It’s a bit like a rite of passage to be a kid in middle school being forced to watch an educational video about “your changing body.” Mine was held in a special classroom where they showed us some ’90s video about some girl who got her period and panicked because she didn’t know what to do. I always felt like the videos they showed us weren’t really informational, just blatantly fear-monger-y, with a bleak conclusion that periods are awkward so just deal with it.
Normally when you hear the words “1950s” and “Walt Disney” you think of things that are super old-fashioned, conservative, or sexist, but this animation surprisingly has none of those things. Sure it’s a little outdated, showing shots of women cleaning houses and cooking, but its message is straight forward and educational, unlike those frightening ’90s videos I was forced to watch. There is some cringeworthy mothering in the cartoon, like telling girls to “not slouch” or to smile and “stop feeling sorry for yourself,” but overall it’s an interesting relic of Disney history that was made during a time when Disney, apparently, was desperate for cash.
Unfortunately, if you’re wondering why your teachers never showed you this video in school, it’s because the cartoon was later banned for some reason. I guess they had to make room for those scary ’90s videos. Too bad.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, November 5th, 2015||No Comments »|
In this vintage Disney documentary we see four artists paint one tree. The point of the video is to prove that every artist has their own unique style, idea, and perspective when it comes to their personal art. Although the four artists featured in the video are animators who are used to working collaboratively with other artists, when working solo, their styles are drastically different. In the video, one artist paints the tree abstractly with bold colors and geometric shapes, while another takes a more detailed approach.
The video is a little long, with the first half of the video focused on the making of Sleeping Beauty. If you’re only interested in seeing the four artists painting the tree, jump to 6:40. However, if you’re looking for an impressive perspective on how art is created, watch the whole thing.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, January 15th, 2015||No Comments »|
Many die-hard Disney fans fondly remember the Mouse’s version of Victor Hugo’s classic novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which featured Demi Moore as the pretty dancer Esmeralda, Tony Jay as Claude Frollo, and Tom Hulce as Quasimodo. Now, La Jolla Playhouse is proud to host the U.S. premiere of the stage adaption, which is directed by Stephen Schwartz and running until December 14, 2014.
The trailer for the musical gives Disney fans a sneak peek at the live-action versions of Quasimodo, Phoebus, and Esmeralda. Plus, for those who don’t live on the West Coast and can’t get to La Jolla Playhouse in person to see it live, the trailer allows fans to get a glimpse of the stunning choreography and gorgeous costumes. Perhaps one day East Coast fans will be able to see it too, but until then, this awesome trailer will have to suffice.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, November 21st, 2014||No Comments »|
World famous belly dancer Sarah Skinner performed a rather interesting interpretation of Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid at the 2011 Venus Uprising show, which will leave viewers captivated by how Skinner and her backup dancers can show every emotional nuance with just a flick of a hip or a light shimmy.
There’s also nods to both the original fairy tale and the Disney film adaption—unlike the latter’s happy ending, Skinner is given wings by an air sprite and rises up out of the water, joyfully dancing to celebrate her new life. Meanwhile, Skinner’s seashell bra, tight green skirt, and auburn hair are sly nods to Disney’s famous heroine. The only downside to the performance is the goofy actor Venus Uprising hired to play the prince. His acting is far too stiff and frankly, he looks far too old to play the part of the young Prince that the little mermaid falls in love with.
Aside from the terrible acting of the Prince, Sarah Skinner and Venus Uprising’s production of The Little Mermaid puts a Middle Eastern spin on a beloved fairy tale.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Friday, July 11th, 2014||No Comments »|
Disney’s sanitized and squeaky clean retellings of classic fairy tales have a new competitor in town in the form of a series of novels called The Lunar Chronicles, which is written by novelist Marissa Meyer.
Book one, Cinder, is a compelling reimagining of the usual Cinderella tale but with a twist: the servant-girl-turned-princess is not human at all. She’s a cyborg who goes by the name Linh Cinder who is stuck living with her stepmother and two stepsisters while working a side job as a mechanic. However, her life is turned upside down when a young prince by the name of Kai spots her skills with machines and asks if she can fix his personal android.
|Recommended by Amanda Ferris||Tuesday, March 18th, 2014||No Comments »|