This was a struggle to limit myself to only five. I’ll be honest, I couldn’t do it so I had to get a little creative.
Animation is probably one of my biggest passions. From drawing cartoons when I was a little kid to learning how to 3D model in Maya, I’ve always loved it. One of my favorite animation studios is, of course, Pixar. Their animation has always been breathtaking and their storytelling has so much heart. Even the music in Pixar films tugs at my heartstrings. So it’s no surprise I’m beyond excited for The Good Dinosaur. Just watching the trailers made me cry it was that great (not that crying during a Pixar film is anything new to me).
This fandom holds a lot of significance. It’s my go to happy place. I’m feeling super down? Watch Gilmore Girls. It’s pretty much my cure all. It’s also the show that helped bring my mom and I closer together. I lead a life not too different from the basic structure of Rory’s. Only female child of a single mother working her butt off to provide. Went to private school in high school (quite a culture shock after years of public school) on the dime of those better off. The show started with Rory about 4 years ahead of me so it pretty much became my rough guide for how life should be in high school and college. Every Tuesday my mom and I would make the same dinner (shake & bake chicken and mac & cheese in case you were wondering) and eat together while watching. Even now, my mom has asked for a “weekly dinners” rule (though I’d be going willingly lol).
Told you I got creative. There was no way I was going to leave out any of the masterful works of Joss Whedon. He basically helped me create standards for how sci-fi and fantasy television should be. I grew up watching Buffy and Angel, spent my college years endlessly watching and rewatching Firefly, Dollhouse, and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, so of course I made sure I was in theaters for midnight premieres of Cabin in the Woods, Avengers, and Much Ado About Nothing. I mean the man even co-wrote Toy Story (see above re: Pixar). Is there anything he can’t do?! I even sat through one of my biggest disappointments ever, not getting into the Firefly reunion panel at San Diego Comic Con by less than 50 people, just because he had a solo panel after I wouldn’t let myself miss. The impact Whedon has had on my life is so great it could take me all day to explain it all, so I’ll spare you.
I have always loved magic and fantasy. The mystery and beauty of it all. I was actually gifted the first and second books as a kid by a teacher friend of my grandmother. At that point the books were still very new and thus not very popular, yet. I remember reading the first couple of paragraphs of the first book, getting bored, and promptly putting them down. I know, I know, I’m terrible, but I was also 9 so I’ll blame youth for my mistake. About 3 months later, I had a friend read it and spend all day raving about the cool new book she read about a boy wizard named Harry Potter. Wait, I recognized that name. I had those books! I immediately had a renewed energy to give the books another go and powered through them both in less than a week. After that I was hooked (and never doubted my grandmother’s teacher friend again, which was good as he also introduced me to Lemony Snicket). And while the original series is finished, there is still The Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts to look forward to.
Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit
Like I said, I’ve ALWAYS loved magic and fantasy. This was no exception. I’m pretty sure I want to be Galadriel when I grow up (though with my height and appetite I’m likely better suited to be a hobbit). These books and movies just took my imagination to new heights. The stories and worlds were so beautiful and powerful, I just knew Middle-earth was where I always belonged.
Honorable Mention: Star Wars
Ok so I couldn’t leave this out with The Force Awakens coming out soon, even if it didn’t fit. I mean it’s Star Wars! I was never really one to hide my geeky passions when I was younger. While I wasn’t unpopular in high school I also wasn’t one of the “cool kids” (which was totally fine by me). But Star Wars was the first thing I loved that got appreciated by people outside of my typical circle. It was something that most people I’ve met have at least appreciated, even if they don’t love it. It was even one of the few things that helped me connect with my younger cousin as a kid. Star Wars helped create a bond (however thin) between myself and people, some of which would otherwise be strangers, and that’s pretty damn cool.