The Top Disney Animated Sequels

Let’s do a top 15 list! I debated long and hard on whether or not I was going to include sequels released in theaters, because I did not want this list to be all Pixar. After all, the 90s and 2000s were a prime time for straight to home video sequels and prequels and mid-quels that were labeled as sequels. So, I will do one top 15 with theatrical releases, and one without.

As always, feel free to tell me why I am wrong in the comments.

THE TOP 15 DISNEY ANIMATED SEQUELS

  1. Toy Story 2
  2. The Lion King: Simba’s Pride
  3. Toy Story 3
  4. The Incredibles 2
  5. Frozen 2
  6. Lilo and Stitch: Stitch has a Glitch
  7. Lion King 1/2
  8. Toy Story 4
  9. Kronk’s New Groove
  10. The Return of Jafar
  11. Belle’s Enchanted Christmas
  12. The Rescuers Down Under
  13. Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time
  14. Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea
  15. Peter Pan: Return to Neverland

It is important to point out that a VAST MAJORITY of the straight to home video sequels were the opposite of the original. In about half of them, the offspring of the main character wants to do the reverse arc of the parent. Also, a lot of them have “return” in the title. It’s pretty wild. Anyway, here is the same list without theatrical releases:

  1. The Lion King: Simba’s Pride
  2. Lilo and Stitch: Stitch has a Glitch
  3. Lion King 1/2
  4. Kronk’s New Groove
  5. The Return of Jafar
  6. Belle’s Enchanted Christmas
  7. Cinderella 3: A Twist in Time
  8. Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea
  9. Peter Pan: Return to Neverland
  10. Aladdin and the King of Theives
  11. An Extremely Goofy Movie
  12. Mulan 2
  13. Lady and the Tramp 2: Scamp’s Adventure
  14. Atlantis 2: Milo’s Return
  15. Tarzan 2

There you have it, folks. I know some of these are controversial. And my mom is probably reading this and thinking “you made me watch this movie so many times, and it’s not even at the top of your list?!” Well, Melody is annoying, and Ariel should have just told her she was a mermaid. As I have re-watched these with an adult mind, I have noticed my perceptions have changed.

Except for the Lion King movies. Each and every one is a masterpiece. Lion King 1/2 was the first thing I watched on Disney Plus and I am proud of it.

I am also not justifying this list. Most of the second list is “I like the characters, but the original had the magic.” And I really should not have to tell you why there are so many Pixar movies in the first list. And, yes, I think Frozen 2 is better than Frozen.

But Tangled is better than both.

Winds of Winter Release Date!

The quarantine has produced a miracle. At long last. George R.R. Martin has announced the release date of Winds of Winter. And it is… Unknown. It’s April’s Fool Day and even I am ashamed at how cruel this joke is. Apologies to readers everywhere.

I did reach 25 books read so far this year though! Let’s take a look:

  1. The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez
  2. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Queen’s Shadow by E.K. Johnston
  4. The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. The Glass Scepter by Bekah Harris
  6. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
  7. Revan by Drew Karpyshyn
  8. First and Only by Dan Abnett
  9. The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno
  10. Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston
  11. The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
  12. The Great Glowing Coils of the Universe by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor
  13. Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan
  14. House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
  15. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
  16. Ghostmaker by Dan Abnett
  17. Warrior of the Altaii by Robert Jordan
  18. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  19. Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek
  20. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
  21. Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
  22. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  23. The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
  24. Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody
  25. Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

This year’s series re-read is Lord of the Rings. I will probably also reread The Hobbit and The Similarion as well. I am trying to keep it to one series a year, unless it is Wheel of Time. Those can get sprinkled in whenever as there are 14 of them (15 if you include New Spring).

There are so many good ones in this 25. I really cannot say which are my favorites.

Save the Cat! is my new writing companion. I am in love with the theory and outlining method. Every aspiring writer should read it. House of Salt and Sorrows and The Starless Sea are probably top five worthy. Both were fantastic reads.

There is a lot of fantasy on that list. It’s my main genre. I did manage to finish The Last Wish before watching The Witcher on Netflix. Love them both. All the Star Wars books are really good (there are 4 on this list), especially the ones about my girls Padme and Ashoka. Brandon Sanderson I love, but it takes me much longer to get through his books. They require a lot of concentration, but the worlds he creates are wild.

I can’t wait to see what the next 25 will be! I am currently reading 2 books with 1 or 2 more on my Kindle waiting to be downloaded. As always, any suggestions are appreciated!

The Complete List of Books of 2019

I am so sorry it has taken this long to reveal the full list. I read 42 books last year, and my Goodreads goal was 40. Yay me! Here they are in order that I read them:

  1. Red Queen by Victoria Avegard
  2. Empire of Storms by SarahJ Maas
  3. Legendary by Stephanie Garber
  4. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
  5. Catwoman by Sarah J Maas
  6. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  7. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  8. The Fork, The Witch, and The Worm by Christopher Paolini
  9. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas
  10. Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
  11. Phasma by Delilah S Dawson
  12. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas
  13. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
  14. Rebel Born by Amy A Bartol
  15. Before the Broken Star by Emily R King
  16. Eldest by Christopher Paolini
  17. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
  18. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
  19. The Wrath of Darth Maul by Ryder Windham
  20. Into the Hourglass by Emily R King
  21. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  22. Fledgling by Nicole Conway
  23. Avian by Nicole Conway
  24. Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  25. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prachett
  26. No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty
  27. Wicked by Gregory Maguire and Douglas Smith
  28. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  29. Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire
  30. Finale by Stephanie Garber
  31. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  32. The Thorn Princess by Bekah Harris
  33. Dear Evan Hansen by Val Emmich, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul
  34. Loki by Mackenzi Lee and Stephanie Hans
  35. Heir of Iron Hearts by Bekah Harris
  36. Game of Shadows by Bekah Harris
  37. Reign of Darkness by Bekah Harris
  38. Starsight by Brandon Sanderson
  39. On Writing by Stephen King
  40. The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster
  41. The Testaments by Margaret Atwood
  42. Everafter Song by Emily R. King

I would say that Song of Achilles and Spin the Dawn remain my top recommendations. Both had amazing storytelling, and I am still thinking about them almost a year later.

On Writing and No Plot? No Problem! were books I chose to help me with my author related goals. If you want to learn more about becoming a writer, especially if you plan on doing National Novel Writing Month, you should put these on your must read list. I have a couple more that I plan on reading this year as well. Do note that On Writing is about 50% autobiography of Stephen King. It’s a really interesting read.

Bekah Harris was a Kindle Unlimited find. I devoured her series on there. It’s a fun, quick young adult story dealing with fairies. I am mad at her for doing something to one of my favorite characters that I believe was not necessary, but that’s spoilers so… yeah. If you want something good and quick for a beach trip or school holiday, check her out.

Feel free to ask me about any of the books on my list. I promise to give honest reviews. I cannot wait to tell you all about what i am reading in 2020. My goal is 50 books, and I am currently at 17. I’ll do a post when I hit 25.

Books of 2019 (So Far)

Hello everyone! My Goodreads goal for 2019 is 40 books. I am a little behind schedule- moving states and new jobs can do that I guess- but here are the books I have read so far. They are listed in the order that I read them- not by how much I like them.

  1. Red Queen by Victoria Avegard
  2. Empire of Storms by SarahJ Maas
  3. Legendary by Stephanie Garber
  4. A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas
  5. Catwoman by Sarah J Maas
  6. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  7. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  8. The Fork, The Witch, and The Worm by Christopher Paolini
  9. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J Maas
  10. Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
  11. Phasma by Delilah S Dawson
  12. The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas
  13. Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim
  14. Rebel Born by Amy A Bartol
  15. Before the Broken Star by Emily R King
  16. Eldest by Christopher Paolini
  17. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
  18. Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
  19. The Wrath of Darth Maul by Ryder Windham
  20. Into the Hourglass by Emily R King
  21. Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  22. Fledgling by Nicole Conway
  23. Avian by Nicole Conway
  24. Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Song of Achilles is by far my favorite book of the ones listed. The story was amazing, and it was a great retelling of the Trojan War. Granted, I am obsessed with all things mythology and ancient Greek, but I believe that anyone not obsessed would still enjoy the story.

Christopher Paolini’s newest book made me wish he would release more about the aftermath of the Inheritance saga. I definitely want more of Angela’s antics, and a little more into her history would be much appreciated as well. I also want to see more of how Murtagh is dealing with his new freedoms and the consequences of his role in the war. I just want more. Mr. Paolini, please.

My other top recommendations would be Spin the Dawn and The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. They are two completely different books- one being a “help” book- but they will probably make my top 5 come the end of the year.

Spin the Dawn is a young adult novel, but it does not follow all of the typical tropes you may think of. There is no dystopia, no “chosen one,” but a girl trying to help her family. The book was described online as a Mulan-esque tale, and that is completely true. Elizabeth Lim does a fantastic job at telling a story, and I cannot wait to read the sequel!

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is all about choosing what you actually care about. There are things that are worth using your energy on- you just have to take the time to reflect to decide what they are. Mark Manson utilizes the perfect amount of humor and metaphors to get the message across. It is definitely worth the read, especially for my fellow millennials.

I have about 5 books that I am currently reading/ have in my to be read pile and another few books on hold on Libby. I’m excited to see what stories I get to experience next!

My Broadway Hits

I have none of the talent that will ever let me be in a musical, but that will never stop me from loving Broadway or from putting on one woman shows at home or in my car. So, this is going to be a list of what I believe to be the best Broadway songs for belting. You will probably disagree or have ones to add, so please, let me know your favorites in the comments.

To prevent having a list that is 100 songs long, I have split them into categories based on moods. Please enjoy.

When you need motivation:
  • “Defying Gravity” Wicked
  • “Seize the Day” Newsies
  • “Freak Flag” Shrek the Musical
  • “Learn to Do It” Anastasia
  • “So Much Better” Legally Blonde the Musical
When you are really pissed off:
  • “No Good Deed” Wicked
  • “Cell Block Tango” Chicago
  • “I’d Rather be Me” Mean Girls
  • “Epiphany” Sweeney Todd
When you’re in one of those moods that’s not quite sad, but not not sad either:
  • “Who I’d Be” Shrek the Musical
  • “Monster” Frozen
  • “Music of the Night” Phantom of the Opera
  • “Shadowlands” The Lion King
When you just want to cry:
  • “I’ll Cover You Reprise” Rent
  • “Come What May” Moulin Rouge (it’s about to open on Broadway so I’m counting it)
  • “On My Own” Les Miserables (Really ANY of the songs fit here)
  • “Winner Takes it All” Mamma Mia
When you want to be sassy and sexy:
  • “All that Jazz” Chicago
  • “On the Right Track” Pippin (The ringmaster just oozes sexuality and I love it. At least she does on the New Broadway Cast Recording)
  • “Bend and Snap” Legally Blonde the Musical
  • “Harden My Heart” Rock of Ages
  • “You’re the One that I Want” Grease (Tell me about it, stud)
When you are in love:
  • “I Can Hear the Bells” Hairspray
  • “All I ask of You” Phantom of the Opera
  • “As Long As You’re Mine” Wicked
  • “I Could Have Danced All Night” My Fair Lady
When you want to sing something that doesn’t fit in the other categories (or you REALLY cannot rap but still try):
  • “Gay or European” Legally Blonde the Musical
  • “Trouble” The Music Man
  • “A Little Priest” Sweeney Todd
  • The entire Hamilton album
  • “One Day More” Les Miserables (Bonus points if you attempt all 20 parts like I do)
  • “Gaston” Beauty and the Beast

2018 Reading Roundup

So back in August I posted about the books I’ve read from January till then as a celebration of hitting my reading goal of 30 books. I’ve read a total of 60 books this year (thank you Goodreads for keeping tack), and here are the rest of them, in order that they were read.

  1. The King’s Curse Phillippa Gregory
  2. The Hammer of Thor Rick Riordian
  3. The Kingmaker’s Daughter Phillippa Gregory
  4. The Warrior Queen Emily R. King
  5. Outlander Diana Gabaldon(Love the show, but it was a slow read for me)
  6. Mistborn Brandon Sanderson (Not as good as his work with Wheel of Time, but still great)
  7. The Red Pyramid Rick Riordian
  8. Caraval Stephanie Garber (I loved this one. I’m on my library waitlist for the sequel)
  9. Big Little Lies Liane Moriarty
  10. The Throne of Fire Rick Riordian
  11. The Night Circus Erin Morgenstern (This one was weird, but I enjoyed it)
  12. Ready Player One Ernest Cline (Liked both the book and the movie despite all the differences)
  13. Star Wars Trilogy George Lucas
  14. A Court of Mist and Fury Sarah J. Maas
  15. Crazy Rich Asians Kevin Kwan (Loved it! Still need to see the movie)
  16. Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel A.W. Jantha
  17. Children of Blood and Bone Tomi Adeyemi (Totally counting down to the sequel. This one was one of my faves of the year)
  18. Whiskey in a Teacup Reese Witherspoon (I just love her)
  19. Crown of Midnight Sarah J. Maas
  20. A Court of Wings and Ruin Sarah J. Maas
  21. Circe Madeline Miller
  22. Furyborn Claire Legrand
  23. Girls of Paper and Fire Natasha Ngan (This one was really good. I think James Patterson is helping her? Anyway, totally recommend)
  24. An Ember in the Ashes Sabaa Tahir
  25. The Outsider Stephen King (I read this in 24 hours cause holy crap)
  26. Heir of Fire Sarah J. Maas
  27. Skyward Brandon Sanderson
  28. Queen of Shadows Sarah J. Maas
  29. The Well of Ascension Brandon Sanderson (This one took me a good while to read, mostly because library books were priority)
  30. Crimes of Grindelwald J.K. Rowling

The Throne of Glass series was probably my favorite of the year. I know I still have a few more to go, but I believe it is better than A Court of Thorns and Roses. My other favorite new series was listed on the other post- the last book comes out next year.

I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings book wise! My reading goal is 40 books (there is a lot planned for 2019, including buying a house), but hopefully I can beat it again like this year.

The Best of WDW

I’m feeling a little homesick this week, and I am more than ready for our Disney World vacation in April. So, to try to relieve some of this homesickness, I give you my rankings of various WDW Resort things. I welcome all opinions and arguments to these lists as they are my personal opinions. Also, I have only stayed at three resorts on property, so I’m not ranking those. BUT Animal Kingdom Lodge has been the best so far.

The Parks in Order of Amazingness 

Disclaimer here: the last time I went to WDW Great Movie Ride was open and Pandora was barely doing soft openings. It’s been a hot second. The water parks are not listed as I have not been to them.

  1. Hollywood Studios. I worked here, but even before that MGM was my favorite park.
  2. Magic Kingdom
  3. EPCOT
  4. Animal Kingdom

Top Five Shows to See

  1. Fantasmic (Forever will be my ultimate favorite show on the resort.)
  2. Festival of the Lion King
  3. Wishes (RIP)
  4. Illuminations
  5. Beauty and the Beast
  6. Bonus: the Jedi Training at Hollywood Studios. I’m not sure if it counts as a show, but I loved working that ice cream stand watching the kids fight Darth Vader (especially on the busy days when Darth Maul came out to “Duel of the Fates” and kids always screamed. It was great.)

Top Ten Rides (of all parks)

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean
  2. Haunted Mansion
  3. Rockin’ Roller Coaster staring Aerosmith
  4. Jungle Cruise
  5. Space Mountain
  6. Mount Everest
  7. Tower of Terror
  8. Star Tours
  9. Great Movie Ride (SUPER RIP)
  10. Universe of Energy (also RIP)

Top Character Dining Experiences

I’m going more by location here. I don’t remember all the exact names of the dining experiences.

  1. Cinderella’s Castle with the princesses
  2. Polynesian Resort with Lilo and Stitch
  3. Chef Mickey
  4. Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh
  5. Tucker House at Animal Kingdom

Best Time to be at the Parks

  1. Halloween. Hands down.
  2. Not Spring break.

Best Parades

  1. Boo to You (see above. You shouldn’t be surprised here.)
  2. Pixar Play Parade (I miss this one. Saw it everyday during my DCP.)
  3. Spectro-magic (My whole life was basically this parade until a couple years ago.)

Best Snacks

  1. Jalapeno cream cheese pretzel (honestly I don’t know if this is still available. I sold them on the Streets of America during my program. The best pretzel ever.)
  2. Mickey Pretzel
  3. Popcorn
  4. Funnel cake
  5. Mickey ice cream bar

Best Sit Down Restaurants

  1. Si-fi Drive in
  2. Be Our Guest
  3. That place in Norway in EPCOT
  4. T-REX (Okay, that one is in Disney Springs, still counts)

Best Character Meet and Greets

  1. Gaston. Hands down. Best interaction of all time.
  2. Mickey. Tears every time.
  3. Peter Pan
  4. Tiana and Naveen
  5. Rapunzel
  6. Merida
  7. Chip and Dale
  8. Mary Poppins (I love her, and she’s my husband’s favorite so she makes top ten)
  9. Kylo Ren. He scared me.
  10. Belle. My favorite Disney gal and the princess I most relate to.

 

There is so much more I wish I could include, but I have to stop at some point. Like I said earlier, these are my personal opinions based off of my experiences. I know people will disagree on some things (not Gaston though. If you don’t think he’s perfect then you’re just wrong.), and I would love to hear your own lists!