Disney is making a live-action “Mulan” film!

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 Audrey Magazine:

As an Asian American woman who grew up in the 90’s, it almost feels cliche to say Mulan is my favorite Disney princess, but there’s no denying it. I can still remember the first time I watched the VHS tape of Mulan and the way I instantly felt a kinship with her that I couldn’t feel with the other Disney princesses. This princess was strong, brave and she was the first Asian Disney character I had ever seen on a screen. After I proceeded to watch the movie upwards of a hundred times, I convinced my parents to buy me a Mulan doll and the Mulan Halloween costume. After all, Mulan was “my girl.” So when I read today’s news, I felt both excited and terrified.

After the success of the live-action films Cinderella and Maleficent, Disney announced that they have plans to develop a live-action version of Mulan. In fact, they already have a script written by Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek. However, there is no set date yet, and Disney has a full slate of upcoming live-action films including Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson, The Jungle Book, Alice in Wonderland 2 and Dumbo.

Despite my soft spot for Mulan, I am naturally worried that some elements may not translate well to live-action (I’m looking at you, Mushu). But overall, curiosity and nostalgia win out. We’ve already seen a live-action bisexual Mulan, played by Jamie Chung in Once Upon A Time. How will the live-action film compare? Well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Tokyo Disneyland Hotel set to enchant guests with new character themed rooms

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RocketNews 24:

We all know that the people at Disney are masters of enchantment and magic. Well, it seems they’ve done it again, this time putting their formidable powers of imagination to full use to renovate part of their rooms at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel. For the first time since its opening in 2008, rooms at the iconic hotel have been redone and were opened to the public this week. As you might expect, the new rooms indeed look magical, worthy of the Disney reputation for turning fantasy into reality. So, let’s take a look at the lovely rooms designed to make guests feel like they’ve stepped into a Disney story!

Of the 706 rooms in the hotel, 182 have been renovated into new, character-themed rooms, and we have to say the pictures they’ve released are enough to get you feeling giddy and excited, even if you’re not a little girl obsessed with all things Disney.

Here are the three types of character rooms that opened at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel on February 14:

Disney’s Tinker Bell Room

The beautiful world of Pixie Hollow from the film Tinker Bell is recreated in these lushly colored rooms. The decor featuring the large flowers and plants of Tinker Bell’s home in Neverland just might make you believe in fairies again!

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Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Room

These rooms are based on Disney’s classic Alice in Wonderland film. The playful and sometimes twisted themes of the movie are evident in the interior and furniture that feature well-known motifs such as the Queen of Hearts, the Card Soldiers and of course, the Cheshire Cat.

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Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Room

Disney’s beloved musical film Beauty and the Beast serves as the theme for these rooms. The interior design brings to mind some of the memorable moments from the film, including the scene where the Beast shows Belle his magnificent library and also the famous dance scene in the ballroom. Other familiar characters from the castle also appear as design motifs.

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ディズニー美女と野獣ルーム(ソファー)

ディズニー美女と野獣ルーム(ベッド) (2)

ディズニー美女と野獣ルーム(ベッド)(1)

Don’t the rooms look amazing? We can totally understand if Disney fans are dying to stay in these new character rooms.

Ah, we almost forgot! There’s one more room that’s scheduled to open on March 18, the Disney’s Cinderella Room. Although Disney didn’t have any actual photos of the room in their press release, they did have an illustration showing the lovely blue interior decorated in the color of Cinderella’s ball gown. You’re bound to feel as special as a guest at the castle ball in this room, and the best part is that the magic won’t go away at the stroke of midnight!

▼An illustration of how the Cinderella Room is expected to lookCinderella Room

Naturally, these splendid rooms come at a price: the 47 Tinker Bell Rooms and 63 Alice in Wonderland Rooms, both approximately 40 square meters (323 square feet) in size, are available at prices between 45,200 yen and 75,000 yen  (US$380-$631) per night; the 52 Beauty and the Beast rooms between 51-61 square meters (549-657 square feet) in size are priced from 52,400 yen to 84,300 yen ($441-$710) per night; and the 20 Cinderella Rooms, 71 square meters (764 square feet), will cost from 56,900 yen to 97,600 yen ($479-$822) per night, with prices depending on the dates and number of people staying.

Guests can make reservations up to six months before their expected date of stay. Regardless of the prices, Disneyland hotel rooms are notoriously difficult to book, due to  extremely high demand, and we expect that the competition to get reservations for these new characters rooms will be fierce.

Still, we have to admit the rooms offer a great opportunity to enjoy a break from reality and feel like you’re living in the world of your favorite Disney movie, and that, we guess, is an experience you can’t put a price on.

Disney’s Baymax appears in curry, hot pots, and more, thanks to cheesy food-based pun

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RocketNews 24:

You might not guess it, given the country’s well-known acceptance of stoicism as an admirable virtue, but Japan absolutely loves puns. In fact, the characteristics of the Japanese language, such as multiple potential pronunciations for the same kanji character, make it a veritable pun-producing machine.

For example, the character for “rice,” 米, is usually read as kome. When it’s combined with other characters, though, it’s read as mai or bei, with the latter being pronounced like the English word “bay.”

Of course, that also means bei is pronounced like the first half of Baymax, the loveable caretaker/combat robot from Disney’s Big Hero 6. And now that Japanese fans of the film have figured out how to put a little rice into Baymax, they’re also coming up with ways to put a little Baymax into their meals by making Baymax curry rice, rice balls, and nabe hot pots.

You can thank pop idol Haruna Kojima for kicking off the culinary trend. Earlier this month, the AKB48 member found herself with some extra time on her hands, so rather than make a plain old plate of curry rice, she decided to shape the fluffy white grains into a likeness of Baymax, adding two small, connected circles of dried seaweed to recreate his simple facial expression.

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Identifying her creation as Baymax, but written with the kanji for rice, Kojima posted the above photo to her Instagram account, where it put smiles on the faces and rumbles in the stomachs of all who gazed upon its appetite-stimulating cuteness. Even better, in contrast to the difficulty in trying to craft an edible version of Pokémon’s Pikachu or Yo-Kai Watch’s Jibanyan, Baymax’s soft, simple form and almost entirely white color scheme means that just about everyone can manage this cooking project, as proven by the steady stream of Rice-max photos that have been popping up since.

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View image on Twitter

Even six weeks after its release, Big Hero 6 is still going strong in Japan, wherepositive word of mouth about the films variety of action, comedy, and heartfelt emotion made it the highest-grossing movie in the country last weekend, just like it was for the three weekends before that. It’s a testament to the film’s broad appeal that stretches beyond just the kiddie demographic, and includes fans old enough to enjoy a little alcoholic refreshment with their Baymax curry.
View image on Twitter

Of course, Japan has a lot more ways to eat rice than just covering it with curry roux. How about a Baymax oyako-don, a rice bowl with chicken, egg, and the cuddly robot?

View image on Twitter

If you’re after even lighter fare, you can combine rice and miso soup, which is also a great way to make use of leftovers of the two Japanese staples.

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It’s also worth bearing in mind that the rice/bei/Baymax pun still holds up even if you’re not using plain white rice. For example, mochi (rice cakes) are just as appropriate for adding a dash of Disney to your hot pot.

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Disney Store is all grown up with new branch designed for adult women opening in Tokyo

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RocketNews 24:

Disney enjoys broad popularity with Japanese children, with tykes across the nation regularly getting excited for the studio’s animated films and begging their parents to take them to Tokyo Disneyland. This isn’t a recent development, though. Disney’s been a hit with kids for decades now, and while the age of many fans who grew up watching Mickey, Minnie, and their pals has changed, that doesn’t mean their love for the cartoon characters has.

That’s why this spring a new branch of the Disney Store is opening up in Tokyo, and while the staff won’t be turning away little girls at the door, it’s really being designed for adult women.

There’s no arguing that Disney’s characters are cute, so what better place for the new shop than in Harajuku, the Tokyo neighborhood that’s the capital of kawaii culture. This spring, Harajuku is getting a new retail and entertainment center in the form of the Harajuku Alta complex, which is now under construction on the district’s famed Takeshita shopping street.

What sets this branch apart, though, is its focus on providing an enjoyable experience for adult women. In contrast to the vibrant colors of most Disney Store locations, Harajuku Alta’s makes use of sophisticated, subdued tones. The shelves will be stocked with jewelry, bags, and smartphone accessories, instead of the plastic toys of all-ages Disney Stores. Judging from the promotional stills, it also looks like everything will be arranged in a spacious layout that allows mature customers to comfortably navigate the shopping space and easily peruse all of its wares.

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In exchange for having you bypass closer Disney Stores and come all the way into Harajuku, the new branch will be selling a selection of items you can’t find anywhere else, such as this special 2,500-yen (US$21) set of Tsum Tsum stackable plus interior accents.

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Similar to what the Ikebukuro Pokémon Center did for its grand opening, the Harajuku Alta Disney Store will also be selling a number of commemorative items when it opens its doors for the first time. Quantities are limited though, so get there early unless you want to pay the markups on the inevitable Internet auctions to come.

▼ Harajuku Alta exclusive frilled T-shirt (3,900 yen, limited to 700 units)

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▼ Harajuku Alta exclusive backpack (4,900 yen, limited to 400 units)

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Disney has also released a photo of the Harajuku Alta branch opening commemorative pin. The company has said it isn’t for sale, and since we doubt they’d show off an employee-only item, we’re guessing they’ll either be giving them away on opening day or including them as a gift for paying customers while supplies last.

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The Harajuku Alta Disney Store is set to open on March 7. It’s sure to make Disney-loving ladies across Japan jealous of Tokyo, at least until the second Disney Store for adult women opens in Osaka’s Lucua 1100 building on April 2.

With adult responsibilities looming, Japanese teen lets loose with epic Frozen chalkboard art

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RocketNews 24:

With winter break over, students in Japan are looking at a straight shot with no major breaks until the end of the school year in spring. For teens in their third and final year of high school, that means it’s almost time to take the big step of going off to college or finding a job, both of which mean probably having to cut back on silly hijinks.

That’s why when one Japanese 12th grader found an empty classroom, she couldn’t resist the temptation to let loose with youthful exuberance, especially since she knew it might be one of her last chances to do so. She didn’t take advantage of the lack of adult supervision to vandalize the school, though, but decided to beautify it with some awesome Frozen chalkboard art instead.

Earlier this week, as she walked towards the gate on her way home from school, Twitter user Rena Rena realized she’d left something in the classroom. Heading back to retrieve it, she looked at the big, empty blackboard, and figured that with classes done for the day, no one was going to mind if she used it.

Especially not if she was going to create something this amazing.

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▲ “I realized I don’t have much more time left as a high school student, so when I went back to get something I’d forgotten, I went a little nuts drawing on the blackboard. Really had a fun time.”

One of the drawbacks to chalkboard art (aside from the difficulty in working with the medium, of course), is that the dark background and powdery nature of the chalk itself can make the end result look dark and wispy. Neither of those is a problem, though, when you’re drawing snow queen Elsa on a snowy, windblown mountaintop as she creates her magical ice castle in the middle of the night.

Rena Rena says the whole thing took three hours from start to finish, which leaves us impressed by both her commitment and talent, since we don’t think we could have done half as good a job with twice as much time. Japanese Internet commenters were similarly blown away, saying that it’s going to be a shame when the teacher has to erase the mural at the start of the next class.

But while it may have been the fleeting nature of youth that compelled Rena Rena to grab a piece of chalk and start drawing, this doesn’t have to be the end of her artistic career. One commenter asked if she was planning to enroll in art school after graduation, and while we’re not sure whether or not that meshes with her higher education plans, it definitely looks like she’s got the talent if that’s the path she wants to take.

This kid’s Big Hero 6 cosplay is out of this world!

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RocketNews 24:

How is your cosplay so perfect…?” “How did you escape from the movie screen?!” “Are you ACTUALLY Hiro?”

For Filipino artist and self-confessed “cosplay dork” Jin, questions like these are a regular occurrence. Already an internationally recognised cosplayer, when promo images for Big Hero 6 were released last year, Jin began to get messages from fans pointing out an uncanny resemblance to the film’s central protagonist Hiro Hamada. Which is pretty interesting, seeing Big Hero 6 is a Disney movie and Hiro is, of course, computer-animated.

Intrigued, Jin tried it out – and has been cosplaying Hiro ever since. Fast-forward a few months and Jin and friends continue to produce incredibly realistic, beautifully produced photos of cosplayed Big Hero 6 scenes. Join us after the jump as we take a look!

In case you haven’t seen the movie and don’t know what Hiro looks like, here’s the Big Hero 6 trailer:

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And here’s Jin cosplaying him!

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Hiro is Disney’s first Japanese protagonist, and also the only character in the movie with that awesome spiky anime hair. All in all he’s just about the ideal Disney character to cosplay.

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In a blog post on tumblr, Jin goes into some detail about the disarming experience of seeing a Disney character that looks just like you. When brother Miguel saw a picture of Hiro for the first time, they were both so struck by the likeness that Miguel said, “like seeing Disney renders of you!” And when the pair finally saw the movie together, Miguel kept prodding Jin, going “It’s you! It’s you!

There really are some striking physical similarities – as we can see in this imagine Jin posted of the shape of their front teeth side-by-side.

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That’s not to say that the likeness is all natural though. There’s an impressive amount of work gone into completing this look, from the hand-finished wig to the tea leaves Jin uses to black out Hiro’s tooth gap.

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Real-life brother Miguel even joins Jin as Hiro’s big brother Tadashi in a series of shots cosplaying the family.

▼ They’ve both got that crooked smile down to a tee, for sure.

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With cosplay group Tuxedo Team, Jin and Miguel focus on shoots, rather than attending cosplay competitions.

In an interview with Filipino Japan pop culture website Magnetic Rose a few years ago, Jin explained the motivation behind this:

“My friends and I aren’t really the competitive sort so we’re really happy just coming up with photos that express our appreciation for a series. A lot of our costumes are quite simple, so there’s not much point in competing with them against the many brilliant cosplayers in our local community.”

Above all, the team’s Big Hero 6 cosplay series is proof that a simple idea done really well can be the most effective art.

▼ Here they are joined by NyanKat as Aunt Cass.

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▼ Check out the characters next to their animated counterparts.

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Amazing Photoshoot: Disney Princesses as Indian Brides!

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Cinderella
While I usually write about comic-book heroes, sometimes I’ll see something that I just have to add to the mix. Like this incredible photoshoot of Disney Princesses as Indian brides!Vancouver photographer AMRIT Photography took these photos for South Asian Bride Magazine, showing many of the best-loved princesses in finery from Well-Groomed. I absolutely love seeing the princesses in traditional costumes from different cultures, and the bright colors and jewels of the saris suit them perfectly. There is something very Disney about these gorgeous sweeping skirts, dripping jewels and uber-femininity. Of course, like any good Indian bride, there are none of the wide smiles that we usually see on these princesses (tradition dictates that a bride should appear shy), and it gives them a very elegant and demure look. I would love to see more in this style, whether as another photoshoot or in fan art.

Belle

Belle

I love the detail in these images – not just the colors and styles that match the original princesses, but the entire set is created to evoke each film. Check out the Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs Potts (and Chip, of course!) and the rose on the table here.

Aurora

Aurora

Ok, there may be one thing here that is less than perfect. The re-imagining of Aurora’s dress is pink, and I’ve always been on team blue…ah well! She’s still stunning.

Jasmine

Jasmine

Perhaps they wanted to keep the blue for Jasmine, although this incredible gown is a darker shade than her trademark harem pants and top. I love her headdress, and her hair looks absolutely perfect!

Mulan

Mulan

Again, just look at the thought that went into this shoot! Mushu is watching over the warrior princess as always.

Pocahontas

Pocahontas

Extra points for being one of the few artists to include Pocahontas in her work! Often left out of the official “princess” lists and fan art, it’s lovely to see her included in this shoot.

Rapunzel

Rapunzel

I know it’s not her real hair, but oh, I wish it could be! The way that the sweep of fabric falls with her long braid is beautiful.

Ariel

Ariel

Even Ariel has her sari draped around her to create the effect of a mermaid’s tail.

Snow White

Snow White