Last December, I donated a voucher to the Christmas Tea Raffle at Harvey’s school. The voucher was for a birthday cake – no further specification or qualification, because every child is different and forcing something generic on them is something I couldn’t do.
As it turned out, the winners of the voucher were the parents of another child in Harvey’s class, so I was lucky enough to already know the little girl in question. And while she can sometimes seem a little shy, she knew absolutely what she wanted: a princess in a yellow dress, like Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
My first thought was that it should be simple enough, as the dress looks so plain in the film. But then I remembered what I was like as a 4/5 year old. The joy of Disney is that things like dresses are simple – presumably for the purposes of animating them more easily – but that the child’s imagination fills in the rest. Just because I saw a plain (and slightly garish) yellow dress did not necessarily mean that was how a little girl would see it.
I’m glad I decided to check, because Abbie-May’s vision of the dress was one that included ribbons and flowers that never featured in Disney’s version. The best part of my job? Seeing someone’s face when they first catch sight of their cake, because that’s when I know I’ve got it right.
Belle and the Beast in the film:
And this is my Belle birthday cake: