The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

The student newspaper and broadcast of Cedar Park High School

The Wolfpack

Pictured above is a RealCare baby that is used for the baby care project. Students in the Human Growth and Development class had to take home these babies for a weekend and learn how to care for a baby’s needs. “I liked having a constant companion with me,” Lehman said. “I was never alone for more than two seconds because it was really loud and needed constant attention.” 
Photo by Julia Seiden
Robot Babies On the Loose
Julia Seiden, Reporter • December 8, 2023

Her dark room...

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Tom Blyth’s portrayal of Coriolanus Snow in “The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes” book-to-movie adaptation has become a staple on social media. The TikTok hashtag “#coriolanussnow” has over one billion views with almost all of the featured videos being a fan-made edit of the actor.
Snow Lands on Top
Alyssa Fox, Reporter • December 6, 2023

Scrolling through...

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A list of 12 Christmas movies you should watch this holiday season!
The 12 Movies of Christmas
Mia Morneault, Reporter • December 6, 2023

It’s the most...

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Crossing the finish line, senior Isabel Conde De Frankenberg secures first place at the Cedar Park invitational on Sept.9. This was Conde De Frankenberg’s first race of the season and she has won this race every year since she was a freshman. “Winning felt good because it’s good to represent your school,” Conde De Frankenberg said. “Being able to run on your own campus is really exciting and I had fun.”
From Start to Finish Line
Mai Cachila, Reporter • December 4, 2023

In the rhythmic...

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AT&T stadium in Arlington is the next big hurdle the Longhorns need to leap over in order to keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.
Is Texas Back?
Jonathan Levinsky, Reporter • December 1, 2023

“Longhorn Nation,...

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Taking a selfie with some of their castmates, including senior Aidan Cox, who plays Buddy the Elf, junior Brooke Ferguson shows off a sign presenting the arrival of “Elf. This year’s musical, “Elf” runs Dec. 1-3 in the CPHS PAC. “[Learning a new script is] always kind of a challenge,” Ferguson said. “You get a new cast and you get your own part. I’ve never worked closely with these people before. It’s a different environment and doing character work with someone new, trying to partner work and scene work is interesting. The script is good and it has a lot of jokes, it’ll be a lot of laughs.” Photo by Brooke Ferguson
Elf on the Stage
Jane Yermakov, Reporter • December 1, 2023

A mix of unprecedented...

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Wonder, Wistful, Whimsy and Wild

Wes Anderson Netflix Short Film Review
Jane Yermakov
Actor Ralph Fiennes playing British writer Roald Dahl sits in his office reading his stories to the audience. Wes Anderson’s short film series partnership with Netflix was released over the course of four days at the end of September and featured adaptations of Dahl’s stories. The office of Dahl portrayed in the film was based off of his actual office that Anderson had the opportunity to visit. Photo by Jane Yermakov

For the second time this year, filmmaker Wes Anderson has released a project. Partnering with Netflix, he released four movie adaptations of the beloved stories, “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” “The Swan,” “Poison” and “The Rat Catcher” written by Roald Dahl. “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” is the longest film, at around 40 minutes, but the rest do not exceed 17 minutes. Each film had a small cast, rotating the same six actors, with some playing multiple characters in one short. A slightly more unique spin, if you can even get more unique than Anderson as his natural self, is that each of these shorts were filmed almost as though it were a theater performance with moving sets, props (or lack thereof) and people, without characters handling the set and props. These stories were hilarious and entertaining, while also being very artistically charming, leaving me wanting more yet perfectly satisfied.

Born in 1916 and passed away in 1990, Roald Dahl is a British writer who was famous for his children’s books. Some of his popular works include “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Matilda,” “James and the Giant Peach” and many others. Having sold over 300 million copies of his stories worldwide, movie adaptations are often made from his stories.

The first film to be released was “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,” which just so happens to be my favorite one out of all of them. Preceding this adaptation, Anderson also directed “The Fantastic Mr. Fox” in 2009. In an interview with the New York Times, Anderson talks about how he’s been wanting to make this adaptation for a while, but never knew how to do so properly saying, “The way he tells the story is part of what I like about it.” The plot is told through a story inside of a story inside of a story: being read to the audience by Roald Dahl (played by Ralph Fiennes) and the plot following Henry Sugar (played by Benedict Cumberbatch), an extremely wealthy man, who finds a book that teaches him to see through objects. As with all of his films, the set was particularly striking. Without the distinct difference in lighting and setting of the scenery, following the storylines would have proved to be particularly difficult. Not only is it technically impressive, but the story itself is captivating. The growth in Sugar’s character is remarkable, from starting as an impossibly rich, ignorant and arrogant gambler to being a selfless person with no desire for material riches.

Released the day after the first short was “The Swan.” This one was unlike most of Anderson’s films, being more dull in color, and was a very sad, yet beautiful portrayal of the indomitable human spirit. The story follows a bright young boy who is getting bullied by two boys armed with a gun. The bullies are out shooting birds, while the boy is there bird watching, already symbolizing the vast difference between the boys. He knows that there is nothing he can do against them, but eventually he realizes that he is above his bullies in every way. The theatrical approach to the directing is especially notable in this short. The narrator speaks as the child acts out what the narrator says, with a prop occasionally being passed to him. Although I was a bit thrown off by the darker themes, I truly think the artistry in the story telling and overall message was incredibly touching, making this one my second favorite.

The third film was “The Rat Catcher.” This one was my least favorite, but I still commend it for a multitude of reasons. A garage owner has a rat problem, so he hires a rat expert to eradicate them. The owner and his employee watch the Rat Man and his methods, mesmerized yet also extremely uncomfortable. Most notably, there was a scene where a rat was shown through stop motion, calling back to his “Fantastic Mr. Fox” adaptation, as well as Anderson’s exceptionally recognizable style. Additionally, I favored the acting. There were only three actors, with Ralph Fiennes playing both Roald Dahl and the Rat Man. Some might find the small cast limiting, but I found that it pushed those actors to a different level, making a hilarious and exciting result. Artistically and technically it is really well done, but it’s lacking in the whimsiness and attitude I associate with Anderson’s work.

The final out of this short film series was “Poison.” The storyline is about a man that has a venomous snake on his stomach who is discovered by another who calls the doctor. The scene builds a lot of tension and questions, but the delivery of the lines and the story provides a blanket of humor over the otherwise stressful situation. It ends with Roald Dahl finishing his  reading, smoking a cigarette, and then the screen goes black. This ending keeps the integrity of the storytelling with all of the other stories but really ties in the personalities of the writers outside of the story as well.

As the result of a child raised on reading Roald Dahl and a current lover of Wes Anderson, suffice to say I was especially excited when I heard of the arrival of this series. What has always drawn me to Anderson’s movies was the almost child-like look to them and the articulate yet simple language. Paired with another eccentric writer, the result was basically a wonderfully chaotic series of plays. I very highly recommend watching each one of these, as there’s that bright creativity in each of them, and some are more mellow than others leaving options for most to enjoy. 


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About the Contributor
Jane Yermakov, Reporter
Jane is a sophomore and a first year reporter. She’s always excited to meet new people, give them a voice and put their stories into writing. She loves listening to all different types of music and has been playing the piano for around two years. She loves to write about people and their unique stories. After graduation, she’s still not sure what she wants to do, but hopes to attend UT Austin. She’s obsessed with looking too deeply into movies, watching corny shows with her friends and she loves her dog.

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