60 Books In 2019 #28: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Geekerella provides two things that I love more than anything, love letters to fandom, and specifically cosplay, and a take on the Cinderella story which I love so much.

Our Ella this time around is Danielle Wittimer, Elle to her friends, of whom she has few since her father died and her step mother’s parenting ranges from neglectful to outright abusive and her step sisters, twins Chloe and Calliope, keep her peers socially isolated from her. (Poston choosing the name Calliope made me happy. Rodgers and Hammerstein use it too!)

Elle works at a vegan food truck, and she otherwise spends time online writing about Starfield a 70s Sci-Fi show she used to watch with her father. When a reboot is announced Elle is sceptical, but she eventually finds herself rengaging with fandom IRL because of our Prince.

Our Prince is Darien Freeman, a teen soap newbie who is cast as Prince Carmindor in said reboot. He’s a Starfield superfan,  but the fandom’s decided he’s a clueless noob who’s not worthy of the part. (Elle is in fact spearheading the internet campaign against him.) Due to some shenanigans, the two wind up texting anonymously and quickly fall in nerdy adorable love.

The ball in question is a Cosplay Masquerade at Excelsicon, the nerd con founded by Elle’s father. And the pair finally meet in person and also get their act together regarding their dysfunctional families. (Darien’s intense manager father has also been making his life more difficult than necessary.)

Elle’s fairy godmother is her queer LOTR obsessed coworker, Sage, who I adored. (natch) Darien has a great assistant, and his snotty costars, a pair of indie darling actors who I’m pretty sure Poston modeled on a certain vampire soon to be Dark Knight and his blank faced mumbly paramour. (Well, actually, Jessica, the female lead seems to be a mix of Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence, but, Calvin, the other dude is very clearly Pattinson and it’s kind of great.)

I really enjoyed this book. It hit the Cinderella beats well. (It’s my favorite story, so you know, I’m critical.) It presents the best and worst of fandom clearly, with a serious focus on con culture and the silliness of some of it. Darien and Elle are both great. (Though I prefer Darien, a rarity for me to like the male lead of this kind of book better.) There’s a second book in this series, and I’m looking forward to it.

But first! Up next is Where’d You Go Bernadette? which I’ve already gotten a good chunk into and is utterly charming. 

Cosplay Corner: Cinderella Dapper Day Disney Bound

Since my decision to go to Spring Dapper Day was relatively short notice. (Within 60 days, so short by Disney World standards!) I was a bit worried about my dapper attire, but not overly worried, since vintage and vintage style clothes are kind of my thing.

Truth be told, I’d probably never wear true vintage to Dapper Day, I’d be far too nervous about tears, stains and other damage. Plus, I tend to be more comfortable in reproduction, and sucking in and wearing a full girdle for a wasp waisted 50’s dress at the Magic Kingdom just seems kinda dumb.

Anyway, my Magic Kingdom outfit was a done deal, as my Easter dress this year was a lovely 50’s looking light blue lace sundress, that needed very little extra to become a Cinderella bound.

The key was in the shoes which were great, and a huge hit, but not quite as comfortable as they should be.

They’re sparkly jellies with wedges. I found them on Wish.com, which is also, incidentally where I got the dress. And the red dress I wore on Friday night to Disney Springs…and both of my crinolines…I really love that site. They actually didn’t beat up my feet too bad, but just didn’t have the support I needed for a whole day at the park. So, I switched to saddle shoes for the afternoon/evening.

If you’re into vintage clothes and events, I really can’t recommend a pair of saddle shoes enough. You can find them online at Amazon, or sometimes even at DSW, and they’re super comfortable, go with most vintage looks, and always get a great reaction. (My pair were pilfered from one of Mom’s productions of Bye Bye Birdie…shhhh….)

I also wore my Black Canary choker and tossed my hair in a bun (my preferred MK hairstyle anyway, especially with it’s length these days…) and voila!

Sadly, because of flights and drinks and eating schedules, I didn’t quite make it to Midnight, but I think I did my girl proud.

Revenge of Dapper Day: 4/28 – So Much Pretty

WARNING: This Trip Report Contains VERY Light Infinity War spoilers. No details but some sketchiness.

I’ve complained in the past about feeling largely cut off and unwelcome at Dapper Day events, not on a macro level but on a micro one. People were just not willing to engage with the weirdo stranger there by herself.

That was not the case this trip. Seriously, I talked with TONS of people, exchanged contact info and even enjoyed some serious ride time with the folks. The first was Rob, who I’d met at the Edison the night before. We teamed up for Rope Drop at Magic Kingdom.

I was a few minutes late, but we managed to hit The Barnstormer, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear and take some pics by the purple wall before he had to head to work. I then picked up my touring plans, and ran around riding just about everything, and taking lots of pictures, before my feet gave out.

See, the night before, I’d gone for 4 inch heels. (HUGE MISTAKE) They looked great, but it got me started at a disadvantage for Saturday, and I was wearing these adorable jelly wedges, to play on the glass slippers. (We’ll get into that in the cosplay corner!) They were adorable, but KILLED my feet.

So, I decided to head to the Grand Floridian for lunch. There were no tables available so I headed right to Springs instead. I opted to treat myself to a Minnie Van, because I wanted to try the service.

My driver was wonderful, we chatted about the Studios expansion until we eventually hit the most fraught topic of my weekend.

“Have…” he exhaled, “have you seen Infinity War yet?” I exhaled and said that I had, and we went on to commiserate about our various levels of NOT OK, and speculation for the future of the franchise. We also both cried.

It may have been the weirdest, most wonderful moment of nerd bonding I’ve ever had with a stranger. (Except for that time a girl I was working with asked if I was a Doctor Who fan, but you all know how that one turned out.) I then hopped on the water taxi and popped to the Boathouse, where I ate half a lobster, downed a ton of water and a couple of Bellinis.

Feeling much better, if I do say so myself, I had two options, but not time for both, sadly, I could explore Springs a bit more, or head back to the hotel and hit the pool. I decided on exploration.

I headed to Amorette’s and picked up the Millenial Pink Champagne…which is a light Kir Royale. It’s delicious, and very pretty, just not like, revolutionary. I also got a pastry, that I wound up not eating because I was never hungry at a time that was convenient to eat it.

Then I shopped. I only bought one thing, and it wasn’t even for myself. Well, I also bought these baller Cinderella Havianas, because they’re very cute, and seriously, my poor feet couldn’t take it anymore.

Finally, I reached the boat dock to get back to Riverside and headed first to Fulton’s for some aleve and a bottle of wine, and then back to the room and watch a different forty minute stretch of My Cousin Vinny than I’d watched the evening before, while enjoying said wine. Delightful. 

My next big plan was to go on Jungle Cruise and head to California Grill to try to get up to Lounge for a fireworks seat.

I did get on the cruise, where I had an AWESOME skipper (Jordan, she was really great) and then hoofed to the Contemporary. Couldn’t get up to lounge, so I rode the monorail over to the Floridian, thinking I could at least get a drink at Mizner’s before the show.

It was packed.

So I got BACK on the monorail and headed to the park, got a Mickey bar and managed to find a really nice spot on the Hub.

I’m falling in love with Happily Ever After. It’s a beautiful show. I cried a whole bunch this time. Then I quickly zipped over to Tomorrowland and hopped on the People Mover. It’s fun at night.

Next came a ride on Dumbo, which, while fun, I would probably not do again. Finally I hopped on line for Big Thunder, and that closed my night. I was hoping to stay until close, but I was completely beat, so I headed back to the hotel, poured another glass of that wine, and watched some TV again before passing out.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about Epcot, family, friends and Figment!

Cosplay Corner: March Disneybound Challenge Week 4

4 weeks! We’re almost done! Seriously, while I’m probably going to go back to my old trick of closet cosplaying once a week, it will be nice to go back to my old toss a little black dress on and run out the door in the morning ways. It’s just less time consuming.

Challenge

Anyhoodle! Let’s talk this week in Disneybounding!

March 21st

Theme: Moana Character

Character: Ta Fiti

Tefiti

It snowed.

Again.

So, my planned outfit for the day, (it was Maui and it was pretty great!) which was much springier got jettisoned. I came up with this Ta Fiti look quickly instead. I’m wearing a green sweater over my pink dress, and uh, that’s it. It’s actually a cute look that I kind of intend to repeat.

TeFiti Bound

March 22nd

Theme: Frozen

Character: Anna (Olaf’s Frozen Adventure Version)

Anna Snow

Anna might be the character I’ve Disneybounded the most, because I love her and find her clothes adorable. Anyway, this one was sorta lazy, but this blue top was the right shade, and again, it had snowed and I was staying at my mom’s so, my choices were limited.

Anna Snowbound

March 23rd

Theme: Rule Breaker

Character: Anya from Anastasia

Anya

love the movie Anastasia, and so I decided to do my rule breaker as Anya, the lost amnesiac orphan girl who is actually a lost princess. Anyway, I’m wearing jeans, and a brown tee shirt and my big baggy trenchcoat/blazer. I think it works.

Anya Bound

March 24th

Theme: Disney Dogs

Character: Jock from Lady And The Tramp

I didn’t post this one because I forgot, but I uh, managed to throw this together. The tee shirt is a Beatles tee (so, Northern English, not Scottish, but I thought it was cute.) with some black and grey in it. I’m also wearing red yoga pants, though you can’t see them here. I don’t have a picture though because my phone was being weird this morning.

March 25th

Theme: Alice in Wonderland

Character: The White Rabbit

PhotoPass_Visiting_MK_406428909371 (1).JPG

I didn’t get off my couch much on Sunday, so I decided to just skip it and for this section of the blog, throwback to my Fall Dapper Day outfit as the White Rabbit. I’m wearing a large white circle skirt, a gold tank top, red belt and sweater, I have my hair up in buns to be ears, and I’m wearing a “pocket watch” necklace. TADA! (Also, that’s Juli as the Chesire Cat!)

March 26th

Theme: Cinderella Characters

Character: Cinderella

Cinderella

I was obviously going to do Cinderella for this one. I decided to lean into the 2014 gown, since I have that blue top with the flower cut outs all over it. I went with brown for the base because of Cinderella’s “servant” outfit having a brown base.

Cinderella Bound

March 27th

Theme: 90’s Style

Character: Julie “The Cat” Gaffney from D2: The Mighty Ducks & D3: The Mighty Ducks 

Julie The Cat

OK, so I initially ordered a tee shirt that was meant to look like a Duck Jersey with Julie’s number (96) on the back. But it was out of stock and wasn’t going to make it here in time. But here’s the thing: D2 is my favorite movie of all time. I’ve watched it about 10,000 times. And Julie “The Cat” Gaffney is my favorite character in said movie. So this was kind of a no brainer.

Even though she only has like 5 lines. But really except for Charlie Conway none of the kids have like huge roles in that movie.

Anyway, I decided to lean into the “Team USA” aspect of the movie, because Julie was brought in as a ringer when The Ducks headed to the Junior Goodwill games. She then spent most of the tournament on the bench because Goldberg or whatever. BUT she is instrumental in the win of the final game, blocking a shot in the final shootout with Iceland, by hotshot Gunnar Stahl. (FUN FACT! The same actor who played Gunnar came back in D3 to play the goalie of the varsity team the Ducks challenge, Scooter Vanderbilt, who hits on Julie a couple of times there.) But you all know this because you’ve all seen the movie.

So, I’m wearing a blue tank top and skirt and a red cardigan, which, actually are kind of 90’s looking, but mostly just are USA colors. Julie is actually only a Duck for like 2 scenes. (In D3, when they go to prep school, they become The Warriors for the first 2/3s of the movie) Anyway, DUCKS FLY TOGETHER!

Julie The Cat Bound

Dapper Day Trip: Part 2: 4/29/2017: Hurry Back…


Day 2 of my trip took me to Magic Kingdom for a day of fun and fantasy and of course, vintage style, as it was officially Dapper Day. I was up early as LIKE HELL was I going to miss Park Opening. I was determined to leave my room for the bus by 7:45 and I did just that, getting to Magic Kingdom and finding myself walking right down the middle of Mainstreet by 8:15. I happily made it to the bakery, where I ordered a venti white mocha (I’m on vacation! I even let myself have regular milk and whipped cream!) and a chocolate croissant.

I’ve read online about the chaos of the mainstreet bakery pre opening and while it certainly isn’t calm, I can’t help but wonder if this is written by people who have never worked in midtown Manhattan and had to get a latte at 8:00 am and then open a store geared towards children…or maybe they have, I don’t really know. Anyway, it wasn’t busier than Starbucks at that time, and I had my latte and made my way to the hub, to watch the opening show.

Uh, new opening show is fine. It’s cute, but lacks the nostalgic memory of Let The Magic Begin, and the Main Street component, which was always wonderful. I definitely would have lined up on one of the bridges earlier if I’d seen it before, anyway, I after that I worked my way over to Peter Pan, and I really do love that line. And I got my first “real person” compliment of my outfit, with some people who would wind up circling back around later in the day.

As for my dapper day outfit…well, I channeled The Haunted Mansion, wearing a green dress that I’d gotten for Christmas a few years ago, and black lace gloves from my “ghost” Halloween costume this year, and my Black Canary choker. I got a bow on Etsy, and I was really excited about it.


Much like many of my cosplays, I was happy to see that I was in the middle of the Dapper Day spectrum, some people were more mellow than I was and a lot of people were MUCH more intense, but in general I was right along with the others I saw.

After Peter Pan I crossed the street to Small World and then The Haunted Mansion, and you want to know what’s really fun? When a Haunted Mansion cast member can’t keep a straight face and bust out, “OMG I LOVE YOUR DRESS!” as your Doom Buggy crosses the threshold.

After Haunted Mansion I headed back to Fantasy Land to redeem my Seven Dwarves fast pass, and then met up with Merida. THE PRINCESS QUEST CONTINUES! She was very excited by my green dress.


Then it was off to Tomorrowland for Space Mountain, over to Adventureland for Pirates and then to Frontierland, for my Splash Mountain fast pass. Splash Mountain was down, and would remain so for most of the day (at one point, Splash, Space and Mine Train were all down…that’s not great). So I held onto the fastpass all day, because I didn’t want to NOT ride Splash Mountain if I could help it and I knew once it got working again the line would be bonkers, but it was also deadly hot and I was getting really hungry, so I opted for to head over to Epcot to get lunch.

While I kind of wanted to go the Flower and Garden Festival booth route, it was nearly 100 degrees out (yes really) so I decided I’d better sit inside. As I sat on the monorail and rode over, I started fantasizing of a light but filling meal, and something sparkly, refreshing and alcoholic. That left me, really, with 2 World Showcase options, Italy and Japan, and Italy won, because the thought of a glass of prosecco was too tempting. I was going back and forth between getting a personal pizza at Via Nappoli or hoping I could get a seat at Tuto Gusto, and a personal pie would have still been nearly $22, I went with Tutto Gusto.

I was taken almost immediately to a table and looked through the menu. I went with the Prosciutto De Parma Panini, which came with a small wedge caesar salad….light, filling, exactly what I wanted. And that bubbly and refreshing alcoholic beverage I was talking about? There was a “All Bubbly, All Day” flight available, which was HEAVEN. It came with three samplings (but Epcot samples are, you know, normal pours at any other place on earth…that’s why I love it.) One light and sweet bubbly white, another drier option and then a sparkling red. (Not Rose Regale, which is my favorite, but still quite good.)


Once I stepped out of Gusto’s cool dark doors back into the 97 degree heat I knew that I wasn’t going to make it much longer without a break, so I walked out to Beach Club and called a Lyft back to the hotel. (This was my only cab of the weekend, I’m very proud of that. I also had EXCELLENT Disney Transportation luck).

You know how sometimes, you’re really tired and hot and all you can do is get a pina coloda at a pool bar and then go back to your hotel room and strip down to your underwear for about an hour? No? Just me? Well, that’s what I did. Frankly, the whole thing felt very Hannah Horvath, except I kept my bra on and I was in Disney World, which I feel like Hannah would never do. (Marnie and Shosh, DEF, but not Hannah.) After charging my phone and a glass of wine, I redressed and headed back over to the park.

Splash was still down and it was still 10 million degrees out, so I decided that it was time for character meet ups, any of which took place inside. I started with Ariel. We chatted about dancing. (Last year, the Princesses were all about my love life, this year they were WAY into the dance parties. I prefer the dance parties…) I then decided to try for Tinkerbell, but quickly realized that there was a Dapper Day special photo shoot in the main square at the double decker bus.


I got in line, and managed to check out the flag retreat right before I took the picture.

Here’s the thing about the flag retreat and patriotism in general, with me, at this particular moment. I really love my country. I love what it stands for theoretically, I love the way that it’s grown in it’s relatively short history. I love it’s capacity for change more than anything. When I hold my hand over my heart and sing “God Bless America,” especially the words, “stand beside her, and guide her,” I mean it. I want my Lord to bless and guide my country. You all know my politics, or, if you’re new, um, you can read, this, or this. I’m not having a great time politically right now, but I still love my country, I just feel like that needs to be justified and I hate that. Anyway, it was really nice, and I was glad I caught it. Also, I don’t think that this particular ritual, in a theme park, is meant to evoke that kind of deep thought, but all my patriotism evokes it in me at the moment.

I moved on and then got my picture taken with Tink, which was very fun. Her meet and greet is delightful and she’s almost more energetic than Rapunzel….


Oh and speaking of. I headed back to Rapunzel and Tiana during this stretch too. Rapunzel was not my favorite this trip, Tiana beat her. Rapunzel and I talked about my purse and hugged a bunch, but Tiana and I had a dance party, because she said my gloves reminded her of having dance parties with Charlotte. So we danced and it was awesome. Rapunzel still has the edge, having been consistently pleasant 4 visits in a row, but LITERAL DANCE PARTY WITH A DISNEY PRINCESS will win the day every time.


After all of this, I decided that I wanted dinner and thought I’d give going to California Grill (lounge) a shot. But even getting to the desk had a line, so I said, “nope,” and hopped on the monorail and headed to Trader Sam’s, which really is just the absolute best. I made friends at the big communal tables, and ate some dumplings, and had a Dark and Stormy. After that, I quickly I hopped back on the monorail and headed back to get into place for Wishes.

I knew this would be the last time I saw this show, which I saw for the first time when I was 11 years old. (Or, that’s the first time I remember it, at least.) And I was ready to cry. As usual “Friend Like Me,” and the final chorus got me, but I didn’t weep. This is probably for the best…

While I was on line for Tinker Bell, I chatted with a couple who’d gotten paper Fastpasses for Splash Mountain but were planning to leave to park, so they gave them to me (WHAT?) I decided to use them post Wishes to visit with Cinderella and Elena. A quick visit got me closer to my ultimate goal. (Upgraded from “visit the Princesses I didn’t see in February” to “ALL THE PRINCESSES!!!!”) Splash Mountain was up again, so after watching Once Upon A Time full through, which I hadn’t done before, I’d seen bits of it in March, but never the whole thing, it’s a very good show. The projections are wonderful and I will seriously never get over the collective Main Street sing-a-long to “Let It Go,” although my guess is when Happily Ever After premieres and “How Far I’ll Go,” is likely included, well, that’ll win. I then went and headed to Splash Mountain. I was joined once I got on the log by the same folks I’d hung out with at Peter Pan. I didn’t recognize them (I’m the WORST!) but they recognized me so it wound up being a very fun ride. We sang, we laughed, we posed for the camera.


I then popped over with my last fastpass to Big Thunder, which, OMG RIDE BIG THUNDER AFTER DARK IF YOU CAN MANAGE IT. I’d never done it before, but it was incredible. Everything feels more intense in with the cool lighting and effects. I then had a choice to make. Ride Pirates again or finish up at Haunted Mansion. I opted for Haunted Mansion.

I was the last person on the ride. Which was both terrifying and really cool. I had a staring contest with the maid running the stretching room, which she won, because I kept laughing.


I haven’t found The Haunted Mansion actually scary in maybe 20 years, but riding it alone, with no one else around is deeply creepy. Fun. but VERY creepy. I then headed back to Mainstreet to head back to the hotel, where I ran into my Peter Pan/Splash Mountain friends again. They’d gone to Pirates. I immediately had regrets, which immediately disapated, when they said my story sounded way more fun. I got back to the hotel, settled in with some more of that wine that I’d brought down and fell asleep watching Nate and Jeremiah: By Design. (My mom had surgery a few weeks ago, I’ve watched a lot of TLC and HGTV, I had 100% seen this episode before, and I was thrilled to watch it again.)

Tomorrow read about my day at Epcot and evening at Hollywood Studios!

What’s Up Once Upon A Time?: “The Other Shoe”

Guys, it’s time for our third installment of Once Upon A Time, which, once again, actually made sense and followed a decent plot structure. WOW!

Who’s The Dark One? Renamed: Rumple’s Creeping

This week, Rumple gives David information about his dead drunk father in exchange for giving a lullabye to Belle. He then creeps outside of Hook’s ship, where Belle is living and we hear the lullabye and it’s quite beautiful, and I dunno guys, I think I might ship it again…but we’ll get there.

What’s Emma’s Problem?

Well, therapy is a slow and difficult process. Also, she’s worried about robbing Hook of his happy ending by over committing to him, when she will be dying soon. Also, she wants a baby, because of Cinderella and her baby.

Why Can’t Regina Be Happy?

Well, now Zelena hates her. But she’s actively looking for a way to destroy the evil queen.

Do Charming And Snow Have Anything To Do?

Magically, three weeks in a row, the answer is yes! Snow, in the Cinderella flashback, gets to befriend the other princess, and help Prince Thomas find her, and decide that she’s going to go back to teaching, and introduce Dr. Jekyll to Dr. Frankenstein. That’s like more than she’s done in the past two seasons combined, just in this episode. Also, David is going to investigate how his father died, which, it turns out may have been murder.

Did We Meet Anyone New?

Well, we got to know Cinderella/Ashley a little better, but we’ve known her since season one. We did get to meet her step sister Clarinda and her step mother though. As it turns out, Clarinda was in love with Prince Thomas’s footman, Jacob, but her mother dragged her to The Land Of Untold Stories, so they never got to be together. Ashley takes it upon herself to get them together, as Jacob got sent to Storybrooke way back in the first curse.

How Much Glitter Was In This Episode?

Approximately all the glitter ever.

Do I Ship It?

Emma/Hook: YES! And they’re moving in together, and clearly, Emma wants babies. YES! Have the babies! THEY WILL BE POWERFUL AND SARCASTIC AND GREAT!

Rumple/Belle: It’s hard to pull away from this one. He loves her so much, but also he’s the manifestation of all darkness…so? I don’t know. It’s hard.

Ashley/Thomas: They’re just precious. Their dance was quite lovely.

Clarinda/Jacob: I mean I guess? Clarinda seems nice, but Jacob literally said like five words.

Cosplay Corner: Running Costumes

I don’t have a lot to say in this week’s cosplay corner, but since I registered for my race, I’ve been spending a lot of time on Pintrest and Etsy.

(Also, full disclosure I was behind on my Camp NaNoWriMo count yesterday, so I didn’t have the time or bandwith to put into a full cosplay post. I also didn’t closet cosplay at all this week for personal reasons. We’ll be back to your regularly scheduled crazy next week.)

So this is my Pintrest board for running costumes!

I really want to do Cinderella, because duh. But I’m also thinking Rapunzel might be fun.

I don’t know. There’s work to do.

But before that, I still have to finish Renn Faire (90% done, and need to pick a weekend.) and NYCC (also like 90% done) and Halloween (probably a repeat of one of the NYCC costumes.

 

 

Have Courage And Be Kind

Cinderella

I love Cinderella.

It really doesn’t matter what version it is, I’m going to bump it up to the top of my list, because I love the story so much.

There’s the Disney Movie, obviously, but also Into The Woods, and the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical (which I’m listening to as I write this), Ella Enchanted, (The book, not the movie. Shudder) Confessions of An Ugly Step Sister, Ever After, I could keep going but I think I’ve made my point.

So I was obviously going to rush right out to see the new live action Disney Cinderella, which also had the benefit of starring two of my favorite actors from two of my favorite shows and being directed by Kenneth Branagh.

I really loved the movie. It’s everything that Maleficent wasn’t, it felt like the story we love, but with new layers and twists, and Lilly James simply is Ella. She was lovely, and the fact that she was smiling throughout the whole movie, and walked around humming “Sing Sweet Nightingale,” and chattered to her mice friends.

Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter were extravagantly great as The Stepmother and The Fairy Godmother respectively. And Richard Madden’s Prince Kit (SO EFFING CUTE!) is delightful.

I loved that half of this movie was Cinderella and the Prince just smiling at each other in pretty outfits. That’s what this movie is supposed to be. It’s a fairytale love story. And it’s my favorite fairytale. I love the purity of it. That by being kind and true, Ella is rewarded. The step-family’s cruelty isn’t punished outright, but they are left to live in their own misery.

I was grinning the whole time. I really couldn’t stop smiling. Stay until the end. There’s no post credits, but there are new lovely versions of “A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes” and “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” by Lilly James and Helena Bonham Carter respectively playing over the credits.

But my God, the look of this movie. A lot has been made of Lilly James’s corset in the ball scene, and while the gown is spectacular, the corset is a little much. But all of the costumes were so detailed and stunning. The embroidery and corsets and petite coats and angora sweaters. And the sets are incredible and not surprisingly, Branagh shoots the ever loving crap out of everything. It made me want to watch his Much Ado About Nothing again.

That doesn’t take much though, because that’s also an absolute favorite of mine.

I was simply delighted by everything about this movie, it was utterly charming. Go see it.

Pick a Prince, Any Prince

Last week I went to go see Frozen, and while I thoroughly enjoyed it, (I’m actually already planning on being Elsa for Halloween because I have a dress that would work perfectly) it of course got me thinking about Disney and Princesses and Princes and wanting more than anything to get back to Orlando and go to Disney World Again.

Granted, it takes someone saying "Disney" for me to think about how much I want to go back to Disney World...

Granted, it takes someone saying “Disney” for me to think about how much I want to go back to Disney World…

But add that to a popular Buzzfeed quiz that’s been going around where it chooses not which Disney Princess you are, but which Disney Prince is most suited to you and my decision to start revising my own princess story this week, I’ve been thinking a whole lot about the princes and princess that have haunted and defined so many childhoods. So I’m going through the Disney Princes one by one. Some of these will be cheats because they aren’t technically princes until the end of the movie, or maybe not at all. Also, there are spoilers for all of the older Disney movies, and for Frozen, but not until the very end.

When I took the quiz I got Aladdin, which wasn’t like totally out there, I’ve mentioned before how the earliest princes had little to recommend them personality wise, so to me, that rules out both Snow White and Cinderella’s princes. Prince Charming and The Prince are their names respectively.

Cinderella's looks a lot like Dick Grayson...I may have just had a fangirl epiphany.

Cinderella’s actually looks a lot like Dick Grayson…I may have just had a fangirl epiphany.

They both just don’t have much going on in the personality department. But they are excellent singers and pretty dedicated to finding their lady loves, so there’s that.

But then came Prince Phillip.

Phillip

I know you…

Unlike his two predecessors, Phillip had an actual personality and stuff to do. He’s willing to rebel against his father to marry the girl he loves instead of his betrothed (turns out, conveniently for him, they’re the same person) then he fights a dragon to save her and granted the whole “kiss while asleep” thing is vaguely date rapey, but hey, it was the only way to break the spell and at least unlike Charming up there, no one thought that Rose/Aurora was dead.

Of course, it would be 50 years before we met the next Prince, and he’d be the prince to beat them all. I’m talking about the one, the only, Prince Eric.

*Sigh*, *Swoon*

*Sigh*, *Swoon*

I love Eric. It might be because I’ve known him since I was two and my Aunt Mary took me to see The Little Mermaid in the theater. It might be because he has a boat. (I like boats. It’s the prep in me.) It might be because he and Ariel rescue each other. All I know is that I’m crazy about Prince Eric. He’s the freaking best.

Then comes the Beast/Chet

I'll explain Chet in a minute

I’ll explain Chet in a minute

OK, according to the interwebs, the Beast’s actual name is Prince Adam, but according to my friends and I after several glasses of wine in college his name is Chet, because doesn’t he look like a Chet? Anyway, a gruff exterior that shelters a heart of gold, I’ve never particularly loved him per se, but I do love Beauty and The Beast, even if it made me weep like a baby because I was terrified of The Beast the first five times I saw it as a child. I’ve learned to love it, especially as a theater geek, because it’s one of the greatest musicals of all time. It was also the first animated film ever nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. It lost to Dances With Wolves, which I doubt anyone knows by heart, because I’ve never met anyone who’s stayed awake through the whole thing.

Then comes my match (apparently) and that’s Aladdin.

Look at that smile!

Look at that smile!

He’s kind of the man. He shares his limited food with starving children. He wins the heart of Princess Jasmine with his adorable personality. (And some hijinks and a genie.) He’s got ridonkulous abs, and he’s voiced by DJ Tanner’s perfect boyfriend Steve. Honestly, there wasn’t much else a girl from the mid 90’s could want in a guy. Plus he has the distinction of being the only guy on this list who’s movie is named exclusively after him. (Beast gets half credit.)

Now we’re entering some murky teritory since after Jasmine there was a stretch of not really princesses who still get counted in Disney’s count. But they had some stellar dudes after them, so let’s talk about John Smith for a second.

John Smith

Meh

John Smith barely counts and not just because Pocahontas is a subpar Disney flick. He’s an actual historical dude, who lived and junk. Also he’s voiced by Mel Gibson, who’s hunk cred was already wearing thin in the late 90’s. But, Ally over at Fandom Obsessed casts Chris Hemsworh as him, and I’m inclined to agree so that earns him some points.

But seriously folks, let’s get down to business and talk about General Li Shang, who, is again, not a prince and Mulan is not technically a princess, but they’re pretty great so I want to talk about them anyway.

I'll make a man out of yooouuuu!

I’ll make a man out of yooouuuu!

Shang might have the best character song (musical theater term!) of any Disney character ever. You know just about everything you need to know about Shang from “I’ll Make A Man Out of You.” It doesn’t hurt that it’s being delivered by the great Mr. Donny Osmond. And you’ve got to love the Shakespearean style of falling for Mulan while she’s dressed as boy Ping. And the fact that they’re both warriors and enter into their relationship as equals. It’s a pretty cool deal, as far as everything goes.

Speaking of entering a relationship as equals, that’s kind of the theme moving into the new millenium, or in the case of Prince Naveen, Tiana is just his superior in every way, but she puts up with him because he’s pretty cute and makes her lighten up.

He plays a ukulele! It's adorable.

He plays a ukulele! It’s adorable.

Whether it’s being transformed into a frog together, or eventually running their restaurant down on the bayou, there’s something very special about the way that Tiana and Naveen fall in love. Also, I kind of love that he’s clearly North African and she’s African America. It’s just a super cool dynamic and so Louisiana.

But when I really think about the “new age” Disney Princes, there’s only one guy who makes the cut. Like Prince Eric before him, there’s Flynn Rider, and then there’s everyone else.

Being voiced by Zachary Levi doesn't really hurt his case either.

Being voiced by Zachary Levi doesn’t really hurt his case either.

Yes, he’s a theif and a scoundrel. (But as a fangirl raised on Han Solo, I don’t see much of a problem with that.) Yes, his actual name is Eugene Fitzherbert. Yes, he kind of takes major advantage of Rupunzel’s naivete, at least at first. But he comes around and sacrifices himself to save her from Goethel, and then she saves him. And do I need to reiterate the awesome Zachary Levi-ness?

I couldn’t find any pictures of the various princes who come to win Princess Merida’s hand, which frankly, is kind of awesome, but here’s some equally as awesome fan art by Paola F, known on deviant art as Irrel of Merida and Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon, which is actually a brillaint couple.

Cute

Cute

And then we have, well, Frozen had two princes (kind of) and I’m going to talk about them both. Let’s start with the first, Prince Hans.

The uniform is a nice touch

The uniform is a nice touch

What’s kind of cool about Prince Hans, aside from the fact that he’s the bad guy in the most obvious twist ever, is that he’s a deconstruction of a Disney Prince. He’s shallow, dresses the part, Prince Anna falls in love with him at first sight and they get engaged after having the interaction of one evening. Basically, everyone else in the movie thinks this is insane. In fact it’s what sets off the whole plot, because it’s what sends Anna’s sister Queen Elsa over the edge. Also, he’s voiced by Santino Fontana, who also played Prince Topher in the Broadway Cinderella. So he’s not new to this party.

Then of course there’s the real deal in Frozen, and that’s Kristoff, an ice merchant who was raised by trolls and has a pet reindeer named Sven, who is his best friend.

This is the single greatest origin story since Batman

This is the single greatest origin story since Batman

I wasn’t totally sold on Kristoff, and mostly figured he would get by on the inherent charm that Jonathan Groff brings to everything he does and Flynn Rider goodwill. Then he sang “Reindeers are Better Than People,” and it was all over. I was Team Kristoff. Then he reluctantly takes Anna to Elsa and is blown away by Elsa’s powers. He takes Anna to the trolls to try to save her life and eventually battles his way through Elsa’s storm to do it. (Anna winds up saving her self and her sister and it’s fantastic.) In the end, Anna buys him a new sled, they kiss and presumably get married.

So, that’s my tour through the princes of Disney. And if anyone feels like giving me about $1500 so that I can go to Disney World, I’d really super appreciate it!

In My Own Little Corner

OK, first of all, it’s my 200th post! HOORAY!

Second of all Happy Halloween! (I do love Halloween, just not posting about it.)

Now, onto the actual post. Last night as my 26th birthday present, my mom took me out to dinner and to go see Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on Broadway.

I’ve always felt a special connection to Cinderella. I mean the character. She was always my favorite Disney princess. Probably because she has dark blonde hair like I used to (still do depending on the lighting.) Her song in Into The Woods was a particular favorite. The only good poem I ever wrote was about Cinderella. (I, like most teenagers who want to be writers, wrote some God awful poetry in high school.)  I love Gail Carson Levine’s amazing book Ella Enchanted, (But not the stupid movie version starring Anne Hathaway) and even A Cinderella Story starring Hilary Duff, Chad Michael Murray, Stiffler’s Mom and The Son from Cougar Town.

Also, BEST CASTLE!

Also, BEST CASTLE!

And of course I loved the Rodgers and Hammerstein version, that was originally written for Julie Andrews as a teleplay then was redone with Leslie Ann Warren and Brandy through the years.

When it opened on Broadway this past year with a new book, I was overwhelmingly excited to go.

Here’s the thing though. No one really wanted to go with me. Despite the music being some of RNH’s best, no one really likes Cinderella, largely because the script has always been kind of a mess. The attempts to update it over the years always made it look even more dated, even if some of the changes (giving The Prince a name, Christopher, is one such instance) were warranted and necessary.

The latest book is phenomenal, developing characters instead of relying on the familiarity of the story, and shaking up the order of the classic songs. It feels current and classic at the same time, which is a massive achievement when it comes to musical theater.

And speaking of those classic songs, oh God! I did not expect to have the reaction that I did.

I’m a pretty emotional person, it doesn’t take much to get me choked up. A sweet commercial will do it, or someone saying that they think I look pretty. So when I say that I had a completely over the top, even for me emotional reaction to these songs, you can trust me. When Ella began singing “In My Own Little Corner,” I felt a lump rise in my throat. By the time she was “a young Norwegian princess or a milk maid,” the tears were running down my face, when she was “lost in the jungle all alone and unarmed,” I was sobbing.

This behavior continued and culminated in Act II when Ella and Prince Topher sang “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” This is possibly my favorite RNH song, to me it epitomizes what they were good at as a team. It’s a tentative love song, like “Some Enchanted Evening,” or “If I Loved You,” or “People Will Say We’re in Love,” but not overly schmaltzy, and sweetly emotional. Also it’s Jen and my favorite (we watched the Brandy version a lot when we lived together.) I was inconsolable. It was just so beautiful.

Go see Cinderella. Or don’t, because the sooner it closes, the sooner I can produce this version.