Friday, September 1, 2017

New Blog - Jonathan Paper

I have started a new blog called Jonathan Paper.
There are already 5 posts at Jonathan Paper on Home, The Chronicles of Narnia, a DreamWorks Animation movie, The new comedy The Big Sick , Les Miserables.

All those titles are links, so take a look at my new blog at!

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Disney Pixar's Cars 3: Movie Review by Jonathan K

I would like to say a few words about Disney Pixar’s Cars 3.

Pixar knows how to make the feels. They draw you in with a simple story about relatable characters who you grow to care about in a short amount of time.

There I was in the theatre today, caring about an annoying yellow car, caring about her hopes and failures, hoping for her dreams and disappointments.

There I was in the theatre feeling all sorts of things about aging, relevance, belonging, priorities and friendship, while listening to a captivating score by Randy Newman. (At several times, his score reminded me of all the good parts of the Toy Story soundtracks.)

Yes, the animation is gorgeous because they pile tens of millions of dollars into it. Yes, in the back of my minds, I know Disney just wants to make me feel good so they can make more money from me (and like they need any more!).  But this is such high quality storytelling, it almost makes me forgive them for their blatant lack of respect for their fans in many a dodgy direct-to-DVD sequel and slap-dash licensed merchandise (and for ditching the Chronicles of Narnia franchise, but that’s another blog…).

This film is the best of the Cars trilogy. After the Best Picture Oscar-nominated Toy Story 3 and now this wonderful Cars 3, I am in high hopes for any future movie Pixar makes as a third instalment in a series. As a cute child said to me when I worked in a school, “I’ve seen Finding Dory, and Finding Nemo, but I haven’t seen Finding Marlin!”

If you’re reading this, John Lasseter, I will definitely pay to see Finding Marlin, should you ever discover the future classic story that you will tell about Marlin and his family.

I am aware this is a glowing review. But I could not find fault with Cars 3.

And don’t even get me started on the accompanying short, “Lou”, which I enjoyed the most out of any Pixar short since Partysaurus Rex and Day & Night. I hope you enjoy it like I do. Seriously good. Just see it.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Iron Giant: Movie Review by Jonathan K

I watched The Iron Giant today and I enjoyed it greatly! This was a 1999 Warner Bros. animated film which was recommended by Josh Lindsay and Skye Jethani on The Movie Proposal Podcast on YouTube. I had never seen it before. I had hardly heard of this film until recent years. 
The animation is bold, crisp and well-acted. Most of the visuals are traditional animation and I believe the Giant is CGI. The film looks very expensive because the animation is such good quality. Events like snow and sunset are used to good effect.

The score is practical, purposeful and carried me along the journey. I gladly went for the ride.
It was a pleasant surprise to see that Jennifer Aniston acted as the voice of Hogarth's mother. She did a good job of the worried mother without being cliched. The Friends sitcom was airing at this time, and was also produced by Warner Bros.. This makes me wonder if Aniston had a role in animated film as part of her contract with Warner Bros.. The actor voicing the boy called Hogarth did well too. The execution of his character would have been a stereotype of a young boy, except for the innocence and depth that the actor brings to the part.
The story of The Iron Giant is a strong, simple, meaningful story which is strongly and confidently told by Brad Bird. I know he also directed a couple of Pixar Films, and the panned Tomorrowland. I can see how he was given large projects, given how he handled this modest one with such superior storytelling skill.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Bishop and the Robin: A lesson from Narnia and Les Miserables

What do a French priest and a Narnian robin have in common?

Without the priest in Les Miserables, our hero Jean Valjean would never become mayor of a town, where he grew in respect and influence.

Colm Wilkinson as The Bishop
Photo Credit:
Were it not for the gift of the valuable silverware, Valjean would never have met the fragile prostitute Fantine and wouldn’t have had the opportunity to help her in her dying days.

Without the devout man of God, Jean Valjean would never meet Cosette, his adopted daughter.

Without the French bishop, our hero Valjean would never grow to love Marius like a son.
A robin
Photo Credit:
Without the robin in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, the four children would never have met Mr and Mrs Beaver.

Without the silent bright red bird’s courage to be seen in the wood (even some of the trees are on her side!), the kids would not have met Aslan, the mighty lion.

Without the brave bird, the Pevensies would not have come to their place as the king and queens (and high king) of Narnia and the Lone Islands.

Edmund would remain a bully, Tumnus trapped in stone, and Narnia a dangerous, scary place.

The robin appears on three pages of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Three pages out of two hundred.

The Bishop of Digne appears in only 1 song out of 30 in Les Mis.

The Kindness of a Stranger
Picture Credit:
Who are you a bishop for? It does not matter that you are only in one scene. You have made a difference.

For whom can you be a Narnian robin? A guide in the right direction. A bearer of truth and provider of help.

Don’t underestimate your encouraging word, your small kind gesture and the opportunity to do so.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis - Some Highlights

I am a big fan of the Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis (as you can tell with what I wrote at this link). I read them all at least twice as a child, and I also enjoy the radio drama adaptations by Focus on the Family and the films to some extent. I have previously had the chance to read some of Lewis’ essays about faith and the church. But it wasn’t until this week that I ordered Mere Christianity and began to read it.

Something that surprised me is that Lewis’ writing is still easy to read, 64 years after it was published (and 74 years since the original radio broadcasts were aired). As I read, I can easily follow his train of thought – and his arguments flow naturally onto the page. If someone had asked me last month of books to introduce to a seeker of Christianity, I wold have recommended Strobel’s The Case for Faith and The Case for Christ, or something like the Alpha Course. However, having read seven chapters of Mere Christianity, I would now recommend it to someone wanting to know what the Christian believes.

What I find personally convenient, is that each chapter was originally one episode of Lewis’ broadcasts on the BBC in the 1940s. This means that they are each a similar length. In the edition I am reading, each chapter is about six pages long. This is handy for me, because I can read one chapter in one sitting, then go and get a drink or do some random housework, and then come back to read the next chapter. This is my preferable reading style. It is similar to TV with ad breaks!

Another thing that surprised me is the number of apparent typos within the text I am studying. I am planning on contacting the publisher when I have finished the book to inform them of the location of each typo, which hopefully can be edited out for the next edition.

I enjoy C.S. Lewis’ writing style in both the Narnia books and also in his Christian work for adults. I am enjoying reading Mere Christianity, and would happily recommend it to anyone. I enjoy reading easily digestable chapters, and I am looking forward to read the rest, and maybe move on to Lewis’ other writings for grown ups.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Top 5 VeggieTales Silly Songs since you grew up

VeggieTales, the outrageously popular animated Video series created by Phil Vischer, was at it's peak of success between 1999 and 2002, when Larry-Boy and the Rumour Weed and Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie were released.

You might remember the famous "Silly Songs With Larry" segment which was where this classic song came from:

But they've still  been making VeggieTales since you finished 5th Grade. What gloriously clever Silly Songs have been released while you grew up?? Here is my Top 5. As one of my friends said, when I showed him this list said, "This will be a feast for my eyes and ears!"

Top 5 VeggieTales Silly Songs since you grew up!

5. "Sneeze If You Need To" was the only good thing about the worst VeggieTales DVD ever called "Abe and the Amazing Promise" (That's what you get when you ask an editor to direct!) But I'm glad this song is here because it's delightful! I love the movement of Bob rolling around the set - but why would he roll? You'll see in the video below:

4. "Astonishing Wigs" is the most underrated Silly Song ever! It is a simple little video but it's very well executed:

3. "Donuts For Benny" was a satire of overly sentimental Christmas songs (and it's lit really nicely, in my opinion!):

2. "Pizza Angel" is Classic VeggieTales! Inspired by 1950s Rock Ballads a la Grease - I love it!

1. There's one line from "Monkey" that will get stuck in your head - in a good way! "If it doesn't have a tail..." - wait, I don't wanna spoil it for you!

I trust you have enjoyed my presentation of these links. Leave a comment below to give me your opinion. Or are you like me, and never grew out of VeggieTales? Leave me your Top 5 Silly Songs since 2002 in the comments!

Have a great day - go on a walk! You might see a monkey (or some astonishing wigs!)


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Henry - A Narnia Story

Fiction relating to The Chronicles of Narnia. Written by a lifelong Narnian.

Maria looked up at the large house. She thought that it looked very interesting. Her mum hurried her in, as the tour was already inside.

Maria lagged behind at the end of the tour. There were about 15 other people, all trying to seem interested in a painting of a horse. When they went upstairs, Maria saw a sign pointing to the library. She liked books, so she went in.

It was a large room with books on shelves lining the room. She went over to a shelf and noticed a book that interested her. It was blue with no title, and rather thick. It was stuck in the shelf, so Maria pulled harder.

Maria landed on the floor with a loud noise. She looked towards the doorway. Had anyone heard? But then the bookcase started to move out from the wall. Startled, Maria jumped up. When the case stopped, Maria stepped through the gap.

Inside the doorway was a room with a four-poster bed in it. “Oh no,” thought Maria. “I've stumbled into the Professor's bedroom!” But she then saw that there was a thick layer of dust on the floor, with no footprints in it.

She turned around to leave, but on the way she saw a plaque on the bookshelf. It read:



Maria was curious about this creature, whatever it was. So she carefully walked over to the bed and looked under the pillow. Under it was a plain notebook with the simple title “Henry”.

In it was a story about a dog with arthritis. He had belonged to the Professor when he was a boy. He chased cats that were trying to eat birds, but he in turn did not hurt the birds. Henry was in great pain at nights because of his arthritis.

Maria started crying in the middle of reading the story because it was so sad. But at the end, she felt heartbroken.

Henry died by falling down a sewer. He was chasing a big cat who was about to kill 5 sparrows. The boy was not watching Henry because he was thinking about his mother who was extremely sick.

Maria put the book back and walked out of the room. She was able to push back the bookcase and leave the room for the next lucky visitor to Henry's memorial.