Beauties and Beasts on TV: The Problem with Rumbelle

In honor of BYU’s December stage production of “Beauty and the Beast,” we will be looking at the lovely beauties and the brutish beasts on our weekly television screens. And luckily, we have a slew to choose from. Courtesy of our twin site,, we are able to trace the tale’s appearance on numerous shows from Rocky & Bullwinkle to Saturday Night Live to even Muppet Babies. In this post we will concentrate our efforts into the shipping (as in relation-ship) […]

Our World, Sofia’s World: “Sofia the First” review Pt 2

On October 12th, Sofia the First aired “The Secret Library,” an episode featuring an obvious secret library and a not-so-obvious secret river with depicted Disney “realms.” These Disney “realms” showcase worlds inhabited by Disney Princesses—Cinderella’s fairy tale castle, Merida’s misty cliffs, and Tiana’s New Orlean bayou, among others. These Disney “realms,” whimsical though they are, illustrate a very problematic concern with cultural representation. So what do these “realms” have to do with cultural representation? Quite a bit, actually. You see, Sofia, a plucky sweet thing, becomes a […]

Makeover Merida? Not Here!: “Sofia the First” review Pt 1

October 12th finally marked the entrance of Princess Merida (from Disney/Pixar’s Brave) in Sofia the First: “The Secret Library.” Sofia the First, Disney Junior’s princess escapade show for kiddies, has the same fanfiction-y pleasure as ABC’s Once Upon a Time, with Disney Princesses often cameoing to impart advice, songs, and general royal screen presence. Interestingly, Sofia the First has been known to change the well-known costumes of its Disney Princess guests; Cinderella gets more sparkly, Aurora gets very sparkly, and Belle gets flowered jewels. Merida recently appeared in Once Upon a […]

Pied Piper in Police Procedurals

Picture the scene: police tape, a music institute, a car, and inside the car, a well-esteemed music teacher—or what’s left of the well-esteemed music teacher. Crawling over him and in him and through him are the furry bodies of nightmares, rats.  Music, crime, rats. What comes to mind? For me, anytime music and rats are linked, I think of the “Rat-Catcher of Hamelin,” aka, “The Pied Piper.” Of course, fairy tales are a very big part of my life, but then again, fairy […]

Redheads and…Dead Heads?: “OUAT” 5.1 Review PART 2

  We return to the season five premiere of ABC’s Once Upon a Time (OUAT), which we first covered in this post. OUAT is known for its character-a-minute cameos, but this week featured the best untamed mane in the business: Merida, from Disney/Pixar’s Brave.   AUDIENCE ACCESSIBILITY It’s a good season for Disney/Pixar’s Brave–not only does Merida appear in this premiere but she’ll also appear in Sofia the First’s “The Secret Library,” appearing October 12. But honestly, it’s no surprise that OUAT is jumping on the Brave train, not after OUAT’s last season focusing on Disney’s Frozen.  […]

When is a Tale not a Fairy Tale?: “OUAT” 5.1 Review PART 1

  Season five is now upon us! The glitzy, cringe-fest, character-studded opera that we love, hate, and hate to admit we love, is back. ABC’s Once Upon a Time (OUAT) opened its season five with “The Dark Swan,” returning to the dilemma we last left: will Emma be more Savior or Dark One? MINING WHAT MATTERED That said, in an episode filled with Saviors and Dark Ones and Tilda Swinton-esque hairdos, what sparked my fascination most was a side character, surprisingly. Ladies and […]

The Clothes Make the Fairy Tale: “Goldie and Bear” 1.2 Review

For new viewers and readers, Goldie and Bear is Disney Junior’s latest fairy tale-themed television show. It’s cute and clever and computerized-cuddly. The season premiere confirmed that this show could prove its mettle. And most wonderfully, this second episode bought my viewership by showcasing my obsession, the one and only Little Red Riding Hood! Goldie and Bear has a greater commitment to storytelling and fairy tales than one would expect from a show for youngsters. To better analyze this intellectual storytelling, […]

Everything in Proportion: “Goldie and Bear” 1.1 Review

  Goldie and Bear is a clever, wink-wink-nudge-nudge, fairy tale romp that is aimed towards children (it will premiere on Disney Junior) but delighted even this fully grown grown-up. Granted, this grown-up has a very high threshold for whimsy, but this children’s show is the real deal. Fairy tale’s own Maria Tatar—who, amongst her many other contributions to fairy tales and folklore, also chairs Harvard University’s Folklore and Mythology program—was brought in as a consultant. “When we are stumped,” she […]