Disney Girl Challenge: Yzma

Yzma 1

Let’s kick this week off right, friends, with a manicure inspired by Yzma, the bad gal of Disney’s animated movie The Emperor’s New Groove, and a woman described by just about everyone who meets her as “scary beyond all reason.”  If only she could shake that pesky llama problem!  And that lever problem.  And that Kronk problem.

On paper, Yzma’s got the baddie goods.  As senior adviser to disinterested d-bag Emperor Kuzko – SO senior; Yzma’s age is never revealed, but her ’30s-style garb, nightly de-aging skin regimen and ultra pinched demeanor would suggest a woman in her late 70s – Yzma has all the power and precious little oversight.  But after an attempt to overthrow the teenage fun times emperor goes sideways (turns out the kid’s not so disinterested after all, though he’s still very much a d-bag) Yzma’s thrown out on her pointy ass.  With the help of her young, hot and devoted – but easily distracted – man servant, Kronk, Yzma then concocts a plan to poison the emperor and claim the throne for herself.

Except…you get what you pay for, and Yzma’s been cheaping out HARD.  Kronk is a sweet guy, a real go-with-the-flow type, and a total wiz in the kitchen (spinach puffs are his specialty) but Yzma treats him like crap, and you can’t help but think he’s not putting in his best effort under such working conditions.  Because every single one of their schemes goes badly, including Kuzko’s attempted poisoning, which results not in the emperor’s death, but in his being turned into a llama instead.  Yup, a llama.  Llama jokes abound in this thing; get on board or perish!

The rest of the movie concerns Kuzko’s attempts to end his state of enforced llama-ness, and Yzma’s attempts to just plain old end him, and it’s hilarious.  The Emperor’s New Groove is one of those Disney gems that flew way, way under the radar when it was released in 2000, and I can’t help but think that if people knew about its slapsticky, almost Monty Python-esque sense of humour, they’d be more receptive to its charms.  It’s a total goof of an animated film, but not necessarily a children’s film.  The humour here is actually quite sophisticated – fart jokes need not apply.  And with the voice talents of David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt (Yzma herself) and Patrick Warburton all doing their considerable things, it’s immensely charming.  It’s a comedy of errors.  With llamas!  Big recommendation on this one.

I usually do my character manicures with the character’s face on my thumb, but this mani went about as well as one of Yzma and Kronk’s plans, which is to say not at all.  I redid my thumb three times before finally settling on this all-finger design.  Let’s just say Yzma’s cadaver-esque snub nose and spiderweb lashes do not lend themselves particularly well to lacquered interpretation.  But her penchant for feathered and flared purple certainly does.  Wouldn’t be a Disney villain if she weren’t garbed in some shade of aubergine, I suppose. 😉

Yzma 2

Disney Girl Challenge: Bo Peep

Bo Peep 1

Bahahahahaha – or perhaps baaaaaa-hahahaha? – Bo Peep on my thumb here looks like a nun!  I maintain, I am utter crap at painting characters, they ALL come out looking like black market, carnival-grade nylon nightmares.  I do think her three-headed, one-body sheep are rather fetching, however.

And in case you’re curious as to this Disney Girl Challenge business, it’s an open-ended, super casual, non-challenge challenge I set for myself, oh, nearly six years ago now when I realized there were about nine billion female Disney characters out there that would make some really excellent nail art subjects.  Please click on the link above to check out a LOT of Disney girl power, lacquered styles. 🙂

Bo Peep 2

Disney Girl Challenge: Woah-o-oh, Vampirina!

Vampirina Collage 1

Well, would you look at that – actual nail art on this nail art blog!  However, owing to the fact that my brain now seems to be permanently stuck in Disney auto-pilot mode, you know there’s gots to be some House of the Mouse in here somewhere.

This is Vampirina.  She may be blue, with pointy teeth, but she’s just like you!  Or she’s like the three to six-year-olds who are her target television audience, where she has a cute namesake show about her family’s spooky adventures in Pennsylvania.  It’s a Disney Junior production, though fairly new, which means the kids haven’t quite lost their wee minds over Vampirina and her friends as much as they have over, say, Doc McStuffins or those weirdo PJ Masks critters.  Give it time; I feel like this one is going to be big.

I’m a good 35 years off Vampirina’s targeted age range, but I just find it utterly adorable.  Vampirina Hauntley’s a spooktacular little baby goth, and she’s the kind of thoughtful, self-possessed and totally normal kid anyone would be delighted to call their own.  That she’s a blue-skinned, pointy-toothed vampire from a strange country filled with unfamiliar customs is a metaphor for anybody who may think of themselves as an “other,” although the show doesn’t whap you over the head with its message of acceptance and friendship and understanding.  Or maybe it does and I’ve just been brainwashed after staring into Vampirina’s unmoving purple eyes for too long (my one complaint with the show – the animation is flat, although the rich colours and design of the show are straight out of a Tim Burton movie.)  It’s a terror-ifically delightful and non-irritating children’s show with a kind heart, a great message and a colourful gothic look, and I love it for it, child(-at-heart) or no.  Also, James Van Der Beek voices Vee’s father, Boris, Lauren Graham her mother, Oxana, and Wanda Sykes Vampirina’s 473-year-old gargoyle best friend, Gregoria.  It’s so insanely charming.

Vampirina 3

I nearly gave myself a case of the battys when we walked out of a ride on a recent trip to Hollywood Studios and Vampirina was right across the street holding a character meet-and-greet!  We jumped into line and didn’t feel the least bit weird about the fact that we were the only adults around. 🙂

104

And oh my gosh, she was SO cute!  On the show, Vampirina plays guitar in a band with her human friends Poppy and Bridget.  The Ghoul Girls thrash out in Vampirina’s stone tower bedroom, and Vampirina’s all about those rawk fingers.  She actually got so excited here after we asked about her band that she nearly stuck her devil horns straight up Mr. Finger Candy’s nose!

103

Is there something wrong with us that we’ll stand in line to meet real life plushie representations of fictional animated characters?  Yeah, probably!  But it’s a lot like Vampirina unlocking her inner ghoul – it feels good, so we’re doing it.  Family motto of the last 365 days, actually.  So glad we got to meet this cutie – one day it will probably pay off in cool-loser Aunt Sandra stories for some delighted six-year-olds. 😉

Vampirina Collage 2

Disney Girl Challenge: Oh Look, Another Glorious Morning

Hocus Pocus Collage 2

…Makes me sick!  As Winifred Sanderson of Hocus Pocus might say, here represented in tiny lacquered form alongside her witchy sisters, toady Mary and nitwit Sarah.

I am a late, late convert to the Cult of Hocus Pocus, much to the chagrin of a number of friends (hi, Jessica!) who swore up and down that I’d absolutely adore it.  Except the first time I really sat down and attempted to watch it early last Fall, I couldn’t; it was goofy, shrill and shrieky in a way that just doesn’t ring my chimes.

Then we went to Disney World to celebrate our Halloween anniversary, and that’s where we both fell in love with Hocus Pocus.  At this time of year ’round the parks, particularly the Magic Kingdom, it’s nearly impossible to avoid the reach of this movie.  Disney has leaned into their also-also ran Halloween hit (the first being The Nightmare Before Christmas) in a big, big way, creating an entire stage show – the Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular – around Winnie, Mary and Sarah Sanderson, complete with a raucous, audience-“hypnotizing” version of I’ve Put a Spell on You.  It probably doesn’t need to be said that there’s also an absolute ton of merchandise available.

C6

The thing that nabbed us, though, was a 24-hour Hocus Pocus marathon that ran on Halloween itself.  It was one of those things we just sort of absorbed via exhausted osmosis – too tired to even reach a hand over to change the channel on the remote, we lay there, collapsed on our beds, and gave ourselves over to the Sandersons.  Compounding our confusion somewhat was the fact that over that weekend, we were seldom in our room, out pounding the theme park pavement from dusk till dawn instead.  So we’d return to our resort room just in time to catch wildly out-of-order snippets of fake cops, dead man’s chungs, flattened cats, the chocolate-covered finger of a man named Clark and mortal busboys.  Having never seen the movie from start to finish, it was a complete mindf**k, like wandering into somebody else’s Hocus Pocus-tinged acid trip.  It was really so much more engaging – if not utterly confusing – that way!

And so after that, Hocus Pocus just became one of “those movies” – a film you love more because of the events that happened around it, and less because of the actual movie itself (which, over many repeated viewings – linear ones, too! – has really endeared itself to me.)  On our most recent Labour Day trip, the “too exhausted to change the channel” pick was Die Hard 4: Live Free or Die Hard (a nearly necessary bit of gratuitous violence and snarky Justin Long to balance out the relentlessly saccharine sweetness of a day spent at the Magic Kingdom; I love the place, but Disney truly has precious little edge.)  Pretty sure we’ve watched it a dozen times since returning home, because it conjures up sweet, pleasantly exhausted memories of our great trip.

Hocus Pocus Collage 3

Just like Hocus Pocus!  You guys already know that when I really like something, I put it on my nails, and the Sandersons have proven to be no exception.  I’ve also added these manicures to my casual, year-to-year Disney Girl Challenge, wherein I attempt to do a manicure for every Disney character bearing two X chromosomes.  In hindsight, I probably should have added Dani and Allison to the list, but I thought I’d start with the main draws.  Besides, do the Sandersons look like reasonable women who like to share?  No, not particularly!  But I’m sharing, because I’m not a witch…or am I? 😉

Chillin’ Like a Villain: Poor Unfortunate Souls

Ursula Ears Collage 2

Because baddies need ear love, too!  Kicking off the week here at Finger Candy by highlighting showing off these stupendous Ursula mouse ears I recently purchased from Etsy vendor Mouseket Ears Bowtique.  They are THE coolest ears I’ve ever seen, and I can already tell you that when I wear them on our upcoming trip to Disney at Halloween (or perhaps even before then…) I won’t be able to take three steps without somebody excitedly asking where I nabbed ’em.  And you just know I had to do a matching mani to go along with this beautiful headband, as well as a rather cadaverous-looking (but no doubt Ursula-approved) lip.

Ursula 1

Mouse ears, or Minnie ear headbands, as they’re often called, are a relatively new thing in my life.  I’ve always admired all of the people bombing around the parks in an ever-changing assortment of mouse ear’d headpieces, but as a lifelong sufferer of both random headaches and nuclear migraines, anything that put pressure on any part of my head (see also toques, soft headbands, some baseball hats, helmets, goggles, etc.) was pretty well off limits.  But (*knock on wood*) that no longer seems to be quite the issue it used to be, and now it’s a frickin’ ear-a-palooza!  These Ursula ears (and an accompanying order-mate I’ll proudly show off in another couple of days) are actually my fourth pair.

Minnie ear headbands come in two varieties, official Disney styles, like these Sally ears I purchased at Hollywood Studios last year, or indie, like my beloved new Ursula ears.  The Disney Parks ears are great, nicely made and not too pricey, but mass, mass produced – you will absolutely see these ears adorning the heads of another 20,000 of your newest and bestest theme park buddies.  But if you’re looking for something a little different, ears that will set you apart from the rest of the crowd, or perhaps even a custom creation, you can’t go wrong with Etsy.

Ursula Collage 1

And I’m now so pleased to report that you can’t go wrong with Mouseket Ears Bowtique.  These ears are just so beautiful in every sense of the word – sturdy and comfortably weighty, like they won’t just topple off your head in the slightest breeze, and so, so gorgeous!  The attention to detail (that fish bone quill on the back!) is incredible.  And with a nice little bit of padding in the band, in addition to well balanced details atop the band, they’re also unexpectedly comfortable.  I’m completely smitten. 🙂 And not for nothing, but the thought of running around with Triton’s ill-gotten crown atop my noggin, nestled between those searching, glittery tentacles, is quite tantalizing.  Think I can’t rule the seas?  Watch me, T!  And also please watch this blog in the coming days for that second pair of ears, which I may be even more excited about than these (spoiler: He uses antlers in all of his DE-CO-RA-TING!)

Eyes Closed

Rock the Dots

Rock the Dots 1

I saw that Minnie Mouse received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame the other day!  Good on her; you know she’s the brains behind the whole “Mickey ‘n” situation, and someone’s got to wrangle whatever the hell Goofy is. 🙂

I really like how this manicure turned out, particularly Minnie herself over on my thumb.  Typically my attempts at cartoon or animated characters are, appropriately enough, comically laughable – horribly misshapen, off-brand nightmare fuel.  But Minnie looks pretty decent, so I’ll take it!

Rock the Dots Collage

Disney Girl Challenge: Madame Leota (31DC2016)

madame-leota-hand

For non-Disneyphiles, Madame Leota is the spirit of a deceased clairvoyant who lives in the Haunted Mansion.  She’s remarkably chatty, dramatically intoning all sorts of wisdom from beyond the corporeal realm, although she don’t get around much – Madame Leota is naught but a head in a crystal ball.  Which made these nails for day 29’s theme of the supernatural in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge sort of difficult; how do you create a design around a character who’s really a supernatural paperweight resting on a fringed, velvet tablecloth?  Well, you start by painting an adorable, smirking Madame Leota on your thumb, as she’s not much for smiling.  Then you add her velvet-flocked tablecloth (one does want a hint of colour, after all) and the musical instruments that dance across the walls of her seance room.

Once when I was a kid the ride stopped for about 10 minutes right in front of Madame Leota’s crystal ball, and I started conjuring up all sorts of delightful fantasies about how my parents and I – and just the three of us – would be forced to live out the remainder of our days in the Haunted Mansion.  I was, of course, totally okay with that plan – it was like my greatest dream was actually coming true!  No doubt my parents, who had been sitting there for 10 long, dark minutes listening to Madame Leota drone on and on about “regions beyond” were less enamored.  So it’s just as well that the ride started back up again and we moved on (only to disembark, and then immediately line up for another go-round; my parents let me be a weird kid sometimes.)