Note: You can learn how to make your own birdcage dress HERE.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Note: You can learn how to make your own birdcage dress HERE.
Found via Zachary Levi's blog (who's the voice for Flynn Rider). Enjoy!
Although it isn't outlined anywhere, from what I understand, there is a 'host' blog (which is the main place I'm linking you to, so you can find everything else easily) called Fairy Tales 2010. On this blog are posted questions/discussion topics that groups of students are required to respond to as part of their classwork, by blogging on their 'group' blogs.
The group blogs have lovely names too:
They've had interesting discussions on a number of tales so far (Red Riding Hood, Donkeyskin, Cinderella) as well as other topics like Bettelheim's work, motifs and more. The focus of these blogs is content, not presentation, so don't expect much artwork. It's just wonderful to be able to see what's being discussed by students with regard to fairy tales.
The topic of discussion for this month (February 2010) is Beauty & the Beast and there's plenty of reading there for anyone who loves this tale.
This is quite a different blog from Diamonds & Toads, which I visit as often as time allows and comment on regularly. Kate Wolford, who runs Diamonds & Toads, encourages participation from readers other than her students and often includes lovely artwork in her posts. As a result she's providing a very rich resource for us all to both enjoy and be a part of. Fairy Tales 2010 appears to be for those Vanderbilt students involved only and is focused on discussion content with not much, if any, art, but it still makes for great reading and for seeing the ideas college students are considering. I'm thankful they've seen fit to have it public so we can all enjoy it.
Note: The images are the ones each student blog uses for their headers.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
I found these and had to share.
The work is so gorgeous and unique, not only do I want a complete notecard set but I'd love to see these in person. What's more, the artist, Andrea, obviously reads the old tales rather than relying on newer childrens versions, as you'll see from her descriptions of the pieces.
(In this scene, Cinderella kneels at her mother’s grave under the hazel tree and receives her dress for the ball. )
Here's what the artist says about her work:
I am a watercolorist turned felter. Using a felting needle, I "paint” scenes with fiber. Each work begins as a sketch and is felted by hand, using no machine, pattern or mold.I sincerely urge you to go to her shop HERE for the close-ups views, as well as to see all her work. It's just stunning and completely reminiscent (for me) of impressionist pastel work.
(In this scene, the princess bargains with the frog over the return of her lovely golden ball.)
(In this scene, the brother and sister are alone in the woods collecting small stones in their hopes of being able to find their way back home.)
(In this scene, the little mermaid gazes up at the ocean’s surface in contemplation of trading her mermaid’s tale for human form.)
There's information about her techniques under the 'shop policies' section of her Etsy shop, which is very interesting too.
Just stunning work. I'd love to see a whole story book illustrated this way.
You can find her work in her Etsy shop HERE.
Friday, February 26, 2010
I heard a couple of days ago (thank you Ms. Mantchev the Marvelous!) that a trailer-in-progress for "Tangled" got leaked to YouTube. By the time I got there (within an hour of the message) it had already been removed. I have been hunting since in case it reappeared and sure enough, turns out somebody caught it before it disappeared and now we can share it - at least until that gets removed too. I'm including all the info I've found just in case.
Please note: this is not an official trailer. It's basically a mock-up of a trailer-to-be and includes pencil storyboard sketches, not-final-rendered animation and more. The images only give you an idea of the action and staging and look nothing like the end product will, so try not to judge the visuals.
The new logo is in evidence in gold along with additional lines: "It takes two to get... Tangled... Rinse. Rescue. Repeat." Underneath the images, a remake of "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" is playing to accent the action, which - don't worry- is temp music only. There's far more footage of the rogue hero, Flynn, than Rapunzel, but that's not really a surprise.
Keep in mind that the trailer is mostly in storyboard and rough animation, so it will give you an idea of the animation, but since all the animation is unrendered we won't know much about the actual look of the film until the finished trailer or teaser is released (which is rumored to happen with the release of the "Princess and the Frog" dvd). The trailer does offer us our first look at new characters Pascal, Rapunzel's sidekick pet chameleon and her white horse Maximus.Here's what Latino Review has to say about the contents:
Up until today, we were only able to show you early concept art with few story details but today we have quite the reverse. As the trailer mostly relies upon storyboards and the animations are still in their earliest stages, this isn't so much about the look as it is about the tone. While Tangled does mark Disney's return to its fairytale roots, it's with a decidedly modern interpretation that's more Road to El Dorado and Pixar than Snow White or Sleeping Beauty.
Here are some the select highlights from the trailer: Rapunzel has an anthropomorphized gekko/lizard of sorts, the male lead relies upon his charms and wiles to steal hearts and money but is captured by Rapunzel who seems immune to everything he can throw at her -- especially since she weilds a frying pan as her defense.
Overall, it seems like Disney is going for humor with this film and is trying to undermine its self-perceived princess problem by making the story every bit about the male lead as it is about Rapunzel escaping from her tower and letting down her golden hair.
Rapunzel can also apparently manipulate her hair as a weapon, though perhaps not with quite the 'cowgirl' feel that Shannon Hale's Rapunzel's Revenge heroine does.
I also want to mention that despite the marketing changes, the story will not likely have changed significantly to reflect the new 'boy-friendly' tack. One of the perceived problems with "Princess and the Frog" is that there is very little actual "princess" content and much more adventure/boy-friendly content than pro-princess girls were wanting/expecting. Despite recent Disney marketing being very pro-princess and girly the (animation) films do tend to strive for a balance of pretty vs gritty. They can be marketed either way. I'm curious to see if they can temper the pendulum swing before it goes from the extreme-princess marketing we just had to extreme-adventure-boy marketing.
Now, if you haven't already, go HERE to see the trailer (at the bottom of the article) before it vanishes!
Yep - that's today in the US.
This day celebrates Fairy Tales! On this day we are encouraged to have fun reading fairy tales and discussing fairy tale stories!This is the first time I've heard of it too (if you look at the link you'll see it's a little hard to verify an official source except that a lot of people are celebrating it) but hey, sounds great to me!
There's a nice little article posted today by Hannah Boyd titled "Why Fairy Tales Matter" HERE.
So: if you could pass on ONE fairy tale ONLY to the next generation, which one would that be and why?
I know - impossible question. I have trouble answering that one too.
"The Cat on the Dovrefell" also known as "The Trolls and the Pussycat"
Norwegian fairy tale collected by Asbjørnsen and Moe.
Trolls, a polar bear and a lot of humor. Love it! (Text HERE.)
"The Lame Fox" or "Laughing Eye and Weeping Eye"
Serbian fairy tale collected by A. H. Wratislaw (also in Andrew Lang's Grey Fairy Book)
A very patient (non-trickster) fox helps a boy win a golden horse, a golden tree and a golden girl. (Text HERE.)
And one more (because once you get me going it's hard to stop...):
"The Day Boy and the Night Girl"
by George MacDonald (one of my favorite fairy tale writers)
Opposites attract and help each other overcome their fears and the "witch with the wolf inside". (Text HERE.)
I also enjoy Jorinde & Joringel (Grimm's), The Tinder Box (H. C. Andersen - this is more popular than the others I've mentioned) and The Marsh King's Daughter (also by H.C. Andersen), which you probably know already if you've been reading this blog for a while. :)
Note: All images are of more familiar tales by the amazing Kinuko Y. Craft. SOURCE.
Fingers crossed for a fun movie and good viewing response so they'll re-make more fairy tales.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
You'll be pleased to know the next one is an 'actual' fairy tale: "Snow White". It's scheduled to debut in April as a four-issue mini-series. This particular four part version of "Snow White" is being written by "Toy Story" writer Jesse Blaze Snider.
From an interview with Mr. Snider at Comic Book Resources:
Snider explained that, in his story, "'The Seven Dwarfs are a rock band, who work in the mines by day to finance a career in rock 'n' roll by night. The original seven dwarfs leader was 'Doc,' ours is Dr. Teeth. You don't get more 'Happy' than Janice. Zoot's long nights of playing gigs has made him quite 'Sleepy.' Floyd Pepper has always been sarcastic and maybe a little 'Grumpy.' Lips has never really gotten the chance to develop a personality as a Muppet, so he is pretty 'Bashful.'
...Rounding out the cast are Miss Piggy as the evil queen, Fozzie as the magic mirror, Kermit as the prince, and Spamela Hamderson as Snow White. "A lot of people don't know Spamela, but she is from the short-lived 'Muppets Tonight,' which I am a big fan of, especially the second half. Anyway, she was a perfect foil for Piggy, she is really a sexy looking Muppet and when you see her you'll agree and the story is all about jealousy," Snider said. "If this was a movie, they would cast a live actor to play Snow White and be Piggy's foil, so I cast the ditzy but gorgeous Spamela. I really had a good time using her, but the best part was, I modernized her by giving her something most Disney Princesses have, but she didn't…her very own 'talking animal companion'…Pepe the King Prawn!
...Playing the Brothers Grimm are Gonzo and Rizzo! That's actually my favorite part of the book, having Gonzo narrate and Rizzo correct him constantly. It's a lot of fun."
There's a lot more information in the article and it sounds like a lot of fun for all involved. Interestingly the writer wasn't thrilled about tackling a fairy tale first thing but ended up having a lot of fun. You can read the whole article HERE.
The Muppets have a long history with fairy tales and we owe them a debt of gratitude for helping keep fairy tales in the popular consciousness right from the early days of Sesame Street with their Muppet Newsflash stories. As fractured and funny as they were, The Muppets (under Jim Henson of course) managed to keep the essentials of the tales intact, unlike many fractured versions today - something easier said than done. The company kept their link with fairy tales through the years since, in various ways, and it's wonderful to see a reportedly good quality rendition of Muppet versions of fairy tales being released currently.
I just wish they'd release all the Muppet's Sesame Street News Flash stories (with intrepid roving reporter Kermit the Frog, who barely survives many of the fairy tale interviews) in a single DVD... (hint, hint Henson Company!)
Below you'll see a couple of the Peter Pan comic issue covers released in the latter part of last year (there are quite a few issues for this story!) and you can read more about the Muppefication of J.M. Barrie's beloved story HERE. The blog linked to has other information on the comics too. Just check the 'comics' tag.
Friday, February 19, 2010
by Emily Forgot
Here's the intro to get you started:
When most people think of love and fairy tales it tends to get boiled down to something like this:
Love-at-first-sight = true love = happily ever after (with maybe a task in the middle in which the hero proves just how far BEYOND the ends of the earth he’s willing to go for this true-love-at-first-sight-girl.)
The thing is, fairy tales are rarely like that at all, particularly if they’re about love...You can keep reading HERE. Enjoy! (Part two is coming on March 4th.)
In the meantime, while my household recovers from the various bugs and/or flu floating around, I thought I'd quickly point you toward this lovely Italian silhouette animation.
This is from a film called "Principi e principesse" from 2000 and yes, I'm aware the cover shows a different title but both iMDB and YouTube call the film by this title, not the one printed on promotional poster. The film has a collection of six magical short stories and while the whole thing is in Italian, you don't need to speak or understand any to enjoy it (though I'm sure that would add to it - it's obviously very funny).It's a very different take on The Frog Prince and I suggest you 'fast forward' to the one minute mark where the action begins. There's a bit of Italian dialogue right after the frog appears that I suggest you be patient through but after that it speeds up considerably. You'll very quickly get the idea and should enjoy the surprise conclusion*.
The style is somewhat reminiscent of Lotte Reiniger's silhouette animation but clearly has a more modern sensibility behind it. I've seen a short article on it a few months back but haven't been able to relocate it in my limited time (if anyone spots it, feel free to add a link in the comments).
(I'll be back to sniffing out fairy tale news for you just as soon as my sniffer is available again.)
* You may be interested to know there is a Romanian fairy tale in which has a similar ending. You can read it HERE. I'm not sharing the title as it's a spoiler for the film. ;)
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Currently touring the UK (and playing in New Theatre, HULL at time of this post) are the Russian Ice Stars in their production of (a very Russian version) of Snow White. By turns dramatic, comedic and gracefully balletic the production apparently uses impressive theatrical effects and athletic circus-type performances. It's also reported to be well rooted in European tales and traditions, making for a very entertaining and fresh Snow White, complete with world class skating.
There's a nice website with information (including details about the skaters, with their incredibly impressive resumes), images and movies HERE.
I've read a number of very favorable reviews but one by Angie Johnson of The Oxford Times was both informative and mentioned the use of symbolism in the story as well as other tales. Here's an excerpt:
With a new take on a classic tale, the Russian Ice Stars were back with their latest spectacular, Snow White. Exploding on to the iced-over New Theatre stage with thrilling skating, it also featured lush costumes and sets, plus some cunning theatrical effects that I can’t work out how they did. The show is very Russian in feel, and this is a very good thing.
...From among the very high-calibre cast I was particularly struck with the performances of Svetlana Kuprina as Queen Drina, the evil stepmother, to the fresh and innocent Snow White of Irina Tkachuk. These two spark off each other brilliantly in their pas de deux, one epitomising darkness and the other light. I was also delighted by the comic turn of Ekaterina Murugova and Sergei Smirnov as geese who lead the abandoned Snow White to the safety of the Woodcutters’ House – they were rather like The Magic Flute’s Papageno and Papegena, ...You can read the whole report HERE.
Here's a promo clip:
I wish I were able to see this. Hopefully some talented film director, who understands theater and dance, captures it and releases it to DVD.
The Russian Ice Stars are touring the UK with Snow White through till July 2010 (the last few dates and locations are yet to be confirmed).
Monday, February 15, 2010
I didn't post half of what I wanted to yesterday for Valentine's Day so please forgive me if I continue with this love and romance in fairy tales theme for a couple more days yet.
I've gone back and forth on whether to post the link to this but fairy tales don't shy away from dark and difficult issues so here goes:
I found this post, originally by Rod Van Mechelen quite a few years ago, at a site labeled "What Every Man Should Know About Feminist Issues". (You read the warning above, right?) It discusses the problems one man has in using "Beauty and the Beast" as an allegory for a successful marriage/relationship.
The article/post appears to have been written in response to a book called "Why Women Shouldn't Marry", which should tip you off to the strong feelings/opinions discussed. (In other words, it's one guy's complaint at feminist expectations (and treatments) of potential male partners. And no, I have not read that book.)
Please note: I do not agree with the points the writer of the article is trying to make, though I do not mean any disrespect. I actually think there's rather a lot wrong with the whole thing BUT at the same time I can understand some of the concerns the article writer has, as extreme as they are. The reason I'm posting a link here is because this is - apparently - how some people think, and it's a good example of the sorts of problems people have with using fairy tales as templates for relationships. (And yes, usually people of this mind have not read the originals or read fairy tales in general at all but are responding to the pop-cultural impression of the tropes.) It also is a different example of how fairy tales can be interpreted and how, even from a negative point of view, they can touch on deep issues.
by Johanna Ost
Needless to say (but I will anyway) the post is written rather defensively in its presentation of worrying-yet-interesting ideas. If for nothing else, here's a great example of how some disillusioned or negative characters might think, which can be very useful for writers of fairy tale retellings.
Here's an excerpt:
The essence of the myth of the marriage relationship, as it is endlessly replayed in the timeless allegory Beauty and the Beast, is that marriage transforms the "Beast" into a man, and thereby empowers the "Beauty." But today's reality is that women are helping to transform most men into sex starved "Beasts" by eroticising themselves as evanescent "Beauties," and then promoting their sex as a scarce commodity by making men beg and pay for it.
Every woman who "plays hard to get" or lets men make all the first moves, plays a part in this.Told you it may read as controversial! ;)
You can read the whole post HERE.
One final note: if you wish to leave a comment on the article (or this post) I welcome all points of view - I just ask that you please be respectful in choosing your words and be aware that issues like these can be emotional (and sometimes confusing) for people in their personal situations.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I have an article on "True Love and Fairy Tales" coming up in the next week at Supernatural Fairy Tales (so look out for that one) but for today I wanted to share something I found while researching: a priceless old blog post of Sarah Beth Durst's from 2008 on "Fairy Tale Couples".
If you're not aware of Sarah, you should be. She's written three fairy tale based books so far with her latest being "Ice", a retelling of "East Of the Sun, West of the Moon" (you can read my post on "Ice" HERE). In addition to telling a good story she's wonderfully funny on her blog and often takes a good hard look at fairy tales with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek.
Here's an excerpt from "Fairy Tale Couples" in which she looks at the cons of fairy tale couples or:
WHY I DON'T WANT A FAIRY-TALE RELATIONSHIP (or Reasons to Buy the Card with Love Birds on it Instead)After a few other dubious fairy tale couple examples she goes on to the pros or:
Snow White and Prince
HER: Leaves her loyal friends after just one kiss.
HIM: Falls in love with a dead girl. Ick.
WHY I'M GIVING MY HUSBAND THE CARD ANYWAY (or Why I Still Think Fairy-Tale Love is Romantic)
Snow White and Prince
As a wedding present, he lets her murder the evil witch. Now that's true love.
It's not a long post but it's very funny and very smart. You'll find yourself laughing and both being thankful for what you have (or don't have - ick!) and finish reading with your fairy tale romance dreams still somehow intact. Go read the whole thing HERE (then go support her by buying her books, so she'll be able to write more great stuff - we need writers like Sarah!).
Thank you Sarah, and Happy Valentine's day everyone.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Here's the announcement by the film's producer, Roy Conli, on Facebook:
"Hey everyone, I'm Roy Conli, producer of Disney's next animated film. I have some exciting news to share, and it was important to me that YOU guys – the Disney fans – hear it first. I want to tell you about Walt Disney Animation Studio's 2010 release, Tangled. It’s a really fresh, smart take on the Rapunzel story.
In our film, the infamous bandit Flynn Rider meets his match in the girl with the 70 feet of magical golden hair. We're having a lot of fun pairing Flynn, who's seen it all, with Rapunzel, who's been locked away in a tower for 18 years.
I’m so proud of the crew working on this film – they’re doing a fantastic job creating an awesome story with great characters and a stunning world – and it's all going to look amazing in 3D. All of us here at the studio are incredibly excited for you to see Tangled when it comes out in theaters this November."(The comments below his announcement reflect the general sentiments I've been hearing about the name change too, by the way.)Why the change? Here's what First Showing is reporting:
So why get rid of a very recognizable title? For marketing purposes of course. Read on!
Blue Sky Disney
goes on to explain that, after the mediocre-to-good success of The Princess and the Frog ($101 million in US box office), Disney is rethinking their marketing strategies for upcoming animated movies. They (meaning the execs and John Lasseter and so on) think that boys don't want to go see "girlie" movies and Rapunzel is instantly perceived as female because it's a story about a girl with the long hair. So by changing the name they give it some new life. Apparently it's not that girlie of a story either, so boys will still enjoy it. Other title considerations include the original Unbraided and The Thief in the Tower, too.
Friday, February 12, 2010
As part of the promotional fun for the upcoming "Alice In Wonderland" (Burton and Disney), the fan blog site released a gorgeous little papercraft toy download for the Cheshire Cat (via Super Punch).
You can download your own HERE with some construction tips (although I'm afraid that book does not come with it).
I have a feeling there will be more than one of these smiles appearing at my place soon... ;)
It should be noted that the age-old argument about Disney and fairy tales ("we should" vs "we shouldn't") can't help but be part of this film, even though fairy tales won't be the focus. It should also be noted that this documentary is causing quite a buzz in both the animation community and amongst Disney-philes.
Here's a little about it via First Showing:
Waking Sleeping Beauty is directed by Disney producer Don Hahn and features a behind-the-scenes look at Disney Animation during that 10 year period and what they had to go through to make movies. Beyond that, it has a fascinating look at the power struggle between then-Disney execs Jeffrey Katzenberg, Michael Eisner and Roy E. Disney (who passed away recently). This is, hands down, a must see documentary for anyone that loves Disney or anyone that wants to see a honest and intimate look at the world of Disney Animation. I'm glad to see that Disney is releasing it in theaters; we'll be supporting it through its release and beyond!
You can read more about it HERE.
Just click on the headline to be taken to the story.
Guests will experience new rides including, an indoor Little Mermaid Attraction, and an expansion of Dumbo's Flying Circus. Fantasyland will also be more interactive. Guests will be able to train to be a knight, dine with princesses or have dinner in Gaston's Tavern from Beauty and The Beast. "Not only will it immerse guests into story lines of their favorite princesses, but it's actually going to make guests part of the stories," said Walt Disney Imagineer Diego Parris.(More additions detailed in the article. Video promo included from announcement at the link. Older concept pics for the new additions at this link HERE.)
Original draft images of Beauty & the Beast by Walter Crane going up for auction
The pictures, which illustrate the most famous scenes from the French love story, are estimated to make £200-£300 when they go up for auction on February 20.
Bookworm Gardens, (is) a 2-acre fantasy garden based on children's literature located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan. The gardens mix paths, shrubs, trees and environmentally friendly structures with a series of about 10 reading-themed areas based on 74 different children's books, including "Charlotte's Web," the classic story about a talented pig and spider.
... The centerpiece of Bookworm Gardens is the Hansel & Gretel Administration Building, an A-frame cottage-style structure with a curvy roofline to resemble the famous house of the classic children's tale. It will include a classroom, offices, gift shop,
restrooms and a small kitchen.