Naomi Scott picture image

Naomi Scott

Let’s just unpack this bit of casting news.  Recently Naomi Scott was cast as Princess Jasmine in the upcoming Live-Action Remake of Aladdin and some people are upset. Scott is half Indian and half British and Jasmine is Middle-Eastren which means for a lot of people that she isn’t White or Indian. The reason for her casting is that she can sing and dance. At least that is excuse given.

Karen David as Princess Jasmine in Once Upon A Time picture image

Karen David as Princess Jasmine in Once Upon A Time

It’s a hard one. Personally  I think Scott would have been better suited for Esmeralda, though I would rather see Gigi Radics in the role but this isn’t the first time Jasmine has played by a women of Indian Descent. In Once Upon a Time she was played by Karen David who can also sing and dance, watch Galavant, that show is awesome. One point people are making against Scott playing the role is that is was great chance by Disney to have a Middle Eastern woman in a prominent positive role. Another issue is that casting Scott looks like Disney doesn’t understand  that Middle Eastern culture  and Indian culture are different, even though some have defended Scott by saying there is overlap in the styling of Aladdin  like the palace look like the Taj Mahal and Raja’s name. Also at Disney World Aladdin character frequent the Moroccan pavilion at Epcot. Disney has aways mixed vaguely similar cultures.  I mean Agrabah  is a combination of Arga  and Baghdad, which is where Aladdin was originally supposed to be sets. Agra is an Indian city in Uttar Pradesh where the Taj Mahal is located.

Princess Jasmine, Aladdin picture Imade

Princess Jasmine

Oh, boy am I generalizing today but a lot people feel that everyone should play any role and some feel that if you whitewash you have  to cast everything like in voice acting in accordance with a character’s race and background and it just a can worms. First off Whitewashing is a BIG issue. If a character is a specific race and if it’s important to their character and setting than YES cast someone who fits the mold. I had no idea that years ago bitch about Chinese women playing Japanese women in Memoirs of a Geisha that should have been grateful they were at least East Asians. I did here people complaining about black people in the new Beauty and the Beast movie as historical inaccurate. Forget about the implications of a forgoten Prince hanging out after I guess the Revolution, it’s the race of few minor characters that irked some people.

Mena Massoud picture image

Mena Massoud

Disney is in a unique position with its remake movies, they don’t need bankable actors. Sure, they help but people are going to see these movies more for nostalgia than the actors.  So far with Aladdin, Aladdin is being played by Egyptian- Canadian actor Mena Massoud and Will Smith playing the Genie. If there reason for casting Scott was predicated on Singing and Dancing made they either rethink making these remake musicals or they could considering dubbing.

Naomi Scott picture image

Naomi Scott

I think if Disney had expanded their search or at least rethought the singing necessity there might have been a better Jasmine. Scott might do fine in the role but I can understand both side of the argument of her casting. It seemed like filmmakers gave up trying to cast the role and settled for some who nearly had the right ethnic background.

Or maybe the film will make Agrabah a reverse Mughal-equse regime where the ruling and noble class are of Indian descent and the lower class are Arabic to justify this casting choice. (This will more than likely not happen.)

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/07/17/disney-aladdin-jasmine-naomi-scott_a_23034316/

http://fortune.com/2017/07/21/disney-aladdin-cast-naomi-scott/

Quaismodo Bells of Notre dame reprise Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quaismodo Bells of Notre dame reprise Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

I get a Google-Alert for Hunchback of Notre Dame. However it sucks. Mostly it just tells me about another regional production of Hunchback, which is great or something on Criaglist.  To be honest I mostly ignore the alerts. Last Saturday though I got it in my head to just look on Google News for Hunchback when I saw this;

http://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/the-hunchback-of-notre-dame/266641/the-hunchback-of-notre-dame-live-action-remake-considered-by-disney

OR a similar news outlet making this report.  Also I think my Google Alert alerted me to this on Monday.

So about the news. It’s  not yet happening so to speak but Alan Meken said

“I can’t say anything yet,” Menken said, “but I think Hunchback would make an amazing live action musical.”

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo during Out There Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

So it MIGHT happen. After watching the Beauty and the Beast  remake, I think Hunchback is the way for Disney. It really did seemed with the new Beauty and beast movie they were trying to captizle on a movie that studios already thought was near flawless which is why they only changed minor things and did a fairly straight shot for shot remake. What was the point of remaking it other than making money? They could have just re-released the 1991 movie to theater if there weren’t going to adapt the story for the medium more. Say what you want about the 2015 Cinderella movie, at least it was different from the cartoon. Which bring us back to Hunchback.

Disney never liked Hunchback that much. It didn’t make much money ergo it wasn’t successful for Disney. Also the darker tone was turn off for a lot of people. A live-action version could fix a lot of issues and people might be more forgiving of a dark tone. It would be interesting to see what is done with the story. Do they make it more of blend of the musical and the cartoon. Or do they follow the book more? Do we get a more innocent Esmeralda and angry Quasimodo? Do we get a priest/alchemist Frollo?  Do we get a Gringoire?

If this movie does get made it brings the total number of Hunchback movie adaptions in production up. Very technically speaking there are three in the works. There is the Max Ryan version (could be in filming hell), there was the version from Esmeralda’s perspective (haven’t heard any new on that one in a long time) and the Universal Monster version (hope The Mummy didn’t kill this being made.) Pretty sure the jazzy Brolin version is dead.

Anyway well we’ll just have to wait and see but I’m up for a new Hunchback version good to bad.

 

 

Finally, it can drink in the states!

After 21 years Hellfire is still awesome.

Ariel Disney The Little Mermaid picture image

Ariel Disney The Little Mermaid

There are 19 planned Disney Live action Movies planned so far and gotta say some are weird concepts. Here’s a list or you can watch the video here 

  • Mulan  
  • The Lion King
  • Dumbo
  • The Sword in the Stone
  • Prince Charming  (looks at the archtype)
  • Genie (Aladdin Prequel)
  • Aladdin
  • Cruella
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Little Mermaid
  • Peter Pan
  • Tinker bell
  • James and the Giant Peach (rumored)
  • Pinocchio
  • The Jungle Book 2
  • Maleficent 2
  • Chernabog (humanizing the demon who controls the dead)
  • Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs
  • Rose Red ( about Snow White’s sister)
A Puppet of Quasimodo bells Disney Hunchback of notre dame picture image

A Puppet of Quasimodo during the Bells of Notre Dame Disney Hunchback of notre dame

These movies join the group of Live action Disney remakes, which is their new favorite trend as it’s easy to capitalize on. While there are more than a few titles missing from the list, Hunchback is missing. Am I surprised? Not really. Do I wish they were making a live action version of Hunchback? Hellfire yes!  Aside from the new musical, the landscape of Hunchback is barren. Got a little from the new Beauty and the Beast version but since then nothing.

Quasimodo singing "Out There" Hunchback of Notre Dame Disney picture image

Quasimodo singing “Out There” Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

So why isn’t Disney going to make a Live Action Hunchback? It makes more sense than a live action  Lion King or sequel to Jungle Book. The reason why they won’t is money, pure and simple. Hunchback of Notre Dame was not a money marker for Disney. Sure, it made its budget back but only barely and it was not a toy seller. I would hazard a guess that since there doesn’t appear to be the same amount of nostalgic love for the movie that can be easy quantified like with money, Disney assumes the fanbase isn’t there and there is no need for a remake.

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Frollo singing Hellfire Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

On the flip-side, Disney might want to consider making a remake. Hunchback always seemed a little out of step with other family friend movies  and yet the parts of the Hunchback that were the most Disney-esque were the most hated parts (the gargoyles). A remake would give the company a chance to retcon the parts of Hunchback that REALLY worked and fixed parts that brought the movie down. It could be combined in part with the new musical or just follow the book a little more closely.

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda & Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

Do I think Disney will ever make a  Hunchback  live action remake? Maybe, wouldn’t completely rule it out but it won’t for a long while if ever.

Been sick and life got in the way. Next week we’ll be back to the ballet. Sorry for the delay but in the meantime,

this,

I never knew they had this set. Though I think I had only one or two Polly Pocket sets as a kid so I’m not a good model of Polly Pocket knowledge or merchandise.

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

I’m not strictly speaking in the interest of my own personal enjoyment or in the sense that it would give me more context but with the political and social climate in America, Hollywood or Disney really should get a new version into production.

 

Esmeralda (Maureen O'Hara) 1939 Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda (Maureen O’Hara)

 

America right now is politically divided on many, many issues  and  a big one is the issue of immigration and refugees. In some ways it’s a complex issue mainly on the bureaucracy end  but on the side of basic human decency and the fact that America is an immigrant nation  it’s pretty simple. So how does this tie into making a Hunchback movie and the necessity of one?

Esmeralda Illustration Image picture

19th century Illustration of Esmeralda

I truly can not speak to the historical aspect of the Romani in Paris in the 15th century but the book makes it sound like Paris was a Sanctuary city. This means in a sense you could look at Esmeralda as a refugee or at the very least she is an immigrant of sorts. This is only case in versions where she is a Romani and not following the book, which is fine. I suppose they could split the different and make her half French and half Romani or Spanish since Esmeralda’s father is a complete unknown. The only hint the book offers, that I can find, is Esmeralda’s father could have been a thief that left her mother before she learned she was pregnant. Then again this information is narrated by a secondary character, so it unknown how reliable this account is.

    

Esmeralda and Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda defying Frollo by helping Quasimodo Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

In any case the two major American versions that have Esmeralda as a Romani depicts her as an advocate for both her people and the “downtrodden” which aside from being her a good female role-model in these two versions, her being an advocate  great aspect to showcase to a film going population.

 

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda, 1997 The Hunchback picture image

Salma Hayek as Esmeralda,

Also unlike some other movies that cast people regardless of their race, Hunchback should be a little more set in character’s cultural backgrounds. I heard when Rogue One was coming out there was a call to boycott the movie because of the diversity the cast, same for Star Wars The Force Awakens, which is dumb.   With Hunchback their cultural backgrounds inform the characters so aside from Esmeralda and in many cases Clopin, the rest of the cast are white Europeans which could help ease some people into the movie, especially people who wanted to boycott an iconic Space Fantasy movie series.

 

Gigi Radics picture image

Gigi Radics

This means the casting of Esmeralda become extremely important. I should preface that in a perfect world, anyone could play Esmeralda but we don’t and if a movie is going to characterized Esmeralda a very specific ethnic group even though the book did not, then the movie needs to cast accordingly. This is why the casting of Gigi Radics, a Hungarian singer of Romani descent would be a masterstroke of casting. Whether or not she is available or willing to play the role is a different question.  They could always cast an unknown Romani actress to take the part.  Casting an Indian or Pakistani, or Arab actress is not quite as authentic but it a step in the right direction.

 

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Esmeralda singing God Help the Outcast Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

A new Hunchback  movie today who help shed some light on the current situation in America and recontextualize to people who may not think it about as much and ignore the news. It might even help  people who have little exposure to immigrants and refugees  put a human face on the issue instead of short sound bite.

Star wars version of Disney's Esmeralda in her Red Dance costume, Azalea Sci-Fi Doll Game picture image

Star wars version of Disney’s Esmeralda in her Red Dance costume, Azalea Sci-Fi Doll Game

What can I say? I’m currently obsessed with Star Wars. This is a re-endering of Esmeralda using the Sci-ff Doll game from Azalea Dolls. Would you believe Esmeralda’s red costume is easier to re-create than her usual look?

Warning, Kind-Rant-y

My Crack Team of Young, Impression and Insecure, teenage girls a.k.a Disney Princesses picture image

Disney Princesses

In liking  some more nerdy media, like Game of Thrones or Star Wars, you find yourself looking into Fan-Theory. Personally, I enjoy fan-theories and speculating but sometimes they can be a bit of stretch especially all the ones for Star Wars…#Reysfatherislonestar (let me know if you get this.)  The fan-theories that are really the most annoying to read or hear about are the ones about Disney movies.

The Lamp Seller Aladdin picture image

The Lamp Seller Aladdin

The Disney Fan-theory just take whatever Easter Eggs or aspects of the production and just try and give it a deeper meaning that are often beyond ridiculous. The only one I really do subscribe to was the Genie being the Lamp seller and I don’t really want to pat myself on the pat but that was my thought when I first saw the movie in theatres as young child and I was by no means a smart child. But while we’re on the subject of Aladdin the one that annoys me is because of the mere fact that Robin Williams ad-libs and did impression in the movie led some people to think Aladdin took place in a post-apocalyptic world. Not that this REALLY debunks it but I had this mini Aladdin hardcover book  that was a summary of the movie, and I swear it had a year given in it for when it took place. I can’t recall exactly but it was around 900 A.D. Again doesn’t debunk the theory but the point is  Williams ad-lib and they took it as a cue for a deeper meaning.

Tarzan Parents picture image

Tarzan Parents

All the Disney theories are just so far-reaching. I won’t say that Game of Thrones or Star Wars aren’t but they are not bad as the Disney ones.  My least favorite has to be Tarzan’s parents are Anna and Elsa’s parents but Tarzan takes place sometime during the Victorian era but Frozen doesn’t seem to and Rapunzel is in Frozen and that is certain not Victorian. Your eyes will go cross if you think about it for too long.  Also they look nothing like Elsa and Anna’s parents in fact they look more like Anastasia and Dmitri but darn, not a Disney movie, plus again wrong time period. 

Belle, Carpet, Pumbaa Disney Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King

Belle, Carpet, and Pumbaa

Also speaking of Tarzan, another theory is Belle is an ancestor of Jane BECAUSE Jane has a teapot and cup that looks like Mrs. Potts and chip. It’s not an easter egg it’s a clue. But then how do people explain how Hercules got Scar’s pelt? Did the Lion King take place at the same time as ancient Greece? Wouldn’t have the Hyenas torn up Scar’s skin when they ripped him apart? And then with all this logic is Little Mermaid a contemporary of Aladdin since Sebastien was in Aladdin? Is The Little Mermaid post-apocalyptic? Are Mermaid’s mutant?   But isn’t The Little Mermaid in Neverland since people think Ariel’s mom is one of those Mermaids in Peter Pan because one of the mermaid looks like Ariel even though Ariel was going to originally have Blond hair  till Splash happen. Oh but Belle, Carpet from Aladdin and Pumbaa are in Hunchback! Where is the theory to explain those?  I’m confusing myself now.

Belle and the Provincial Town, Beauty and the Beast picture image

Belle and the Provincial Town, Beauty and the Beast

Well since Hunchback doesn’t  have any popular theory here one that doesn’t make sense but doesn’t not make  either. In Beauty and the Beast, Belle acts like she is rather above the village. She calls it poor and provincial and she fully admits she doesn’t fit in with the townspeople. So WHAT if Belle and her father were originally from Paris. They had to  move to the quiet provincial town to escape  Frollo’s genocide of the Gypsy as their house had gotten burned down in the fired Frollo created. The farm the live in the move belonged to Belle’s mother. This theory also ties into the adsenty royal family as Frollo doesn’t have to deal with a King and why one cares or knew about a Prince seemingly vanishing.  Despite the fact that Hunchback is clearly medieval and Beauty and Beast has a somewhat 18th style especially since Cogsworth mentioned the Baroque era which was from 1600-1750 seems unlikely and Beauty and the Beast have a bonus that they take place in the some country at the very least.  I guess I need to figure out Pumbaa and Carpet since theories have Carpet in a post-apocalyptic world and Pumbaa lived sometime during 5th century. Also why does Hercules have Gospel music with an  Ancient Greece setting? Off Subject…   

Djali Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Djali Esmeralda Disney Hunchback of Notre Dame

The point is these theories have no sense of the movie’s setting and tone and rely on Easter Eggs and other production decisions  to connect dots that aren’t really there.

It’s Christmas time! A great thing to get for yourself or as gift are ornaments. Disney puts out a lot of ornaments and Hunchback has gotten a few, won’t say a lot. I do like this one because it depicts a nice scene from the movie  and has a nice sense of togetherness which just sums up the Holiday times.

Disney Quasimodo and Esmeralda Christmas ornament Hunchback of Notre Dame picture image

Quasimodo and Esmeralda Christmas ornament

 

However maybe you’re not in the market for a Hunchback ornament. Don’t worry there are plenty and I do mean plenty of other Disney Holiday ornament for you.  These are really just a few, there are so very, very many. This isn’t like a list or anything just a super minimal sampling.

2016 Disney Ornament  picture image

2016 Disney Ornament

 

I like how simple and to the point this one it. It’s classic Disney yet fun and simple.

 

Eeyore Ornament picture image

Eeyore Ornament

 

I admit it, I have a soft spot for Eeyore. I like how he is tangled in lights.

 

Elsa, Anna, Olaf Ornament Frozen picture image

Elsa, Anna, Olaf Ornament

I love how wintery this one is plus it has that feeling of togetherness that Hunchback one also has.

Moana Ornament picture image

Moana Ornament

The Newest Princess.

 

Also if your if more Holiday crazy and ornament are too basic for you there is this Disney Christmas insanity,

Disney Tabletop Christmas Tree picture image

Disney Tabletop Christmas Tree

This is for serious Disney/ Christmas fans!

 

 

 

 

 

At the 2016 Rostelecom Cup, American, Courtney Hicks skated to a medley of Disney’s Hunchback. It’s a rather curious medley as it uses an instrumental version of The Bells of Notre Dame, the movie version of God Help the Outcast and the reprise of The Bells of Notre Dame from the stage musical. Hicks also placed third*.

*Source