Angela Lansbury Takes to the stage at Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Showing

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is 25 years old this year. Scary I know. It’s my all time favourite Disney film and it’s one of the first Disney films I can ever remember watching.

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To celebrate this big milestone Disney have released a 25th Anniversary special of the film that includes some amazing sounding special features! There is fun facts,  a few recording sessions and commentary from the directors. I’ll definitely be buying it!

Some cinemas in the US have also done special screenings and the lucky audience at the Lincoln Centre, beauty-and-the-beast_79535_5New York got an amazing surprise from none other than Mrs. Potts herself Dame Angela Lansbury! The first time I saw this I smiled the whole way through, I still smile all the way through now. Angela certainly still has the singing voice and she’s still my Mrs. Potts even if the cast has changed for the live action version.

So for your viewing pleasure here’s Dame Angela Lansbury singing the amazingly beautiful Beauty and the Beast from 1991’s Beauty and the Beast. Isn’t she adorable?!

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International Women’s Day 2016

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Ladies and gentlemen! Today is a pretty awesome day for all the sexes. Today is a day where we appreciate women, where we strive for equality, talk feminism, and basically tell the world why ladies are kick ass and why our issues matter. Each IWD has a different focus and this years is to focus on the Planet 50-50 by 2030 which is a United Nations backed scheme to help see women gain better equality and prospects by the Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development comes around in 2030.

56c4be02e74370e73f0f7876e318fa63As you’ve probably seen a lot of the British (and worldwide) press and media organisations are really taking to the subject of today and Twitter and other social networks are all aflutter with you lovely people joining in. We’re seeing the Guardian have a live blog and asking people ‘What does equality mean to you?’ The Independent have a pretty cool 10 ways you can make a difference article that takes into account the likes of donating to rape charities and looking at everyday chores in the household and see who does them most. I really like Google’s doodle for the day and the hashtag they’ve created #OneDayIWill It really gets us involved and they’ve also got some videos of women from all over the world doing things we might not necessarily see as feminine just drilling in what International really means!

We at Well Did You Evah thought we’d try something a bit different. We could talk about equality and feminism till the cows come home. I could tell you how it’s going to take about 118 years for the gender pay gap to become level or how women in some countries still don’t have their basic rights and needs met. I could tell you about how in this country a lot of careers still have a large ratio of male to women staff and don’t get me started on the top jobs.

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The ratio of women in political power compared to men

After seeing what others have been writing about today we thought we’d stick with actual women who have made a difference, are making a difference or are just so cool we’re proud to have them be the same sex as us. We’re going to pick figures from history, actresses, writers and artists and most definitely throw a few in their who you may not have thought of but we think deserve to be in the mix. This in no way means no one else should be on our list, we’re just picking the ones we shortlisted because to begin with we could have created an entire month.

 

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This will give us a few days worth of posts so, drum roll please, we’d like to introduce you to Well Did You Evah’s Ladies week!

Cinderella Still A Fairy Tale Full Of Faith and Magic

Cinderella_2015_official_posterLast week I went to see the live action version of Cinderella. I liked it that much I’m hoping to go see it again before its cinema run finishes. As a fan of Disney and especially Cinderella I will admit I was nervous at seeing it. I’d basically not watched anything much to do with it in case they’d changed my vision of the fairy tale. If anything I think it was better because it was more in depth and filled out. This is great for us that watched the Disney version as kids and completely understood it yet as we grew up we wanted to know more about Cinderella’s life. What happened to her father? Was there more to her meeting her Prince?

This film fills these gaps so well that you’ll find yourself crying. I cried in a cinema packed with kids. Her mum dies, there’s tears. Her dad doesn’t return, tears. The King tells the Prince he can’t marry a commoner, floods of tears. Kenneth Branagh who directed managed to bring a very old story up to date yet keep it magical and innocent for an entire audience. It’s the first time in a while I’ve seen a wide age range in one showing. That in itself is magical and this is what Disney does for us. The fantastic cast may have had a hand too with the likes of Hayley Atwell, Cate Blanchett, Derek Jacobi and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother.

Cinderella’s mum (Attwell) tells her to “Have courage and be kind.” It feels like one of those short phrases tumblr_nmpig7pNXG1un08uto4_250that are a life lesson. Lily James who plays Cinderella captures this phrase in all she does in the film. It’s sometimes difficult to be kind in some situations like in the film and yet Cinderella follows through showing the younger audience and us older people that it can be done. In a strange way it was nice to see her break down in private so we see she’s still human just like us.

The romance of the film reminds us so much of the 1950’s original version. There’s
still a barrier in the way between royalty and commoners and yet when they set eyes on each other all that matters is love. There’s no point hiding when matters of the heart are at stake, just as Prince Charming (Richard Madden) proves. Cinderella and the Prince first meet in such an everyday type of situation. Nothing special but the moment does fit so well. She saves the stag that the Prince and his men are hunting showing us her compassion and affinity with the animals is still very much present. As are the adorable mice and Gus-Gus.

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The magic of the transformation and the ball were left in and left quite close to the original version yet there was some well received tweaks. Cinderella still has to meet the all important curfew and still managed to run, gracefully, all the way down those steps in pretty glass shoes. That in itself is a fairy tale but it’s the price we pay for dreams.

I was so glad to find they’d left the song “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” in the film and that Lily had recorded a version too. Each Disney film has a signature song and for me this one is it. As a child I hummed to it and as I’ve grown up I’ve found different interpretations to it. You’re all probably the same. It’s a song that will never date and means a lot in difficult situations.

317d1d33cf493046471f3b16a1f2d59d58f30660I think the main reason I’m writing this piece is that there is still room for fairy tales in the world today and they make us feel better no matter how much we cry through them. We see so many interpretations of the tales of old and yet they essentially stay the same. Cinderella is just like us. She’s had tragedies, hard times and then so much hope. If we all stuck with “have courage and be kind” we too could make situations better for ourselves and others. Yes it might be hard but we can learn something. We don’t all live in fairy tales but we can strive to be better people and live to see our dreams come true even if that dream is only to find our own Prince or Princess. I live to fulfil my dreams because some people can’t and like Cinderella said about the ball: “It was like a dream. Better than a dream.”

All I can do now is hope the live action version of Beauty and the Beast is as well executed. If they destroy that film my faith in humanity will be lost as it’s my all time favourite Disney film. I will say the cast looks fantastic so far!

 

Why 2015 will be a spectacular year

2015 is here guys! We’re all probably looking for holidays, short breaks and just nice things to do for the rest of the year to keep us smiling. This year has some great things in store for us Old Hollywood lovers. There’s also some marvellous stuff in store for all film, fashion and art lovers.

To give you a taste we’re going to run down what we’re looking forward to in 2015… Obviously not everything is here yet, some exciting things will pop up later this year.

Film/ Stage

I’m looking forward to Into The Woods. A mash up of fairytales, songs and an all star cast featuring Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick, Johnny Depp and James Corden the film is sure to be a hit. Anna Kendrick also returns in Pitch Perfect 2 later in the year.

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Katharine Hepburn at BFI Southbank are holding a month katharine-hepburn-portrait-001-00n-7xkof this brilliantly talented woman’s work. I was very excited when I found out about this! Films range from The Philadelphia Story and Adam’s Rib to A Woman Rebels and Stage Door with everything in-between. For the full list visit BFI You can also buy tickets here if you really, really need to. I might even see some of you there.

February also brings the Fifty Shades of Grey film which I hear millions of women are super excited for. Based on the book of the same name it features the very wonderful looking Jamie Dornan. With an 18 rating it’s definitely for the adult audiences. Prepare for sexiness, stalking, no romance, kinky fuckery and a very controlling rich man. It’s due out in the UK on 13th February with tickets available now from most cinemas.

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2015 sees a brilliant treat from director Maria Friedman who is bringing High Society to the London stage. Old Vic is going to be holding this swellegant, elegant party which will be kicking off on 30th April. As of yet no cast as been confirmed, can’t be long to wait though! Tickets are available here

Two films I probably don’t need to mention, but I’ll refresh your memories, are The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man. Both look like sure hits this year.

Big Hero 6 is worth a mention for an animated film…

Exhibitions

V&A host a stunning looking exhibition of the late, great Alexander McQueen’s work and creative brilliance. Savage Beauty runs from 14th March to 19th July and will be well worth a visit as it’s the largest collection looking back at McQueen’s work in Europe.

Fans of Audrey Hepburn will be flocking to National Portrait Gallery this summer to see their Portrait of an Icon exhibition. NPG have a range of photographic portraits spanning Hepburn’s life. These include fashion, film and philanthropic based photos from a range of photographers.

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TV

There’s probably to much happening with TV shows to mention here but here’s a few that caught my eye and/or I enjoy watching.

Supernatural is celebrating it’s 10th birthday this year. It doesn’t feel like two minutes since we met demon hunter brothers Sam and Dean Winchester. Here’s to many more years on TV hunting demons, saving us from apocalypses, getting trapped in hell and singing and dancing for us.

 

Police show Blue Bloods reached it’s 100th show on 9th January. No small feat with the way shows get cut and cancelled these days. My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic also celebrates it’s 100th episode later this year when season 5 airs.

37871045I’m excited to see Rizzoli & Isles return for Season 6 and Bitten for Season 2. Both are shows based on books so it’ll be interesting to see which direction they go in. A lot has happened in both series that’s nowhere close to the book so we can’t guess what’s going to happen next.

2015 seems to be Marvel’s year. New comics, Age of Ultron film and the premiere of the tv series Agent Carter. This started in US last week and I’m quite impressed with it. I’m so glad Hayley Atwell as stayed on as Agent Peggy Carter and remains kick ass and a true role model to women.

As shows begin others unfortunately end. This year sees Lost Girl end on season 5. I’ll be sad to see this sexy succubus go but I’m glad we get a proper ending especially after the ending we got on season 4. Bo, Kenzie, Lauren and Dyson we’ll miss you guys!

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We’ll keep you updated throughout the year on these and many more happenings in the world of movies, tv and exhibitions. Until then enjoy the vast array of spectacular big and indie films out this year and keep your eyes peeled for other great ways to pass the hours.

Late Night Ramblings of a Girl Six Weeks After

Six weeks ago today Jess died. You might remember reading the post I wrote on that day. In it I mention that she left me a letter. I’ve read and re-read that letter so many times and it’s only in the past few days I’ve felt like writing her a response. I actually went to visit her grave and read her my letter and the only other place I feel I should put it is on here for you guys to read.

One of the reasons I feel I should put it on here is because people keep asking me if I’m okay and how I feel now she’s gone. The letter should explain everything. I’m sure she’d think so.

Dear Jess.

Like you I’m having problems putting into words what I want to say to you. I bet your letter to me didn’t take six weeks to write. Mine has actually taken this long because I hated you so much for a time that I felt you didn’t deserve a response. I was furious that you’d left me, then even more so when people were calling me selfish and nasty for hating you even though you’d died. Liam called you a selfish cow and I laughed so much I broke down and cried for the first time since you’d died. I probably hated you for that too. You left me when I still needed you. In fact I will always need you. I sometimes cry when I think about you, don’t worry sometimes they’re happy tears.

Six weeks ago you broke my heart. You held my hand until the end and yet I still get shivers when I think of that moment. You were there and then you weren’t. I wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone but the way it changed you haunts me. Seeing up close how it changed and twisted you makes me realise how strong you were to keep smiling, playing jokes and watching Disney films. You, Doll, were the strength behind us all. I’ll never forget when they found candy floss under your bed and Mars bars under your pillows when they banned you from sugar. We laughed so much after.

You can’t say you hope your death won’t change me. You know I don’t have many true friends but I’m now scared of them dying on me. First Ben and then you. I hated that doctor who told us you had 12 months to live and then 2 months later said you’d be lucky to last the week. Your death has probably changed me for the better. I always think of you and push myself more because of you. You won’t have the opportunities I have. Obviously I’ll mess up but then someone says “Jess would be proud of you” and it makes me smile. My life was falling apart but I’m slowly muddling through it all. Sometimes it doesn’t feel real that you’re gone, six weeks feels like two minutes and then feels like years.

IMG_1546It feels weird talking about you in the past tense so I sometimes speak to you as if you’re Poirot. Yeah he’s settled in well and reminds me of you which is good.

I hope you’re okay on your big adventure and are not alone, I know how much you hated to be alone. Someday we’ll see each other again and I look forward to that day. Until then I suppose I’ll keep talking to your gravestone. Or the rabbit. Either way I’ll be able to tell you all the good, bad and rambly stuff.

Remember I love you and will miss watching films with you. I’ll miss everything as you probably will. Liam misses you too. I’ll also miss you making me read Le Petit Prince to you in French then asking me what it all meant.

I’m glad you didn’t suffer much in the end and no matter what I say I’m glad I was there with you till the end. You did achieve so much and you’ve made us all better people. We’re so proud of you. Go adventure Doll, I know you’ll always be there.

Good night for now and I’ll leave you with this…You’re now invisible because you’re essential.

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Disney Life Coaches

tumblr_na54q9PZvV1r8gu6zo1_250The other day while listening to my iPod on Shuffle ‘Beauty and the Beast’ came on. You know the one- Mrs Potts voiced by Dame Angela Lansbury beautifully sings it when Beast and Belle are waltzing around the ballroom. Listening carefully to the lyrics, while trying not to belt it out to all the people sat on the bus, it got me thinking: how good are Disney characters at teaching us lessons in life? We thought about it and straight away came up with a few characters, and in one instance an entire film, that have taught us lessons.

Mrs. Potts- Beauty & the Beast

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Mrs. Potts throughout the film makes it quite clear that any two people can fall in love no matter what the circumstances or the difficulties involved. She remains the mother throughout the film even when things, to us little children, seem unfixable. She teaches us that things can be fixed and that having friends really does help. It also helps to have a song and dance when things get rough. Subliminally I think she’s saying a cup of tea fixes everything. I mean why else would she be a teapot?

 

Raymond- The Princess and the Frog

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Oh Ray how you made me cry! Raymond is the Louisiana Firefly who joins Tiana and Prince Naveen on their journey to become human again. He’s in love with Angelique, who’s actually a star, which shows us you can love anyone sincerely. He helps his friends even though he hasn’t known them for long and along the way teaches us about trust and loyalty to our friends. In a way he teaches us that dying doesn’t have to be a sad thing, he gets to be with his love Angelique in the end.

 

The entire Lilo & Stitch film

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I seriously don’t know where to start with this film. The entire thing is filled with lessons. The biggest one being “Ohana tumblr_n9hcm6xNk71tfk1uco1_500means family, family means no one gets left behind. Or forgotten.” We all need family whether that be blood or friends. Lilo shows how even though Stitch screws up sometimes they are essentially family when it matters. Lilo doesn’t have human friends but she shows us that friends come from other places. Cat believes it teaches us that when you’re lonely adopting a pet will fix this. In that sense Lilo & Stitch teaches us responsibility.

 

Kuzco- The Emperors New Groove

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Cat here as Natalie doesn’t know the awesomeness of this movie. Ok, there is possibly a lot I could say about this film. Kuzco is a selfish teenager, although he won’t admit it and to give a gift to himself he decides to build himself a summer house on top of someone else’s home. Pacha- the father & husband of the family living there tries to persuade him to move his holiday home to another place, Kuzco being Kuzco only thinks of himself and refuses leaving this family only a few days to pack up their things.

Lesson 1- listen to people and take in their needs.

Lesson 2- If a Llama says they are actually a person help the llama.

Lesson 3- Learn how to speak Squirrel.

Lesson 4- If you are building a secret lab it’s fun to build a rollercoaster to said lab but only use one lever to get into secret lab

Lesson 5- Always label potions correctly.

 

There’s obviously more characters that teach us important lessons in Disney films but we’ve chosen the few that straight away popped into our heads. Whatever films you learn valuable lessons from are very important, no matter if they’re animations aimed at children or films for the general market.

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Here we leave you with an entire song that’s basically one big lesson… about learning to fight…