Disney

Disney cakes are adorable, artistic, and only available for a limited time

Disney cakes are adorable, artistic, and only available for a limited time

With the string of holidays known as Golden Week coming up in early May, all of Japan is looking forward to a couple of days off to spend with friends and family. Whether you’re visiting a friend’s apartment or going back to your hometown for a couple of days, Japanese manners dictate that you should bring a gift, with food being the most popular choice.

If you’re stumped for what kind of food to bring, here’s an easy way to play the percentages. Almost everyone likes cake, and almost everyone in Japan likes Disney characters, so odds are this set of Disney cakes will make just about everyone happy.

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12 gender-bent Disney and Ghibli characters that are utter perfection

12 gender-bent Disney and Ghibli characters that are utter perfection

Sakimichan is a digital artist who makes stunning paintings of Disney characters, drawn in a completely different way. These leading characters are redrawn with a new gender – and even more attractive than before!

Let’s take a look at 12 of Sakimichan’s gender-switched Disney heroes and heroines. On her website, she shares some insights into how these beautiful paintings are made. She even paints gender-bent Ghibli characters, too!

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Are Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and The Little Mermaid all dating the same prince?

Are Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and The Little Mermaid all dating the same prince?

If we’re going strictly by the Disney versions, most people could tell you that the respective heroines of The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White are respectively Ariel, Aurora, and Snow White. A tougher trivia question, though, is to name their three princes.

As the most recent of the bunch to appear on the screen, Ariel’s Eric might not be too hard to recall, but how many remember that Aurora’s betrothed is named Phillip? And as for Snow White, we never learn the name of the man who wakes her with a kiss, as not once in the movie is he referred to as “Prince Charming.”

Actually, if we go back further, to the original fairy tales these Disney classics were based on, many times the male lead is simply called “the prince.” While it’s possible this is because of their relatively small and interchangeable roles in those stories, one mother in Japan has another theory: the same prince stole the heart of the Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White.

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How to get into Tokyo Disney Resort 15 minutes before it opens (without hopping the fence)

How to get into Tokyo Disney Resort 15 minutes before it opens (without hopping the fence)

As two of the most popular leisure destinations in one of the most crowded countries on the planet, Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea can get pretty packed with visitors. The more guests who show up, the longer you’ll spend waiting in line for attractions (so be sure to follow our advice about the best days to visit this year), so in order to get the most out of their day, some people try to arrive as early as possible, so they can get into the parks as soon as they open.

Of course, with so many Disney fans in Japan, even if you show up at that early hour, you’re likely to be sharing the park with a throng of other excited kids of all ages. If only there was some way you could get in even earlier.

Actually, starting April 14, Disney is offering a way to do just that.

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The 8 least crowded weekends and holidays at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

The 8 least crowded weekends and holidays at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea

In some spots, a trip to Tokyo Disneyland can feel very much like a visit to the original in Anaheim. Capering costumed characters pose for pictures with kids of all ages. Guests can stroll through Fantasyland and Tomorrow land. You’re never much more than a couple minutes’ walk away from a churro vendor.

But in some ways, Tokyo Disney Resort is incredibly Japanese. Well-behaved children uniformly refrain from kicking Mickey and his pals in the shins. Tokyo DisneySea will just as happily serve you an imported beer as an ice cream sundae. And of course, like any popular destination in Japan, the parks gets incredibly crowded.

Disney fans in the know, however, have a strategy for beating the crowds, and have compiled a list of the eight least crowded weekends and holidays of the year at Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea. And because we’re nice like that, we’re sharing that list with you today!

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Who’s inside those theme park costumes? In China, it could be this 75-year-old woman

Who’s inside those theme park costumes? In China, it could be this 75-year-old woman

Like a lot of kids who grew up in Southern California, I’ve got fond memories of going to Disneyland and seeing characters from my favorite cartoons walking around. So it was a bit of a surprise when I moved to Japan, a country that arguably buys into the concept of Disney magic more wholeheartedly than any other, and met multiple people, generally women, who said the costumed performers were their least favorite part of a visit to Disneyland. “Mickey dances around and acts so cute,” they’d say, “but what if there’s some middle-aged guy inside?”

Personally, I’d say a middle-aged man is still far less appalling than an actual human-sized rodent would be, but somehow that age/gender combination was always held up as the worst possible reality that could be hiding inside the suit.

Meanwhile, in China, Disney fans have come flocking to one Mickey Mouse performer with an even more surprising identity: a 75-year-old woman.

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Frozen’s “Let It Go” sounds just as impressive sung in Japanese 【Video】

Frozen’s “Let It Go” sounds just as impressive sung in Japanese 【Video】

I’ve honestly never been much of a Disney fan (anyone else just want to punch Mickey in the face? Just me, eh?), but after having passively listened to Frozen‘s “Let It Go” as my wife played it a good 30 or 40 times over the last few months, I have to admit, it’s a superb song.

The movie finally released here last Friday as Ana and the Snow Queen (didn’t I tell you Japan was always late with movie releases!?) in 2-D and 3-D, with both dubbed Japanese and subtitled versions available. Something of a purist, I insisted on watching the film in its original English if I was to see it at all, but having just caught the Japanese version of “Let It Go”, it almost makes me want to watch the film in its translated version too.

Check out the Japanese version of arguably one of Disney’s best tracks ever after the jump.

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Beautiful Disney princess greeting cards fit for any regal occasion

Beautiful Disney princess greeting cards fit for any regal occasion

Japan still hasn’t gone all-in on the concept of digital communications, and in many situations there’s still a lot of value attached to physical, paper documents. Sometimes this can be puzzling, like the time I applied for a job at a prestigious technological institute which required a hard copy of my resume, as email applications weren’t acceptable.

For personal relationships, though, it’s nice to see so many people in Japan still willing to put pen to paper in order to write a heartfelt message to a friend or loved one. Many even take great care in selecting the perfect stationery, and those looking to add a touch of classic femininity to their correspondence will be hard-pressed to find a better choice than these elegant Disney princess greeting cards.

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New Disney Princess Lego on sale in Japan from March 7

New Disney Princess Lego on sale in Japan from March 7

From fierce legends to masculine superheroes, a lot has been said about Lego and its gendered marketing to boys. Now it seems the heroes on the more feminine side of the scale are finally getting a look-in, with the new Disney Princess line set to hit stores in Japan from March 7. We take a look at Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel and Merida in impressive Lego form and check out their adorable homes and accessories. These goodies will have your inner child squealing with delight!

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Too cute! Donald plays with real-life feathered friends at Tokyo Disney 【Photos】

Too cute! Donald plays with real-life feathered friends at Tokyo Disney 【Photos】

Millions of visitors take photos with their favourite characters at Disney parks every year. In these adorable pictures, though, Donald is posing with a different kind of visitor for once – his own kind!

When some little critters wandered out of their area at Tokyo Disney and onto the road, Donald and friends were at hand to help keep them out of harm’s way, and took the chance to have a little fun while they were at it.

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Tokyo’s heaviest snowfall in 16 years inspires one-of-a-kind displays at Tokyo Disney Resorts

Tokyo’s heaviest snowfall in 16 years inspires one-of-a-kind displays at Tokyo Disney Resorts

It’s sure to happen to everybody at least once in their lives: You save up for months and spend far too much time planning and packing for that perfect trip with your family or significant other, only for unexpected inclement weather to come along and ruin it all.

At Tokyo Disney Resorts, not all is lost, even if you end up going on the worst snow day in 16 years of Tokyo history. Disney, after all, has a reputation to keep as the “most magical place on earth,” so the already tirelessly hospitable staff sometimes kick it into overdrive on bad weather days to give some consolation to guests.

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Disney presents the amazing Duffy Bus — a real life teddy bear on wheels!

Disney presents the amazing Duffy Bus — a real life teddy bear on wheels!

In the world of fantasy, Studio Ghibli gave us the magnificent Catbus in the anime film My Neighbor Totoro. Who wouldn’t want to catch a ride on a live, furry bus like that, right? Well, now in the real world here in Japan, it seems Disney is coming out with a unique ride that, while maybe not an exact recreation of the Catbus, comes pretty close. Yes, it’s the amazing furry “Duffy Bus”, and it’s a real-life cross between a bus and a stuffed animal! It’s so unique, you’ll have to see it to believe it!

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Tokyo Disneyland celebrates “Thanks Day” where the employees become valued guests

Tokyo Disneyland celebrates “Thanks Day” where the employees become valued guests

On 27 January, Tokyo Disneyland held a little-known annual event to express gratitude for their legions of employees. Called “Thanks Day” it’s the one times of the year where those who work hard offering us visitors their cordial hospitality get to cut loose and have free rein over the park. Meanwhile, their managers give themselves a temporary demotion for the night to serve colas and operate Big Thunder Mountain.

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Russian designer turns Disney outfits into stunning haute couture!

Russian designer turns Disney outfits into stunning haute couture!

Disney animations are timeless classics loved by children and adults across the globe. We’ve seen quite a lot of Disney related items here on RocketNews24, both official and fanmade, but none of those look quite as fashionable as these drawings of Disney-inspired avant-garde runway fashion!

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Japanese designer creates collection of gorgeous perfume bottles based on Disney villains

Japanese designer creates collection of gorgeous perfume bottles based on Disney villains

While Disney princesses have seen their stock steadily rising for the past several years, it seems the villains from the renowned animation house are finally getting their due, such as with the upcoming Angelina Jolie film Maleficent. Perhaps this is connected to the recent crop of dark fairy tale reimaginings such as TV series Once Upon a Time and Grimm, and the opportunities for greater complexity presented by antagonists make them more compelling characters for adults to watch. Or, maybe after enough viewings, the characters we love to hate slowly metamorphose into the characters we simply love.

For the woman who is mature enough to appreciate the dark sophistication of these characters over the bubbly effervescence of their tales’ respective heroes and heroines, as well as enjoy a spritz of an enchanting scent, there’s no better way to store her fragrances than with a set of perfume bottles shaped like Disney villains.

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Tales of divine customer service from Nintendo, Disney, and other companies in Japan

Tales of divine customer service from Nintendo, Disney, and other companies in Japan

A lot of sayings in English have equivalents in Japanese. For example, “everyone makes mistakes” becomes “even monkeys fall from trees.” “Adding insult to injury” morphs into “a bee stinging your crying face.”

Sometimes, though, these proverbs receive a bit of an upgrade in their Japanese translations. So while the English truism states that “the customer is always right,” Japan holds that “the customer is God.” It’s a mantra companies take to heart, as illustrated by these tales of amazing customer service in Japan.

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12 urban legends about Tokyo Disneyland

12 urban legends about Tokyo Disneyland

Tokyo Disneyland is a magical place, what with all the joyous rides, concerts utilizing incredible animatronics and performers who seemingly never tire, mostly not-terrifying mascots available for photo ops, and children mysteriously vanishing from the park every year, never to be seen again.

Wait, what?

Okay, so the last one may or may not be an urban legend. Like any public place that gets massive amounts of traffic and a lot of media attention, Tokyo Disneyland attracts its fair share of urban legends. Some of these legends apply to Disneyland locations worldwide, while others are exclusive to TDL. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting/frightening ones:

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French artist gives new perspective on Sailor Moon and Disney princesses with X-ray illustrations

French artist gives new perspective on Sailor Moon and Disney princesses with X-ray illustrations

In recent years, there has been a backlash against the numerous princesses in Disney’s films. Criticisms have been lobbed at films spanning the many decades of the studio’s animated canon, with complaints that earlier princesses are too inactive, and that more recent heroines are too sexualized in design.

Regardless of whether or not you agree that Disney’s princesses are having a negative influence on the impressionable minds of children, I think we can all agree that what’s most important is not how someone looks, but rather the quality of their character and integrity. The highest form of beauty is inner beauty, and it’s important that we help our children develop the skills necessary to look inside of a person to see what they’re really made of.

And I can’t think of a better way to do that than by examining X-rays of Disney princesses.

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Parents create amazing Studio Ghibli mural for daughter’s nursery before she’s even born

Parents create amazing Studio Ghibli mural for daughter’s nursery before she’s even born

As a kid, I remember watching reruns of Mighty Mouse on TV with my dad. It was a fun little show, but what made it really special was knowing that he enjoyed it when he was growing up, and that he was sharing his memories and at the same time he was making new ones with me.

Likewise, it’s been a couple decades since Japanese animation gained a steady foothold internationally, and we’re starting to see overseas fans of the medium having kids of their own. But how to pass on that anime passion to your kids? You could go the direct route and administer a severe beating each and every time they ask to watch say, Disney’s forgettable 2000 CG film Dinosaur instead of something with more artistic merit, like Hayao Miyazaki’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

Or, like one couple, you could go with the gentler option of painting an awesome mural of Studio Ghibli characters in the nursery, letting their quality speak for itself.

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