Friday, December 27, 2013

Disney/Pixar Animated Short Reviews: #34 How to Play Baseball 1942 9 out of 10

How to Play Baseball 1942   9 out of 10

This entry in the "Goofy How to Series" is a classic.  It starts out by explaining the sport of baseball and shows a variety of different types pitches in a funny way.  The cartoon then goes into the ultimate baseball game scenario in which it is the ninth inning of the world series. Through a series of entertaining moments the  bases get and the game (and the cartoon)  comes to an exciting conclusion as it all boils down to a close call at the plate.
The sports direction was a perfect way to go with Goofy as his tall lanky and often clumsy form lent itself perfectly for this parodies of modern sport.  The baseball cartoon was a blueprint for the many great Goofy cartoons that followed.

This cartoon can be found on the Walt Disney Treasures  The Complete Goofy DVD Set.
Many more cartoons to come

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Disney Animated Movie Review: #6 Tangled 2010 9 out of 10

Tangled  2010  9 out of 10

The movie was magical. I didn't catch it in the theaters , but I have now seen it several times at home and each time I like it a little bit more. (Oh and by the way kids don't think the character's name is Rapunzel they want to go and meet Tangled so I will refer to her as "Tangled" for the rest of this review). The film is beautifully animated. The first glimpse of Tangled's tower is inspiring.  I've always looked on animated movies as a work of art greater than some of the world's most famous painting. The film paints a colorful picture. The characters are great. Flynn Rider is dashing (I joked with my wife one night asking if I was dashing, her response "Your no Flynn Rider"). The horse is awesome and has a wonderful action scene with Flynn that made me think of a great scene from Emperor's New Groove. 

The movie has a little bit of everything. Humor is the "I have a dream" song. Action in Tangled and Flynn's daring escape from those trying to capture Flynn via a Star Wars Luke and Leia escape using Tangled's hair. And romance in a truly beautiful scene right up their with "Kiss the Girl" from Little Mermaid where they set afire the lanterns setting them aloft into the air to light up the sky in a magical dance. I think with time this film will go down as a Disney classic. The music was good but not great like the early 1990's Disney films.

Disneyland Picture of the Day: Five & Dime

Disney Animated Movie Review: #5 Planes 7 out 10

Planes  2013  7 out of 10

Planes never really takes flight.   The  movie from above the world of Cars has the right look,  but not necessarily the right stuff.  It fails at being in the same league as either of the Pixar Cars movies and despite its look feels more like a direct to DVD film.  Like the main character Dusty Crophopper  the whole movie flies low to the ground and never really soars.  It was just too derivative of the Cars movies with an older plane as Dusty's mentor that was just too familiar of Doc Hudson (Paul Newman) in Cars.  There are some good action scenes in the movie and it was enjoyable, it just felt like it covered too much of the same ground  (or air in this case) that the Cars films had already covered.  

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Disney/Pixar Animated Short Reviews: #33 Sleep Walkin 2013 9 out of 10

Sleep Walkin 2013  9 out of 10

The latest of the series of new Mickey Mouse cartoons features Mickey Mouse trying to help out his friend Goofy who is having trouble sleep walking at night.  Well it turns out Goofy is sleep running which leads Mickey on a series of crazy adventures all over town trying to keep him safe.  This cartoon is action packed and fun adventure in the spirit of the great Roger Rabbit short cartoons like Tummy Trouble which did this type of cartoon the best. I love that they keep coming out with new Mickey Mouse content.  It is a joy to see that a new episode has popped up on my DVR and it is great that a younger generation is being reintroduced to these classic characters.

The cartoon can currently be found airing on the Disney Channel and Disney Online

Disneyland Picture of the day: Red Trolley Christmas

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Disney Animated Movie Review: #4 Frozen 9 out 10 and Olaf's Frozen Ice Rink

Frozen  2013   9 out of 10

We headed out over the Thanksgiving Holiday to check out the latest Disney animated adventure Frozen at Downtown Disney.  Frozen was very much in the same style and feel as Tangled in both its tone and look.  The story features a pair of sisters that are part of a royal family in the kingdom of Arendell.   Anna and Elsa were really close when they were young children until Elsa's magical powers that she couldn't control almost lead to Anna's life being in danger.    Years pass and it comes time for Elsa to be of age to become Queen which is where the story really starts.   Elsa's powers come to light and she flees her home leaving behind icy devastation.   The movie then focusing on Anna trying to find her sister and restore their home from its icy prison.   The movie features quick a few musical numbers that I could already imagine on stage.  The movie could easily be converted into a stage show.  It also has a few fun unexpected twists (and one at the end that I saw coming a mile away--but still loved).   It also has a couple of characters that you and your kids can fall in love with.....Olaf the silly comic relief Snowman and Sven the cute Reindeer.  Frozen is a great film, visually beautiful 
--the ice castle especially.   It is also and action packed and funny film.

Also at Downtown Disney why not continue the winter wonderland adventure with some Ice Skating at Olaf's  Frozen Ice Rink

If you have annual passes you can meet the princesses and catch the entertaining  animatronic  Olaf that interacts with guests waiting in line.

Until the next Disney Animated and Olaf will just be hanging out.

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Disney/Pixar Animated Short Reviews: #32 Get A Horse 2013 10 out of 10

Disney/Pixar Animated Short Reviews: #32 Get A Horse  2013 10 out of 10

I absolutely loved the latest Mickey Mouse Cartoon that is currently out in theaters accompanying Frozen.    Mickey Mouse in "Get a Horse" is an instant classic that breaks ground while perfectly throwing back to Mickey's roots.   I should have seen in 3-D , but the available time slot for the family to see Frozen wasn't the 3-D version....Plus the price of admission for 4 to a 3-D  movie these days is insane.    Anyway the cartoon starts out like it is an old Mickey cartoon from the black and white cartoon era where Mickey got his start.  The story is about Peg-Leg Pete trying to basically kidnap Minnie of the back a on old wagon.  They battle back and forth over Minnie which ends up causing Mickey and his horse Horace to be thrown through the movie screen---which sets up the rest of the cartoon perfectly  as 3-D characters that seem to be in the theater in color battle with 2-D black and white characters stuck in the movie screen.   The cartoon was very entertaining and perfectly executed.  The gags in the cartoon were excellent and Pete really takes a beating as a result of Mickey and Horace's  intelligent choices in the situation.   I could totally see  " Get a Horse" as a 3-D in the park feature.  If you get a chance....See "Get a Horse "  in 3-D right away.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

DCA picture of the day: Mickey's Fun Wheel

One of my favorite things at the parks is when you catch a ride from a totally different angle you have never seen it from before.  That is the case with this photo of the fun wheel as seen from the beach area near Jumping Jellyfish

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Disneyland Picture of the Day: Jingle Cruise

Disney/Pixar Animated Short Reviews: #31 Potatoland 2013 10 out of 10

Potatoland  2013  10 out of 10

I absolutely loved the  latest Mickey Mouse Cartoon finds Mickey, Donald and Goofy on a road trip to Potatoland.  The amusement park of Goofy’s dreams.  Unfortunately all Potatoland turns out to be is a sign welcoming them to Idaho.   Donald and Mickey end up building an amusement park overnight in order to fulfill Goofy’s childhood dreams.  This cartoon was excellent from start to finish.  Goofy’s excitement for this makes believe theme park is infectious.   With great references to Disneyland throughout this was a gem of a cartoon.  It reminded me of the cool Lester's Posum Park from The Goofy Movie that Goofy drags his son Max to.  It was great to see Donald and Mickey go all out to make their good friend happy.  The cartoon features a parody of the Haunted Mansion with a hilarious slapstick scene with Donald as a ghost and a potato version of Abe Lincoln.  Awesome....  My favorite of the new Mickey Mouse cartoons so far

As a bonus here is Lester's Posum park from the Goofy Movie

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Disneyland Picture of the Day: Christmas at Starbucks on Main Street

Christmas has come already to Starbucks on Main Street USA.
We stopped by the new Starbucks on Main Street to check it out and as with much of the park Main Street USA is pretty much all decked out for Christmas.   The only thing that was missing was the big tree on Main Street and that was because they were filming their annual Christmas special.

The Starbucks logo outside is the original logo that is also on the first Starbucks store which we recently stopped at on a trip to Seattle

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Disney/Pixar Animated Short Reviews: #30 The Art of Self Defense 1941 7 out of 10

The Art of Self Defense 1941  7 out of 10

In this early Goofy cartoon a narrator leads us through the history of self defense with Goofy.  There are some moments that had the kids asking me to rewind it and play it again as the caveman Goofy's clubed each other over the head with clubs.  For me this was a ok Goofy cartoon in the how to series, but not a great one.  It had its moments like when Goofy is learning to box --it is a Goofy cartoon after all.

This cartoon can be found on the Walt Disney Treasures  DVD  The Complete Goofy.   (which collects all of the Goofy starring cartoons)

Top 5 Animated Movie List

I hadn't updated my top Animated movie list since about 2006 so I thought it was a good time to take a look back and rank my top Animated Movies off the 100 plus animated features that I've seen.
All 5 of these films are 10 out of 10 for me.

Here is the countdown.

Number 5  Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo was a venture into a whole new world for Pixar. They created an amazing visual treat underwater.  With Albert Brooks and Ellen Degeneres as the main voice talents this movie was a smash hit at the box office and in my heart as well.  It was a funny, action packed movie with a lot of heart.

Number 4  The Little Mermaid

Staying around water.....The Little Mermaid was the start of a new era of classic Disney animated films.  A nearly perfect story and hit music that grabbed your attention at a time that Animated movies appeared to be dying.  The Little Mermaid hit all the right notes and Sebastian the Crab is one of my favorite Disney characters.

Number 3  Aladdin

When Aladdin came out it immediately became my favorite Disney animated movie of all time.  It was like an animated Raiders of the Lost Ark with its action and like The Little Mermaid had amazing music and a great story.   And then there is the Genie (Robin Williams) absolutely knocked it out of the park with his vocal performance as the Genie.

Number 2    Toy Story 2
Toy Story 2 took the original Toy Story and upped the ante.  The opening scene is action packed.  I could have watched an entire movie with the adventures of Buzz.   Visually stunning and full of fun, laughs and that special ingredient that most Pixar movies have that most none Pixar movies don't.  

Number 1  Toy Story 3

I don't know how they did it?  The Toy Story movies somehow got better and better with each film.  This is basically The Great Escape with your favorite Toys.  Once again a visual treat --but also a great exciting and funny story.  Absolutely loved it.

All 5 of these films are 10 out of 10's for me --so technically the order could be switched around.  All 5 are absolute treasures..      What are your Top 5 Animated movies?

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Disneyland Picture of the Day: MINE! MINE! MINE !

Thor Hammers the Box office and greets guests at Disneyland

Billboard outside my office on Sunset Blvd.

Thor Hammered the box office over the weekend and has grossed over 100 million in less than a week in the US  and 345 Million so far worldwide......I'm looking forward to catching it soon in the theaters and I'll share my views once I do.  

Meanwhile over at Disneyland the line to meet Thor was gathering outside the Treasures of Asgard exhibit now showing in Innoventions in Tomorrowland.   Innoventions is quickly becoming Marvel land.  Since you can see the Iron Man armour and now meet with Thor.

Here are some of the exhibits that you can see....Some of the Asgard Treasures.

And then there is Thor.....  He was in great form twirling his Hammer and doing a bunch of great poses with the people of Earth  that had waited in the long line and crossed the Bi-Frost bridge just to say hello.

Hanging  with Thor

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