New Haul

The past few months have been great as far as acquisitions go. In September I got to go back to my local Disney Store, where I was looking for more of the men. Unfortunately, all they had were three Hans dolls from last year (this year they changed his clothes to his white suit from the coronation scenes)-there were no other men left, and Corporate had given my store no indication as to when they’ll receive another shipment. I went ahead and bought one of the Hans (I like his old clothes better), as well as an Elena of Avalor 3-outfit wardrobe set that was marked down to 40% off (which permanently sold out about a week after I made the purchase) and this Olaf’s Frozen Adventure tote to carry them in. Elena came in her Christmas gown and was packaged with her original dress, her Day of the Dead dress, and their corresponding shoes and accessories. She’s beautiful and looks stunning in her Day of the Dead dress.

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Elena and her stuff
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Her clothes (on the tissue paper from under her skirt, to avoid getting glitter stuck in the carpet)
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She has the 2012 legs! Squee! Her left leg bent in a bit too far, as you may be able to see here, but I was able to use a clear rubber band to maneuver it into the proper position.
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Elena as she’s usually seen.

I’ve had an idea for a while of an OMC to add to my doll collection-Prince Marius Westergaard of the Southern Isles, Hans’ 9th brother, whose diplomatic skills get him sent to various countries by his father to smooth out disputes and his brother’s awful behavior. When the Frozen dolls were first released, Heather at The Doll Grotto and Casey Robin at Casey Robin’s Dollyanna did terrific, thorough reviews of the men-Heather of both and Casey Robin of just Kristoff. Casey Robin mentioned that Hans looked like “a cross between Mr. Darcy and Eddie Redmayne,” which is where I got the idea to name my OMC Marius (the film version of Les Mis is the only thing I’ve seen Eddie Redmayne-who played Marius-in). The doll I chose has a slightly softer expression than the other two Hans did-perfect for my Marius.

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Where the shirt originally had long sleeves, it was sleeveless last year.

I created a photostory centered around Marius and the sisters.

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Anna: I thought my sister and I banished you! Marius: Whoa, whoa, whoa! You’ve got the wrong guy!
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Anna: But…you look just like him. Marius: Hans? That makes sense-I’m his brother. His 9th brother, to be exact, and I’m deeply sorry for his betrayal. Marius Westergaard, Prince of the Southern Isles.
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Anna: Anna, Crown Princess of Arendelle, but I go by Anna. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Marius, and I accept your apology. Marius: Thanks.
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My sister needs to hear your apology too. Come on, I’m sure she’ll love talking to you!
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Elsa, this is Marius Westergaard, Prince of the Southern Isles and 9th brother of the awful Hans. Marius, this is my sister Elsa, the Queen of Arendelle.
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It’s an honor, Your Majesty. On behalf of myself, my father, and all of the Southern Isles, I sincerely apologize for my traitorous brother’s actions.
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I gratefully accept your apology, Marius. And please, call me Elsa.
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Olaf: Hi! I’m Olaf, and I like warm hugs! Marius: Hi, buddy. It’s great to meet you! (Blogger’s note: I tried taking photos of Marius and Olaf hugging, but with their proportions there was no way I could do it without it looking really weird.)
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(Anna stage whispers, with Elsa and Marius talking in background) I think Elsa and Marius are gonna make a great match!

At the end of September I ordered two more men from the Disney site (note: the website is no longer disneystore.com, but shopdisney.com)-Kristoff and Prince Phillip.

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The back and sides of Kristoff’s box:

It took Kristoff about 2 years to get here, so naturally Anna was very excited to see him.

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Oh my God, Kristoff! I’m so glad you’re here!
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Anna: So, I may have found Elsa a boyfriend. Kristoff: What? Anna: OK, so I ran into this guy who looks just like Hans, only he wasn’t Hans, it was his 9th brother Marius…

Phillip is very handsome (even when my flash derps out).

Sides and back of his box. I love the appearance of Aurora and the fairies on the sides, especially how everyone else seems pretty happy but Merryweather’s in fight mode!

Aurora chose a new outfit with colors that please all 3 of her fairy godmothers (dress: unknown and untagged, but I believe it might be a My First Barbie dress from the ’80s; shoes: Barbie with 7 pairs of shoes, brunette version, which I got during Kroger’s big Barbie discounts, along with the current blue-plaid-jacket carded Ken suit and the current carded gray Barbie dress with blue leopard spots)

for her portrait with Phillip.

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The flash was still a bit derpy when I took this photo, but I think it turned out OK.

In the last week of October I finally completed my Disney Princess collection! (Now I just have to finish acquiring the men.) The 2012 Snow White and 2015 live-action Cinderella came up for reasonable prices on eBay, so of course I pounced on them-especially Ella, as she was the first of her kind to come up for less than $80 (thanks to having been previously deboxed) in a long time.

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And here’s Ella unpackaged!

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Her gown is 2 pieces

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and the skirt has 4 layers.

The glass slippers are gorgeous.

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Unfortunately, my flash did not want to play ball.

A lot of people said the doll’s face looked too masculine, but in real life Lily James has a similar square jawline (Lily photo found here).

This Cinderella is a bit of an underrated doll in my opinion. She’s beautiful and I can’t wait to find her best angles.

Now, on to Snow White! The 2012 version has probably the most gorgeous Snow White face I’ve ever seen, so she was the only one I could stand to get.

I love the patterns on her box-the red circular ones are almost like mandalas.

She has the same problem as Elena, where her left knee bends too far inward, but it’s barely noticeable with the right combination of position and the occasional clear rubber band.

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Since she didn’t come with her red cape, Shang was gracious enough to loan her his for this shot.

And here are some photos of my complete Disney Princess collection, grouped by Disney era and redressed.

The princesses of the Golden Age…

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On Snow: Barbie carded fashion, 2016. On Ella: original top and glass slippers and jeans of unknown origin. On Aurora: Barbie carded dress, approx. 2007-2009, and shoes from an all-pink  multi-shoe Barbie, approx. 2015

the Disney Renaissance…

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On Ariel: dress: Party Lace Barbie, approx. 1989, shoes: Barbie Fashion Fever, approx. 2004-05. On Belle: dress: Lovely Patsy (dollar store clone, usually comes with 3-5 outfits), boots: DS Anna. On Jasmine: coat and jumpsuit: Silver Polish, a 1969 Barbie outfit, shoes: Pretty Changes Barbie, approx. 1979-80. On Pocahontas: dress, purse and ankle boots from brunette Barbie with 7 pairs of shoes mentioned above. On Mulan: dress: Chic Boutique Barbie, approx. 2002-03, boots: Lovely Patsy

and the Disney Revival.

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On Tiana: dress: On-the-go Kelsey (Barbie clone with an extensive travel wardrobe-I bought her at a now-defunct discount store called Alco as a kid and haven’t seen her sold anywhere else since), ca. 2003, shoes: unknown origin, probably Barbie. On Rapunzel: My Scene boxed Fashion Scene outfit, ca. 2003. On Merida: Barbie carded gray/blue leopard dress, 2017, with ankle boots from Barbie Style doll in khakis, 2013. On Elsa: dress: LITD Raquelle 2nd outfit, 2013, shoes: Barbie Fashionistas Pizza Pizzazz doll, 2016. On Anna: jacket: Barbie outfit pack of unknown origin, dress: Barbie Fashionistas Sassy carded dress, ca. 2010, purse: My Scene Club Birthday Barbie, 2004, boots: Cut ‘n Style Teresa, approx. 2003. On Elena: dress: Polly (an extremely cheap dollar store Barbie clone) carded fashion, original bracelet and belt, ankle boots: Lovely Patsy

My birthday came in the first part of November, and with it some new additions to my haul.

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2 Ever After High dolls (Duchess Swan and Legacy Day Cerise Hood), 3 Barbie outfits from the 90s and 2000s, and 2 Disney Princess animal sidekicks-Tiana’s trumpeting gator pal Louis and Merida’s horse Angus-plus a new tape measure and a purple wooden rose

The outfits:

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Barbie City Lights 362, approx. 1992-93-I think it’s perfect for Ella
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Fashion Avenue Trend City 20645, approx. 1999-I think Poca would look great in it
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Fashion Avenue Trend City Urban Orbit, 2001-I’m thinking Mulan here

The animals:

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Since this photo was taken, they’ve buddied up to the point where Angus is now leaning against Louis.

Here’s Cerise…

and Duchess.

I can’t look at Duchess without seeing Mila Kunis in her face. To me, the resemblance seems strongest in the forehead, eyebrows, lips, and chin.

And my Ever After gang.

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In the middle of the month, I bought one of the rebooted Monster High dolls-Party Hair Draculaura.

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The MH reboot has caught a lot of flak for softening the ghouls up too much, but this Lala was too pretty to resist.

Lala was incredibly happy to be reunited with Ghoulia, and Saturday night the two were busy discussing the pros and cons of Svengoolie’s Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein show.

Do you have any new haul stories to share? Since Thanksgiving was yesterday here in the US, what were you thankful for this year?

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Update

In the months since National Princess Week ended, I got a new job in my local library system, which I’m enjoying immensely. It’s also been a very good few months for my collection. Since I haven’t posted in a while, I’m going to try to make one big extravaganza post of what I’ve acquired over the past few months.

In May I added two more princesses to my Disney Store Classic collection: a 2016 Pocahontas and the last 2015 Aurora my DS home base had. Of the ladies, this makes two left for me to get-Snow White and Cinderella. I won’t be buying them directly from DS, though; mostly because I want specific versions of them (2012 Snow and 2015 live-action Ella), which have long since been discontinued, and partly because in the newest round of reissues DS has taken a major step back (IMO) in leg articulation, going from the classic click-knee legs to flat-footed click-knees. Judging from everything I’ve seen, the men remain unchanged from last year.

The wire in Poca’s left leg has torn a small hole in her vinyl skin. This impairs her movement a bit, as I’m afraid that her leg will completely tear if I bend it too far. It’s not a huge deal, and it won’t significantly impair her movement or her photo potential-I just have to make sure that she doesn’t kneel too far and that in any walking/running poses, her bad leg is the forward leg and/or supported well enough (as here-the rock she’s climbing is actually a decorative stone bordering the walkway to my front porch!) that it can be the back leg without bending all the way.

Here’s Aurora (sorry for the glare on her right-the photo’s left-eye!) next to a DS Aurora bank (with the addition of a butterly sticker on the bank’s skirt-kid me thought she could use a little more color) that I’ve had since childhood (since I was 4, maybe?). As I remember it, I really wanted a Belle (my favorite Disney Princess) bank, but she was sold out and the only princess banks left for sale were Cinderella and Aurora. I chose Aurora basically for aesthetic purposes-her eyes are my favorite color (purple) and her dress is often (and in most merch, including doll and bank) shown in my second favorite color (pink).

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The bank’s more movie-accurate (again, other than the butterfly sticker) but I think the doll’s prettier. What do you think?

In my basement, I found Meeko and Percy toys in 1/6 scale, to go along with the Flit that DS included with Poca. Here are the ladies, in more modern interpretations of the outfits they came in, and the pets.

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On Aurora: My Scene Fab Faces Kennedy dress, original jewelry, Barbie Fashionistas sandals of unknown origin. On Poca (whose face and torso look darker than they are due to flash): My Design Scene dress and boots.

In June I started adding men to my DS Classic collection, in the form of the noble Captain Li Shang.

What I never expected was that Shang was by far the hardest debox job of any DS Classic doll I’ve bought so far. It was so bad I sliced my finger while extricating him-I’m not gonna show you the actual cut, but I will show you (a blurry pic of) the Barbie Band-Aid I put on it.

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One thing I did appreciate about deboxing Shang was that his molded hair was held in place by this neat little plastic piece. I understand that the piece for rooted hair, and especially long rooted hair, won’t be this streamlined, but it’d still be a better way to secure the ladies’ hair than those awful T-shaped SwifTachers through the head.

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When he was finally deboxed,

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I gave Mulan a chance to greet him. It started out with the traditional Chinese bow…

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…and then, fittingly enough for soldiers, morphed into the half-handshake/half-hug.

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I caught an interesting conversation between them.

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Mulan: So, are you ready to meet the rest of the gang? Shang: Why not? They can’t be any scarier than your grandma. Blogger’s note: Grandmother Fa is not in my collection-DS may have once made a bean bag of her, but I never saw it if they did.

Last month my local Kroger had quite a bit of their Barbie items discounted. I was able to snag the 2016 Barbie 2-outfit pack with the silver/black minidress and the gold glitter cutout top/black leather-look (actually satiny) skirt at the lower price. Here are my favorite LITD cast member (Raquelle, who added sexy high-heeled gladiator sandals of unknown origin) and one of my favorite Disney Princesses (Mulan) modeling the pack.

Walgreens had a huge sale around Labor Day, during which Ever After High’s beautiful Enchanted Picnic Raven Queen had her price dropped from roughly $17 to just $5.99. How could I resist? She can look a bit pouty, but her expression can easily change with the right lighting and the right angles of her head and the camera.

Her two-toned hair is gorgeous, shiny, and silky…

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… and her hands are so graceful!

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One day at work I was looking for debris in books and found that someone had used a James Patterson doorstop as a leaf press last fall, so I brought the leaves home to use in a photo with Raven. It was raining off and on that day, and she decided that the perfect light for the leaves photo fell during a sunshower-rain and sun at the same time. Since I don’t yet have any clothes to fit an EAH doll, I improvised a protective measure for her dress by putting down a piece of Saran wrap on the grass and the leaves on the Saran wrap before she laid down on the leaves.

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That night I let her poke around in my iTunes. She seems to like bands with prominent frontwomen-Garbage, Halestorm, etc.-and she even agreed to do a bit of a Lzzy (pronounced “Lizzy,” for anyone who’s never heard of Halestorm) Hale impression for you.

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(yells slightly to be heard over Raven’s full-throated rendition of “I Miss the Misery”) She’s copying a pose that Lzzy Hale actually did in a photo shoot!

 

National Princess Week-Conclusion

Unforeseen circumstances made yesterday incredibly busy, so I’ve had to postpone this conclusion post until today. Here’s a group shot of my DS princesses.

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With 9 ladies in the shot, I don’t have room for the fashion credits in this caption-I’m putting them below the picture. All the dresses are from Barbie Basics Collection 001 dolls.

On Elsa: Dress: 011. Shoes: Barbie Basics Look 001, Collection 001 accessory pack.

On Rapunzel: Dress: 002. Boots: Barbie Basics Look 001, Collection 001 accessory pack.

On Jasmine: Dress: 010. Sandals: unknown Barbie.

On Belle: Dress: 012. Sandals: unknown Barbie.

On Tiana: Dress: 009. Purse: Kenya Fashion Madness. Shoes: unknown Barbie.

On Mulan: Dress: 008. Studded double-strap Mary Janes: Barbie Basics Look 001, Collection 002 accessory pack.

On Merida: Dress: 001. Boots: Funville Sparkle Girlz.

On Anna: Dress: 006. Sandals: Galoob Spice Girls On Tour Victoria/Posh.

On Ariel: Dress: 005. Sandals: Kenya Fashion Madness Shimmer Fun Denise.

With the fashion credits done, now we move on to the credits for the artwork I’ve used throughout this post series. All artwork and movie stills were found on Google Images, and I’ve taken care to provide links to their specific sites whenever possible.

Belle artwork: Disney, found on a box of Disney Princess Band-Aids, photo of box taken by me.

Ariel artwork: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Arielhttp://pcwallart.com/disney-princess-ariel-and-eric-wallpaper-4.html,

Mulan movie still: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Fa_Mulan

Mulan/Mushu/Cri-Kee artwork: http://characters.wikia.com/wiki/Fa_Mulan_(Disney)

Merida artwork source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/272538214926881271/, originally from http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/brave/images/37177032/title/merida-wallpaper-photo

Elsa and Anna artwork: Disney, found on https://twitter.com/frozenfans

Rapunzel artwork: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/princess-rapunzel-from-tangled/images/33874449/title/tangled-photo

Anna/Rapunzel comparison: https://www.google.com/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1366&bih=662&q=frozen&oq=fr&gs_l=img.1.5.0l10.5402.5754.0.8605.2.2.0.0.0.0.93.161.2.2.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..0.2.160.Nn4lAIDTxjE#tbm=isch&q=rapunzel+and+anna&imgrc=_, 2nd row of results

Tiana artwork: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Tianahttp://princess.disney.com/tianas-story

Jasmine artwork: http://www.rotoscopers.com/2013/10/30/princess-profiles-jasmine/

National Princess Week-Jasmine

Today’s post focuses on Jasmine from 1992’s Aladdin. While she plays a secondary role in the movie’s action, Jasmine commands attention because of her sassy, principled nature.

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I love how this piece of artwork shows her with one loose strand of hair-on a small scale, it illustrates her refusal to conform to the standards forced on her.

Wiki opening paragraphs for Jasmine: “Princess Jasmine (الأميرة ياسمين) is the deuteragonist of Disney‘s 1992 animated feature Aladdin, its two sequels and animated TV series.

She is from the Middle Eastern kingdom of Agrabah where her father, the Sultan, rules. Jasmine was born into a role and society that treats her as an object and a tool, rather than a person. As such, she lived much of her young life with the desire to breakaway from such confines and live a life where she is respected as an individual and free to make her own choices.

Jasmine is loosely based on the character of Princess Badroulbadour from the Aladdin tale featured in the One Thousand and One Nights collection of stories in which the film is based. She is also the sixth official member of the Disney Princess line-up.”,

Princess Jasmine[1][2] is a fictional character who appears in Walt Disney Animation Studios‘ 31st animated feature film Aladdin (1992). Voiced by American actress Linda Larkin – with a singing voice provided by Filipina singer Lea Salonga – Jasmine is the spirited Princess of Agrabah, who has grown weary of her life of palace confinement. Despite an age-old law stipulating that the princess must marry a prince in time for her upcoming birthday, Jasmine is instead determined to marry someone she loves for who he is as opposed to what he owns. Created by directors Ron Clements and John Musker with screenwriters Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, Jasmine is based on Badroulbadour, a princess who appears in the One Thousand and One Nights folktale “Aladdin and the Magical Lamp“.

Originally conceived as a spoiled, materialistic princess, the writers eventually re-wrote Jasmine into a stronger and more prominent heroine following the elimination of Aladdin’s mother from the script, while borrowing story elements from the romantic comedy Roman Holiday (1953). Several months after securing the role, Larkin was nearly fired from the project because Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg felt that her voice was not suitable for a princess, but Clements and Musker managed to convince him otherwise. Discovered by casting director Albert Tavares, Salonga was cast as Jasmine’s singing voice based on her performance in the musical Miss Saigon; this unprecedented casting decision made Jasmine the first Disney character to have her speaking and singing voices provided by two different actors. Animated by Mark Henn, Jasmine’s design is an eclectic combination of unique sources, including an anonymous theme park guest, Henn’s own sister, and actress Jennifer Connelly, while elements of the Taj Mahal were incorporated into the character’s hair, clothing and physique.

Unlike most of Disney’s princesses, Jasmine holds the distinction of being a supporting character in her own film, having been relegated to the secondary role of love interest. The character has garnered mixed reviews, with much denunciation directed towards her storyline and personality, both of which critics have dismissed as uninteresting and unoriginal; they have also accused Jasmine of lacking the depth of her predecessors Ariel and Belle from The Little Mermaid (1989) and Beauty and the Beast (1991), respectively, to whom she continues to be heavily compared. However, as the sixth Disney Princess and the franchise’s first non-white member, the character is credited with introducing racial diversity to Disney’s princess genre, although she has at the same time been criticized for being Westernized and Anglicized in both appearance and demeanor. Jasmine has made subsequent appearances in Aladdin‘s sequels The Return of Jafar (1994) and Aladdin and the King of Thieves (1996), as well as its television series and a Broadway musical adaption of the film. Both Larkin and Salonga have been awarded Disney Legends for their contributions to the role.”

Here are a few pictures of my 2015 DS Jasmine.

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This dress and its accessories are a Barbie outfit sold in a clear hanging pouch. It was released last year and has just been rereleased in mint green with a pink mesh neckline.
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Halter top and shrug: Secret Spells Kayla, 2003. Purse: My Scene, I believe from a boutique dressing room set. Cargo pants: My Scene My Room Getting Ready Nolee. Shoes: Barbie, flea market find, originally from a 10-pack of outfits, 2002.
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Top, skirt, sandals: Barbie Pink Passport 10-outfit pack.

I recently acquired a DS plush Rajah from eBay. Here he is with his mistress.

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You can’t see it around his big blocky head and fuzzy mane, but her arm’s draped over his back.

I’ll conclude this series tomorrow with some special photos and full source credits for the artwork I’ve used throughout.

National Princess Week-Tiana

Today’s post focuses on Tiana from 2009’s The Princess and the Frog. Tiana holds the distinction of being the first African American Disney Princess.

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Wiki opening paragraphs: “Tiana is the protagonist of Disney‘s 2009 animated feature film, The Princess and the Frog. She is a gifted cook living in New Orleans during the Jazz Age, with the dream of opening and owning a restaurant of her own.

Tiana is the ninth official Disney Princess.”, “Tiana is a fictional main character who appears in Walt Disney Pictures‘ 49th animated feature film The Princess and the Frog (2009). Created by directors Ron Clements and John Musker and animated by Mark Henn, Tiana is voiced by Anika Noni Rose as an adult, while Elizabeth M. Dampier voices the character as a child.

Tiana is loosely based on two princesses. Firstly, Princess Emma, the heroine of E. D. Baker‘s novel The Frog Princess. Secondly, the princess that appears in the Brothers Grimm fairy tale titled The Frog Prince (published in 1812) by which E.D. Baker’s novel was originally inspired.

A hardworking waitress who dreams of opening her own restaurant, Tiana’s progress is stalled when she transforms into a frog after desperately kissing a prince who has been turned into one by an evil witch doctor. The ninth Disney Princess, Tiana is the first to be of African-American heritage.

Tiana has been mostly positively received, with critics praising her personality and values. However, the depiction of Tiana and her community has been criticized for lacking “emphasis on racial issues”.[1] The decision to depict the two main characters, Tiana and Naveen, as frogs for the majority of the movie has also caused controversy, with some saying that it is equating people of color to animals.[2]

Tiana with Naveen in his frog form:

Tiana and Froggy Naveen

When I picked up my 2016 DS Tiana, I did a review of her. You can read it here.

And here’s a couple new pics of her.

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Dress: Barbie Fashion Fever, ca. 2005. Shoes: Barbie Fashionistas coffee shop outfit 3-pack, ca. 2013.
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Dress: Party Lace Barbie, Hills exclusive, 1989. Shoes: unknown Barbie outfit.

Get your carpets ready for tomorrow!

National Princess Week-Elsa, Anna, and Rapunzel

Today’s post covers the Arendellian sisters, Elsa and Anna, and Rapunzel.

Over the past few years, Disney fans have put together a fan theory about the Frozen universe. In order to stay on focus, I won’t explain the whole thing here-you can read it all at http://screenrant.com/disney-theory-frozen-tarzan-tangled-related/ if you want to-but the first leg of the theory posits Rapunzel as a cousin to Elsa and Anna. I believe it, or at least the first leg of it, since there’s a resemblance between Anna and Rapunzel.

Comparison

The resemblance is more pronounced in doll form.

Wiki opening paragraphs for Elsa: “Queen Elsa of Arendelle (also known as the Snow Queen) is the deuteragonist of Disney‘s 2013 animated feature film Frozen. She is the firstborn daughter of former monarchs King Agnarr and Queen Iduna, older sister of Princess Anna, and the contemporary ruler of Arendelle. Her powers over ice and snow ultimately led her to become the Snow Queen at adulthood.

Elsa is loosely based on the titular character of “The Snow Queen“, a fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, and to a much lesser extent, Kai from the same story. While the character from the original fairy tale was neutral and, to some degree, villainous, Elsa was rewritten as a tragic heroine.”

Queen Elsa of Arendelle is a fictional character who appears in Walt Disney Animation Studios‘ 53rd animated film Frozen. She is voiced primarily by Broadway actress and singer Idina Menzel. At the beginning of the film, she is voiced by Eva Bella as a young child and by Spencer Lacey Ganus as a teenager.

Created by directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, Elsa is loosely based on the title character of “The Snow Queen“, a Danish fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen. In the Disney film adaptation, she is introduced as the princess of the fictional Scandinavian kingdom of Arendelle, heiress to the throne and the elder sister of Princess Anna (Kristen Bell). Elsa has the magical ability to create and manipulate ice and snow. She inadvertently sends Arendelle into an eternal winter on the evening of her coronation. Throughout the film, she struggles first with controlling and concealing her abilities and then with liberating herself from her fears of unintentionally harming others, especially her younger sister.

The Snow Queen character, neutral but cold-hearted in the original fairytale and villain in numerous adaptations of the character, proved difficult to adapt to film due to her transparent depiction. Several film executives, including Walt Disney, attempted to build on the character, and a number of scheduled film adaptions were shelved when they could not work out the character. Buck and his co-director, Jennifer Lee, were ultimately able to solve the dilemma by depicting Elsa and Anna as sisters. As much as Anna’s struggle is external, Elsa’s is internal. This led to Elsa being gradually rewritten as a sympathetic, misunderstood character.

Elsa has enjoyed a largely positive reception from reviewers, who praised her complex characterization and vulnerability. Menzel was also widely praised for her vocal performance of Elsa, especially that of her performance of the song “Let It Go“, with critics frequently calling her a “powerhouse”.[1]

Anna: “Princess Anna of Arendelle (pronounced Ah-na) is the protagonist of Disney‘s 2013 animated feature film Frozen. She is the youngest daughter of Arendelle‘s previous monarchs, King Agnarr and Queen Iduna, and the younger sister of Elsa the Snow Queen. Fearless and devoted, Anna embarks on a perilous journey to save her kingdom from an eternal winter, and mend the broken bond between herself and her sister.

Anna is loosely based on Gerda, the protagonist of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen“.”

Princess Anna of Arendelle is a fictional character who appears in Walt Disney Animation Studios‘ 53rd animated film Frozen. She is voiced by Kristen Bell as an adult. At the beginning of the film, Livvy Stubenrauch and Katie Lopez provided her speaking and singing voice as a young child, respectively. Agatha Lee Monn portrayed her as a nine-year-old (singing).

Created by co-directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, Anna is loosely based on Gerda, a character of the Danish fairytale “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen. In the Disney film adaptation, Anna is depicted as the princess of Arendelle, a fictional Scandinavian kingdom and the younger sister of Princess Elsa (Idina Menzel), who is the heiress to the throne and possesses the elemental ability to create and control ice and snow. When Elsa exiles herself from the kingdom after inadvertently sending Arendelle into an eternal winter on the evening of her coronation, fearless and faithful Anna is determined to set out on a dangerous adventure to bring her sister back and save both her kingdom and her family.

The original fairytale in general and the character of the Snow Queen in particular posed long-term problems to adapt into a feature-length production. Several film executives, including Walt Disney, made their attempts towards the story and numerous adaptations were shelved as the filmmakers could not work out the characters. Finally, directors Buck and Lee solved the issue by portraying Anna and Elsa as sisters, establishing a dynamic relationship between the characters.

Anna has received widespread acclaim from film critics, who praised the determination and enthusiasm in her personality. Bell was also extolled by various reviewers for her performance in the film.”

and Rapunzel: “Princess Rapunzel is the protagonist of Disney‘s 2010 animated feature film Tangled. She is a beautiful princess with long, magical, golden hair who, with the aid of the handsome thief, Flynn Rider, leaves her isolated tower to explore the outside world.

Rapunzel is loosely based on the protagonist of the classic German fairy tale Rapunzel by the Brothers Grimm. She is the tenth official Disney Princess and the first CGI-animated princess.”

Rapunzel is a fictional character who appears in Walt Disney Animation Studios‘ 50th animated feature film Tangled and Tangled Ever After. Voiced by American actress and singer Mandy Moore, Rapunzel is a young princess kept unaware of her royal heritage by a vain old woman named Mother Gothel, who raises her in a secluded tower in order to exploit her hair’s healing abilities to remain young and beautiful forever.

Created and animated by supervising animator Glen Keane, Rapunzel is loosely based on the title character who appears in the fairy tale of the same name published by The Brothers Grimm. The character was adapted into a less passive heroine for the film. The writers incorporated the quirky personalities of actresses Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman and Amy Poehler into the character.

Critical reception of Rapunzel has been generally positive, with critics complimenting her spirited, lively personality and independence. Chronologically the tenth Disney Princess, Rapunzel was officially inducted into the line-up on October 2, 2011, becoming the franchise’s first computer-animated member. Her physical appearance and personality have drawn much comparison between her and preceding Disney Princess Ariel from The Little Mermaid (1989), by whom she was inspired.”

Wiki links for Elsa: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Elsa_the_Snow_Queenhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elsa_(Disney)

Anna: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Annahttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anna_(Disney)

and Rapunzel: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Rapunzelhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rapunzel_(Disney)

Here are Elsa and Anna (both the DS original edition from 2013) in my version of an official royal portrait. Anna’s on the left because, as the successor to the throne, she should stand at her sister’s right hand.

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On Anna: Tiara: unknown origin, probably Barbie. Dress: Evening Flame Barbie, Sears exclusive, 1996. On Elsa: Tiara: Millennium Princess Barbie, 1999. Dress: Night Dazzle Barbie, JCPenney exclusive, ca. 1994. The shoes are unseen-I don’t exactly remember what they were, as this photo was taken a while ago, but I believe Anna’s were from Galoob’s Spice Girls On Tour Geri and Elsa’s were Barbie shoes.

And a couple of shots of the sisters off-duty.

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On Anna: Coat: My Scene Goes Hollywood Chelsea, 2005. Cami: My Design Scene Chelsea, 2004. Pants: My Scene Barbie, 1st edition, 2002. Boots: Lovely Patsy (a Barbie clone sold at Family Dollar), ca. 2015. On Elsa: Coat and top: Lovely Patsy, ca. 2015. Jeans: Barbie Collector The Twilight Saga Bella, ca. 2009. Boots: unknown origin, probably Barbie.
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On Elsa: Dress: unknown origin, probably Barbie. Sandals: Barbie Fashionistas 6-outfit pack, ca. 2012. On Anna: Barbie Pak “Belle Dress”, 1962. Sandals: shoe pack of unknown origin, found on Amazon.

And their probable cousin Rapunzel (DS 2012):

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Jacket: Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse Raquelle, 2013. Dress: unknown origin, probably Barbie. Boots: unknown origin, probably Lovely Patsy.

With Maximus and Pascal:

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Maximus and Pascal are Hasbro-made.
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Top and skirt: Barbie Fashionistas Boho Fringe, 2016. Bag: My Scene Barbie 1st edition. Boots: Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse 6-outfit pack, 2013.

Rapunzel wanted me to take a shot of her with Flynn, but he was reluctant to do it, saying he didn’t want to unduly detract attention from her or the other girls. She wasn’t taking no for an answer!

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Here’s the windup…

and she lassoed him in with one of her pigtails!

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Flynn didn’t seem to mind too much, though.

Here’s a slightly less aggressive shot of them together.

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Flynn is the Mattel edition from 2010. His clothes are from one of the My Scene boys, River, in his Hanging Out edition ca. 2003.

And we end with a group shot of the sisters and cousin.

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On Elsa: Dress: Barbie Fashionistas Nikki, Glitter Wave 2, ca. 2013. On Anna: Dress: Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse 6-outfit pack. Boots: Batgirl Barbie, ca. 2003.

Tomorrow we hit the bayou.

National Princess Week-Mulan and Merida

CREDIT NOTE: Excepting my original photos, all artwork in this post series was found on Google Images. I intend to provide full image credits for them in my last post of the week.

Mulan and Merida, the subjects of today’s post, are the warrior princesses of the Disney Princess franchise.

I’m featuring our Chinese warrior, Mulan, first because her movie came out earlier (1998 vs. 2012).

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Mushu and Cri-Kee had to pop in, of course!

Her opening paragraphs from the semi-official Disney Wiki: “Fa Mulan (花木蘭) is the protagonist of Disney‘s 1998 animated feature film of the same name and its 2004 direct-to-video sequel. She is inspired by the legendary Hua Mulan from the Chinese poem The Ballad of Hua Mulan.

Mulan is the eighth official Disney Princess and the one of few in the line-up who is not actually royalty through either birth or marriage.”

and from Wikipedia: “Fa Mulan is a character, inspired by an actual historic figure, who appears in Walt Disney Pictures‘ 36th animated feature film Mulan (1998), as well as its sequel Mulan II (2004). Her speaking voice is provided by Chinese-American actress Ming-Na Wen, while Filipina singer Lea Salonga provides the character’s singing voice. Created by author Robert D. San Souci, Mulan is based on the legendary Chinese warrior Hua Mulan from the poem the Ballad of Mulan. The only child of an aging war veteran, Mulan disregards both tradition and the law by disguising herself as a man in order to enlist herself in the army in lieu of her feeble father.

Disney had originally conceived Mulan as an oppressed young Indian woman who ultimately elopes to Europe to be with a British prince. However, director Tony Bancroft, who was inspired by the well-being of his own daughters, wanted Mulan to be a different, unique kind of Disney heroine – one who is strong and independent, whose fate does not depend upon a male character. Thus, the relationship between Mulan and Captain Li Shang was relegated to that of a minor subplot, while Mulan’s bravery and strength were emphasized in order to ensure that she remained the hero of her own story. Mulan’s supervising animator was Mark Henn, who deliberately designed the character so that she would appear less feminine than her predecessors.

Reception towards Mulan’s personality has been generally positive, with critics praising her bravery and heroism. However, some commentators have accused Disney of Westernizing the character, while her romantic relationship with Shang has been widely accused of compromising Mulan’s heroism.”

and her Wiki links: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Fa_Mulan, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulan_(Disney_character).

Now for Scottish spitfire Merida.

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Her Disney Wiki opener: “Princess Merida is the protagonist of Disney/Pixar‘s 2012 animated feature film, Brave.

She is the first Scottish princess in the Disney Princess franchise, the eleventh official Disney Princess and Pixar’s first entry into the Disney Princess franchise.”

and her Wikipedia opener: “Princess Merida of DunBroch (Scottish Gaelic: Mèrida) is the main character from the 2012 Disney Pixar film Brave. Merida was added to the Disney Princess line-up as the 11th Princess and the first Pixar character to receive the honor on May 11, 2013.[1]Merida is also the main character of the games Brave and Temple Run: Brave.”

and her Wiki links: http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Merida, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merida_(Disney).

I took some pictures of Mulan (DS 2015) at a Chinese restaurant in my area. She chose a dress and shoes from the Barbie Pink Passport 10-outfit pack for the occasion.

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Glass semicircles with this type of artwork on them are placed along some of the tables.
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This statue is outside the restaurant. I thought Mulan posing on it would be very America’s Next Top Model-or “China’s Next Top Warrior Princess”!

Here she is in her more modern togs.

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Dress and purse: Barbie 2-outfit pack, ca. 2015. Boots: Very Velvet Kira, 1998.

Merida (DS 2012) wanted to show off her archery skills.

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This was the best photo I could get without losing the arrow-she actually shoots it! Well, as much as a doll can, anyway.

With the archery gear packed up:

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Archery gear: original to doll (leather archer’s glove/sleeve shown in previous photo). Dress and necklace: unknown Barbie pieces, probably mid-2000s to 2010. Ankle boots: Barbie Basics Look 001-Collection 002 accessory pack, 2011.

Both of these athletic princesses enjoy a bit of modern fashion, as long as it’s not overly girly. Merida in particular favors edgy pieces like this black leather and pink shimmer dress and the asymmetrical dress in the previous 2 photos.

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Dress: Funville Sparkle Girlz (sold at Walmart), bought ca. 2016-2017. Boots: Kenya Fashion Madness Super Cool Denise, 2015.

I think the Disney Princess franchise is pretty safe with these ladies as members.

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Mulan: Go ahead, try to hurt one of us Princesses. Merida: We dare ya!

Tomorrow’s post is going to be a family affair.

National Princess Week-Ariel

NOTE: The date on this post says that it was written on April 25, but I think that’s the time zone WordPress uses on their clock. My laptop’s clock says I posted it today, on the 24th.

Today we’re jumping back in the Disney Princess rankings/timeline a bit, from 1991 to 1989, and featuring Ariel, the spunky heroine of The Little Mermaid.

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Ariel’s current official (I believe) artwork

Ariel in mermaid form,

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I love the glitter on her tail in this artwork!

and in a look that’s a bit more similar to the movie.

Ariel in Pink Dress

Introductory paragraphs from the semi-official Disney Wiki:

Princess Ariel is the protagonist of Disney‘s classic 1989 animated feature film, The Little Mermaid. She is the seventh and youngest daughter of King Triton, ruler of the undersea kingdom of Atlantica. She lived through much of her young life with a longstanding, yet forbidden, admiration of the human world, and longed to someday experience life upon the surface.

Ariel is based on the nameless protagonist of Hans Christian Andersen‘s Danish fairy tale “The Little Mermaid” yet she does not have a melancholy ending as in Andersen’s tale.

Ariel is the fourth official member of the Disney Princess line-up.”

and from Wikipedia:

Ariel is a fictional character and the title character of Walt Disney Pictures‘ 28th animated film The Little Mermaid (1989). She subsequently appears in the film’s prequel television series (1992—1994), direct-to-video sequel The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (2000) (where her daughter, Melody, takes over as the lead character, while Ariel is a secondary character instead) and direct-to-video prequel The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning (2008). Ariel is voiced by Jodi Benson in all official animated appearances and merchandise. She is fourth in the Disney Princess lineup, the first nonhuman princess, and the only princess to become a mother to her own child.

Ariel has a distinctive appearance, with her long, flowing, bright red hair, blue eyes, green mermaid tail and purple seashell bikini top. In the films and television series, she is the seventh-born daughter of King Triton and Queen Athena of an underwater kingdom of Merfolk.[3][4] She is often rebellious, and in the first film, she longs to be a part of the human world. She marries Prince Eric, whom she rescued from a shipwreck, and together they have a daughter, Melody.[5]

The character is based on the title character of Hans Christian Andersen‘s “The Little Mermaid” story but was developed into a different personality for the 1989 animated film adaptation. Ariel has received a mixed reception from critics; some publications such as Time criticize her for being too devoted to her man whereas others, such as Empire, praise the character for her rebellious personality, a departure from previous Disney Princesses.”

Wiki links: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ariel_(Disney), http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Ariel

The Ariel in my DS Princess collection is the 2015 edition. I would’ve taken photos of her in her tail and in some other outfits that approximate all her movie looks, but I can’t find the bag I put them in. At least this dress was made for her!

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Dress: Mattel Little Mermaid, circa 1997. Shoes (under skirt-they’re lavender ankle-strap sandals): Barbie, unknown origin.

She’s upgraded her style since leaving the water.

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Dress, purse, boots: Barbie Pink Passport outfit 10-pack, 2016.

Ariel always did like sitting on rocks…

and apparently that tendency continues on land!

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At one point last year, my mom checked out Liane Moriarty’s Truly, Madly, Guilty from the library. It has an image of water on the front cover, which I thought would be a perfect backdrop for Ariel, despite the twisty mystery-novel title!

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Romper: Barbie Fashionistas nautical 3-outfit pack, ca. 2013. Shoes: Barbie 2-outfit pack, ca. 2015.

The warriors come out tomorrow!

 

National Princess Week: Belle

NOTE: Due to some unforeseen issues, I was forced to publish this post after midnight, but it is still to be counted as the entry of the day for April 23. I should be able to return to my schedule from now until the end of the week.

 

The last full week of April is National Princess Week, at least here in the US. I’ve decided to honor the occasion this year by posting photos of the Disney Store-issue princess dolls I’ve added to my doll collection so far, featuring 1-3 princesses each day and culminating in a group photo on Saturday. Today I’m going to start with the Disney Princess I grew up with and who has consistently been my favorite: Belle.

Belle with Book
I love this artwork of Belle! Unfortunately Google wasn’t turning it up for me, so I ended up cropping it from a photo of a box of Disney Princess Band-Aids out of my bathroom linen closet.

The opening paragraph of Belle’s entry on the semi-official (dedicated entirely to Disney properties but not affiliated with Disney or any of its sister companies) Disney Wiki:

“Belle is the female protagonist of Disney‘s 1991 film Beauty and the Beast. She is an intelligent and undeniably beautiful young woman whose traits are looked down upon in her small French village. As a result of her status as an outcast, Belle yearns to ultimately break out of the small-minded community to find and experience a life of adventure.

Belle is also the fifth official member of the Disney Princess line-up.”

and the opening paragraph of her official Wikipedia page: “Belle is a fictional character who appears in Walt Disney Pictures‘ 30th animated feature film Beauty and the Beast (1991). Originally voiced by American actress and singer Paige O’Hara, Belle is the non-conforming daughter of an eccentric inventor. Belle yearns to abandon her predictable village life in return for adventure. When her father Maurice is imprisoned by a cold-hearted beast, Belle offers him her own freedom in exchange for her father’s, and eventually learns to love the Beast despite his unsightly outward appearance.”

Links to the Wikis: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belle_(Disney)http://disney.wikia.com/wiki/Belle

I’ve already covered my 2015 DS Belle in my last post. Here are some more pictures of her, in an outfit I pieced together as an update of her classic gold dress.

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Wrap: Glamorous Gala Barbie, Avon exclusive, 2004. Dress: handmade vintage, 1960s. Bracelet: Barbie Fashionistas Boho Fringe, 2016. Shoes: Barbie Basics Look 002-Collection 002 accessory pack, 2011.

Beast decided to join her for this post as well as the last post. He couldn’t find his formal jacket, so we had him wear his cape instead.

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This pose just screams “prom photo”.

And here’s a more modern look for her!

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Dress: Barbie Fashionistas Chic With a Wink, 2016. Platform sandals: Beyond Pink Barbie, 1998.

Next up: Ariel!

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Tale as Old as Time

The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson as Belle opened Friday, took an estimated $170 million at the US box office for the weekend, and is expected to break the all-time opening weekend for a PG-rated movie (full story here: http://www.msn.com/en-us/movies/news/%e2%80%98beauty-and-the-beast%e2%80%99-bows-with-record-breaking-dollar170-million-opening/ar-BByo4Ww?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=iehp). I’m interested in seeing it, but I’m not too impressed by the tie-in merchandise offered-especially Disney Store’s Emma Watson doll, which looks surprisingly masculine. Hasbro’s version looks more feminine and a bit more like her, but still doesn’t quite capture her beauty; and Disney Store’s other merch just isn’t really speaking to me. However, last year for my birthday I got the deluxe doll gift set that DS came out with for the original’s 25th anniversary. So, in honor of the live-action release, here are some pictures of my set!

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The Belle doll that came with the set-she arrived in her winter outfit as shown.

 

She’s very pretty and very movie-accurate (not that this blurry picture makes it easy to see that), but so far my 2015 DS Belle seems to be a bit more versatile and expressive in photos (she’s my primary Belle, at least for now). Once the weather here gets more consistent, I plan to do some experiments with settings, angles, and outfits to bring out the best in Gift Set Belle, and then hopefully she can be featured more.

Here’s a picture of the 2 Belles side-by-side.

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2015 Belle is wearing a My Scene dress, faux-fur boa, and boots. As Bratz competitors, the My Scene dolls had shoes designed to look like oversized feet which slid over their regular Barbie feet, so the size of the boots allows the wearer (like 2015 Belle here) to stand up on her own. Gift Set Belle was forced to sit down because I couldn’t find a second pair of My Scene shoes or boots that wouldn’t clash with her dress.

 

The Beast.

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His expression perfectly captures Beast’s awkwardness and hidden (at first) kindness.

 

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He can stand on his own! You need to hunch him over a bit oddly to do it, but it works.

 

Last year, during JoJo’s season of The Bachelorette and the following summer’s season of Bachelor in Paradise, the standout character was Daniel, a Vancouver-born personal trainer who projected a comically self-absorbed persona and listed his occupation as “Canadian” in his contestant bio. I felt the perfect job for Daniel would be to play Gaston at Disneyland, where he could really ham it up (although he’d have to bulk up a bit to get a better resemblance). I also see something of Daniel in this Gaston doll, so outside of any BATB-themed photo shoots I may do in the future, he’ll serve as a miniature version of Daniel within my doll world.

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Here’s a group shot of Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and Chip.

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I used my entertainment center as the backdrop for the enchanted objects group shot in hopes that all the black would make the small objects stand out better. I think it worked!

 

Philippe! He’s a bit small, but who cares when he’s this cute?

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Philippe: Neigh, soft snort. Translation: Yes, I really am this cuddly in person.

 

In addition to all the major characters, the “deluxe” means extra outfits and accessories. Here are the outfits: Belle’s village dress and ballroom clothes for her and Beast.

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One of the birds from “Something There” (I stuck it between the outfits and the accessories  because it’s neither an accessory nor a major character):

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The magic mirror and (very glittery) enchanted rose.

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Belle’s book and basket.

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I did an enhancement job on the mirror and the book’s spine to make them look a bit more accurate.

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I filled in the rose with a neon pink Sharpie, the leaves with a neon green Sharpie…

 

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…and the spine accents with a gold Sharpie.

 

A group shot of the major characters (minus Gaston/Daniel, who was cluelessly hitting on one of my other dolls).

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Due to his small size, Chip’s balanced on top of Philippe’s head.

 

I even managed to make Belle ride Philippe (sidesaddle, because of her short skirt).

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