The time has come… for The Journey to the West! James has been waiting years for us to cover this classic tale of heroes, demons, and the search for enlightenment. He discusses Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism and how the story brilliantly manages to espouse all three. Claire talks about the evolution of the story by walking through the original historic journey taken by the monk Xuanzang in 596 and examines how it became the phenomenon it is today. Our hosts conclude with their thoughts on the Anthony C. Yu translation, why they chose to cover this book, and how well they believe it will pair up with our next topic, Dragon Ball Z.
Outlander is Diana Gabaldon’s beloved fantasy and historical fiction book series and a TV show on STARZ. Claire starts out with a look at early historical fictions, what defines the genre, and how it became known as “feminine”. Kyle jumps into Diana Gabaldon’s process, how she came to write some of the most successful historical fiction novels ever, and why show runner, Ronald Moore decided to adapt the series for television. The duo wraps up the episode with their thoughts on the first book, the success of an oft maligned genre, Outlander’s connections to C.L. Moore’s Jirel of Joiry and the legacy of women writing women for women.
It’s time for Claire and Kyle to begin our next pairing: Jirel of Joiry by C.L. Moore and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon! This week we focus on the sword and sorcery heroine of pulp magazines, Jirel, one of fantasy’s first female protagonists written by a female author. In our history segment, Kyle walks us through some of the first female fantasy authors including 17th century aristocrat, Margaret Cavendish, and beloved Little Women author, Louisa May Alcott (!!). Claire’s production segment picks up from there, describing the life and career of C.L. Moore before getting into the origin and growth of pulp fiction, and Weird Tales, the magazine that launched Moore’s career. Our hosts conclude with a discussion of why they paired Jirel of Joiry with Outlander, their reaction to Jirel, and the audience for her 85 year old pulp stories today.
After a lengthy break for the holidays, Kyle and Claire ring in the New Year by talking about the Netflix original series, The Dragon Prince. Kyle begins by further exploring a topic we began in our last episode – how the morals of the day are reflected in children’s animation. He picks up after Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and takes us through Nickelodeon’s Avatar: the Last Airbender. Next, it’s Claire’s turn to break down how the show’s creators went from working in executive positions at Riot Games to getting their new animation project funded by Netflix, and how Netflix uses its subscriber data to tailor make original content for its viewers. Our hosts conclude with a full discussion of our pairing, (if they pair well at all) and how learning more about Snow White and The Dragon Prince influenced their reactions to both.
The team at DSRA couldn’t be more excited to delve into children’s animation! We’re pairing Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with Netflix’s The Dragon Prince. Claire starts us off by comparing the original Grimm’s Brothers tale to Disney’s version and discusses how children’s tales, no matter when they were written, reflect the morals and values of the society around them. James talks about Disney’s early career, how Steam Boat Willy changed sound in animation and the arduous, expensive process behind making Snow White. Our hosts conclude with their thoughts on the film, the experience of seeing it in 1937, and how impressive Lucille La Verne’s Queen is.
As part of our new episode format, we’re pairing up our Frankenstein episode with one about Jurassic Park. Kyle begins with a comparison of the characters in the movies versus the novels. He then goes on to describe the ways that scientists have manipulated life for the past two hundred years regardless of initial taboos. Claire starts her segment with a look at Michael Crichton’s evolution into a writer and how his early career as a doctor affected his work. She then explains how the special effects used for the original Jurassic Park changed movie making forever. Our hosts conclude with a discussion of common themes and their thoughts on the films and books.