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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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!

 

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…

 

Disney and Parental issues

 

DP Frozen-movie-posterI’ve seen Frozen, and I have to scream out loud I loved every minute of it although I’ll admit the songs were that good I wanted the movie to have more singing. But hopefully I’ll get around to doing a blog post on the full movie when the DVD comes out (31st of March for the UK) Then I can pause the movie and don’t miss any funny moments or singing.

This might be a little spoiler but Frozen brings forward again that got me shouting, “Not again!,” In my seat, although I think it was supposed to bring out sad emotions but, think of all the popular Disney movies. Because Parents in Disney movies seem to have a contract to die or at least have issues. (No discrimination to single parents, I’m just pointing out how many times Disney have brought up this story line)

 

Two of my favourite Disney Movies- Mulan and Brave, the main females grew up in a stable family environment (well as stable as they could be) But their parental issue came that the story line was based around them rebelling.

 

I’m thinking Disney are setting up a hidden message that, Kids if you want to get somewhere in life one or both of your parents have to die or you need to do some thing drastic like join the army as a man knowing you might get killed if found or change your mother into a bear.

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This is me just doing a list- (Believe it or not I woke up at 9am putting together this in my head… which may make me seem more disturbed than normal)

DP Stitch Dumbo

Cinderella- Both parents died

Snow White- Both parents dead

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Little Mermaid- Mother Died

Bambi- Mother got shot.

Pinocchio- No mother, but I think the cricket makes up for that. (So, your ok if one of your parents is an insect)

Peter Pan- Now I’m not even going to go into those issues. But reality he has no parents, he as a bunch of kids.

Sleeping Beauty- Both parents are alive, but they didn’t raise her, she didn’t know who they were.

Beauty and The Beast- No mother and father drama as he does nearly end up in an asylum.

Aladdin- JasDP Aladdinpostermine- No mother, Aladdin- Absent parents.

The Lion King- Do I really need to point out this one?

Pocahontas- (I haven’t seen this one in a long time) Not much mention of her mother.

Lilo and Stitch- Lilo- Both parents died.

Finding Nemo- Mother died

The Princess and the Frog- Father died

Tangled- Real parents still alive, but drama as she was kidnapped at birth and raised by another mother.

Ok, I’m stopping it there…

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I know some of these plot lines follow stories or are essential to the plot.

Only one princess out of Disney’s collection have had a kid- Ariel (Little Mermaid) And Ariel didn’t die in that story line! But then the daughter did rebel… maybe the reason why we don’t see many of the princesses/characters having children is because Disney will end up killing the characters off…

Angela Lansbury, Happy Birthday!

One of the, “Should be,” Queens of England (She has a CBE, so, we could be getting there), she was born in England and moved to America where the start of her mind blowing career started.

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It’s this amazing lady’s 88th birthday. Now most of you should recognise at least one piece of her work, her career has span over 7 decades. She’s still alive and looking fantastic so, I’m sure- unless I’ve missed the memo of retirement- there could be more to come.

Mrs Potts in Beauty and the Beast?

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Miss Price in Bedknobs and Broomsticks?

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Aunt Adelaide in Nanny McPhee?

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Growing up you must have watched one of these movies, definitely heard the iconic Beauty and the Beast song Tale as old as time (The normal version- do not mention the Kate Price version)

It’s not just kids who are effected by her acting and voice over work. Some of my favourite work she has done, involves her in a TV series which lasted 10 years- And I’ve tried to watch all the episodes and movies, unfortunately I can’t make any promises as this was when they aired repeats on TV and I have a download limit so it’s not exactly possible to download them all as it’s one of America’s longest running detective drama series (12 seasons over 200 episodes)-

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Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote.

Honestly, I break out into a smile every time I hear the name of this series. It’s 90’s Murder style (well it was filmed in the 80’s/90’s), today it could be vaguely related to the TV series Castle, Jessica Fletcher is an author who gets involved in a murder case where ever she seems to go. There’s hardly any forensic science and the police in this case comes in the form of- in most episodes- a sheriff. The series follows Jessica around as she goes visiting family or just stays in her home town of Cabot Cove, Maine.

Angela Lansbury’s acting as Jessica Fletcher, brings about a case of no one else would have been able to portray that character as perfectly as that, she brings about humour and drama to the series but also their are cases where you can actually relate to the character. She may solve, “Whodunnit,” Crimes in this series but really you want to be asking the Murder, She Wrote crew, “Whodunnit?” To pat whoever suggested Angela Lansbury should play this role on the back.

I hope Angela Lansbury is one of these actresses that is remembered forever, I know, for me personally, she is one of my favourites. Which, means in my house when The Harvey Girls is put on the TV, I’m glued to the screen and will fight anyone who talks as that movie stars both Angela Lansbury and Judy Garland. The number of people Angela Lansbury has starred with, is enough to get any old movie fanatic jealous as she has even starred with dancing Actor Gene Kelly in The Three Musketeers (1948), A.K.A The Movie that makes Natalie cry, but then any movie which Gene looks heart broken and cries, she will cry. Angela Lansbury must know about her brilliance due to the amount of fans she has plus the amount of awards she has received for her work.

Happy Birthday Angela Lansbury! We Love you!

Disney Princesses

Disney Princesses… You know the ones Female Cartoon Characters, majority of them are 16 but look older. Some of them sing and various wild life come and help tidy up. Then a bad fate befalls them, be it evil step mothers, evil witch- either way something, “evil,” comes, then their prince comes and rescues them! Oh and they will have some kooky animal side kick.

I was the weird child growing up. Out of all of those things I wanted the singing power so my room would be tidy for once. That was also because Disney didn’t include a Vampire Prince so I was stuck waiting for Dracula to rescue me out of Math Class.

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