Showing posts from July, 2016

No prince for Moana? Favourite Romantic Disney Moments

It's recently been announced that the newest Disney heroine, Polynesian princess Moana, will not have a love interest. And I guess that's good -  female empowerment and all that. So is it wrong for me to feel a little disappointed? I liked Brave well enough, and it felt right that Frozen's Queen Elsa didn't meet a handsome prince (she had a lot on her plate after all, where would she have found the time?) But call me old-fashioned, I like romance in my princess movies. At least as a B story-line. Mulan, for example, wasn't about the romance with Shang, but the love story added something extra without taking away from Mulan's journey. Is it bad to want that for Moana too?

There are some stunning romantic scenes in Disney, and the newer films can do the 'mushy stuff' just as well as ever - Rapunzel and Flynn in Tangled are the perfect example of how to get it right. From what I can see, the best loved Disney films have romance in them, and so to remind y…

What I'm Watching: Romeo and Juliet Live!

Last night, Kenneth Branagh's acclaimed new production of Romeo and Juliet was broadcast to cinemas around the world, courtesy of National Theatre Live. Starring Lily James and Richard Madden, with Derek Jacobi as Mercutio, it definitely sounded worth a watch, so my sister and I went into Liverpool to soak up a bit of culture. It was all booked up at our local cinema - which is impressive, considering this is Shakespeare we're talking about, and people hardly go the cinema anymore anyway. I've been to a couple of live cinema screenings in the past (Macbeth and The Tempest, mainly for Alexander Vlahos and Colin Morgan respectively - my sister's a big Merlin fan) and I'll admit that this time, I was partly there for Richard Madden. Imagine my dismay then, when Kenneth Branagh emerged before curtain up, to inform us all that our Romeo had done his back in (or was it his ankle?). Luckily however, he was determined to still perform, and they just had to change some of …

The King and I: Live action (1956) vs Cartoon (1999)

In an age where Disney is churning out live-action re-makes one nail-biting release at a time (they've been good so far, but that doesn't mean there's not going to be a travesty somewhere along the line) it's odd to think that it sometimes works the other way around. I saw the 1999 20th Century Fox re-make of The King and I at the cinema (and enjoyed it!) so I don't feel the same animosity towards that version as some do. Still, I can appreciate it's ridiculousness, and I thought it was time for a review. 
(For other cartoon/live-action comparisons, see Anastasia and The Jungle Book.)

The King and I is (loosely) based on the true story of Anna Leonowens, a British woman who travelled to Siam (now Thailand, if you were wondering) to become schoolmistress to the children of King Mongkut, in the late 18th century. There have been multiple adaptations of the story, but the most famous was released in 1956 and won five academy awards, including Best Actor for Yul Br…