Thursday, October 27, 2011

Candle Cove: The Frozen Prince

Saw another Candle Cove Episode today. This one was . . . depressing and creepy and I'm still surprised parents let their kids watch this stuff.

Pirate Percy still hasn't found Janice so this episode he decides to go ask the Frozen Prince. If this guy is anywhere near as scary as the Triangle Man was I don't blame him for not wanting to talk to the man. Anyway, they sailed north for the Winter Court, eventually reaching a sea filled with chunks of ice. A normal boat might have had a hole punched in it's hull and sank in those icy waters but the Laughingstock's jaws crunched through the ice in its path. I wish they'd used a different sound effect though, every time her jaws crunched shut on an ice burg it sounded like more like bones breaking than crunching ice. The Laughingstock sailed to the coast and ran herself up onto shore because there was no dock and Percy, bundled up in what looked like at least three sweaters and four pairs of long johns disembarked. You could barely see his porcelain face under the three knit hats and pair of earmuffs.

I would have thought he looked silly if not for how cold the landscape looked. As far as the eye could see was nothing but white. A wind swept plain of snow and ice dotted with the occasional little hill. No snow was falling at the time, but gusts of wind would blow snow directly into his face and at the camera. Off in the distance were some large lumbering shapes spread out over the plain, but the blowing snow made them hard to see clearly. The sun (which looked so pale and far away) glinted off something in the distance and that was the way poor Percy headed. This is also only the second time I've ever heard the calliope music that constantly plays as the sound track stop. The second he stepped off the Laughingstock it was replaced with the sound of howling wind.

Again I have to compliment the puppeteer who works Percy. Not only did they manage to capture a sense of dogged determination in his trudging across the wind swept tundra they managed to make it look like he was shivering without tangling the strings. He trudged on for what must have been miles (in the usual TV montage way) occasionally having to climb over small oddly shaped hills. The lumbering shapes were oddly cute animals about the size of a small elephant. They looked kind of like a cross between Snuffleupagus and a yak. Every now and then Percy would walk past one and it would make a sad sound somewhere between a moan and a sigh and trudge on. Even with all their fur they looked so cold, and somehow lonely. They were kind of depressing. Then I found out what the little hills he'd been climbing over were. Percy walked past one of the creatures and it let out that little moan/sigh and fell to the ground. As Percy trudged on the wind blew snow over the poor critter and eventually it looked like all the other little hills. It was macabre how the camera lingered on the thing freezing to death and being covered in snow. I mean, I know my generation watched a Tauntaun freeze to death and get sliced open by Han to save Luke's life. And we watched Atreyu's horse sink into the swamp. I get that shows and movies for kids are often more macabre and depressing than we would expect sometimes, but this seemed worse somehow.

Eventually that gleam in the distance becomes a castle made of ice. At first it looks very magical and Disney, but as Percy gets closer and closer it looks more icy and foreboding than magical. There are shapes in the ice that look like they might be those creatures from the plains, and other smaller shapes. Ones that might be people. If a fairy queen lived here she'd be the kind who lays evil curses on babies at their christening. If a princess were in the castle she'd be in need of rescue. Eventually Percy makes it to the gate, he reaches out to knock and slips on a patch of ice and falls on his butt. From inside the castle someone giggles and then says "Three children sliding on the ice,   upon a summer's day. As it fell out, they all fell in, the rest they ran away. Oh, had these children been at school, or sliding on dry ground, ten thousand pounds to one penny They had not then been drowned."
Percy replied, stuttering with the cold as well as his usual fear I think, "Y-your high-highness. I-I need to ask you a qu-question please."

The gate opened and I was surprised to see a little boy, younger than my students I think, who looked like he was made entirely of ice. It was an excellent makeup job, you could tell he wasn't CGI or a puppet. "Percy!" he said "Did your Queen send you here to play with me?" "N-no your Highness. It's J-j-janice, we can't find her anywhere! Do you know where she is?" "No Percy, I haven't seen her. If you find her though you should bring her here to play! She can be my princess and we can make you a snowman!"

Now, I still don't know how they get Percy's porcelain face to make expressions (maybe they switch off the camera and change heads?) but from the terrified look on his face the kid wasn't talking about making a snowman for Percy. "Wh-when I f-find her I'll ask if she wants to come play." Percy told him and he turned around to trudge back to the Laughingstock. The ice boy closed the gate and began whistling "Pop goes the weasel" as Percy walked away.

Between the poor animals freezing to death and the ice boy (or as Percy called him at the beginning "the Frozen Prince" that was a very creepy episode. I really hope Janice doesn't have to go back and play with him after Percy finds her again. 










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