The Best Non-Disney and Studio Ghibli Animated Films

Not all the best animated stories are monopolized by Disney and Studio Ghibli. Here are some of the best animated films you can watch with your family.

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002)
The young Spirit assumed the role as the leader of his herd, but his curiosity meant trouble for his fellow horses. In his wanderings, he was taken by humans and sent to a US cavalry post to be broken and tamed.

FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
A forest inhabited by fairies is threatened by a group of loggers who caused the entity named Hexxus to slowly take over their territory. The fairy Crysta and the logger Zak team up to save the forest from Hexxus.

The Swan Princess (1994)
Based on the ballet “Swan Lake,” it tells the story of Princess Odette who was caught in the schemes of the sorcerer Rothbart, who was banished by her father.

Thumbelina (1994)
Based on the book of the same title by Hans Christian Andersen, it features Thumbelina, a small girl who emerged from a seed given by a witch. Despite her loving family, Thumbelina feels lonely that she could not find anyone of her size.

All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)
The dog Charlie B. Barkin was murdered by its friend Carface, but he decided not to go to heaven so that he can spend time with the orphan Itchy Itchford.

Wolf Children (2012)
Hana was left to raise her half-wolf half-human children when her husband died after a hunt. She decided to raise her children Yuki and Ame in the countryside even if she has no idea how to do it.

Balto (1995)
Based on a true story of a half-dog half-wolf, Balto saved the village of Nome in 1925 from the diphtheria epidemic when he made the epic journey of delivering the serum from Juneau.

Iron Giant (1999)
Hogarth Hughes befriends a giant robot, who was the subject of a search of a federal agent. Hughes enlisted the help of Dean McCoppin to stop the searchers from destroying the iron giant.

Once Upon a Forest (1993)
Abigail, Edgar, and Russell leave the forest so that they can find a cure for their friend Michelle, who was affected by the poison gas from a truck that had overturned.

Secret of NIMH (1982)
The film is an adaptation of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien. In the story, the mouse Mrs. Brisby learns the history of the place called the National Institute of Mental Health.

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (2006)
Konno Makoto fell on a walnut-shaped object and discovered that she could rewind time if she could move fast enough.

Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
Three homeless people discovered an abandoned baby on Christmas Eve, but because they cannot care for her, they decided to look for her mother.

Watership Down (1978)
Based on the novel of the same title by Richard Adams, it features the brothers Fiver and Hazel who are trying to convince their fellow rabbits of an upcoming apocalypse.

The Best Asian Horror Films for Bored Fans

Some fans of the horror genre are already bored with the string of psychological thrillers and the familiar slasher films from the West. Asian films, however, offer a different experience because they incorporate elements from folk stories. These are the best the region has to offer.

Three… Extremes (2004)
This film is a collaboration of three directors from Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea which features three different stories, “Dumplings,” “Cut,” and “Box.”

Nang Nak (1999)
Based on a true story in Thailand, it tells the tale of a ghost wife, Nak, who is devoted to her husband, Mek. Mek fought in the war and was wounded, but when he returned home, he did not know that his wife died months ago.

Ring (1998)
Inspired by the novel of the same title by Kouji Suzuki and the tale “Banchou Sarayashiki,” it features a cursed videotape that allegedly caused the death of some people who watched it. The film was remade, but the original is still considered the better version.

Ju-on: The Grudge (2002)
Another film that was adapted by Hollywood, Ju-on tells the story of a family that disappeared because of murder-suicide. The house is still inhabited by the spirits of the family members who cannot find peace in the afterlife.

The Eye (2002)
This Hong Kong-Singaporean film was remade thrice. It tells the tale of the blind violinist Mun who was lucky to have had cornea transplant. Her happiness was short-lived, however, when she started seeing how people die.

4bia (2008)
This Thai film consists of 4 different stories; “Loneliness,” “Deadly Charm,” “The Man in the Middle,” and “Flight 244.”

Uzumaki (2000)
Based on the manga of the same name by Itou Junji, it chronicles the spiral into madness of the town Kurouzu after a resident became obsessed with spiral patterns.

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
Based on the fairy tale “The Story of Rose and Lotus,” this Korean film tells the story of a recently-released patient from a mental institution who discovered her family’s terrible past.

The Maid (2005)
Rosa Dimaano, a Filipina maid, arrives at Singapore to serve the Teo family during the Chinese Ghost Month. Rosa’s employers were kind to her, but she started seeing strange creatures and is soon having nightmares.

Arang (2006)
Two detectives were able to make a connection between a recent homicide case and a murder than happened 10 years ago. Then one of the detectives, So-young, began having dreams of the girl murdered years ago.

Tomie (1998)
The first installment of the Tomie series, it is based on the manga of the same title by Itou Junji about a girl, Kawakami Tomie, who seems to possess immortality and is invincible even after she was murdered.

Living on A Student Budget: Save Money on Food

Student budgeting is hard to manage as it is. With such a limited amount of money, there are far too many fees you have to all take into account for. You have tuition, miscellaneous, residence and food fees you have to consider among the many. The truth is—most students are barely getting by, and even with help from one’s parents, budgeting is still a tricky thing to do.

In order to take budgeting to the extreme, there are practical tips for you to follow in order to cut back on groceries cost and accommodate your student allowance better.

Grocery store
As the old saying goes, it is never wise to head to the grocery store on an empty stomach. When you are hungry, chances are your rational thinking will be overclouded by the thoughts of food – and so you are most likely to buy more than what you need and even make impulse purchases.

Head to the store after a big, satisfying meal with a list of what you need to purchase. Consider buying store brands if you want to spend less. If you live with roommates, pitch in the idea of cooking together and going in on meals.

Limit your night outs
As much as it is tempting to dine out several times a week (especially when you’re feeling down or short on time to prepare your meals personally), these fees can only accumulate over time. Meaning the more frequent you eat out, the more it’ll hurt your limited student budget.

This doesn’t mean you cannot eat out at all – but only do so once a week. Take into account your budget and make wise decisions based on it. When you head out to eat, visit stalls for cheaper options or restaurants which offer discounts.

Meal plans
Some colleges offer meal plans which greatly helps in reducing your fees for the semester. Sometimes, it comes along with your residential costs. Don’t splurge on the pricey options, though. Be practical and choose a meal plan that is enough to keep you full and fits your budget at the same time. This is one fool proof way to limit your food expenditures.

Even if there aren’t any in your college, you can always opt to dine in the campus cafeteria in order to cut back on dining costs. Being a college student is rough, but hey, at least you’ll be surrounded with your peers and other students while enjoying a hearty meal.

Here’s How You Can Stretch Your Paycheck

Your hard-earned money deserves to be treasured well. At the very least, you are entitled to get the most out of it if you know how to save and control your impulses. With all the temptations surrounding you lately, like 20% off on selected products and seasonal discounts, it is actually very hard to limit your spending only to the necessary.

However, just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With some tips and frugal lifestyle changes, you can actually become smarter about your expenditures. There are strategies to help you become thrifty – and this article will help you with your penny-pinching endeavor!

Research and compare
For when you’re leaning towards making a potential purchase, do your own little research and read buyer feedback first. You’d want to make sure every single penny counts in your purchase. Go to shopping sites online to find the best deal and have a general idea of how the product generally is priced at. This can save you a couple dollars!

Use coupons
Ever grown annoyed with random people handing you coupons while out in the streets? Well how about the e-coupons which has been flooding your emails? It is time to put these coupons to a use and avail them if necessary. These coupons can actually help you save! So the next time you think of discarding them straight to the trash can, you might as well give it a second thought.

Shop seasonally
Get acquainted with general sale seasons. Different leading malls and stores in Singapore usually cut down on prices at the end of the year to make room for new products. There are also sales which happen in between months. Keep an eye out for major clearance sales! You might end up scoring a worthwhile product for such a lesser price.

Limit your credit
Having a credit card means signing yourself up for the temptation of splurge shopping. While that may seem appealing, the costs can accumulate overtime and drain your paycheck in the long run. Be disciplined in using your credit card. Learn how to live within your means, and only use your card when necessary. This also helps you become wise with your finances.

Eat at home
Learn how to cook and prepare meals for your own. Restaurant bills can cut a big chunk out of your paycheck, especially if you’ve adapted the habit of eating out regularly. Learning how to cook helps you develop one of the greatest life skill you must learn in adulthood (that is cooking) and you can also save a good few dollars in so doing!

Singaporean Skate Culture

Skateboarding to the elderly is usually seen as a toy and something of little importance but for most of the youths nowadays, skateboarding is more than just an instrument for transportation, it is a whole culture. One thing people don’t realize is that culture can start from the most unexpected places and skateboarding is one of them. Still a bit confused? Well, hopefully after this article you’d be able to get a better understanding of what skate culture is in general.

Back in the day when surfboards were still a huge thing, the culture was really rich. A lot of people inspired with the “locals only” type of mentality would parade their beaches and surf. Most of these people were in their youths and surfing was really popular back then. Slowly, surfing started to progress. People started to get involved and there was a sudden trend of skateboards. Smaller surfboards on wheels you could ride anywhere around town. Well, this was really shocking to the surfers at first but they were heavily curious about this new trend that they started to indulge themselves into skateboarding. Sooner than later, events started to sprout out. Skateboarding events. People started to see skateboarding as something of great importance and should be recognized as a sport. People were ecstatic about this trend and everyone seemed to want to join this culture.

Back in the 1970s, skateboarding was about peace and having fun but as skateboarding started to industrialize, people started to realize that there’s a great amount of money in skateboarding and this is when skateboarding started to evolve. Sadly, as what happens to anything when it reaches it’s peak of popularity, it started to decline. People everywhere were using skateboards which made others tired of seeing it and this is when a huge chunk of people in the skateboarding culture started to leave. This is when the skateboarding culture started to gain a reputation underground as part of an urban lifestyle culture. Skateboarding is now infused with music and fashion as it has touched different forms of art beyond their own grasp.

Back in the 1960s, Singapore wasn’t strongly influenced by western media because of the lack of television and other media outlets. During the 1980s and 1990s, people started to get educated about western skateboarding culture and this is when smaller groups of kids in Singapore would pick up this trend and start to skate around their local basketball court or even the Singapore skate park. Skating is influenced with a lot of ideas. Ideas of freedom, ideas of expression, ideas of living. Skating is more than just a board, it is a lifestyle.

Abstract but Understandable

The beauty of creative writing is the free flow of uncontrollable thoughts and concepts scattered like stars in the sky but then connect as liquid fills your eyes and light Is scattered around as if they are related to one another. Oh the beauty of creative writing. Sadly, sometimes when we are too preoccupied with our abstract thoughts, we tend to forget about the importance of being understood. As silly as it sounds, we focus more on content when we are in our creative state of mind which is a good thing but it also needs a followup. Our content needs to be understood.

Now, how do we do this? Well, we need to organize our thoughts and ideas. You can’t leave a piece of art scattered on the floor! You have to put the pieces together, find a good spot, and display it for your world to see.

Art is a beautiful expression. Yes, art is an expression. Art is often seen in it’s physical or metaphysical form when it is translated and easily appreciated through music, paintings, writing, and so much more. What’s wrong with art in it’s purest form? Well, it is very abstract. Some people even argue that art breaks the laws of science. It is understandable that it is hard to understand. But then again, what a waste, if you have a piece of art you want to scatter around the walls of this universe, why not share it with others in a way where they can understand?

Well, you can do this by finding your medium. Some people find it in poetry, some in sound, some in paintings, and others in conversations. Conversations is one of the mediums people forget to recognize. Is it the frequent use of conversations that it has slowly lost it’s beauty? Or is it the fault of the artist forgetting that even words can paint a beautiful picture?

Using language to express your art has two goals, to get your message out of your chest and also to get that message into the minds and hearts of your audience. Art is someone a sacred travel from the purest form of art into the digestible bits of information we feed others to chew on.

Dissect your art into bits and pieces and make sure those bits and pieces are digestible to your audience. If it takes a great effort to elaborate one little piece of the puzzle, invest your energy on the perfect elaboration of that little piece. Slowly but surely, those little pieces you were working on make the whole puzzle. Don’t give up on abstract thoughts, bring them to life.