VIDEO: Sofie's Journey to a Fantastic World

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This time, Sofie tries something different, as she analyzes the patterns and formulas used in fantasy movies, singing the praises of some big time classics as well as newer blockbuster hits, including Pan’s Labyrinth, Chronicles of Narnia, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Avatar, Phantom of the Opera, Labyrinth, and even Twilight!
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  • Ed Wong Hau Wuncler IV

    A nicely put together retrospective Sofie. 🙂

    Do you think there will be a fantasy tale switching the gender roles around? The male is the ordinary character and the female is the fantasy character? I know as suspension of disbelief is wearing thin amongst the public, fantasy is a less, for a lack of a better word, fantastical genre now but do you think we’ll ever see it, or done more than once or twice?

    • Sofie Liv

      It has been done a long time ago, and you will see it pop up from time to time in more recent movies.

      Jake in Avatar meeting Naytiri of the Naveen, John Smith meeting Pocahontas
      Or Jen in Dark Crystal meeting Kirah
      or if you want two girls, Dorothy meeting Glinda the good.

      This formular is every-where in almost all fantasy movies, especially the ones where the fantasy world is the main attraction it’s a good idea to have “Ordinary character.” to discover the world with and “Fantastic character.” to introduce us to the world and be our tour guide.

      Naytiri, Jen, Pocahontas and Glinda are just freaking BORING! And the reason why Naytiri, Pocahontas and Jen are even female is so they can serve a double function of also being love interest. BORING love interests.

      There’s one amazing fantastic female though, don’t know if you are familiar with her but she is huge here in the North. Pippi Longstocking! she’s absolutely amazing, and YEP Tommy and Annica both represent the normal ordinary character trapped in ordinary world while Pippi is her own fun world.

      Bilbo, Frodo, Belle, Sam Witwicky ALL representing ordinary characters

      Gandalf, Beast, transformers ALL representing fantastic characters, see the pattern 😉

      It’s every-where……

      • Ed Wong Hau Wuncler IV

        How could I forget Pippi?! It’s just a shame it’s not as common as the girl meets boy in fantasy formula or done as well as often.
        Just as a sidenote, your vlog on depression really touched me. I suffer from autism and will often feel like I’m not good enough for people because of this. But never have I slipped into depression, or even deserve to for that matter. What could I be depressed about? My looks? Just because I may not be the most good looking guy in the world, I shouldn’t complain, especially after I looked up Jacqui Saburido. Stories like that and videos like yours make me feel like I shouldn’t complain about anything and be inspired to make my life better. Thank you for that and may your spritely self brighten up my day and everybody elses too. 🙂

        • Sofie Liv

          Pippi is Amazing, and don’t worry, not that many makes that connection at first 😉

           What do I have to complain about? look at me I’m gorgeous.

          No, my life isn’t bad! I have a wonderful family, grew up in a good home, were able to do creative stuff from an early age.
          But I pressured myself into a corner. I do believe ALLOT of young people is put under pressure, believing they wont be good enough if they are not a master to some-thing, or is a pop sensation or what-ever, we are under sooo much pressure, and I feel into that trap. And I had to figure for myself that yeas I am good enough, and I had put far to high standards on myself. Creative stuff should be a fun free room and out of my own doing it wasn’t any longer.

          I’m better now, and mine was mild as I said. I no longer blame any-one who slips, it happens so easily, we are living in a society demanding of us to be perfect, reality shows and big movies also pressing this “ideal.” down on us.
          And you know, if any-one has depression better say it and come out with it than let it develop.

          And well, complain all that you like, but just remember that you are good enough and be proud of what you have to offer, autism or not, you are good enough, that is all.
          Don’t be a critic of yourself, we all do that way to often and way to easily, be your own flatterer and best friend. And have fun where-ever you are!

          • Ed Wong Hau Wuncler IV

            You are gorgeous, no doubts there! 😉
             
            All very good points and like I said, I have very little to complain about. I have a great family who will support me, friends I can see and chat to whenever there is a problem and a lot of gigs to go to in my local area since I’m a bit of a music geek.
             
            I know I’m never going to be society’s norm so I’ll just set my own goals and path. Society can take it’s default path and stick it!
             
            Thank you for your kind words and I will make the most of what I have and where I go. 🙂

          • Sofie Liv

             Good on you.

            Cause you know, in the end, I do believe it’s surprisingly few of us able to life up to societies norms at all any-ways.

            And those who can isn’t necessarily happier for it :/

      • MephLord

        In He-Man, it’s more Teela than Man-At-Arms that keeps him grounded and in touch with his humanity, while the Sorceress is the one that is the one to introduce him to the fantasy world he lives in.  By extension, She-Ra has Glitter and Lighthope for the same role.  And what of Jem?  She has Synergy to explain her role in her universe.  Other than Glitter being an idiot, the other characters are all interesting in their roles.  It is definitely true that its more interesting when a character discovers things rather than knowing everything already and having a mentor character fills that plot device.  Spider-Man is the perfect comic book model for that, and to think that Aunt May is the least likely character to help Peter, but she always does with her practical wisdom, that helps him even when she doesn’t realize her advice applies more to Spider-Man than Peter Parker.

        • Sofie Liv

          I never said it was the ONLY way to tell a story, it isn’t and it shouldn’t be, but it’s a good way and a very accessible way.  The Green Lantern should have been that way.

          But if yeah, if you look for it the pattern is every-where, and it’s fine, that’s just firm story structure, it’s people using their tools for story telling which is handed to them 🙂

          I love fantasy movies, I want them to be told and presented probably 😀

          • Mike

            Thank you for this absolutly lovely video (don’t even now quite how to define it.) I’m posting her because I wanted to address a couple things you wrote about above and didn’t know if you’d catch two responses to the same post.
            First of all, I think you meant to say ‘Kira’ was the mysterious female in The Dark Crystal. Also, I have to disagree with you citing that movie as a case of the helpfull guide being the opposite sex of the hero in order to form a love interest. I never got any romantic vibe between Jen and Kira. It feel more like a siblingly love based on shared ancestry despite different upbringing. Joining hands as brother/sister in spiritual arms. Yes, Jen does seem somewhat guilty about the thought of leading Kira towards certain death, but that’s probably because he belived there was no else of there kind left before they’d meet and he felt a certain responsibility for her fate. The only thing really significant about the sex difference was the amusing twist of only female Gelflings having wings.
            Now one classic fantasy adventure with a female protagonist who had not one, but two (possible three) female guides on her journey was The Snow Queen!

          • Sofie Liv

            Thanks 🙂

            I guess when it comes to Dark Crystal it’s a matter of interpretation, cause true, they never say any-thing and they never ever kiss or any-thing like that. I just thought they were romantically evolved, and I genuinely thought Jen fell in love with Kira… and they would go on to re-populate the Gelf line… a sort of Adam and Eve thing.

            But you know.. Dark Crystal is a movie not saying an awful lot, it’s main attraction is how it looks and it spend most of it times just showcasing the puppets and the puppet world, it’s a very slow quiet movie with a story so simple that it becomes bare minimum of necesity. It’s done that way on purpose I believe, it’s done because it indeed is the world and the puppets that’s the main attraction, not the story itself.
            And I am sorry… but both Jen and Kira are pretty boring characters in their own right, if it weren’t for the amazing look and puppetry they would not have been able to carry a movie at all, if they were two life action characters in a life action film, they would have failed. They are both very boring if you stop and think about it, but it’s still an amazing movie all puppet fans should watch at least ones.

            Oh Snow Queen, I absolutely love the Snow Queen! it was my favourite Hans Christian Anderson tale when I grew up, I had my granma reading it to me over and over. I hope Disney make an amazing movie out of that.. I know it’s unlikely but you know, a girl can hope!

          • Mike

            Was going to repley earlier, but wanted to check on some things.
            I think the story of The Dark Crystal was there in David Odell’s orgingal script, it’s just not layed out in the finished film which emphasized more the experiance. David Odell’s book adaptation is has been sighted as canon source for many of the location, species, and individual characters that are never named in the movie. It’ll be interesting to see if the prequal he’s working on will fill in additional backstory.
            I hadn’t found a copy of the the book, but I did find the Marvel comic book adaptation online. I actually liked it a little more than the movie beacuse it managed to tighten up or better explain some plot elements, while still being faithfull to the unique look and dialouge. Still the heroes are basiclly ciphers as you point out in both versions, with the the supporting charectors and the villians being much more interesting. Oddly while I enjoyed the movie Labyrnith more than The Dark Crystal, I found Marvel’s adaptation of that other Creature Shop feature sadly waterdown by comparision. 
            Well specking of adaptation I too have high hopes for the Disney Snow Queen movie. It’s suprising this story hasn’t already been inspired more feature length adaptions over the last century. I first heard it as a radio drama!
            If you’re not total bored with me yet, there’s ae somewhat silly question I have for you about journys to fantasy worlds. This is just an odd pet peeve I have in any story where characters are supposedly traveling for days on end in a mysterious, undeveloped land. We may deal with them needing food, water, shelter, and sleep. Why is it we never raise the question of what they do when nature calls? You’d think that would be a fine set up for drama or comedy, because it leaves someone vulnerable to a posible attack from some unknown crature or some strange encouter that coud come from anywhere. Hell even in the Hunger Games, where it’s all about deadly struggles to survival in the woods is never address. Like that’s more unpleasent to face than the blooding and the burning and the stabbing!
            What do you think?

          • Sofie Liv

             I have not read the Dark Crystal book, I didn’t even know there was a book.
            As a Jim Henson fan I just deeply appreciate the movie for being the high of Henson puppetry.
            I have seen Labyrinth more than Dark Crystal though, simply because.. well as pretty as Dark Crystal is it can end up boring me because it’s as slow and quiet as it is.
            then Labyrinth is much more fun and vibrant, which I like.

            There are certain movies where they show natur calling for such persons. But yeas, that would all be comedy and slasher comedy.

            Some-one going pee-pee, that’s a whole scene right there! and especially in a movie you can’t have unnecessary scene, there needs to be a point with every-single scene.
            In “Up.” Russel actually goes, but there was a specific point to it, it was to separate him from Carl so he could meet and befriend Kevin on his own as Carl would never want to befriend Kevin at that point in the movie.

            Also, if you have sat up some-big fantasy plot which the audience is totally into, just sitting and is so into this fantastic world. A pee scene most probably would take them completely out of it! spoil the experience, and we do not want that. Just imagine if it was Lord of the rings.
            Sam and Frodo struggling to get the Mordor, will they ever make it? swamp of the fallen warriors, the gates, ext ext, and then out of no-where it describes Frodo going pee… huh? kind of an mood breaker isn’t it? 

      • Chimaera

        What about Mary Poppins? She’s definitely not boring – especially in the books!

        • Sofie Liv

          Ah, yeas. She’s a good one.

          See, it’s every-where, I couldn’t possible mention all of them. And yeas, I had forgotten here, the responses to this video is fantastic as you all are putting out names I didn’t think of, even though I did think of quite a few names that didn’t make this list.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Well, in Urusei Yatsura, Ataru was presented as an ordinary high school kid while Lum was the alien princess who turned his regular world into something weird.  But, then again, that was intended as a comedy, so I don’t know if it counts…

  • Arcadiassx999

    Dear Sophie.  What a beautiful video. I too suffer from depression since i was a kid (never fully understanding it) with everyone demanding me to be happy at a push of a button.  It doesn’t work that way.  Things got worse after working in my dream job in Japan in the animation industry for 2 and a half years, when returning home to NYC the animation community there saw fit to throw so much adversity towards me that i had to turn my back on the only thing that made me happy, Entertainment.
      That was in 2001, 2006 was my last freelance job, i left for good, it was no longer fun to work in the industry because of all the hate those people were spewing.

     But ive tryed to keep myself happy doing my own stuff some you can see some of it on my youtube channel DMaustrap1 it’s a sci fi comedy(anime style) project titled: “Pickerman the Great”. Someday i hope to get it produced, and if that happens i wouldn’t hesitate to hire you as a voice actor. You’d be great for it!  Thanks for sharing your personal feelings with us.

    Yours

    Rich

    • Sofie Liv

       No by asking you to just “Push a button.” is just putting you under more stress demanding you to be perfect, when the reason most of us goes down in the first place is to high pressure in the first place.

      If it weren’t nice and fun being there, good on you that you quit! it’s just not worth it then.
      The important thing is that you are happy and that YOU know that you are good enough.

      We are so good at being our own worst critic and modern society is so good as confirming us in our self analyse of self worth, when in reality. We are good enough. Seems to me like you figured that indeed you have stuff to offer and no-body is perfect (we are so lead to believe that all the time, and that’s so harsh.)

      Good on you, keep the flag high and be proud of yourself, you archived some-thing there. 🙂

  • Elizabethspectrum

    I think an interesting aspect about fantasy is how much it can be compared to its opposite: horror. Because fantasy takes people to fantastic worlds (even if the world itself can be very dangerous) and can make a person feel special and they become a person they never thought they could be or do things they never thought they could do, and for the most part it is wonderful. Horror is like that aspect, but in reverse, even in the more modern horror movies (“realistic” shaky cams, real-world settings) there is still elements of the fantastic, but it had became grotesque (zombies, deranged maniacs, monsters that are out to get you, etc). Where the grotesque world makes one feel small and insignificant and the world tries to destroy the person’s sense of self as opposed to building it up. But my point is that fantasy and horror can tell two different stories about the different parts of our thinking: the side that dreams about being special and becoming more than what they are , and the side that is scared about losing themselves to forces one cannot understand.

    But in any case, what a wonderful video you made because it was so sincere and mentally invigorating   

    • Sofie Liv

       That’s a good point!

      May I suggest that some horrors the more.. kid friendly? horrors like to mix the two, you know of the “Last girl standing.” aspect right?
      That we have a main character, usually a girl or at least a skinny nerdy boy, so it feels like they are in real danger when shit happens. Shit does indeed happen around them, the supporting cast dies like flies, and in the final act the last girl standing will KICK ASS defy odds and make us vouch and being all adranalin pumped as she finds a way to get out of it.
      I am of cause talking of such things as the nightmare on Elmstreet movies or that Elijah wood alien invasion movie.. where it actually ends with the school mates becoming okay again. (or do they.)

      Pans Labyrinth is actually a fairytale horror… and man does it succeed, it’s a very disturbing movie. Unbelievable beautiful, but disturbing.

      Thank you 🙂

  • Launchpad25

    You know, as much as I DESPISE ‘Twilight’ as you do, at least you have A compelling reason to include it in your retrospective piece. Showing me why so many women have fallen for this ‘questionable’ revision of vampire mythology, and pedophilic love. However, you should’ve included ‘The Hunger Games’ in that list. While it’s not exactly fantasy based, it does follow the journey of an ordinary girl trying to make a difference in A corrupt society.

    • Sofie Liv

      Well, the point is that this formula is to be found EVERY-WHERE in the genre “Fantastic fiction.”

      YEAS, you are right. Kat coming from a tiny little town, actually even the tiniest lowest town possible, being introduced to a big new world, meaning we are introduced with her, now suddenly very special people going. “Oh you are the one, you can win this, you need to win.” absolutely.

      It’s as much that formula as Sokka and Kitara in Avatar having been stuck in a tiny village on the south pole for all of their lives and must now discover the big amazing world. (in this case, Ang is obviously the special one, and neither have he seen how the big world looks like now, so yeas, he is our ordinary main.)

      Didn’t think about Hungergame, but since this video was brought up the amazing thing about your responses is that you all put up names I didn’t think so much about, in spite of me actually thinking names that didn’t make the list!
      Bilbo and Frodo from lord of the rings, Jake from Avatar ext ext.

  • Nuclearademan

    Surprised you didn’t mention some of the early Tim Burton films (mainly Edward Scissorhands). I liked how they kinda changed up the formula of fantasy movies by having the fantasy character be the person we follow and the real world being the weird and magical place for them.

    Interesting video all the same did you film it at the same time as the Phantom review?

    • Sofie Liv

      Actually.. I have to point to the mom and call her. “Ordinary main nr 1” that introduces us to Edward and we pretty much discover and see stuff through here, then some time doing the course of the movie the perceptive changes to the daughter, lets call her “Ordinary main nr 2.” and they are our vessel of discovering while Edward is Strange and different for us to discover.

      It’s a cool movie, I love how through out the movie we almost scrape away the clean surface and unveil the city for what it truly is, even the art direction is a direct tool of story telling. Have yo noticed how absolutely square and pastel every-thing is in the beginning of the movie? Then Edward touches it by messing up the hedges giving it a completely different look, and then as the people turns on him and turn out not to be so perfect and nice any-more, the pastels are suddenly gone and they walk around in brown raggy clothes. It’s absolutely amazing art direction, not only made for the sake of looking good, but for the sake of being used as an actual tool of visual story telling. In the beginning Edwards Castle is just such a big stark contrast to the pastel world, until in the end, they fit right together. Beautiful 🙂

      And well. the point with this video is that the formula is indeed EVERY-WHERE! so I indeed couldn’t talk about every-thing :/

      Oh yeas, we filmed it the exact same day. You can probably tell, but I filmed this video first, which is why we relaxed and moved so much around with the camera, cause it came to the phantom review… we were running low on power and it was all. “QUICK just shoot the damn thing!”

  • Kev

    Why yes. Yes I do love theater biltinks.

    Just kidding. Great retrospective, very well done. You’re a natural presenter Sofie. Being a cute little Danish pixie helps too 🙂

    • Sofie Liv

       Thanks 🙂

      …. pixie?

      • MichaelANovelli

        It’s like a fairy.

        • FullofQuestions1

          I love this; I wish I was as good at speaking as you, and you edited the images together beautifully.

          And yeah, by pixie, I hope that Kev was using the meaning that Michael said and not intending to say that you would tear up classrooms and hang people on chandeliers.

          • Sofie Liv

             Thank you.
            If we ever meet I’ll give you some tips with the speaking, there are ways ya know, breath probably, go for it, take breaks… interpret the monologue.

            As for Pixie.. I do know what it is.. But I honestly don’t believe I look like one, Pixies are all small and tiny.
            I’m more of a Nisse! (Danish fairytale creature, you can look it up on google pictures.) always thought I kind of resembled a “Nisse.” which is nice, cause they are happy cute creatures.

          • Kev

            More like pixie as in a Zooey Deschanel kind of thing. And yes Sofie, that’s a compliment. 🙂

            On a more constructive note, I’d love to see more of these types of videos. Again, very well done. Or as you would say, Godt gaet.

          • Sofie Liv

            Heh.. we look absolutely nothing alike. But thank you any-way X)
            I feel very flattered even to be put in comparison with her at all, I mean.. she’s absolutely stunning.

            Erh, well. Don’t count on it, I do believe this was a one time thing. I mean yeah I could probably go back and talk more about genres and patterns in movies instead of making outright reviews, and I probably will.. but it wont be like this. And I will probably move more around and try to do different things with videos, I wanted to expand on what you can do with this review formula as I stated, try and push it a little. But yet again, it wont be like this, it will be different.  I am so glad people have thus far been so positive about it when I am experimenting, this and my Sherlock Holmes review may be my least viewed things on the booth, but they are certainly the most well received and what I am the most proud of personally. So yeah, I’ll do some-thing different from time to time, but always go back to ground base in the middle. I believe we need some kind of status quo to make special special. If you get what I mean.

  • Victorious

     This is different from what is normally posted here. I like it.

    • Sofie Liv

       Glad you liked it different 🙂

  • The Blockbuster Chick

    What an absolutely amazing, cleverly constructed and interesting video Sofie, I absolutely loved it!  Your love of the theatrical world always reminds me of my own love for it and how it can just engulf you just stepping back into the theatre you first started your journey in.  I know I’d get a lump in my throat if I went back to the place my love of theatre first began in.  And fantasy films have always been the movies I find myself completely lost in.  Stepping out of reality into these magical places where anything is possible, meeting all sorts of interesting characters and having incredible adventures has always been a comforting place for me.  I’ve just sat and watched the video and I know this is one I could watch again and again and still feel exactly the same about.  Incredible job, well done 🙂

    • Sofie Liv

      I didn’t have a lump in my throat.. but I was very very happy. the place is so beautiful, I honestly had forgotten a little bit how it looked (other than how pretty it is.) and then remembered as I stepped in. It’s an old theatre hall, dates as far back as hundred years ago, for real.. man I love old theatre halls. There’s just some-thing about them the new fancy buildings don’t have.

      It was kind of fun as I turned to my friend who filmed the video and asked. “Isn’t it amazing?” and he shrugged. “It’s fine I guess.” … true story.

      Yeah, I felt that way to as a child, harry potter, Narnia.. so amazingl fantastic places, I could see all of it before me and go home imagining on. And the reason why Doctor who is such an amazing show. It’s the only show thus far introduced to me while I was being an adult, having that same effect on me 🙂
      That’s quiality writing and production!

      Thank you so much, I’m very glad you enjoyed. I deeply enjoyed making this video! 

  • MephLord

    To everyone do you think Eternia, Etheria and other places in the Masters of the Universe worlds deserve love and attention to make them also incredible places to visit and imagine what life is like there?  Whispering Woods especially seems such a place that needs more focus and a good story behind it.

  • Olaf_the_Lofty

    Very heartfelt and very interesting. Thank you for sharing that with us. I don’t want to repeat what other people have said, so I will make one suggestion: if you liked “Howl’s Moving Castle” you would probably also like “Laputa: Castle In The Sky”. It’s another Miyazaki film, a very early one, extraordinary, gripping, and beautiful to watch. Also, in this case the fantasy/ordinary gender roles are reversed: Pazu is the ordinary boy living in the mining town of Slagg’s Ravine who realises there is a stranger and more wonderful world out there to discover one night when he sees Sheeta falling from the sky and floating impossibly past his window…

    • Sofie Liv

      Thank you very much.

      And don’t you worry, I know that movie, I know all Miyazaki movies, cause they are all amazing 😀

      I just have a soft spot for Howl in particular, I just really like the tone of the movie, the story and I LOVE the main character! she is an absolutely amazing character, with the most beautiful name in the world :3