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Friday, February 10, 2017

Most Romantic Gestures Countdown

In honor of Valentine's Day, here is a love-themed mini-countdown of romantic gestures. These include the little romantic, sweet things that are done to show appreciation, thanks, give encouragement in hard times or show the growing of romantic feelings. These gestures are rated on how romantic the following combined factors are: the gesture itself (what they tried to do since it's the thought that counts), background setting, background music, romantic connection of the couple and the surrounding circumstances that led to the gesture.

Here is the formula for the placements:
Ranking. Gesture Event - Couple Names (Respective Disney Film)
7. David Gets Nani A Job Opportunity So She Can Keep Custody Of Lilo - Nani & David (Lilo & Stitch)
Nani is about to lose custody of Lilo, in part, because she doesn't have a job and cannot afford to keep her. (Of course, that is only 1 part of the reason.) It's a romantic gesture because David really has no incentive to do this. After all, David has strong feelings for Nani and is always trying to take her out on a date; The biggest part about why Nani never has time to go on dates with David, is because she is always too busy working and taking care of Lilo. This little action is how we know David has true, genuine, selfless feelings towards Nani. He runs to her house immediately upon finding out that a place nearby is hiring, and takes her there. It's not exactly a romantic scene specifically, there's no romantic music or setting and these two aren't even in a committed relationship (yet), but it's a very romantic gesture nonetheless. 

6. Library Gift - Belle & Adam/The Beast (Beauty And The Beast)
The Beast/Adam saved Belle's life and she returned the favor, after Belle ran away to the woods. This seems to be the first true act of kindness that he has ever experienced. (After all, everyone else he knows is a servant in the castle.) This act of kindness and care by Belle touches the Beast/Adam. He decides that, even though she was reciprocating him saving her life, he wants to do something special for Belle. He doesn't just want to give her any nice gift, he wants it to be sentimental. He wants to make sure that his gift is something that will bring Belle much happiness, something that she will treasure. He decides upon giving ownership of his entire library to Belle. As an avid-reader who has read every book in her own small town's library, so much so that she even started to re-read them, this means a lot to Belle. She doesn't take this gesture for granted, she appreciates it and thanks him graciously. This scene is just before the "Something There" scene, where they clearly begin to fall in love. The musical score in this scene is a bit romantic, as it's leading up to a more romantic scene. The library itself is gorgeous, especially as far as libraries go. This romantic gesture is one in a line of events that lead to this couple falling in love.

5. Eilonwy Tries To Make Taran Feel Better About Trading The Sword For The Cauldron - Eilonwy & Taran (The Black Cauldron)
After being imprisoned by the Horned King, escaping and venturing out on a journey to save the world, things are looking really glum. Although this group has the "weapon" to defeat the Horned King, it requires a self-sacrifice by free will - and no one is freely willing to die. On top of that, Taran traded his Magic Sword for this Black Cauldron. Doli, one of the Fair Folk, is incredibly upset at the situation but mostly seems to take it out on Taran and criticizing "humans". This leaves poor Taran feeling dejected and like he let everyone down somehow. Eilonwy is the first one to change the mood, praising and encouraging Taran for his efforts. She manages to pick up his spirits and it seems as though they may even share their first kiss - until they are interrupted by the Horned King's soldiers and captured. Although the setting, music and circumstances aren't exactly the most romantic, it actually makes the gesture that much more romantic - especially since it almost leads to their first kiss.

4. Secret Goodbye "If I Never Knew You" - Pocahontas & John Smith (Pocahontas)
John Smith has been captured for the death of Kocoum and sentenced to death. Pocahontas sneaks in to see him, with the help of Nakoma, and cries to Smith that this is all her fault and that if she had never met him, this would not have happened. John Smith replies that he'd rather know her and face death than live without ever knowing her. This is an incredibly romantic statement. The scene is bittersweet, romantic yet heartbreaking at the same time; The music is the same. Pocahontas and Smith are trapped in a forbidden love. This gesture of sneaking in to see him and talk to him is a romantic gesture though.

3. Tarzan Gets Jane Flowers - Jane & Tarzan (Tarzan)
Tarzan has just encountered people for the first time. Jane and her father are showing him a lifetime of knowledge, and Tarzan can't seem to get enough. He even stays awake going through picture slides of human life while Jane and her father are asleep. One night while doing this, he comes across a slide of a man on one knee, presenting flowers to a woman. He immediately looks at Jane and realizes he wants to do this for her. This is a beautiful, sweet, incredibly romantic gesture. He goes through the jungle, looking for different flowers and picks her a jungle flower bouquet. Unfortunately, when he gets to her, she bumps into him with her suitcase and most of his flowers break and fall off. The reason Jane has her suitcase, is because the ship needs to go and she has to leave. Tarzan presents what's left of his broken bouquet to Jane and asks her to stay but she runs away crying, saying she can't. This gesture was very romantic and even though Jane didn't have a positive reaction, it was because she did have feelings for him, not that she didn't. Staying in the jungle after being raised in high society London was a big change and she wasn't sure if she could make that - yet.

2. Traditional Flower Garlands For The Ball - Anastasia T. & Baker (Cinderella 2)
The ball is coming up and couples are getting their traditional flower-heart garlands to give each other at the ball. Anastasia Tremaine, who yearns to fall in love, is caught off guard when she smells fresh bread and is drawn into a bakery where she meets the one she will fall in love with. He is a baker and he is just as instantly smitten with her as she is with him. Unfortunately, Lady Tremaine and Drizella interrupt, disparage the baker and his bakery and pressure Anastasia to leave with them. Even though Anastasia does as she is told, Cinderella sees the entire thing and decides to step in herself, on the side of love. Cinderella helps Anastasia get ready and gives her some tips on how to be nice to the Baker so she doesn't drive him away. We see that both, Anastasia and the Baker each get the traditional flower-heart garlands in the hopes of giving them to each other. However, when Anastasia is on her way to see the Baker, she sees him asking another woman's opinion on the garland he bought. Anastasia misunderstands the situation and thinks he was giving the flower garland to this other woman, and she runs away crying. The Baker sees her though, and runs after her. When he finds her, he asks her to the ball and Anastasia realizes her mistake. This was a sweet romantic gesture by both parties, making it even more romantic. The setting of these events were somewhat romantic, more by the fountain but less in the Bakery shop. These two found love at first sight and this was a very romantic gesture that they each thought of.

1. Compliments From Forbidden Loves - Ting-Ting, Mei, Su & Ling, Yao, Chien-Po (Mulan 2)
The soldiers are guarding the princesses on their way to marry foreign princes in the name of peace. However, during this journey, it turns out that these soldiers and these princesses are each other's soul mates. After recognizing that there are feelings, these 6 sneak out to get to know each other better and see where the feelings lead. They all realize they are in love but they are caught by the leaders of their mission, Mulan and Shang. Mulan supports them but Shang does not and he is the top of the chain. He forbids the soldiers from talking to the princesses as they are to be married to others. This has the 6 newly found loves in sadness. Suddenly, the soldiers think of a loophole and they pretend to talk to each other while really speaking to the princesses. They tell each other that if they could talk to the princesses, here's what they'd say. This tactic works and the compliments pick up the spirits of the princesses, as well as the soldiers themselves. The setting and music aren't too romantic, but the gesture was just the opposite. Not only did this romantic gesture help the princesses feel better, but it told the romantic feelings of the soldiers as well.

"I sure wish we could talk to the princess." "What? You know we can't." "Yes, I also wish we could talk to them. But as you know, orders is orders." "Yes, but if I could talk to them, do you know what I would say?" "No, what would you say, if only you could?"
"I'd tell Ting-Ting that she's the prettiest, funniest, most extraordinary girl I've ever met!"
"I would tell Princess Su that she is like fresh ginger on the rice bowl of my life!"
"And I would tell Mei that she's one right babe!"

I hope you enjoyed this mini countdown!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Most Romantic Song Countdown Part 2/2

In honor of Valentine's Day, here is a love-themed countdown of romantic Disney songs. Most of the songs are about falling in love or waiting for love to happen. They are rated on how romantic the music, lyrics and accompanying scene from the respective Disney film are, as well as the situation surrounding the song:

8. Beauty and the Beast - Beauty and the Beast
A slow, shy, building melody perfectly conveys the feel of falling in love. The lyrics poetically tell of love being never-changing and timeless. At this point, most of the inhibitions that Belle and the Beast had towards each other, are gone. They have learned to trust each other and are falling deep in love. The gorgeous, iconic ballroom with the dreamy ceiling, a grand chandelier and almost floor-to-ceiling windows displaying the starry night sky make for a very romantic setting; The perfect background to such a scene.
"True As It Can Be, Barely Even Friends Then Somebody Bends Unexpectedly"

7. Once Upon A Dream - Sleeping Beauty
The incredible talent for romantic waltz by Tchaikovsky is on full display here, perfectly conveying the sound of falling in love. This pairs well with the lyrics of a dreamy, fantastical love coming true. Aurora and Phillip have just met in this scene, but after a quick serenading, they take a chance and dance through the forest giving in to the immediate love that has captured them. An iconic and memorable waltz by the lake and through the trees makes for an unforgettably romantic background setting.
"But If I Know You, I Know What You'll Do: You'll Love Me At Once, The Way You Did Once Upon A Dream"

6. Something There - Beauty and the Beast
The music here perfectly conveys the earnestness and anxiousness of falling in love, with a melody that is sweet yet playful. The lyrics perfectly convey the transformation that love provides and the spontaneous way in which the realization hits you. At this point, Belle and the Beast are organically opening up to each other in a way they never had before, and the reason being that something more has begun to develop: a relationship of love, trust, respect and appreciation. For the first time, these two have started to play with each other, having fun, and entering into each other's worlds. The winter snow and warm fireplace make for quite a romantic setting as well.
"And Who'd Have Guessed They'd Come Together On Their Own? It's So Peculiar. Wait And See, A Few Days More: There May Be Something There That Wasn't There Before"

5. If I Never Knew You - Pocahontas
*From the Special Edition Version
The slow, somewhat dark melody here perfectly conveys how bittersweet a forbidden love can be; The tragedy it can bring as well as the miracles. The lyrics do an overwhelmingly good job of conveying how powerful love can be, and how strong it can be in the face of opposition. In this scene, Pocahontas had initially told John Smith that she wish she had never met him, and then maybe her father wouldn't be so set on killing him. He immediately rebukes this idea though, assuring Pocahontas that "he'd rather die tomorrow than live 100 years without knowing you", touching on the theme of this song. Although the background and setting is incredibly sad, it's also very moving and tender, displaying the negative implications that can accompany a forbidden love.
"If I Never Knew You, If I Never Felt This Love, I Would Have No Inkling Of How Precious Life Can Be"

4. I See The Light - Tangled
Soft, folk-like kind of music does a good job of showing the innocence of love and what an initial recognition of that love feels like. The lyrics also convey the same sentiments, showing how much things can change when one has love in their life. At this point, Rapunzel and Eugene have been on quite a journey which has required them to rely on each other. They have argued, saved each other and explored together. Most importantly though, they have started to fall in love with each other and both of them are experiencing love for the first time in their lives. Since this is their first encounter of any kind of real love, they are both anxious and afraid, but genuine and optimistic at the same time. The glowing, flying lanterns over the ocean make for a truly, undeniably romantic setting.
"And It's Warm And Real And Bright. And The World Has Somehow Shifted. All At Once Everything Looks Different, Now That I See You"

3. Can You Feel The Love Tonight? - The Lion King
The amazing musical talent of Elton John is definitely on display in this most mesmerizing melody. The lyrics display the harmony that love brings, even after hardship and separation of a lost love. Simba and Nala have had chemistry since they were kids and this is the first time they have been reunited since they were kids. In this reunion, they find that no love - or chemistry - has been lost at all. In fact, it seems the long absence has only strenthened their love and chemistry. The waterfalls, open fields and jungle background settings are as romantic as they can possibly be here.
"Can You Feel The Love Tonight? The Peace The Evening Brings. The World For Once, In Perfect Harmony With All It's Living Things"

2. A Whole New World - Aladdin
The melody here does a perfect job conveying magic, splendor and wonder; Not only of the unbelievable magic carpet ride journey, but the journey of falling in love as well. The lyrics present the passion of falling in love and the roller-coaster ride emotions it can bring, and how that all gets shared in a committed relationship. Even though Jasmine might not immediately realize, or fully trust, that she knows Prince Ali, she has taken a chance because she trusts him as well as trusts herself. Aladdin, on the other hand, has been in love with Jasmine since he first laid eyes on her and finally has the chance to offer her something as incredible as she makes him feel. The around-the-world changing settings make for so many romantic locations and backgrounds: from overlooking the entire city, going through the clouds, flying past the moon, sailboats on the river, Egyptian pyramids and sphinx to the Greek temples.
"Let Me Share This Whole New World With You"

Honorary Mention: Let Me Be Your Wings - Thumbelina
The music here is very romantic and dreamy, subtle yet powerful. This is a perfect accompaniment to the lyrics which proclaim the promises of love: trust, stability, splendor, commitment and a higher standard of living. Thumbelina and Prince Cornelius have only just met a short while ago, but they are already falling in love and on their way to a happily ever after. The starry night sky, peaceful body of water and glowing pumpkin make for quite a romantic background setting.
"Heaven Is Where You Are, Stay With Me And Let Me Be Your Wings"

1. So This Is Love - Cinderella
Classic, completely romantic music sweetly complimenting the lyrics about the divinity of falling in love and the positive effect it has. This song conveys love as the greatest gift of all. The Prince and Cinderella are falling in love, as the Prince sweeps Cinderella off of her feet throughout the palace ball and outside to the privacy of the courtyard, underneath the shining stars. The combination of the ballroom, courtyard and natural night sky makes for an incredibly, classically romantic setting.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Most Romantic Song Countdown Part 1/2

In honor of Valentine's Day, here is a love-themed countdown of romantic Disney songs. Most of the songs are about falling in love or waiting for love to happen. They are rated on how romantic the music, lyrics and accompanying scene from the respective Disney film are, as well as the situation surrounding the song:

17. I'm Wishing - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
A sweet melody paired with optimistic lyrics about finding a love that will bring happiness and harmony. At this point, Snow White has lived a childhood of abuse and hasn't felt what it's like to be loved since her parents died. Nevertheless, she still keeps up her spirits and chooses to believe that she will fall in love with someone who will treat her with kindness and love. These wishes are expressed to the Wishing Well, a magical and quite romantic location.
I'm Wishing For The One I Love To Find Me

16. I Won't Say I'm In Love - Hercules

The music here is not traditionally romantic though it certainly has it's romantic elements. The same goes for the lyrics, as they convey the fear and anxiety of falling in love after being hurt in a romantic situation - and the powerlessness of falling in love when it happens. By this point, Megara has been around Hercules enough to know that he's a good guy yet she still fears making herself completely vulnerable to him, which is what love does. That being said, she can't help but falling in love with him because he is a good guy and he's fallen in love with her too. The setting is where she just had a semi-romantic date with Hercules and there are many statues and symbols of love all around her. Despite the fact that she is struggling with this love, it is still pretty romantic.
"At Least Out Loud, I Won't Say I'm In Love"
15. Someday My Prince Will Come- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The music is very simple and not as strong on the romantic side. However, the lyrics are all about trusting in love and the faith that two people in love will be reunited and find their happily ever after. By this point, Snow White is no longer dreaming of finding love but being reunited with her love as the Prince has already declared his commitment to her. This belief is expressed through a story-telling in song form, to the dwarfs that have taken Snow White in until this reunion occurs.
"Someday We'll Meet Again, And Away To His Castle We'll Go, To Be Happy Forever I Know"

Honorary Mention: Soon - Thumbelina
The music here is very dreamy and romantic, perfectly conveying the longing of romantic companionship. The lyrics are also dreamy and romantic, perfectly conveying the hope and optimism towards love and the belief that true love will find everyone to bring them a happy ending (and rainbow). At this point, Thumbelina has never met anyone who is like her and she fears that she will die alone as a result. So, she makes a plea to love, asking it not to leave her out. The storybook behind her might not make for the most traditionally romantic setting, but the fact that the story is about love and the open page about a wedding, makes it more romantic.

14. I Wonder - Sleeping Beauty
The music here is easily overshadowed by Aurora's stunning operatic voice. A light, playful melody that never takes the spotlight from the romantic lyrics of the wonders of love and whether or not everyone has a true love waiting out there for them. The only people Aurora has ever known at this point, are her aunts. Yet, through her trips in the forest, she witnesses (love) birds singing to each other and cuddling in pairs, spurring about her wonders of love. The natural forest setting makes for a romantic background as well.
"I Wonder If My Heart Keeps Singing, Will My Song Go Winging To Someone Who Will Find Me And Bring Back A Love Song To Me"

13. Love Is An Open Door - Frozen
The music here is a little more on the playful and flirty side than the romantic side, although it does have some romantic elements. The lyrics are similar, with playful, quirky lines intertwined with sweet, romantic ones. Anna and Hans met a bit earlier and have been spending all night together. Anna is so deep in puppy-love infatuation that she has no clue that Hans is faking it (and he is a really good actor). The setting here is very romantic as they explore the castle and a little around the town of Arendelle. The waterfall and cliff overlooking the port is very romantic. If the wedding proposal at the end of this scene were real, it would have made for a most romantic exclamation point.
"Life Can Be So Much More With You... Love Is An Open Door"

12. Part Of Your World Reprise - The Little Mermaid
The soft melody here brilliantly portrays the mix of timidness and yearning at the same time, just as Ariel's lyrics do as well. After watching and getting to know a bit about Eric before a storm almost kills him, Ariel has just saved Eric's life. The beauty of her voice seems to assist Eric in waking up as he experiences love at first sound. The beach is a classically romantic setting and it perfectly fits the romance in this song and scene - the place where two worlds meet.
"Just You And Me, And I Could Be Part Of Your World"

11. Kiss The Girl - The Little Mermaid
Playful, flirty, romantic music - with a few interruptions from Scuttle - do a good job setting the mood here. The lyrics are somewhat romantic here, as they encourage acting out on the feelings of love. Unfortunately, it also comes off a bit pushy and pressure and haste aren't exactly romantic elements. Even though Eric doesn't realize that Ariel is the owner of the voice he fell in love with, he does seem to have some feelings for the woman in front of him that he cannot deny. Ariel, on the other hand, has been in love with Eric and clearly cherishing this moment. The secluded boat ride is very romantic, especially with the help of the animal friends who make the setting even more romantic with their efforts.
"She Don't Got A Lot To Say But There's Something About Her. And You Don't Know Why But You're Dying To Try, You Wanna Kiss The Girl"

10. One Song - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
A traditional, romantic, operatic, serenading kind of song to compliment lyrics of a stable, consistent, committed and loyal love. Although the Prince and Snow have just met, the song is very romantic and sincere along with the accompanying gesture. The Prince is surrounded by flowers while Snow is surrounded by doves (a symbol of her purity) which makes for a very romantic accompanying scene as well.
"One Song My Heart Keeps Singing Of One Love Only For You"

9. Ma Belle Evangeline - Princess And The Frog
A soft, slow, French Creole melody sets a romantic tone. The lyrics profess the adoration and persistence of love. Even though Tiana and Naveen are only together at this point through unfortunate circumstance, they have started to open up to each other and come out of their own respective shells (doing things they have never done before). The growing love between them has been persistent and sparked a true adoration for each other. The night setting here is far more romantic than an average swamp, thanks to the help of (Ray and) the starry sky, glowing lotus flowers and changing spotlight colors.
"Love Is Beautiful. Love Is Wonderful. Love Is Everything, Do You Agree? Mais Oui!"
Most Romantic Song Countdown Part 2/2 HERE!