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. 🙂

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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!

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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

Sunflowers (31DC2016)

Sunflower Fingers Straight

Sunny yellow is day three’s theme in the 31 Day Nail Art Challenge, so in keeping with the unintentional pattern of floral manis that has popped up during the first two days of this challenge, I thought I’d continue with the fabulous florals and paint a flower that is synonymous in my mind with the colour yellow, the mighty, stalk-y sunflower.  Complete with a perfect white picket fence.

Red Roses (31DC2016)

Red Roses Fingers

Kicking off this year’s 31 Day Nail Art Challenge with day one’s theme of red.  The first day’s theme is actually always red.  All of the other themes are likewise identical year over year; for as long as this thing has been going on, the daily themes have remained steadfastly samey.  Technical term, that, samey.

There’s an awful lot of pink in this supposedly red-based manicure, though, is there not? But I suppose whether baby or raspberry, pink is an offshoot of the red family, so game on, 31DC2016, GAME. ON!

Disney Girl Challenge: Sally Shine

Sally Shine Hand

Here’s a random bit of Disney amusement park trivia for you: Sally Shine is the name of the little Shirley Temple-esque girl who becomes a permanent resident of the Twilight Zone on the Tower of Terror ride.  Or she was – word on the street is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is getting re-zoned AND de-Zone’d at some point in the near future, probably to make way for more Star Wars.  I loved The Force Awakens SO much more than I thought I was going to, and I’m all for Disney recouping their multi-billion dollar investment at the park level, but why does it have to come at the expense of such a beloved attraction?  I don’t want to be that grumpy old Disney nerd desperately clinging to the past and futzing on about the glory days of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (a dark ride Disney classic; innovative for the ’70s, but terribly dated as time wore on, and one of those ones that people fought to preserve) but I really hope this rumour turns out to be just that – a rumour.

But until Sally and her elevator mates truly do become permanent residents of the Twilight Zone, I’ll honour her, in colour and lightning-stricken black and white, on my nails, where I paint all the little things I love.  I particularly like how I split her face into colour and black and white, appropriate both for the 1930s, Old Hollywood setting of the ride, and the fate of Miss Shine herself, off somewhere in (*do do do dooooo*)…the Twilight Zone.

Sally Shine Thumb

Disney Girl Challenge: Alice

Alice in Wonderland

It’s all aces for Alice in this mani inspired by the Disney animated movie, Alice in Wonderland.  My preferred Alice is actually this super messed up version (but really, is there any other kind?) from 1985.  It was a two-part musical TV special filmed entirely on a set with all your favourite film stars of the 1980s and 1940s (Scott Baio! Carol Channing! Sammy Davis Jr.!  Ringo Starr!) and like all great adaptations of Alice, it was a total mindfu*k. I re-watched it the other evening, and aside from calling up some warm nostalgic feelings of anxiously awaiting its televised debut, I was reminded of how very inappropriate Alice in Wonderland is for its young audience.  I really don’t know how I wasn’t irrevocably damaged by the sight of a slobbery, puffy puppet Jabberwocky chasing a shrieking little blonde girl through a lightning-streaked warren of gnarled roots and…yeah, you know what?  That movie was just as scary the other night as it was when I was a kid! Damage done!  I think I’ll take this version instead.