Monday Travel Songs – Transport Through Spirit… With a Little Bit of Disney. ;)

Welcome to Monday Travel Songs, where I post and share geographic songs from all over the world. In this week’s post, we’ll be travelling to South Africa, with a beautiful song I grew up with. And through this love, the song (as well as other things) influenced me to develop a dream of travelling to Africa.

Week Number Five – Lea Halalela (Holy Land) by Khululiwe Sithole & Lebo M. : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TO5zJ_ymYEk

Lyrics in Zulu

Fatshe leso
Lea halalela

Uli-buse le lizwe
Izwe lethu
Mhlaba wethu
Uli phathe Kahle
Izwe lethu
Izwe lehtu

Uzo libusa
Le lizwe
Uli buse kahle
Uzo libusa
Le lizwe
Le lizwe

Fatshe leso
Lea halalela

Uli-buse le lizwe
lzwe lethu
Mhlaba wethu
U’zuli qondise
Izwe lethu
Izwe lethu

Fatshe leso
Lea halalela

English Translation 

Our land
Is holy

You must rule this land
The land of the people
Soil of the people
Handle it with care
This land of ours
This land of ours

You will rule
This land
Rule it with care
You will rule
This land
This land

Our land
Is holy

You must rule this land
The land of the people
Soil of the people
Keep it in order
This land of ours
This land of ours

Our land
Is holy

About the Song

Holy Land was composed by Hans Zimmer, with lyrics written by Leo M and sung by his South African choir. The song was released in 1995, following the theatrical release of the third successful animated film of all time – The Lion King.

It was part of a audio CD called Rhythm of the Pride Lands, as a sequel to the film’s original soundtrack.

However, Rhythm was originally planned to be an independent project by Jay Rifkin and Lebo M. As time went by, Disney became interested, and applied to take part and support Rhythm. And is was were we ended up with today. 😉

If you are wondering why the music in Holy Land is similar, then you might recognise that Holy Land was rewritten – for the Broadway Musical adaptation. The song was, of course, Shadowland.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BX2e270rmeM

Why Did I Choose This Song?

I choose Holy Land because of it’s beautiful music and magical lyrics – even in Zulu, this song is pretty powerful.

It is a true example of a beautiful, original and sensational song – if you haven’t checked out Holy Land, Rhythm of the Pride Lands, Shadowland or The Lion King in general, I highly recommend them. 🙂

Another Nomination

Before I wrap up this week’s Monday Travel Songs, I should shout out another nomination. Now this nomination is not a song, but a full work-print – from The Lion King.

In 1993, Disney was in the development of The Lion King and while the film was in the process, the company shared the first, full, draft feature; which was full of deleted dialogue and scenes (and a song) that didn’t make the final cut.

All of these clips can be seen on YouTube, all thanks to TommyPickles Fan1992, who created a playlist, for all Lion King fans. The playlist contains the original, storyboard drawings, before the film had a chance to hit the cinemas.

So, if you want to check it out (and press the “Play All” button), you’ll have a fun, full-packed and entertaining hour and a quarter. Definitely get the popcorn out and bring your Disney friends with you. 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFPyHQ1p4wemFHI-oalAvtK_nUFB2JB-D

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Fact of the Saturday – Bibbidi bobbidi boo

Walt Disney’s favourite animated scene was the one from the 1950 film, Cinderella. It is the iconic scene when Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother transforms Cinderella’s dress from rags into her beautiful, beautiful gown. 🙂

What’s your favourite Disney film scene?

What’s Going on Inside Our Heads? – My Review on Inside Out

Ever thought about what’s going on inside their heads? Well, Disney Pixar’s new film, Inside Out has the answer.

I first heard of Inside Out through my family and friends – I had doubts about the film, as I heard it’s too emotional or it had a complicated storyline, but they all told me to go and see it. So, I did; I went with my parents and one of my nephews (as a birthday treat). And I loved it; I certainly was not expecting a lot of pure and excellence, which captivated my attention.  

So what’s the story? Riley, an eleven year old moves to San Francisco from Minnesota, with her family. While she is trying to adjust her new life, inside Riley’s mind, there are five manifestations of Riley’s emotions—Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear and Anger. All seems to be well until Sadness touches Riley’s core memory. Then, Sadness and Joy are in the ride of their lives when they end up in the labyrinthine storage area (full of Riley’s long-term memories) and take a journey to Headquarters, while Disgust, Anger and Fear are left in charge. 

Without Sadness, Joy or the core memories, Riley slowly becomes homesick and falls into a deep depression, turning back on everything she loves – including her own family.

The story line is a first class standard and really easy to follow. During the film, I noticed to pick up two different levels of morals to both children and adults. For children, all they see is Riley and her emotions. For adults, however, I discovered that the team on a Inside Out were pointing out all the emotions we have – relating to Riley and those around her. I also love the relationship between Joy and Sadness; in the film, Sadness wants to be part of the team but Joy (being selfish, without realising it) takes over, since she’s team leader. Later on, Joy has to realise that without Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust, she can’t make a team co-operate with one another. It was wonderfully done and it shows how much mistakes we learn as we’re growing up or as adults. 

The cast were excellent. I loved Amy Poehler’s voice as Joy (she also wrote additional dialogue for the film), Phyllis Smith’s voice as Sadness and Kaitlyn Dias’ voice as Riley. Although I don’t make notes on child actors in my reviews but Kaitlyn’s voice made a real connection with me; she has really huge talent and will go really far in life. Pixar made really good choices for the voices and they brought the story to life, which made the plot stronger.

  
                                         Joy – who wouldn’t have made it far, for not it had been the voice of Amy Poehler.

But the nomination for my favourite part of the film goes to the Animation. I noticed that there were a lot of vibrant colours and excitable settings (inside Riley’s mind). According to Wikipedia, the art design is “intended to reflect 1950s Broadway musicals”. 

Docter [Pete Docter – the director and story pitcher] imagined that with emotions for characters, they could “push the level of caricature both in the design and in the style of movement to degrees [they’d] never done before.”

Also, the team focused on glowing, “effervescent qualitys”to the emotions (particularly Joy). But, this nearly scrapped because which was difficult to animate and it would of affected the budget of the film.  However, John Lasseter suggested for them to be applied for all five emotions. 

Personally, I thought adding these affects were wonderful. It is something very original, appealing and creative. So, a round of applause for a top mark job – and nominate the team for an Oscar already! 

Overall, I give Inside Out a million out of ten and highly recommend seeing it; at home (only when it’s out on DVD) or at the cinema. But, bring plenty of tissues and leave them close to you. That’ll be the idea, in case your wearing make-up. 😉

Edible Plants, Human Skeletons and Basketball Courts – 12 Facts You Didn’t Know About Disneyland Theme Parks

Everyone loves Disney. Everyone adores Disneyland. It’s been apart of our lives – the films we watch on television, and the big screen; the big parades and meeting our favourite characters.

Ranking as the number one resort amusement park corporations in the world (with 134,330,000 guests attending in 2014), Disneyland is the third most visited park in the world.

So, how much do we know about Disney? Not a lot, but here are twelve facts that you may not know about Disney.

1. You Can Eat the Plants in Tomorrowland!

Yes, all the plants in Tomorrowland are edible. The island was to pin-point the theme, which was farming where by teaching visitors, they can learn that humanity cam make the most of its resources.

2. The Haunted Mansion has a Pet Cemetery Behind It

If you take a chance to visit the Haunted Mansion and walk behind it. When you’re there, you’ll come to the cemetery, where it has many pet gravestones including one for Mr. Toad.

3. When Disneyland Opened, the Park Only Had Eighteen Attractions

When Disneyland opened on 17th July 1955, it originally had eighteen attractions. Today, twelve of them are till at the park. They are:

  1. Autopia
  2. The Disneyland Band
  3. The Disneyland Railroad Main Street Station
  4. The Disneyland Railroad New Orleans Square Station
  5. The Jungle Cruise
  6. King Arthur Carousel
  7. The Mad Tea Party
  8. The Main Street Cinema
  9. The Mark Twain Riverboat
  10. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  11. Peter Pan’s Flight
  12. The Storybook Land Canal Boats

4. The Matterhorn Ride Has a Basketball Court

It’s true – there is a half-court basketball structure on top of the mountain. When they are on their breaks, employees go to the basketball court to shoot hoops. Rumour has it that the mountain is still there.

5. Celebrities Have Worked There Before They Were Famous! 

They include the likes of Steve Martin, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robin Williams, Kevin Costner, John Lasseter, Richard Capenter and Jodie Prenger.

john-lasseter-people-in-tv-photo-u1

John Lasseter was a tour guide on the Jungle Cruise before he became the CEO of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios.

6. Want to Lend a Paw?

When visitors are not around in the park, the staff realise over two thousand feral felines in order to drive the rodents around the park. Although the park have said that the cats are nocturnal creatures, you may be lucky to see one, anywhere around the Disneyland Park.

7. Male Employees Weren’t Allowed Moustaches and Beards

Before the turn of the 21st century, workers who are male had to shave and be cleanly shaven. Can you imagine your male characters without moustaches and/or beards, if they originally had them?

8. Real Human Skeletons on a Disney Ride? That’s Totally Creepy…

When the Pirates of the Caribbean ride first opened, the staff thought about giving the ride a sense of realism by adding real. Yes, real human skeletons to the ride. However, the creepiest thing about this was that Disney had the skeletons, on loan from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Today, the skeletons have been removed and replaced with artificial skeletons. That is, apart from one which is still there.

9. Who Were the Inspirations Behind Disneyland? alt Disney’s daughters were the inspiration behind Disneyland

Walt Disney’s daughters, of course. Before Walt created Disneyland, he took his daughters, Diane Disney Miller and Sharon Mae Disney on a trip to L.A.’s Griffith Park and had a ride on the merry-go-round. And the rest (they say) is history.

walt-and-his-girls_447x336

Walt Disney with his daughters, Diane and Sharon.

10. Disneyland, In It’s History, Has Only Closed Three Times 

  1. The Death of John F. Kennedy
  2. The Northridge Earthquake
  3. 9/11

11. Secret Club?! What?!

Believe it or not, Disneyland has its own private club. Club 33 used to be a secret club, where Walt Disney used it to invite and host parties for important people. Located in New Orleans Square, Club 33 is only open to members and their guests. Also, it is the only place in the park where it serves alcohol and has a full bar.

12. Castle Capsule

On 17th July 1995, a time capsule was buried in front of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, when Disneyland celebrated it’s forth anniversary. The capsule will not be opened until 17th July 2045 – 50 years after it’s burial.

Sleeping-Beuty-castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle, where the time capsule is currently buried.

So that’s it, twelve things you didn’t know about Disneyland and it’s theme parks. What’s your favourite fact about Disneyland? Which facts about Disney do you think should have been on the list?

From Rags to Riches – My Review on “Cinderella”

When you think of Sir Kenneth Branagh, the first thing you say he has acted in films like Much Ado About Nothing or directed adult films. But directing a Disney live action film, is unheard of. To be honest, I didn’t know he could direct at all.

  

Lily James as Ella.

Today, I went back to the cinema and saw Cinderella. My cousin and I were very keen to see this one; for months and months, we wouldn’t stop talking about it. We also were excited about Helena Bonham Carter and Cate Blanchett being in the film as the Fairy Godmother and Lady Termaine. But, never, ever did I expect to be really good.  

I pretty imagine everyone knows the story and has seen the 1950 animated film. If not, I recommend watching it before seeing the modern version. The 2015 version does have some parts and lines from the 1950 film, the others are based on the orginal fairytale by Charles Perrault. It’s not a hundred percent remake but it’s nice to see bits of the original film in there. 

I liked the storyline; Ella’s story was very beautiful and emotional. So was the Prince’s. I couldn’t help but cry for and with them. Somehow, it gives me a sense that their feelings and emotions can relate to the audience. And not many films do that. I praise and give Cinderella a standing ovation for this. I was in tears at the sad moments and the end. I won’t give the plot away but I guarantee that you won’t be disappointed if you are looking for tear-jerker. 

The cast are – OMG – amazing! My favourite actors in the film were Downtown Abbey actress Lily James plays Ella (or Cinderella), Cate Blanchett and Helena Bonham Carter. James’ portrayal as Ella is enchanting. I really, really like her; I couldn’t get enough and I wanted more of her. I like her smile, personality, etc. She’s the prefect actress to play a Disney princess. Blanchett’s portrayal as Lady Termaine is spectacular; I was scared of her when she tore Ella’s dress and broke her glass slipper. I have a feeling Blanchett did some research by watching the 1950 version because Termaine, in both films have a striking resemblance based on personality. Blanchett has recreated a master villain that will remembered for generations to come. Although she is only on screen for about ten minutes, Carter’s portrayal of the Fairy Godmother is sweet, warming and really funny. More funnier than the 1950’s character. Even her transformation from an elderly, penniless lady to a younger woman is pretty awesome. I really enjoyed her performance. I also give her cerdit for her beautiful narration. 

James with Cate Blanchett as Lady Termaine.

The one thing that stood up for us were the costumes. Sandy Powell, an Ocsar winning costume designer was reponsible for them. She confessed that she wanted to design 19th century clothes but I think she went further than that. The costumes my cousin and I admired the most were Ella’s blue ballgown and wedding dress. We loved the petticoats underneath the ballgown, the glass slippers and the cominbation of multi-coloured flowers around the bridal dress and vail. I also loved the Fairy Godmother’s silver dress. It stands out from the rest of the costumes, as it reminds me from the Elizabethan era. Very unique and astounding. 

Ella’s beautiful wedding dress, one of my favourite dresses in the film. I must confess, I really, really want a dress like this. 🙂

The music is pretty cool too; it’s Rachel Portman with Hans Zimmer. But it’s not them. The composer is Patrick Doyle and he does a good job. Lily James’ version of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” is truly beautiful. My eyes are filled with tears everytime I hear this; she has a beautiful operatic voice. 

In conclusion, I appulade Sir Kenneth Branagh for directing Cinderella and the cast for their amazing portrayals. Is it better than the original? Absolutely. This film is definitely a must-see, especially if you have little girls. You’ll be pleased to take them, as they may want to dance to the music at the end. That certainly happened when we came out of the cinema and I can’t imagine it’ll be the same. Smile, cry and dream with this live-feature film.  

James and Richard Madden as Prince Charming.