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In 2001 during the year of the first released issue of W.I.T.C.H., I was a 12 year old girl still in the sixth grade and drawing anime style characters, such as Sailor Moon, terribly (I am self-taught in free-hand drawing and I have never took a drawing class). I didn't know of its existence until I saw a commercial about a new animated series called W.I.T.C.H. on the Jetix channel. At the time I didn't pay much attention to it because I was into "Digimon" ( and still am!). A few months later when it was mid-way through the airing of the first season, I got bored enough to watch an episode. At first, I thought that it was interesting and okay, but I wasn't entire hooked yet. A few weeks later after watching my first W.I.T.C.H. episode on television, my family took me and my younger brother to the nearby bookstore. There, I saw the American (slightly censored) version of the original comic series. At first, I thought that it was one of those silly comic adaptation from the animated series and didn't realized that it was actually the other way around until I did some research. I sat there in the bookstore reading the very first 6 issues compacted into 3 books and immediately saw how much of big difference it is from the animated series. I started to watch more episodes of the series, including the ones that I missed and I started to do some more research on its history. By then, I was officially hooked. I fell in love with its unique ways of story-telling and artistic style and I felt that there was a certain charm to it that I have never felt before.
After waiting months on end for the American released, I got impatient and went online instead. To my luck, I was able to find a gold mine of comic scans online and began to read those instead. After years of reading WITCH, I also began to notice the difference as it transitioned itself from one saga to the next. I noticed the changes in the art styles, then the story-telling, then the entire thing which, I admittedly think, is now crap (the changes, not the entire WITCH universe). What was once a magical experience, I find WITCH now somewhat tasteless and a shell of its former glory. There were some issues that I still think was good, while others were so terrible and childish that it makes me preferred its rival, Winx Club, more than itself (Yes, it's that bad). I am now very disappointed that WITCH isn't as great as it used to be, and I find myself criticizing some of its new issues even more. Some people might ask me, "If you don't like it, then why bother continuing to read it?" My only answer is because I can't find myself to hate it entirely. W.I.T.C.H. has been around for a while and I fell in love with it as a teenager. Although I do find that it lost most of its magical touch, there are still some moments which I thought was wonderful enough for me to continue reading.
After ten years, W.I.T.C.H. has changed greatly, but personally, I still find that it still has that certain amount of charm that I just couldn't discard easily. W.I.T.C.H. comics has been a great inspiration to me in more ways than one, and to this day I am grateful to it. After drawing countless works, I finally made a small switch to WITCH art style. Although not best at first (as I'm still learning) I suddenly find myself drawing my own W.I.T.C.H. fanart calendar series, started my very first fan-comic side story of C.H.Y.K.N. (WITCH's predecessors), and now I'm slowly developing my new idea for a full blown WITCH fan-saga (called WITCH: Dreams of Lusteria)!
Name: Galistar07water (or just galistar) Role: Guardian of Arts Age: 26 Race: Human Gender: Female Ethnicity: Vietnamese Religion: Buddhist Location: Southern California Occupation: Assistant tutor/Tutor in English and history Hobbies: Read, Write, Draw, and Study films Favorite Films: The Godfather, Inception, Titanic, The Lord of the Ring films, Beauty and the Beast, and many more... Favorite Books: A lot, too much to list What I hate: the Twilight series and M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender Favorite Comic series: Disney's W.i.t.c.h. duh!
Current Residence: Southern California, United States of America Favorite music artists Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, Adele, etc Favorite genre of music: A lot of types, okay? Favorite style of art: Too many to list MP3 player of choice: Walkman (I don't like iPods) Favorite cartoon character: I have too many to list Personal Quote: If an artist's inspiration lacks uniqueness, then his work shall lack rareness.
Favorite visual artistUm...the crew who drew W.I.T.C.H. comic series!Favorite moviesInception, Batman: The Dark Knight, and a bunch of others that I won't bother to listFavorite TV showsAvatar: The Last Airbender, The Legend of Korra, W.I.T.C.H., Winx Club, H2O: Just Add Water, Mako Mermaids, Code LyokoFavorite bands / musical artistsToo many to listFavorite writersJ.K. Rowling, James Moloney, Cornelia Funke, Alyson Noel, Mary Hoffman, Alison Croggon, and more...Favorite gamesAge of Mythology for PCOther InterestsDraw, Read, study films
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
At last, after two films of built-up, it all comes down to the final battles of good against evil. Other heroes who were separated before now find themselves slowly drawn back together to face Sauron's assault against the Kingdom of Gondor. All the while, the fate of their future and of Middle-earth lies in one Hobbit as he and his two companions struggled to inch closer and closer to Mount Doom, hoping to destroy the One Ring for good. But it's not that easy for the roads are getting more and more treacherous as Tolkien comes closer to concluding his trilogy. In his two previous works, Tolkien's characters meandered a bit and are separated when the Fellowship is broken. While some still found their way back to each other, others are still lost or they find their destinies taking them down another path. As always, Peter Jackson and his film crew did their jobs spectacularly well in translating Tolkien's visionary world to the big screen. Here in The Return of the King, the burden of carrying the One Ring to its destruction is taking an incredibly heavy toll on Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) as he inches closer towards Mount Doom. It is without a doubt that Peter Jackson felt the same as he only had a year to finish filming each of these three colossal projects consecutively. The weight of trying to stay as close to the source material, pleasing the fans, giving it justice while staying to your true style of directing couldn't have been easy.
It's amazing how Jackson and his team blended animation with real New Zealand landscapes. Other times, it's all computer generated with some green screen effects, but it's done so well that you would feel as that some of these places, such as the majestic white city of Minas Tirith was real! It's glistening white buildings blended in with the white stones of a mountain side with only one side of said mountain protruding out like a buttress, splitting the entire cake-liked city into halves, but at the same time, gave it its majestic and awe-inspiring structure and characteristic. This city of Gondor is like a character itself as it tried to withstand the onslaught of Orcs.
In The Two Towers, our three main heroes consisted of the lost king Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), elven prince Legolas (Orlando Bloom), and dwarf master Gimli (John Rhys-Davies). Previously, they must assist the King of Rohan Theoden (Bernard Hill) defend itself against the corrupted Saruman (Christopher Lee) in the epic Battle of Helm's Deep. In The Return of the King, they come to Gondor's aid as Sauron wishes to crush the world of men and ensure that its rightful king never returns. As they ready for the final battle in front of Minas Tirith, our heroes valiantly defended the city against titanic elephant-liked creatures, hundred of thousands of Orcs, and the dreaded Witch King whom "no man can kill". Tolkien and Peter Jackson are not afraid to show us how dark and dire the situation is as Sauron's forces seemed too powerful to withstand, despite the union of both Gondor and Rohan's forces fighting side by side. They keep us on our toes, especially when the audience held their breath in fear that Faramir (David Wenham) is in danger of being cremated alive by his distraught father! You dare not breath as you wondered, can one little Hobbit Pippin (Billy Boyd) and the White Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) save him while the city is under attack?!
However throughout this film, many other characters were given the chance to shine, and shine they did! I find it remarkable that Tolkien was able to give each of his characters some significant role to play, especially when they themselves think that they can't. Characters such as Princess Eowyn (Miranda Otto) was able to prove herself in battle alongside the other men. Like Mulan, she disguised herself as a man to fight alongside her kinsman. She may have entered the battle as a man, but she killed the Witch King while declaring her womanhood proudly! Unfortunately, other significant female characters, such as Arwen (Liv Tyler) aren't given much significance as Tolkien doesn't seemed interested in them emotionally. She makes a decision to renounce her elven immortality to marry Aragorn and her life is now tied to the Ring: should Aragorn fails to defeat Sauron's forces, she'll die. They stated this, but there is no weight to it emotionally. (Rather, it felt as forced as suddenly having Eowyn falling in love with Faramir when she can't have Aragorn.)
The character developments in The Return of the King is incredible and astonishing as some of our heroes are at war with themselves while others must embrace the truth and their destiny in this world. Aragorn must embraced his destiny as the rightful King of Gondor while Frodo must decide whom to trust: his best friend, Sam (Sean Astin) who sincerely offered to carry the Ring for him or the former Hobbit Smeagol (Andy Serkis) who had given in to his darker side, Gollum. Once again, Andy Serkis's performances as this gangly creature with the help of motion-capture and animation artist is astounding! To illustrate his character's severe split-personalities traits, Serkis delivered by talking to his reflection about how to take the Precious back. Yes, he does like Frodo, but his darker and more powerful side loves the One Ring more. "My precious..." continues to make a mark on itself as one of Hollywood's most iconic movie quotes.
Despite some minor irks, The Return of the King is a crowning achievement in film history. The journey that started from the Shire grew immensely with each step towards Mordor our heroes take. The beauty of Peter Jackson's work is that despite being very long (clocking in at more than nine hours total for all three extended versions), the story did not dragged! Regardless of how long the epilogue in this film felt, the pacing of Tolkien's story is so well done on the silver screen, the audience never realized how fast time actually flew by the time the end credits rolled it. (Take notes on this, Michael Bay.) As always, the cast's acting performances were top-notched, each giving justice to their own characters they portrayed. You feel something when Faramir is almost burned alive and sad when Gollum's life ended. The Return of the King is a visionary beauty, dazzling the audience with some of the most spectacular blend of special effects and scenery wonders. The animators and artists of this film certainly have great visions and did Tolkien justice. I would not be surprised that the audiences are so taken by their work as they watched this film, finding the hills of the Shire, the glistening white towers of Minas Tirith, or the dark and frightening Dead City more interesting than the world they live in.
J.R.R. Tolkien may regarded his Lord of the Rings trilogy nothing more than small portions of a grander scale of Middle-earth, but we think of them as his true masterpiece. With Peter Jackson and his film crew giving justice to Tolkien's work, I believe that Tolkien couldn't be more wrong, for these three films definitely shows us how grand and wondrous his world is.