck. Colors are earthy and warm. Earth has all four elements together creating powerfully vibrating earth energy. I really enjoyed painting all those colorful stone pebbles.


perjantai 23. syyskuuta 2016

Frozen


I spent my summer back at home in Finland and watched lots of Disney animations. I also re-watched Frozen so here are some of my thoughts on this animation that has become world wide phenomena.

Frozen is Disney animated film released in 2013. It is Disney animated classic number 53.

I bet everyone is familiar with the plot. In the Kingdom of Arendelle princess Elsa has magical gift to create snow and ice. One day she is playing with her little sister Anna and Anna gets into an accident. Elsa gets scared of her powers that caused this. Parents take them to see the troll shaman, who tells Elsa to be careful with her gift. He erases Anna's memory so that she wont remember her sister having powers. 

In the next chapter parents drown at sea and Elsa is going to become new queen of Arendelle. Sisters haven't been in close terms since childhood. Anna still misses her sister.

During the coronation Anna meets Hans prince of the Southern Islands and develops a crush on him. After few songs couple is planning to get married. Of course Elsa doesn't wish her sister to marry a man she has only known for few hours. Sisters are having an argument and Elsa's powers are revealed. This is specially noticed by duke of Weselton who already has his mind on overtaking Arendelle. Elsa runs away to the mountains and leaves her sister and people of Arendelle to everlasting winter.

Anna wont give up. She leaves prince Hans in charge and goes after her sister. He meets Kristoff Ice deliverer. With his reindeer Sven he decides to help Anna with her quest of find Elsa. They reach Elsa's ice palace where they meet Snowman Olaf who Elsa created as a child. Olaf joins the group. Anna meets Elsa in the palace. Sister seems liberated but she does not wish to return to Arendelle. Kristoff takes Anna to meet the troll Shaman. Maybe he could help them to get Elsa back. Only goal for trolls seems to fix Anna to marry Kristoff. Suddenly Anna's faints. Fights with her sister are finally turning her heart to cold.



Kristoff, Olaf and Sven take Anna back to the palace to prince Hans. Hans turns out to be the bad guy and tells Anna that only reason he wanted to marry her is that in his home country he doesn't have any chances for the throne. Anna becomes very upset. Olaf helps her to understand that is really Kristoff who truly loves her. When Anna hears that Hans is planning to kill Elsa she decides to stop him.

In the last battle Hans makes Elsa to believe that Anna is dead. In the snowstorm Hans tries to kill Elsa when Anna runs between them and turns into ice. Elsa cries and hugs her sister and Anna melts back to human. Elsa finally understands that she can be all queen, sister and use her powers freely. She turns summer back to Arendelle and creates little snow cloud for Olaf. Duke of Weselton and prince Hans are both sent back to their home lands. Kristoff becomes official ice deliverer and his relationship with Anna also becomes official. Movie ends to a skating scene where characters enjoy each others company.


Elsa and Anna

Several Disney-fans and non-Disney-fans have tried to explain how come Frozen is so damn popular. Movie came to the theaters in 2013 and it is as popular as ever. I personally believe that it is because there is two very different princesses in the movie and viewer can identify themselves to either one. They can choose to be in the Elsa-camp or Anna-camp. I'm definitely in the Elsa-camp myself. 21-year old Elsa is the "oldest" Disney princess. Anna is 18. Elsa is in many ways more mature than Anna but she is also slightly melancholic and introverted. Especially in the beginning of the movie Anna is very naive. Kristoff asks the question that viewers are wondering "why the heck you wish to marry a guy you just met!"

I've been thinking a lot about sister's situation. In the song "For the first time in forever" Anna happily sings how they are going to open the gate and for the first time she is going to meet new people. She also sings about meeting man of her dreams. Anna has been living very protected life. Parents have passed away, sister pretty much lives in her own world. Servants are servants not her real friends. Anna however is an optimist and believes that by becoming a queen Elsa also becomes more social. If I compare the life of Anna and Elsa to the life of royal families in Europe. The heirs to the crown always have huge amount of pressure on them while other siblings can live their lives more care free. I bet many as a child has dreamed about meeting prince (or princess) of our dreams. Anna who has lived very isolated from the rest of the world still believes in this at the age of 18.

Anna's care for her sister is endearing and she can not understand why Elsa is shutting her out from her life. Elsa believes that by isolating herself she protects her sister but secret almost breaks up their relationship. Elsa also takes care of Anna and her well being and understands that Anna can not marry a guy who she just met. 


Kristoff, Olaf and Sven

I have always liked the character of Kristoff. I think I read from Disney Wiki that Kristoff is Norwegian-Sami. What it comes to his reindeer-leather/fur clothes this makes sense. Those of you who don't know the Sami people are native people of Lapland. One thing that puzzles me is that Kristoff is a blonde and usually Sami people have quite dark hair but then again I'm a Finn with Sami ancestry and I have blonde hair so of course it's possible. Kristoff is probably Norwegian Sami orphan since he was raised by trolls. 

Sven however is a character who I have mixed up feelings. I've been recently doing lots of research on Sami people, culture and reindeer herding (because I'm cool that way).

Before Sami lifestyle became more intertwined with reindeer meat industry Sami people kept wild reindeers as their pets. However in 19th century Norway Sami lifestyle was more around reindeer meat industry. 

Kristoff however is not reindeer herder but an ice deliverer so he can have a reindeer sidekick.

My problem with Sven is that there is more doggy features than reindeer features. In away character is a copy of Maximus from Tangled where horse was more a sniffer dog than a cavalry horse. I think more reindeerish Sven would have been more authentic and I must add one can not really ride with reindeer's. I'm from northern Finland and always enjoy seeing reindeer's.


In the beginning I was quite annoyed by the character of Olaf. I believe he was added to the film for the child viewers (and of course kids are the primal audience for Disney films). For me Olaf felt bit too childish (I'm Olaf I love warm hugs!) so my inner cynic was against. Now I'm bit more softer and believe that film needs Olaf to balance Elsa's inner struggles and Anna's dreamy personality.


Arendelle

Frozen takes place in Arendelle, country that was loosely inspired by Norway and Norwegian culture. Film settings and clothes were also inspired by Norway in the beginning of 19th century. I read from Disney Wiki that Anna's and Elsa's parents are called King Agnarr and Queen Iduna. Frozen takes place in July 1839. Arendelle's symbol is the Crocus flower and colors are green and purple. You can see the color scheme in Anna's outfits also in Elsa's outfits in the coronation. Otherwise Elsa's outfits portray her belonging to the world of winter and snow. 
Norway is a country with long troll-tradition and I think it's just awesome that there are trolls in Frozen. Only thing that I didn't enjoy that much was the song of the trolls (Fixer Upper) that was more a broadway musical song and not that close to music that in Norway has been more connected to trolls like drums and folk instruments. 



Songs and voice overs

When I first moved to Wales and went to Tesco to buy Christmas gifts there was Frozen songs playing non-stop. I wish they would play non-stop in Finnish shopping centers as well! haha! There is bloody many songs in Frozen, even for a Disney musical there's so many songs. 

My personal favorites are "Frozen heart" and "Let it go". Last time while travelling in way north Finland and I saw reindeer's I had to sing "Reindeer's are better than people" lol

Since I'm Finnish I usually prefer the Finnish voice overs and usually voice overs are done with great care for animations in Finland. Unfortunately at least what it comes to recent Finnish voice overs from the past 10 years they've gone really bad. That is why I prefer to watch Frozen in English than Finnish. I've only watched the Finnish version once and after that stick with the English version. Saara Aalto did the Finnish voice of Anna but her voice is just too high pitch to my ear so I prefer Kristen Bell. I'm quite careful with voices since I'm highly sensitive and find too high noises very distressing. But Finnish voice of Kristoff was even worse. Axl Smith who is Finnish  media persona did voice of Kristoff and he spoke with very heavy Helsinki-accent. I personally speak with heavy Oulu accent but to be fairy when it is an animation I wish that characters would speak in common language and with accent as long as it fits for the character. Especially according to Disney Kristoff is northern Sami it would have been cool if in Finnish version his voice would have been someone who speaks with northern Finnsih/ Lapland accent. 

Unfortunately in Finland there has been this very unfortunate trend within past years to hire the most biggest celebrities/famous people of that moment to do voice overs to animations. When there's great amount wonderful trained voice actors. I don't really get it..

I do like Katja Sirkiä who is the Finnish voice of Elsa. She is trained voice actress and does fabulous job. I do like listen "Taakse jää" (Let it go in Finnish) in Finnish. Otherwise I think English voice over is way better on Frozen than Finnish. That's my personal preference. 



Snowqueen

I like to research stories which animations are based. Last year I took part on online course about Hans Christian Andersen that was organized by the university of Odense. One of the assigments was to compare Andersen's little Mermaid and Disney's little mermaid. You can read my thoughts about it here. 

We also went through Andersen's other famous fairy tale "the Snow Queen". Frozen is loosely based on the Snow Queen. Walt Disney himself was planning to make an animation from this famous fairy tale but other projects kept him occupied. In it's early design process Frozen was much more closer to Andersen's fairy tale. 

For those of you who haven't read Andersen's story. It is very episodic and tells about two children Gerda and Kay. As I recall story doesn't mention where they live. I assume that in a city in Norway or in Denmark. Gerda and Kay weren't sister and brother but loved each others like sister and brother. Like many Andersen's fairy tale Snow Queen has Christian elements. Fairy tale begins when a mirror made by the devil gets broken. Piece of the shattered glass gets inside Kay's eye. This is noticed by the wicked Snow Queen and she kidnaps Kay to herself.

Gerda travels to Lapland to Snow Queen's kingdom to find Kay. Little thief girl (perhaps she is a Sami) is helping her with her reindeer and two crows. One of the shattered glass pieces reaches Kay's heart and makes him "Frozen". Gerda still manages to save Kay before it's too late and destroys the evil Snow Queen.

In the end the plot for Frozen was completely re-written, maybe that is better because original story is quite complex and episodic. Gerda and Kay were turned into two sisters. Anna's relentless nature reminds Gerda's persistence to save Kay. In away Anna reminds Kay when her heart get's cold after fighting with Elsa. No way Elsa is evil Snow Queen, even though according to the duke of Weselton and inhabitants of Arendelle that is exactly what she is. This is a great reference to the past of human mind and how easy it was to label someone as a witch. Just the fact that Elsa chooses to live alone in a far away cold palace isolated from the rest of the world feeds this idealism where powerful woman who chooses to live alone is dangerous.


The way Snow Queen wants to adopt little boy to herself has little bit resemblance to Elsa's grief and sadness for that she feels need to isolate herself from her family and the rest of the world. I believe one major reason for Frozen's insane popularity is the sibling relationship. This is also one of the reasons that made Andersen's fairy tale very popular. There isn't romance in Snow Queen. There is romance of Anna and Kristoff in Frozen. Still main focus in Frozen is the relationship of the two sisters. Disney has several films about sibling relationships like "My brother bear" and my personal favorite "Lilo and Stitch". Also in Frozen both of the main characters are very multidimensional. 

Overall the world of Frozen portraits mindset of 2013 more than beginning of the 19th century. I give solid three and half stars to Frozen. Some trivia to the end. In 2014 Frozen won an oscar for the best animated feature and Let it Go was the best song. Frozen sequel is currently in the making before that we can all sing "Let it go! Let it go! I can't hold it back anymore!

maanantai 1. elokuuta 2016

Fairy tale paintings and children illustrations


I made a little video from my fairy tale and children illustrations. Majority are made with watercolors and some with mixed media.

- Niina

maanantai 11. heinäkuuta 2016

Movie Review: Hammer of Ukko


I recently bought Hammer of Ukko for myself. It is a first documentary ever made from Finnish traditional paganism (Finn Belief) and it's roots. 

I consider myself quite well-read what it comes to Finnish mythology and folklore. Still there was things mentioned in the documentary I hadn't thought that much before. Narrative is singer and songwriter A.W.Yrjänä. There was many people interviewed in the documentary. Professor Juha Pentikäinen, members of Taivaannaula , several archaeologists and folklorists

When I was younger I read some books written by Juha Pentikäinen. I like the way he pointed out the differences between the "new" and "old" Kalevala's. New Kalevala is the one majority of the Finns know. Still it is only Lönnrot's take on Finnish here-epic and mythology. Lönnrot's Kalevala is also monotheistic unlike ancient Finns worldview that was animist-shamanist and more polytheistic/pantheistic. 

Lönnrot's Kalevala appeared in the end of 19th century with more attempts to rise and form national identity so it was written to serve politically than anything else. In the end both old and new Kalevala are just tine fractures of the universe of Finnish mythology and folklore.


All the most important deities were mentioned in the documentary. Ukko, Akka, Tapio, Tapiotar (Mielikki), Annikki, Ahti, Vellamo and of course the Bear. Also the way Bear worship has changed when ancient Finns turned from collective culture to hunters and later on to agriculture. 

Big part of Finn belief is the concept of three souls. This was also mentioned in the documentary. The way Itse-soul (self) could born into a same family. Also the importance of spirit world. The way everything in nature has their own spirits. They all belong to the four elements water, earth, air and fire. Each spirits having powers of their own. Faith to different spirits still lives in Finnish modern-day culture. Especially during different festivals and cultural habits.

There was also lots of talk about the way our nature connection has changed dramatically within past decades. Overall majority of the Finns have very good nature relationship (at least compared to many other western countries). However our nature relationship has changed the same way as lifestyle has changed.

I really like the visual look and style of documentary, especially these mystical cover photos. There was only tiny glimpse of a city scenery in the beginning of the film otherwise it is all about beautiful Finnish nature. Naturally there is Kantele playing and occasionally shaman drum.

A.W.Yrjänä's deep voice is quite relaxing. He looks a bit like a bear himself so I thought he was pretty good narrative. Stories of the deities were told with animations. Animation style was quite minimal and I think it fits well with the style of the documentary. 

I recommend this documentary to anyone who is interested on Finnish mythology and folklore. You can get English subtitles to the film as well. I watched this together with bunch of my British friends last week. They liked it. 

Official web-page for Hammer of Ukko http://www.helomedia.fi/ukonvaaja/

I also made a review on this to my YouTube channel







perjantai 8. heinäkuuta 2016

Midsummer Solstice Flower Girl Chalk Pastel Drawing


Drawing I did during the Midsummer Solstice.

Materials used:
Windsor & Newton Fints Pastel Paper
Seawhite Soft Chalk Pastels

Art (c) Niina Niskanen

Music: Niina Niskanen (playing Kantele randomly) 

Wonderful model my friend Janna: http://kuoma-stock.deviantart.com/

torstai 30. kesäkuuta 2016

Pinocchio



I watched Pinocchio in the spring. It was perhaps fourth or fifth time that I watched Pinocchio. This was first time in English. Pinocchio is second Disney classic movie and it premiered in February 1940. Pinocchio wasn't financially successful. Part of the reason is believed to be in  the Second World War and american not going to the movies that much at the time. However what it comes to development of western animation Pinocchio is remarkable film.

What it comes to Disney animations Pinocchio hasn't ever been one of my favorites. Later as an adult I have learned to respect it more. Often I like to compare animations to their original sources. What it comes to Pinocchio I have read some scenes from Collodi's book and also analyzes from fairy tale anthropologist Jack Zipes. Zipes has done lot's analyzes from Disney films. Some of them are quite insightful then some or pretty far-fetched so I am quite critical what it comes to them.

Pinocchio's creator was Carlo Collodi. He was Italian writer and a journalist. Originally Pinocchio was published as serial story in Italian children magazine Giornale per I bambini  between 1881-1882 and completely book in 1883. I have only read pieces here and there from the original book. I doubt I'll ever read it completely. Stories are pretty creepy and disturbing. Pinocchio in the book is really mean child.  Jiminy Cricket only makes short appearance in the story. Pinocchio actually kills him by stepping on him. In the end of the book Pinocchio is hanged for being a trouble maker.

I much more prefer the Disney version. 

Pinocchio


In the movie my biggest problem is with the main character. In the book Pinocchio doesn't regret his bad behavior.  In the Pinocchio has developing morality.

What's a conscience! I'll tell ya! A conscience is that still small voice that people won't listen to. That's just the trouble with the world today...




I think this sentence summarizes the whole movie pretty well. Disney's Pinocchio is about morality and the way human learns to separate right from wrong. Greatest power in the film is Gepetto's strong love and trust for Pinocchio. They don't have that much time to spend together quite early in the movie Honest John and his helper seduce Pinocchio to Stromboli and the world of theater and later to Pleasure Island. In the movie transformation to real boy is reward Pinocchio receives from well behavior. 

First scene where Pinocchio starts to understand Jiminy's words is the scene where Stromboli throws him in to the cage and threads to make fire woods out of him. When Blue Fairy arrives Pinocchio regrets his actions but is however too ashamed to admit that which is why his nose starts to grow.

By the end of the movie Pinocchio has developing morality. When he gets message that Gepetto has been eaten by a whale his first unselfish action is to go and safe them. Second one when Pinocchio saves Gepetto's life by pulling him to the cave away from the whale Monstro. In the end Pinocchio does become a real boy since he has proved himself to be brave an unselfish.

Biggest reason why I never really liked Pinocchio's character is that he doesn't know how to say no but is easily manipulated and each time follows the person who he happens to be around. However when I last time watched Pinocchio I got a revelation and understood why he behaves this way. When Blue Fairy makes wooden puppet a living puppet Pinocchio has no understanding about being a human. He is sent to school when he is 1-day old. Straight away Honest John seduces him to theater. Next day he is captivated by Stromboli and next few days in the pleasure island. Can I assume that wooden boy that has only lived for 4-5 days to have perfect judgement of human behavior? No I can not relate myself to the character situation even if I'd like to. 

Jiminy


Jiminy has always been my favorite character in Pinocchio. He climbs the social ladder when Blue Fairy makes him Pinocchio's conscience. Jiminy becomes found of Pinocchio and he want's the help him the best way he can. However for me Jiminy is most familiar from "All of us to all of you". Disney's Christmas special that as far as I know hasn't been aired in the USA since the 70's but is aired in Finland and all Nordic countries each year around Christmas. Hosted by Jiminy Cricket and each year there are clips from up-coming Disney films as well. I also like the way Jiminy was portrayed in the Once upon a time -series as a psychologist. I think it was very fitting for the character. 

Gepetto, Cleo and Figaro


Gepetto represents unconditional love of a parent. He is a bit silly old man but he is very good-hearten. This can be seen the way his pets care for him. After Pinocchio has gone missing and Gepetto has prepared dinner Figaro is really mad when Gepetto tells him not to eat the fish. He is really mad but still respects Gepetto's wishes. 

I also love the scene where Gepetto tickles Cleo's stomach. Both pets are very found of Gepetto. He also has very playful sense of humor. You can see this in the scene where he dances with Pinocchio and makes him kick Figaro's but. One can also see his playful character in the music boxes and clocks he has carved. Figaro gets little bit jealous for Pinocchio just because he gets so much attention from Gepetto. Figaro's and Cleo's relationship is like watching brother and sister. Cleo is angelic sweet and Figaro is rebel. Both are still very found of each others.


Pinocchio you have a tail!

Disney's Pinocchio is way less creepy than Collodi's original story (and many other animated movie Pinocchio). Still Disney's Pinocchio is considered to be one of the darkest Disney animations ever made. There is big amount of bad guys. Puppet theater owner, violent Stromboli. Leader of the Pleasure Island creepy Coachman.  Honest John and Gideon are also crooks of the story but more characters that start the unfortunate events. I always thought creepiest scene in whole movie is the one where Lampwick turns into a donkey. Pinocchio has lot's of psychological horror.

I really like the Pleasure Island Game Hall design. I think it was quite clever to make it as an 8-ball. There Pinocchio drinks bear, plays pool and smokes cigars with Lampwick. I find the whole concept of Pleasure Island pretty absurd. It is like trauma-therapy for young boys since they get to break everything. 

Pinocchio also includes lot's of sociological themes like child labor. Little boys are seduced to the Pleasure Island. When they turn to donkeys Coachman is planning to sell them as "free labor" to salt mines and circuses. Scene where little boys/donkeys are send to the boat trip is heart breaking. 

I don't know what other people think. When I was watching Pinocchio I hoped that there had been some kind of magical interfering (Blue Fairy perhaps?) who could have saved the lost boys. Pinocchio is such dark film. Who knows maybe story team thought about it but it didn't fit into the film.

One thing that I have noticed in Pinocchio is the episodic feeling. This also links the film to Collodi's original story. In many ways the bad guys in Pinocchio remind me of Disney's early animation episode characters from Silly Symphonies.



Little wooden head

I had forgot that Pinocchio also begins with a story book. Jiminy is the story teller. Beginning of the film is fun when camera work goes through eyes of jumping cricket. One of my favorite things in the film is Gepetto's workshop. Every time when I watch Pinocchio I can't stop admiring the amount of details and funny looking clocks. Quality of animation is very much advanced compared to Snow White. Another beautiful scene is the underwater scene. I find under water scenes and battle with Strombo actually much more light hearten than the anxiety driven scenes in the Pleasure Island. Probably because family is back together no matter what happens.

One of the things I do like in Pinocchio are the songs. Hi Diddle Dee Dee is very deceitful song. I think it's hilarious but of course gives very unrealistic image of actor's life. 
When you wish upon a star - is actually a Disney song that for me is pretty much the same as  Christmas Carol. No doubt because  each year it is included in "All of us to all of you".
I've never liked the character of Stromboli  but I've always liked the song I've got no strings and the puppeteer performance. Especially different dolls that represent different nationalities Russian dancers, Dutch dancers and French can can dancers. I also like the songs "wooden little head" and "give a little whistle" during those two songs viewer is introduced with Gepetto's workshop and the main characters.

There are many scenes in Pinocchio that I like. When Pinocchio finally finds his family in the belly of the whale Monstro Gepetto accidentally hugs and kisses a fish. I also love the end scene. Figaro is so happy when Pinocchio becomes a real boy he jumps into Cleo's tank and gives her a kiss. One of my favorite scenes happens right before Blue Fairy arrives. Gepetto has so many ticking clocks on the wall Jiminy has troubles getting sleep. Then he shouts "QUIEEET" and all the clocks get quiet.
                                                                     
                                                                 Voice acting

Majority of the Disney films I have ever watched I have watched them in Finnish. Last time we watched Pinocchio in Disney society. That was first time I watched it in English. I usually prefer Finnish versions (Finnish animation voice overs are usually very high quality). But because Pinocchio hasn't never really been my favorites I didn't mind watching it in English. In fact Pekka Lehtosaari who has directed most of the 90's Finnish Disney voice overs got orders from Disney to find voice actors matching with the original voices. They indeed are very much alike (Finnish of course being completely different language compared to English). Wonderful Finnish actor Matti Ranin who passed away few years ago (he also worked as director for Disney's Finnish voice overs) did voice of Gepetto. I thought it was quite funny because Ranin's appearance was very similar to English voice of Gepetto Christian Rub and in fact Disney animator's used Rub as physical model to animate character of Gepetto.

Pinocchio may not be my favorite Disney animation I still highly recommend any Disney fan to watch it at least once or twice in their life.

perjantai 17. kesäkuuta 2016

Witche's birds: Eagle


I started new series to my YouTube channel about witche's birds. First one is the eagle. In Finnish mythology there are stories of the Thunder Bird the mighty eagle who forecast the arriving of thunder. 

keskiviikko 1. kesäkuuta 2016

Fairy Paintings


I did a little video about my fairy paintings to my YouTube channel.
Enjoy!

All artworks (c) Niina Niskanen

lauantai 28. toukokuuta 2016

How to draw a male fairy


Hello blogging world. 
In my new video I'll show how I draw a male fairy

Materials used:
Zig Art&Graphic Twin Marker: color blue
Drawing paper
Light table

Here is the finished Fairy!

Thank you so much for stopping by
-N


maanantai 23. toukokuuta 2016

Tinker Bell and the secret of the wings


I recently watched movie Tinker Bell and the secret of the wings. It was second movie about Tinker Bell I've seen. My review on the first Tinker Bell movie can be found here: http://fairychamber.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/tinker-bell-movie.html

Tinker Bell and the secret of the wings appeared in 2012 and it was animated and produced by DisneyToons Studios. In order Tinker Bell and the secret of the wings in fourth movie about Tinker Bell and Tinker Bell movie franchise

Character of Tinker Bell was created by playwriter J.M.Barrie to his famous play Peter Pan. Walt Disney studios made animation about Peter Pan that appeared in 1953. In the movie Peter Pan Tinker Bell doesn't speak but she is very active and comical sidekick. I personally think that Tinker Bell in these Tinker Bell movies is more nicer and approachable than Tinker Bell in Peter Pan.  

Plot

Like all the Tinker Bell movies this one starts with narrator introducing the fairy world to the viewer. In Pixie hollow there are areas for all the four seasons. Fairies in the spring, summer and autumn world can come and go as they please but winter fairies can not enter the warm world other wise their wings would melt. Fairies from the warm land can not enter the cold world because their wings might get frozen and break. 

Tinker Bell is helping her fairy friend animal fairy Fawn to get animals enter the winter world. Tinker gets mesmerized by the beauty of the winter world. She can not help herself and soon she is surrounded by snow. Suddenly her wings starts to shimmer and vibrate. She returns to the warm world but can not forget what had happened. She finds a book from the library that tells about shimmering wings. Some of the text has been eaten by worms. She hears that writer of the book mysterious Storyteller lives in the winter world. Soon Tinker Bell sews herself warm winter outfit (that is really cute!) and prepares to return to the winter world.

Tinker travels to winter world as a stowaway. She finds the home of the storyteller but before she gets chance to introduce herself there is someone before her. It is a fairy called Periwinkle. She also has experiences from shimmering wings. Tinker Bell and Periwinkle meet each others and Storyteller takes them to see ice reflections where they can take a look at their past.

Once upon a time in London there was a little baby girl laughing in a cradle. From the laughter there was two fairies born. Other one flew to the warm world in the Pixie Hollow other one to the winter world. Tinker Bell and Periwinkle are sisters! (Kind of...fairies don't have DNA). Girls immediately like each others. Periwinkle is a frost fairy. She takes Tinker Bell to see magical wonders of the winter world. They go sleigh riding ice skating and meet Periwinkles winter fairy friends. When ruler of the winter world Lord Milori founds out that there is fairy from the warm world visiting he becomes mad and Tinker Bell needs to return to the warm world. 

Tinker Bell with her friends build a machine that creates snow so that Periwinkle could come and visit the warm world. Machine works great at the beginning but when it gets broken Periwinkle gets ill and her wings start to melt. Lord Milori takes her back to the winter world. Both Lord Milori and Queen Clarion deny Tinker Bell and Periwinkle to cross the border again. They are former lovers. In the past Lord Milori broke his other wing when he and Clarion used to meet each others in the border. Ever since they stopped seeing each others. In rage Lord Milori tries to destroy the snow making machine but machine wont get broken. Instead it starts to create more and more snow that spreads all over Pixie Hollow.

Fairies notice that they are all in great danger. Biggest concern is the Fairy dust Tree. If tree get's frozen all the fairies are in danger to loose their magic. Tinker Bell remembers Periwinkles talent to create frost that captures warmth inside. She persuades Periwinkle and her friends to save Pixie Hollow. Soon all the winter fairies are there to help. 

Animals and the fairies of the warm world go to look for cover. Winter fairies save the Fairy dust tree and the all Pixie Hollow. Queen Clarion and Lord Milori get back together and all fairies are allowed to visit between the different worlds.

Fairy Sisters


I really like the character designs in these Tinker Bell movies. By their appearance Tinker Bell and Periwinkle aren't very much alike but their nature is quite similar. Both are very curious and clever.


Tinker Bell is good at sewing. I think her winter outfit is adorable. Very much similar to the way winter/Christmas elves are portrayed in English speaking countries (hey I'm from Finland...we have our own elves!). 

Tinker Bell however is very cute wearing her winter outfit and it has similar style like in her iconic green dress.


Periwinkles outfit has the same colors as there are in the winter world. Leggings and tiny skirt made from feathers are nice details.

Surprise!

I didn't have much expectations for this movie because it's a sequel but there was many positive surprises in the movie. I hadn't read any spoilers about the movie so I was genuinely surprised when it turned out that Tinker Bell had a sister. Another surprise was the relationship of Queen Clarion and Lord Milori. In these films Queen Clarion is most of the time portrayed as very reserved character (royal?). I thought it was nice to bring more depth to the character and to revel bit more about her past. 

Level of animation




Level of computer animation in these Tinker Bell movies is superior. The way snow, frost and winter landscapes are animated is just breathtaking. I think this movie will be new addition for my list of films to watch around Christmas time.

One of my favorite scenes is the scene where Tinker Bell enters the winter world the first time and her wings start to shimmer. It is pure magic. Overall animation of the wings is amazing. Every time fairies are flying wings are moving fast. They also reflect the sun rays. Another fun scene is when Tinker Bell meets the nurse fairy and her wings are checked that they aren't frozen. There is a fairy guy who got an accident with a rainbow and he is all colorful and itches all over. Then there is a fairy who is stuck inside snapdragon flower and can't see anything while walking.


 Conclusion

I don't think the story in this film was as well written as the story in the first Tinker Bell movie. I do enjoy the details and the diversity of the fairy worlds in these Tinker Bell movies. In this film animals got their winter coats when they entered the winter world. Like Tink Periwinkle also collects missing objects and builds things. They make ice skates for Tinker Bell from paper clips. 

There was lots of new characters in this movie. Lord Milori, Storyteller, Periwinkle and all her friends. I really liked the way Tinker Bell and Periwinkle immediately bond as sisters and they start to look similarities from each others. I recommend this movie to all fans of Tinker Bell, fairies and overall Disney fans who enjoy watching wintry Disney films. I think I'll watch this next time on my winter holiday.

Love, light and fairy dust to all my readers
Niina 

lauantai 21. toukokuuta 2016

How to draw and paint fairies


In my new YouTube video I show how to draw and paint fairies.

Materials used:

Windsor & Newton Watercolor set
Zig Graphic Twin marker (blue)
Acid free cold pressed watercolor paper thickness 300g

Here's the fairy I painted. I named her Roxie.



sunnuntai 8. toukokuuta 2016

How to mix secondary colors (+ black and brown) with watercolors





In my new video I explain and show how to mix secondary colors + brown and black from primary colors.

Material needed:
- Windsor & Newton watercolor set
- paint brushes
- jar of clear water
- acid free watercolor paper (I suggest to use watercolor paper that has thickness at least 200g)

Watercolor sets have 2 shades of primary colors: cold color and warm color:

Cold Yellow = cadmium yellow
Warm Yellow = chrome yellow


Cold Red = Carmine Red
Warm Red = Sinoper Red

Cold Blue = Ultramarine Blue
Warm Blue = Cobalt Blue

Mixing secondary colors:

Cadmium Yellow & Ultramarine Blue = Deep Green
Cobalt Blue & Carmine Red = Deep Violet
Sinoper Red & Chrome Yellow = Deep Orange

You can create different shades of  brown by mixing primary colors together; red, blue and yellow.

You can create black by mixing primary colors together adding extra amounts of dark blue and dark red.

maanantai 2. toukokuuta 2016

Tinker Bell the Movie


I recently bought Tinker Bell movie for myself. To be honest with you I really doubt whether I would like it or not but movie was positive surprise.

Character of Tinker Bell is based on J.M.Barrie's famous play Peter Pan. Disney made their own version of the story in 1953. Disney's Peter Pan however hasn't ever been my favorites. I personally think that overall character of Disney's Tinker Bell being such a Disney icon has done lots of damage for the way modern people see fairies (tiny with wings, child like creature). In mythologies and folklore around the world fairies were originally very different and way more dark creatures. Within last centuries fairies have been "prettynized" especially in the Victorian England. Wings were originally given by the first children book illustrators in the 19th century. 

In 1953 movie Tinker Bell is an active side-character. She is envies Wendy because she gets to spend so much time with Peter. In 1953's movie Tinker Bell doesn't speak but she is very expressive an sometimes comical character.

Tinker Bell the movie appeared in 2008 and it is computer high quality CG I animation created by DisneyToons Studios. There are also several sequels made for the movie but I haven't seen them (yet)

Plot

Tiny baby is laughing in the cradle. Wind blows flower seeds across the skies and space all the way to Never-Never Land and into Pixie hollow. Little fairy girl called Tinker Bell is born from the laughter. All fairies of the Pixie hollow are there to welcome the new arrival. 
Each new fairy must enter the magical ring and find out what their magical power will be. Tink tries to avoid the fairy hammer but the magic is too strong. Tink becomes one of the Tinker fairies.

She makes friends with tinker fairies Bobble and Clank. They tell her stories about the human world an Tinkerbell becomes obsessed about traveling to the human world. However tinker fairies aren't allowed to travel there only nature fairies can.

Tinkerbell meets nature fairies called Silver-mist (water fairy) Rosetta (Garden fairy) Iridessa (light fairy) Fawn (animal fairy) and Vidian (wind fairy). Vidian is one of the best flyers in Pixie hollow. She is selfish and doesn't like Tinkerbell who she thinks is attention seeker.

Tinker Bell tries to find her own path and always gets into troubles. After one disaster she escapes to the beach and finds a broken music-box. She fixes the music box and her fairy friends tell her that being a tinker is her true talent. Tinker Bell refuses to believe it. She wants to travel to the human world. She manages nature fairies to teach her their talents. Soon she finds out that she hasn't got what it takes to be a water fairy or create rainbows. Last hope she asks Vidian to teach her fly fast. Vidian tricks Tinker Bell to catch all the thistles but as a result Tinker Bell manage to destroy all Pixie hollow's spring reparations. 

Tink decides to leave Pixie hollow. Then she meets Terrence, Fairy who guards the fairy dust. He manages to convince Tinker Bell how all work is important. Tinker Bell returns to the fairies and this time she has her self-designed equipment's with her to speed up the spring reparations. 

Queen Clarion is impressed by Tink's determination and grants her and other tinker fairies permission to visit human world. Tinker Bell's first task is to return the music box to it's rightful owner, which is little girl in London. Her name is Wendy Darling.


Tinker Bell

I really like this Tinker Bell-Movie Tinker Bell. Same way as Tinker Bell in the 1953 movie this Tinker Bell is stubborn and mischievous young fairy maiden. I've never really got grasp to Tinker Bell in 1953 film. It might because she doesn't say a word and that she doesn't have a lot screen time. Tinker Bell the Movie takes place time before Tink met Peter Pan and that makes movie interesting. Tinker Bell in this newer movie is also more sympathetic and softer character.   


Tinker Bell's appearance is of course 3D version of 1953's Tinker Bell. CGI Tinker Bell has more rounder eyes where as 1953's Tinker Bell has more "cat eyes". 3D Tinker Bell's dress is bright green and 1953's Tinker Bells dress is light green. 

Already in Disney's Peter Pan we can see Tink's talent to work with her hands. I think there was a scene where she get's locked into Wendy's drawer and tinkers the lock to get out (It's been a while since I watched Peter Pan). Determination of the character can also be seen in Tinker Bell the movie the way she starts desperately to look new talent for herself so she can visit human world.

Animation

Animation style and quality of animation in Tinker Bell the movie is absolutely breathtaking. Movie is filled with colors. There are all four seasons in Pixie hollow because fairies also bring seasons to the human world. I was very impressed by the details of the fairy houses and homes also the big fairy tree where the queen lives and where fairy dust is kept. Animation of fairy dust and how it fall down like a waterfall is magical.



I really liked the scenes showing Pixie hollow at night time and all mysterious lights showing up. They reminded me Disney's light experiences in Fantasia in the Nutcracker Ballet - episode.




Peter and Wendy

Strange enough during whole movie I kept waiting for Peter Pan to show up but he didn't. I was also bit surprised by the end of the film when Tinker Bell took the Music-box to Wendy. Because in the movie Peter Pan Tinker Bell is always jealous of Wendy and is quite mean to her. I have heard theories that Tink would be in love with Peter. I believe that this theory was started by the year 1991 movie Hook where Robin Williams played adult Peter Pan and Julia Roberts played Tinker Bell. In Hook Tinker Bell did said to Peter that she loves him.

In Disney's Peter Pan Tinker Bell is more afraid that instead of going to adventures with her Peter is going  away with Wendy.

Most likely movie makers thought it would tie movie better with the world of Peter Pan. I was personally bit surprised by the end knowing Tinker Bells attitude towards Wendy. 

Music

There is really great music in the movie. I was surprised when I heard that one of my favorite singers Loreena McKennitt was performing some songs in the film. McKennitt is Canadian musician and does lots music based by Celtic folk music. Film begins her singing song To the fairies they draw near. There is also Irish and Celtic folk music in the movie.

Fairy Mythology

Like I mentioned in the beginning Tinker Bell is probably the most famous fairy ever existed. Popularity of Disney's Tinker Bell and image of her has partially created one-dimensional idealism that modern people have towards fairies.
English word Fairy covers all kinds of magical creatures that are connected to nature.

I was positively surprised how much accurate fairy mythology and folklore knowledge there was in this movie. The way fairies are born when children laugh, flowers open to bloom for the first time, sun rays touch the grass and morning dew shimmers. 

There are several different fairy species all around Europe and many times each countries and areas have their own as well (for example in Scandinavian mythology there are gnome like creatures Nisser and Älvan creatures that are more similar with human size Lord of the rings elves with pointy ears and all). 

Tinker Bell is part of the flower fairy realm (and I guess Tinker fairies are one race of flower fairies). Traditionally flower fairies are tiniest fairies with wings and are born from flowers and laughter of children. Also in ancient times people did believe that change of the seasons was created by different nature spirits. They would paint the autumn leaves and snow sprites would  blow winter winds.

Overall

I never thought I would ever like Tinker Bell's character but after seeing this film this has happened and I'm now a Tink fan! I really like the way Tinker Bell's character grows in the movie. She learns to understand and appreciate herself. I think my favorite scenes were those where she tinkers all kinds of things. I find Vidian's character very interesting. I think her despise towards Tinker Bell was bit too obvious. I hope there will be more depth in her character shown in the next Tinker Bell movies and maybe Peter appears at some point as well.