So I was listening to this amazing cover of Be Prepared from the Lion King and this idea came into my head; if the Lion King characters were human, it would be awesome if we could genderbend them!
So, here we have Female Mufasa, Male Sarabi, Female Simba, Male Nala, Female Scar (Love Her!), Female Rafiki (I know she’s female in the musical but this is based on the film, so bear with me), Female Timon, Female Pumba, Female Zazu (if they were human, I imagine she’d look like a secretary), Male Shanzi, Female Banzi and Female Ed.
The cover I was listening to can be found here: youtu.be/vPmx3DCLv00
Once upon a time there was a kingdom called Arendelle.
The King and Queen of Arendelle had three daughters. Well, no, that wasn’t strictly true; they had two daughters of their own, and one adopted, but as so often happens with adopted children it was easy to forget sometimes that their youngest child wasn’t biologically theirs, and they loved her just as much as their own children.
Their eldest daughter was called Elsa. She was a joyful child with white blonde hair and bit blue eyes, who had been, well, some said blessed, others said cursed, with the power to manipulate ice and snow, and this ability was the source of much entertainment for her and her sisters in, and even not in, winter.
Their middle daughter was called Anna. She was a playful girl with freckles, pale auburn hair and blue eyes, and loved having all kinds of fun with her sisters, often being the one to suggest that they play a game whenever any of them got bored at all.
Their youngest, and adopted, daughter was called Belle. Naturally with her dark brown hair and hazel eyes she didn’t look anything like her sisters, but no one really minded. Belle was a quiet, intelligent girl who loved to read books, but she was always ready to jump at the chance to play with Elsa and Anna.
All in all, the three sisters had a harmonious life together, and, like their parents, often forgot that they weren’t related by blood. Of course Anna couldn’t remember the adoption, being only a year old herself when it had happened, but Elsa, who had been four at the time, had a somewhat fuzzy memory of it happening. To Anna’s mind, Belle had just always been there in her life, but Elsa could remember a time when Belle hadn’t been there, and it had just been her and Anna in the palace. Then, she recalled one day when her parents had returned from a long voyage, that her mother had been cradling a bundle as though it were the most precious thing in the world and how she had run forwards in excitement to see what the parcel was.
Her father had smiled and placed his hand gently on her shoulder. “Elsa, there’s someone we’d like you to meet. Her name’s Belle; she’ll be living with us from now on.” And Elsa had peered over as her mother bent down to show her the baby girl in her arms. Belle’s eyes were closed but as Elsa watched, they blinked open and she saw they were a faint hazel tinge. Elsa smiled as her mother added “She’ll be a sister for you and Anna, and we want you to look after her.”
And Elsa vowed silently that she always would look after both her sisters.
But all that changed one wintery morning.
It had been so early that it had still been dark but Anna had been wide awake and decided to rouse both her siblings, Elsa first and then Belle, despite Belle’s groans and attempts to pull the pillow over her head, and her constant mutterings of “Too little sleep is bad for you,” as she allowed her sisters to drag her out of bed so that they could play with Elsa’s powers. It had all been fun at first, when they had built a snowman Elsa called Olaf and slid down a snow slide and had a snowball fight...and then...and then it had all gone wrong as somehow Elsa had accidently injured both her sisters with her powers. It had terrified her, especially when she had seen that hitting them with her magic had caused white streaks in their hair.
Thankfully a troll named Pabbie had been able to heal her sisters and remove all their memories of Elsa’s magic, but the event had shaken Elsa up so much that her parents isolated her in her room until she could learn to control her powers. A magical pair of gloves helped to conceal them from the world, but Elsa found herself inwardly battling the entire time with herself to keep her under control.
And the harder it became for her to control them, the longer the battle went on.
Anna and Belle tried more times than they could remember to get Elsa to come out of her room and play with them, but it was no good. Neither of them could work out what this sudden change was that had come over their sister or why they didn’t see her anymore. Eventually Belle had the idea that they could communicate with her by shoving notes underneath the door, and eventually Elsa took to answering them. Anna and Belle have up on asking her why she wouldn’t come out and play and instead took to playing paper games through the door with her, like Noughts and Crosses, Hangman, Pictionary and all kinds of others, taken from a book Belle found in the library about things to do on a rainy day. Admittedly it wasn’t as much fun as building a snowman with Elsa, but at least it felt like the connection between the three of them wasn’t really lost.
The kingdom and all within became isolate too, from the rest of the world, as the King and Queen closed the gates so that no one could come in anymore, hoping to keep Elsa’s secret from the world. Anna and Belle took instead to exploring in their minds, through the books they read and from the pictures they drew from their own imaginations. They shared such ideas with Elsa through the door, sometimes giving her pictures to keep just so that she didn’t forget that they were still there for her.
Knowing how much they cared broke Elsa’s heart.
Time wore on and the three sisters grew, blossoming into three beautiful, graceful young ladies. Even at the age of fourteen, Belle lived up to her name, and at the ages of fifteen and eighteen, respectfully, Anna and Elsa were fair of face too. At this stage in their youngest daughter’s life, the King and Queen decided to disclose to her that she was adopted, reminding her all the while that they were still her family and loved her very much. At first, Belle felt stunned by their admission, but then, as she thought more about it, she realised that it made sense; certainly it was the reason that she didn’t look a thing like her sisters. She communicated her thoughts to Anna, who was equally startled by the news, and Elsa, through the door, and as her sisters consoled her, Belle came to the conclusion that her parents were right, that they were still a family even if they weren’t all related by blood and she loved them all very much. And that was perfectly alright by her.
Then tragedy struck.
The King and Queen were killed in a storm at sea during a voyage, leaving their kingdom mourning and their three daughters devastated. Only Anna and Belle emerged for the funeral, however, Elsa knowing that her sadness combined with her powers would do more harm than good in public. People came up to the two sisters afterwards and asked where Elsa was. Anna and Belle made excuses, said that the news of their parents’ deaths had shaken Elsa so badly that she had been taken ill, and then, finally, when it seemed like the rest of Arendelle was going to let them be, the two sisters declined the carriage ride home and instead walked, arm in arm, through the swirling early Autumn mists, back to the castle.
“Elsa, please, we know you’re in there,” Anna sang softly through the door when they got back. “People are asking where you’ve been. They say “Be strong,” and we’re trying to.”
“We’re right out here for you,” Belle added, placing her gloved hand against the wood. “Just let us in.”
“We only have each other, just the three of us; what are we going to do?” Anna asked. Then, mournfully, added “Do you want to build a snowman?”
And the two sisters the other side of the door held one another in their sadness, wishing and hoping that Elsa would come out and join them.
But she didn’t.
Three years later:
“Belle, come on, get up!”
Belle groaned, pulling the pillow over her head. “Leave me alone, Anna!”
“But it’s finally today!”
“What are you on about?”
“It’s today!” Anna yanked open the curtains and pulled the pillow off her sister. Belle blinked at her, half grumpy, half bewildered. “It’s Coronation Day; and you know what that means!”
Belle yawned and then realised what her sister was getting at. “We’ll see Elsa again for the first time in forever. But it’s six. Come wake me up when it’s nine.”
“Belle, don’t go back to sleep!” When Belle lay back down again, Anna jumped on her. Belle shrieked and tried to batter her off. “Anna! I thought I was supposed to be the youngest, not you!”
“Come on!” Anna grabbed her hands and pulled her out of the bed, swinging her around in a dance. “We’ve got to get ready! The gates are going to be open, and there’ll be people all around!”
Belle looked at the excitement etched on her sister’s face and gave in, smiling up at her. “Alright, I’m up!”
Anna laughed and danced her around again. “It’s going to be wonderful; I can feel it!”
Belle allowed herself to laugh too and she suddenly realised just how much she missed Elsa. It seemed so strange for the two of them to laugh together without their older sister. “We’re not going to be alone anymore,” she grinned, wondering how much Elsa might have changed in the eleven years they had been away from her. Anna finally let go of her hands, spinning around the room herself, and Belle took the opportunity to pull on her best dress for the occasion, a pink number with matching shoes. Tying back her hair with a matching ribbon, she turned to grin at Anna. “You look great, by the way?”
“Thanks, you too,” Anna gushed, twirling again in her new green and black gown with neat black shoes, her own hair tied up neatly behind her head. “Come on, I want to see what the place looks like while it’s being decorated!”
Belle laughed again, allowing her sister to drag her from the room, the prospect that the three of them would be reunited again this very day ringing through her mind.
Belle has always felt like a social outcast in her small town due to her love of books, which other people find odd. After her father’s death, however, Belle finds herself sent to live with her mysterious great uncle, The Pagemaster, and his three faithful magical books; Adventure, Fantasy and Horror. Soon Belle and her new friends find themselves transported on a magical quest through the world of books, meeting famous faces and battling their own fears along the way.
Paige O’Hara as Belle
Patrick Stewart as Adventure
Whoopi Goldberg as Fantasy
Frank Welker as Horror
And Christopher Lloyd as The Pagemaster