shining, shimmering, splendid....


so i’ve been busily working on a LOT of princess sketches & paintings for july’s DISNEY PRINCESS nerdy post box!!

and jasmine is as hard to draw as i remember from my jr. high days… ;D

so before i started painting aurora and sketching cinderella today, i forced myself to leave the house and finally go see the ALADDIN live-action remake (one of the two films i care about coming out this year; i figured i’d at least better see it sooner than star wars ix!)

so i took a book, and good thing i did, because traffic made me late for the first showing on this fine movie monday. so as the credits rolled (no need to stay the whole time; there’s nothing at the very end, you’re welcome), i scribbled down cryptic comments on the last page of The Overstory

overall, i LOVED it.

i had some issues with the CGI, as i would.

and as great as special effects have gotten, why OH why do beards and wigs still look SO %&#@ fake?! blargh.

that’s most of my rant.

i went in with high expectations only because it was a disney film, and not because i was ready to compare it to, or love it as much as the original hand-drawn animated classic. i had tempered those high expectations with a few sneak peek trailer teasers- and had braced myself for backgrounds that looked more like once upon a time cgi awkward tv (or fake) staging, but thankfully, they were way better in the film!

okay. let’s try to get though my notes a bit more systematically.

mena massoud was adorable as aladdin. (that dimple!) and what i have to say to guy ritchie: you should have let him dance EVEN MORE! (the arrival & then the party scene was the highlight of humor and joy in the film for me.)

but i would like to see wardrobe tests because those pants were just awkward. (i have never seen center seems on harem/mc hammer pants; they had the budget; why did this happen?)

the PRINCE ALI musical number was exceptional. it felt like being at a walt disney world parade, but without being sweaty and gross and hot and without having to fight for a spot on the sidewalk. i hope the parks do this literal scene as a parade because i couldn’t stop smiling. it was joyous and colourful and great.

yes, as predicted from the teaser images, i want all of jasmine’s clothes.

there was cleavage, but not as much as in the latest cinderella re-make, so i do think aladdin is my new fave of the remakes. (they all have highlights and special places and moments in my heart, but i think aladdin wins overall so far.)

the sets exceeded my (VERY) low expectations and reminded me of a total immersive experience in my fave wing of the met- the art of the arab lands wing is my fave right now, so it was kind of like my mixed-up files of mrs. basil e. frankweiler moment of getting to live there. and i WANT to!!

being a live-action film, some of the moments were a lot more intense than in a 90’s “cartoon.” the lava in the cave of wonders would have been too much for me to handle as a kid. and when jafar becomes sultan/sorcerer, well, let’s just say i’m really glad the snake sculpture fountain did NOT come to life, because i was dreading it every second for like, twenty whole minutes….

what i didn’t know going in, and am grateful they gave us some credit names at the beginning of the film, was that justin & benji (our beloved songwriting duo from LA LA Land and The Greatest Showman) contributed the new tunes and lyrics. so it wasn’t a word-for-word sing-along from the original soundtrack, and i loved it for that reason. the orchestration behind A WHOLE NEW WORLD was even more powerful & sweeping, and i’m definitely downloading it to add to my PLANE TUNES playlist to crank when flying… (oh, how i hate airplanes. but showtunes get me through!!)

jasmine’s solo song was powerful and very POP, but i love it anyway. (also, i like happy peppy pop music + girl power, so no complaints.)

it was a beautiful cast, and my greatest wish was that there was MORE DANCING. i know it wasn’t a bollywood film, but that what was best about it: the dancing. aladdin. the chorus. the parade. the post-wedding party. the dancing was spectacular and i wanted MORE OF IT. MORE DANCING.

so as usual i shall complain about the cgi (genie was best as black will smith, and not a beefed-up blue guy with a tornado tube below his belt), and abu was alright, but definitely better as a hand-drawn cartoon. i still want rajah and/or a pet tiger that won’t eat me. the animation was well done, but we all still know it’s not real, so it sings better when drawn… sigh.

so i’d love to see it again. i’ll probably own it when it comes out on dvd/blu*ray. it was a joy, the cinematography and filmmaking unique. the costumes (minus the pants) great, and the sets and scenery fantastic. the drama was REAL. the actors beautiful. i laughed out loud a few times and smiled a whole lot. (especially during the DANCING. MORE DANCING, PLEASE!!) the music and magic is there. it wasn’t the cartoon, but i think there would be no way to mimic that artful magic anyway.

so i feel (very) inspired to draw jasmine tomorrow. (i got close; i just gotta make her forehead smaller, methinks.) so go see the show. go pre-order your july nerdy post box (my aurora sketches seen in my sketchbook here, as well as a teeny tiny piece of my disney animation book collection). and let’s make some magic!! :D

& yes, thank you for asking, i AM still making progress on my   arabian nights  faerie tale feet piece !  i’ve had some client work come up this month (freelance is good!) and i started a  new part time job .  but i’ll be back at it soon!  :D  (  the secret garden   is also currently in research stage!  huzzah!!)

& yes, thank you for asking, i AM still making progress on my arabian nights faerie tale feet piece!

i’ve had some client work come up this month (freelance is good!) and i started a new part time job. but i’ll be back at it soon! :D (the secret garden is also currently in research stage! huzzah!!)

hallie bertling