It’s An Art Moovement

CowParade is the largest and most successful public art event in the world. CowParade events have been staged in 79 cities worldwide since 1999, with cities such as Paris, Tokyo and New York being previous hosts.

In numbers:
– Over $30 million have been raised through worldwide charitable organizations through the auction of the cows, which take place at the conclusion of each event.

– Over 10,000 artists worldwide have participated in CowParade – professional and amateur, famous and emerging, young and old.

– Over 5,000 cows have been created and have been seen by over half a billion people on six continents.

– 40 cows are part of the CowPadade in Perth.

Talking about art, this cow is in the Art Gallery:

Red Heifer Artist: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah
Red Heifer
Artist: Abdul-Rahman Abdullah
Ornamental Bovine and 42 Dung Beatles Artist: Clare McFarlane
Ornamental Bovine and 42 Dung Beatles
Artist: Clare McFarlane
Alice Artist: Tjyllyungoo - Lance Chadd
Alice
Artist: Tjyllyungoo – Lance Chadd
Pop Colour Cow Artist: Penny Coss
Pop Colour Cow
Artist: Penny Coss
Netter's Atlas Artist: Jana Braddock
Netter’s Atlas
Artist: Jana Braddock
Earth to Heaven Express Artist: Marcia Espinosa
Earth to Heaven Express
Artist: Marcia Espinosa
Untitled Artist: Peter Farmer
Untitled
Artist: Peter Farmer
Palindrome Artist: Helen Smith
Palindrome
Artist: Helen Smith
Noongar Boodja Artist: Rod Garlett
Noongar Boodja
Artist: Rod Garlett
Beauty X Ethics  Artist: Benjamin Kontoolas
Beauty X Ethics
Artist: Benjamin Kontoolas

Beauty got very excited about the visit from Honey and Isabelle 🙂

Lunch!

It's An Art Moovement

For the Billionth Time in Forever… Frozen

Forever Frozen

By now we’ve all seen Frozen for the billionth time and it feels like it’s been around forever. Hard to believe it was released only 3 years ago, today. The film was a massive commercial success, it ranks as the highest-grossing animated film of all time and the third-highest-grossing original film of all time. The film won the Academy Award, the Golden Globe, the BAFTA Award, the Annie Award and the Critics Choice Movie Award for Best Animated Feature. Let it go won the Academy Award and the Critics Choice Movie Award for Best Original Song. Of course, we love it more and more each time we hear Let It Go 🙂

There are many details in every snowflake of this movie that you may not have noticed, despite the billionth time viewing. Some fun facts about the film.

Elsa’s hair was originally going to be black. And she has much more hair than the average human. About four times more! The animators did a lot of research into the hair designs of the lead characters, especially Elsa. In Norway, there are lots of braids, but they wanted to do something a little different. So they brought in a New York-based hairstylist named Danilo who came up with some sophisticated designs for Elsa. The average human head has about 100,000 hairs. Anna has about 140,000 hairs, but Elsa has 400,000 hairs on her head. It takes a lot of hair to perfect Elsa’s look!

Forever Frozen

Disney Animation held a “Sister Summit” where they gathered all of the women on the team that had sisters and asked them questions in order to better understand the sister relationship.

Forever Frozen

John Ripa sketched Elsa while Idina Menzel sang in the studio to capture Menzel’s passion while singing.

Forever Frozen

A group of artists went on a research trip to Norway to gain inspiration for Arendelle’s design. Arendelle was inspired by Nærøyfjord, a branch of Norway’s longest fjord Sognefjorden, which has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; while a castle in Oslo with beautiful hand-painted patterns on all four walls served as the inspiration for the kingdom’s royal castle interior. Several landmarks in Norway appear in the film, including the Akershus Fortress in Oslo, the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim and Bryggen in Bergen.

Forever Frozen

The rock crystals the trolls wear are inspired by the Northern Lights.

Forever Frozen

Our next destination is Norway, for the Northern Lights! Check this out! I guess I know what dresses Miss Honey will take along 🙂

The official crest of Arendelle is a crocus, a symbol of rebirth and spring.

Forever Frozen

The idea of Kristoff as an ice harvester came late in production.

Forever Frozen

During Olaf’s song In Summer, the backgrounds and shapes were changed to look more like Olaf 🙂

Forever Frozen

Elsa’s ice castle is based on the science of snowflakes. If you look closely at her cape, you’ll see snowflake detailing. The floor of the ice palace Elsa builds is in the shape of a snowflake. The columns of her palace – the ones that rise up from the floor – are actually arms of a snowflake. She’s surrounded by snowflakes in her new icy home.

Forever Frozen

Sven, the Frozen reindeer, is modelled on Frankie, the Labrador! It turns out reindeer don’t do anything, they just stand there! As Disney Animation discovered when they brought a reindeer into Disney for research. That’s when they thought about approaching Sven as an excited dog. He’s like an inquisitive pooch that sniffs around the place. John Lasseter liked the idea and said ‘My Labrador, Frankie, is always in your face and licking you. It’s perfect.’

Forever Frozen

Rapunzel and Flynn attended Elsa’s coronation.

Forever Frozen

And today, little bears found out that Hong Kong Disneyland is getting a Frozen land. And a Marvel Superheroes zone. Hong Kong Disneyland said in a statement there would be new attractions launching almost every year, from 2018 through 2023. Guess which Disneyland we are visiting again?!?

Kingdom of Arendelle, Disney concept art
Kingdom of Arendelle, Disney concept art
Kingdom of Arendelle, Disney concept art
Kingdom of Arendelle, Disney concept art

We have time to plan the visit. The Kingdom of Arendelle is scheduled to open in 2020. Hong Kong is the smallest Disneyland, but the bears have a soft spot for it. It was the first Disneyland they visited! And previous home of diamond in the cute, little Jay 🙂 And it’s only an 8 hour flight away.

Forever Frozen

Little bears got 31/31 on the Frozen quiz, I only got 15/31 😦 So clearly I have to pay closer attention when watching it for the billionth and one time!

Forever Frozen

Magical Aladdin

Ah, Salaam and good day to you, beary reader. You find little bears very, very busy watching Aladdin to uncover the many secrets buried beneath the sands of Agrabah.

Magical Aladdin

Little Puffles and Honey went to see the musical on Broadway…

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

And came home with the lamp 🙂

Magical Aladdin

While Aladdin was meant to do for Disney princes what Ariel and Belle had done for Disney princesses, the film is all about Genie and Robin Williams.

Magical Aladdin

To land Robin Williams, the animators created test sequences of the genie performing the comedian’s stand-up routines. They picked a couple of sections from his comedy albums and animated a genie to them. Robin Williams could see the potential of what the character could be and signed the dotted line.

Williams was only available for a handful of recording sessions, so he gave a rapid-fire delivery of each line as written — in as many different styles as he could create. The animators took all the audio tracks back to the studio and selected the ones that were best suited to the lines.

Robin Williams agreeing to portray Genie changed the entire genre of voice acting. Prior to Aladdin, “real” actors seldom stooped so low to do voice work unless they were on the desperate end of their careers. Even Bea Arthur reportedly refused the role of Ursula in The Little Mermaid. The work was left to professional voice actors. Disney even kept a stable of regulars throughout the decades. (Think of Winnie the Pooh’s voice. And the Cheshire Cat, the snake from The Jungle Book, the Stork in Dumbo … These are just some of the characters voiced by the sweet quavery voice of Sterling Holloway.)

Williams’ work on Aladdin, combined with the rising quality of Disney films, gave a new respectability to voiceover work. Soon, celebrities were happy to lend their voices to talking toys and singing monkeys. Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Billy Crystal, Tom Hanks … the A-listers who have voiced characters in animated films reads like the seating chart at the Oscars. And it’s all because of the Genie.

Magical Aladdin

The Genie was a perfect container for Williams’s manic energy and allusive impersonation skills. His first appearance onscreen couldn’t have been less subtle or more exciting: he shoots out of a magic lamp, accompanied by pink smoke and fireworks. “Oy,” he exclaims. “Ten thousand years will give you such a crick in the neck.” Then he takes his head off and spins it around. In the span of just a few minutes, Williams runs through a dizzying routine of character-based comedy, leaving the audience rushing to keep up. He does Borscht Belt patter, mixes in a ventriloquist performance, and then does French and Scottish caricatures. He plays men and women, and finds places in between. He speaks in Yiddish (“You little punim, there”) and gibberish (“Esalalumbo, shimin dumbo!”). One moment he is Arnold Schwarzenegger; the next he’s Ed Sullivan. And the audience is enthralled and giddy and laughs even as it knows that there are jokes it doesn’t get. This was when Disney figured out that a great way to get parents to take their kids to an animated movie, or at least to improve their experience while in the theatre, was to fill the movie with just enough adult humor to keep things interesting.

Puffles and Honey met Genie on Broadway 🙂

Aladdin on Broadway

Disney in the ’90s knew that their traditional princes, though charming, were much too bland for modern audiences. According to Glen Keane, lead animator for the character of Aladdin, “I could never understand why Snow White and Sleeping Beauty fell for those princes. Those guys were cardboard symbols, and the love relationship was assumed. We wanted there to be a how to the princess falling in love.” So they set about doing something Disney hadn’t really done before: Making a prince who was cunning, bold, funny and lovable, not just handsome.

Magical Aladdin

At first, animators sort of modeled Aladdin after Michael J. Fox, but found the end result too cutesy. So they upped his age to late teens, took off his shirt, and watched Tom Cruise movies. “There’s a confidence with all of his attitudes and his poses,” Keane said of Tom Cruise. Once Aladdin could reflect that sort of sexy cockiness, it was more believable that he’d be the sort of boy Jasmine might risk everything for.

Magical Aladdin

The illustrators tried to make the characters look unrealistic on purpose.

Magical Aladdin

In Aladdin’s predecessor, Beauty and the Beast, immense effort was devoted to making the characters’ faces, bodies, and movements as realistic as possible. Supervising animator Andreas Deja, who drew Gaston in Beauty and the Beast and Jafar in Aladdin, refers to the approach in Beauty and the Beast as ‘chiseled realism’. In Aladdin the animators used simple two-dimensional shapes as references for all the characters. Aladdin is composed of two interlocking triangles formed by his chest and his pants. Jasmine is sort of pear-shaped. Jafar is basically a T — a very skinny body with broad shoulders.

Puffles and Honey met a not so pear-shaped Princess Jasmine at the Magic Kingdom 🙂

Princess Jasmine
Princess Jasmine at Magic Kingdom WDW

Beast from Beauty in the Beast is hanging out in the menagerie of figures the Sultan is seen stacking.

Magical Aladdin

Talking about Ariel and The Little Mermaid, Sebastian makes an appearance in Aladdin. The 1991 movie was also directed by the filmmakers of Aladdin, Ron Clements and John Musker.

Magical Aladdin

And speaking of the filmmakers, the two were drawn into the movie. You can spot them as the two characters to the left and right of Aladdin when Jasmine’s suitors arrive at the palace.

Magical Aladdin

The fashion in the film was inspired by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld. You know his work, even if you don’t think you do; he famously created exaggerated line drawings of everyone from Charlie Chaplin to the The Rolling Stones. Aladdin supervising animator Eric Goldberg wanted to recreate Hirschfeld’s use of clean flow lines.

Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin, by Al Hirschfeld
Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn Monroe, by Al Hirschfeld
Star Trek, The Original Crew
Star Trek, The Original Crew, by Al Hirschfeld

Hirschfeld was alive to see the honor bestowed, but he took no credit.

I’m very flattered that the animators say they were influenced by my use of line. But art isn’t a 50-yard dash — it’s more like a relay: You keep handing it on to somebody else, and there’s no beginning or end to it. I didn’t invent the line: That simplification that communicates to a viewer goes back to the cave drawings at Altamira. Al Hirschfeld

Eric Goldberg
Eric Goldberg, by Al Hirschfeld

Aladdin marked the end of voice actors in Disney musicals needing to be magnificent singers. Linda Larkin was the voice of Princess Jasmine. However, she never sang a single note attributed to the princess; that was done by singer Lea Salonga. Larkin says that this was the result of the film being built around Robin Williams, who was such a powerful force that Disney’s priority was finding strong actors who could keep pace with him. Instead they went looking for singers to match the actors’ voices.

Lea Salonga. the singing voice of Princess Jasmine
Lea Salonga. the singing voice of Princess Jasmine
Linda Larkin, the voice of Princess Jasmine
Linda Larkin, the voice of Princess Jasmine

Aladdin also had two voices, Scott Weinger and Brad Kane as the singing voice. Both were teenagers at the time.

Scott Weinger, the voice of Aladdin
Scott Weinger, the voice of Aladdin
Brad Kane, the singing voice of Aladdin
Brad Kane, the singing voice of Aladdin

Pay attention to when Jafar’s curse breaks at the end of the film. As Jasmine’s tiger Rajah transforms back from a kitten into a full-blown tiger there’s one ever so brief moment where he has two heads, one of which takes on Mickey’s form.

Magical Aladdin

Arabian Coast
With Rajah at Tokyo Disney Sea

Next is The Return of Jafar and then Aladdin and the King of Thieves, the sequels to Aladdin

Magical Aladdin

The Beauties And The Pizza

Did you know that Belle’s iconic yellow ball gown was created during a late-night pizza spree, among others by Brian McEntee, the art director, Howard Ashman, the film’s lyricist and executive producer, and Don Hahn, the producer of Beauty and the Beast? Well, now you do!

And little beary beauties and cuties love pizza!

The Beauties And The Pizza

Today marks the 25th anniversary of 1991’s Beauty and the Beast and little bears are watching the movie. Again 🙂

The Beauties And The Pizza

In September, there was a 25th anniversary screening of the movie at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York City. Following the screening, Angela Lansbury surprised the audience with a live performance of the song Beauty and the Beast. She was accompanied by Alan Menken, the song’s original co-writer and Disney music legend.

Angela Lansbury and
Angela Lansbury and Alan Menken

At the screening, original voice cast members — including Paige O’Hara (Belle), Robby Benson (Beast), Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts), Richard White (Gaston), and producer Don Hahn — re-united for the first time in years, and reminisced about the film’s legacy during a Q&A session.

Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts), Richard White (Gaston), Robby Benson (The Beast), and Paige O'Hara (Belle) on stage at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall.
Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Potts), Richard White (Gaston), Robby Benson (The Beast), and Paige O’Hara (Belle) on stage at the Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.

When asked about their favorite memory from the movie making process, Paige O’Hara (Belle) told the audience about how Lansbury recorded the titular Beauty and the Beast song in a single take.

“I remember the day we were in the recording studio with the amazing Broadway singers in the background chorus and the amazing [New York Philharmonic] orchestra,” O’Hara said. “And then Ms. Lansbury — who I have admired my whole life — came in after being up all night […] and was a trooper. We were all worried she would be too exhausted and then she comes out and sings Beauty and the Beast in one take.”

Mrs Potts
Mrs Potts

Producer Don Hahn, along with the late Howard Ashman — the film’s lyricist and executive producer — worked on Beauty and the Beast from a Residence Inn hotel in Fishkill, New York, where many of the movie’s hit songs were composed — including the title ballad. They also came up with key characters there: “For Mrs. Potts, we originally tried to find the most soothing possible association and we came up with Mrs. Chamomile,” revealed Hahn. “Chamomile is a very, soothing herbal tea, but nobody could pronounce it. So Howard said, ‘Let’s call her Mrs. Potts.’ Calling her Mrs. Potts was simple, and it was easy to rhyme with, and kids could say it. It was the same for Lumière. He was Chandal for a while, like chandelier, but became Lumière because Lumière is easier to say. He was also named after the Lumière brothers, who were early film and photograph guys.”

Lumière
Lumière

When the Beast asks Cogsworth and Lumière for ideas about a special thing he could do for Belle, Cogsworth replies: “Well there’s the usual things — flowers, chocolates, promises you don’t intend to keep.” The line was improvised by actor David Ogden Stiers, and the directors liked it so much they actually kept it in.

Cogsworth
Cogsworth

When Bradley Pierce was cast as Chip, a precocious teacup, he only had one line. The boy so impressed the filmmakers that they expanded his part and cut out the role of a mute music box.

Bradley Pierce and Chip
Bradley Pierce and Chip

Belle is one of the first Disney princesses meant to be in her 20s. All the other princesses were teenagers. Belle was also unique in having brown hair (and eyes), plus a “geeky” quality to her love for reading and adventure.

Belle
Belle

In 1992, Beauty and the Beast became the first ever animated feature film to be nominated for best picture at the Oscars. Disney lost to Silence of the Lambs, but won two other Academy Awards for original score and original song.

It was the first Disney animated film to have a final and fully developed script before animators started their work on it. The film took over three-and-a-half years to complete and the finished product consisted of over 2km of hand-drawn film, 1,100 painted backgrounds and 150,000 individually rendered frames.

The Beauties And The Pizza

The Beauties And The Pizza

The Beauties And The Pizza

The Beauties And The Pizza

Next March will see the highly anticipated release of the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (Beast), Luke Evans (Gaston), Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Emma Thompson (Mrs Potts), Ewan McGregor (Lumière) and Nathan Mack (Chip).

Even more anticipated is the release in February of another Belle ball gown by Build a Bear 🙂