After 42 died, 21 spent two days off by himself, howling. Seasoned observers reported it was more howling than they had ever heard the wolf do in his entire life. "Do wolves mourn?" I asked Smith. "I’ll leave that up to you," he replied.
A Girl, A Shoe, A Prince: The Endlessly Evolving Cinderella - Linda Holmes, NPR's Monkey See:
"The idea that animates the classic Cinderella is that the prince would not be free to consider Cinderella a desirable mate if he first saw her as she is, but he can meet her under false pretenses and fall in love with her. And, most importantly, once achieved, that love will be durable enough to survive her reversion to her real identity. Getting him to literally recognize her — getting him to look at a woman in rags and realize she's the woman he wants to marry — seems to function as sort of a stand-in for him proving that he can overlook her low status and choose her as a partner. Whether that's more a fantasy of romantic love or a fantasy of economic security, power and rescue from a lifetime of washing floors may depend on who's telling it and who's hearing it and when."[more inside]
Perhaps no other classical composer was as obsessed with good food and wine as Gioachino Rossini, who claimed he would only visit America if his close friend, legendary chef Antonin Carême, accompanied him. Because of his culinary devotion, many dishes are named "alla Rossini." One of the most decadent is Tournedos Rossini, a heart-stopping combination of beef filet, fois gras, butter, black truffle, and Madeira. In honor of Signor Crescendo's birthday on February 29, here is a recipe for that infamous dish. And while it’s cooking, how about some bel canto? [more inside]
Tonight, 21 year-old actress Keke Palmer will make her Broadway debut in the title role inRodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella, the first African American actress to play the role in any stage production of the show, first mounted as a television production on CBS in 1957, with Julie Andrews. [more inside]
It turns out that if you cut together a bunch of scenes from Disney's Cinderella along with the audio track for the trailer of the new Carrie remake, you get something very creepy, disturbing and brilliant.
Seven For A Secret - an anonymous fanfic author creates seven unhappy ( or at least, unconventional ) endings for Disney Princesses by placing them in proper historical, mythological, or thematic context.
'TV historians will tell you that “Felix the Cat” was one of the first images ever broadcast on television (when RCA broadcast a Felix doll in 1928 on experimental station W2XBS) — but it wasn’t until the late ’40s that the first animated character was created expressly for TV. Crusader Rabbit appeared for the very first time on KNBH (Los Angeles) on August 1, 1950, and featured a Don Quixote-like title character aided by his friend Ragland T. “Rags” Tiger as they pursued adventures in serial (i.e. cliffhanger) installments.' On November 8th, the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Lucille Bliss, passed away at the age of 96. Ms. Bliss may be more familiar to younger fans as the voice of Smurfette, from The Smurfs, or as Ms. Bitters on Invader ZIM. [more inside]
"Little girls are AWED by a princess. A woman in a big, sparkly, puffy dress is a thing of power and glory to them. They will stand and stare, or scream themselves hoarse in excitement, or become paralyzed in wonder by A Princess. Some little girls start hyperventilating. Some just sit down on the floor, their knees giving out from under them. They run up to touch your dress with the same crazed look of a Twilight fan trying to touch that Edward Cullen guy at a movie premiere. It's so different from seeing a face character at Disney World because to them, Disney World is a far-off fantasy place full of strangeness and unreal scenes. But this is A Princess, in the real world, in their own home." [more inside]
"iZombie will be the last time I’ll ever write for DC... I decided quite some time ago, but waited until after the cancellation of my book was announced to discuss it. The short version is, I don’t agree with the way they treat other creators and their general business practices." writer Chris Roberson ends his relationship with DC Comics, pointing at a post by David Brothers as a summation of his ethical concerns. Roberson's work at DC has included turning around Superman after J. Michael Straczynski left mid-story, iZombie and a spin-offs from Vertigo's Fables featuring Cinderella as a super spy. He is currently working on the creator owned Memorial, published by IDW.
You probably know the Perrault version. And chances are, you haven’t been able to escape the Disney version. Maybe you know the slightly-darker Grimm version, or even the original story of Yeh-Shen. Maybe you’re a fan of musicals, and love Roger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella or Sondheim’s Into the Woods. But chances are, there’s a bit about this classic story you don’t know yet… [more inside]
Unlike many cinematic exports, the Disney canon of films distinguishes itself with an impressive dedication to dubbing. Through an in-house service called Disney Character Voices International, not just dialogue but songs, too, are skillfully re-recorded, echoing the voice acting, rhythm, and rhyme scheme of the original work to an uncanny degree (while still leaving plenty of room for lyrical reinvention). The breadth of the effort is surprising, as well -- everything from Arabic to Icelandic to Zulu gets its own dub, and their latest project, The Princess and the Frog, debuted in more than forty tongues. Luckily for polyglots everywhere, the exhaustiveness of Disney's translations is thoroughly documented online in multilanguage mixes and one-line comparisons, linguistic kaleidoscopes that cast new light on old standards. Highlights: "One Jump Ahead," "Prince Ali," and "A Whole New World" (Aladdin) - "Circle of Life," "Hakuna Matata," and "Luau!" (The Lion King) - "Under the Sea" and "Poor Unfortunate Souls" (The Little Mermaid) - "Belle" and "Be Our Guest" (Beauty and the Beast) - "Just Around the Riverbend" (Pocahontas) - "One Song" and "Heigh-Ho" (Snow White) - "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" (Cinderella) - Medley (Pinocchio) - "When She Loved Me" (Toy Story 2) - Intro (Monsters, Inc.)
Fallen Princesses : Dina Goldstein explores what life might have been like for Rapunzel, Snow White, and others after happily-ever-after. (via)
March Madness: 11th seeded George Mason upset UConn in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament this afternoon, continuing their unexpected streak of upsets. Their wins validate not only their inclusion in the tournament, but the rising status of mid-major conferences. The most prominent critic of the inclusion of these smaller schools has been CBS analyst Billy Packer, who verbally assaulted the head of the selection committee on live TV just two weeks ago, and has yet to apologize for his obvious error.
Rumplestiltskin gets torn in half, Cinderella's stepsisters get their eyes pecked out, and Snow White's stepmother dances in red hot iron shoes until she dies from exhaustion. These are the original endings to the non-sweetened, and sometimes unsavory, fairy tales collected or written by by reclusive librarians Jacob and Wilhelm, better know as The Brothers Grimm. Their first book, Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Childrens' and Household Tales) was published in 1812. Several more books, mostly of folk tales collected from willing relatives and friends, followed, some containing bizarre and disturbing stories with less than happy endings. As the National Geographic Grimm site puts it, "Looking for a sweet, soothing tale to waft you toward dreamland? Look somewhere else. The stories collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800s serve up life as generations of central Europeans knew it—capricious and often cruel." Check out the strange 1960 Mp3s and RealAudio files of some Grimm tales.