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?!

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 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.

DP Madness

 

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…

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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