Some know 43-year-old Lea Salonga as the first Asian actress to play Éponine and Fantine in the Broadway musical Les Misérables. Others know her as the first Filipina to be signed to an international record label. But I’m going to go ahead and bet that most of you know Salonga as the singing voice of Disney princesses Jasmine and Mulan.
It’s been over two decades since the release of the beloved Disney animation Aladdin. This means it’s been over two decades since we first heard the unforgettable duet, “A Whole New World.”
Recently, Lea Salonga took us back in time by performing the beloved song alongside opera group Il Divo. 21 years later and she still sounds just as breathtaking as she did then!
Salonga’s work has gained her a Laurence Olivier Award, a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Award and Theatre World Awards. In 2010, she was named a Disney Legend for her work in Disney. Currently, Salonga is a coach on the Philippine edition of The Voice.
A few weeks ago, we showed you some kickass cosplay of Disney princesses in armor including Frozen‘s popular siblings, Anna and Elsa. As cool as those outfits were, we were a little sad that we didn’t get to see the intricate details of Elsa and Anna’s actual dresses from the animated film. Luckily for us, we found a pair of women who wanted the see the dresses come to life as well.
Using the shared Twitter handle yuuchiharu, Yuu and Chiharu have been able to show off their beautiful handcrafted Frozen costumes. In fact, the girls spent an entire year perfecting the Anna and Elsa dresses.
What could possibly be the motivation for all this time, effort and hard work? Halloween, of course! And this isn’t for just any Halloween celebration. The description on the Twitter account says, “This is the account of two women who spend all year thinking about and working hard on costumes for Tokyo Disneyland’s Halloween Parade.”
And what a year it must have been! The girls took their time selecting the perfect fabric for each piece of the costume and even had to purchase a special machine for the embroidery. They studied the film and multiple illustration books to make sure they got each detail correct and they even researched traditional Norwegian clothing to add some authenticity to the dresses.
As it turns out, the pair has been creating costumes for Tokyo Disneyland’s Halloween Parade for years. In fact, one of the girls, Yuu, studied clothing design and works in a dress shop.
For anyone who makes their own Halloween costumes and cosplay outfits, check out the impressive work of Yuu and Chiharu below.
For todays #TBT, we bring you a video from 2011. Now don’t let the date fool you– even now in 2014, the video is still making us smile. In fact, the video is making it’s way onto social media once again for another round of viral popularity.
Jared Young, an aspiring performer, claims that he dreamed of playing the role of Aladdin. The driven young man auditioned for the role at Disney’s California Adventure and even made it to the final cut, but he wasn’t casted. Not one to give up, he auditioned again the next year and (sadly) was not casted a second time.
As it turns out, Young only had to wait a few more years for his dream to come true. On September 2011, Young attended Lea Salonga’s Concert at the BYU De Jong Concert Hall. As many of you know, the popular Filipina singer and actress was the official singing voice of Princess Jasmine in the 1992 Disney animated film Aladdin.
To everyone’s delight, Salonga surprised her audience by inviting a random audience member to join her on stage to sing “A Whole New World.” As fate would have it, Salonga chose Young.
The best part of this video is Young’s clear excitement and enthusiasm. The entire time, Young is grinning from ear to ear and his happiness is simply infectious. Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself.
Back in the 1980’s, Japan needed a name for the ongoing trend of people dressing up as their favorite cartoon, anime and comic book characters. They came up with the term “cosplay” by combining the English words “costume” and “play.”
Flash forward to present day and cosplay is now seen as a significant aspect of Japanese pop culture which often influences Japanese/Asian street fashion. Take a look at this Japanese graduation filled with cosplay and this duo who gained worldwide attention for their cosplay skills.
But that’s not all. Cosplay has also become a well-known term in America. We’ve seen our share of impressive cosplay from various comic cons and anime expos, but recently we’ve come across a cosplay worth highlighting.
A group of insanely talented women decided to cosplay as the Disney Princesses with one major twist: the girls were in armor and ready for battle. Quite a number of people have commented that the armor (or lack thereof) would be useless in a battle, but everyone has agreed that these girls are talented for making such intricate outfits.
Yes, these women show skin, but they are proud of it and clearly deliver the message: who needs a prince to save you when you can kick ass yourself?
Milk and cookies. Peanut and jelly. Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. We may never find out who the geniuses are behind the most known and beloved combinations, but every now and then, we get lucky.
In this case, we’ve found out that Indonesian illustrators from Stellar Labs are the brilliant minds who decided to combine the two powerhouses, Marvel and Disney.
As many already know, Marvel Entertainment belongs to the Walt Disney company, but aside from a Captain America doll placed on the same shelf as a Mickey toy in the Disney store, we don’t really see the two worlds interact. No matter how much we love both Marvel and Disney, we’ve never seen a Disney character step foot into the Marvel universe — until now.
Stellar Labs, an art studio based in Jakarta, Indonesia, decided to combine Maleficent with Loki, have Thor meet Rapunzel and even put all the evil villains together in one portrait.
The results? Everything we wanted and more. Check out all the creative mash ups below for yourself.
DONALD THE THOR by illustrator Agri Karuniawan
MALEFICENT X LOKI by illustrator Bramasta Aji
TARZAN THOR by illustrator Eko Puteh
THORUNZEL by illustrator Fahriza Kamaputra
VILLAINS by illustrator Isuardi Therianto
FIX-IT HULK by illustrators Miralti Firmansyah & Jessica Kholinne
POOH & FRIENDS by illustrator Natasha Elizabeth
PRINCE TONY by illustrator Ryan Adriandhy
DONALD’S BACKYARD PARTEE by illustrator Yenny Laud
To check out more of Steller Lab’s work, visit their official Facebook page here.
Big Hero 6 is set in the fictional San Fransokyo, a metropolis where underground robot fights are all the rage. Hiro Hamada (voiced by Ryan Potter), a 14-year-old robotics prodigy, and his robot Baymax (Scott Adsitt) must join forces with a group of inexperienced crime-fighting “techie heroes” when they uncover a dangerous plot.
Chung voices GoGo Tomago, who is described as a “laconic Clint Eastwood type” who can take care of herself. An industrial engineering student, Go Go developed a bike with magnetic-levitation technology, which also made its way into her super-suit.
Henney voices Tadashi Hamada, the older brother of Hiro, who is heavily involved in the underground bot fights. Tadashi, fortunately, helps inspire Hiro to put his smarts to good use and gain admission to the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, where he meets a robot named Baymax (voiced by Scott Adsitt). Together, they join forces with the four others to complete the crucial mission.
The team includes Fred (T.J. Miller), a big sci-fi and comic book geek whose “Fredzilla” creature suit is a homage to Godzilla. Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez) is a chemistry student who is a bit geeky, but her sweet personality, positive attitude, and smarts make her a valuable member of the team. Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) sports plasma-induced lasers that come out of his arms, but he’s very cautious about how to go about being a superhero-until he learns to embrace the crazy that comes with the job.
-Story by James S. Kim This story was originally published on iamkoream.com
For years, we have hoped for more variation in ethnicity when it comes to Disney Princesses. Don’t get me wrong– we love the current Princesses, but who doesn’t want a Princess they can connect with on a cultural level?
This may be the reason that Tumblr artistlettherebedoodles created a series depicting famous Disney Princesses with different ethnicities.
“I honestly just did this for fun. No political agenda, no ulterior motives,” the artist, who goes by TT, explained. “I just love Disney and chose a few of my favorite characters to alter. I feel like there’s beauty in every racial background, and this is honestly nothing more then an exploration of different races from a technical and artistic standpoint.”
“Fairy tales are constantly being taken out of their cultural context. Most of the fairy tales that we know now were taken out of their original cultural context and altered,” TT continues. “Aladdin was originally set in China. The Frog Prince was Latin, and was altered over and over again in several countries. The stories have been and can be altered in many ways.”
TT also says that the race-bending art was created in hopes of seeing more diversity in our media. Of course, we whole-heartedly agree. Check out the thought-provoking art below:
Not much is known about the Canada-based artist Sakimi Chan, but one thing is certain: this is one talented artist.
Although Sakimi Chan’s Facebook was only created in January 2014, it has already gathered 124,000 likes and for good reason! According to the Facebook description, Sakimi Chan loves to “draw fantasy, sci-fi and gender bending.”
It seemed only a matter of time that the digital artist took on beloved Disney characters. Sakimi Chan recently gained viral attention for her gender-bending of Ariel, Belle, Pocahontas and various other characters we grew up with.
It’s finally time for everyone’s favorite thief to take his turn under the flashing bulbs of Broadway. Disney’s Aladdin, the musical adaption of the 1992 Walt Disney film, officially debuts at Broadway’s New Amsterdam Theatre on March 20. The musical features an all-star creative team, including Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon), with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by the late Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book and additional lyrics by Chad Beguelin.
Of the 34-member cast, the two leads are both Asian American. Playing the title role of Aladdin is Adam Jacobs, whose mother is Filipina (Jacobs portrayed Marius in the 2006 Broadway revival of Les Misérables), and biracial Thai American Courtney Reed, whose credits include In the Heights and Mamma Mia!, will play Princess Jasmine.
“It doesn’t feel real,” says Reed about the role. “She has always been my favorite Disney princess, and now I get to bring her to life. It’s a dream come true.”
The musical comedy promises a full score with brand new songs, though Disney fans can rest assured that five of them will be from the original film. “It may be cliché but ‘A Whole New World’ is just a classic,” says Reed. “The arrangement for the show is gorgeous, and I love singing with my co-star Adam.” The production will also introduce new characters, specifically Babkak, Kassim and Omar, Aladdin’s three sidekicks.
Even the classic Disney characters will have some new lines to work with. “In expanding the story for Broadway, we’ve been able to add a little more depth to [Jasmine], and she’s a bit more modern than you may remember her from the movie, so the audience will get a chance to see a more dimensional Jasmine,” says Reed. “I just have to trust myself and my director to stay true to the essence of the princess I watched on my screen every day growing up!”
Two beautiful princesses, an adorable talking snowman, and a slew of catchy musical numbers that you find yourself humming unconsciously — the animated film Frozen has all the right ingredients for the perfect Disney movie. But in Korea, this particular film has a specific, older audience applauding on their feet.
Among the thousands of theater patrons who visited their local movie theaters to experience this Disney winter tale since its Korean release on Jan. 16, women in their 30s largely constituted the viewing audience in Korea. This particular age group made up 29 percent of the entire admitted audience, larger than any other demographic.
The film, now the highest-grossing animated feature ever in South Korea, has struck a chord with the older, female crowd. The two princesses, Elsa and Anna, don’t perpetuate the damsel-in-distress narrative — instead, they take the initiative to solve their problems and restore the kingdom on their own terms. Additionally, Kristoff’s character as the common man undercuts the “charming prince” archetype saturated in many Disney films; young girls viewing the film gain a more realistic and grounded idea of love.
But Frozen has left the audience with more than just a positive message; after the credits rolled, the soundtrack behind the film has left a lasting legacy. Covers of the chart-topper, “Let it Go”, originally sung by Idina Menzel, have taken over YouTube, but two in particular stand out.
Korea’s Sonnet Son, currently studying at Berklee School of Music in Boston, gives Idina Menzel a run for her money. Sonnet makes belting and sustaining high notes and musical phrases look like a piece of cake; and her passion for singing, so tangible through this video, will leave goose bumps all over. It is definitely apparent that Sonnet has a promising musical career in sight.
From a completely different music genre platform, 32-year-old Korean singer Park Hyun-bin makes his mark by transforming ‘Let it Go’ into a Korean trot-style pop song. Trot, also known as ppongjjak, is a genre of music that is associated with an older generation of Koreans, but it’s still leaving an impression today. Park’s enthusiastic and almost goofy demeanor accompanied with a very skilled and talented voice distinguishes him from the many covers that pervade the Internet.
Along with other Korean female singers, including Ailee, Lee-Hae-ri, and Lee Yu-bi, who have famously covered the song, Frozen’s ‘Let it Go’has given many Korean musicians a chance to showcase their voice, talent, and musical ability.
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.