Talented Artist Gender-Bends Disney Characters

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.

Check them out below and be sure to support Sakimi Chan’s work through these sites:
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Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Now On Broadway

Story by Taylor Weik. 

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!”

This story was originally published in our Spring 2014 issue. Get your copy here. 

‘Frozen’ Explodes in Korea, Spawns Countless Covers

Story by Ruth Kim.

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.

“Let it Go” Cover by Sonnet Son

Korean Trot Cover of “Let it Go” by Park Hyun-bin

 

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This story was originally published on iamkoream.com 

Disney Princesses As Sailor Moon Characters

Disney’s newest animated feature Frozen brought us not one, but two new Disney Princesses. With the success of the film, the popularity of Disney Princesses have once again shot up.

Social media sites have been covered with tests to “find out which Disney Princess you are.” People have begun closely analyzing Frozen princesses Anna and Elsa as well as the classics. More and more videos of Disney song covers are being uploaded to YouTube every minute.

At this point, is there anything that could make the Disney Princess craze even more successful? How about combining it with another popular franchise?

Well that’s exactly what artist Drachea Rannak has done. Since 2013, Drachea Rannak has taken popular Disney heroins and re-imagined them as Sailor Moon characters.

Popular manga and animated series Sailor Moon is one of Japan’s most successful franchises. The English adaptations of both the manga and anime series became the first successful shōjo title in the United States. The franchise has not only stolen the hearts of Japan and the US, Sailor Moon has gained popularity worldwide.

It only seems fitting that two powerhouses join together. Drachea Rannak recently added Anna and Elsa onto his list of “Sailor Princesses.” Check them out below.

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Most Awesome Birthday Present Ever: Dad Gifts Daughter with Ghibli/Disney/Pixar-inspired Mural

For most parents, figuring out what to give their child as a birthday gift is always a tough call.  Toys are a usual go-to, but what if you want to be a little bit more creative?  One dad has seemed to have found the answer by managing to deliver what could possibly be the most impressive, if not the most incredible, birthday present for his young daughter.

A Reddit user, who goes by the name kordath, recently posted photos of a mural he painted for his 2-year old’s playroom, a surprise gift that was completed while his wife and daughter were away for a few weeks.

Done entirely in basic acrylic paints, the original piece depicts beloved characters from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Studio Ghibli’s Ponyo all happily swimming together underwater over a bed of coral, with the sun’s rays breaking through the water’s surface (challenge: see how many characters you can name!).  The precision and detail that can be seen in the final product is astounding and would amaze anyone, child and adult.

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Image of The Day: Disney Princesses Dress Up For Halloween

Recently, Disney Princesses have been getting quite a bit of attention. Just the other day Mulan was revealed to be bisexual on Once Upon A Time and last month, we got a look at Disney princesses portrayed by Asian Americans.

With Halloween around the corner, we can only expect the hype around these Disney Princesses to get larger. Year after year, more young girls wish to put on a costume of their favorite princess and act out a Disney fairytale.

But what if the tables were turned? Artist  Isaiah K Stephens decided to show how some of our favorite princesses would look like if they dressed up as their favorite superhero or heroine for Halloween.

Some of our favorites include Rapunzel as Japanese manga heroine Sailor Moon, Tianna as Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender and Jasmine and Chun-Li from Street Fighter.

Check out more Disney Princesses dressed up and stay tuned for a second set which will include Alice, Kida, Megara, Jane Porter, Tinkerbell, Charlotte La boff,  Esmeralda, and Sally.

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Disney Princess MULAN Is Bisexual in “Once Upon A Time”

This past Sunday’s episode of Once Upon A Time was groundbreaking for both the show and for the history of television itself.

Once Upon A Time is an ABC drama series which takes actual characters from fairy tales and throws them into the “real world” after having lost their memories of their life in the fairy tale world. Who can forget our excitement when we discovered that Mulan would be a character on the popular show and that Audrey’s Fall 2012 covergirl Jamie Chung would be the actress to play her.

Recently, the show revealed some attention-grabbing news about our favorite Once Upon A Time character: the iconic Disney princess is bisexual.

[Spoiler Alert] In the show, Mulan is advised to tell the person she loves about her feelings before it is too late. She then rushes back to Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora. At this point, many viewers expected a confession of love for Prince Phillip. After all, in the previous season, she showed all signs of emotions for him. The show even toys with us and has Mulan ask for Phillip upon her arrival.

Feelings are finally revealed when Mulan admits that the person she wants to speak with is Aurora, not Phillip. Unfortunately, Mulan never does get to confess her love. Aurora reveals that she and Phillip are expecting a child which leads Mulan to decide on the spot that she will join Robin Hood’s band.

The internet is buzzing with reactions to this reveal in sexuality. Some are claiming that they were pushing for it all along and others claim it is not the right angle for a Disney princess. Entertainment Weekly applauded the plot twist and the tasteful way in which Once Upon A Time revealed her sexuality:

This makes Mulan’s attraction to Aurora a pretty huge milestone. Given both characters’ ultra-heteronormative histories — and a general lack of LGBT characters in Disney properties — this twist is an even bigger deal. Remember, too, that Aurora isn’t the first recipient of Mulan’s unrequited love; back in the beginning of season 2, the warrior maiden had a thing for Aurora’s own Twue Wuv, Prince Phillip. That means Mulan isn’t simply a lesbian — she’s bisexual, not to mention one of the few bisexual characters on TV whose orientation isn’t a ready-made punchline. (Looking at you, Glee.)
TL;DR: Mulan’s big moment was pretty awesome, and we should all be impressed with Jane Espenson for somehow managing to queer up a figure included in the Disney Princess lineup… without even making her sexuality into some giant, character-defining thing.

 

Watch the heartbreaking scene below:

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A Wish Come True: Asian American Disney Princesses

Many have grown up with Disney characters and movies, and there’s no doubt some of the more popular Disney characters are the princesses. Well, Filipina American photographer Kim Navoa and Donnie Chang have re-imagined some of those iconic princesses, including Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, in a way that would have made them way more relatable to us Asian Americans when we were growing up.

Navoa writes on her tumblr:

Despite how much we admired these princesses, it was difficult relating to them because they didn’t physically represent us. Take a look at any Disney princess product and you will see the preference towards the White princesses, white washing of princesses of color (skin color, facial features, etc.), and the shoving of these princesses to the side.

 

In the 76 years since Snow White was released, there have been 12 (soon to be 13) Disney princesses, only five of whom are women of color (Jasmine in 1992, Pocahontas in 1995, Mulan in 1998, Kida in 2001, and Tiana in 2009). It took 55 years to portray a woman of color as a princess, and these portrayals also came with problematic and inaccurate representations of their respective cultures & histories (not to mention Tiana was a frog more than half of the movie).

 

How are young APIA children supposed to believe in “happy endings” when we don’t see them happening to people who look like us?

 

Scroll down to see Navoa and Chang’s AA princesses.

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For more, check out all fifteen photographs here.