This Is A Beauty No One Is Sleeping On

The upcoming Disney movie Maleficent starring Angelina Joli is already getting a lot a buzz. Clearly Maleficent is going to be to Sleeping Beauty what the Broadway musical Wicked is to The Wizard of Oz. While the movie is by no means a musical, like Wicked and The Wizard of Oz, it already has its defining song:

I first heard a snippet of this on Sunday and was completely blown away by it. This rendition is beautiful, lush, beguilingly serene and yet unnerving, haunting and almost menacing in its feel.  This is especially true in contrast to the lighthearted, gay feel of the original.

And for those who may not know or remember it, here is the original version for comparison:

Lana Del Rey’s haunting take on the classic and much beloved original is akin to hearing a siren’s song across the seas knowing you are headed towards your doom if continue to listen, yet not being able to tear yourself away.   It is absolutely perfect for Maleficent and makes me want to see the movie even more.

Thanks for nothing, Disney & Barney’s

First Disney and MAC Cosmetics pulled out the cyber liposuction on Disney’s Ursula character for their Venomous Villains line in the spring earlier this year. Now with the help of Barney’s, Disney is out to ruin more childhood memories by transforming their classic icons Mickey, Mini, Daisy and Goofy into modern-day runway models…

Women’s Wear Daily:

They say it’s a team-up, I say it’s just another subconscious gang-up on the psyches of girls and women. Another under the table way of saying taller and skinnier is better. It’s one thing to make Mickey, Minnie and Daisy slimmer. That is annoying enough in it’s own right, but not surprising in this current social climate of the slender body image. What is the deal with making them several inches taller to boot?

If even fictional characters must redesign their bodies to fit some designer’s clothing, what chance do most of us poor humans have of such? Because heaven forbid, those same designers actually design the clothes to fit their bodies, let alone ours.

Come the hell on it’s Mickey, Minnie Goofy and Daisy for Pete’s sake! Changing Ursula was bad enough, she was a secondary character, but this? This is just insane. Do you know why they are iconic characters? Their basic look does not change – that is what makes them icons.

“The standard Minnie Mouse will not look so good in a Lanvin dress.” explains Barneys’ creative director, Dennis Freedman. I call bullshit on that. Did Lanvin and company even try to design for the character’s bodies as they are? We know it can be done in two words: Miss Piggy.

A hot commodity in haute couture, her “weight” may go up and down, but Miss Piggy is always fierce, fabulous and unapologetically fat.   Proof is in the porker that designing for iconic fictional characters, without changing that which makes them iconic,  can be done with something Lanvin and company obviously do not have – imagination.

What’s next? Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren designing pants for Pooh Bear? Barney’s, but especially Disney should be ashamed of themselves. Children’s characters should not be yet another mirror of some unattainable ideal for adults. Children’s characters should be remain just that children’s characters.