In Disney Descendants, Prince Ben is the son of Belle and the Beast-Prince from Beauty and the Beast. And that poor man *still* does not have an acknowledged name! According to rumors, his name is Adam, chosen by his original animator, Glen Keane. Why the Prince is denied a name is unknown.
In the Descendants movies, Ben is heir-apparent to the throne of the United States of Auradon (should be United KINGDOMS, but I digress) who falls in love with Mal, the reformed daughter of Maleficent and Hades. The movies then chronicle their journey to maturity, becoming the king and queen the people of Auradon need them to be.
This is Ben from the "Date Night Two-Pack". I purchased him used from my favorite E-Bay seller, so he was missing his crown, rose, and shoes. Poor fella, I don't have any Ken shoes that he can borrow! Ben is a very cute little doll, with a shy smile and big blue eyes. His painted hair has light brown streaks through it to give it dimension.
While definitely underwhelming compared with the girl dolls in the Descendants line, Ben is a very nice doll none the less. It's always nice to have a few boy dolls around! While I would recommend buying some different clothes for him, his association with one of Disney's greatest films is sure to delight collectors young and old.
Another Descendants doll has joined the crew! I was recently able to purchase two Disney Descendants dolls from resellers. One is Ben, son of Belle and the Beast (you can watch for a review of him later!) the other is Jordan, the daughter of Genie.
After the rousing and eye-opening success of the Monster Movie Night, the Ever After High girls decided they would hold their own movie night to watch fantasy and fairy tale movies. It was difficult to choose which film versions they wanted to see, as many of them looked good. There were anime ones, and Russian ones, and versions from England, not to mention Disney classics. In the end several were chosen reflecting the interests of the girls, including Rosabella and Raven's love for movie makeup and prosthesis.
First came "Mirror Mirror" a retelling of Snow White. The implications of her fairy tale had somehow eluded Apple...
Now, I used to not like Monster High. And there's still some characters I don't care for, but some of them I do really like. Rochelle, who is a Gargoyle, is one of them. One of my collector friends sent her to me for Christmas, let me tell you, it was a real surprise! Having grown up with Disney's Gargoyles, I'd almost like to think of Rochelle as a distant cousin of the "Manhattan Clan". Anyway, you came here for a review, didn't you?
There are times that I'm reminded that I'm truly not in the target audience for most dolls anymore. Disney Descendants is one of those franchises that does that for me. For those who aren't aware, Disney Descendants is a franchise created to supplement the Disney Princess franchise, all about the children of our favorite Disney heroes and villains. The main form this takes is a series of three live-action films and a web-cartoon "Wicked World", but there's also a toy line, which includes dolls, costumes, playsets, and more.
What makes this one of those franchises that remind me that I am so totally not the target audience is that I can see all the flaws in the storytelling and how this was a low attempt to cash in on Mattel's Ever After High and Monster High lines. I hate to sound like a cynical grown-up, but it's true.
However, if there's one thing I can't resist, it's anything Mulan or Aladdin related. And one of the stars of Disney Descendants is Mulan and Shang's daughter Lonnie. I was fortunate enough to score a Lonnie doll used from my favorite Ebayer, Alaskanan. If you're looking for great deals on vintage toys, look her up!
But enough commentary, let's take a look at Lonnie, who I subsequently renamed Lihua, which means "pearl-blossom."
Over the Halloween weekend, the Monster High girls (Plus Gil) decided to watch some classic monster movies and see what humans thought about monsters like themselves. I warned them that what they see might not be too flattering, but they were still curious. I sat in to document the results.
As movies about sea monsters are rather few and far between, Lagoona settled on "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
Thrifting and rummage sale-ing can be loads of fun. Take this past October, for example. My church had it's rummage sale, and it's always a bear. While helping set up, I discovered an interesting set of items. Two seemingly random backdrop pieces and a house shell for 12 inch fashion dolls. I could tell by the stickers in the picture frames and the quality of the craftsmanship that it was genuine Barbie stuff, but I'd never seen anything quite like it. I took to the trusty Google and searched for it as soon as I found the date stamped on the bottom of 2004. To my delight, I found it to be a Barbie My House playset! Produced twice, in two different styles, this playset allowed girls to configure the house however they desired, and conveniently put everything away in one flat package. Mine is now missing the chairs, bed, and other accessories that once went with it, but all the same, it's a great piece of equipment.
Last year, I received a Forces of Destiny Princess Leia and Wicket doll set from my good friend Isabella. I loved how Leia looked exactly like a cartoonish Carrie Fisher, and planned on designing a line of clothes for them. As it seems the line is on shaky footing (I haven't seen a single one in Walmart in forever), I decided to hold off on that. That however has not stopped me from having fun with this doll and her companion!
My favorite of Shakespeare's plays is "Much Ado About Nothing", the story of the witty Beatrice and Benedick, who are tricked into love by a group of friends and family. In act four, Beatrice's cousin Hero is slandered at the altar by her groom to be, Claudio, who was deceived by the villain Don John into thinking her a cheat and a liar. After Hero is taken away to recover from her shock, Beatrice who loves her like a sister, sits in the chapel weeping, when Benedick arrives to comfort her.
In my little version of this scene, Hero is played by Draculaura, while her bridesmaids and friends are played by Clawdeen, Apple, Raven, Lizzie, Rosabella, Blondie, Frankie, Cleo, and Darling.
Beatrice is played by Lagoona.
Benedick is played by Gil.
From the studio that would (eventually) bring you Sailor Moon and Pretty Cure, comes 1981's fully animated adaptation of Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake. Superior in nearly every way to "The Swan Princess" and it's creepy amount of sequels, this adaptation gives us strong willed Prince Siegfried, who undertakes to rescue the lovely Princess Odette from the wizard Rothbart. The classic fairy tale is adapted into atmospheric anime style that will seem familiar to Toei fans, and though not as masterful as Studio Ghibli works, is quite serviceable and pretty. The music is haunting adaptations of the famous music from the ballet, and as for the voices, they can be a bit over the top but not all that horrible. The movie is appropriate for all ages, though some children may be sensitive to Rothbart's abusive tirades.
You can view the film in English on YouTube!
Toei's Swan Lake Part 1
Toei's Swan Lake Part 2
Toei's Swan Lake Part 3
I'm T.K. Wilson, Read my blog for great information and stories about dolls, toy restoration, Christian Fantasy and so much more! Blog updates Fridays.