Bittersweet And Strange: Howard Shines a Bright Light on The Voice Of My Childhood

It is absolutely impossible to calculate the depth of Howard Ashman’s influence on me, and countless other people like me, who fell in love with musicals as a medium because of his work with Disney.

The new documentary on Disney+, directed by Don Hahn, who produced Beauty And The Beast is of a piece with Hahn’s equally wonderful, Waking Sleeping Beauty, chronicles Ashman’s life, from his working class Baltimore roots, to his tragic death from complications from AIDS in 1991.

The movie deals with his early work and relationships sensitively before settling into his life long partnerships, creatively with Alan Menken and his life partner Bill Pausch, both of whom tell some of the most touching stories about him.

What I like so much about Hahn’s approach here, and why I think it surpasses Waking Sleeping Beauty (which I happen to really like a lot) is that here Hahn doesn’t have an axe to grind. He wants to share his friends life and work, especially his work, with people. And the work so often speaks for itself.

Old footage of Ellen Greene singing “Somewhere That’s Green,” or Jodi Benson recording “Part Of Your World,” or an incredible demo of Ashman singing “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” or the joyous look on Jerry Orbach’s face as he listens back to “Be Our Guest” for the first time, this man wrote such wonderful, perfect, musical theater songs. There are no talking heads, narration is provided by Hahn himself, or by stories told over old photographs, which makes it much more intimate. Occasionally an old interview with Ashman will pop up, and listening to him talk about his work is transfixing.

Thinking about AIDS is something I do, and have done A LOT, in my life. I was too young for the most dangerous time of this disease, but I live in the New York area and love art, so pretty much every bit of the art I love was shaped by the disease, by the generation of men who were lost.

Watch this one with tissues, y’all. It’s going to break your heart. And be prepared for one final punch in the gut over the credits.

Costume Season 2018: September Part 3: HUZZAH! To the days of Yore…

There are few things I love like the New York Renaissance Faire. (The PA Renaissance Faire, is one of them, but I don’t think I’ll make it down there this year…sadly…)

But, New York this year was one of the best outings I’ve ever had at the Faire, which was largely about the company.

Wenches

Why yes, we are 70% Disney Princesses…

I started the Disney cascade, because I decided I wanted to dress up as Ariel in her “Kiss The Girl,” getup.

It’s a white underdress, a black corset and a blue maxi skirt.

There was a lot of fun having, dancing, shouting of “huzzah,” and making of puns.

Also Katie making me take pictures next to water.

“Smile! Stop looking like you’re annoyed at me!” – Katie

So that was September in costumes! This weekend in New York Comic Con.

I’m only going to the con one day, but I may be going out both tonight and Saturday, so I’ll be dressed! See y’all around

Filmstruck4: The Movies That Define Me

So the “Filmstruck 4” challenge of picking four movies that define you went around this week, and I spent a good amount of time trying to pick mine. (It is HARD) And I think I managed a pretty decent stack. It was tough to narrow down but I think I did it:

Sabrina (1954) – Directed by Billy Wilder

Sabrina.jpg

When I think about Sabrina I get a dreamy look in my eye, and when I analyze the movie, it really gives me everything I’ve come to love in romantic comedy. The top shelf antics of the super rich, a transformation of a mousy girl into a gorgeous image of feminine perfection, (OK, this movie’s idea of “mousy” is Audrey Hepburn with a ponytail wearing a slightly ill fitting jumper, but you know, context!), family complication, and William Holden in a white dinner jacket.

It also kicked off my love affair with black and white films and Audrey Hepburn in particular, so that’s pretty important, plus it has my favorite dress in all of cinema history.

The Little Mermaid (1989) – Directed By Ron Clements & John Musker

The Little Mermaid

This was the first movie that I ever saw in a theater, remains my favorite Disney movie, and has some of my favorite Disney music. (Including the platonic ideal of an “I Want” song.) Every time I watch it, I’m reminded of my deep and abiding love for this flick.

The Princess Bride (1987) – Directed by Rob Reiner

ThePrincessBride-web_original.jpg

“Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…”

So much of everything I am and do is defined by The Princess Bride. From taking fairytales seriously (but not too seriously!) to tongue in cheek camp humor, to Mandy Patinkin and Billy Crystal, plus countless familial inside jokes that revolve around seeing this movie far too many times, (we text one another when someone finds it on TV so that we can all find a television and watch it immediately. I never said this was healthy.)

Dogma (1999) – Directed by Kevin Smith

Dogma

Long before I accepted my destiny as a fangirl, I was a Kevin Smith superfan, and long before I accepted my own shades of grey relationship with Catholicism, Dogma at least got me asking questions about it. It’s also got my all time favorite Ben Affleck performance, (second only to Shakespeare In Love) and is probably the reason I’ve always considered him a character actor rather than a lead. I have a real love for Alan Rickman’s Metatron too, and actually it’s the character I think of first for him. (With apologies to Professor Snape and Mr. Gruber) I also think it’s Smith’s best directing work, (Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back is a close second.) and has my favorite Silent Bob lines. No monologues, simply, a gruff, “No Ticket,” after throwing Loki off a train and a simple “Thanks,” to God and Metatron after his and Jay’s commedation in the finale.

I could only pick four, which is why there is nary a Star War nor a Batman on this list.

Runners Up: Star Wars, Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade, Legally Blonde, West Side Story, Gone With The Wind, Batman Forever & The Sandlot

Cosplay Corner: Disneybound March Challenge: Week 5

I did it! Kind of! I cut some corners, but for the most part, I did it! I participated in the challenge and it was mostly fun. It actually got stressful towards the end, but still.

Challenge

March 28th

Theme: Disney Cats

Character: Marie

Marie

So I was between 2 for this one, and I decided on Marie, (because Juli wanted to do Aristocats) and I had the perfect outfit for it anyway. Thankfully, for a change, the weather actually cooperated. HUZZAH! The white dress is from last easter, and the pink shrug, from, I don’t know when, but it’s one of my favorite spring pieces. The statement necklace I wore to my cousin Tommy’s wedding and here we are!

Marie bound

March 29th

Theme: Disney Princes

Character: Prince Eric

Eric

To go with my Ariel bound from a few weeks ago (and tribute to my Prince Eric, who I swear does have a personality, I just haven’t gotten around to showing much of it yet.) So, I’m wearing jeans and a flowy blouse. This felt a little like cheating, but it did the trick. I was also wearing over the knee boots but you can’t see those in the picture!

Eric bound

March 30th

Theme: Vintage Inspiration

Character: Snow White

img_3281

I didn’t acutally wear this again. But it’s still my favorite bound I’ve ever done. So I felt the need to post it as a throwback. Yellow circle skirt, blue tank top, red belt! So simple, so perfect!

March 31st

Theme: A Character You’ve Never Bounded

Character: Skipped

I skipped the last day. I was at Once On This Island and couldn’t come up with a brand new bound that was also theater appropriate. I was wearing a tropical looking maxi dress though, so I was at least in theme to my surroundings!

General Thoughts On the Challenge

While I’m glad I did this challenge, I don’t know that I’d do it again. It was a lot of work and organization and I got kind of tired of it by the end. But it did remind me of when I went back to college after taking time off and Katie used to call me every day and ask what I was wearing and if I was able to describe the outfit she knew I was doing OK. (Seriously, get yourself such a best friend) Mindfulness matters to me (ALITERATION!) so it helped get me back into a very intentional space.

Next On Cosplay Corner: 

I’m going to a CON! WOO HOO. This weekend I’m going to Garden State Comicfest: Atlantic City edition. I’ll be debuting a new cosplay! It’s all very exciting. AND a few forces have come together and I’ve decided to hit up Spring Dapper Day again this year. (WOOO!) I’m working on getting some bounds together for the even. (My Easter dress is gonna be a super cute Cinderella Bound for sho!) And even more exciting! One of those days I’ll be joined by my big bro and his girlfriend Megan. (Whether they bound or not is still be discussed, but they are going to dapper up!)

Cosplay Corner: March Disneybound Challenge: Week 3

You guys, a month is a long time, and it’s been a while since I’ve had to put this much though consistently into what I’m wearing. It’s fun, but it’s also, like, work.

Which is not to say I’m not still having a blast! I 100% am. Just, you know, if the outfits start to seem lazier, that would be the reason. (Also, I didn’t do laundry this week…)

Challenge

March 14th

Theme: The Little Mermaid

Character: Ariel

When I was talking about my influences with another writer friend once, I said flat out, “to be perfectly honest, I’d say the things that influenced me the most are Star Wars, The Princess Bride and The Little Mermaid.” (Dawson’s Creek comes right after that.) His answer was a caustic, “yeah, Reen, it shows!” Anyway, that’s why I went for this outfit, which is a take on the pretty pink princess dress Ariel wears after she gets her legs and Eric is all, “Hey, I’mma bring this hot silent girl to my house now.” (Their relationship is weird.) (I still love him.) (That’s why I named the visiting prince in The Marina Chronicle after him!) (My Eric also has a boat!) (My love of men with boats come from my preppy roots)

March 15th

Theme: Parks Attractions

Character(?): The Jungle Cruise

Oh, I was excited for this day. So excited. What was I going to do? Would I wear any of my various Haunted Mansion ensembles? Combine my wardrobe’s natural amount of purple and orange into some sort of Figment tribute? Toss some shine on some white as a tribute to Space Mountain? No no, for I realized, that my Peggy Carter cosplay has an excellent second use! I could look just like a skipper heading out on the jungle armed with only animal based puns!

March 16th

Theme: Mulan Characters

Character: Mushu

Mushu was easy for me, since I have a lot of gold tops (seriously, I don’t know how this happened.) and that red cardigan, so you know, it was done. I’m also wearing jeans, because did I mention that I didn’t do laundry? Ok, cool.

March 17th

Theme: Characters Who Wear/Are Green

Character: Louie Duck

This is not my best you guys, but whatever, it was St. Patrick’s day, and whatever I wore had to be comfortable/warm enough to wear walking around NYC for the parade. Thus, my Notre Dame Fighting Irish tee shirt and a black skirt and yellow leggings (like Duck feet). I wanted a hoodie, but couldn’t find one I liked in time. Very in line with our laziest triplet, no? (I also don’t have a picture)

March 18th

Theme: Villains

Character: Maleficent

Uhh, March 18 is a lazy day for me usually, so here, braids for the horns, purple and black. I also missed instagram for both this and Saturday. Eh. (Again no pics…sorry$

March 19th

Theme: Fantasia

Character: Ave Maria Light

I figured for Fantasia it was worth getting a bit creative and abstract. Schubert’s Ave Maria is easily one of my favorite pieces of music, and while as I kid I often fast forwarded through this segment of the film, I’ve really grown to appreciate it as an adult, especially as a stunning come down from the highs of the Night On Bald Mountain (which I also fast forwarded through a lot, because scary) I’m wearing a royal blue highlighted tunic, and holding an electric candle.

March 20th

Theme: Star Wars

Character: “Do I Have To Say His Name?” – Bruce Springsteen

I have so many versions of Poe Dameron that it seemed almost silly to even bother wearing it today, but I did. Orange dress, white vest. You know this one. If I didn’t have work, I’d maybe have gone for Ren Faire Poe, but you know, I did have work.

So that was this week! I got through it. I’ve got more snow coming (ICK!) which derailed some of my plans as I was hoping to go more springy for the coming week. But I’ll work around it!

Top 5 Disney Character Songs

As I get ready for my next trip to Disney World, I’ve been listening to a lot of Disney music and since I spent a large amount of time thinking about my relationship to musical theater this summer, I decided to talk about the way Disney songs fit into the general Musical Theater song categories.

A Character song is a song that basically sets up a character’s thesis statement. Sometimes, an “I Want” song (chronicled here) is a character song, but not all character songs are “I Want” songs. (You know, it’s a squares and rectangles sort of a situation.) So I’m trying to steer clear of “I Wants,” here. Some classic character songs include, “I’m Just A Girl Who Can’t Say No,” “The Worst Pies In London,” ” “Popular,” “Master Of The House,” “I Am What I Am,” and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.”

5. “Why Should I Worry” from Oliver And Company

Dodger

Oliver features a couple of great character songs, and one of them is going to be in runners up, but “Why Should I Worry,” got the spot because, I mean, it’s a Billy Joel song, sung by a dog, who then plays piano with his tail. The song introduces us to Dodger, a too cool for school mutt, who recruits adorable kitty Oliver into the life of an animal of the streets. Also, he plays the piano with his tail. 

4. “Poor Unfortunate Souls” from The Little Mermaid

Ursula

I love The Little Mermaid, fiercely, and this song, the introduction of Ursula The Sea Witch is such an integral part of what makes it amazing. Ursula lays out her whole deal on the line in this song, which she still manages to use to trick Ariel into going along with her plan. Also, like every from The Little Mermaid, it is masterfully and brightly performed.

3. “Let It Go” from Frozen

Let it go

One of my favorite things is when the rest of the world catches on to something that subcultures have known for a long time. And “Let It Go,” gave theater people that when the rest of the world realized that Idina Menzel is amazing, and we should listen to her belt high d’s for always and forever. Also, “Let It Go,” gives Elsa her grand moment, the moment where she realizes that her power, while terrifying is also beautiful, and that she can’t hide from what’s inside of her anymore.

2. “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King

timon and pumbaa

We get two character’s life statements in this song, both Timon and Pumbaa lay out their “problem free philosophy,” as they teach Simba about life with “no worries,” and hey, this song introduced us to what would later be one of the greatest song and dance teams ever, as the song finishes up with Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick harmonizing.

1. “Friend Like Me” from Aladdin

The-Genie-Aladdin

Not only would my brother stop speaking to me if I didn’t choose this one, (His favorite Disney song from his favorite Disney Movie) I happen to agree that it’s the best in this section. Tailor made to it’s performer, as many character songs are, laying out who the character is and relentlessly catchy. Robin Williams gave us a lifetime of amazing performances, but this is probably my favorite.

Runners Up: “Perfect” from Oliver And Company, “Mother Knows Best” from Tangled, “You’re Welcome” from Moana

Top 5 Disney “I Want” Songs

So, I’m going back to Disney World in a few weeks.

I’m going four times this year.

I know.

I know.

Anyway…because of that, I’ve been listening to a lot of Disney music. And I started thinking about Disney’s place in musical theater canon. Some of the best “showtunes” of the past 30 years have come from the House of Mouse, which is why I’m convinced that Disney is (part of) why I became a theater geek. I instinctively understood how musicals worked by the age of 4 because of how many times I’d watched The Little Mermaid. (A LOT of times, you guys. A LOT)

So, I’m starting with “I Want” songs. An “I Want” song is sung by a protagonist and states what their goal is. It usually takes place in Act 1, after the opening. Some classic “I Wants,” include, “Somewhere That’s Green,” “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “Something’s Coming,” “One Song Glory,” and “The Wizard And I.” (See, I went modern for a couple!)

5. “Someday My Prince Will Come” – Snow White

Snow White 1

I gave it a spot for being the original, and it really is a lovely piece of music. Snow White’s trilling soprano is dated now, and annoying always but the chirpy bird-like sound is a nice thematic touch. Snow White is dreaming of escape, this is what she wants, it’s clear and pretty and kind of perfect for her.

4. “How Far I’ll Go” – Moana

MoanaPortrait.0

Only this low because it’s new, and we don’t know how we’ll all feel about it in a few decades. (Good, I’m betting on good.) I love this song. Lin-Manuel writes good “I Want.” (“My Shot,” and “It Won’t Be Long Now,” LISTEN TO THEM. I will wait.) But when I heard this song for the first time, I was blown away. We know Moana so perfectly through this song, not just it’s lyrics, but it’s rising and falling melody and pulsing rhythm. So good!

3. “I Can Go The Distance” – Hercules

Hercules-Go-The-Distance

Hercules is my number one most underrated Disney Soundtrack, and this song is another one that gives us such a clear picture of our hero. We know everything that Hercules wants, what drives him, from this song. It’s also a great heroic theme, those soaring horns and strings, so beautiful!

2. “Belle (Reprise)” – Beauty And The Beast

Belle

Look, it LITERALLY has the phrase, “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere” in it. We’ve already met Belle before this reprise, but it’s still a good one! This is her thesis statement. Also…Mencken

1. “Part Of Your World” – The Little Mermaid 

Ariel-in-Her-Cave-in-The-Little-Mermaid

Sometimes I think that “Part Of Your World” is the platonic ideal of an “I Want” song, and it’s definitely one of my favorites ever. My eyes and insides have their own reactions to this song. (I cry, a lot, with wild abandon.) Ariel’s greatest desire is to be human, to experience a world she’s only ever caught glimpses of, that she doesn’t really understand, but desperately yearns to. The song also has the secret weapon of Jodi Benson’s voice, which is exceptional. That belt is insane, when she hits, “when’s it my turn?” if your heart doesn’t just melt to that little red haired fish girl, I don’t know if you have a heart.

Runners Up: “For The First Time In Forever” from Frozen, “Almost There,” from The Princess And The Frog, “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” from The Lion King, “Out There” from The Hunchback Of Notre Dame.

Not Disney But Should Be Mentioned Because It’s One Of The Greatest “I Want” Songs Ever: “Journey To The Past” from Anastasia. 

 

 

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!

Bring On The Frogs

“Prince Charming is a dick! Bring on the frogs!” – Nicole Harris Drive Me Crazy

While Mary and I watched the DVR’d season premier of Once Upon a Time yesterday, we started talking about how Prince Charming/James/David kind of sucks. He’s largely useless, a shepherd’s son who’s parents trade him to Rumpelstiltskin in order to save their farm. Then he kills a dragon, and falls in love with Snow White (who is not useless and is in fact amazing) and the proceeds to make more dimwitted deals with Rumpelstiltskin and run around the woods shouting “Snow!”

He’s also rather nice to look at.

In the Storybrooke version of reality, Prince Charming is David, a married veterinarian (I think he’s a vet, he runs an animal shelter), who comes out of a coma without any memory of his past, and strong feelings towards Mary Margaret (Snow White). David spends most of his time in season one making out with Mary Margaret and not telling his wife Kathryn (King Midas’s daughter Abigail in Fairytale Land, who James is betrothed to), that he has every intention of leaving her.

He’s kind of a dumbass is the point.

He and Kathryn eventually split amicably in Storybrooke, (he saves her one true love from a curse in Fairytale Land), and one of the most beautiful moments from the season finale was when the curse on Storybrooke was broken and Snow and Charming finally recognized each other and kissed. Then as the purple mist of magic descended on the town, they held each other close for protection.

The season premier ends with Mary Margaret and Emma getting sucked in to the Mad Hatter’s portal. (This makes sense if you watch the show) And David and Henry (Emma’s son) being left behind. Mary and I laughed at this, because, of course, David can’t even get sucked in to a portal properly. He did however shout “No!” really loudly.

I’ve been distrustful of Prince Charmings for a while now. This comes from a lifetime of noticing how they are personality-less cardboard cutouts in Disney movies.

There are, of course, exceptions to every rule.

And from seeing/listening to Into The Woods too many times. The two princes wind up cheating on their lovely wives Cinderella and Rapunzel, with Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. And Cinderella’s with the Baker’s Wife actually.

This was just a moment in the woods…

This turns out marginally OK, since the Baker’s Wife winds up killed by a giant and then Cinderella moves in with the Baker to raise their kid. (By Sondheim standards that’s “Everyone lives happily ever after.”)

So basically, it was no surprise to me, that Once Upon A Time carried on the tradition of having Prince Charming be largely useless.