Tag Archives: Elsa

I Am Thankful For The Happiest Place On Earth

7 Dec

I have failed you, dear reader. I told you I’d recount my Disney Thanksgiving yesterday, but the day got away from me and…well…that’s the only excuse I’ve got. I’m sorry. And I can’t believe I didn’t post anything yesterday about it being Walt Disney’s birthday! I’m really slipping here… Well, Happy 113th Birthday, Uncle Walt!

As some of you may recall, I recently spent a week at Walt Disney World completely on my own, enjoying the parks on my own schedule, at my own pace and on my own budget. Several people were shocked that I would want to go to an amusement park by myself – especially for a full week – but I had the absolute time of my life. I rode what I wanted, I met the characters I wanted to meet, I ate what I wanted whenever I wanted and I took the time to take photos and soak in the world famous Disney atmosphere and attention to detail. I found myself talking to strangers and laughing and walking around with a smile on my face. It was heaven.

So, when I found out that we had Thanksgiving day off in Los Angeles, I decided to forgo a traditional theatre orphans’ Thanksgiving, which usually consists of 5 or 6 people who haven’t any friends or family nearby getting together and cooking (and is, for the record, always fun and a wonderful way to spend the holiday), to treat myself to a day at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

My mother always asks me, “What exactly do you do there all day?” Obviously she has never been to a Disney park, though not for my lack of trying to get her to one.

Rather than tell you what I did, I’ll just show you. Nothing more exciting than looking at someone’s vacation photos, eh? Enjoy!

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New From Disney: It’s “Market Me Elsa!”

12 May
"Frozen" is coming to ABC's "Once Upon A Time."

“Frozen” is coming to ABC’s “Once Upon A Time.”

OK. So I admit, I haven’t watched the show in a couple of seasons because I can’t really watch TV shows in real time on the road (and, honestly, because I was starting to lose interest), but ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” has grabbed my attention with the teaser that they showed at the end of last night’s episode, although I have no idea what the blue liquid has to do with Elsa…

Apparently Elsa, the Snow Queen from Disney’s “Frozen,” will be joining the citizens of Storyville next season, and I have to say – she looks good! I have a few friends that object to Elsa’s inclusion in the roster of storybook characters mostly because she’s the princess du jour thanks to the popularity of the movie while many other more classic Disney characters have yet to make appearances on the show. Others think it’s just too soon to have her included on the show, but I think it’s a brilliant marketing plan – not for the movie (it’s done $1.19 billion worldwide and sold 3.2 million DVDs and BluRays in a single day), but for the show, which has been showing a slightly declining viewership since last season. Disney would be foolish not to take advantage of the film’s popularity to tie in with the show, regardless of how new the character and film may be. People clearly have connected with Elsa (and Anna), so why not give them what they want?

Another complaint I’ve heard about Elsa’s appearance last night is that her hair is too blonde – not white enough. I’m going to reserve judgment on that, but I will say, though, that hers is the best Elsa costume I’ve seen yet. Even better than the costumes being used in the parks, in my opinion.

Speaking of Elsa costumes…there’s still an alarming lack of “Frozen” merchandise out in the world. I was at the Disney Store in The Woodlands Mall here in Houston today and I did not see one piece of “Frozen” merch anywhere in the store. Not even a keychain. I don’t really care, personally, but there are some incredibly angry parents out there who want – no, need – to dress their little girls from head to toe as Anna or Elsa or their children’s lives will be ruined. Or they’ll just learn that you don’t always get what you want. Either way, this site is hilarious and sad all at the same time. Have some patience, people! They’re making it as fast as they can!!

In related news, however, I did manage to pick up a Maleficent t-shirt and keychain at Hot Topic…and that movie hasn’t even been released yet! Even Barnes and Noble had an end cap devoted to the old bat. Perhaps Disney has learned from their mistakes with “Frozen…?”

Maleficent is also coming May 30.

Maleficent is also coming May 30.

P.S. – This was officially my 100th blog entry!!

Y’See…It’s Just Like I Told You…Wishes Can Come True If You Believe In Them With All Your Heart

5 Apr

It’s been a long time since my last entry. The last couple of weeks have been incredibly busy and exciting and, if you’ll forgive me, magical.

As I wrote in my last entry, I spent last week at Walt Disney World, visiting the parks for the first time in 30 years. The last time I was there was with my grandparents and it was absolutely the most miserable vacation of my life. I got so sunburnt at the beach that I had huge blisters on both shoulders, making it impossible to raise my arms even to take my shirt off, and the ensuing sun poisoning had me puking my way across Orlando. I didn’t really get to enjoy my time at Disney World which, at that time, consisted only of the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. Because Evita was playing Orlando for a week, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to go back and have the experience I had wished for as a kid.

A photo of me looking at a photo of me standing in roughly the same spot 30 years earlier. Very meta and just a little bit magical.

A photo of me looking at a photo of me standing in roughly the same spot 30 years earlier. Very meta and just a little bit magical.

The show’s head electrician, Stephen, and I decided to stay in one of the value resorts on Disney property, sharing a room at the All-Star Sports Resort near Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The room was only $114/night which, when split between the two of us, ended up being cheaper than what we would have paid at the hotel where the company was staying. Parking was included in the resort stay, both at the hotel and at the parks, and we also had access to free shuttle buses to the parks. As resort guests, we also got to enjoy Extra Magic Hours, meaning one of the parks would open an hour early and one would stay open two hours after closing each day exclusively for resort guests. Because we both had to leave for the theatre at 4:30 or 5:00, depending on Orlando traffic, those Extra Magic Hours were crucial in our getting to fully enjoy the parks.

As resort guests, we were also able to test the new MagicBands, which are basically plastic wrist bands with RFID chips in them. These chips connect your MagicBand to your vacation account – you can charge your meals and merchandise to your room with the band, it serves as your room key and park ticket and is connected to your three FastPass+ choices each day, as well. FastPass+ allows you to choose 3 attractions per day (all within the same park) for which you are assigned a time and during that timeframe you are basically able to skip the majority of the line. For instance, you could book FastPass+ for Haunted Mansion, Space Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean for your day at Magic Kingdom. You are given three or four options for time slots for these reservations, so you can shape your day as you’d like it based on availability. Your FastPass+ time for Haunted Mansion might be 10:30-11:30, Space Mountain from 12:15-1:15 and Pirates from 2:30-3:30. You can show up during that hour-long window of time and get in the FastPass+ line and essentially skip the lines. It’s a great way to basically ensure you get to ride your top 3 attraction picks, but the drawback is that you can only reserve times within the same park and you cannot get FastPass+ for the same ride twice in one day. This past Monday, FastPass+ and MagicBands became available to the general public. I’m curious to see how that works out considering resort guests can make their FastPass+ reservations months in advance – I’m not sure if non-resort guests will have that option.

My MagicBand!

My MagicBand!

Speaking of reservations…I was quite disappointed with the reservation system they have in place for their sit down dining – particularly at Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Disney World offers many food options throughout the 4 parks, including sit down full-service dining, quick-service cafeteria-style dining and food kiosks. In addition to being known for world-class attractions and entertainment, Disney parks are known for their fantastic food – especially in the World Showcase at Epcot – and I was really looking forward to some great meals. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the full-service sit down restaurants were booked months in advance and had no seating available. Stephen and I were able to grab one of the last available tables at the Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, but it was 11:30 in the morning and even that early, they could barely fit us in. This past Monday, my friend Jonathan and I were able to walk into the Biergarten Buffet in the German section of the World Showcase at Epcot. It was around 4:30 and by the time we left at around 6:00 the place was filling up quickly. (No, we didn’t eat the whole time – there was a great show during our dinner that we took a break to watch).

One of my goals at Magic Kingdom was to eat at the new Be Our Guest restaurant in New Fantasyland. I really wanted to try the Grey Stuff. I hear it’s delicious. That restaurant is booked up 6 months in advance. While that’s no skin off Disney’s back – they’re making their money and there are butts in the seats – there’s little opportunity for park goers without reservations to eat there. Ever. Because it’s so difficult to eat at a sit down restaurant in the parks, the quick service options are constantly packed with lines spilling out the doors and into the specially tinted streets of Frontierland and Fantasyland. Stephen and I waited a good 30 minutes in line at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe only to end up eating our BBQ pork sandwiches sitting on the edge of a flowerbed because all the tables were taken. We were both so hungry at that point that we didn’t care where we sat, as long as we weren’t on our feet any longer and had food in our bellies.

So where did we eat? At Magic Kingdom, we had a great meal at the Liberty Tree Tavern. I had the Pilgrim’s Feast, which is basically Thanksgiving dinner, and it was delicious. Stephen had the same thing, but he also ordered a bowl of clam chowder, which he said was very good. At Pecos Bill’s we had the BBQ pulled pork sandwich and fries. It was very good, but like I said – we were so hungry, I think we would have thought a cardboard box tasted good. We also had gigantic cinnamon rolls at Gaston’s Tavern in New Fantasyland. Here’s a tip: SHARE ONE. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, he and I had a so-so cheeseburger lunch at the ABC Commissary. The original plan was to eat at the 50’s Prime Time Café, but they were booked up with reservations. At Animal Kingdom we had a pretty decent breakfast at Pizzafari – one of the few places we found that actually served breakfast. Here’s a little money- (and calorie-) saving tip: You can order child sized portions and they won’t question you.


The Pilgrim's Feast at Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom.

The Pilgrim’s Feast at Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom.

Epcot was where I did some serious eating. My first day there I was nursing a queasy stomach after riding Mission: Space, so I waited too long to get anything in a sit-down restaurant, so I hopped from country to country in the World Showcase and sampled foods from the quick-service restaurants. I had a delicious cinnamon sugar croissant donut in Canada, some fish and chips in the UK and an amazing caramel bar from Germany. We pigged out at the Biergarten Buffet on my second trip to Epcot, where we enjoyed sausages, potato salads, pot roast, roast pork, pork schnitzel, spätzel, German cheesecake, berry compotes and more. The price is a little steep at $40, but it was worth it. I left full, but not sick and didn’t need to eat again until I got back to the hotel at the end of the night.

The Cinnamon Sugar Croissant Donut from the Canadian Pavilion at the World Showcase at Epcot.

The Cinnamon Sugar Croissant Donut from the Canadian Pavilion at the World Showcase at Epcot.

The dinner show at the Biergarten Buffet in the German Pavilion at World Showcase in Epcot.

The dinner show at the Biergarten Buffet in the German Pavilion at World Showcase in Epcot.

My biggest food indulgence on this trip was the incredible Dole Whip and Citrus Swirl floats at the Aloha Isle kiosk in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom. Dole Whip is essentially pineapple soft serve that is only available in a handful of places at Disney World, whereas Citrus Swirl is an orange/vanilla soft serve twist that tastes like an orangesicle. What makes it a float, you ask? The cup of ice cold pineapple juice that the soft serve is floating in. It is the most refreshing thing maybe on the planet and, unfortunately, the floats are only available at the Aloha Isle kiosk in Magic Kingdom, which means lines. There are four windows, but only two lines, so be prepared to wait at least 10 minutes – maybe longer – for your delicious float. It’s totally worth the wait. I promise.

The Citrus Swirl Float from Aloha Isle in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom. Definitely worth the wait.

The Citrus Swirl Float from Aloha Isle in Adventureland at Magic Kingdom. Definitely worth the wait.

If you’re planning a trip to Disney World, be prepared to hurry up and wait. As the busiest theme park in the world, you should expect the lines to be pretty long. It’s quite common to wait an hour or more to get onto any attraction and the wait to meet characters could be just as long, if not longer. It’s no secret that I love to meet the characters – even as a 37 year old man, they’re magical to me. I remember when I was there 30 years ago, the characters would wander around the parks in their appropriate “Land” and we, the guests, could approach them for pictures. No more. With the crowds swelling to 100,000 on capacity days at the Magic Kingdom, poor Mickey Mouse would be absolutely trampled if he were seen just meandering about the park, so characters now have designated areas where guests can wait in line to meet them. Depending on the character, the line could be 5 people deep, which equates to a 5-minute wait, or it could be 50-100 people deep, which means more than an hour. The most popular characters – the Princesses – often have waits of 2 hours or more, though you get more bang for your buck with them as you typically get to meet 2 Princesses in one room. This may sound like a very long time to wait to meet Snow White and Rapunzel – and it is – but it’s nothing compared to the 5-6 hour wait to meet Anna and Elsa at the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. Yes…5-6 hours for a 1-minute meet and greet.

While I really wanted to meet as many characters as I could, I felt it was more prudent to spend my time enjoying the attractions and soaking in the atmosphere, which is as much a part of the experience as anything else. I spent hours with my camera walking around snapping shots of iconic rides and buildings and, yes, characters, trying to capture the spirit of it all in a few thousand photographs. But really, this trip was about reclaiming the experience that I wanted to have when I was a kid, and I really feel I succeeded. Whether it was watching the fireworks at Magic Kingdom or Epcot or seeing the parades or meeting Mickey Mouse (who now talks to you!), I never stopped being amazed and slightly baffled by Disney World. What a strange thing to be a grown man waiting in line to meet a talking mouse or waving at a Princess as she passes by on a giant float or to catch yourself singing along at full voice as you float through Splash Mountain or to catch yourself crying during the fireworks show. Stephen kept pointing out that the parks are basically nothing but a marketing tool to promote Disney’s films – a never-ending opportunity to sell merchandise and make money – and even though the grown-up in me was aware of that, part of me didn’t care. Seeing a Make-A-Wish kid hugging Minnie Mouse – and seeing that Minnie clearly did not want to let go – reminded me of what Disney means to me. Hope. Love. Magic. Dreams coming true. There is something magical about it and I can’t wait to go back and maybe even work there someday.

Minnie Mouse and me on Main Street U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom.

Minnie Mouse and me on Main Street U.S.A. at the Magic Kingdom.

This entry has become quite long and there’s still so much I could say about my week with the Mouse. Maybe I’ll write more later, or maybe I’ll just hold on to the rest of my memories as a personal souvenir. But I will share with you some of the photos that I took during the week after the jump. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did when I took them!

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I’m So Excited! I’m So Excited! I’m So…EXCITED!!!!

14 Mar

I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written an entry. It’s unacceptable, really. I have no excuse beyond laziness. We’re in Durham, North Carolina this week, where there is little more to do than eat and nap, which is exactly what I’ve done. The weather here has actually been fairly decent – we had one or two days in the lower- to mid-70’s, which is incredible, but yesterday a big rainstorm came through and the temperatures plummeted again into the 40’s. It’s supposed to warm up again this weekend and then next week…Florida!!

We’ll spend a week in Tampa (been there, done that) before we head to Orlando, which is what I’m really excited about. One of the guys on the crew and I decided to look into sharing a room at one of the economy Disney Resorts and, as it turns out, we can actually stay there cheaper than what we would each pay out of our per diem for the company hotel option. We’re getting a room at the All-Stars Sports Resort near Disney’s Animal Kingdom for $115/night, which works out to less than $60/night per person. My regular budget is $70/night, so I’ll actually be able to put the money I save on hotels toward my tickets to the parks. The hotel that the company is staying in is far enough away from the venue that rental cars will be needed, so I don’t even have to pay for a rental car – just the difference in how much gas I use getting to and from work, which Steven and I will split.

In addition to that good news, it turns out that because we’re staying on property in a Disney Resort Hotel, we get to enjoy Extra Magic Hours, which means one park each day will open one hour early just for the people staying in the Disney Resort Hotels and one or more of the parks will stay open two hours past regular closing for us, as well! That’s great because we will have to work in the evenings, so we can get up early and enjoy some extra time in the parks before the major crowds come in. We also get to “test” the new MagicBands system that Walt Disney World is installing into the parks. We will receive colored wristbands (like slap bracelets) that, when scanned, will work as our hotel key, our tickets to get into the park, our FastPass and, if we were buying them, our meal plans. It’s kinda genius and I’m really excited to get to try them out.

Our MagicBands have shipped!

Our MagicBands have shipped!

In doing some research (I’m a planner), it looks like I’ll be able to get a 5-day pass for $304, and for $60 more I can upgrade those passes to Park Hoppers so I can go to any of the parks I want whenever I want to. That’s a nice option because, for example, we have a limited amount of time at the parks in the evening, so if we want to see Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 8:30 on Monday night and the 10:00 “Wishes” fireworks show at Magic Kingdom, we’d have to have Park Hoppers to go from one park to the other.

My friend Chris, who is doing merch for another tour that will be in Fort Lauderdale at the same time, will be driving up to spend our day off in the parks, too. That’s the day that the rest of the Evita company will be traveling to Naples, Florida, but I’ve booked a room at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista that night using my Hilton HHonors points, so I don’t even have to pay for the room that night. It’s all happening, folks. It’s all happening.

The way I see it, I’ll have six days to see everything in the four parks. One of my goals is to get lots and lots of great pictures – especially with characters. I’ve written before about how miserable my first trip to Walt Disney World was – that was 30 years ago and I intend on having the time of my life this go around. I want to make sure I see my friend Liz hanging out with Pluto in the new Festival of Fantasy parade. I want to see fireworks. I would love to meet Elsa and Anna, but according to Liz, the wait can sometimes be up to 5 hours, if you can imagine. I definitely want to see “Fantasmic!” and “Finding Nemo: The Musical.” And I have to ride Expedition Everest. Basically I want to do it all.

What are your Disney World must-sees and must-dos? Where should I plan to eat that’s both affordable and delicious? And where do I find those much talked about turkey legs?

10 Days To Walt Disney World!

10 Days To Walt Disney World!

Frozen: In Deutsche (Die Eiskönigin: Völlig Unverfroren)

6 Feb
Artwork for "Die Eiskönigin - Völlig Unverfroren" - the German version of Disney's "Frozen"

Artwork for “Die Eiskönigin – Völlig Unverfroren” – the German version of Disney’s “Frozen”

Continuing in our Foreign Language “Frozen” series, tonight we tackle the German version of “Let It Go,” or “Lass jetzt los,” which translates to “Let Go Now.” I always liked singing in German. There’s nothing like being able to clear your throat in the middle of a song. But seriously, I will preface this entry by stating that I do not speak German, but I have sung in German a lot, so I have a singer’s knowledge of the language. I am familiar with a lot of the vocabulary from having sung Brahms and Schumann and Schubert, but I am also relying heavily on my good friend Google Translate for much of the translation you’ll read below. So, if any German speakers out there happen to be reading and have a suggestion for a better translation, by all means – share it!!

Der Schnee glänzt weiß auf den Bergen heut Nacht
Keine Spuren sind zu sehen
Ein einsames Königreich und ich bin die Königin
Der Wind, er heult so wie der Sturm ganz tief in mir
Mich zu kontrollieren, ich hab es versucht
Lass sie nicht rein, lass sie nicht seh’n
Wie du bist, nein, das darf niemals gescheh’n!
Du darfst nichts fühlen, zeig ihnen nicht
Dein wahres Ich!

Ich lass los, lass jetzt los
Die Kraft sie ist grenzenlos!
Ich lass los, lass jetzt los
Und ich schlag die Türen zu!
Es ist Zeit, nun bin ich bereit
Und ein Sturm zieht auf
Die Kälte, sie ist nun ein Teil von mir

Es ist schon eigenartig, wie klein jetzt alles scheint
Und die Ängste, die in mir waren
Kommen nicht mehr an mich ran!
Was ich wohl alles machen kann?
Die Kraft in mir treibt mich voran
Was hinter mir liegt ist vorbei, endlich frei!

Ich lass los, lass jetzt los
Nun bin ich endlich soweit!
Ich lass los, lass jetzt los
Doch Tränen seht ihr nicht
Hier bin ich und bleibe hier!
Und ein Sturm zieht auf

Ich spüre diese Kraft, sie ist ein Teil von mir
Sie fließt in meine Seele und in all die Schönheit hier
Nur ein Gedanke und die Welt wird ganz aus Eis!
Ich geh nie mehr zurück, das ist Vergangenheit!

Ich bin frei, endlich frei!
Und ich fühl mich wie neugeboren
Ich bin frei, endlich frei
Was war ist jetzt vorbei!

Hier bin ich in dem hellen Licht!
Und ein Sturm zieht auf
Die Kälte, sie ist nun ein Teil von mir

The snow shines white on the mountains tonight
No traces are to be seen
A lonely Kingdom and I am the Queen.
The wind howls like the storm that’s deep in me
To control me, I’ve tried it.
Don’t let them in, don’t let them see
What you are, no, that must never happen!
You can not feel anything, do not show them
The real you!

I let go, let go now
The power is limitless!
I let go, let go now
And I will slam the doors!
It is time, now I’m ready
And a storm is coming
The cold, it is now a part of me.

It’s strange how small everything now seems
And the fears that were in me
Come not to get me!
What can I possibly do?
The strength in me keeps me going
What is behind me is gone, finally free!

I let go, let go now
Now I’m finally done!
I let go, let go now
But you don’t see me cry.
Here I am and here I stay!
And a storm is coming
I feel this force, it’s part of me.

It flows into my soul and in all the beauty here
Just a thought and the world is made ​​of ice!
I will never go back, that’s past!

I’m free, free at last!
And I feel like a new person
I’m free, free at last
What was is over now!

Here I am in the bright light!
And a storm is coming
The cold, it is now a part of me.

Of all the translations I’ve read so far, this is the closest to the original English lyrics. As I expected, it’s not terribly flowery or romantic like the French translation because…well, that’s not really what the Germans are known for, is it?

I also want to say that out of all the foreign versions of “Frozen” I’ve listened to, the German Elsa (Willemijn Verkaik) has one heck of a set of pipes on her. She may be my favorite Elsa next to Idina Menzel herself. Listen to this clip of the reprise of “For the First Time In Forever” (“Zum ersten Mal”) where you can hear her open up and screlt “NEIN! GEH WEG!” at 2:00. Let it go, fräulein!

Frozen: In Japanese (日本語で「アナと雪の女王」)

1 Feb
Japanese artwork for Disney's "Frozen"

Japanese artwork for Disney’s “Frozen”

Today in our Foreign “Frozen” series: Japanese! Disney has officially released the “Let It Go” sequence, sung in Japanese by Matsu Takako, on YouTube! Unfortunately, beyond asking where the toilet is or how much something costs, my Japanese is not nearly good enough to give you a line-by-line translation of the song this time.

I can tell you that the Japanese title of the film translates to “Ana and the Snow Queen” and it opens in Japan on March 15. That’s right – the movie has made nearly $900 million and it hasn’t even opened in Japan yet – a country that is absolutely obsessed with all things Disney. From what I’m seeing on my Facebook feed, the Japanese are very ready for Elsa and Ana.

I hope you enjoy!

Frozen: En Español

25 Jan
Artwork for "Frozen: Una Aventura Congelada," the Latin American version of "Frozen." El poster de "Frozen: Una Aventura Congelada" en América Latina.

Artwork for “Frozen: Una Aventura Congelada,” the Latin American version of “Frozen.” El poster de “Frozen: Una Aventura Congelada” en América Latina.

As a continuation of the “Foreign Language ‘Frozen'” series, today I give you the Latin American Spanish lyrics and translation of “Let It Go,” or in Spanish, “Libre Soy,” which means, “I Am Free.” The Latin American title of the film actually remained “Frozen,” but with a subtitle of “Una Aventura Congelada,” meaning, “A Frozen Adventure.”  The song is sung by Argentine singer/actress Martina Stoessel, who is best known for her work as Violetta Castillo on the Disney Channel’s original series, “Violetta.”

There is also a Spanish (meaning from Spain) version of the film titled “Frozen: El Reino del Hielo,” or, “Frozen: The Kingdom of Ice.” In that version, the song “Let It Go” is entitled, “Suéltalo!,” which translates to “Let It Out!” We’ll deal with that one later.

In the meantime, enjoy “Libre Soy!”

La nieve pinta la montaña hoy
No hay huellas que seguir
La soledad un reino y la reina vive en mí
El viento ruge y hay tormenta en mi interior
Una tempestad que de mí salió

Lo que hay en ti, no dejes ver
Buena chica tú siempre debes ser
No has de abrir tu corazón
Pues ya se abrió

Libre soy, libre soy
No puedo ocultarlo más
Libre soy, libre soy
Libertad sin vuelta atrás
Y firme así me quedo aquí
Libre soy, libre soy
El frío es parte también de mí

Mirando a la distancia, pequeño todo es
Y los miedos que me ataban muy lejos los dejé
Lejanía me haces bien, ya puedo respirar
Lo sé a todo renuncié, pero al fin me siento en paz

Libre soy, libre soy
No puedo ocultarlo más
Libre soy, libre soy
Libertad sin vuelta atrás
Y firme así me quedo aquí
Libre soy, libre soy
El frío es parte también de mí

Fuerte, fría, escogí esta vida
No me sigas, atrás está el pasado
Nieve lo cubrió

Libre soy, libre soy
no puedo ocultarlo más
libre soy, libre soy
libertad sin vuelta atrás
y firme así, me quedo aquí
libre soy, libre soy
el frío es parte también de mi…

The snow the mountain paints Today
There are no tracks to follow
Solitude a kingdom and the queen lives in me
The wind roars and there is a storm inside me
A storm that came out of me

What is in you let no one see
You must always be a good girl,
You must not open your heart
Well, it’s opened!

I am free! I am free!
I can not hide it anymore.
I am free! I am free!
Freedom with no turning back.
And I stay here so strong
I am free! I am free!
The cold is also part of me.

Looking into the distance, everything is small
And the fears that bound me I left far behind.
Distance does me good – now I can breathe.
I know all left behind, but I finally feel at peace.

I am free! I am free!
I can not hide it anymore.
I am free! I am free!
Freedom of no return.
And I stay here so strong.
I am free! I am free!
The cold is also part of me.

Strong, cold, I chose this life
Don’t follow me – the past is the past!
It is buried in the snow.
I am free! I am free!
I can not hide it anymore.

I am free! I am free!
I can’t hide it anymore.
I am free! I am free!
Freedom of no return.
And I stay here so strong.
I am free! I am free!
The cold is also a part of me.


Frozen: En Français

23 Jan
Two versions of artwork for Disney's "La Reine des Neiges" ("Frozen").

Two versions of artwork for Disney’s “La Reine des Neiges” (“Frozen”).

Are you sick of reading about “Frozen” on my blog? Well…sorry…I’m about to write some more.

Tonight I started listening to some of the foreign language recordings of the film’s soundtrack and I was struck by how beautiful the lyrics are in other languages. Foreign language translation of song lyrics is very difficult – you’re restricted by rhythms and rhymes in addition to the gargantuan task of trying to convey the original intent of the original lyricist. That’s a tough job – especially when you’re dealing with an English to [fill in the blank with any Asian language] translation. My friend Koji translates musicals for a living and he works very hard at it. It’s nearly impossible to do a literal translation, meaning word-for-word, so sometimes you have to get a little poetic to make it work. Sometimes it works to the detriment of the piece. Whoever Disney got to do the French translations for “Frozen” (or as it’s titled in French, “La Reine des Neiges” [“The Snow Queen”]) is an absolute wordsmith. Their casting department also did a great job finding vocal matches for Kristen Bell (Anna) and Idina Menzel (Elsa). The French singers are Emmylou Homs (Anna) and Anaïs Delva (Elsa).

I have found that most of the translations for the songs are pretty close to literal, but I have noticed that a lot of artistic liberties have been taken with “Let It Go,” including changing the title of the song. In Spanish it’s “Libre Soy,” which means, “I’m Free.” In French it’s “Libérée, Délivrée,” which means, “Liberated, Delivered.” I think the French lyrics are beautiful. I’ve included them below with an English translation so you can see what they’ve done to the song. It’s pretty beautiful.

L’hiver s’installe doucement dans la nuit
La neige est reine à son tour
Un royaume de solitude
Ma place est là pour toujours

Le vent qui hurle en moi ne pense plus à demain
Il est bien trop fort
J’ai lutté, en vain
Cache tes pouvoirs, n’en parle pas
Fais attention, le secret survivra
Pas d’états d’âme, pas de tourments
De sentiments

Libérée, délivrée
Je ne mentirai plus jamais
Libérée, délivrée
C’est décidé, je m’en vais
J’ai laissé mon enfance en été
Perdue dans l’hiver
le froid est pour moi le prix de la liberté

Quand on prend de la hauteur
Tout semble insignifiant
La tristesse, l’angoisse et la peur
M’ont quittée depuis longtemps

Je veux voir ce que je peux faire
De cette magie pleine de mystères
Le bien, le mal, je dis tant pis
Tant pis

Libérée, délivrée
Les étoiles me tendent les bras
Libérée, délivrée
Non, je ne pleure pas
Me voilà, oui
Je suis là

Perdue dans l’hiver

Mon pouvoir vient du ciel
Et envahit l’espace
Mon âme s’exprime
En dessinant et sculptant dans la glace
Et mes pensées sont des fleurs de cristal gelées
Je ne reviendrai pas
Le passé est passé

Libérée, délivrée,
Désormais plus rien ne m’arrête
Libérée, délivrée
Plus de princesse parfaite
Je suis là
Comme je l’ai rêvé
Perdue dans l’hiver

Le froid est pour moi le prix de la liberté

Winter is slowly moving into the night
The snow reigns in turn
A kingdom of loneliness
My place is here forever.

The wind howls in me. I won’t think about tomorrow.
It is far too strong,
I struggled in vain
“Hide your powers , do not talk
Be careful, the secret will survive
Not emotional , no torment,
no feelings.”

Liberated! Delivered!
I will not ever lie again!
Liberated! Delivered!
It’s decided , I ‘m going.
I left my childhood in summer.
Lost in Winter,
cold for me is the price of freedom.

When we’re up high
Everything seems insignificant.
Sadness, anxiety and fear
I have long since left.

I want to see what I can do
This magic full of mysteries
The good, the bad , I say too bad
Let it be!

Liberated! Delivered!
The stars tend my arms.
Liberated! Delivered!
No, I do not cry.
Here I am, yes!
I’m here!
Lost in Winter

My power comes from heaven
And invades the space
My soul speaks
Drawing and sculpting in ice
And my thoughts are frozen crystal flowers.
I will not go back.
The past is past.

Liberated! Delivered!
Now nothing can stop me
Liberated! Delivered!
More than a perfect princess,
I’m here
As I’ve dreamed,
Lost in Winter.

Cold for me is the price of freedom.

Here’s the sequence in French as sung by Anaïs Delva. Amusez-vous!

Nicole Never Bothered Me, Anyway

21 Jan
Elsa, the Snow Queen, in Disney's "Frozen"

Elsa, the Snow Queen, in Disney’s “Frozen”

I wonder how long it will be before people start blaming Walt Disney Pictures for the freakishly cold weather we’ve had across the country this year. I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that these snowstorms and polar vortices have been clearly imagineered  by Disney to help promote “Frozen” and its soundtrack. Heck, the last snowstorm was even named “Hercules,” a Disney feature length animation! It’s no surprise that the storm blowing through the eastern half of the country happened just a few days after “Let It Go,” a Disney anthem unlike any other, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song. In lieu of sending gifts to Academy voters to sway decisions, Disney has sent a full-blown blizzard care of Elsa herself. The cold temperatures are also helping to keep Uncle Walt’s head nice and chilled, as well, until it’s time to thaw him out.

But seriously – I am so excited to watch the success of not only the movie which, according to IMDB.com, has grossed nearly $337 million domestically in less than two months, but also the soundtrack. It has consistently outsold even the Queen Bey herself on iTunes for the last four weeks, and I am so thrilled to hear so many Broadway voices on that album, including Kristen Bell, who I love. Yes, Kristen was on Broadway in the early 2000’s in a short-lived musical called The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in which she played Becky Thatcher before she booked “Veronica Mars” or adorably freaked out over a sloth.

Jonathan Groff, Santino Fontana, Maia Wilson, Alan Tudyk, Josh Gad…all Broadway folks. The songs were written by Robert Lopez, the composer of Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon, and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez. More Broadway folks. And, of course, Idina Menzel, who basically broke the vocal mold of Disney heroines with this film. There’s some honest-to-goodness screlting going on in this film, and it’s thrilling! I remember sitting in my seat and gasping when I heard her sing, “Tell the guards to open up…the gaaaaaate!” (at 2:48) because I’d never heard singing like that in a Disney film before. Obviously I know how Idina sings – I saw her in Wicked and See What I Wanna See in New York – but I half expected that she would be asked to bring it down a notch for the movie. I’m so glad that she was allowed to do her thing. I like seeing theatre people being recognized for the hard and exceptional work that they do.

And then there’s the song. “Let It Go” has become a sort of cultural phenomenon, spawning thousands of YouTube videos of people screaming their guts out and dozens of Buzzfeed articles featuring foreign language versions of the song, parodies and What If… alternate versions. There’s a reason the song is resonating with so many people, though. It’s a song of self acceptance, self forgiveness and embracing your own uniqueness and seeing where you can go with it. Sung by someone who has been hidden away from the world because she was born different. Locked away out of shame and fear by her parents, the two people who are supposed to love her the most; told to suppress not only what makes her different, but her feelings, as well. And finally, when it all comes out into the open, she realizes that there’s no taking it back and she decides to let go of the shame and fear and be who she really is. I know a lot of people who can relate to that. The sequence is thrilling and cathartic and incredibly moving. I called it as we walked out of the theater that chilly night in Tempe – the Lopezes have won themselves an Oscar. They didn’t win the Golden Globe, unfortunately, but I have high hopes that Oscar night they will win.

As much as I want “Frozen” to do well at the Oscars, I’m still mad about “Saving Mr. Banks” not getting more nominations. Especially Emma Thompson. But I guess I have to let it go.

Did I really just write that?

This video has been trending online today. It’s the “Let It Go” sequence sung in 25 different languages. The Latin American Spanish version is called “Libre Soy,” which means, “I Am Free.” I really love that. Enjoy!