Friday, September 23, 2016

Disneyland on the Cheap!

Hay all!
Disneyland is notorious for being the happiest place on earth and one of the most expensive. If you're on your way to the park but don't want to go through your entire bank account to do so, here are some tips to do Disneyland without doing in your wallet.

1. Tickets
Discount tickets aren't really a thing, unless you can get a military discount or have small children. However if you're plan beforehand you can plan ahead to make it easier on the bank account. Park Hopper tickets allow you to go from Disneyland to California Adventures as many times as you want in a day, which is great if you're only going to be in the park for a single day. If you're going over several days though, single park tickets can be cheaper. If you know you're going at least three times in a year, get the season pass. It'll pay for itself before you know it. Lastly, if you're looking at doing something more than just the Mouse's House, get the City Pass. It allows three days in Disneyland as well as a day in Universal and a day in Sea World.

2. Food
One of the best things about Disneyland is that they let you bring food into the park. Before you go in, supply up at the local Target or Walmart with trail mix and sandwich material. While waiting in line, munch on something healthy to keep your appetite in check. Some places in Disneyland have decent prices compared to outside the park, including a Subway in the French quarter. Plan at least one big meal in the park though, because the food is fantastic.

3. Souvenirs
You can't swing a Goofy doll in Disneyland without hitting a place to buy Disney related merchandise. Before you go into the park, have either a couple characters or items in mind and stick to that. Same tip goes for Comic Con. Right outside of Disneyland park is a mall full of Disney stuff at any price you need. These rules may be harder to apply to little kids who want everything in reach, but it can provide a perfect time to teach responsibility and how money works.

Got any other tips for doing Disney on the cheap?

-JOE

Monday, September 19, 2016

Digimon Adventure Tri: "Reunion"

Last week I went with my brother and a couple of his friends to a Fathom Events showing of Digimon Adventure Tri: Part 1, Reunion. I knew this 15th Anniversary event was happening (heck, I’d already watched part one and two on Hulu) but it was a different experience watching it dubbed. So today I’m going to review “Reunion”.

The Digimon and the Digi-Destined return!
Summary:
Digimon Adventure Tri happens 3 years after the battle between the Digi-Destined and MaloMyotismon. It’s been over a year since the Digi-Destined have seen their partners, because of the gate being closed. However, distortions have arisen that have let infected Digimon into the Real World, so the original eight Digimon partners make their way to the real world to help their human friends. The destruction and danger in the Real World makes it hard for Tai to be willing to fight, but with some “gentle persuasion” from Matt he gets into the battle to stop Alphamon from destroying a new Digi-Destined Meiko. In the final battle of “Reunion”, MetalGarurumon and WarGreymon DNA digivolve into Omnimon to fight off Alphamon, who escapes back into a portal.

Review:
Being a hardcore Digimon fan as a kid (and having rewatched each season in the last several months—I’m nearly done Season 5), this was a great addition to the show I watched a child. Original voice actors returned for many of the Digimon and Digi-Destined, including Tai, Agumon, Gabumon, Sora, Izzy, Tentomon, Mimi, Palmon, Gomamon, and Patamon. Granted, they could have recasted the voice actors just fine, like with Matt and Joe, but having the original voice actors made it even better.


One critique about “Reunion” is the slow start. My brother pointed this out, that while it was still worth seeing, it was slow. We got only a couple main battles. Everything else was standing around, slow, character-based action (or lack of action). Granted, my brother didn’t know at the time that it was part one of three; he was expecting one movie and that’s it. Seeing this movie as a third of the overall story makes it a little easier to handle. Still, it was slow. Even just the moments leading up to Tai coming back into the battle and getting Agumon to digivolve were painfully long.

On that note, I think many people at the theater went in with the wrong idea. When the show ended suddenly at the end of the battle with Alphamon, I saw several people (including my brother) who were confused. If you watch it later, keep in mind that it’s three parts. I’ve watched part two in Japanese (with English subtitles) and it’s similar as well. It’s not the typical Digimon action that we grew up with. It’s more character based and we’re looking at a lot of growth over the three 90-minute movies.


I was very glad that they didn’t retcon Digimon Season 2. Since Season 2 was less popular than the first season (and since the build-up showed no indication of including Davis, Yolei, Cody, or Ken) I was worried that they’d try to replace season 2 with this. However, as is evident with the small clips of Davis, Cody, Yolei, and Ken disappearing and also TK and Kari having their D-3s, this series does indeed happen after Season 2, after the defeat of MaloMyotismon.

Finally, one thing I found interesting with Tai in “Reunion” was his reaction to all of the destruction. His aversion to fighting and the media’s frustration with the good Digimon reminded me of “Captain America: Civil War” and the vigilante lawsuit in “Daredevil Season 2”. There’s destruction and danger as a result of the heroes saving as many people as they can. Fortunately, we didn’t see any human deaths as a result of the fights in Digimon Tri, but the possibility of human beings getting hurt in the fight was addressed and it was one of Tai’s primary concerns.


Matt and Tai may never stop fighting, but they're always
there for each other. #friendshipgoals
Overall, it’s worth watching. I don’t know exactly what plans there are to release the dubbed version (I only barely heard about the Fathom Events airing at Comic Con), but the Japanese versions of part 1 “Reunion” and part 2 “Determination” are currently available on Hulu with English subtitles (part 3 will be released later this month, so I expect it’ll be on Hulu shortly after).

Did I mention brand-new Digivolution sequences?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Life Lessons from Digimon

I debuted my sixth cosplay a week and a half ago at Comic Con. Though I was kind of struggling with the anime hair, I felt pretty good about my cosplay as Matt Ishida from Digimon. I can’t say it was one of my most popular cosplays, but it was great to hear compliments from those who understood.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a fan of Digimon since I was little and despite its popularity lacking in comparison to Pokemon, Digimon had some deep storylines and wonderful character development, even in its worse seasons. So for today I want to share some lessons that I’ve learned from watching Digimon.

Anyone can be brave: Each season tends to have at least one smaller child that joins the group. In Season 1 that’s TK and Kari. Season 3 has Susie, Henry’s younger sister. In Season 4, Tommy gets pegged as the cry baby. Each of these children bring themselves to fighting, despite their fears. Taking the example of TK, he was easily the youngest of the group for most of the season, until Kari joined them. Early on he was the cry baby of the group. In “DigiBaby Boom” while TK is separated from the other kids by Devimon, he bursts into tears because he’s scared. Later in “Forget About It”, while separated from his brother, he is emotionally volatile, because he feels abandoned. However, as the story progresses, TK becomes braver. His bravery leads him to crossing the bay on Zudomon on “City Under Siege” and being a powerful force in defeating Myotismon (“Wizardmon’s Gift”), VenomMyotismon (“Prophecy”/”The Battle for Earth”), Puppetmon (“Playing Games”), and Piedmon (“Piedmon’s Last Jest”). He shows that despite his fears (which persist even until the end) he is able to stand up and fight the dark Digimon.


Sometimes you have to make the tough call and do what’s right: In the show there are various characters who refuse to fight and defeat Digimon, because of how much they value life, but in the end they’re forced to do so in order to save innocent lives. In Season 1, Mimi refuses to fight (“Playing Games”), in Season 2 Cody and Yolei refuse to destroy dark Digimon (“Dark Sun, Dark Spore”), and in Season 3 Henry refuses at first to even let Terriermon battle (“It Came From the Other Side”). However, each of these characters recognizes that fighting is imperative in order to save lives. With the example of Henry, because of the darker nature of the season, Digimon do not get reborn, like in the previous seasons. As a result, Henry is reluctant to let Terriermon fight, both to keep his friend safe and to avoid the loss of the opponent’s life. However, when an innocent child is put in danger, Henry has to make the hard decision to let Terriermon digivolve to Gargomon and fight (“Much Ado About Musyamon”).


Anyone can change: Every season I’ve watched has some enemy turned ally: Gatomon in Season 1, Ken and Wormmon in Season 2, Impmon and Lopmon in Season 3, Koichi in Season 4, and Keenan and Falcomon in Season 5. Ken’s transformation from Digimon Emperor to Digi-Destined is one of the major plot points of the season. Not understanding that Digimon were living beings, as opposed to video game characters, Ken made horrible mistakes in the Digital World. Even until the final battle of the season (“The Last Temptation of the Digi-Destined”), Ken struggled to forgive himself and let go of the terrors he caused as the Digimon Emperor, despite his good heart and his strong compassion.


There’s goodness in everyone: Similar to the previous point, it was brought out that some dark characters had good hearts, despite their actions. In Season 4, Koichi appears first as Duskmon (“From Dawn to Duskmon”) before it is revealed that he’s human (“Stuck in Sakkakumon With You”). The Spirits of Darkness that had been given to him by Cherubimon corrupted him and let his resentments take him over. However, after being freed (“Ne’er the Twins Shall Meet”) he’s given the purified Spirits. Though still of darkness, his pure heart makes him even stronger as Lowemon.


We choose our own destiny: Just like the principle of agency in the Gospel, Season 3 of Digimon touches on the concept that the future isn’t set. After Jeri’s partner Leomon dies, she begins to believe that her fate is to be miserable. However, during the fight with the D-Reaper in the Real World, Jeri and the other Tamers become convinced that misery and destruction are not inevitable (“Jeri Fights Back”). It’s because of this internal strength that the Tamers are able to defeat the D-Reaper and save both worlds.


We’re stronger together: Just like Digimon often merge together to fight, like Omnimon in “Digimon: The Movie”, the DNA Digivolved Digimon in Season 2 (“United We Stand”/”Opposites Attract”/”Stone Soup”), the Bio-Merged Digimon in Season 3 (“Give a Little Bit”/”No Mon is an Island”/”Song of Sakuyamon”/”The D-Reaper’s Disguise”), and EmperorGreymon and MagnaGarurumon in Season 4 (“Takuya and Koji’s Evolution Revolution”), we are taught in the LDS Church that we are stronger together. In fact, that’s why we meet as Saints, to strengthen each other and to connect to a power greater than ourselves (D&C 6:32).


See life from another’s point of view: In Season 3 and Season 5, there are distinct storylines where Digimon invade Earth and do the wrong things for the right reasons. In Season 3, the Devas were trying to get back the power to save their world, which just happened to be inside Calumon. In Season 5, Merukimon sends Digimon to attack the Real World, because he felt like he was under attack, due to the Digital Gate being opened. However, it was a misunderstanding (for the most part) and it was only a small part of the human population (Kurata) who was a threat to the Digital World. Similarly, in our world, there are a lot of opposing voices, a lot of words on television and the internet, and many people yelling back and forth. Too often I get distracted by the things that don’t matter and I forget to try to understand people.


There are some other lessons from Digimon that I’ve thought of while rewatching it, but I’m going to save those ones for another post. If you grew up watching Digimon, let me know which character was your favorite and what you learned from them.

PS: The first part of Digimon Adventure Tri will be airing at select
theaters across the country this Thursday. Check Fathom Events for more
info. I'll do a review on it next week.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Keeping Comic Con Fresh

I hope everyone had fun at Salt Lake Comic Con. I had an interesting experience bringing some of my clients from work to Comic Con for the first time. This was my fourth Comic Con and as such going in I felt like there wasn't much for me to see or do. Been there, done that. However, since I was going for work, I was there anyway. It definitely got me thinking though about ways I can still have fun at Comic Con, despite having done it all. So here are some thoughts about keeping Comic Con fresh, even if you're a seasoned veteran.

Mormon Geeks at Comic Con
1.    Bring a friend: Bringing my guys to Comic Con, I got to see Comic Con brand new from their eyes. They got to meet celebrities and see cosplays for the first time. So if you need a refresher at why Comic Con is so cool, bring a friend who has never been before and feed off their enthusiasm.
2.    Check out Artist Alley: The artwork at Artist Alley is always changing. Even though I see some of the same artwork from Con to Con, I'll almost always see new stuff. Fair warning though: if you go to Artist Alley, have a budget, leave your credit card at home, only carry cash, etc. It's really easy to blow a lot of money at Artist Alley, so go with a strategy.
3.    Go people watching: Cosplay is always my favorite part of Comic Con. Costumes are always changing. After Civil War and Pokemon Go this year, I saw several Black Panthers and I saw an increase in Pokemon trainers. So with ever changing cosplays, there's always something new to see.
Apparently, I will never bring my family honor. xD
4.    Try cosplaying: If you've never cosplayed before, give it a shot. It's not as hard as I once thought and I've given pointers on how to keep it cheap. That's one thing I like about Comic Con, I've debuted a new costume each time I've done Comic Con. It keeps things interesting, because I never exactly know who will recognize me.
5.    Meet a celebrity: If there's someone who really draws you in, go meet them! Not all celebrities that come to Comic Con are as expensive as Chris Evans or Mark Hamill. Most of the celebrities I've met have been under $60. I'll typically budget for one photo op (though sometimes celebrities will also do a photo at autographs too).

I got to meet Jason David Frank at the press conference!
Go go Power Rangers!
6.    Attend a celebrity panel: Celebrity panels can be just amazing. It's fun to ask them a question and they have great stories to tell too. My favorite celebrity panels have been Mark Hamill, Peter Davison, and Sylvester McCoy.
7.    Attend other panels: Comic Con also has plenty of other panels on various subjects from the 50th Star Trek anniversary this year to cosplaying in a budget. They will typically have some podcasters, bloggers, authors, etc. to be on the panels for these. You won't get any spoilers on your favorite tv show, but you could get some new insights to your favorite character.
8.    Free photo ops: Comic Con has plenty of free photo ops that you can do, including the TARDIS, professional cosplayers, etc. They're fun and it's always interesting to see what I can put together.

Off to the DigiWorld via TARDIS
9.    Take pictures: If you see a cosplayer you like, ask to get a picture. Most cosplayers are fine with people taking pictures with or of them. I personally take it as a compliment whenever someone asks for my picture. It means I did a great job on my costume and that someone recognized my character.


Any other ways you like to keep Comic Con fresh? What keeps bringing you back each Con?

I found my doppelganger!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Part 5

Happy Comic Con Week! Only a few more days until Comic Con! In the meantime, I’ve got another installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Next one after this is Guardians of the Galaxy and some more Agents of SHIELD.

Steve and Natasha found themselves on the run from their
"friends" in the fall of SHIELD during "The Winter Soldier".
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Two years after The Battle of New York, Steve Rogers meets Sam Wilson, before leaving with Black Widow for a mission. They rescue a bunch of SHIELD agents from a hijacked boat, including Agent Sitwell. Back in DC, Fury shows Rogers three helicarriers, Project Insight, that will take out SHIELD’s enemies preemptively. Rogers visits Peggy Carter. Meanwhile, Fury runs into some problems, leading him to delay Project Insight. Later, on his way to meet Agent Hill, Fury gets attacked on the road and a mysterious masked man attempts to kill him. He escapes to Cap’s apartment and inconspicuously tells him that SHIELD has been compromised and hands off a mysterious USB drive. Fury gets shot and Cap’s neighbor bursts in, revealing herself to be Agent 13 (Sharon Carter).

Later, Pierce questions Rogers about Fury’s death. On his way from the interview, Cap is attacked by an elevator full of SHIELD agents, including Rumlow, but he’s able to take them all down and escape the building. Cap reluctantly teams up with Black Widow, who tells him about the masked man, known as the Winter Soldier. They discover that they need to take Fury’s USB drive to Cap’s old military training ground, where a digitized Zola tells them that Hydra is inside of SHIELD. They barely survive an explosion and look to Sam for help.

The three get information about Project Insight out of Agent Sitwell, who the Winter Soldier kills. Cap rips off Winter Soldier’s mask, discovering that it’s a brainwashed Bucky. The trio escapes Hydra with the help of Agent Hill, who takes them to a secret facility where they discover that Fury is alive. Captain America and Sam Wilson (The Falcon) break into SHIELD agents that Hydra exists in their ranks. A fight ensues as the Hydra agents (including Rumlow) launch the helicarriers. Black Widow, who snuck into the World Security Council, dumps SHIELD and Hydra’s secrets to the public, while Cap and Falcon disable the helicarriers. Amidst it all, Cap fights the Winter Soldier, trying to save his friend. After the fighting is over, Steve and Sam go looking for Bucky. Meanwhile, Strucker of Hydra continues experiments on two teenagers.

Random Trivia/Connections:
  • In “End of the Beginning”, Agent Sitwell leaves for another mission, which leads him to the hijacked boat at the beginning of this movie.
  • Bucky’s supposed death occurred in “The First Avenger”.
  • Sitwell mentions “Bruce Banner” and “Stephen Strange” as potential targets of Project Insight.
  • Zola previously appeared in “The First Avenger”.
  • Loki’s staff, from “The Avengers”, appears in the mid-credits scene.


Thoughts:
Action packed and character building. This is what I like about Marvel movies. This episode has a wonderful lead in to Cap’s search for Bucky, which leads us into Civil War. It also changes the setting for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, making these super heroes and Avengers the authority instead of an agency like SHIELD. I also really like how it showcased Captain America’s humanity, as he is willing to do whatever it takes, even dying, to save his friend from the brainwashing.


It was impossible to know who to trust in "Turn, Turn, Turn".
Agents of SHIELD: Season 1 (Episodes 17-22)
The SHIELD team continues their mission, starting with the fall of SHIELD and leading into the aftermath of the organization falling in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and how it would rebuild itself from the ground up.
  • 17. Turn, Turn, Turn: The confrontation between May, Skye, Coulsen, and Fitz resolves with May unconscious and Garrett joining them. The plane evades SHIELD while Skye discovers that Hydra is inside SHIELD. Hand confronts Simmons and Trip, confirming that they’re not Hydra agents. Coulsen pieces together that Garrett is the clairvoyant. Hand rescues Coulsen’s team from Garrett. They hear of Captain America taking down Hydra in DC. While escorting Garrett to containment, Ward betrays and kills Hand, releasing Garrett.
  • 18. Providence: Ward and Garrett break Raina out of SHIELD prison. Coulsen and his remaining team follow a signal to an unknown location in the Arctic. Garrett and Ward raid the Fridge for 0-8-4s. Coulsen’s team uncovers the Providence SHIELD base and Agent Eric Koenig. Ward is sent to get access to Skye’s USB drive of SHIELD secrets.
  • 19. The Only Light in the Darkness: Ward lies to the SHIELD team about what happened at the Fridge. Koenig interrogates each agent. Coulsen tracks down Marcus Daniels, who is stalking his former love interest. May leaves Providence. After finding Koenig killed, Skye pieces together that Ward is Hydra. After apprehending Daniels, Coulsen, Trip, Fitz, and Simmons head back to Providence, but not before Ward leaves with Skye. Meanwhile, May gets information on Hill from her mother.
  • 20. Nothing Personal: May confronts Maria Hill. Coulsen, Fitz, Trip, and Simmons return to Providence to find Skye and Ward gone and they find Skye’s message that Ward is Hydra. General Talbot invades the base with Hill’s help. After convincing Hill of continued danger, she helps Coulsen’s team escape to rescue Skye. In Los Angeles, Skye stalls for time, but her plan is thwarted when Deathlok appears. Deathlok blackmails Skye into cooperating. Coulsen sneaks onto the plan as they take off and he rescues Skye in Lola, his flying car. 
  • 21. Ragtag: In a flashback, Garrett recruits Ward to Hydra. In the present, Coulsen’s team infiltrates Cybertek to plant a Trojan Horse virus. Coulsen and May steal Cybertek’s hardcopy records, discovering that Garrett was the first Deathlok subject. Coulsen, May, Trip, and Skye infiltrate the Cuban Hydra base, while Ward hijacks the Bus with Fitz and Simmons on board. Ward dumps Fitz and Simmons off the Bus over the ocean. Meanwhile, Raina uses the GH-325 Serum to save Garrett.  
  • 22. Beginning of the End: Garrett begins carving something into the wall. Fitz and Simmons awake at the bottom of the sea. May and Skye infiltrate Cybertek and try to blackmail Garrett and Ward. Fitz and Simmons break out of their underwater prison and are found by Fury. Ward confronts Skye and is taken down by May. Meanwhile, Coulsen and Fury take on Garrett. With Ward and Garrett taken care of, Fury gives Coulsen the tools to be the director of SHIELD, building it back up. Later, Raina meets a man who appears to be Skye’s father. Meanwhile, Coulsen begins carving on the wall.

In "Ragtag", Coulsen and May found it hard to hack
Cybertek for obvious reasons.
Random Trivia/Connections:
  • “Turn, Turn, Turn” occurs simultaneously with “The Winter Soldier”, showing scenes of the Trikelion falling and mentioning Captain America’s success in DC.
  • Nick Fury’s “death” from “The Winter Soldier” is mentioned in “Turn, Turn, Turn”.
  • Items and people from previous SHIELD missions are seen at the Fridge, including the Berserker Staff from “The Well”.
  • Trip states that he’s the grandson of one of the Howling Commandos, from “The First Avenger”.
  • Simmons references Doctor Who, mentioning that she’d want the TARDIS on a desert island, while being interrogated by Koenig in “The Only Light in the Darkness”.
  • Pepper Potts and Tony Stark are mentioned, as Maria Hill’s new employers.


Thoughts:

I know several people who have criticized Agents of SHIELD because it was hard to get into. Granted, I started watching Agents of SHIELD over a grave shift, so it only took me two weeks to get through seasons one and two, but this is the point when it really gets good. Instead of being an episode to episode, CSI type story, it becomes an overarching story that begins to draw in other parts of the Marvel Universe, including the Kree, Asgardians, and (in season 2) the Inhumans. Before this point it was like Agents of SHIELD was picking up the scraps of the Marvel movies with Extremis and Asgardian relics, but beginning here and moving on into season 2 the SHIELD team begins to delve into things of their own.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Minecraft Temples

Minecraft users have created some incredibly cool builds, from Minas Tirith to a scale replica of Westeros. For the Mormon crowd though, an innovative fan has built several temples for geeks and the faithful to enjoy. I could say more, but honestly, the artist Justin Tate is far better at explaining it than I am.
Take it away, Justin!

Well ever since Elder Bednar challenged us to share the Gospel on Social media I have felt that is important since that is the direction the world is headed.  I have wanted to think of a creative untraditional way to share the gospel.  Since I have many hobbies such as BMX, flute music, and gaming, I wanted to somehow reach people who are interested in the same hobbies as me.  I only recently thought of this as a way to do that while playing Minecraft with my kids.  It's a game we enjoy playing together because it is very family friendly compared to many of the games out there.  Since we play together creating our own digital world, I decided to build a temple so that we could always have a beautiful temple in view while we are playing.   The first one was the Bountiful Temple, where my wife and I were married.  That was when we only played on The mobile version, Minecraft Pocket Edition.  Then after we started playing the Xbox One edition I needed to build a new temple in that world so we could still always have a temple in sight while we play.  This time I made the Washington DC temple since that is our home temple in real life.
After this, I thought why keep this hidden for only my family to see, when other people could enjoy it too?  The scripture that came to mind was..........

Matthew 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.

So I decided to make a Facebook page where I could collect all my LDS themed Minecraft creations together in one place and hope that some other people may enjoy seeing it.  I also hope that other people will contribute their own LDS themed Minecraft creations so they can be shared with other people too.  I have always thought that if my efforts can at least uplift one person than it is worth it because "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God;" (D&C 18:10).
So anyway, it may not change the world, but I'm just happy to see that several people have enjoyed my work so far, and a couple people have said how it has uplifted them already and that makes me happy to know.  Hopefully I will be able to reach some people within the gaming community who may have not otherwise heard of the church.

(When I asked what mode he used...)

As for what mode, definitely creative mode haha.  As impressive as it would be to gather all the materials in Survival mode, I simply don't have the time for that.

It's hard to say how long it takes because so far they have been very different.  To be honest, the DC temple was actually very easy to make and only took me about a week of working whenever I had a little spare time here and there.  So it only took a few hours.  The Preston and Mesa Temples on the other hand proved to be much more technical and time consuming.  As I practice, I am naturally learning little techniques to speed up he process.  With my next two temples, I have done a lot more planning and measuring before hand, which I think will help to speed up the process even more.  We shall see how that goes. But as of now, I think it's safe to say that they take roughly a month or so to complete.  My life schedule is very busy so I spread these projects out over an extended period of time.


Since Temples come in several general styles, I want to do one from each style, so they don't blend together and look the same.  I also want to feature some lesser known temples.  You know the big ones like Salt Lake, DC, and Hawaii for example get a lot of attention so I want to surprise people by featuring their temple that maybe wouldn't be the first to come to mind when thinking about temples.  Because they are all beautiful to me.  The first three were significant to me because of my marriage(Bountiful),where we live now(DC/Maryland), and where my full time mission was(England), but after that, I'm wanting to do them for other people.

What do you think?
-JOE

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Disney Super Heroes

As an established Mormon Geek, I’ve shown that I have an affinity for Disney movies. I’m also getting into Marvel more and more. Recently it occurred to me that we’ve got quite a few Disney characters who have some super powers of their own. Now obviously there are characters like The Incredibles and Super Goof, who explicitly have super powers, but I’m talking about more subtle characters. These characters have something inherent to them, possibly magical, but more than just the “regular” kind of magic.

Talking to Animals
Snow White, Cinderella, Princess Aurora, and Mowgli have all shown the ability to talk to animals. Granted, Mowgli grew up with them, but still it’s kind of weird that he hears their voices. Snow White and Cinderella even get their animal friends to help with the cleaning (I could use their help with unpacking right now). And then there’s Princess Aurora, who is so deprived of human interaction that she dances with animals.

Shape Shifter
Maleficent and Jafar both show the ability to shape shift. Maleficent has only been shown to transform into a dragon, but Jafar has transformed into an old man AND he’s turned into a snake. Pretty good powers for these super villains.

Snow Powers
Of course Elsa and her ice powers had to make this list. It could just be considered magic, but with such a specific kind of magic, this is more like Ice Man or Frozone (who, by the way, I’m tired of seeing fan art with him and Elsa together… Frozone is married… and she is the greatest good he is EVER gonna get).

Communication with Spirits
Next we have a hero and a villain. Both Facilier and Pocahontas have been able to talk to spirits. Facilier, as the villain, talks to the evil spirits. Pocahontas more often talks to the spirits of the trees, the wind, etc. Not the most useful power in fighting super villains, but still a super power in my books.

Healing Powers
Rapunzel of course has healing powers. Before it was cut, her hair was the outlet for her powers, strong enough to keep Gothel alive for over a decade. However, even after her hair was cut, her tears had healing powers enough to save Eugene from dying from a stab wound. It’s unknown whether she still retains this power, but I like to think that she does.

Flight
Time for the first non-human hero: Dumbo and his ability to fly using only his oversized ears. At first it seemed like he’d only be able to fly with the help of his magic feather, but it only took one leap of faith for Dumbo to learn that he could fly on his own. Now, I doubt the timid elephant would be much use in a fight against super villains, but he could help out I guess.

Super-Strength
Much like Thor and the Hulk, Hercules and Stitch get their super strength from their heritage and experimentation respectively. We don’t exactly know the limits of Hercules’s strength, but Stitch is able to lift 3000 times his weight. These two would be quite useful if we ever needed a Disney character Avengers team. Personally, Stitch is top on my list. The extra arms are definitely a bonus.

Talk to Squirrels
This could have been put up with Aurora, Mowgli, Snow White, and Cinderella, but Kronk is able to talk specifically to squirrels. Now this could be a learned skill and he’s not much of one to be on this super hero team, but he could be useful for developing intelligence… even if he lacks his own intelligence. Regardless, Kronk needs to be acknowledged.

Teleportation/Super Speed and Psychic Powers
As I noted a few weeks ago, there was something not fully explored with Pacha’s kids: Tipo and Chaca. When Pacha was in trouble, these two both seemed to have visions of his peril…. And having to (almost) give Llama Kuzco mouth to mouth. Even more impressive is later when Yzma charges out of their house, Tipo and Chaca have this ability to appear throughout her tumble down the hill (multiple times) and then be back at the top when Kronk leaves. I’m just saying that they must have some sort of super speed and/or teleportation to get around that fast.


Who else would you add to our list of Disney Avengers?