Monthly Archives: August 2016

8 Wizard of Oz Craft Ideas

A few days ago we talked about some fun Wizard of Oz food ideas for a movie night or viewing party, and here are eight more fun Wizard of Oz themed craft ideas, fun for decorating or creating your own themed Halloween costumes!

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8 Wizard of Oz Craft Ideas

Use hemp and colored ribbon to make this Over the Rainbow Cuff.  With all the colors of the rainbow, this fun accessory could compliment almost any outfit!

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This sweet Plush Tin Man has a heart big enough to hold all the love in the world!

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Keep your place in The Wizard of Oz book with this cute Bad Witch Bookmark.

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Fun for Wizard of Oz viewing parties and Halloween parties, this cute Candy Corn Scarecrow makes a fun party favor or table decoration!

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Are you a good witch or a bad witch?  If you’re a good witch, you’re sure to love this Glamorous Glinda Crown…and remember, that’s GA-linda…with a GA!  #Wicked

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Are you getting sleepy after browsing all these projects?  Lay your weary head in this field of Paper Poppy Flowers.  I promise, no monkeys will attack you!

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Lead the way to your Wizard of Oz party with this fun Yellow Brick Road path.  Made using yellow paint and a sponge, this project can be completed on paper, fabric, or right on your sidewalk!

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We all know there’s no place like home…and it’s certain that there are no slippers like these Sparkling Red Ruby Slippers, either!  Make your own glittery shoes with this easy-to-follow tutorial.

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Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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What We Choose to Reveal

house-of-cards

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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8 Wizard of Oz Party Food Ideas

It was on this day 77 years ago that The Wizard of Oz had its first premier in Hollywood, CA.  Despite its weak opening, the film brought enormous success to its star Judy Garland, who shot up the popularity charts for her career-making role as Dorothy Gale.

The initial box office numbers were pretty low, with the film making about $3 million on a $2.7 million budget.  However, despite the low ticket numbers, The Wizard of Oz went on to win a couple Oscars that year, including one for Best Original Song (“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”) and Best Original Score.  The film was also nominated for four other Academy Awards, including Best Picture (Gone with the Wind nabbed the Oscar in that category, as well as many others).

However, like most other box office flops, The Wizard of Oz would go on to become one of the most beloved movie classics of our time, resting comfortably atop several Best Movie lists, pop culture lists, and Favorite Movie lists from actors and critics alike.

If you want to take The Yellow Brick Road to Oz and host a fun Wizard of Oz viewing party, this is the post for you!  Gathered here are eight awesome food-themed ideas for your movie night, including Over the Rainbow Drinks, Melted Witch Cookies, and much more!

Also, stay tuned for some cool Wizard of Oz craft ideas coming your way this week, as well as some fun trivia about the movie that only the Great and Powerful fans would know!

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8 Wizard of Oz Party Food Ideas

Get things started with these Over the Rainbow Drinks.  Made using colored ice cubes, these are sure to be a hit with kids and adults alike!

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For a fun snack during the movie, nosh on these cute Chocolate Tornadoes, made with Bugels.  Bugels are available in different flavors at different locations.  Check your local gas station for a good assortment!

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These Scarecrow Hay Snacks are a riot and can be filled with sausages, hot dogs, or a filling of your choice.

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And it’s not a Wizard of Oz party without Ruby Slippers.  Made using Nutter Butter cookies, these sparkling slippers are a party must-have!

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If you’re looking for something easy and fun to serve at your movie night, check out these Melted Witch Cookies.  Easy decorating make these cookies a fun treat for Good Witches and Bad Witches!

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Looking for a more savory treat for your movie night?  Try these Guava and Cheese Macarons, which look like little yellow bricks.

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Fans of Wicked: The Musical might also enjoy these Good Witch and Bad Witch Cupcakes.  Simple decorations make these cupcakes classy and fun for any Wizard of Oz themed party.

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Finally, as a fun party favor, these Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My! Animal Cracker Goodie Bags are a fun treat for the ride home.

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Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Voyagers of the Titanic Book Review

Near, far, wherever you are, I think it’s safe to say that most people are familiar with, or at least know about, the Titanic disaster. Late in the evening of April 14, 1912, the mighty Titanic, a passenger liner traveling from England to New York, struck an iceberg in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.  Four days after it began its maiden voyage, it found its final resting place 12,500 feet below the surface.

In the two and a half hours it took for the Titanic to sink, more than half of the passengers on board succumbed to the freezing Atlantic waters. Of the 2,240 passengers, crew, and staff on board the ship that night, only 723 made it out alive.

John Jacob Astor IV, the wealthiest man on board the Titanic. He died the morning after the sinking.

The Titanic disaster sent the world into a tizzy. New York, Paris, London and other major cities in Europe and the US experienced an outpouring of grief. Family members and friends of those on board flocked to nearby magazine stands to inquire about the fates of those still not identified or found, while others waited to hear word about the famous people aboard Titanic that night.

While many books, films, and accounts of the Titanic disaster focus on figuring out why the ship sank, Voyagers of the Titanic: Passengers, Sailors, Shipbuilders, Aristocrats, and the Worlds They Came From follows the men, women, and children whose lives intersected on the vessel’s fateful last day, from the men whose blood, sweat, and tears built the mighty Titanic to the plutocrats and captains of industry who perished on her maiden journey.

The last meal for first class passengers.

Like the mighty ship herself, Voyagers of the Titanic is broken up by class, covering the full spectrum of first, second, and third classes, as well as the men who designed, built, and financed Titanic. Learn what it was like to sit in a first-class dining room, what the meals were like in each section of the ship, what the third class cabins were like, and what it felt like that night when the ship met her demise…all from the people who experienced it first-hand.

Author Richard Davenport-Hines does a poetic justice to those who were on board Titanic that night, giving as much time and dedication to the stories of the cobblers, clergymen, teachers, and tailors on board as he does to those whose names helped build and define the early 20th century.

The memory of the Titanic disaster remains a part of the American psyche, even for those who have no familial or emotional connection to the event. The mystery that haunts that night in April 1912 has sparked a whirlwind of theories and ideas as to why the ship sank, but often disregards the stories of the people who were witness to that horrible night. In Voyagers of the Titanic, readers get an inside look into the lives of those individuals who were on board the ship on April 14, 1912, and what it was like to experience the destruction of one of man’s greatest creations.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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18 Fun Facts About American Graffiti

Hey cool cats! Fans of 1970s cinema might remember a little gem by the name of American Graffiti, a teenage coming-of-age dramedy that helped launched the careers of several beloved actors, including Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams, Ron Howard, and Richard Dryfus.

Directed by George Lucas and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, American Graffiti has remained in popular movie culture for more than 40 years now, and today is celebrating its 43rd anniversary.

Released August 11, 1973, American Graffiti sits comfortably between The Godfather and Star Wars in the amazing lineup that was 1970s cinema. Originally thought to be a flop by the studio that produced it (Universal), American Graffiti actually turned out to be one of the most profitable movies of all time, and even landed a Best Picture Oscar nomination, a Best Director nomination, and nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Candy Clark), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing.

To help celebrate the release of this wonderful film, here are a few fun facts about the movie that set the bar for all other high school flicks to come…

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When Charles Martin Smith pulls up on his Vespa in the beginning of the movie, his crash into the building wasn’t scripted. He genuinely lost control of the bike during filming and Lucas decided to keep the shot.

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American Graffiti was shot in sequence…in 29 days.

When radio personality Wolfman Jack makes an on-air prank call to Pinky’s Pizza, the voice on the other end is belongs to George Lucas.

Ironically, Lucas missed his high school reunion because he was too busy shooting this classic high school film.

Newcomer Harrison Ford was asked to cut his hair for the film, but he refused, stating his role was too short. He did offer to wear a hat instead.

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Lucas kept several first takes in this film, including the scene where Carol gets hit in the face with a water balloon. The balloon was scripted to hit the side of the car, but actress Mackenzie Phillips adlibbed the rest of the scene, and Lucas decided to keep it.

Universal thought so little of American Graffiti that the film sat on the shelf for 6 months before the studio finally decided to release it in the summer of 1973. To their surprise, the film was an enormous success, becoming one of the most profitable films of all time and launching the careers of several of today’s most well known actors.

One of the main reasons so many studios turned down American Graffiti was because Lucas wanted at least 40 classic rock n’ roll songs on the soundtrack, leading to a large music rights bill. Universal finally decided to fund the picture after Lucas’ friend, Francis Ford Coppola—fresh from his success with The Godfather the year before—came on board as a producer.

Speaking of, American Graffiti also got an additional $175,000 added to the budget after Coppola signed on, solely for the studio to be able to say, “from the man who brought you The Godfather…”.

Mel’s Drive-In was demolished after the movie was completed, but re-opened as a small chain in 1981. There are two restaurants in Hollywood themed after the movie, and one in San Francisco, where Lucas occasionally dines.

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Ever wonder why movie credits are so long? You can thank George Lucas for that! Due to the low budget, Lucas was unable to pay all of the crew members, so he offered a screen credit in lieu of payment, which many accepted. Traditionally, only department heads received screen credits, so this was a big deal to anyone looking to further their career in Hollywood. This has now become a tradition in most, if not all, Hollywood films.

There is a rumor that while Lucas was editing American Graffiti, a co-worker asked him for “reel two, dialogue two”, which abbreviated to R2-D2, inspiring the name of the little droid in Lucas’ later film, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

About 300 pre-1960’s cars were needed to create the cruising scenes in American Graffiti, and more than 1,000 classic car owners responded to ads placed in local newspapers.

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American Graffiti was almost exclusively shot at night.

Paul LeMat, Harrison Ford, and Bo Hopkins were often drunk between takes and had climbing competitions to the top of the local Holiday Inn sign.

Charles Martin Smith and Ron Howard, both 18 at the time, were the only two teenage principal actors of the film. Most of the principal cast members were in their 20’s, with the exception of Mackenzie Phillips, who was 12, and Harrison Ford, who turned 30 during filming.

Ron Howard and Cindy Williams would go on to act together in TV, Howard starring in Happy Days, which debuted the year after American Graffiti was released, and Williams starring in the Happy Days spinoff, Laverne & Shirley, two years later. Williams also guest-starred in Happy Days with Howard.

Even though Ron Howard was supposed to be a year older than Cindy Williams, Howard is actually seven years younger than Williams in real life.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Crocheted Unicorn

What better way to spend an annoyingly hot summer than crocheting this cute pastel rainbow unicorn?  Made using a variety of pastel yarns (I used some I had in stock and some were Vanna’s Choice yarn), this adorable crocheted unicorn is ready for all the cuddles.

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Complete with a rainbow mane and a curly cue tail, this little guy will bring you instant happiness.

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I originally found this pattern on One Dog Woof and instantly dove in.  While her unicorn used bold colors, I was making mine for a baby shower, so I decided to opt for lighter, more pastel colors.

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If you browse through my other crochet projects, you know I love a good yarn buster, and this was one of the cutest ones I could find (among the crocheted jellyfish, of course!).

Like the pattern says, this unicorn turned out to be quite a bit bigger than I expected, but I’m not complaining!  It’s so cute and whimsical and anyone is sure to love it!Screen Shot 2016-07-26 at 10.12.46 AM

You can find the crocheted unicorn pattern at One Dog Woof.

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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The Secret to Selling

mad men

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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9 Awesome Smores Recipes

Even the hottest, muggiest summer day is instantly improved by eating a smore.  Gooey chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers come together in an ultimate marriage of happiness and deliciousness.

But smores can sometimes be a pain to eat.  One bite and all the chocolate and marshmallow just ooze out the back of your happiness sandwich and all down your hand.  That’s just no fun for anyone…

But with these awesome bloggers and their tasty recipes, you can get the flavors you love without the mess!  Brownies, sushi, even smores milkshakes make this collection of smores recipes summertime staples for lovers of these campfire treat!

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Gooey smores brownies from The Little Sous Chef:

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Smores muddy buddies from Like Mother Like Daughter:

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Sushi smores from Tastemade:

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Smore cheese ball from Chef in Training:

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Smores cheesecake from Baked by an Introvert:

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Smore milkshake from Eat. Thrive. Glow.:

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Pretzel smores bites from Well Plated:

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Smores doughnuts from Dessert Now, Dinner Later:

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Smores popcorn balls from I Heart Eating:

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Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Fictitious Dishes Book Review

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 12.32.56 PMEveryone remembers something about his or her favorite books. Memorable characters, magical landscapes, and witty dialogue can stay with us for years. For author Dinah Fried, the succulent, juicy descriptions of tasty literary morsels are what keep her indulging in her favorite novels and stories.

From the watery gruel in Oliver Twist to the lavish chicken breakfast in To Kill a Mockingbird, the meals in Fictitious Dishes bring to life those delicious and memorable scenes from some of literature’s best stories. Each meal is prepared and arranged on a place setting that highlights the story it came from, and resting beside each photo is the text from the book that inspired its creation. Each page also contains interesting facts about the book, author, or food in discussion.

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While I found this book exceedingly charming and sweet, I also felt it lacked a certain substance. Maybe it was the fact that it didn’t contain any recipes…or maybe it was the fact that I thought a few books were clearly missing from this lineup (um, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Chocolat perhaps??)…or maybe it was even that I didn’t agree with some of the meals that made it into this publication, but I just didn’t feel “full” after reading Fictitious Dishes. I was still hungry for more! There was no connection, no understanding of WHY Fried selected the books that she did. Maybe if there was some commentary as to what drew her to these scenes, it would be more enjoyable to digest. Were they favorite stories from her childhood? Did they remind her of her grandmother? Where was the spice and flavor? The pictures were beautiful and amazingly styled, but as a publication, Fictitious Dishes just tasted bland.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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Disney Princes…Where Are They Now?

A few weeks ago, we took a look to see what happened to the voices behind our favorite Disney Princesses. Now what about their counterparts?

Though many of the official Disney Princes didn’t have a lot of screen time, they were still essential to every Disney story. Voiced my strong men of all kinds, these princes set the bar for every little girl dreaming of her Prince Charming.

Whether they rode in on a white stallion or a flying carpet, these men made little girls dream of fairy tale endings, sang some of our favorite Disney songs, and brought us into royal worlds that were once only figments of our imaginations.

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Prince Ferdinand
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938)
Voiced By: Harry Stockwell
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A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Harry Stockwell made his film debut in the 1935 film, Strike Up the Band. However, his claim to fame came two years later when he was cast as “The Prince” in Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Though he was not held to such insane terms as his vocal counterpart (see Disney Princesses: Where Are They Now), this small role remained his best-known part throughout his career. A noted Broadway performer, Harry also performed as “Curley” in Broadway’s Oklahoma!, a role he maintained until 1948. He is also father to two fellow actors, Dean Stockwell (Anchor’s Aweigh, The Secret Garden, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Blue Velvet, Married to the Mob) and Guy Stockwell (Adventures in Paradise, Knight Rider, Magnum P.I., Murder She Wrote, Columbo, Quantum Leap, The War Lord, It’s Alive). He died in 1982 at the age of 82.

Prince Charming/Prince Henry
Cinderella (1950)
Voiced By: Mike Douglas
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Mike Douglas (born Michael Delaney Dowd, Jr.) was a “big band” era singer, entertainer, and television host. Born in Chicago, IL, Mike started his career as a choirboy and radio singer. In 1950, he offered his singing voice for the role of Prince Charming in Disney’s Cinderella, then began the upward battle of trying to keep big band music relevant amidst a changing musical culture. Mike eventually went back to his TV hosting skills and started The Mike Douglas Show in June of 1965. The show helped introduce entertainers such as Barbara Streisand and Aretha Franklin and showcased popular guests like Truman Capote, Richard Nixon, The Rolling Stones, and Moe Howard of The Three Stooges. The Mike Douglas Show remained on air until 1981 when it was cancelled due to low ratings. Mike passed away suddenly in 1990 on his 81st birthday.

Prince Phillip
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
Voiced By: Bill Shirley
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A cherished singer from the age of 5, Bill Shirley grew up in a musical household and would often sing along with his mother, Inez Shirley, who was a well-known professional pianist. He sang in church and was an active member of the Children’s Civic Theater, the Ogden Chorale, and the Irvington Playhouse. When he was 19, he moved to Hollywood with his mom and began his movie career with small roles in hard-to-find pictures. He signed on with Republic Studios in 1941 and appeared in rare B-list films, including Rookies on Parade, Sailors on Leave, and Doctors Don’t Tell. Besides a few radio and TV spots, Bill had trouble furthering his Hollywood career. It wasn’t until he was approached by The Walt Disney Company to voice the character of Prince Phillip that his career began to take shape. After his work on Sleeping Beauty, he got another big break as a ghost singer in the film, My Fair Lady, acting as Freddy Eynsford-Hill’s singing voice (“On the Street Where You Live” was sung by Bill Shirley). Unfortunately, Bill often received little to no credit for all the work he did in front of and behind the camera, so the great scope of his accomplishments is unknown. After years of directing plays and performing on camera and on stage, Bill retired from acting in 1963. He passed away from lung cancer in 1989, at the age of 68.

Prince Eric
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Voiced By: Christopher Daniel Barnes
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At the tender age of 16, C.D. Barnes was cast as the voice of Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid. He reprised the role 17 years later in the 2006 Kingdom Hearts II game.   He also voiced Prince Charming in two Cinderella sequels, Cinderella II: Dreams Come True and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. After The Little Mermaid, C.D. got what is thought to be his big break in the business. From 1994 to 1998, he voiced the lead role in the Spider-Man cartoon series, which remains the longest-running TV show based on the superhero. He’s also done some work in front of the camera, appearing as Greg in the Brady Bunch parody movies and has appeared in several TV shows, including Malcolm & Eddie, Wings, Blossom, The Golden Girls, Touched By an Angel, 7th Heaven, and Day by Day. Most recently, C.D. Barnes reprised his role as Spider-Man in the Marvel Heroes 2013 video game.

The Beast/The Prince
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
Voiced By: Robby Benson
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Robby Benson (Robin David Segal) is perhaps best known for his role as The Beast in Disney’s famed classic, Beauty and the Beast. Before landing the gig, he acted in several coming-of-age films and smaller Hollywood movies, including The Death of Richie and Ice Castles. After voicing The Beast, Robby took to the written word and landed a spot on the LA Times Bestseller List with his 2007 novel, Who Stole the Funny?: A Novel of Hollywood. He released his medical memoir, I’m Not Dead…Yet! in June 2012, a candid journey through his Hollywood life and his courageous battle with a congenital valve defect and how he survived four (FOUR!) open heart surgeries. He’s a two-time Golden Globe nominated actor and has directed more than 100 TV episodes and pilots. He’s taught film at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and was nominated for the New York University’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2006 and the David Payne-Carter Award for Teaching Excellence in 2010. As of 2016, Robby is currently Professor of Practice in Telecommunications at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.

Aladdin
Aladdin (1992)
Voiced By: Scott Weinger
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Scott’s first professional acting work was in a national commercial for Ideal Toys. He went on to act in Police Academy 5 and made a guest appearance on ABC’s Live Goes On. He became a friendly face on TV, appearing in The Family Man and Full House as well. It was during his run in Full House that Scott was cast as the voice of Aladdin. He reprised his role several times after, appearing as the street urchin in the CBS Aladdin series and direct-to-video sequels. He also appeared in The Return of Jafar, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, and voiced the character in several Kingdom Hearts and Disney video games. Scott graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1998 with a degree in English and American Literature. He has written and produced for several TV shows and has returned to the Tanner dwelling as Steve Hale in Fuller House.

John Smith
Pocahontas (1995)
Voiced By: Mel Gibson
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A familiar face to most movie-goers, Mel Gibson is a stable in the Hollywood role call. With great success previous to his role in Pocahontas, Mel went on to create three movies in 2000 that each grossed more than $100: The Patriot, Chicken Run, and What Women Want. In 2002, he went on to appear in M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs, which became the highest-grossing film of Mel’s acting career. After Signs, Mel took a break from acting until 2010 with his return in the film, Edge of Darkness. He has starred in, produced, and directed several films, including The Passion of the Christ, the highest grossing rated R film of all time. His most recent credit is Blood Father, a Jean-Francois Richet film due to hit theaters in August 2016.

Li Shang
Mulan (1998)
Voiced By: B.D. Wong
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A celebrated Tony Award-winning actor and performer, B.D. Wong is no stranger to the big and small screens. His more notable roles include parts on Law and Order: SVU, Oz, and a reoccurring role as Dr. Henry Wu in the Jurassic Park series. He has appeared in several Broadway shows, including M. Butterfly, a role that earned him a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and Theatre World Award all for the same role (he’s the only actor to achieve this monumental feat). After his work on Mulan, B.D. Wong went on to voice Li Shang again in Mulan’s direct-to-video sequel and the video game, Kingdom Hearts II. A standout in the LGBT community, he also donates his time and resources to a number of charities, including the Ali Forney Center, Materials for the Arts, and Rosie’s Theater Kids. Currently B.D. Wong appears in the TV series Gotham.

Prince Naveen
The Princess and the Frog (2009)
Voiced By: Bruno Campos
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A native of Brazil, Bruno Campos is perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Quentin Costa in the award-winning TV show, Nip/Tuck. Raised in the US, Bruno attended Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy at the age of 14. He went on to study drama at Northwestern University and earned a law degree from the University of Michigan Law School In 1995, he starred in the Brazilian film, O Quatrilho, which was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards. After his work on The Princess and the Frog, Bruno left the acting business and is now a litigation associate at the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. He’s set to reprise his role as Prince Naveen in the 2016 Kingdom Hearts III video game.

Flynn Rider
Tangled (2010)
Voiced By: Zachary Levi
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A native of the stage, Zachary got his start acting at the age of 5, appearing in regional productions of Grease, The Outsiders, Oklahoma!, Oliver!, and The Wizard of Oz. His first starring role came in 2007 in the TV series, Chuck. After his work on Tangled, Zachary went on to continue work in TV and on the stage. He was signed on in 2015 to reprise his role as Flynn Rider in the upcoming TV series, Tangled: Before Ever After, set to air on the Disney Channel in 2017.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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