Disney song challenge continues. Emma was trying to identify the Finnish versions of the songs and I tried to catch up with the English ones <3 we are nuts!
Emma and I had so much fun with the Disney song challenge. She was trying to identify the Finnish version and I tried to see if I recognized the English ones!
1. Robin Hood and Maiden Marian
These two really capture the spirit of Disney´s 1973 animated version of Robin Hood. Extra points from the attention to detail. Everything is perfect from fox´s tails to pointy ears.
2. Kuzco - The Emperor´s New Groove
I don´t think I have ever come across The Emperor´s New Groove cosplay before. This guy really manages to capture the nature of Emperor Kuzco (before and after he became a donkey).
3. Georgette - Oliver and Company
Yes! she actually dressed up as Georgette from Oliver and Company and seems to have all the gestures of the character. What a wonderful tribute for the animated classic.
4. Peter and Wendy - Peter Pan
Peter and Wendy did not always look eye to eye especially what it came to raising the lost boys. Expressions and body language really captures these characters.
5. Centaurette - Fantasia
Fantasia from 1940 is one of my favorite Disney animations of all time. How amazing is this centaurette cosplay from the Pastoral Symphony- sequence.
6. Captain Amelia - Treasure Planet
I don´t think cosplay can get any better than this. Captain Amelia is perfect!
7. Vincenzo 'Vinny' Santorini- Atlantis
From Treasure Planet to another Disney Sci-Fi classic Atlantis! Vinnie is one of the funniest characters. He even have his dynamite and paper clip with him. Be careful with those matches!
8. Hera - Hercules
This costume is very well made. Look at that hair! It´s like the goddess Hera stepped out from the animation.
9. Honey Lemon - Big Hero 6
I love the character of Honey Lemon. This cosplay portraits Honey Lemon´s sunny nature.
What can I say...this Wall-E cosplay is just adorable.
Merry meet my fairysouls! Here is my new video and it is all about magic in Sleeping Beauty. If you prefer to read scroll down to read the article. I filmed this on the New Year so you can see the sparkling Christmas tree behind me.
What it comes to the older classic Disney animations, Sleeping Beauty from 1959 is one of my personal favorites. Style of the animation is gorgeous and as an illustrator, I can only admire the delicate background art created by illustrator Eyvind Earle but my absolute favorite part in the film is the representation of magic.
Disney´s Sleeping Beauty is loosely based on Charles Perrault´s fairytale of the same name and Perrault´s fairytale (which you can read here) was based on a medieval ballad, which is the first literal version of Sleeping Beauty. Perrault was the first who included the magical elements to the story, like the spell in the spinning wheel. In the Disney animation fairies are the ones who hold the magical powers.
Aurora´s Fairy Godmothers
In the animation, Aurora´s three godmothers are called Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather. Flora gives the baby princess the gift of beauty, Fauna gives her the gift of song and when Merryweather is about to give her gift, that is when Maleficent appears, so it is left to Merryweather to change Maleficent curse from death to 100 years of sleep.
Three fairies wear different colors and the color code is based on ancient fairylore where fairies are often associated with different colors.
Flora wears red which represents; life, sun, mother goddess and flowers.
Fauna wears green which represents forest, plants, and animals.
Merryweather wears blue which represents thoughts, thinking, and ideas.
These three fairies are all connected to different elements. Flora is connected to fire, Fauna is connected to the earth and Merryweather is the fairy of the air.
Here are a few interesting facts about these three fairies.
Originally script writers planned to have seven fairies for the animation but that ended up being too much. Three fairies went through many transformations. Flora and Fauna first had different names. Flora was called Tranquility (fairy of dreams) and Fauna was Fernadell (fairy of the forest). Merryweather was always called Merryweather.
These three Disney fairies have some awesome powers and I dare to say it, I like them so much more than Tinker Bell (no offense J.M.Barrie).
Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather have the following magical powers:
Telekinesis - ability to move objects with their minds/wands
Color manipulation - best example of this is Flora´s and Merryweather´s constant fight whether Aurora´s dress should be pink or blue (I´m on #teamblue).
Conjuration - ability to materialize objects from thin air.
Ability to turn invisible.
Talent to manipulate and transform light.
Pyrokinesis - ability to create fire and manipulate it.
Ability to transform objects and change their size.
Ability to fly.
Ability to change appearance, size and looks.
Wonderful World of Fairylore
Three fairies in Disney´s Sleeping Beauty are three fairy sisters and throughout history, this group of three fairies or three fairy godmothers has appeared in one form or another. We can find them from many cultures and mythologies.
Often the fairy godmothers appear in groups of three or four and these fairies are always guardian spirits.
In Welsh fairylore, three fairies originate from Benedith y Mamau which means the blessing of the mothers. Roots of Benedith y Mamau are in ancient goddess cult. Benedith y Mamau represented the triple goddess and the name originates from Latin matres meaning mother. These three goddesses were worshipped as the protectors of people. The matrons were widely worshipped in the 5th century in Gaul, Germania and Northern Italy.
Fairies that are connected to faith (like fairies in Disney´s Sleeping Beauty) often appear in the groups of three. In Norse mythology, the three Norns who are the weavers of destiny, appear in the group of three and so does the Morai, who are the three goddesses of faith in Greek mythology.
In ancient Finland, it was believed that each person had an invisible spirit who guarded them. This spirit was called haltija. Word haltija has many different meanings. It can mean an elf, a fairy or a spirit/nature spirit.
In Arabic folklore jinnie/jenyah (genie) before they were solely connected to wish making and magic lamps were guardian spirits of people and places in nature.
In Baltic countries, Latvia and Lithuania fairies were known as Laumes and they were the servants of the goddess Laima, who was the goddess of faith and protector of humans. Laumes were the guardian of children and protectors of mothers and pregnant women. It was believed that a fairy was present in each birth and that fairy became the child´s godmother and she protected them throughout their life.
Very often people criticise Sleeping Beauty that it is not a very empowering film for women. If we think about Aurora I agree that she is not a very active princess but I don´t think that is really that much of a character flaw but it has more to do with the story. We can´t expect that many heroic deeds from her since she spends most of the film sleeping.
the magic in Sleeping Beauty is actually rooted in the group dynamics of the three fairy godmothers which makes the film empowering and quite feminist. These three ladies team up to raise a child together and in the beginning, they have no idea how to do that especially without magical powers that I assume they have been born with. They give up their really cool powers for 16 years to protect this girl who is one day going to be the queen of their home land. By doing this these fairies are the heroes of the film. They are the ones who save the kingdom by helping prince Phillip and by raising Aurora and protecting her from Maleficent. Magic of the three fairy godmothers is in their group dynamics and their faith for each others (faith for their "fairy coven"). Sometimes they do get on each others nerves like sisters do but in the end they all know what is at stake and they work together.
Maleficent, The Black Fairy
In the original Sleeping Beauty ballad, the fairies are missing. The story is quite horrifying for modern readers. It includes a prince who rapes an unconscious princess who gives birth to twins while being in a coma. When the prince wants to marry the girl he raped, his wife tries to kill them and the cheated wife is framed as the villain of the story. In Perrault´s version, the prince did not have a revengeful ex-wife, neither he was a rapist but he had a cannibalistic ogre stepmother who wanted to eat couple´s young children.
Obviously, neither one of these scenarios were fitting for a Disney film. The origins of Disney´s Maleficent is in deeper and older fairylore. More specifically, in the legend of the black fairy.
As I mentioned earlier it is common in fairylore that fairies are often associated with different colors.
Colors of Maleficent are black, purple and poison green.
Black represents a hidden identity and death.
Purple represents high magic, spirituality, and high priestess. Back in the days purple color was very difficult to make so it was only allowed for royal people to wear purple. In Sleeping Beauty Maleficent is a ruler of her land.
Poison/yellow-ish green represents jealousy and danger.
Fairy of Revenge
Story of the black fairy follows a very old narrative of the fallen one. We can date first stories back to 30 - 40 000 years to the time of shamanism. In some native American and Finno-Ugric cultures, the world was created by two water birds. In these myths one of the water birds was good and the other bird was an evil/trickster. The world was only water and these birds dived to the bottom and brought some dirt in their beaks to the surface and started to build the earth this way. The trickster hid some of the dirt and when the "good" bird found out about this, he forced the trickster to become his servant, so the trickster bird became the ruler of the underworld and receiver of souls.
A similar story can be found from the Bible where Lucifer is the fallen angel and is banished from heaven. In Koran, the Iblis is the fallen jinnie who is Carlotta by Allah because he refused to bow Adam, the first man.
There are many examples in myths where the "neglected" member in the family/pantheon of deities becomes the ruler of death and the underworld. In ancient Greece after killing their father Kronos, the three brothers Zeus, Poseidon and Hades divided the world. Zeus who was the oldest became the ruler of the skies, Poseidon who was the second oldest ruled over seas and Poseidon who was the youngest became the ruler of the underworld.
The original fairytale of Sleeping Beauty does not have straight connections to magic but it does show the cattiness in female relationships. This is something that can also be found in the story of the black fairy. In ancient Europe there was (and still is) many negative associations to the color black and black fairy wearing the color black automatically has made her an outcast among the other fairy. In the folktales about the black fairy she usually starts out like any other fairy but for one reason or another becomes rejected by the other fairies and this chain of actions causes the black fairy seeking revenge to the other fairies. Disney´s Maleficent has all the same powers than Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather and eventually, her plot does not work out because she lacks the support of others. Her only true friend is her crow. The ogres that work for her are just minions and can easily turn against her.
It seems to be some kind of a Hollywood trend to make fairytale villains seek forgiveness and go through redemption. I have seen this a lot in films and tv in recent years. I did not like the live-action movie Maleficent that much. I thought Angelina Jolie did a good job playing Maleficent but I did not like the plot. In the live-action movie, the three fairy godmothers were turned into caricatures and they didn´t really do anything in the movie. Maleficent was not evil. She was "victim of patriarchy" and she became Aurora´s godmother. I was glad that the film had the fairy godmother-aspect included since that is important part of the story.
In the animation, Stefan and the queen are very loving parents and it broke their hearts when they had to give their child away. I did not like the way Stefan was portrayed in the movie Maleficent since he was a great character in the animation. The live action draws from the original ballad where the princess was raped and abused by the prince. whereas the original animation got it´s inspiration from Perrault´s Sleeping Beauty which draws heavily from the black fairy trope. In the original animation, it is pretty clear that the fairies and Maleficent go way back but their relationship is not explained.
I am a big fan of ABC´s Once Upon A Time. It is another show where redemption among villains is an extremely common theme. Regina the evil queen starts out as a straight forward villain. Season by season she becomes a better person and by the end of the series, she is crowned again as a good queen. Redemption as a story arc can work in a movie or a series but there is no denying that Regina, the evil queen on the earlier seasons is more interesting to watch than the good Regina of the later seasons. Another villain in Once Upon A Time is Rumplestiltskin who also goes through redemption arc. It takes much longer time for Rumple to get his redemption because unlike Regina, Rumple´s support net is much smaller. Once Upon A Time had a very interesting take on the black fairy and to my pleasant surprise, it had its inspiration in the black fairy folk tales where fairies were protectors of children.
The Empowering Villain
Maleficent represents the villain archetype when the three fairy godmothers represent the nurturing mother. What I love about the original Disney´s Maleficent is that she is un-apologetically evil. She has very bold moves, unforgettable laughter (check the video 18:20 and my favourite Maleficent laughter) and she can turn into this amazing kick-ass dragon. Maleficent is the dragon queen. She embodies evil and she does not regret anything she does. My favourite Maleficent scene is the one where she confronts prince Phillip and tells him Now you will meet Maleficent the lover of all evil.
She is very dramatic and among the fairies my favorite character in the movie. Maleficent embraces her evilness, it is part of her. What if we turn the premise of Sleeping Beauty upside down and look Maleficent as a character who is proud of the fact that she is an outcast and she does things differently and that is her magical power. Same way as working collectively is the magical power of the fairy godmothers. Maleficent being this extremely powerful evil character can be seen as a metaphor or as an allegory to love yourself the way you are and embracing that. Maleficent loves herself as an evil creature. It does not come from some emptiness or trauma. It comes from her love for destruction (basically she is a total psychopath). She loves her evilness and that makes her such a great character. We are allowed to love the villains in their villain-ness. They can be empowering and powerful archetypes.
I love Sleeping Beauty, I think it is one of the most magical Disney animations ever made and all these layers in the story and in the different film versions just add more magic into that. Magic in Sleeping Beauty is both collective and individual and deeply rooted in the enchanting world of the fairies.
Disney´s Beauty and the beast from 1991 is Disney´s 30th classic. It is also my favorite movie of all times and I have seen it about 90 times.
Beauty and the beast was the first Disney animated film which had two leading characters and later on it was an inspiration for movies like Aladdin, Hunchback of Notre Dame, Pocahontas and Atlantis which clearly has two or more leading characters. First Disney animation with two leading characters was Lady and the Tramp from 1955.
It is a story about a beauty called Belle and a prince who was turned into a beast by an enchantress. He is doomed to be a beast until he finds someone who loves him. The castle is forgotten, servants are turned into living objects and the beast has hidden himself from the outside world. Belle lives in the near by village with her eccentric inventor father. She is an outsider because she reads a lot and she is curious. Belle is courted by handsome hunter Gaston but Belle does not want to marry a man who is not interested from her thoughts. One day her father, Maurice travels to inventors meeting and gets lost. He finds his way to the beast´s castle and the beast captivates him. Belle goes to save her father and the beast takes her instead.
Belle is free to wander around the castle but she is not allowed to enter the west-wing. There is a magical rose which flourishes as long as the beast has a chance becoming human again. Curious Belle enters the west-wing. Beast finds her and gets outraged. Belle escapes and is chased by wolves. Beast saves her and because of this unselfish act Belle decides to stay in the castle. They start to spend more time together and become friends. In the spring time servants arrange a ball for Belle and the beast. After a romantic evening Beast shows Belle his magic mirror and Belle sees her father who is ill. Beast allows Belle to leave and accepts his destiny, that he is doomed to live as a beast for the rest of his days. He also realizes that he is in love with Belle.
Belle travels to see her father. Gaston isn´t over the humiliation Belle caused by publicly turning down his proposal. He pays for the leader of mental institution to take Maurice. Belle tells everyone that Beast is real and that her father is not mad. Gaston leads the villagers to the castle to kill the beast. Belle and Maurice escape with the help of Chip. They go to warn the beast but it is too late. Gaston has wounded him. Belle tells dying beast that she loves him and the curse breaks. Beast returns back into human form and so does the servants. Movie ends into a grand ball.
Walt Disney and Beauty and the Beast
Walt Disney was interested to turn Beauty and the Beast into an animation already during his own lifetime but the complexity of the story became a problem. Just in the beginning of the 90´s following the success of the Little Mermaid the new generation of Disney animators and script writers re-discovered Beauty and the Beast.
Tale As Old As Time
Story of beauty and the beast is literally tale as old as time. First literal versions of the story can be found from ancient Greece but theme of the story is as old as storytelling itself.
There was a historical model for the beast. A man called Petrus Gonsalvus. In the 16th century European nobles had a sick habit to collect different kinds of people. Gonsalvus suffered from hypertricosis. His body was completely covered by hair. He was found as a child from the jungles of Teneriff and was brought into the court of France. King Henri II decided to do a test and see if he could turn a savage into a noble man. Later on king´s wife Margareta, who was known for arranging marriages, arranged Petrus to marry a daughter of one of her enemies (daughter´s name was also Margareta). For the surprise of queen Margareta and the rest of the court the couple fell in love. Petrus and Margareta never got a chance to live a free life. Their every single moves were followed. From their seven children, four had hypertricosis and they were given to different courts around Europe to amuse the noble.
La Belle et la Bête
Few centuries later the story of Petrus Gonsalvus inspired the authors of the French court. 1740 Gabrille Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve published her story La Belle et la Bete. Story was about a wealthy merchant and his beautiful daughter called Belle. The plot of the story is very complex and very much like a soap-opera. In the book Belle constantly dreams about a handsome prince. And she is convinced that the beast who has captured her has also captured the handsome prince of her dreams. When Belle returns to her home to her evil, envy sisters she understands that she is in love with the beast. She has a magical ring and mirror with her and from the mirror she sees that the beast is about to die. She goes back to the castle and tells the beast that she loves him and then beast turns into the prince from Belle´s dreams. In Villeneuve´s story prince has lost his father and her mother is leading a battle against another kingdom. He has been home schooled and when prince´s mother is far away away his tutor who is the enchantress wants to marry him and when the prince refuses, she turns him into a beast. Beauty´s mother also returns. She was the sister of the passed away king and captured by the enchantress. In the story beauty and the beast are cousins and Belle is a royal by blood.
I read Villeneuve´s beauty and the beast last year. My English is pretty great but I must admit it was quite challenging for me to read the novel because it was written in very old fashioned English. But I did get something out of the book and that is, it is foremost the story of Belle. She is both smart and beautiful. During the time when book was written, forced marriages were very common and women married young. Villeneuve wrote the book for those young women to encourage them to adapt into the situation. Future unknown spouse might seem frightening beast at first but when you get to know them they might turn out to be really nice. Some of the forced marriages were indeed love-marriages and some were not.
Girls With Monsters
In Hollywood movies that portray the relationship between a woman and a monster, the beast has always reflected fears of the people of the time. For exampole the first King Kong movie from 1933 is an allegory of a love affair between a white woman and a black man. A topic that was not openly spoken during the time.
In 1756 French lady called Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont wrote a shortened version of Villeneuve´s tale and Disney animation is mainly based on Beaumont´s version. Another inpiration for the classic animation was Jean Cocteau film from 1947. Animators and the designers used Cocteu´s film style and make up as an inspiration for the animated characters.
Belle A Modern Beauty
In the beginnig of the 90´s Belle was a Disney princess that world had never seen before. She read, she was curious and wanted to know about the world. Belle is French for beautiful and she is often considered to be one of the most beautiful Disney characters ever created. Belle´s beauty is much more than outside beauty. She is incredibly smart, bit cheeky and she is kind. Belle´s mother is absend. We can assume that she has passed away. She has been raised by eccentric single-dad and Belle loves him dearly. Belle is also very aware that both she and her father have questionable reputation in the village. Their home is just outside the village which higlights this separation from the rest of the village. Belle is never ashamed of her father. She is proud of him and it is probably because she was raised by such father Belle loves to read and is very clever. Linda Woolverton who was the script writer of Beauty and the Beast hoped that Belle would not be portrayed as a perfect character or someone who wishes to be perfect. This is why she often has one of two strangles of hair on her face and she is pulling them back behind her ears.
Mentality of the villagers in the Beauty and the beast can be easily compared to the political athmosphere of modern day where people´s mentality and ideas are constantly manipulated by the media and people are not encouraged to think by themselves. When we first become introduced to the character of Belle, already the first song of the movie tell s how the villagers react to people that are different than others. Why woman in her 20´s reads? Why she isn´t like the others? Half of the village men are stunned by her beauty but they are also afraid of her independent character.
There is also grudge towards Belle. Brigid Bardot-look-a-like triplets can not understand how any woman can reject Gaston and his muscles. In the original fairytale Belle had brothers and sisters. Her brothers were kind and protective but her sisters were always jeaous of her beauty. It is very common in fairytales that women, sisters especially are portrayed evil. In the first animation scripts Belle had evil sisters but in the end they were removed because the writers wanted to focus more on the relationship between Belle and her father. Triplets were left to the animation to represent the envy sisters.
Sheeps that gather around Belle when she is sitting by the fountain represent the sheep-mentality of the villagers. They don´t feel need to think independently and for someone to do that feels strange to them. Maurice who is probably the most smartest person in the whole town, is thrown out of the pub when he tells about Belle´s kidnapping. Have villagers considered Maurice nuts the whole time? Geniouses have been considered crazy throughout times. Sheep-mentality is on it´s highlight in the end of the movie where Gaston seduces them all to go to a beast-hunt.
Beauty and the beast begins when an old woman enters the palace and asks shelter. Young spoiled prince doesn´t want the ugly hag to enter his palace and tells her to leave. Fairy sees the corrupted soul of the prince and turns him into a beast. He grows to an adult in constant self-hatred and aggression. Beast is completely attached to the palace. He can not enter the outside world because people would be afraid of him. Right in the beginning of the movie the narrator asks the most important question about the beast. ”How beast is able to love anyone, if they can not love themself?” When Belle enters the palace beast starts to understand himself and his own behavior. Like Belle is his prisoner, Beast is the prisoner of the curse.
The loyal servants of the beast know their master very well. They can see when he is on a good mood or a bad mood. In away all the servants, but especially the three most important ones, Lumiére, Mrs Potts and Cogsworth represent the conscience of the beast. Lumiére who´s name is French for light represents the hope of the beast. Belief that everything can turn out fine. This comes out in Lumiére´s optimistic character and charm. Lumiére is something that the beast wishes he could be.
Rational clock, Cogsworth represents the time passing by. Cogsworth is the one who reminds the beast about the rose and his noble heritage.
Mrs Potts symbolizes beast´s parents. Beast´s parents are not mentioned in the movie. They are dead or otherwise out of the picture which has made the prince bitter. Motherly Mrs Potts looks after the beast even when he is not taking care of himself. She represents unconditional parent´s love. Her large family that lives in the cupboard reminds the beast of the things that he can not have even though he would want to.
Beast is no doubt one of the most complex and multi-layered Disney characters. When he get´s to know Belle his nature becomes more calm and he becomes more human. This was the biggest problem in the Beauty and the beast live-action. Belle was trying to change the beast to her liking and he did not change at all. In the animation beast is the one who changes himself. Beast changing into a man is not a reward for Belle but it is a reward for the beast because he chooses to die as a beast or to become a man that he has always wanted to be.
Gaston The Handsome Beast
Gaston is the villain of the Beauty and the beast and possibly one of the best Disney villains ever created. Gaston is tall, dark, handsome, muscle man- master shooter. He is also chovinist and not very bright. Gaston is similar to the beast. They both have a large ego and anger-issues. They are also physically bit similar. Aggressive behavior of the beast is not tolerated by the society because of his looks but the evil deeds of Gaston are approved because he is very handsome. Sexist behavior of the character probably would not be extremely uncommon in 17th century French village. Gaston tells Belle that woman should not read, which annoys Belle a great deal. She continues her journey with her nose in the book while Gaston sings to the village how excellent wife she is going to be for him. Belle does not want to marry a man who is only interested from her looks. In the beginnig of the movie Gaston is portrayed as buff idiot. Lefou who is always following Gaston represents Gaston´s ego. He never questions his motifs. Instead he is always worshiping and praising him. When Belle refuses to marry Gaston. Gaston´s revenge is cruel. He hires the leader of mental institution to take Maurice. An act that is as cruel as turning a teen age boy into a monster. Gaston represents the man that the prince would have turned out to become if the fairy would not have turned him into a beast. Did the fairy foresee what was going to happen. I hope so.
When Belle shows beast to the villagers from the magic mirror to prove his fathers words Gaston´s true nature comes out. He persuades the men of the village to join him on his hunt. Durign the chace he says out loud all those words that the beast has been thinking by himself
do you think the girl loves you when he can have me. You are too kind..beast
There are three stages in the transformation of the beast. The first transformation takes place when the beast saves Belle from the wolves. After this kind act Belle decides to stay in the castle and help him heal his wounds. The second transformation is the most important one and it takes place during the famous ball scene. Beast let´s Belle go and return to her father. He realizes that he has fallen in love. Third transformation is often forgotten. It happens during the battle between the beast and Gaston. Beast is about to strangle Gaston who begs for mercy and the beast let´s him go. Gaston stabs the beast and falls to his death at the same time. Act of mercy that beast shows to Gaston saves him in the end. If you watch the animation carefully, the moment when Gaston is stabbing the beast you can see small skulls in his eyes.
Beauty and the beast begins in the end of the summer and it ends in the spring. Changes in nature represent the changes in the lives of the leading charactes. In the beginning of the movie world is filled with warm colors. Belle is wearing white and blue and she stands out from the other villagers. White and blue are colors associated to Virgin Mary. Belle is innocent but she is not naive. Dress is similar to Dorothy´s dress in the Wizard of Oz. Just like Dorothy Belle finds herself in a strange magical world.
More familiar Belle feels herself in the castle of the beast, the colors of her outfits become warmer. They go from pink to red and from blue to forest green. Use of colors represent the concreting of the adventure she was looking for. Life in the castle is surprisinly exiting. The yellow/gold dress she wears in the ball represents her future role as a princess. Blue/gold outfit that the beast wears in the same scene reprents self-acceptance and appreciation.
In the beginning of the movie beast wears dark red/purple cape. Dark outfit symbolizes his wish to hide himself from the outside world. When Belle and the beast enjoy the winter wonderland beast has a bright purple cape. Purple symbolizes transformation and royalty. Such simple act as the settle color change represents the quite change that has began in the character of the beast since Belle has arrived. Gaston´s colors are red and black. Red represents attention, blood and hate. Black is the color of hidden identity.
Palace of the beast is dark and blink. After the curse the angels on the walls have turned into laughing demons. Color world of the rooms varies between dark red and purple. Ballroom with´s it´s gold ornaments and painted ceiling is familiar to the mirror room of Versailles. When the curse is broken the dim colors become bright again and the angels return. Palace is like it´s owner, the cursed beast. Abandoned and nearly forgotten. When Belle and the beast fall in love, palace begins to change as well. It does not show outside just yet but interior becomes more and more brighter.
In the Villeneuve´s fairytale Belle´s father climbed to the beast´s garden to pick up a rose for his favorite daughter. In Disney´s beauty and the beast rose has another meaning. It became the hourglass of the curse. When the rose dies, the beast has lost all hope. In the language of flowers red rose symbolizes passionate, all winning love. Love between Belle and the beast overcame all obstacles (hopefully after the curse was broken it was also passionate). The fact that the rose is kept under a glass cover represents the hopeless situation of all characters. They are trapped and way out of it feels hopeless at times.
Lot of the success of the Little Mermaid in 1989 had to do with it´s music and the composer duo Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. They were hired to compose music for the Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast bears similarity to Frozen in that sense both movies had a song that lives a life of it´s now. People who have not seen the movie know about the son. These songs are of course Let it go and Beauty and the Beast. Songs for Beauty and the Beast were recorded with a living orchestra. There was also a pop-cover made from Beauty and the Beast and it was performed by Céline Dion and Peabo Bryson. Song plays during the film´s end credits. Movie won the Academy Award from the best music in 1992. Song human again was composed for the film but it was cut away from the movie because it wasn´t nessecary for the plot. In 1994 human again was added to the Beauty and the Beast broadway musical and since 2002 song and the animation scene made for it have been added to dvd and blue-ray versions. Howard Ashman had Aids and he passed away eight months before the premiere of Beauty and the Beast on March 8th 1991 and never witnessed the worldwide success of the movie. Creators of the film dedicated it to the memory of Howard Ashman. In the end of the film it says:
To our friend Howard who gave mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful
I am really fed up with the Stockholm syndrome talk so here me out. Standing up to yourself is not a typical behavior for people with Stockholm syndrome. The person who made the claim clearly hasn´t seen the film and neither knows what the syndrome is all about. In Stockholm syndrom person sheepishly does everything that their abusers tell them and never question them. Belle always stands up to herself when the beast is cruel and she only decides to stay when he saves her.
In the beginning of the 90´s there was lots of changes going on in the Disney studios. The first storyboard was closer to Beaumont´s book. Belle was a daughter of a merchant and the role of the beast was much smaller. Film was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. Beauty and the Beast was first movie direction for both of them. Trousdale had been working at Disney in the effect appartment since the 80´s and Wise as an animator. Later on both have directed several Disney films. Script was written by Linda Woolverton who was later on writing the Lion King, Mulan and live-action Beauty and the Beast and she was also the first women who ever wrote a script to a Disney film.
Woolverton wanted to make Belle a different kind of Disney princess. Princesses before Belle (and Ariel), such as Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella were products of their time and lived in rather domesticated world. Belle was more free. She was allowed to come and go as she pleased. Neither her father or the beast forced her to do housework. In the film we don´t see Belle cleaning or baking. She sings more to herself than to animals. Belle reads and she dreams about a different kind of life. She can´t stand men like Gaston. It is easy to minimise the importance of her character in 2018 but in 1991 character of Belle represented the independent woman of the 90´s and she showed the way for other powerful Disney heroines such as Mulan, Pocahontas and Elsa.
According to Woolverton Belle´s character was inspired by Kathreen Hepburn´s Jo March in the 1933 film version of Little Women. She made Belle into someone who loved reading, who was not a princess and who did not have any desire to become a princess or to get married. Belle was radically different to any of the previous Disney princesses and this caused grudge and suspicion among some of the movie producers and animators. In the first storyboards animators constantly drew Belle crying during her captivity. Woolverton did not accept this. Belle was not a quitter. She was at the time oldest of all Disney princesses, 20 years old (Elsa is currently oldest, being 21). In the beginning of the captivity Belle might have been shocked by the situation but she owned it and straight away started to familiarise herself with the new environment. When the animators gave up crying, Belle became a super-bitch and she was constantly fighting with the beast. It was not until Woolverton, Belle´s voice Paige O´Hara and the producer Don Hahn explained to everyone what kind of character Belle truly was movie was back on tracks.
When Glen Keane did sketches for the beast he combined several different animals, but the eyes of the beast remain the same throughout the whole movie was he in his beast of human form.
Beast in his human form and the inspiration, Michelangelo´s David.
Beauty and the beast was partly created with CAPS (Computer Animation Production System). Caps was a digital software that was created by Dsieny for Pixar. With the program it was possible to create more deeper and larger variety of colors and color effects to the characters. Ballroom secen was one of the first scenes in the history of animation where characters painted on animation cells are animated against a digital background. Originally the creators did not want to use computers at all but after the software became more advanced they decided to use it in the ballroom scene. Because of the success of the scene studio started to take more risks with the animation. This can be seen especially in the following Disney animation, Aladdin from 1993. Scene where Aladdin is on a magic carpet flight in the treasure chamber was made with the same advanced technique.
Most important ingredients of the animation are the characters. Figure of Belle was inspired by the Dega´s Balet Dancer paintings and her facial features came from Hollywood golden age actresses, Vivien Leigh and Audrey Hepburn. Belle´s animators were Mark Hehn and James Baxtor and Gaston was animated by Andreas Deja. Beast was animated by (now a Disney legend) Glen Keane. When Keane was shaping the character of the beast he used several different animals as an inspiration. Such as bears, bores, oxes and bisons. For the transformation scene in the end he studied sculptures from Greece ad Rome. Especially the works of Michelangelo. Human shaped prince has lots of similar features to Michelangelo´s David.
I have seen beauty and the beast countless times in Finnish but also in English and in French. I grew up with the Finnish version but I also liked English and French versions. I did not understood aything from the French version except of course words ”bonjour” and ”ma cherie” thanks to Lumiére but since the movie takes place in imaginery France I think French language fits well to the world of the film. I was actually bit puzzled when I saw the English version because in the Finnish version beast´s voice is always downgrated when he is in the form of the beast. This is not the case in the English version. I do love the voice of Paige O´Hara. She is nowdays an official Disney fine artist and paints a lot Beauty and the beast themed art. In the Finnish version wonderful opera-singer Mervi Hiltunen is the voice of Belle (she is also Finnish voice of Aurora and Alice). Lumiere is Esa Muje, Beast is Matti-Olavi Ranin and Esa Ruuttunen is Gaston. Ruuttunen is also an opera-singer with a wonderful bariton-voice. Definitely my favorite Gaston voice.
When Beauty and the beast appeared it broke all the animated-movie records. It was nominated in four different academy awards categories and it was the first (and only) animation ever to be nominated for the best picture award. This happened way before there was a category for animated movies. It was also nominated for the best sound, music and song. It won the best music and song awards. It was the first animation in the world to win a Golden Globe for the best movie/musical of the year.
List of awards and nominations
Academy AwardsMarch 30, 1992Best PictureDon HahnNominated
Best SoundTerry Porter, Mel Metcalfe, David J. Hudson& Doc Kane
Best Original ScoreAlan MenkenWon
Best Original SongAlan Menken & Howard Ashman for "Be Our Guest"Nominated
Alan Menken & Howard Ashman for "Beauty and the Beast"Won
Alan Menken & Howard Ashman for "Belle"Nominated
Chicago Film Critics AssociationFebruary 1992Best PictureNominated
Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association1992Best Film3rd place
Best Animated FilmWon
Golden Globe AwardsJanuary 18, 1992Best Motion Picture – Musical or ComedyDon Hahn
Best Original Score – Motion PictureAlan Menken
Best Original Song – Motion PictureAlan Menken and Howard Ashman
For the song "Be Our Guest"Nominated
Alan Menken and Howard Ashman
For the song "Beauty and the Beast"Won
Grammy AwardsFebruary 18, 1993Album of the YearNominated
Record of the YearCeline Dion and Peabo Bryson
For the song "Beauty and the Beast"Nominated
Best Album for ChildrenWon
Best Pop Performance by a Group or Duo With VocalFor "Beauty and the Beast"
Song of the YearFor "Beauty and the Beast"Nominated
Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion PictureAlan MenkenWon
Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for TelevisionFor "Beauty and the Beast"
Best Pop Instrumental PerformanceFor "Beauty and the Beast"
Los Angeles Film Critics Association December 14, 1991Best Animated FilmGary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
Producers Guild of America March 4, 1992 Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures Don Hahn
Me and the beauty and the beast -inspired hair style (also works for Elsa and Elizabeth Swan)
Me and Beauty and the Beast
I could write a whole a book about this movie. I have seen it so many times. Often Disney fans like to categorize themselves. I am a Beaty and the Beast fanatic. I saw the film first time at the age of 5 and I watched it at least once a day after that. I was obsessed with it. I still watch it at least once a year.
Fun fact, some years ago I came across an article that listed favorite Disney films of different generations. For those born in the end of the 80´s, majority´s favorite is Beauty and the Beast. For those born in the beginning of the 90´s, it is the Lion King and for those born in the beginning of the 2000 that movie is Frozen. This list is easy to explain with the fact that these three films are the financially most successful Disney animations of all times. Especially when Lion King premiered it was marketed with intense never seen before.
When I first time saw Beauty and the beast I had an artistic awakening. It is all because of Glen Keane. The scene where the beast turns back into a man was for the young me so beautiful and amazing that I made a conscieus decision to become an artist when I grow up and create something as magnificent and moving (only the people who like my art know if this came true).
Many girls of my age (and probably some boys as well) identified themselves to the character of Belle. She is very easy to relate. She is an outsider in her village, a book worm who dreams about another kind of life. When I was a child Belle was my absolute favorite princess. I still think she is one of the most beautiful animated characters ever created. More I have matured the more I have started to like and appreciate the character of the beast because of his complexity. He is not a typical prince and he is not Flynn Rider/Robin Hood type of rogue/trickster hero. Beast is a beast. A conflicted, torn a part character who becomes a better person when Belle enters to his life. Not because they fall in love straight away (quite the opposite) but because his interactions with her force beast to look deep down inside himself. He becomes more brave and unselfish. Quoting the animator of Belle James Baxtor:
What makes Beauty and the beast a remarkable character-oriented film is that it is a story where the main characters become friends and actually get to know one another before they fall in love. It is not like Disney stories before that where girl and the boy fell in love during the first song.
Film has been sometimes criticised for the fact that the beast returns back to human in the end of the film. Does it change the message of the film that the beauty is also inner beauty? I admit I was a bit disappointed as a child when the beast turned into a prince. But nowadays I really like him as a human prince as well (especially when he has his hair loose). We know that Belle would love him was he a beast or not. Beauty and the beast is a story about two people. When the prince learns to put other people before him he becomes human again. Becoming a human is not a reward for Belle for accepting him as the way he is but it is a reward for the beast for sacrificing himself and deciding to be better. Message of the film that beauty comes in all shapes and forms is truly tale as old as time.
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I joined the 5 minute Disney challenge. I know my Disney but this was hard. My friend Kayla sent me bunch of American Halloween candies that I shall explore.
Frozen is Disney animated film released in 2013. It is Disney animated classic number 53.
I bet everyone is familiar with the plot. In the Kingdom of Arendelle princess Elsa has magical gift to create snow and ice. One day she is playing with her little sister Anna and Anna gets into an accident. Elsa gets scared of her powers that caused this. Parents take them to see the troll shaman, who tells Elsa to be careful with her gift. He erases Anna's memory so that she wont remember her sister having powers.
In the next chapter parents drown at sea and Elsa is going to become new queen of Arendelle. Sisters haven't been in close terms since childhood. Anna still misses her sister.
During the coronation Anna meets Hans prince of the Southern Islands and develops a crush on him. After few songs couple is planning to get married. Of course Elsa doesn't wish her sister to marry a man she has only known for few hours. Sisters are having an argument and Elsa's powers are revealed. This is specially noticed by duke of Weselton who already has his mind on overtaking Arendelle. Elsa runs away to the mountains and leaves her sister and people of Arendelle to everlasting winter.
Anna wont give up. She leaves prince Hans in charge and goes after her sister. He meets Kristoff Ice deliverer. With his reindeer Sven he decides to help Anna with her quest of find Elsa. They reach Elsa's ice palace where they meet Snowman Olaf who Elsa created as a child. Olaf joins the group. Anna meets Elsa in the palace. Sister seems liberated but she does not wish to return to Arendelle. Kristoff takes Anna to meet the troll Shaman. Maybe he could help them to get Elsa back. Only goal for trolls seems to fix Anna to marry Kristoff. Suddenly Anna's faints. Fights with her sister are finally turning her heart to cold.
Kristoff, Olaf and Sven take Anna back to the palace to prince Hans. Hans turns out to be the bad guy and tells Anna that only reason he wanted to marry her is that in his home country he doesn't have any chances for the throne. Anna becomes very upset. Olaf helps her to understand that is really Kristoff who truly loves her. When Anna hears that Hans is planning to kill Elsa she decides to stop him.
In the last battle Hans makes Elsa to believe that Anna is dead. In the snowstorm Hans tries to kill Elsa when Anna runs between them and turns into ice. Elsa cries and hugs her sister and Anna melts back to human. Elsa finally understands that she can be all queen, sister and use her powers freely. She turns summer back to Arendelle and creates little snow cloud for Olaf. Duke of Weselton and prince Hans are both sent back to their home lands. Kristoff becomes official ice deliverer and his relationship with Anna also becomes official. Movie ends to a skating scene where characters enjoy each others company.
Kristoff, Olaf and Sven
I have always liked the character of Kristoff. I think I read from Disney Wiki that Kristoff is Norwegian-Sami. What it comes to his reindeer-leather/fur clothes this makes sense. Those of you who don't know the Sami people are native people of Lapland. One thing that puzzles me is that Kristoff is a blonde and usually Sami people have quite dark hair but then again I'm a Finn with Sami ancestry and I have blonde hair so of course it's possible. Kristoff is probably Norwegian Sami orphan since he was raised by trolls.
Sven however is a character who I have mixed up feelings. I've been recently doing lots of research on Sami people, culture and reindeer herding (because I'm cool that way).
Before Sami lifestyle became more intertwined with reindeer meat industry Sami people kept wild reindeers as their pets. However in 19th century Norway Sami lifestyle was more around reindeer meat industry.
Kristoff however is not reindeer herder but an ice deliverer so he can have a reindeer sidekick.
My problem with Sven is that there is more doggy features than reindeer features. In away character is a copy of Maximus from Tangled where horse was more a sniffer dog than a cavalry horse. I think more reindeerish Sven would have been more authentic and I must add one can not really ride with reindeer's. I'm from northern Finland and always enjoy seeing reindeer's.
In the beginning I was quite annoyed by the character of Olaf. I believe he was added to the film for the child viewers (and of course kids are the primal audience for Disney films). For me Olaf felt bit too childish (I'm Olaf I love warm hugs!) so my inner cynic was against. Now I'm bit more softer and believe that film needs Olaf to balance Elsa's inner struggles and Anna's dreamy personality.
Frozen takes place in Arendelle, country that was loosely inspired by Norway and Norwegian culture. Film settings and clothes were also inspired by Norway in the beginning of 19th century. I read from Disney Wiki that Anna's and Elsa's parents are called King Agnarr and Queen Iduna. Frozen takes place in July 1839. Arendelle's symbol is the Crocus flower and colors are green and purple. You can see the color scheme in Anna's outfits also in Elsa's outfits in the coronation. Otherwise Elsa's outfits portray her belonging to the world of winter and snow.
Norway is a country with long troll-tradition and I think it's just awesome that there are trolls in Frozen. Only thing that I didn't enjoy that much was the song of the trolls (Fixer Upper) that was more a broadway musical song and not that close to music that in Norway has been more connected to trolls like drums and folk instruments.
Songs and voice overs
When I first moved to Wales and went to Tesco to buy Christmas gifts there was Frozen songs playing non-stop. I wish they would play non-stop in Finnish shopping centers as well! haha! There is bloody many songs in Frozen, even for a Disney musical there's so many songs.
My personal favorites are "Frozen heart" and "Let it go". Last time while travelling in way north Finland and I saw reindeer's I had to sing "Reindeer's are better than people" lol
Since I'm Finnish I usually prefer the Finnish voice overs and usually voice overs are done with great care for animations in Finland. Unfortunately at least what it comes to recent Finnish voice overs from the past 10 years they've gone really bad. That is why I prefer to watch Frozen in English than Finnish. I've only watched the Finnish version once and after that sticked with the English version. Saara Aalto did the Finnish voice of Anna but her voice is just too high pitch to my ear so I prefer Kristen Bell. I'm quite careful with voices since I'm highly sensitive and find too high noises very distressing. But Finnish voice of Kristoff was even worse. Axl Smith who is Finnish media persona did voice of Kristoff and he spoke with very heavy Helsinki-accent. I personally speak with heavy Oulu accent but to be fairy when it is an animation I wish that characters would speak in common language and with accent as long as it fits for the character. Especially according to Disney Kristoff is northern Sami it would have been cool if in Finnish version his voice would have been someone who speaks with northern Finnsih/ Lapland accent.
Unfortunately in Finland there has been this very unfortunate trend within past years to hire the most biggest celebrities/famous people of that moment to do voice overs to animations. When there's great amount wonderful trained voice actors. I don't really get it..
I do like Katja Sirkiä who is the Finnish voice of Elsa. She is trained voice actress and does fabulous job. I do like listen "Taakse jää" (Let it go in Finnish) in Finnish. Otherwise I think English voice over is way better on Frozen than Finnish. That's my personal preference.
I like to research stories which animations are based. Last year I took part on online course about Hans Christian Andersen that was organized by the university of Odense.
We also went through Andersen's other famous fairy tale "the Snow Queen". Frozen is loosely based on the Snow Queen. Walt Disney himself was planning to make an animation from this famous fairy tale but other projects kept him occupied. In it's early design process Frozen was much more closer to Andersen's fairy tale.
For those of you who haven't read Andersen's story. It is very episodic and tells about two children Gerda and Kay. As I recall story doesn't mention where they live. I assume that in a city in Norway or in Denmark. Gerda and Kay weren't sister and brother but loved each others like sister and brother. Like many Andersen's fairy tale Snow Queen has Christian elements. Fairy tale begins when a mirror made by the devil gets broken. Piece of the shattered glass gets inside Kay's eye. This is noticed by the wicked Snow Queen and she kidnaps Kay to herself.
Gerda travels to Lapland to Snow Queen's kingdom to find Kay. Little thief girl (perhaps she is a Sami) is helping her with her reindeer and two crows. One of the shattered glass pieces reaches Kay's heart and makes him "Frozen". Gerda still manages to save Kay before it's too late and destroys the evil Snow Queen.
In the end the plot for Frozen was completely re-written, maybe that is better because original story is quite complex and episodic. Gerda and Kay were turned into two sisters. Anna's relentless nature reminds Gerda's persistence to save Kay. In away Anna reminds Kay when her heart get's cold after fighting with Elsa. No way Elsa is evil Snow Queen, even though according to the duke of Weselton and inhabitants of Arendelle that is exactly what she is. This is a great reference to the past of human mind and how easy it was to label someone as a witch. Just the fact that Elsa chooses to live alone in a far away cold palace isolated from the rest of the world feeds this idealism where powerful woman who chooses to live alone is dangerous.
The way Snow Queen wants to adopt little boy to herself has little bit resemblance to Elsa's grief and sadness for that she feels need to isolate herself from her family and the rest of the world. I believe one major reason for Frozen's insane popularity is the sibling relationship. This is also one of the reasons that made Andersen's fairy tale very popular. There isn't romance in Snow Queen. There is romance of Anna and Kristoff in Frozen. Still main focus in Frozen is the relationship of the two sisters. Disney has several films about sibling relationships like "My brother bear" and my personal favorite "Lilo and Stitch". Also in Frozen both of the main characters are very multidimensional.
Overall the world of Frozen portraits mindset of 2013 more than beginning of the 19th century. I give solid three and half stars to Frozen. Some trivia to the end. In 2014 Frozen won an oscar for the best animated feature and Let it Go was the best song. Frozen sequel is currently in the making before that we can all sing "Let it go! Let it go! I can't hold it back anymore!
Pinocchio is the second Disney classic movie and it premiered in February 1940. Film wasn't financially successful. Part of the reason is believed to be in the Second World War and americans not going to the movies that much at the time. However what it comes to the development of western animation Pinocchio is a remarkable film.
What it comes to Disney animations Pinocchio hasn't never been one of my favorites. Later as an adult I have learned to respect it more. Often I like to compare animations to their original sources.
Pinocchio's creator was Carlo Collodi. He was Italian writer and a journalist. Originally Pinocchio was published as serial story in Italian children magazine Giornale per I bambini between 1881-1882 and completely book in 1883. In 2016 I was studying illustration and one of the stories we had to illustrate was Pinocchio. That is when I picked up Collodi´s book and read it. Stories are pretty creepy and disturbing. Pinocchio in the book is really mean child. Jiminy Cricket only makes short appearance in the story. Pinocchio actually kills him by stepping on him. There is even one chapter where Pinocchio is nearly hanged as a trouble maker. In the end he does become a real boy.
I prefer the Disney version.
In the movie my biggest problem is with the main character. In the book Pinocchio doesn't regret his bad behavior but in the movie, Pinocchio has developing morality.
What's a conscience! I'll tell ya! A conscience is that still small voice that people won't listen to. That's just the trouble with the world today...
I think this sentence summarizes the whole movie pretty well. Disney's Pinocchio is about morality and the way humans learns to separate right from wrong. Greatest power in the film is Gepetto's strong love and trust for Pinocchio. They don't have that much time to spend together. Quite early in the movie Honest John and his helper seduce Pinocchio to work for Stromboli and the world of theater and later to Pleasure Island. In the movie transformation to real boy is reward Pinocchio receives from well behavior.
First scene where Pinocchio starts to understand Jiminy's words is the scene where Stromboli throws him in to the cage and threats to make fire woods out of him. When Blue Fairy arrives Pinocchio regrets his actions but is too ashamed to admit it, which is why his nose starts to grow.
By the end of the movie Pinocchio has developing morality. When he gets message that Gepetto has been eaten by a whale, his first unselfish action is to go and safe them. Second time happens when Pinocchio saves Gepetto's life by pulling him to the cave away from the whale Monstro. In the end Pinocchio does become a real boy since he has proved himself to be brave an unselfish.
Biggest reason why I never really liked Pinocchio's character is that he doesn't know how to say no but is easily manipulated and each time follows the person who he happens to be around. However when I last time watched Pinocchio I got a revelation and understood why he behaves this way. When Blue Fairy makes a wooden puppet a living puppet Pinocchio has no understanding about being a human. He is literally send to school when he is 1-day old. Straight away Honest John seduces him to theater. Next day he is captivated by Stromboli and next few days he spents in the pleasure island. Can I assume that wooden boy that has only lived for 4-5 days to has perfect judgement of human behavior? No. I can not relate myself to the character situation even if I'd like to.
Jiminy has always been my favorite character in Pinocchio. He climbs the social ladder when Blue Fairy makes him Pinocchio's conscience. Jiminy becomes found of Pinocchio and he want's the help him the best way he can. However for me Jiminy is most familiar from "All of us to all of you". Disney's Christmas special that as far as I know hasn't been aired in the USA since the 70's but it is aired in Finland and in all Nordic countries each year around Christmas. Hosted by Jiminy Cricket and each year there are clips from up-coming Disney films as well. I also like the way Jiminy was portrayed in the Once upon a time -series as a psychologist. I think it was very fitting for the character.
Gepetto represents unconditional love of a parent. He is a bit silly old man but he is very good-hearten. This can be seen the way his pets care for him. After Pinocchio has gone missing and Gepetto has prepared dinner, Figaro is really mad when Gepetto tells him not to eat the fish. He is really mad but still respects Gepetto's wishes.
I also love the scene where Gepetto tickles Cleo's stomach. Both pets are very found of Gepetto. Character has very playful sense of humor. You can see this in the scene where he dances with Pinocchio and makes him kick Figaro's butt. One can also see his playful nature in the music boxes and clocks he creates. Figaro gets little bit jealous for Pinocchio just because he gets so much attention from Gepetto. Figaro's and Cleo's relationship is like watching brother and sister. Cleo is angelic and sweet and Figaro is the rebel. Both are still very found of each others.
Pinocchio you have a tail!
Disney's Pinocchio is way less creepy than Collodi's original story (and many other animated movie Pinocchios). Still Disney's Pinocchio is considered to be one of the darkest Disney animations ever made. There is big amount of bad guys. Puppet theater owner, the violent Stromboli and the leader of the Pleasure Island. Honest John and Gideon are also crooks of the story but they are the characters who start the unfortunate events. I always thought creepiest scene in the whole movie is the one where Lampwick turns into a donkey. Pinocchio has lot's of psychological horror.
I really like the way Game Hall of Pleasure Island is designed. I think it was quite clever to make it as an 8-ball. There Pinocchio drinks beer, plays pool and smokes cigars with Lampwick. I find the whole concept of Pleasure Island pretty absurd. It is like trauma-therapy for young boys since they get to break everything.
Pinocchio includes lot's of sociological themes like child labor. Little boys are seduced to the Pleasure Island and when they turn onto donkeys Coachman is planning to sell them as "free labor" to salt mines and circuses. Scene where the little boys/donkeys are send to the boat trip is heart breaking. When I was watching Pinocchio I hoped that there had been some kind of a magical interfering (Blue Fairy perhaps?) who could have saved the lost boys.
One thing that I have noticed in Pinocchio is the episodic feeling of it. This also links the film to Collodi's original story. In many ways the bad guys in Pinocchio remind me lots of Disney's early animation episode characters from Silly Symphonies.
Little wooden head
Pinocchio has an opening storybook beginning. Jiminy is the story teller. Beginning of the film is fun when the camera watches world through the eyes of jumping cricket. One of my favorite things in the film is Gepetto's workshop. Every time when I watch Pinocchio I can't stop admiring the amount of details and funny looking clocks. Quality of animation is very much advanced compared to Snow White. Another beautiful scene is the underwater scene. I find underwater scenes and battles with Strombo actually much more light hearten than the anxiety driven scenes in the Pleasure Island or with Stromboli. Probably because family is back together no matter what happens.
One of the things I do like in Pinocchio are the songs. Hi Diddle Dee Dee is very deceitful song. I think it's hilarious but of course it gives one very unrealistic image of actor's life.
When you wish upon a star - is actually a Disney song that for me is pretty much the same as Christmas Carol. No doubt because each year it is included in "All of us to all of you".
I've never liked the character of Stromboli but I've always liked the song I've got no strings and the puppeteer performance. Especially different dolls that represent different nationalities; Russian dancers, Dutch dancers and the French can can dancers.
I also like the songs "wooden little head" and "give a little whistle". During those two songs viewer is introduced with Gepetto's workshop and the main characters.
There are many scenes in Pinocchio that I like. When Pinocchio finally finds his family in the belly of the whale Gepetto accidentally hugs and kisses a fish. I also love the end scene. Figaro is so happy when Pinocchio becomes a real boy he jumps into Cleo's tank and gives her a kiss. One of my favorite scenes happens right before Blue Fairy arrives. Gepetto has so many ticking clocks on the walls that Jiminy has troubles getting sleep. Then he shouts "QUIEEET" and all the clocks stop clicking.
I´m a Finn guys, so naturally majority of the Disney films I have seen I´ve watched with Finnish voice overs. Last time we watched Pinocchio in Disney society in my uni and that was the first time I watched it in English. I usually prefer Finnish versions (Finnish animation voice overs are usually very high quality). But because Pinocchio hasn't never really been my favorites I didn't mind watching it in English. In fact Pekka Lehtosaari who has directed most of the 90's Finnish Disney voice overs got orders from Disney to find voice actors matching with the original voices. They indeed are very much alike. Wonderful Finnish actor Matti Ranin who passed away few years ago (he also worked as director for Disney's Finnish voice overs) did voice of Gepetto. I thought it was quite funny because Ranin's physical appearance was very similar to the English voice of Gepetto Christian Rub and in fact Disney animators used Rub as physical model for Gepetto.
Pinocchio may not be my favorite Disney animation I still highly recommend any Disney fan to watch it at least once or twice in their life.
Pronounced as Nee-na.
Artist, illustrator, writer, watercolorist and a folklorist. Gryffinclaw. Comes from Finland. Likes cats, tea and period dramas.
Love fandoms AOGG and Little Women (prefers books over the films). Louisa May Alcott researcher.
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