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Feel free to browse through my gallery folders! My "Featured" folder contains what I feel is my highest quality, but also non-controversial artwork. My other folders contain my other works. I enjoy working with many different styles, subject matter, and mediums.
I often deal with hard subjects in my stamps, journals, and comics, but I welcome respectful disagreements. I have a strong conviction that topics that are considered "taboo" by the general public are topics that most need being brought to light and discussed. I wish more people would be willing to talk about these such topics, although perhaps not around children. So while my paintings generally don't deal with taboo or gritty subjects, my writing definitely does.
Feel free to share my artwork on DA and other websites, but please credit me if you do so. Thank you!
ABOUT ME Christian, Female, INTJ - I'm an aspiring artist who specializes in animals and children’s illustration. My other studies include philosophy, hermeneutics, and environmental biology (emphasis in zoology.) I'm not perfect and I've made mistakes just like everyone else, but I try to put the past behind me. We can't change the bad things that have happened. Life stinks sometimes, so laugh at it! I aim to be a positive influence on others, but I won't deny the evil that exists in the world. I want to use my artwork to help spread love and joy.
I have a very tender heart, and I have and will stand up for the voiceless, be them human or animal. I have obsessive haters because of this, but haters gonna hate! I've been emotionally damaged to some extent growing up and have even received death threats from online bullies. If you've been bullied or emotionally scarred, I really sympathize with you. Words can hurt worse than anything, but don't give up! Always remember that there are people out there who care about you even if it looks like the entire world hates you. If you need someone to talk to, feel free to message me! You are not alone.
I also have a strong sense of justice and I value personal responsibility very highly. I think that's why I love unicorns so much, aside from the fact that they're happy, sparkly horses! They stand for many things I believe in: compassion on helpless creatures, sexual responsibility and restraint, and caring for the environment.
ADOPTABLES / COMMISSIONS I make creature adoptables (usually horses) that anyone is free to purchase, and I take requests for art. I currently accept real currency/PayPal. Because I'm usually working on several different projects at once, please don't expect your request to be finished overnight. If you have a deadline you need it for, please let me know ahead of time. Thanks!
NLD I have been professionally diagnosed with non-verbal learning disorder (NLD), which means that I have difficulty picking up on social cues, reading between the lines/picking up on subtext, etc. I speak very literally. Sometimes I say things that may come across as angry or harsh when I don't mean them that way. I'm actually a very goofy, happy person by nature! Most of the time when someone gets offended by something I said, it's because they read something into it that I never said nor meant to say (remember, I speak literally). If I ever say something to you that hurts your feelings, please respectfully tell me. I acknowledge that I have difficulties in this area, and I don't want to hurt anyone.
Favorite visual artistJessica "NeonDragon" Peffer and Thomas KinkadeFavorite moviesLord of the Rings, The Hobbit, How to Train Your Dragon (1 and 2), and Disney Classics (particularly animal-themed ones like The Lion King, Bambi, and Brother Bear)Favorite TV showsStar Trek (all six series), Doctor Who, Sherlock, Supernatural, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, Once Upon a Time, Merlin, Inuyasha, Phineas and Ferb, X-Files, Duck Dynasty, MythbustersFavorite bands / musical artistsMusical Theater, Classical Music, World Music, Celtic Music, Soundtracks, and I have an unhealthy obsession with bagpipesFavorite booksLord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Harry Potter series, The Two Princesses of Bamarre, Sherlock Holmes series, Dracula, Black Stallion series, Phantom Stallion series, Final FrontierFavorite writersJ. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Bram Stoker, James Herriot, Gail Carson Levine, Walter Farley, Terri FarleyFavorite gamesDragon Cave and Howrse.comTools of the TradeMostly 2-Dimensional: Traditional Media and Digital MediaOther InterestsAdoption and Foster Care, Singing, Horses, Horseback Riding, Wild Mustangs, Fantasy Stories/Art/Legends/Lore, Reading, Drawing, Painting, Biology, Zoology, Ecology, Nutrition/Health, Animals, Animal Behavior, Animal Welfare, Christian, Pro-Life
Please note that it's difficult to figure out what's real and what's not when it comes to leaks. Hasbro are the only folks who know for sure what's going to happen. There is a lot of art going around being called concept art that may have been made by fans, but we can take a look at the commonalities to figure out what might be real. And as always when it comes to leaks: there really is no such thing as a reliable source unless you get it straight from Hasbro, so take everything I say here with a grain of salt. I could be completely wrong about all of this! And of course, I'll be expressing my personal opinions here and you don't have to agree with them.
If you're in the My Little Pony fandom, you have probably heard that Friendship is Magic (Generation 4) will be coming to an end soon. It looks like there will be 9 seasons in total, so we may only have one more year of FIM. A lot of people are very upset by this, and as much as I will miss FIM, I'm also super pumped for the next reboot of MLP, Generation 5!
I've heard that G5 will be a little darker and more complex than FIM, and while I'm up for some more interesting plot lines, I really, really hope the show still remains safe for itty bitty kids to watch. Part of what I love so much about Friendship is Magic is that both older and younger generations can watch it. You can have an adult man, a seven-year-old, and a baby in diapers watching and enjoying the same show. I hope that doesn't go away. I also hope the wholesome messages don't go away in favor of adventure and drama themes. You can have plenty of adventure and still provide wholesome life lessons.
At the time of my writing this, we don't know what the series will be called other than "My Little Pony," so I'll be referring to it as G5. So far, the following calendar has proven to be accurate:
It looks like we'll be keeping the Mane Six.
From what we can tell so far, it appears that Hasbro has decided to keep the Mane 6 for G5, albeit with a few changes. Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Applejack look like they're going to remain a unicorn, pegasus, and earth pony, but Fluttershy looks like she'll be a unicorn, Pinkie Pie a pegasus, and Twilight Sparkle an earth pony. Personally, I adore the idea of Fluttershy as a unicorn and Pinkie Pie as a pegasus, and I'm curious how Twilight as an earth pony will work out.
Personally, I like the decision to keep the Mane 6. I think Hasbro is running a risk with picky fandoms wanting things just so, and making new characters with the same names and appearances as old characters is dangerous (we saw how fans reacted to Spirit: Riding Free). However, part of what made Friendship is Magic so popular was the way the characters' personalities played off of each other. I've also noticed that many popular stories often have a set of main characters with personalities relatively similar to the Mane 6, if not as extreme. Thus, I believe it's important for My Little Pony to keep those six personalities.
If I were Hasbro, I would keep the Mane 6's personalities and general interests, even their general appearances, but change their names. Even if it's just a slight change, like how Twilight Sparkle used to be Twilight Twinkle in old MLP, I think it would be a way to help smooth over the transition to new characters based on old ones. That way it's clear that these are new characters. After seeing the way fans are reacting to the news that the Mane 6 are staying, and after seeing how fans reacted to "changing Spirit" in Spirit: Riding Free, Hasbro needs to make it clear that these are not the same ponies. This is a reboot.
However, my overall opinion of keeping the Mane 6 is very positive. Feel free to politely disagree, but I love the idea of not losing these lovable personalities!
It looks like Twilight Sparkle and Applejack will have the most changes.
Fans of FIM have latched onto the ponies' interest: sports, fashion, books, animals, outdoors, parties, etc. The ones the fandom haven't seemed to latch onto as much are Applejack's interest in farming and Rarity's interest in fashion. Little girls like Rarity's fashion sense, so I think that will probably be staying, but little girls and Bronies alike didn't gravitate as much toward Applejack. I personally love Applejack as a farm pony with all her outdoorsy sense. I think we don't get enough of that in kids' shows unless it's strictly a nature show like Wild Kratts. But I also respect the fact that Hasbro needs to market its characters, and when one main character is so much less popular than the others, that character will get a makeover when the chance comes.
So far, we don't know much about what the new Applejack will be like. I've heard reports that she'll be a redeemed villain, that she'll be a city pony, etc. Her design also appears to be up in the air. I see some concept art where she still looks like a country gal, some where she's completely brown, some where she's a paint pony (my personal favorite), and some where she looks virtually the same. I'll miss our FIM Applejack, but I also look forward to what she will become.
What has most fans shook up about is Twilight Sparkle becoming an earth pony. It looks like G5 will focus more on earth ponies rather than unicorns/alicorns, so it makes sense that the main character would be an earth pony. I don't have an opinion to share on Twilight being an earth pony because I just don't know what that means other than the fact that she will probably no longer use traditional unicorn magic. Perhaps she will have a different form of magic, or her talent/interest will become something entirely different? Maybe she'll be a geek pony! All in all, I'm very curious what their plan is for Twilight and I trust the writers to come up with something that works.
It looks like Equestria will be getting a major re-write.
What has me most interested about G5 is their plan for Equestria. Instead of having all 3 (or 4 if you include alicorns) species of ponies in one land, there are reports that Equestria will become a tri-dimensional world with three separate planes of reality: the earth pony realm (which appears to be closest to our world), the pegasus realm (which looks like it will be a cloud-like world of some kind), and the unicorn realm (which I can't tell much about, but will probably have magic if I have to guess). I'm hearing that G5 will center around the earth ponies and their explorations into the different realms. Perhaps Twilight's bookishness leads her to discover the realms, and perhaps she isn't without magic or wings in those realms? Who knows? There are also reports that the show will focus on earth pony magic of some kind. This could all just be rumors at this point, but I find it very intriguing, and if this is true, I can't wait!
Hasbro will be using different animation techniques.
We don't know for sure what software(s) they'll be using, but I don't believe they'll be relying on Adobe Flash like they have with FIM. I've heard reports that the animators may be switching to ToonBoom, the software that was used in My Little Pony: The Movie. The animation was quite lovely in that movie, so if that's true, I think that's a good move. The animation of FIM is cute, but it is around ten years old, and I understand and approve if the animators want to move on and use some more modern techniques.
I've heard that the intro movie may be in 3-D, but that the show itself will be 2-D. Personally, I hope it stays 2-D. I honestly don't think I would have gotten into MLP if it was 3-D.
All of the concept art (real or not) shows the characters with more detail than FIM, and I love that! I also enjoy how the pegasus' wings appear to be a bit more realistic in shape even though they're still small, and I like how the unicorns in some of the artwork have lion's tails and cloven hooves like traditional unicorns. All these differences help stress the fact that these are different species of ponies from different realms.
There is s string of possible concept art (but it could also be fan art) that shows the ponies wearing jewelry and having an overload of markings. Rainbow Dash typically has massive neon wings and Pinkie Pie has spots in this series of artworks. I know this is just my personal opinion, but it looks like a bit much. I mean no offense, but I kind of think those designs are a little bit ugly... I hope the animators don't follow those particular designs.
But what makes me the most happy (and I'm honestly not sure why this makes me so happy) is that every single piece of concept art I've seen so far gives the ponies hooves! I don't know why ponies having hooves makes me so excited, but it does. The ponies look more like actual ponies! I LOVE that change, and I hope it doesn't go away.
^Whoever Erika Worthylake is, I adore your artwork!
At this point, that's all I know about G5. As sad as I am to see Friendship is Magic go, I'm also looking forward to the new reboot. I ask the fanbase to stay positive in the face of this change. There are actual people who make this show, and they deserve as much respect as anyone else. I haven't known any fandom to deal with change well, and the MLP fandom in particular can be a little inflammatory. Please let's try to be grown-ups, even if you don't like how this turns out. Even if you don't end up liking it as much as FIM, focus on what you do like about it. I personally am looking forward to this, and I hope you are, too!
^It's so beautiful! I would love it if the show looked like this.
All my Lion Guard continent guards on available to purchase on Redbubble! Now you can sport your favorite guard on T-shirts, stickers, mugs, etc.
I wasn't able to use any logos for copyright reasons, and since I made a good number of these guards before I had a Redbubble account, I had to completely remove backgrounds from a few if the logo was merged into the background layer. Such is the price of working with old artwork... On the upside, those guards might look better on stickers!
Most people have at least heard of Disney Junior's Lion King spin-off, The Lion Guard. It's been a pretty big hit, with the show being renewed for at least 3 seasons, possibly more. I hope Disney is willing to let it go on longer than the typical 4 seasons of a Disney show. It’s one of my favorite kids’ shows, and I tuned in when it first aired and have kept up with it since. Overall, I think its strengths outweigh its weaknesses, but even still, it’s not without its flaws. In this review, I’m going to list what I appreciate most about the show and what I think could be done better. Of course, these are my personal opinions and you’re not required to agree with them, but let’s remember that this is just a show and not worth attacking or hurting anyone over. Feel free to post what you think about The Lion Guard!
I’ll start with what I dislike so that I can end on a positive note. I'm going to go into a lot of detail as to what I dislike about Lion Guard, but understand that I'm doing that to explain myself fully, provide proof, and avoid misunderstandings, not because I have more negative things to say than positive.
Cons of The Lion Guard:
1) The “circle of life.”
What is the circle of life? It’s clearly an environmental message of some kind, but it’s unclear what it actually means. The Guard seems to defend it by beating up predators and chasing them out of the Pridelands when they try to eat, but it's hardly ever explained why it's bad for those predators to eat in the Pridelands. It’s not clear why some predators are accepted and others are thrown out. Why are lions and cheetahs okay but leopards are not? Why, for example, are vultures forced into the Outlands? They were outcasts from the very first episode, but vultures are carrion-eaters. They’re not a threat to lions or cheetahs. They’re a clean-up crew, right alongside hyenas, which are also forced out of the Pridelands. Hyenas of course are also expert predators, but they are largely scavengers, and the show established that when Jasiri explained the importance of hyenas to the circle of life.
Starting at 1:36, Kion and Jasiri discuss the circle of life (ironically illustrated by an animal preying on another one), and Jasiri explains the importance of hyenas to Kion, which, while he understands, he ultimately seems to ignore, seeing as Jasiri is not allowed into the Pridelands:
Realistically, the Pridelands would be a trash heap of rotting carcasses, overrun by herbivores. It would probably look more like the Outlands, if we're completely honest. Scavengers and predators are crucial to ecosystems, and Lion Guard's circle of life seems to forget that.
When looked at from that perspective, it's no wonder Janja says "ask anyone outside the Pridelands: the circle of life is for fools!" But even then, it's not explained why it's wrong for Janja to hunt. The plan that he describes seems like a pretty normal hunting plan. Sneak up, bite. Isn't that what lions do?
This problem can still be fixed. The characters need to explain exactly what the villains are doing that hurts the ecosystem. They don't have to use big words, just explain, "they're hunting for sport" or "they're causing too much damage when they hunt," or "they're driving a species to extinction," etc. They briefly touched on this in the first episode "Return of the Roar": while watching Janja and the hyenas hunt a herd of gazelles, Beshte remarks that the hyenas had "already scored a couple of gazelles," implying that they were killing more than they needed (hunting for sport). This single line, to me, is one of the most important in the entire series. More lines like it are needed to explain why the villains are actually villains.
That's right: The Lion Guard suffers from racist elements. No, not that certain ethnicities of voice actors are cast as certain types of characters, or that characters are made to look like human ethnicities. My issue here is that the show routinely paints entire species as evil, and in a world populated solely by talking animals, that's racism to a T. This is a problem going all the way back to The Lion King. In TLK, there is no explanation whatsoever as to why the hyenas were villains. I suspect that the writers were playing off the real-life rivalry between lions and hyenas, but let's be honest: kids aren't going to think about that when watching TLK or TLG. They're going to assume all hyenas are evil, because, well, they're hyenas. Is this really the kind of mentality we want to subtly give kids?
The same goes for almost all the other predators that the Guard chases out of the Pridelands. When Makucha the leopard showed up, the Guard didn't even ask why he was there, they just said "there aren't any leopards in the Pridelands," and proceeded to hunt him down before they even knew what he was doing. Granted, it turned out he was aggressively stalking a particular endangered animal out of spite and selfishness, which explains why he was kicked out, but it doesn't explain why there were no leopards in the first place. The Pridelanders' prejudice against leopards is later proven when the Guard meets Badili the "big, friendly leopard," in "The Trouble with Galagos." Badili was displaced by another leopard, causing him to move into the Pridelands, and while the episode had a good message of standing up to bullies, it didn't address the fact that the Guard was solely focused on getting Badili out of the Pridelands for no other reason than the fact that he's a leopard. Not only that, but when they first encountered Badili, they got ready to attack him. Why? Because he's a leopard, and all leopards must be bad in their eyes. At least they learned that not all leopards are bad, but just like Jasiri, he's not allowed to live in the Pridelands because of his species.
The leopards don't seem too bad off in their respective territories, but let's look at this from the hyenas' persepctive: before TLK, the hyenas were banished to the Outlands for reasons that are not explained. The Outlands are a barren desert, with very little food and water. The reason the hyenas sided with Scar is because he promised them food. How sad is that? They followed Scar not because they were evil, but because they were starving. It was Mufasa's xenophobia and oppression of hyenas that was his undoing. Scar probably would not have been able to start the stampede that killed Mufasa if he didn't have the hyenas on his side, and they were only on his side because Mufasa banished them and caused them to starve. In the end, Scar turned out to be a terrible king, caused overhunting in the Pridelands, the hyenas ended up as hungry as before, and then Simba took over and ran them off again. They ended up back in the Outlands, bitter and still hungry. Then to make matters worse, Simba was also forced to banish a group of lions to the Outlands for supporting Scar. In The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, Nuka makes the remark "this place is even creepier since the hyenas ran off," implying that the Outlands lions pushed the hyenas out of their preferred land in the Outlands. This is later confirmed in The Lion Guard in the episode "Lions of the Outlands" when Jasiri gets Kion to help her family after Zira and the Outlander lions take over her watering hole. Not only were the hyenas forced back into the land that had starved them into following Scar, but they were forced out of their preferred area of that already inhospitable land. Is it any wonder that they hate Pridelanders? Granted, lions and hyenas don't get along in real life, but in our age of diversity and inclusivity, shouldn't we be encouraging kids to look past outward appearances? Besides, it's established that Kion (a lion) gets along just fine with Jasiri (a hyena), so the real-life rivalry between lions and hyenas is no longer a good reason for Disney to keep hyenas out of the Pridelands.
In "Lions of the Outlands," Kion is initially confused why there are lions who aren't welcome in the Pridelands. He never questions why Jasiri isn't welcome in the Pridelands, but he doesn't understand why his own kind would ever be unwelcome. In “The Hyena Resistance,” Kion does fo so far as to say he’s willing to ask Simba if Jasiri can stay in the Pridelands, but ONLY until Scar is defeated. It’s clear that Jasiri’s clan is not welcome long-term.
Introducing characters such as Jasiri and Badili are great first steps, but with season 2 of The Lion Guard almost complete, why are Jasiri and her family still not allowed in the Pridelands? Kion openly acknowledges that there are good hyenas in the Outlands, but why? Why are they still in the Outlands if they're good? Isn't that where Simba sends animals that he banishes?
I understand that convincing a society to overcome prejudices can take a very, very long time. For whatever reason, the Pridelanders do not like hyenas. Personally, I would love to see Kion respectfully confront his father about why the good hyenas are not allowed in the Pridelands. Simba is repeating the same mistake that ultimately cost Mufasa his life. In TLG season 2, the hyenas resurrect Scar, and once again, he's leading the hyenas (and a growing group of other animals) against king Simba and the Lion Guard. History is repeating itself. It would be fantastic to see Simba realize this and do something about it. It would be amazing for kids to see someone overcome a lifetime of prejudice to stand up for what's right and wise. Janja and the Army of Scar may be a lost cause, but Jasiri is not. In my opinion, Jasiri does not belong in the Outlands.
3) The Guard frequently invades other animals' territory / Simba doesn't find diplomatic solutions.
I've lost count of how many times the Guard has invaded other animals' territory and beaten up the owners instead of finding a diplomatic solution. The Outlanders aren't allowed in the Pridelands, but the Guard invades the Outlands almost every other episode. In fact, I daresay a good number of the problems the Guard faces are in fact king Simba's responsibility. We all love you Simba, but you really shouldn't be sending soldiers to force your neighbors to give you what you need. As king, it's Simba's responsibility to figure out how best to find solutions that help everyone involved and don't make enemies. Instead, when the Pridelanders need something in another animal's territory, instead of figuring out what it is that they need and reporting back to the king, they send the Lion Guard in to take it by force. That's not a good message to send kids.
In "The Golden Zebra," the Guard invades Makucha's territory, not once, but twice. The first time, they march in, beat him up, and he tells them not to come back. They then return and beat him up again. Personally, I think that after running into him once, they should go back to the king and have a qualified diplomat (Zazu?) determine a compromise with Makucha. They need temporary access to his water, but is there something he wants? Maybe temporary hunting grounds in the Pridelands?
4) When it's poorly researched.
I haven't scrutinized every episode of Lion Guard, so I honestly can't remember all the times that animals act out of character for their species, but I do remember that as I watch the show, every now and then I chuckle at something that was ill-researched. Feel free to comment with times that you noticed! Some that come to mind are these:
Beshte is a hippopotamus, but he seems to spend most of his time on land with the rest of the Lion Guard. In reality, this would completely wreck his legs. Hippos spend so much time in the water because they're so large and their legs are not made to support them for extended periods of time on land. They can suffer severe knee damage by spending too much time on land.
At 1:08, Fuli roars. Cheetahs cannot roar in real life. ("Undercover Kinyonga")
The zebras in the show whinny and neigh like horses. In real life, zebras bray more like donkeys. Also, they're born with brown stripes, not black stripes. ("The Mbali Fields Migration")
In "Wisdom of Kongwe," Makucha the leopard is able to outrun Fuli by...zigzagging? Who came up with this scenario in which a leopard, which is bigger and bulkier than a cheetah and has retractable claws, could out-zigzag a cheetah? The reason cheetahs have such big tails and why their claws aren't retractable is precisely so that they can zigzag while traveling at high speeds. The episode's message was good (slowing down to think instead of running around thoughtlessly), but the vehicle the writers chose to convey that message was unrealistic.
I'm also not a Swahili speaker, but I happen to know what most of the show's common phrases mean, and I've caught several times when they've been used incorrectly. For example, Ono's catchphrase "hapana" translates to "no" or "oh no," but there have been a couple times when he's used it as an expression of how impressed he is with something good. Fuli's catchphrase "huwezi" translates to "you can't," but she uses it pretty much every time she speeds off somewhere. Who is she talking to and what is it they can't do?
5) Fuli's design.
I'm going to have to side with the majority of the fanbase on this one: Fuli doesn't look like a cheetah. If she didn't run super fast, she could pass as a leopard.
First of all, she doesn't look like she belongs in The Lion King universe. Disney has already created cheetahs for TLK, so I don't understand why they didn't follow their own art style. They redesigned a lot of characters for The Lion Guard, but personally, I think they went too far with Fuli.
Second: her spot pattern, although visually pleasing, is not normal for typical cheetahs. It's more like a king cheetah than anything else. Even still, she's got more of a rosette thing going on than king cheetah stripes, making her look like a leopard. I'm not sure why they gave her an unusual coat pattern if they wanted her to be easily recognizable as a cheetah. I may not be a professional artist yet, but I have enough experience with cartoons to know that you usually want your audience to know immediately what species your character is, especially if it's something well-known like a cheetah. I can't think of a reason why they would want Fuli's species to be a mystery.
Below: normal cheetah on the left, king cheetah on the right.
Third: she doesn't have the cheetah cub scruff. I'm pretty sure there's a technical term for the fluffy white fur that cheetah cubs have on their backs, but whatever it's called, Fuli doesn't have it. Maybe she's grown up now (but then why are Bunga and Kion still kids?), but even when we saw her as a cub in a flashback scene, she still didn't have the cheetah cub scruff.
Fourth, and most important: She lacks the distinguishing cheetah "tear streaks." Tear streaks (sometime called tear stains) are the dark lines running from the inside corners of a cheetah's eyes down around their muzzle. It is without a doubt the easiest way to identify a cheetah in artwork. Even if they left everything about her design the same, she needs those marks. I'm sorry, but if you're going to draw a cheetah, give it tear streaks. Drawing a cheetah without tear streaks is like drawing a red fox without a bushy tail or an adult bald eagle without a white head. You just don't do it. A responsible artist works their character's design around the features of the real-life animal they are drawing. You can't leave out something that important. You always draw a cheetah with tear streaks. If it doesn't have tear streaks, it's not a cheetah. End of story.
While you're free to disagree with me, I personally think the designers stretched Fuli's design too far from their reference footage. The artist in me cringes a little bit every time I see her. There is plenty of gorgeous Fuli redesign fan art on DeviantArt!
Okay, the Lion Guard hype is pretty much all about one thing: we finally have more Lion King! Even though the movie came out over 20 years ago, the fandom for Lion King has been far from inactive. The Lion King has been one of Disney's top-grossing animated films of all time, and I was definitely excited to hear they were making a spin-off TV show. And when the show finally aired, I was more than satisfied! Lion Guard has developed its own fanbase and kids love it, too.
2) Lots of animals.
Although I mentioned above that they don't always get animal behavior right, more often than not they do get them right, and I was excited to see lots of different species being included in the show. Lion King had a relatively limited cast of animals, and Lion Guard branches out to all sorts of animals, all with lots of different designs and plenty of recurring characters.
3) The environmental message.
While I explained above that the circle of life in Lion Guard is very confusing, I appreciate that the show is trying to convey a message of protecting the environment. Our children are our future, and teaching them that their world is a delicate, balanced machine that must be cared for is very important. We don't need to teach them to worship the earth, but as stewards of the earth, it's our duty to take care of it.
I think The Lion Guard can improve on this message by first clarifying the what the circle of life means, and by showing more relevant ways to protect the environment. What if the guard encounters a group of animals throwing away things without reusing them? The show could discuss littering, recycling, and the effects of trash buildup. Of course, plastic wouldn't be a part of the animals' lives, but they could be shown littering items such as half-eaten food instead of composting it, leaving rocks and sticks around after using them (littering,) etc. The show so far really only focuses on poaching, and while that is a huge environmental problem, it's not really relevant to little kids. Kids are more likely to litter and forget to recycle than they are to poach.
4) Makuu's character development.
I love how Makuu the crocodile went from being a villain to being a hero. It shows kids that even nasty people are capable of change. Sure, he'll probably always be a bit of a cranky-pants and may stand in the guard's way from time to time, but since he was introduced, he's become more of a strong, capable leader, willing to listen to those in charge and accept wisdom from others.
5) Fuli's introversion.
In almost all the kids' shows I've ever seen (with the exception of My Little Pony), introversion is portrayed as something negative that a character must overcome. In "Fuli's New Family," Fuli tells the others that she wants to hunt alone, and they assume she's upset about something, eventually harassing her until she snaps at them. After rescuing Bunga from a volcano, the rest of the guard realize that there's nothing wrong with Fuli for being the way she is and that it's normal for her to want to be alone sometimes.
As an introvert, I can testify how much pressure there is to be extroverted, and how people often assume you're upset, snobby, that you don't like them, or even that you're arrogant when you need time to yourself to recharge. I love it how The Lion Guard shows kids that it's okay to be introverted.
6) The visuals.
The Lion Guard is stunningly beautiful. If you're a fan of animation in general, you definitely need to check out this show! Although it occasionally drops down in quality (Simba falling into the sinkhole in "Bunga and the King," *shudder*) , the animation overall is beautifully done, with gorgeous 2-D linework paying homage to the original movie. It sometimes has an Adobe Flash sort of look about it, but it keeps a hand-done look very well.
The animators capture facial expressions and dialogue extremely well. You can tell that they understand the human face and its emotions. They also include the expressions of animals, such as ears, tails, legs, etc., that are not something human characters would have. This results in unified, convincing characters that look comfortable as talking animals.
The animators also occasionally use interesting camera angles to give the show a more cinematic feel.
While the lions, Zazu, Rafiki, Timon and Pumbaa remain very similar to their original designs, with some minor tweaks such as larger eyes and slightly adjusted hair, the rest of the animals have updated, more anthropomorphized designs. This is mostly likely because The Lion King featured a limited cast, and only the main cast of characters were anthropomorphized. Seeing as Lion Guard deals with many, many more characters than Lion King did, it makes sense that more animals would feature the anthropomorphic facial expressions that the main cast featured in Lion King.
The backgrounds of The Lion Guard are lovely. They're an expert combination of CG and digital hand-painting (I'm assuming it's hand-painting). They're full of life and add a lot to each scene. Each episode is a pleasure to watch!
A great video on the animation of The Lion Guard!
5) Enriching The Lion King with more lore and connecting the original movie and its sequel.
Lion Guard delves into the lore of Lion King, providing more backstory for the characters. You learn more about Scar and Mufasa's relationship before Simba was born, more about Rafiki's role, and about the kings of the past.
The Lion Guard also helps to connect the original Lion King movie with its sequel, Lion King II: Simba's Pride. While of course there is the glaring inconsistency of why Kion wasn't part of Lion King 2 (simply because the character hadn't been written at that time), if you look past that single inconsistency, TLG does an interesting job of linking the two movies together. It explains exactly how and why Simba banished the Outsiders, whereas in TLK2, it wasn't even mentioned. It was just assumed.
It was also great to see Kovu and the TLK2 characters again! So far they've only appeared in one episode ("Lions of the Outlands"), but I hope we get to see more of them in the future.
6) The music.
The scores for The Lion Guard are pretty impressive. Sure, they're not on par with the original movie, but they're very high quality for a cartoon TV show, I'd say. Just check out this piece, parts of which play in the show's opening theme song:
Each episode features a song, and while some are going to be stronger than others, most of them are fun and enjoyable to listen to. These are my personal favorites so far; feel free to post yours, too!
Watch these videos at your own risk. These songs get stuck in your head like nothing else on earth, lol!
So even though it still has plenty of room for improvement, I think Disney's The Lion Guard is a great show that I will definitely be watching more of and would definitely encourage parents to show to their kids. It's something that the whole family honestly can enjoy, even if it isn't everyone's favorite. Personally, it's one of my favorite kids' shows, and if you haven't seen it, go ahead and check it out!
My Redbubble shop is finally up and running! www.redbubble.com/people/Unico… I now have all of my artwork (so far) that I consider quality enough to go for sale. I was even able to put some fan art up for sale! (Although, sadly, none of my Star Wars fan art was able to be sold for some reason.) You can buy T-shirts, mugs, bags, phone and tablet cases, pillows, and most affordably, stickers!
You can find designs by clicking on the categories available on my page, or by clicking on "show more" of my recently-added designs. To find specific items of a design, just click on the design and all items will appear below it.
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The seasons for Spirit: Riding Free come out pretty quickly, but considering the animation quality and the audience its aimed at, I think that's perfectly fine. The target audience is children under the age of 10, and kids that age usually don't like to wait a long time for more of their favorite show to come out. And even though the animation quality is rather primitive, they do a good job of compensating for that with interesting camera angles, lighting, etc. The lighting in the show appears to be aimed from the side, not directly overhead, which is something that's rather unique in 3-D animated television shows. While the horses' unrealistic behavior will always bother me to an extent, kids don't care, and at the end of the day, they're the ones the show is aimed at.
I had an overall positive opinion of seasons 3 and 4 of Spirit: Riding Free. Season 4 is definitely my favorite season so far, but season 3 had its high points as well. Throughout the show, we've seen Lucky maturing and making new decisions as she figures out how to be a young adult. That's important for kids to see!
Season 3 showed her dealing with the fact that her dad is dating her school teacher, dealing with mild bullying/teasing at school, helping out her school teacher even though she doesn't like her very much, and standing up for what she knows is right even if it puts her in uncomfortable situations. She also learns that immature, angry outbursts don't help her and only hurt herself and those around her.
My favorite part of season 3 was Mixli, the Tuckapaw teenager who Lucky and her friends meet. Sure, he was pretty stereotyped, but it was nice to see the show branching out from just Miradero and the ubiquitous city. The message of that episode was also a good one: just because people might do things differently from you doesn't mean they're wrong. I hope future seasons do more with bringing Native Americans into the mix! Native Americans are a very important part of our culture, and we tend to forget about them or stereotype them. Spirit: Riding Free has the opportunity to be an extremely interesting historical fiction show for kids, kind of like Liberty's Kids back in the day. So far everything has been very sanitized and modern (the girls wear jeans, what?), but they started to touch on something very interesting with Mixli. I hope the writers do more of that!
Season 4 was, in my opinion, the best season so far! Almost every episode tied in with another one, you saw Lucky mature even more, you learned more about Lucky's family, there was some slightly more realistic wild horse herd dynamics, there were actually some pretty touching scenes with Aunt Cora and the the circus, and it ended on a cliffhanger, but not the emotionally-traumatizing-for-little-kids cliffhanger of season 2.
I really liked seeing the more mature, kind way that Lucky and her friends dealt with Abigail's little brother Snips. Snips is the annoying little sibling that everyone dreads, and in past seasons, the girls had been rather mean to Snips without any punishment. It's one thing if a character behaves badly and then learns from their mistakes, but the girls had previously just been mean to Snips and never learned their lesson. It's something that a lot of us probably struggled with when we were growing up, and I understand showing a realistic portrayal, but kids also need role models, and the three girls were not being role models when it came to Snips. However, in season 4, that changed. They're much more kind and understanding with Snips, even though you can tell they're irritated at times. The only time they ever really snapped at him was when he was doing something legitimately dangerous.
You also see Lucky get a job for a little while and earn some money, which is a good thing for kids to see: you don't earn money by whining, you have to work for it.
The episode with Lucky's grandfather showed how some people are too set in their ways to change. Her grandfather disagreed with Lucky's upbringing to the point where he wanted to take her away, even though Lucky had done everything she could to show that she was happy where she was. Her grandfather just kept coming up with new excuses, and in the end, it drove him away from the rest of his family. It was sad, but sometimes that's just how life is.
The episodes with Aunt Cora were also quite good with Lucky learning that even though she finds her aunt annoying at times, they're both important to each other. Lucky learns that Aunt Cora has a place even though she may seen very different from the rest of the town.
I also enjoyed seeing Smoke, the rival stallion who wants to steal Spirit's herd. While a real-life band stallion would have kicked any rivals out of his herd long ago, I'm glad they at least acknowledged that life in the wild isn't all hunky-dory for wild horses. Even in the original movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Spirit Sr. had no rival stallions to fight off after he had been gone for a year. Spirit Jr. at least has one rival stallion.
The last two episodes (the first two-parter in the series, that I'm aware of), were very, very good! You find out about Lucky's family history, how her parents met, who her mother is, and you find out that Lucky is half Latino (not that it makes much difference, but I thought that was interesting, because I predicted it from before the first episode). I think it's good for kids to see Jim Prescott (Lucky's dad) dealing with remembering his wife while moving forward at the same time. Kids also see Lucky fall back into her immature ways when she's frustrated with her dad dating and later proposing to her school teacher, and kids see the negative effects that has on Lucky as well as her teacher. At the same time, you can see why Lucky is so frustrated at the end of the episode, because her father missed the most important performance of her life so far to propose to Ms. Flores. As important as Ms. Flores is to Mr. Prescott, he should not have missed Lucky's performance. People in love often forget about everyone but the person they're in love with, and can end up hurting others around them, like he did to his daughter. Lucky's reaction (running away) is not justified, but it is understandable. The season ended with that issue unresolved, and I hope the next season comes out soon to resolve that. Kids will deal with situations like these, and it's important for them to see how to deal with feelings like Lucky's.
All in all, I'm pleased with the series so far, and I hope it continues to get good reviews from people who aren't blinded by the thought that "it's not what fans of the original movie expected." It's a good, wholesome show for little kids, and I hope it stays renewed for future seasons!
A woman I know has reproductive health problems that cause intense pain and internal bleeding. She’s currently on birth control to keep herself out of danger, but she’d rather not have to use it, and she is 100% certain that she does not want kids of her own. Recently she went to the doctor and asked if it were possible to simply have that part of her body removed so as not to require birth control. The doctor said there wasn’t a medical reason not to, but she would need to have two biological children and her husband’s permission before the doctors would legally be allowed to go through with it.
I can’t even begin to explain how sickmaking this is.
A man doesn’t need anyone’s permission to get sterilized, but a woman needs her husband’s permission? How come feminists aren’t attacking this? This law literally requires women to give control of their bodies to men. The husband is the one who controls the woman’s reproductive rights, and no one is talking about this? Or is feminism really just a ruse to support the abortion industry?
Second, no doctor or politician should have any right to tell anyone to have children. A woman is more than a baby factory. If she doesn’t want children, that’s her prerogative, not the doctor’s or the law’s. Sterilization does not take life. It prevents pregnancy in the first place. Requiring women to have two children before they can be sterilized leads to unwanted children. How is that ethical?
But what is perhaps the most horrific is the fact that a woman can kill as many children as she wants through abortion without anyone’s permission, but she needs her husband’s permission to be sterilized and prevent those abortions. Can someone please explain to me how that is not completely messed up? I don’t need my husband’s permission to slaughter his children for any selfish reason I want, but I need his permission to control my own body? Excuse me?? How does that make any sense? How could anyone justify that? WHY ARE FEMINISTS SILENT ON THIS??