Princess Jasmine steals spotlight in Aladdin

Disney’s latest female protagonist Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) is a modern-day powerhouse as she enters a whole new world in Guy Ritchie’s live-action remake of Aladdin.

The Princess of Agrabah returns to the big screen alongside Aladdin (Mena Massoud) to bring Disney’s animated classic to life with a freshness that fits the times.

Unlike the original 1992 film, the updated version gives the Arab princess a role as significant as her love interest and the movie’s title character.

The audience first meets Jasmine disguised as a commoner in the marketplace before Aladdin’s quick wits save her from being prosecuted from stealing.

On face value, she is a ‘damsel in distress’ rescued by a man, but upon her return to the palace, her true colours are shown when she is courted by yet another prince (Billy Magnussen) wanting to marry her.

She is strong-willed and bold, believing in her own ability to rule the kingdom without another by her side.

Disney’s princess culture has been criticised for being harmful towards young girls and promoting gender stereotypes.

But Jasmine is a great role model; she is ambitious in her hopes for herself and does not stop fighting for the freedom of choice in a place where the odds are against her.

She is respectful even when she disagrees with the Sultan, and empathetic and compassionate to the subjects of her kingdom.

The princess’ wardrobe in the film is vibrant, beautiful and includes her iconic blue-green two-piece, which is given a more modest makeover in the film negating views from the original movie that she is oversexualised.

Image: Disney

Princess Jasmine has an admirable depth to her and a character arc that is an enhanced reminiscent version of the character we already know and if you did not already, fall in love with.

Naomi Scott embodies Jasmine’s beauty inside and out. 

A pivotal moment is when she sings original song and feminist anthem, ‘Speechless’, about not staying silent and instead, speaking out against injustices regardless of the obstacles thrown your way.

Genie mentions early in the film, “The more wishes you have, the more you want.” 

Aladdin shows everyone young and old how there is more to life than power and fortune.

The film reminds its audience there is magic in friendship and staying true to yourself.  

The classic remake features original characters Genie (Will Smith), Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), Abu and Rajah, as well as its hit musical numbers like Friend Like Me, Prince Ali, and favourite A Whole New World.

Disney’s live-action Aladdin is in cinemas now.

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Where’s Dory?

The 4 beautiful new Finding Dory posters were released and if this doesn’t get you excited for the Finding Nemo sequel, well sorry, we can no longer be friends. I’m kidding… Mostly…

I was 5 when I watched Finding Nemo (2003) and remember crying and laughing and occasionally holding my breath and pretending I was swimming with the characters – the same case scenario for any cute/magical movies set in the sea *cough* The Little Mermaid *cough*. Where was I going with this? Right! 

Finding Dory focuses on our amnesiac blue tang friend, played by everyone’s favourite TV Show host, Ellen DeGeneres, as she recalls memories of her home and family. Dory remembers something other than ‘P.Sherman 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney’? MIND BLOWING!

The 4 new posters double as a game which the kids or your inner child will love! It’s not too difficult since Dory probably finds it more of a challenge to find herself than we do:

  
     

 You can bet I’ll be going to an advanced screening! I cannot wait for June!  In the meantime, we can listen to Robbie Williams’ smooth smooth voice and imagine somewhere beyond the sea 😉

Images via: Finding Dory (Disney)

A Feministic Take On A Classic Fairy Tale

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I can’t believe it’s nearly 2016! So, before the year ends, I want to share with you a couple of my favourite moments.  In March, I was fortunate enough to be offered to watch a special screening of Cinderella and write on how feminism fits in with the story and Disney princesses.  Anyone who knows me knows I may have a little obsession with all things Disney, so I leaped at the chance! 😀  This was originally written then published by my city newspaper in March when the movie released but as it’s definitely one of my favourite pieces this year, I wanted to share it with you.

“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” ❤ 

The world’s favourite fairy tale classic, Cinderella, returns to the big screen once again, but with Lily James as Cinderella and Richard Madden as Prince Charming.

When we think of fairy tales, we think of princesses, fairy godmothers, cute animals and ‘happily ever after’s.  Did you ever think that Cinderella and some of your other beloved princesses are actually feminists?

Feminism isn’t about thinking, acting and working like a man.  It’s about having equality amoung the sexes.  The women’s movements during the 60s and 70s was not for girls and women to turn into boys and men but for females to have the choice and the chance to choose our own destinies.

Yes, Cinderella obeyed her stepmother, was mistreated by her and was basically a maid for her and her stepsisters.  She could’ve run away or stood up to her stepmother but she chose to follow her, but that didn’t stop her from dreaming and using her imagination.

If that doesn’t convince you, though she may or may not be your favourite character, the evil stepmother, Lady Tremaine, shows her authority around the house, ordering Cinderella what to do all the time. Set in the 50s, men would tell their wives and children what to do, but Cinderella’s father doesn’t have much say in the story.  The power stays with Lady Tremaine, her stepmother, which shows that Cinderella portrayed a woman as a strong and powerful character.

Disney’s earlier princesses (Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora) may not have been as courageous and feisty as some of the later girls (Mulan, Rapunzel, Merida and Elsa), but they were not just pretty faces.  They were always kind and hard working which are positive values, making them great role models.  The message of being true to yourself and following your dreams is written all over the story of Cinderella.  This is what feminism strives for – girls reaching for their dreams and making decisions in their own free will.  Just a reminder: It’s okay to dream, in fact, some of your greatest ideas will happen in a dream.  Use your imagination, that’s how new inventions and creations, came to be.  And always be kind, a beautiful heart is priceless and gets better with age. 

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Images: Disney

Ysabelle Does Happy

Ysabelle, 3

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Ysa with Froggy

What does happiness mean?

Love! ❤

What makes you happy?

Love… Frozen, family, friends, sharing and dancing.

Frozen makes me laugh too! And at school (kindergarten) my friends share and we make things together. That makes me happy.

Do you do dance lessons?

Yes, and I just like to dance. I do swimming lessons!

Are you happy now?

(Nods head vigorously in approval and giggles)

“I don’t like being sad. I like being happy.” 🙂

Worries? Let it go!

Worries? Let it go!

Hakuna Matata!

Red carpet <3

Red carpet ❤

It’s a problem free… philosophy… Hakuna Matata!

Last Saturday night I attended a performance of the Australian production of Disney’s The Lion King at Lyric Theatre, QPAC in Brisbane with my family. It was spectacular! Since we weren’t permitted to take pics during the show, here’s a glimpse of before opening curtain – Rafiki’s sketches.

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Stage pre-show

Seen by more than 70 million people, Disney’s landmark musical event THE LION KING is an international phenomenon that will redefine your expectations of theatre. Bursting with colour, fun and depth, it’s enjoyable for everyone of all ages! They even throw in a couple Frozen references that are hilarious!

I’m a massive Disney girl so to watch The Lion King come to life on stage was too incredible! The entire cast – characters and dancers were all fabulous but my favourites would have to be Rafiki, who’s played by the original Broadway show cast member, Scar and Zazu. The puppetry and manipulation of props and costume for each character was amazing. Of course, they performed all the hits including Circle of Life, Can You Feel The Love Tonight and Hakuna Matata as well as additional songs like Shadowland!

It’s Brisbane season opened on the 21st of September and is running until the 25th of January, 2015. I’d definitely recommend the show to everyone! So if you want to feel the love tonight, book your tickets!

www.lionking.com.au