Book Review: She by H. Rider Haggard 

This is the second book by Haggard I’ve read, having quite enjoyed King Solomon’s Mines and intrigued by the premise of this book, which sees a journey to find a mysterious, mythical queen known as She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed. I’d seen a bit of the Ursula Andress movie and it seemed a fun adventure story.

Which it is. In places.

The central premise is a neat idea, as is the way it’s set up with an ages long story passed through a family for centuries, but it’s in the telling of this story that Haggard starts dropping the ball.

He talks about the story of a woman who escaped She and the son she bore, and her hope they would return to the kingdom, and describes it as being done in several languages. This is fair enough, but he shows the different languages and drags this section out far too long. Less is more, dude.

The other problem I had is there’s something of an anti-Semitic vibe to comments that She and others make, and as, with Solomon’s Mines, the ideas about different races are very outdated. 

And while there are a few thrills early on, far too much of it is a slog and while our narrator talks about how fascinating She is I couldn’t help finding her infuriating.

It’s a decent premise but feels like a wasted opportunity. and the climax is unsatisfying and flat. And the narrator is poorly chosen, with a self pitying streak which makes him appear whiny and rather pompous too.

Quite disappointing really.

Verdict: There are some nice ideas here but it never delivers on a good idea and there’s not enough action to keep it going. The finale falls flat and it’s a slog in places. 3/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Inspired by a Daily Post prompt.

And I should warn you right here, this is a bit of a grim blog. So consider yourself warned.

I’m not a very brave guy. I have a lot of fears. Off the top of my head- clowns, spiders, zombies, heights and that I’m actually allergic to nuts but have been brainwashed into forgetting this and am one Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup away from death.

But high on the list? 

Being buried alive.

A few years ago I went and saw Ryan Reynolds in Buried and left the cinema shaking, and I can’t think of a film that has left me so shaken. if you haven’t seen it, it’s a cracking thriller from what I remember.

Shout out to the “groundbreaking” pun

I can’t remember when I first heard about people being buried alive, I think it came from being told people used to get bricked into walls back in medieval times or something. But it chilled me then.

I’m claustrophobic and as a kid had problems with the dark, so it makes sense that this would mess with me, but unlike a lot of fears this one gets worse the older you get. 

And knowledge is not power here.

As a kid I thought it would suck. As an adult I realised that was a massive understatement.

Not just the enclosed space but the just knowing it was all over. That would be the worst part. If you have a terminal illness you can say goodbye to your loved ones, but just knowing you were trapped?

Forget Kill Bill in the real world you ain’t getting out. And that’s what terrifies me. You hear those “they thought they were dead” stories and they usually have a happy ending, I mean the person was alive after all, and probably headed for a big pay out from the doctor who dropped the ball.

But I can’t be alone in thinking what about the folks who woke up after the burial? How many coffins have scratch marks on the inside?

This has to be the most morbid entry I’ve ever written. Blame bingeing on The Walking Dead and being tired, I guess. Although I suppose it is kinda reassuring that if there ever are zombies a lot of them will be trapped six feet under.

I am painfully aware that should I ever become a masked crime fighter I have just told my enemies how to get rid of me in the worst way.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

My Favourite Films #41: An American Werewolf in London

As it’s October I thought I’d write about a couple of horror movies I love, and I’m kicking off with this more comedic entry. Directed by John Landis at the height of his powers, and it’s successful as both a horror and a comedy.

The movie starts off with backpacking American students David and Jack (David Naughton and Griffin Dunne, respectively) wandering the moors. They stop off at The Slaughtered Lamb, a rural pub but after Jack makes a joke about a pentagram on the wall the mood sours and they leave, with the locals warning them to keep to the road, stay off the moors and “beware the moon”.

Should have stayed off the moors, lads

Distracted by chatting they lose the road and are attacked by a vicious beast, which mauls both of them. The beast is shot and David sees a bullet riddled naked man before he blacks out. 
Awaking three weeks later in hospital David discovers that Jack was killed and the attack is said to have been done by an escaped lunatic. His recollections of a beast are put down as shock. Shortly after Jack appears, still bearing his injuries and fills David in- they were attacked by a werewolf, and David is now infected. Jack is cursed to remain a zombie until the bloodline of the werewolf is stopped, and urges David to kill himself, not only to release him but to avoid harming others.

This is quite dark, and Jack’s increasing decay over the course of the film is done extremely well by the effects team, but it’s to the credit of all involved that the laughs keep coming, even if the humour is pretty black in places. A large part of this is Dunne and Naughton’s chemistry and the writing, which feels easy and natural, the two joking and chatting like real friends.

Jack, not looking his best

Convinced he is going nuts, David pushes it from his mind and is discharged, awaiting a flight home. He’s offered a place to stay by his nurse, Alex (Jenny Agutter), who he begins a relationship with. Every cloud…

Alex smashing through the therapeutic boundary

Jack warns him again, but David tries to block him. But when darkness falls he changes. This is the film’s most famous scene, where Rick Baker’s practical effects make the transformation a bone crunching, intense watch all soundtracked by Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Bad Moon Rising”. Watching it now it’s dated but the make up effects are still damn impressive and it seems far more “real” than. Lot of CGI which can often look utterly separate from it’s surrounding.

Here there’s a weight to it all and it has a physicality that still holds up.

What follows is a werewolf rampage, and then a flip to almost goofy comedy as a naked David wakes up in the zoo. He flees and realises that he is a danger, phoning home to say goodbye his family and contemplating killing himself. He then spots an even more decayed Jack and follows him into a porn theatre where he meets his other victims.
This is one of the blackest moments of the film as, to the background of a deliberately naff adult film, the recently dead argue over the best way to kill himself. Unfortunately they take too long and David turns as night arrive, running amok through Piccadilly Circus. This part is gleefully chaotic, even if prolonged shots of the beast highlight it’s flaws. The panic is captured well and then David is cornered, Alex tries to calm the beast but he is shot by the police, and reverts to his human form.

This for me is one of the best moments as Landis flips the downbeat ending by launching into the end credits backed by the inappropriately upbeat “Blue Moon” by The Marcels (he soundtrack features many songs about the moon). It’s such a jarring shift in tone that the first time I saw it I burst out laughing.

It’s a scruffy film in some ways, and the shifts in tone are quite big, but Landis handles them grace and it all clicks together, although David’s nightmare halfway through is genuinely disturbing, featuring monstrous Nazis and a cameo from the Muppets, and could throw the whole thing, but it pulls back.

What makes it work is that Landis puts in the time between the horror to develop the characters a little, and the leads are all likeable. Far too many horror movies don’t do this, but by making us care about David it makes this film be more effective.

The film has developed a cult following, and there’s a lot to love here. I watched it as a teen, but every time I see it I still enjoy it immensely, and of all the genres horror is the one that doesn’t usually hold up to repeat viewings.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Oh, dear, what can the matter be?

I wrote about using the disabled toilets at work to change a little while back and despite my unease have continued to do so. Today, however, the powers that be may have sent a message for me to stop misusing these facilities.

I found today’s shift tougher than normal as I’ve just had a week off, so was out of my work rhythm. Tired all I wanted to do was head home for some cold pizza and The Walking Dead but first I needed a bus and to change clothes. 

Luckily the staff disabled toilet is a lot cleaner than the customer one because it hardly ever gets used. I hastily changed, trying to avoid seeing my reflection in tte mirror and was soon ready to go.

I reached for the handle which was a little loose. I turned it. Nothing.

I jiggled it and tried again.

Still nothing.

Realization hit. 

I was locked in.

I tried fiddling some more, pulling the door as tight as I could, twisting the handle in every possible direction.

After two or three minutes and countless attempts I had to accept defeat.

With embarrassment oozing from every pore I reached up and pulled the distress cord.

A few minutes later I was rescued by a helpful, and clearly amused, security guard. I thanked him and got the hell out of there.

I think tomorrow I’ll just wear my uniform on the bus.

Any thoughts ?  You know what to do. BETEO.

10 Video Games I’ve Loved Part 2

So last time around I’d gotten as far as my time at uni playing Halo so will continue here with another game that ate up hours of potential studying time.

6. Tiger Woods PGA Tour (year unknown)

You couldn’t pay me to watch golf. It’s interminably dull and mainly seems to include shots of the sky as a tiny white speck flies towards a hole followed by rich, posh idiots.

Despite this at uni my mate Rich and I would spend ages playing a simulation of the “sport”. I think the appeal was that it actually took skill to play, and that it was slow paced which gave us time to drink gallons of tea and chat.

It was another game I wasn’t particularly good at but I improved over the years and I quite liked the challenging part. Probably because my degree, in Film Studies, was quite easy in places.

This game is the only reason why I can name a golfer aside from Woods, Luke Donald. 

7. Angry Birds

This game kept me sane on night shifts, when it wasn’t driving me nuts. The idea is stupid, but simple; pigs have kidnapped your eggs so your flock hurls itself suicidally at them to get them back.

The flick and tap style of play is easy. The levels are increasingly difficult and there is some strategy involved, and I’ll confess this is the first game that I sought out cheats for, watching walk through videos on levels that frustrated me.

I wasn’t proud of it, but it was that or sacrifice my iPod Touch to a rage quit episode. In the end I had to delete it because I was wasting hours playing it and getting increasingly angry at the green pigs.
8. Mario Kart

Returning to university to do nursing would turn out to be a mistake, academically speaking. But I met MWF and I quite enjoyed the extracurricular aspects of my year.

It helped that the gods of student accommodation smiled on me and I had five quality flatmates. Flatmates with whom I would hang out watching DVDs and playing intensely competitive games of Mario Kart on the Wii.

I mentioned while discussing Halo that driving games are not my strong point and to begin with I would crawl over the finish line in last place. However, as the year progressed I managed to get better and even got a few wins for Waluigi, who I’d adopted as my go to character.

My improvement was basically that I got better at throwing shells at opponents and would only crash once a lap. Unless we were playing Rainbow Road, a course designed by a sadistic madman which even threw Emma, who was freakishly skilled at the game.

After crap shifts on placement or mind numbing lectures I’d camp out on our sofa, screaming at the screen as Waluigi became a magnet for every banana, shell and oil slick in existence. It was an odd way to unwind, playing a game which could be incredibly frustrating, but it worked, and was a good flat bonding experience.

It also gave me a reason to invite MWF over before we got together, giving us a chance for us to hang out and for me to kick her ass all over Bowser’s Castle.

9. FIFA 13

I’m sure FIFA 13 isn’t the pinnacle of the series, but I picked it up for 50p and used MWF’s xBox to play for hours while I was unemployed. I’m six seasons into a career game managing Bristol Rovers (I elected not to manage Swansea because I would be far too emotionally invested in the game) and could probably have used the weeks of game time more productively but my obsession has gone too far.

Despite having got all the way to Champions Cup glory I can’t quite until I bag an FA Cup title, completing my collection of trophies at the club. The FA Cup is my white whale, and I will chase it round perdition’s flames before I give it up.

The other way the obsession manifests itself is that I will find myself thinking about squad decisions for future games (“I’ll rest Bale against Stoke and West Brom, and that way he’ll be fresh for the Juventus match”) or weigh up what I need to get during the transfer window.

The game has also showed I am far too emotional to be a manager, in that I hold grudges against players who ask for transfers or demand pay rises too often, and after Euro 2016, in a fit of patriotic pride I wound up buying four Welsh players.

I’ll probably keep playing, FA Cup glory or not, until MWF and I trade in for an xBox One and then probably get hooked on the latest version.

10. Pokémon Go

This year saw the release of a brand new Pokémon game which used augmented reality to allow you to hunt for the pocket monsters in the real world. It was actually a sneaky ploy to get children, and childish adults, outside and exercising, with players getting rewards for travelling longer distances.

For a while it was inescapable, people playing it everywhere, old people whinging about it in the press and stories of bizarre situations Pokémon trainers found themselves in. 

It’s probably peaked now, and my own usage has dropped off because I’m tired of being swarmed by Pidgeys.

But I still have it and play now and then, and am still kinda obsessed with being the very best. The game isn’t helped by a few annoying flaws and the fact that as mentioned certain Pokemon have reached vermin status. But it’s fun and it means that folks are getting outside more, which makes it better than many if the other games I’ve written about.

Anyway, that’s my ten video game loves. If you have any thoughts, you know what to do. BETEO.


Today is World Mental Health Day. I think it’s one of the better awareness days as mental health is still something which we don’t talk about and which a lot of folks don’t understand.

I’ve always felt that education on mental health would be a great thing to role out in schools. It would help people understand what people are going through and help lessen the stigma so that people are more comfortable asking for help.

Asking for help is a major problem, especially for men, thanks to the ingrained macho ideas of not showing vulnerability or expressing emotions. I’m 31 and while I can admit to crying I still find it embarrassing because if the whole “boys don’t cry” idea. 

I wish this was different. I wish that a guy I know who killed himself had been able to talk about it with someone, maybe he might have gotten the help before he reached the stage where he felt like he had no options left. Less dramatically, it might have helped several others from suffering alone.

It would have helped me.

During my second year at uni I hit a major funk, one that lasted two to three months. I felt down and lost. I felt I was wasting my time and that after uni that I would never amount anything or do anything. I sank further into this pit of self loathing. I hated the way I looked, the way I acted, my course, my prospects, I was sure I would never get a girlfriend and that my friends were laughing at me, not with me.

I stopped going to some lectures, my work fell off. I spent hours in my room just moping or wasting time online. 

None of my friends would have known about this. I covered it up well, getting louder. I was the loud mouthed clown anyway, so I played up to it. I already drank a lot, but now I drank more, getting hammered three/four times a week, throwing myself out socially and wearing my mask of fun party guy.

Me during my funk, covering it well

I hung out with my mates and cracked jokes, I could briefly feel better, forget about what was bothering me. But when I got to my room at night it was there waiting for me.
It was there every hungover morning or quiet afternoon. It was there during lectures, gnawing away in the back of my mind.

There was no big moment of relief, no dramatic event that snapped me back. It just passed, like a storm. And I found that this would be the pattern in the future. The funk would appear before me and I’d slip down into it. I can make it pass quicker by focusing on certain things, by getting out and by keeping busy, but I can’t magic it away. I have to wait for it to pass.

When the first one passed I’d failed my second year. I had to fight to resit and to convince my Dad to let me go back, and finally over that summer it all came out and I talked about it for the first time. Luckily I have parents who care and know about mental health, enough that they keep an eye out for me.

My Dad was the first one to use the word “depression”, but I guess I’ve always felt uncomfortable calling it that. My own funks are fortunately infrequent, I’ve had three or four since the first one, most lasting around a month, and they pass then. I feel like saying I have depression is an insult to those who deal with it every day, or for long, unbroken periods.

When I was working a job I was growing to hate, they asked how I was doing and listened to my rants. That release valve helped, as did knowing there was support for me. Tired and frustrated as a nursing student, my Dad asked if I was okay and reassured me that he and my mum were always the other end of the phone for me.

I’ve had those downs since. But I’ve never hit bottom. I’ve always joked that I’m too shallow to get properly depressed. That a song, film or book is enough for me to turn it around. It’s not that easy, but I am lucky. My dark, low ebbs have never been as dark or low as what others have to face, but they can still leave me reeling. 

I have people to talk to, my parents and MWF the major ones, people who support and care for me, and are willing to let me vent without judgement.

 Coping strategies I use to reshoot my focus and I always try and do the things that keep me up,and away from the dips. Like writing. I’ve realised that my own fear

I hope if anyone out there reading this goes into a dark patch they have people to talk to. It’s amazing how just getting to express yourself helps. We need to stop worrying about embarrassment and bothering people, and open up. Our friends and family should be willing to listen, and hopefully understand our difficulties. But if you don’t have them there’s always the Samaritans, a great charity that gives people the chance to talk about anything that is troubling them.

I’ve mainly discussed depression, because that’s what I’ve had experience of, but for other mental health issues it’s worth looking into Mind a charity which provides help and support for a variety of problems.

Be well and take care of yourself. And celebrate when you do well, or practice some self care.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

10 Video Games I’ve Loved Part 1

I’ve recently been watching Dara O’Briain’s Go 8 Bit on Dave, where comedians come in and play computer games. It’s been a real nostalgia kick as they’ve played games I used to love like Sensible Soccer, Snake and Tekken 2. 

Inspired by this I thought I’d write about games I loved over the years, and am doing them chronologically. Let’s crack on.

1. Tetris

In the early ’90s my big sister and I saved up and pooled our money to buy a first generation Gameboy, which was roughly the size and weight of a brick.

Despite it being coveted by four children there was an odd Gameboy truce where we shared it fairly, possibly due to the fear that Mum would confiscate it.

We only had two games- Super Mario Land and Tetris. 

Of the two the more basic Tetris was my favourite and massively addictive. Deceptively simple it ate up hours of my life and I can remember playing it for so long that as I laid myself down to sleep I would still see the falling shapes before my eyes.

It didn’t save your scores, so you were only ever in competition with yourself unless you passed it back and forth. It is also the first game where I experienced the “rage quit” and would throw the Gameboy down in disgust, leaving craters all over the house.

2. Sonic 2

I never had a Sega MegaDrive, and jealously eyed my mate Dai’s. He had several games, but the major one for us was this the second outing of a blue hedgehog. As Dai owned the console I had to play as Sonic’s sidekick Tails. Which kinda sucked, but still it was fun and the music still echoes somewhere in my brain.

3. GoldenEye

Split screen.

It was all about the split screen. The missions were fun, but the multiplayer was where it was at. My friend Geraint owned a N64 and was a lot better than me on this, so the infrequent occasions where the red came down his half were moments to savour.

One thing I loved was that the film had a host of classic Bond characters to choose from.

4. Snake/Snake 2

Talking about old phones with younger people will make you feel old. The advances have been so quick that something from less than 20 years ago seems like an antiquated relic.

For example, my old Nokia 3310, which I loved and used for years despite dropping it out of a first floor window, putting it through the wash and countless drunken nights out. Robust nature aside, the best thing about the phone was this game.

It basically involved guiding a blocky line (or slightly better rendered snake in the sequel) around eating things, which made it grow longer, and seeing how long you could last before hitting yourself or the sides.

It’s simplicity made it an addictive pleasure and a great way to kill time. You’d compare high scores, and obsess over beating your own.

 I once left my phone with my friend Dan and returned to find he’d set a ridiculously high score. After a frustrating week of falling short I finally accepted defeat and reset the game, wiping the slate clean.

I recently found it on the Play Store (named Snake ’97) and it turns my phone into an old Nokia and the obsession is back.

It’s already become my go to app for when I’m bored.

5. Halo series

At university two of my flatmates had consoles, and my buddy Ralph had an Xbox and graciously allowed me to spend hours in his room making Master Chief run into walls and crash Warthogs (driving games have never been my forte). I played this so much that once after a marathon session I walked to the shop and realised I still had the target dot in my vision.

Despite my lack of skill (on my watch MC died more times than Jean Grey) I absolutely loved the game, and despite favouring more straight forward games, I quite liked playing one that had a plot and after the first went on to the second.

I got majority obsessed so much so that for a project Ralph made a short film about me playing the game and flying into a rage when someone accidentally turned off the console. Easiest acting I ever had to do.

I’d graduated when Halo 3 came out, but still managed to complete it in two player mode, although my then girlfriend wasn’t happy that after going to visit her I disappeared to kill aliens.

I really need to check out what happened after 3.

Any thoughts?  You know what to do. BETEO.

Disney Classics #4: Dumbo

I only watched this film all the way through when MWF put it on a couple of months back. Apparently as a kid on first viewing I was reduced to tears by the way Dumbo was bullied and refused to watch any more. And I never even attempted it again.

I didn’t miss much.

This is apparently the shortest film in the Classics series and yet it still feels like it could do with some trimming.

The plot is simple-minded the stork brings circus elephant Mrs Jumbo a baby, a mute elephant with unusually large ears who she rather cruelly names Dumbo. His ears draw ridicule from the other elephants and the circus workers, who put him in an act with the clowns, where he has to jump from a high board into a giant custard pie.

Side note- could this film, with the bullying and mean clowns be where my fear of them begins?

Anyway, Mrs Jumbo, naming abilities aside, is a good mother and angered by the bullying kicks off. For her trouble she is branded a “mad elephant” and locked up. 

Jumbo’s only friend is Timothy Q. Mouse (Edward Brophy) a wise guy like mouse who looks after him and feels bad for him. After a humiliating performance Timothy takes Dumbo to see his mum, in a rather sad sequence featuring the song “Baby Mine” where the other animals are with family, but all Mrs Jumbo can do is rock Dumbo through the bars.

I’m kinda glad Little Chris had stopped watching by this point because this would have broken him.
After this mouse and elephant get drunk. Yes, in a kid’s film. This sets off a trippy and creepy number “Pink Elephants on Parade” which is rather disorientating. Dumbo and Timothy are similarly freaked out and wake up in a tree, and Timothy reckons this is because Dumbo flew.

This is ridiculed by a passing murder of crows (awesome collective noun that) and they have a good life, until Timothy shames them for laughing at Dumbo. Feeling sorry and sending this is a self belief issue, the crows pass Timothy a “magic” feather and sure enough Mrs Jumbo’s baby boy takes to the skies.

Returning to the circus Dumbo takes flight, they get revenge on the clowns and nasty elephants, and he becomes a star. He gets his mother freed (never explained how this would have happened) and they live happily ever after.

Aside from being wild animals forced into captivity and made to perform for human amusement.

What doesn’t work with this movie is that it feels like a series of events rather than one fluid story. And at times the switches in tone are jarring, especially when the heartbreak of “Baby Mine” is followed almost immediately by the nightmarish “Pink Elephants”.

Also while he is cute having a protagonist who doesn’t talk is a bit of a drag after a while. 

Some of it works, but some of it doesn’t and the flow is off.

Disney Score: 4/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Book Review: Baby Steps by Mara Altman

This is the fourth book I’ve read by Altmann and like the others it sees her respond to a personal issue by researching the topic and writing about it. In this case, the fact that everyone around her is having babies and that, newly married, she is being asked about her own plans around children.

Altman talks to family, friends and experts about society’s obsession with babies and the pressures on women to become mothers. It’s personal and humourous but it touches on some big issues about parenthood and gender roles.

Throughout Altman asks herself whether she even wants kids herself, and flip flops back and forth on this issue. To see if she’s suited to motherhood she tries on a fake belly, looks after a robot baby and these are quite interesting side stories but really this is about her weighing up her options and trying to make the right decision for her future.

It’s a Kindle Single so rather short, and some ideas are half explored, but it’s still a warm and entertaining quick read.

Verdict: Altman writes with warmth and humour, and this is a quick and entertaining read about one woman deciding what she wants to do with her life. 7/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

Disney Classics #3: Fantasia

As MWF and I sat down to watch this the other day my heart sunk. I remembered it opening with the orchestra arriving, but not that there was so much talking. The dry intro from Deems Taylor is a bit dull and I was worried I’d mentally edited the film as I remembered loving the film as a kid.

Thankfully after the first long intro it got better and the animation makes up for it. The film shows the imagination and artistry that Disney boasted when they began this ambitious and risky venture.

This was only the third animated feature the studio made and it’s cool to see that Walt wasn’t afraid to take some risks. Instead of continuing down the fairytale path he went in a totally different direction. Why he did so is the big question?

Was it out of some need to be taken more seriously? (See Gibson doing Hamlet and Rowling trying to write outside the Harry Potter universe) 

Personally I prefer he wanted to show off the talent he’s assembled and if that was the goal, it’s mission accomplished here.

Instead of one narrative this is seven separate sections, each inspired by a different piece of classical music. The sections are done in different styles, ranging from abstract to cartoony, some serious while others are comical. There’s one that tracks evolution and the death of the dinosaurs, and it all ends with a gothic piece.

This finale, set to Modest Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain”, was the one I loved as a kid and really stuck with me. It’s fantastically dark and the towering demon was just the right mix of cool and creepy for a little kid.

The image of dancing flames was one I remembered vividly, and it still works as this anarchic celebration of evil, filled with ghouls and demons. Although I still feel the “Ave Maria” ending makes a disappointing come down.

The other one I could remember large parts of clearly was the Greek myth section to “The Pastoral Symphony” by Beethoven. It gave the world the word “centaurettes”, which the world promptly gave back.

Centaurs, fauns, unicorns, cherubs and pegasuses? Pegasi?  flying horses abound. It’s so vibrant and cheerful, featuring cherubs matchmaking centaurs and features Bacchus, who is a wine swigging comedic delight, his rotund form perched upon a tiny donkey unicorn.

And then Zeus turns up, thunderbolts blazing, spoiling his fun. The petty and cruel king of the gods is far closer to the Zeus of myth than the one who would appear in Disney’s Hercules decades later.

The other stand out is “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” composed by Paul Dukas. It’s essentially a Mickey Mouse short and a hugely entertaining one, energetic and full of anarchic fun. It’s the most iconic of the sections and holds up really well, a simple, amusing story.

The hit rate is surprisingly high, with only the first abstract piece falling flat (it overstays it’s welcome a bit) and I was surprised by how much of the film I could remember from the dancing flowers during a medley from The Nutcracker, the bleak extinction of the dinosaurs and the sassy ballerina hippos.

It’s a great movie, with glorious visuals cleverly married to the classical score. The innovation and skill on show means that this has really stood the test of the time. A treat for the eyes and ears.

Disney Score: 8/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.