Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why isn't there a Teen Beach movie show yet? and my thoughts on the Movie itself (Disney Channel Movie #1)

Teen Beach Dance Party or show  ?


I’m surprised that Disney hasn’t already come up with something for the parks related to Teen Beach Movie.   If they hadn’t already remade the Paradise Pier area the old Pizza Oww Mow Mow restaurant would have been a perfect place for Big Momma’s beach house from the movie.   It would have taken very little to make that over.   Too bad they already replaced that with a whole new restaurant about a year and a half ago.   It could have been the perfect place for a small scale musical performance like what  they used to do after High School Musical was such a big hit.    Or a spot for a little kids dance party like.  My stepdaughter loves  the Dancing with the Disney characters…..if she got to go to a Teen Beach Dance Party she would be out of her mind.  I guess they could still do that in place of Dancing with the Disney characters in the backlot area,  but they already had the ideal beach themed area for this attraction before the refurb work on Paradise Pier happened.

The Movie.  Teen Beach Movie 2013  7+ out of 10

This was one of those movies that you only watch because the kids want you to watch it with them.

It actually turned out to be quite good.  The story follows the adventures of  2 teens that magically get sent into one of the characters favorite movies  “Wet Side Story”  which is a 1960’s musical.   

The movie  was basically a mix between  West Side Story and Grease with a plot borrowed from the excellent movie Pleasantville.  Like Pleasantvillle –there showing up in the movie starts to change the plot of the film which they have to set right in order to return home.   The music was catchy and the movie was really cute.  I can see why the kids have watched this movie over and over and over again.   One musical number in particular in which the characters start singing even though they didn’t want to was straight out of one of my favorite musicals,  the excellent Buffy musical episode "One More Time with Feeling".   It wasn’t an amazing film or a deep film in anyway---it was just  fun…exactly as it was meant to be.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Disney Animated Short Feature #2 Toy Story of Terror 2013 7 out of 10

Toy Story of Terror  2013   7 out of 10

It is a good thing whenever we get to see the Toy Story gang in action.  The movies were all excellent and only got better with each film. Following the movies there have been several really entertaining shorts as well.  Toy Story of Terror is the first TV short feature from the gang and centers on several of the characters on a road trip with their new owner Bonnie.   Mr. Potato Head decides to explore the motel room and ends up disappearing.  This is basically a horror movie homage featuring the gang that leads into a situation where they may end up separated forever.   One by one they appear disapear as something grabs them in the dark.   It was a good adventure- but not as entertaining as the movies or some of the really good shorts.  Maybe my issue with it was that it focused on Jessie (one of my least favorite Toy Story characters).  Jessie has to face her fears in order to help rescue one of the gang.  Still definitely worth a watch with the kids, but I don't see it becoming a holiday classic.   If your kids love Toy Story they will be happy to see them in action again.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Disney Animated Short Feature #1 The Adventures of Icabod Crane 1949 10 out of 10

The Adventures of Ichabod Crane  1949   10 out of 10

We all have our holiday traditions. Whether it is watching Football on Thanksgiving day, that favorite Christmas movie that we watch every year, or that Christmas wrapping paper roll sword fight on the front lawn after all the presents are open....(Wait that is just me and my dad).

When Halloween rolls around one of the things that I have to watch every year is Ichabod Crane the 1949 animated classic from Disney. I've read the original story by Washington Irving about 3 times as well and love it.  This short Disney film used to be a staple on those old Wonderful World of Disney specials. Remember the Disney Halloween shows with the creepy talking pumpkin head by Johnathon Winters (well maybe I'm dating myself with that reference) 

They would always run at least of portion of Ichabod's story along with Disney cartoons with witches and such. The full short film is a perfect Halloween classic. With narration by Bing Crosby and the fun song as sung by him as Brom Bones (the Original Gaston). The short has everything...Laughs , chills , and a crazy wild action scene as he tries to escape the Headless Horsemen. It is the perfect mix of spooky and fun. The animation and the sound in this Halloween tale sets up Ichabod's fateful night perfectly. It is a Halloween tradition to watch this every single year just like visiting the Holiday Haunted Mansion or watching Nightmare before Christmas.

If you have never seen this Disney classic...shame on you.....Run out and find a copy for it is Disney animation at its best.
 Here is the song from this classic short

Here is my Disney Facebook Page

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Disney/Pixar Animated Short Reviews: #29 O Sole Minnie 2013 8+ out of 10

O Sole Minnie  2013  8+ out of 10

The latest Mickey Mouse short follows Mickey in Venice as a Gondolier trying to woo Minnie.  This was a cute cartoon with Mickey battling to get Minnie's attention while having to overcome obstacles along the way.  Mickey keeps getting thwarted by bad timing and a giant hippo that mistakes his efforts for him trying to woo her instead.  Eventually Mickey wins Minnie's heart in this cute stylish adventure.   A strong effort in the series. Mickey is at his best when he is in hero mode.

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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Avatarland at Disney's Animal Kingdom could be something special

Here is a new video Released by Disney with John Cameron talking about what we can expect with Avatar

Below is an old article I wrote awhile back for Miceage about the possibilities that an Avatarland might have

I decided to revisit Pandora over the weekend in search of clues as to what the announced land in Animal Kingdom could consist of. What rides and or attractions could come from this visually stunning yet not totally satisfying movie? It is after all the most successful movie of all time box office wise. I thought the movie was pretty good when it came out though not outstanding since I felt it the plot wasn't that great. It was driven by the stunning nature of its visual appeal. (An 8+ out of 10). So I sat down and watched it again from the perspective of looking at what kind of attractions could come out of it.

Welcome to Pandora:
Pandora is a world filled with giant cascading waterfalls (like Naboo) and rocky mountain ranges that look like they are from the Wonders of China (as seen in the Fantasy movie Willow) and Mountains that float in the sky. I'm trying to picture this but unless they have figured out how to shrink people like in Adventures through Innerspace I kept wondering how this scale could be achieved.

The trees of Pandora make the Tree of Life in Animal kingdom look small in comparison. The world is filled with colorful creatures.There are multi-limbed Blue Lemurs.....(.I guess they could throw some paint on some lemurs and glue a few extra arms on them). The land also is filled with giant horse like Dinosaurs and things that look like Rhinos with Hammerheads. I hope the plan isn't to just switch out the Dinosaurs from Dinosaur with blue painted Pandora animatronic creatures.

They could create an indoor environment that is made to look like the lower levels of the forest all black lit with fake plants and animatronics to like the bio luminescent areas of Pandora but that just makes me think of the line and ride for ET that used to be in Universal Studios (and we don't want that).

And then there are the strange looking Na'vi (which I could really never get used to or connect with in the movie)
Are they going to have really tall people watching around for photo ops and scaring the children? Are kids going to get caught up in their tails like a bad memory from a trip to Chuck E Cheese?

Having re watched the film I'm more confused then i was when I first heard the announcement about Avatar land. I mean despite the visual wonder of the film upon a second viewing it really doesn't hold the magic or repeatability of a Star Wars movie or Harry Potter. The plot is a re thread of Pocahontas with weird Blue Aliens. How do you make a new land out of a movie where humans are the villains? Is the land just going to be a big bio luminescent dome filled with environmental messages? Are people dressed like the Na'vi going to be sitting around the telling stories about nature and the importance of protecting the earth and the need to recycle? I know that fits with the theme of Animal Kingdom but other than that it doesn't sound fun.
The plot of the movie doesn't really lend itself to an attraction. I mean the Lorax the ride doesn't sound fun.

I only thing I can think of is that they have some kind of flying lizard ride in mind for Animal Kingdom. A major element of the film is the Na'vi riding around on giant flying lizards. It is the most dramatic and thrilling portion of the movie. But how can this be achieved in a high capacity ride? A coaster would be a cheesy way to do this (too Universal for my tastes). It could be done with a kid ride....a Peter Pan type thing.....but that is too rinky dink an idea. The only thing that makes sense to me would be a Soaring type ride modified to fit the theme of course. It would allow for the visual scale of the film and be able to take you past the flying mountains and giant waterfalls and flying lizards.....and then dip you down into the lower portions of the planet to see the other creatures that live there. [B]Basically take Soaring and kick it up a notch to the next level[/B]. We shall have to wait and see....

I still would prefer someone to make Star Wars Land..

Disney/Pixar Animated Short Reviews: #28 Dog Show 2013 6 out of 10

Dog Show  2013   6 out of 10

In the latest in the current series of Mickey Mouse Cartoons Mickey and Pluto are getting ready for the big dog show.  It was nice to see Pluto making an appearance, since I don't recall seeing him in the series so far.    Anyway Goofy shows up and throws a stick for Pluto that goes over a cliff leaving Pluto injured and unable to be in the dog show.   Mickey gets the idea to have Goofy take his place since the prize money was going to go to the Orphanage.  This brings up the old argument regarding  why is Mickey's best friend Goofy a dog that can talk ---while Pluto also a dog (that can't talk)  his pet???  It will remain one of the mysteries of the universe that I guess I will just have to accept.   Moving on....Goofy ends up not performing that well in the dog show leading a frustrated Mickey to perform all the tricks himself and accidentally winning the prize when he is mistaken for a dog.    It was a simple cartoon that was ok, but not great.

The Goofy problem is really starting to bug me.  Why do they insist on making him look like a dirty homeless dog with no pants.   Goofy is my favorite Disney character and his look in the current cartoon series is really unpleasant.  There wasn't much difference between the Zombie Goofy from last week and the bedraggled version in this weeks cartoon.

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

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Disney/Pixar Animated Short Reviews: #27 Mickey's Ghoul Friend 2013 7 out of 10

Mickey's Ghoul Friend  2013   7 out of 10

Last time I mentioned that Goofy looked like he needed a bath. In this cartoon Goofy needs a lot more than a bath.  Mickey's Ghoul Friend is the latest in the new series of Mickey Mouse cartoons and features Mickey Mouse in a spooky situation.  His car breaks down in a scary forest and while trying to fix it he runs into a zombie looking Goofy that has flies swirling around his zombie skull.  It looked like something out of Ren and Stimpy and once again the cartoon had a Samurai Jack feel to it.  The cartoon was entertaining as Mickey tries to escape this ghoulish version of Goofy, which was cool and yet disturbing at the same time.  Mickey spends the whole cartoon trying to escape this undead Goof while all along the zombie Goofy was just offering to help fix his car.

As cool as zombie Goofy looked I'm not sure a zombie version of Goofy is something for kids to see?  The ragged looking less eye pleasing Goofy of the new cartoons is hard enough to get used to.  I don't know if children need to have zombie Goofy haunting their dreams.  I still give it a 7 out of 10....but it may not be for everyone.

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