The Mother Figure of Female Gothic Horror in ‘The Babadook’ (2014)

NB: This post was originally submitted as an essay for my undergraduate program. No changes have been made to the content, however I have added additional paragraph breaks and links to clips from the film.

Australian cinema is dominated by a homogenous identity, most often seen in the ‘battler’ trope used to represent ‘mainstream’ Australians (Whitman, 2013). However, the Australian peoples transcend these hegemonic masculinities; including gender diversity (Messerschmidt, 2019). The Babadook (dir. Jennifer Kent, 2014) is an Australian film that foregrounds a different gender identity than the mainstream.

The Babadook utilises the female gothic horror subgenre to explore the screen minority ‘mother character’ that the character of Amelia (Essie Davis) embodies. This is done as Amelia, the mother, and her son, Samuel (Noah Wiseman), are trapped in a domestic nightmare setting – shown from Amelia’s point of view. This allows for the audience to engage with not only the common horror negative emotions of disgust and fear but also positive emotions and character interiority (Rikkie, 2018).

Amelia’s viewpoint is privileged in the film to show her “fractured subjectivity,” differing from ‘mainstream’ Australian representation (Quigley, 2016, p.66; Whitman, 2013).The audience is aligned with Amelia’s psyche as they witness her transition from what is considered a “good mother” to a “bad mother” as her mental state deteriorates and she grows more violent (Quigley, 2016, p.72; Quigley, 2016, p.60).

This is shown as viewers in the first scene enter Amelia’s nightmare where the shots are close-ups of her face, viewers listen to her hard breathing and discorded music, and there are irregular bright flashes of white lights behind her (Kent, 2014, 0:58-1:42; Quigley, 2016). This scene manages to be disorientating with its timing, space, and Amelia’s emotions to portray her struggling psyche (Quigley, 2019). Even as Samuel’s voice raises in volume and Amelia returns to her current environment, the audience learns that in reality she is lonely, widowed, and is caring for her son in a dark and unnerving house (Kent, 2014, Quigley, 2016).

This sense of unease continues for Amelia as soon after, close shots are shown of a sleeping Samuel with his legs over, Samuel kneading her back, and the abrasive sound of his grinding teeth is amplified to discomfort viewers (Kent, 2014, 2:49-2:52; Quigley, 2016). This setting departs Amelia from the standard white-centric working-class ‘bloke’ that is granted standard victim status in Australian films, as Amelia instead falls into the category of a female gothic horror victim due to her breaking mind (Whitman, 2013; Zhang, 2022).

Tensions rise further in the film as viewers continue to see actions from Amelia’s point of view (Zhang, 2022). Amelia is filmed with tight frames alternating with long shots that create a sense of her being lost in her surroundings (Zhang, 2022).

Even a ‘normal feminine life’ creates a sense of fear and anxiety for Amelia, setting her apart from the Australian ‘mainstream’ homogenous confident masculinity seen in films (Whitman, 2013; Zhang, 2022). For example, when at the shopping centre, instead of helping Samuel, Amelia sits alone on a couch eating ice cream as people pass by in front of her (Kent, 2014, 18:55-19:16; Quigley, 2016). The lack of ambient noise in this scene, replaced with non-diegetic music, increases the audience’s sense of Amelia’s isolation (Quigley, 2016; Zhang, 2022).

The film continues to use close-ups of Amelia’s face and makes use of regular time framings to continue this sense of unease (Quigley, 2016). Close-ups are used to show Amelia’s shock and fright in the car crash, panic and anxiety as the Babadook make its presence known in her home, and disgust in her transforming face as she strangles Samuel (Quigley, 2016).

It is a visual strategy used to show her psyche dissolving into madness (Quigley, 2016). Additionally, scenes rarely include establishing shots and often being with a de-contextualising close-up (Quigley, 2016). By breaking away from, “conventional spatial and temporal cues,” and replacing them with, “alarming” visual strategies such as these, viewers see that Amelia is psychologically breaking (Quigley, 2016, p.66).

Differing from the hegemony often expected of Australian film characters centralised on working-class masculinity, The Babadook explores the female gothic subgenre by having Amelia transform from a gothic victim to a ‘bad, monstrous mother’ as she descends into madness as Samuel is forced to defend himself against her (Whitman, 2013; Quigley, 2016; Zhang, 2022).

A ‘good mother’ is expected in the gothic female subgenre to put her child’s welfare above her own at her own risk (Zhang, 2022). This is portrayed by Amelia growing ambivalent and then violent towards Samuel, which turns her into a ‘monster,’ while Samuel takes a pivotal role in the family’s survival (Quigley, 2016).

The film explores this idea through the use of rituals that are conventionally assigned to a single mother to showcase the fragility of maternal authority rather than the working-class masculinity expected of Australian films (Whitman, 2013; Briefel, 2017).

By linking reassurance to Amelia’s identity, horror conventions are used to show the burdens of maternal responsibilities Amelia is faced with (Briefel, 2017). The Babadook uses this idea to urge viewers to reconceive how mothers take of their children, and for children to take care of their mothers (Briefel, 2017).

Initially, Amelia’s ambivalence toward Samuel grows as she becomes suspicious of his behaviour (Kent, 2014). However, tensions grow throughout the film as her suspicions shift from Samuel to the possibility of an unknown being stalking her family, and yet despite this Amelia’s ambivalence toward Samuel remains and even increases despite her now lacking suspicion of him. This attitude leads to Amelia initially acting irritated toward Samuel until she turns violent towards him (Quigley, 2016).

When Amelia was a worn-out, struggling mother suffering from grief, she acts in the interests of Samuel and therefore is a ‘good mother,’ including when despite her suspicion she defends him against her sister and the authorities (Quigley, 2016).

But after Amelia’s initial mask of self-sacrifice for her son falls and her ‘real’ feelings are shown as she becomes wild and violent (Zhang, 2022). She kills her family dog and wants to kill Samuel, who is forced to defend himself against her (Kent, 2014). Amelia takes on a different physique, gaining a deep voice and superhuman agility (shown when she climbs up the door to Samuel’s bedroom) that creates unease for viewers as her natural movements are sped up to appear awkward (Quigley, 2016; Zhang, 2022).

Amelia gains pale and fragile features with thin blond hair that twists into a horrifying mask as she becomes unrecognisable and becomes a ‘bad mother’ (Zhang, 2022). She has embraced the ‘bad mother’ figure and the ‘horror’ of maternal ambivalence – a far cry from the expected Australian ‘battler’ representation on-screen (Whitman, 2013; Quigley, 2016; Quigley, 2019).

As Amelia questions her feelings about her son, and as her mindset darkens, this is reflected within the household; a domestic, feminine setting (Whitman, 2013). This is expected of a household within the female gothic genre (Quigley, 2016). This space conforms to the traditional gothic dark and oppressive household trope that reflects negative emotions growing within characters as the house ‘darkens’ (Quigley, 2016).

The house palette is limited to cool and black colours and is fashioned to appear so that it is not bound to a sense of time, and the unease characters feel while in the household grows as Amelia’s psyche deteriorates (Quigley, 2016). This is done by designing the house so that it appears to be based upon reality, but is modern and doesn’t look “quite right” to a viewer’s eyes (Quigley, 2019, p.176).

How set-designs actual this sense of unease is by adding gothic elements to the household such as a cool palette and black colours, having a Victorian-Esque terrace, and stage lighting, objects, and characters so that visuals appear in ‘monstrous’ forms and this appears more frequently as Amelia’s psyche breaks (Quigley, 2016; Quigley, 2019; Zhang, 2022).

This is because Amelia’s relationship with the house exposes her fears and worries (Quigley, 2016). Her relationship with the house’s ‘forbidden’ spaces showcases to audiences how her fears in the house are hidden away physically, mirroring how she subconsciously hides these fears away (Quigley, 2016). This is because, in gothic films, forbidden spaces are used frequently as a metaphor for a “repressed experience,” such as the car accident in The Babadook (Quigley, 2016, 69).

For example, when Amelia sees cockroaches crawling out of a hole in the kitchen wall; the audience sees that in the next scene the whole is gone (Kent, 2014, 41:40-41:54). This suggests that the cockroaches are a physical manifestation of Amelia’s deteriorating mental state (Quigley, 2016). Therefore, Amelia’s relationship with her house correlates with her relations with herself.

This is further suggested as her most violent confrontations throughout the film are with Samuel, Oskar (Benjamin Windspear), and the Babadook (Quigley, 2016; Quigley, 2019). All of these take encounters place in the basement, and therefore the basement ultimately becomes ‘home’ to the manifestation of her fears that she must confront (Quigley, 2016).

A ‘female gothic’ lead such as Amelia is characterised by a woman feeling threatened by a vicious male figure (Quigley, 2016). This conflicts with the typical Australian representation of a ‘battler,’ who is someone the audience wants to root for and instead Amelia is placed in a position where a ‘male’ figure such as the Babadook is the monster and so she is becoming too (Whitman; Quigley, 2016).

Although this is most often a character’s husband or authority figure, The Babadook reinvents this aspect by having Amelia suspicious of her son, rather than her deceased husband – reorganising her mother’s relationship with her son (Quigley, 2016; Zhang, 2022). The Babadook showcases maternal horror by exploring “reassurance as a fraught motherly act, one that is imbricated with the trauma of having to believe in the child’s monsters” (Briefel, 2017, p.1).

As Amelia is exposed more to these ‘forbidden’ areas throughout the film; the audience witnesses her ‘mother character’ and identity being pulled apart as expected of this subgenre. It is not until (Amelia resists the Babadook and saves her son, that she regains her ‘good mother’ status as expected in the gothic female subgenre and maternal melodrama; putting her child’s welfare above her own at her own risk (Zhang, 2022).

Amelia does not represent the ‘mainstream’ Australian identity (Whitman, 2013). Instead, The Babadook utilises the female gothic subgenre to explore the ‘mother character’ that the character of A. Melia represents. This is done as Amelia, the mother, and her son, Samuel is stuck in a nightmare setting shown from Amelia’s point of view as Amelia transforms from a ‘good mother’ to a ‘bad mother (Quigley, 2016).

Works Cited

Briefel, A. (2017). Parenting through Horror: Reassurance in Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook. Camera Obscura, 32(2), 1-27. 10.1215/0270534603924628

Kent, J. (Director). (2014). The Babadook [Film]. Madman Entertainment.

Mersserschmidt, J. (2019). The Salient of “Hegemonic Masculinity.” Men and Masculinities, 22(1), 85-91. 10.1177/1097184X18805555

Rikkie, S. (2018). Mastering Fear: Women, Emotions, and Contemporary Horror. Bloomsbury. 10.5040/9781501446744

Quigley, P. (2016). When Good Mothers Go Bad: Genre and Gender in The Babadook. The Irish Journal of Gothic and Horror Studies, 15(1), 57-75.

Quigley, P. (2019). The Babadook (2014), maternal Gothic, and the ‘woman’s horror film. Routledge. 9781315200545

Whitman, K. (2013). The ‘Aussie Battler’ and the Hegemony of Centralising Working-Class Masculinity in Australia. Australian Feminist Studies, 28(75), 50-64.  10.1080/0816649.2012.788026

Zhang, Q. (2022). It’s All About Repetition: Maternal Time in Horror from Jeanne Dielman (1975)to The Babadook (2014). Monstrum, 5(1), 46-65.

Australian Cinema as ‘Outward-Looking’

NB: This was a presentation for university I’ve reworked into a post. The content is the same, but the format is different.

Historically, Australian cinema was dominated by films emphasising the representation of cultural identity. Films were interested in sharing Australian stories, histories, characters and landscapes.  However, Goldsmith states over the past 20 years, Australian cinemas’ international relationships and production policies have become more complex, leading him to characterise contemporary Australian cinema as ‘outward-looking.’ This refers to how an Australian film can ‘outwardly look’ Australian but be produced, funded, and collaborated internationally (or vice versa).

Two examples of this include The Great Gatsby and Happy Feet, which are among the top 20 highest-grossing Australian films. They are not dominated by an Australian cast, crew, story, landscape, etc. but The Great Gatsby was filmed in Sydney by an Australian director and Happy Feet was an international collaboration between the USA and Australia.

Goldsmith argues that a film can be Australian if it also acknowledges the cultural objectives of the government’s legislation in place to showcase Australian identity and story spaces.

Stratton uses the iconic example of The Castle and how it is clearly Australian – centred around an Australian family and their father.

It’s known for its, “Australian and dry humour,” its well-lived space, and its sincerity and honesty which comes across as relatable to its audience. The Castle is made by Australians for Australians; as evidenced by how actors wore their ugg boots and jeans, and dialogue was taken from familial interactions the cast had with their families themselves. It also makes use of the typical Australian trope of the underdog.

Another Australian film that Stratton discusses is The Rabbit-Proof Fence. This film for many Australians at the time of its release was their first direct experience with the stolen generations – shocking audiences with how brutally First Nations families have been torn apart.

Interestingly, another example of an Australian film Stratton gives is The Devil’s Playground. It explores the raising of children and how they navigate their identities while going through puberty as religion and physical needs influence them. Although this film can be easily globalised with regard to its setting and characters, it is still an Australian film.

Therefore, the idea of diversity in Australian characters is important to discuss. Common tropes seen include the ‘underdog’ and the ‘battler,’ the latter usually being a working, middle-class white man. However, Australian peoples are much more diverse.

For example, his diversity is seen in Paul Cox’s films, which are based upon auteur theory (so Cox as the director is considered the ‘author’ of his films). He aims to explore the lives and loves of ordinary people. His film Innocence is an Australian film that follows the lives of love of two Australian seniors, differing from the typical age range of main characters shown on screen in Australian films.

Nowadays, as Gaunson explains, films that are government-funded because of policies in place informed by the national identity agenda, emphasise cultural prestige and middle-class respectability over commercialism or pure entertainment. Screen Australia also states its dedication to diversity on screen and within film crews to explore different Australian identities and represent a modern Australia. Since 2008 Screen Australia has also been prioritising audiences and commercial filmmaking, causing a much broader range of films to be made.

Gauson states that this shift has been reflected in the last decade as more diverse genres, stories, spaces, and characters have been made such as The Sapphires, I Am Mother, Paper Planes, and more.

For example, Paper Planes explores the life of a young Australian boy suffering the loss of his mother – discovering a talent and love for aerodynamic paper planes and committing to competing in the regional finals of a paper plane flying competition.

This isn’t to say though that all recent Australian films have to explore something aside from common Australian tropes involving things like the outback, bush, ‘battlers’ and underdogs. For example, Rams, takes place in remote Western Australia and explores the communities and lives of two estranged brothers who raise sheep.

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic heavily affecting how people work, Australian films have been dominating the film industry. In early February 2021, four of the top five films were Australian: The Dry, a crime mystery set in a small Victorian town, Penguin Bloom, where a family whose mother is suffering from an accident lives are touched by a magpie, Long Story Short, a comedy romance where the groom is sent back in time, and High Ground, where a local Aboriginal tribe is threatened by a settlement post-WW1. All are very different stories and even genres but are distinctly Australian with their characters and spaces.

Each film, like Australian films that are not involved in international collaboration such as Hollywood productions, does not have a large budget and therefore limited marketing opportunities. What Australian films such as these do benefit though from include positive word of mouth.

Ryan and McWilliam further discuss how they believe the Australian screen industry is ‘booming’ currently. Due to Queensland and Northern Territory’s continued ability for film productions to continue across 2020. Additionally, Australian production studios have been gaining lots of work, especially in cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast. Existing studios, Ryan and McWilliam state, were also already booked for some time and they show no signs of slowing down. Australia’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic, despite the delayed vaccination goals, has proven attractive to Hollywood in particular.

Ryan and McWilliam say that current Australian movies without international collaboration dominate Australia’s current film market and are increasingly focused on telling local stories in new ways to explore Australian spaces and identities. However, the demand for production studios to work on international films is also not slowing down. One of such films in production currently is the Mad Max prequel, titled Furiosa, which is, “expected to become the biggest film ever to be made in Australia.”

Mad Max is a Hollywood movie filmed and collaborated with Australian companies – and is part of the action genre. For Hollywood films filmed and produced by Americans, the action genre Howell argues only emphasises, “spectacular representations of bodies in motion,
physical confrontations, and challenging feats.” However, Howell explains that the action genre is also a part of Australia’s cinema history.

Action however for Australian films tends to be blended or hybridised among genres; including action-comedy, action-mystery, and action-adventure. This is seen in Australia’s highest-ever grossing film, Crocodile Dundee, a 1986 action-comedy film. This blended genres approach to action is something that Australia offers to action films that are being produced internationally though Howell argues. They use the example of Mad Max: Fury Road, stating that it is not typical Hollywood ‘faceless’ entertainment. Howell argues that Australia’s blockbuster action success with Fury Road evidences Australia’s different attitude towards action, distinct from Hollywood’s.

Howell also argues that action genre films collaborated with Australian production, “channels Australian cinematic themes and imagery in cinema,” and suggests that this is a positive Australian cinema has to offer transnationally going into the future.

Ryan and McWilliam’s statement that current Australian productions without international collaboration are increasingly focused on telling local stories in new ways to explore Australian spaces and identities is also reflected in the film Blaze, which is currently showing in cinemas. However, despite the positive response to this film and its selection and screening at the 2022 Sydney Film Festival and 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, it suffers from scarce marketing and screenings in cinemas.

In Sydney only three cinemas, in Melbourne three, and in South-East Queensland four cinemas are playing the film. The official trailer for the movie was not even released until one month prior to its release date and was only posted to a small YouTube channel owned by the production company’s owner with 123 subscribers. It has been unable to generate much ‘word of mouth’ or reviews on popular websites.

It seems that local Australian cinema will continue its struggle in the future of reaching box office mass success when competing with international films, but networks such as SBS and Paramount+ in particular do buy these Australian films to maintain their policy quotas for airing diverse Australian entertainment and representation; and local Australian stories will continued to be made due to federal funding and policies.

However, the demand for production studios to work on international films is also not slowing down as Ryan and McWilliam state. Elvis, despite being a Hollywood movie, is an Australian film because it’s produced by the Australian Bazmark Films production company, which is owned by the Australian director Mark “Baz” Lurhmann (who also directed The Great Gatsby). Lurhmann’s company proudly displays its Australian status, as its logo in the Australian coat of arms. Elvis has been much box office success internationally, grossing over $275 million, making three times over its budget.

Works Cited

Barton, Del Kathryn, director. Blaze. Causeway Films, 2022.

Blair, Wayne, director. The Sapphires. Goalpost Pictures, 2012.

Connolly, Robert, director. The Dry. Screen Australia, 2020.

Cox, Paul, director. Innocence. Cinemavault Releasing, 2000.

Faiman, Peter, director. Crocodile Dundee. RimFire Films, 1986. “Family.” David Stratton’s Stories of Australian Cinema, directed by Sally Aitken, season 1, episode 3, ABC, 2017. Informit, Accessed 27 Aug. 2022.

Featheringham, Rowan, director. Paper Planes. Arenamedia, 2015.

Gaunson, Stephen. “Australian cinema is reaping box office rewards during the pandemic. Can the trend continue?” The Conversation, 18 Feb. 2021, Accessed 27 Aug. 2022.

Goldsmith, Ben. “Outward-looking Australian cinema.” Studies in Australasian Cinema, vol. 4 no. 3, 2014, pp. 199-214, Taylor &Francis Online, doi:10.1386/sac.4.3.199_1

Howell, Amanda. “The Action Genre and the ‘International Turn’ in Australian Cinema.” Australian Film Genre, edited by Kelly McWilliam & Mark David Ryan. Routledge, 2021, pp. 26-37. BlackBoard,

Ivin, Glendyn, director. Penguin Bloom. Screen Australia, 2020.

Johnson, Stephen Maxwell, director. High Ground. High Ground Pictures, 2020.

Lawson, Josh, director. Long Story Short. StudioCanal, 2021.

Luhrmann, Baz, director. Elvis. Bazmark Films, 2022.

Luhrmann, Baz, director. The Great Gatsby. Village Roadshow Pictures, 2013.

Miller, George, director. Happy Feet. Village Roadshow Pictures, 2006.

Miller, George, director. Max Max: Fury Road. Village Roadshow Pictures, 2015.

Noyce, Phillip, director. Rabbit-Proof Fence. Rumbalara Films, 2002.

Ryan, Mark David, & McWilliam, Kelly. “International franchises love filming in ‘Aussiewood’ – but the local industry is booming too.” The Conversation, 28 Jun, 2021, Accessed 27 Aug. 2022.

Schepisi, Fred, director. The Devil’s Playground. The Film House, 1976.

Sims, Jeremy, director. Rams. WBMC, 2020.

Sitch, Rob, director. The Castle. Working Dog Productions, 1997.

Sputore, Grant, director. I Am Mother. Penguin Empire, 2019.

Whitman, Kirsty. “The ‘Aussie Battler’ and the Hegemony of Centralising Working-Clas Masculinity in Australia.” Australian Feminist Studies, vol.28 no. 75, 2013, pp. 50-64. Taylor &Francis Online, doi:10.1080/08164649.2012.758026

Music and Me Tag: My (Probably Trash Taste) Edition

Thanks Rose @ Wretched and Divine for tagging me! 🖤


  1. Link back to the original (Sophie @ Me and Ink) so she can see your answers and listen to the tunes.
  2. For every prompt you choose name 1-5 songs (you can use Sophie’s graphics)
  3. Have fun and play your music LOUD!

Home Town Glory // Songs that remind you of home // Midnight Sky by Miley Cyrus

“But it’s been a long time since I felt this good on my own.”

I don’t think this song reminds me of home physically as much as it reminds me of the vibe that we’re all small specks of dust in such a vast universe. I just feel like it would be a great song to have someone dancing to with a brightly star-light night background in a dimly light city or in a landscape like what Ymir was in in Attack on Titan. Someone make this happen for me please. My soul needs it.

It’s a Love Story // Your favourite songs about love // All of Me by John Legend

“What would I do without your smart mouth?”

I just really like this as a love song since it’s sung to the person he loves and includes things typically portrayed as ‘negative’ in a wonderful light. He just sounds so in love.

Shut Up and Dance // Songs you have to dance to // Dancin (KRONO Remix) by Aaron Smith

“Yeah but the feeling is fine.”

This song is such a bop. It’s got such solid beats against the vocals and the little odd sounding runs/trills just helps add to it.

If this was a Movie // Songs from Movies/TV/Broadway // The Plagues from Prince of Egypt

“Serving as your foe on his behalf is the last thing that I wanted.”

This is such a chilling song. The chorus’ harmonies and articulation, the instrumental sections, the lyrics, it’s all so creepy and powerful. The part where they make Moses sing against Rameses too is just perfection.

Comfort Crowd // Songs that make you feel calm // Frozen by Sheldon Riley

“You’re frozen when your heart’s not open.”

In what is probably a rather controversial opinion, I much prefer this cover to the original. The lyrics are so perfect for a ballad and I think the fact he’s projection is so open voweled and warm sounding adds to a sense of longing.

Always Remember Us this Way // Songs that remind you of your childhood // Asereje by Las Ketchup

“Y la baila y la goza y la canta.”

This song purely reminds me of my childhood because my dad sung it so much with us and played it so much. He helped me with my pronunciation too since I always butchered it. Plus, my siblings loved this song when it was on Just Dance.

Let’s Get Down to Business // Songs that motivate you // Son of Man by Phil Collins   

“Oh, the power to be strong and the wisdom to be wise.”

I don’t think this song motivates me as much as I just want to say I appreciate Phil Collins absolutely going above and beyond in Tarzan. I don’t even care about his tax evasion this song makes me feel things and stay focused on studying (I don’t do well with upbeat songs while studying, I need songs more in the same vibe as Son of Man to focus).

Old Town Road // Songs from the past that you like // Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley

“Would it be a sin if I can’t help falling in love with you?”

This is such a romantic song. No more needs to be said.

Cry with You // Songs that make you cry and cry // Call of Silence by Hiroyuki Sawano

“Even if my body’s bleached to the bones I don’t want to go through that ever again.”

I can’t say anything about this song. I’ll just cry. Please listen to it.

I Think I’m in Love // Your latest music obsessions // Far Beyond by Dexter French

“Through ourselves we send a sign but the message is our breaking.”

I couldn’t think of a latest obsession so I just decided to put what’s probably my favourite song in.

Writer in the Dark // Favourite lyrics from songs // The Loneliest Girl from Carole and Tuesday and TheDOGS by Hiroyuki Sawano

“Do you really want to set the night on fire?”

Lyrically this is just one of my favourite songs from this series. It’s got such a clear story, emotion and message told.

“Were we born to lose and let goliath win?’

You have to listen to this song the lyrics are so good.

Sign of the Times // Songs in the charts that you love // Call out my Name by The Weeknd

“I said I didn’t feel nothing baby, but I lied.”

The Weeknd has such a great voice with so much emotion behind it. This song is feeling.

More Than a Memory // Songs you have specific memories attached to // Right Here, Right Now by Fat Boy Slim

I was deathly afraid of this music video growing up. It got to the stage that just the music would make me physically nauseous. If you made me watch any part of the video I would cry. And if you made me sit through the whole thing it would sometimes get to the point where I was sweating and my hands were minutely shaking.

Sing to Me Instead // Those songs you have to sing to // Take me to Church by Hozier

“I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife.”

I seriously considered putting this song under the ‘lyrics’ question for this tag but I just love singing along to it so I had to keep it here.

I Wasn’t Expecting That // Songs that you didn’t expect to love, but you do // Glassy Sky by Yutaka Yamada

“The moments we spent have passed and gone away.”

I was crying too much the first time I heard the song so I knew I liked it but on a second listen I remembering not liking it as much? But I listened to it later thinking I still wouldn’t like it that much and did a total 180. I love this beautiful song.

Favourite Record // Albums you can’t live without // Merry-Go-Round-of-Life by Joe Hisaishi

I actually don’t listen to albums so I wasn’t sure to to put it. However, I will listen to this song for the length of an album. Someone please make a note that I want this song played at every major life event I have and if it’s not I will be upset. Someone better play this behind me while I dance through the street one night after a fantastic day where a wizard walks me through the air.

Video Games // Name your favourite music videos // The Trail We Blaze from The Road to El Dorado

“Changing legend into fact we shall ride into history.”

Okay so I also don’t really watch music videos. However, I have watched the Road to El Dorado many times and its entire soundtrack goes so hard in the movie which is a video. So, on that note I’m putting this song in.

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Uncredited Disney Roles?

Okay so. There’s something I’ve always wondered.

Why aren’t the Disney singing voices credits alongside the actors in the ending credits?

The voice actors for characters’ speaking voices are always credited under ‘characters’ and really early on in end credits, but why aren’t their singing voices shown when the voice actor’s name is? Honestly when I was younger I thought that the person who voiced a character speaking would always also be their singing voice because I was little and thought TV was magic, but still didn’t catch on until a while after I realised that different people can voice a character for different things because at the end of a movie with the credits – again, I was young and didn’t watch all the way until the end and just figured it was the same person. I also still to this day didn’t know if they credited singing voices, since I found out through Spotify for the most part.

The More It Snows (Tiddely-Pom) | Winniepedia | Fandom
Live footage of me thinking about this topic

Because a lot of the time, people who provide only a character’s singing voice are closer to the end of the credits. I’ve done some research why and turns out the answer to all my questions is fairly simple for the most part.

(I’ll have the links to a couple articles I had a look through for anyone interesting to finding out more about movie credits or finding a template on how to structure movie credits too down at the bottom of this post).

any one else think Milo Thatch from Atlantis was based off of ...
Buckle in for a wild time because this is one of my longer posts

Singers are credited down the end with the music section where before their name it’ll say, ‘performed by’ under which songs they sung for. But I found that odd because honestly, for characters who only voice their actors – I remember their singing over anything else because their animated musicals. Their singing is a part of them, and often more iconic. I can tell you Judi Kun sung for Pocahontas off the top of my head but I need to research that Irene Bedard was her speaking voice. And that’s not to discredit the hard word and talent of the VAs. Honestly, they’re all so talented. Usually the reason for the difference actors are varied anyway – it could be budget constraints, an actor isn’t a singer, a singer’s tone is better suited to the character, if there’s a younger actor he’s voice might not be consistent enough during puberty to sing a song needed, timing constraints, really there’s so many valid reasons. I was just kind of confused why they aren’t together in the credits.

Some most noticeable cases to me, and this obviously isn’t an extensive list, are:

Aladdin, Mulan, The Lion King (1 and 2), Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

In these movies, the people who gave characters their speaking and singing voices are as follows:

Character Speaking Voice Actor/Actress Singing Voice Actor/Actress
Jasmine (Aladdin) Linda Larkin Lea Salonga
Aladdin (Aladdin) Scott Weinger Brad Kane
Mulan (Mulan) Ming-Na Wen Lea Salonga
Shang (Mulan) B. D. Wong Donny Osmond
Simba (The Lion King) Matthew Broderick Joseph Williams
Simba (The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride) Matthew Broderick Cam Clarke
Pocahontas (Pocahontas) Irene Bedard Judy Kuhn
Esmeralda (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) Demi Moore Heidi Mollenhauer

I’m not part of the industry so I don’t know, but I thought I’d do some research. Obviously tell me if there’s something I’ve missed in this video that’s imperative or any ideas or experience you have – it’s much appreciated! This video is pretty much me just questioning why this happens. And if you think the answers to my questions should have been obvious to me, I maintain my right to be a dumb bitch who can’t connect the dots.

Singers are usually credited down near the end of credits because of how closing credits are structured. Opening credits are the obviously the credits seen at the start of a film or show and list the “most important members of production,” while the closing credits contains pretty much a full list of everyone who worked on the film or show episode.

Usually opening credits follow the order:
1. Major companies involved such as production company and distributor
2. The film title
3. Those who you are contractually obligated to credit before anyone else (often the lead cast/stars of a movie)
4. Credits follow a list of the “lead important” contributors through to the “most important” contributors. This often looks something like casting director, music composer, costume designer, associate producers, editors, production designers, directors of photography, executive producers, producers, writers, directors.

A big part of this last part is that between film-to-film, genre-to-genre, the “importance” of a role can vary – so you’ll see different contributors credited in different orders. For example, in a musical the musical composer might and choreographer might have a different placement in opening credits. Or in an animated film, supervising animators might get put into opening credits and put in a more “important” role. I feel like a good example of this is how is in the 2011 Tin Tin movie they follow this order fairly to a T – as the structure after the cast the order as: ‘casting by,’ ‘music by,’ ‘senior visual effects supervisor,’ ‘visual effects supervisor,’ ‘animation supervisor,’ ‘co-producers,’ ‘edited by,’ ‘executive producers,’ ‘produced by’ and finally ‘based on’ then ‘screenplay by’ and ‘directed by.’

Les Misérables though puts the production major companies first, then the ‘stars,’ then the screen play by, and then what it’s based on, then the director.

Obviously not all opening credits even have all these elements, as a lot just put in the major companies and film title then go for it.

But I’ve been waffling for too long now. Closing credits are quite different to ending credits. *ahem* I wonder why definitely could never guess *ahem* It’s because they credit the entire cast and crew!

I ended up looking up then how to compile film credits and confirmed that singing voices should go under ‘performance’ with the song closer to the of the credits while the speaking voice should be credited as the character because the standard closing credit order is:

  • Director
  • Writers
  • Producer
  • Executive Producer
  • Lead Cast
  • Supporting Cast
  • Director of Photography
  • Production Designer
  • Editor
  • Associate Producers
  • Costume Designer
  • Music Composer
  • Casting Director


As you can see from these also incredibly blurry 1990s screenshots (screenshots shown in order of Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Mulan) – sometimes the voice actors and singers are credit next to each other, which is what started this entire research escapade to start with!

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Because some of them though do credit together I figured it might just be like a directional thing? Or a time thing? Couldn’t really find a link due to some never directing another musical, another animation really, only doing shorts, or just yeah too many variables.

I mean, look at this very intelligent table I did up:

Movie Director(s) Year Together/Separate
Aladdin Ron Clements and John Musker 1992 Separate
The Lion King Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff 1994 Separate
Pocahontas Eric Goldberg and Mike Gabriel 1995 Together
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise 1996 Together
The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride Darrell Rooney 1998 Separate
Mulan Tony Bancroft and Barry Cook 1998 Together

So, I’ve just determined that closing credits do sometimes move some things around. A good example of this in how in The Lion King Tim, Rice, Elton John and Hans Zimmer are credited pretty early on in the closing credits. (Most likely because the movie is an animated musical after all.)

That’s why for The Lion King 1 and 2 and Aladdin (shown below) the singers and voice actors are separate, but for Pocahontas, Mulan and The Hunchback of Notre Dame they are together.

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I also found that in other animated, princess-based films from the 1990s that Anastasia credits the voice actress at the start of the end credits, but the singer only during the full cast list, while in The Swan Princess they credit the voice actress and directly after credit the singer. So really that just further supports that closing credits order isn’t set in stone.

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The Ultimate Guide to Film Credits Order Hierarchy with Free Film Credits Template, by Arnon Shorr:

Opening and Closing Credits, provided by the BBC:

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The Art of Pitching Shows to Friends

I, for one, find that I am incredibly hard to pitch a show to. I like what I like and if you’re not pitching something to me correctly, I most likely will only get a bit turned off of it. (I’ll have you know that I’m incredibly stubborn.)

I’ve found the best way to make me watch something I’m not showing an interest in, if your desperate attempts at persuading me that I’ll like a show are failing, is to make a deal. Telling me you’ll drop nagging me multiple times a week about how I need to watch a show if I watch the first two episodes with you? Pretty much a sure-fire way to make me watch.


Also compromise. If I watch the first 6 episodes of something you want to watch, then you’ll watch that movie with me that I want to watch.

Or make a rule of ‘You’ll watch an episode with me whenever I want, but I’ll make sure to have a snack supply for you during it.’ Works a charm.


I find these can often be the best way to get me into a show that you want me to watch, especially since between university, a part-time job, a casual job, trying to maintain a social life and attempting to not spiral into even more terrible mental health I find the time I do dedicate to leisure activities are things I love and get invested in (at least before the coronavirus…). So, when I’m already ready to read for the next 8 hours overnight that 110k+ fanfiction piece I’ve been waiting to get to, I might not be so ready to just give up that time to try a new suggested show that just hasn’t clicked with me upon first glance.

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I feel like one of the best examples I can provide is this:

I have been told to watch Mob Pyscho 100 for what’s probably over a year now. I’d been shown pictures by one person trying to convince me to, and the character designs were fine but not that appealing to me as a first impression. And so, it was put into the back of my mind and labelled as a ‘maybe.’

Someone tried to explain the plot to me without giving anything away, and whatever impression was left from that conversation was so bland that I don’t even recall anything they said expect for that the main character is super powerful.

Others tried by pitching that it’s in the top 25 of the 2010s – again not super helpful.

mob psycho 100

Finally, someone made me watch the first two episodes with them and I loved it. After watching I asked, “So it’s like Saiki K but a bit darker?” and I said that’s all they needed to tell me to get me to watch it. They hadn’t watched The Disastrous Life of Saiki K so they weren’t sure, but I said it also has a super OP main character. I explained that while it seemed while Mob was more insecure and not great socially, Saiki has no interest in being anything but average but keeps getting dragged into situations by those around him. I also mentioned that Saiki K was more light-hearted than Mob Psycho 100. And they seemed interested in watching Saiki K after too!

saiki k

They managed to watch the first 2 seasons within a day too. Thanks, Australian lockdown. I’m definitely not intimidated by how they managed to do that. The best I can do is one season of 12 episodes, 20 minutes long each for anime within 2 days, and for something like Umbrella Academy with 10 episodes all 1 hour long, a week…

But anyway, relating a show back to something I love gets me easily hooked. And even if I don’t, I’ll at least keep it in my memory.

And as I conclude this post, I feel like my main take away from writing this is that I seem super fussy. Oh well, it’s probably true.

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An Updated Pop Vinyl Collection

I have somehow managed to amass even more pop vinyls since last time. I often wonder how, but then remember that the vast majority were gifts or arcade prizes (along with some really cute plushies…) and I am grateful for all of them! Especially since I love decorating my room with things that I love, and merchandise is a big part of that for me.

It’s so hard to pick favourites, but this corner has to have some of them…

Fun fact about the Eeyore: it was a present ordered online for the diamond edition (which is usually glittery black). So when it arrived blue, the person who bought it for me was very confused and about to call the supplier to ask why it was the wrong colour. They then looked it up online, and realised that this was the ‘chase’ version and that the supplier did a thing where you could win it if you ordered online

I’ve had to start budgeting when I go to the second-hand book festival run each year in my city

It’s a bit of a Kingdom Hearts shrine area…

I just really love the Halloween Town designs!

I’m not going to think about Voltron Season 8

I have wayyyyyy too many favourite MHA characters

The collection has grown…

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Cats: What a Cat-Astrophe

I love musical theatre. Not in the intense, passionate way that theatre students do – but as much as you’d expect from a person who spent most of their high school lunch breaks in a music classroom for lessons, practise and band.


Cats doesn’t work as a movie though. It never was going to. It doesn’t have a good plot. The musical’s based upon T.S. Eliot’s 1939 collection of feline poems – and I haven’t talked to anyone ever who thought of it as a masterpiece of storytelling. It’s more of an experience… Watching a bunch of actors prowl around on a stage and never talk, only sing and dance, is a surreal and odd thing to sit through.


And as I write this, Universal is to lose $70 million minimum from this movie. With a budget of $95 million, not factoring in marketing and production costs, it only grossed $74 million worldwide. Apparently, Cats was initially projected to gross $15-20 million in its opening weekend but only made $2.6 million too. But then what makes it worse is that they lowered the estimation to $7 million and the film didn’t even make that.


The Wikipedia page of Cats (2019 film) too for some reason under ‘Box Office’ mentions that Taylor Swift was “emphasised… in marketing,” but that she didn’t heavily promote the film to her fans. Was she meant to? I mean, why is she the only one being mentioned to not have heavily promoted the film? Isn’t the whole cast… I don’t know… Incredibly famous celebrities?

But moving on!


I would love to watch Cats drunk or on mind-alternating substances. Okay so maybe the drugs I might not be able to do so much in Australia, but the drunk viewing is DEFINITELY something I plan on doing as soon as I live in an apartment and can get wine drunk with someone and fall asleep on the couch watching this film.


The character design was really odd too. I didn’t care so much about the CGI or anything, but the actual character design was just really weird to look at. Seemed too much like a furry-frenzied dream with the A-lister cast to it too.

I did find a great video though from LavenderTowne about the character designs! In it she explains why the designs are bad and suggests some ways to fix them. I’d definitely give it a watch, as it’s really interesting:

My absolute favourite part about this film though is the reviews. It’s got a 1 star rating online, with a 20% audience rating. And the brutal reviews are far better and more entertaining than the movie itself.


And so, with that, I shall leave you today with one of the best lines I’ve come across in a review so far from Alison Willmore’s review ‘Cats Is Good. Cats Is Bad. Cats Is Cats’ for Vulture:

“To assess Cats as good or bad feels like the entirely wrong axis on which to see it. It is, with all affection, a monstrosity.”

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The 2020 Releases I’m Most Excited For

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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I love, and will forever love, Animal Crossing. I can’t wait to start playing on it the Switch and be given that golden ticket to a deserted island by the racoon I will forever be indebted to.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

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This is such a gorgeous series, so I can’t wait to stand around for hours just looking at everything.

Attack on Titan Final Season

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I love AOT. And watching the anime’s final season is going to ruin me.

Yuri!!! On Ice Movie

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Although there is no confirmed date yet for the movie, one can dream that it will be out 2020. BECAUSE I LOVE THIS SERIES WITH ALL MY HEART AND MY LEVEL OF EXCITEMENT FOR IT HAS NOT BEEN DAMPENED SINCE ITS ANNOUCEMENT.

My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising

mha heroes rising

I love MHA. I know the movie is already out but I haven’t watched it yet so I’m including it in this list. Can’t wait to cry over it, and then read non-stop fanfiction and go on a following fan artists spree these next few weeks.

She-Ra Season 5

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Even though nothing is confirmed yet, I am putting it on this list because She-Ra: The Princesses of Power is one of my favourite Netflix series. Everything about it is so good, and I need more in my life.

Dragon Prince Season 4

the dragon price .png

This is another one of my favourite things I’ve watched on Netflix (and featured on the list despite that the next season has not yet been confirmed). Each season just keeps getting better, and that just makes me hyped for the next!

Umbrella Academy Season 2

umbrella academy.jpg

Umbrella Academy was sooooooo good! I’m so keen for the next season! It can’t arrive fast enough!

All the Bright Places

bright places.jpg

This Netflix movie coming out is based upon Jennifer Niven’s book of the same name. I love her YA novels, so I’m interested to see what the movie will be like.

Brooklyn 99 Season 7


Any Brooklyn 99 is good.

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)

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The Harley Quinn animated series has made it up into my top 3 DC Universe TV series, which makes me excited to then go see Birds of Prey. Plus, Margot Robbie! Harley Quinn!

Wonder Woman 1984





It’s Scooby-Doo! Need anything else be told to me to make me more excited?

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I didn’t know about this movie until the memes started rolling in. I saw Keanu Reeves walking on Twitter and was confused. I dug further into Twitter and found lots of videos of Keanu Reeves walking to different songs and was confused. I deep dove into Twitter and then finally, finally found the Twitter page created solely to post Keanu Reeves walking to different songs.

This led me to the discovery that the clip was from Always be my Maybe. A Netflix original film featuring and written by Ali Wong and Randall Park. I was immediately sold on the idea. (Michael Golamco also helped to write the film!).

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Turns out that this film had been in development for a while now, when in 2016 Ali mentioned in a New Yorker interview that her and Randall had been working for years to develop their, “own version of When Harry Met Sally.”  Further research then showed that Ali and Randal met in the late 1990s during a fried-rice cooking competition that was being hosted by a mutual friend from the LCC Theatre Company (which is an Asian-American performance group that Randall co-founded). And Ali and Randall have remained friends ever since!

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So, by now I’d seen Keanu Reeves, a Netflix meme-able rom-com written and starring Ali Wong and Randall Park, and I learnt that they’d actually been working on this for years and have been friends even longer. I was so ready to watch this movie.

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And so, begun my quest! Sitting on the couch at 7pm eating a too big plate of nachos all by myself with way too strong cordial in my favourite mug, I began to watch Always be my Maybe.


It is a funny film. It’s an all-round enjoyable watch and is in its own way unique too. All the characters are lively, entertaining and equally interesting. I also thought it was great to watch the two main characters try to figure out what they want in life and see how their life circumstances and people around them influenced them.


Always be my Maybe is its own film. It has clever humour constantly trickled throughout the show, an exploration of Asian-American culture and fairly relatable characters in their struggles. 10/10 would recommend.

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WARNING: This post is useless and dumb

I have a bit of a bad habit of sometimes seeing a sequel movie before actually seeing the first. (Specifically, watching the third movie in a series…)

My friends when I show up to the cinema and mention I haven’t seen the first movie

And while sometimes this works out well and I get hooked upon the entire series, other times it turns me off the series totally. Why? It probably comes down to how much of the prior movies I need to have seen and remember to appreciate the sequel movies.

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Keanu Reeves deserves all the happiness

I had never watched a John Wick film before seeing  John Wick 3. Yes, I know that’s shameful. But it’s because I’m not a big action fan. Don’t get me wrong. I do love some good action scenes. I just prefer other genres to action when given the choice.

john wick 3 photo 2.jpg
Mark me down as an official fan of John Wick now though!

So, when going in to watch this movie I was briefed quickly about John Wick 1 and 2 to make sure that I could understand most things going on in number 3 because apparently I can’t be trusted to read plot synopses. And I loved it. I didn’t understand everything fully, but I felt like I really didn’t need to enjoy it. If anything, it just made me want to go watch the first two films so I could better understand, and I’ll definitely be watching the rest of the John Wick films as more come out.

I liked the concept of the series though

Glass, however, had the opposite effect on me. I didn’t even know that it was a trilogy and thought it was a stand-alone movie. I wasn’t briefed on it and ended up not liking it much. I understood mostly what was going on, but I feel like I really needed to have watched the other movies to appreciate it. The film itself wasn’t that great anyway (although the acting was amazing!).

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I did quite like Spider-Man: Far From Home

Some series though I just end up kind of impartial to. I watched Spider-Man: Far from Home with my cousin. I liked it, but it doesn’t make me want to watch the first one. I know the characters and the entire plot from social media and End Game (and have seen so many screenshots at this point I feel like I have actually sat down and watched the entire movie) so I feel like I haven’t missed out on anything.

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We persevere with our stubborn ways

I feel like what I’ve learnt from this ramble is that I should probably just watch the first movie in a series before leaping into agreeing to watch sequels when they come out. But then that’ll also take away from the fun of the confusion when trying to figure out an entire plot without any contextual or background knowledge!

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