Walt Disney Pictures via Everett Collection
As much as we love Disney songs, we can't help but hold in even higher esteem Disney song parodies. A variety of cartoons, like The Simpsons, Family Guy, and The Critic, have given us particularly favortable, irreverent send-ups of our favorite just-a-bit-too-earnest classics from Walt's canon. Here are a few of the funniest, most clever, and all around catchiest Disney song parodies.
"See My Vest"
From: The SimpsonsA Parody of: "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the BeastDegree of Genius: High. Mr. Burns embracing the classic Disney showstopper to celebrate his love of animal furs is terrific macabre comedy.
"I Need a Jew"
From: Family Guy A Parody of: "When You Wish Upon a Star" from PinocchioDegree of Genius: Admittedly pretty clever, considering the fact that it's one long joke about Jewish stereotypes.
"Beauty and King Dork"
From: The CriticA Parody of: The title song from Beauty and the BeastDegree of Genius: It's a quick one, but the inclusion of singing dust busters, a Mork and Mindy reference, and Jay Sherman's attempts to cover up the embarrassing lyrics make for one of the best gags on the list.
"Just the Same Old Heroine"
From: AnimaniacsA Parody of: "Just Across the River Bend" from PocahontasDegree of Genius: Yes, it's a show directed at children, but it is easily the most biting, articulate satires of the Disney formula of the lot.
"Duff Beer for You, Duff Beer for Me"
From: The SimpsonsA Parody of:"It's a Small World"Degree of Genius: Well, it does accurately capture how horrifying and haunting that song is.
"The Surprises in Life"
From: AnimaniacsA Parody of: "Circle of Life" from The Lion KingDegree of Genius: As much a chronicling of man's inevitable existential crises as it is a Disney song parody, this one is just as likely to make you cry as it is to make you laugh. Deep stuff.
"It's a Wonderful Day for Pie"
From: Family GuyA Parody of: Disney schmaltz in generalDegree of Genius: Catchy, but not quite up to par with the likes of its peers.
From: The South Park movieA Parody of: "Part of Your World" from The Little MermaidDegree of Genius: True, this is a far looser parody than the others on the list, but Trey Parker and Matt Stone nail the tone and style of the Disney "I Want" number in general. And it's sung by Satan, so that makes things all the sweeter.
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Hip-hop star Jay Z staged a mock proposal to wife Beyonce on the red carpet for the 2014 Met Costume Institute Gala after she dropped one of her rings. The superstar couple were among the A-list guests at the annual New York City event on Monday (05Apr14).
The Crazy in Love hitmaker donned a sheer black Givenchy dress with a veil headpiece, but when she dropped one of her Lorraine Schwartz rings, her chivalrous husband was quick to pick up and perform a pretendproposal in front of photographers.
Beyonce and Jay Z weren't the only head-turning couple at the charity ball - Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, Victoria and David Beckham, Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady, Charlize Theron and Sean Penn, Johnny Depp and his new fiancee Amber Heard, and Michael Sheen and Sarah Silverman, were all among the attendees.
The bash, overseen by Vogue U.S. editor Anna Wintour, was co-hosted by Sarah Jessica Parker and Bradley Cooper, and was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Wanted star Jay Mcguiness was left bloodied and bruised after he became embroiled in a brawl at a nightclub in Britain over the weekend (08-09Mar14). The singer allegedly became caught up in a dispute at a venue in Essex, England in the early hours of Sunday morning (09Mar14).
Photographs show McGuiness on the floor with a bouncer grabbing his arms, while others show him with blood pouring from his mouth.
A source tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "Everyone was standing around the front door and there was a kerfuffle (scuffle) in the foyer. Jay then got dragged out by the bouncers. He was shouting and screaming and they were trying to pull him back. He was putting up a struggle. They ushered him into a corner to get him to calm down but he wouldn't."
McGuiness was at the nightclub with his bandmate Tom Parker, who was pictured with blood on his shirt.
A spokesman for McGuiness says, "There was an altercation in the club that Jay found himself in the middle of. He ended up with some minor cuts and bruises."
Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan and U2 were among the stars who turned out on Monday (17Feb14) to help TV presenter Jimmy Fallon launch a new era of America's The Tonight Show series. The comedian took the long-running talk show back to New York for the first time since iconic host Johnny Carson moved it to California in 1972, and a slew of celebrities stopped by the NBC studios to celebrate the big move.
Fallon opened his first Tonight Show by thanking his predecessors, including Jay Leno, who stepped down from the programme after 22 years earlier this month (Feb14), before taking aim at a friend who had bet against him ever hosting the legendary series.
Looking into the camera, Fallon said, "To my buddy who said that I'd never be the host of The Tonight Show - you know who you are. You owe me $100 buddy!"
The comment prompted De Niro to begrudgingly walk out onstage and hand the host a $100 bill, but the movie veteran wasn't the only one - he was followed by the likes of Tina Fey, Joan Rivers, Seth Rogen, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mariah Carey, Mike Tyson and a scantily-clad Lady Gaga, who each parted with $100 as part of the joke.
Fallon's first Tonight Show interviewee, Smith, then showed off his moves in a sketch titled, The Evolution of Hip-Hop Dancing, in which the pair ran through popular dance trends over the years, from the Running Man to the Robot to the Carlton, which was named after the actor's The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star Alfonso Ribeiro's geeky onscreen character, Carlton Banks.
U2 provided the musical entertainment for the night by performing new song Invisible from the roof of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, where the NBC studios are based, and later joining Fallon and his house band The Roots inside for an acoustic version of their Oscar-nominated song Ordinary Love from the Nelson Mandela biopic, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom.
Bono marked the occasion by gifting Fallon a red electric guitar from his line of instruments for the (RED) charity, which raises awareness of the fight against AIDS.
The big star guests will continue throughout the week as Gaga, Jerry Seinfeld, Bradley Cooper, Will Ferrell and U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama are all booked to make appearances on The Tonight Show.
British-Irish pop stars The Wanted will embark on an extended hiatus following the completion of their upcoming world tour. The Glad You Came hitmakers broke the news to fans on Wednesday (22Jan14) as they unveiled the video for their new single Glow In The Dark, but Max George, Nathan Sykes, Tom Parker, Siva Kaneswaran and Jay McGuiness won't disappear for good - they are simply planning to take some time out from the boyband to pursue other projects.
A statement posted on their website reads: "This tour will be their last for a while as Tom, Max, Jay, Siva and Nathan have collectively decided to take time to pursue personal endeavours following the tour's conclusion.
"The band wants to stress to their fans that they will continue on as The Wanted and look forward to many successful projects together in the future. They thank their fans for their continued love and support and look forward to seeing them on tour."
And Parker has been eager to stress the break does not mean the band is splitting up.
Taking to Twitter.com, he writes, "Just want to say...It's a break, not the end. You can't get rid of us that easily haha!"
The Wanted formed in 2009 and have scored a string of hits, including Glad You Came, All Time Low and Lose My Mind.
They have also grown popular in the U.S. after recruiting Justin Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun, to guide their careers and documented their efforts to crack the Billboard charts last year (13) on their own reality TV show, The Wanted Life.
Their Word of Mouth World Tour will kick off in Germany on 8 February (14) and take the boys across Europe and North America. The shows will conclude in Oklahoma on 17 May (14).
News of The Wanted's hiatus emerges just weeks after singer Kaneswaran proposed to his longtime girlfriend, fashion designer Nareesha McCaffrey.
Pharrell Williams, Ne-Yo, Victoria Beckham and British royal Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge have been tipped to become the most influential trendsetters in 2014. The Happy hitmaker topped the men's survey, ahead of R&B singer Ne-Yo at two and rap mogul Sean 'Diddy Combs at three, while Justin Timberlake, Jay Z and David Beckham have also made the cut for the top 10 most fashionable males.
Prince William's wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge was voted number one in the female countdown, with pop star-turned-fashion designer Victoria Beckham coming in second place.
Pregnant Gwen Stefani rounded out the top three on the E-Score consumer research poll, which was compiled based on a slew of celebrity culture factors, from the stars' fashion sense and music preferences to their cars, diets and home decorating skills.
Jennifer Lopez, Heidi Klum and Sara Jessica Parker are also considered to have influence over consumers' decisions on styles, trends and fashion in the year ahead.
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When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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British boyband The Wanted have been forced to postpone filming a second series of their TV show The Wanted Life because of their busy schedule. Producers of the American reality programme are keen to start on a second season but have had to put shooting on hold so the five piece, featuring Jay McGuiness, Max George, Nathan Sykes, Siva Kaneswaran and Tom Parker, can go on tour.
George tells Britain's Daily Star newspaper, "We were going to start shooting this month but we're on tour, then we've got the new album promotion to do. We bumped into one of the execs (executives) in LA the other day and they're really excited to do a second season.
"But to get a crew to follow us all the time on tour would cost a lot, and people want to see the normal stuff as well as the work side on tour."
The boy is currently playing gigs across the U.S.
The Wanted star Nathan Sykes has attempted to end the feud between his band and rivals One Direction once and for all by suggesting they team up on a charity record. Following months of bickering between the two groups, Sykes insists the rivalry is over and now both acts are keen to get along.
He tells Hollyscoop.com, "We have no issue with them whatsoever. I think it's very expected from the media always trying to put two bands together and trying to start a rivalry."
He adds, "They (One Direction) are great lads who've stayed true to their sound so far in their career," and he'd even welcome a collaboration: "That could generate a lot of cash maybe and we would actually be willing to do it for charity."
Unfortunately, level-headed Sykes was still recovering from a vocal issue in England when his bandmates appeared on U.S. TV show Katie earlier this year and revealed the rivalry between The Wanted and One Direction was real.
And, earlier this year (13), the two boy bands exchanged barbs over Twitter.com after One Direction's Louis Tomlinson made a sly dig at The Wanted during a gig in London.
Tom Parker apparently took exception to his comments and tweeted, "You even talk about us at your own gigs. Are you that upset you didn't get in this band?" to which Tomlinson replied, "Pal, we both know I wouldn't waste my time auditioning for your band. You humour me with your bad boy persona."
Parker then posted a clip of Tomlinson's first audition on the U.K. version of The X Factor and sarcastically commented "nice work", while the What Makes You Beautiful hitmaker insisted, "I actually think you could be the biggest t**t on Twitter... P.S. enjoy the press from this... Funny that face to face you act like a little girl. Goodnight old friend."
His bandmate Liam Payne then interjected: "Tom let's talk about your singing... your amazing tone pierces my ears with every note," while Tomlinson added, "I also heard he wets the bed."
The Wanted's Jay McGuiness then butted in to give Tomlinson a piece of his mind, writing, "Please stop mentioning us in your gigs, we certainly no longer mention you and it's time to let dead dogs lie. Your passive-aggressive style of speaking makes me cringe... I'm not sure what's happened since we saw you at The X Factor, but you've done a sterling job of becoming one of the most overrated, arrogant and not to mention insincere people around."
Tomlinson tried to get the last word by tweeting, "Jay, this would be a lovely insight for your next book. You must have been a splendid student. Never forget you boys started this."
The Wanted star Tom Parker is facing a fine from officials in Colorado after he allegedly defecated into a plastic bag and threw it out of his tour bus window. The Walks Like Rihanna singer pulled the prank while in the U.S. with his bandmates and faces a penalty of up to $500 (£333) for littering, which is considered a class two petty offence in the state.
Parker avoided being penalised by crossing the state line the following day, but bandmate Jay McGuiness is convinced he will be forced to pay the fine eventually, telling Britain's Daily Mirror, "I am going to try to avoid Colorado right now but if we do go (back), Tom needs to get $500 ready. That was the most expensive passing of a number two (Tom) will ever have."
The revelation comes just days after the singers were accused of drenching a hotel guest by throwing Champagne out of a window at the Marylebone Hotel in London while celebrating McGuiness' birthday last week (beg22Jul13). Police were called, but no charges were filed.