Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Disneyland at Easter Part 2.....Rabbit Season

It was Rabbit Season at Disneyland.   This Easter all the Rabbits   from Disney films were out in force to meet, greet and dance with the guests.  This was a special treat as I've never seen Thumper in the parks and Roger Rabbit has been a rare site since he was pretty much a major player in the park back in the 80's.

Here are some photos from the Big Thunder Ranch jamboree that took place during the Easter Holidays.


The Easter Rabbit

Briar Rabbit

The White Rabbit  (From Alice in Wonderland)

Roger Rabbit


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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Disneyland at Easter: Part 1 Eggcellent Decorations

Disneyland on Easter --I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day.  And it actually wasn't that crowded in the early morning so we got a few rides in before checking out the Easter Fun.

Here are some pictures from the Egg Decorators that were in the Big Thunder Ranch area .....And area that has become a great out of the way spot for fun character meet and greets.

Boba Fett Egg

Dumbo and Tinkerbell

Some Very Creativer stuff

I'm loving the Tiki Room Egg

Some Nightmarish eggs

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Saturday, April 12, 2014

(Disney Animated Movie Review #7 ) The Pirate Fairy 2014 7+ out of 10

The Pirate Fairy  2014 7+ out of 10
When they first announced that Disney was going to be doing a series of Fairy movies starring Tinkerbell that would be direct to DVD I wasn’t expecting much at all.  It has actually turned out to be a quality series of cute children’s movies.  With each film they have expanded the world of fairies and built a cool and interesting mythology.  The best film in the series was last years  Secret of the Wings   which was a really strong entry.  (My thoughts on that movie are below.

So when my step daughter walked into the room several months ago to declare we need to see that when the ad for the Pirate Fairy played on the Disney channel……I actually agreed with her.   This Fairy movie was finally going to get into some Peter Pan territory with the introduction of a young Captain Hook (The first true villain in this series of movies).    

 The Pirate Fairy had a good story in which an inquisitive fairy (similar to Tink) experiments with Fairy dust (despite being warned not to).   Things go wrong and she basically becomes a renegade fairy and leaves the Fairy community.  She ends up teaming up with a group of Pirates and steals the magically blue dust that helps provide the fairies with the dust  that helps them fly.  Tinkerbell and her friends set up to rescue the blue dust which leads to a fun adventure and a battle with a young Captain Hook and the introduction of the Croc that will eventually take his hand.   For Peter Pan fans this film was a treat since it provided some back story to some of the characters from Pan.   If you have little girls they will absolutely love this series ….and the adults may find them very watchable as well..

Disney/Pixar Animated Short Reviews: #38 Monsters University: Party Central 9 out of 10

Monsters University: Party Central 9 out of 10
This Pixar short that preceded The Muppets Most Wanted was great.  It feautures the hapless Revenge of the Nerds like Frat that our favorite Monsters from the film.  They are  trying unsuccessfully to throw a college party.  Mike and Sully show up with a couple of Monsters Inc doors which they use to cleverly steal the party from the more popular frat.   It was really funny with many interesting sight gags they sneak the party piece by piece through doors that pass through a couple of humans bedroom.  It was the perfect use of the characters in the Monsters University setting.   The gags involving the use of the doors were great.  Definitely check this short out if you like the Monsters universe.

The Muppets 2012 7 out of 10 (Disney Family Film #2)

I wanted to see The Muppets in the theaters. I was glad that they had made their way back to the big screen after quite a break and the parody trailers were really well done.
(Marketing done right--unlike John Carter). I missed them in the theaters and had heard nothing only great things about the movie so when it finally came out on DVD I knew this was one that we had to get for the family. The movie was good ---but it didn't live up to all the applause that had followed its release for me. I mean the plot is basically exactly the same as The Country Bears movie with a bit of UHF thrown in as well. The Country Bears was considered a bomb (I actually thought it was okay) so I find it strange that The Muppet movie got such acclaim (since it is practically the same film). As for music.....I was expecting more as well....after all I'm a huge Flight of the Conchords fan so I was excited for the music in the movie. "Am I a Muppet or Man" was excellent but some of the other music just left me shaking my head (especially the lame rap song by the villain).

I get that for many it had an emotional connection in the nostalgia of getting the gang back together and stirring up memories of the old Muppet Show that we grew up watching on TV, but the sappy stuff only grabbed my interest to a certain degree. I felt the 2 human characters played be Jason Segal (who also co-wrote the movie) and Amy Adams were a waste. Their love story really didn't add much to the movie at all. The movie had its moments, but somehow I was hoping for a little bit more. The original Muppet movie is still by far the best of the Muppet films in my opinion.

The Muppets are the Muppets and their is a certain charm that comes with their mere presence on screen. The DVD had some good extras. The blooper reel was good. The Test footage and behind the scenes had that classic Muppet charm. I was looking forward to the 6 Sampler episodes of the actual Muppet Show (that came with the movie at Target) which the nostalgic elements of the movie made we want to see. Unfortunately that disc had no audio for some reason which disappointed me even more.

If the only thing you get out of this Muppet Movie is wanting to see the original TV show or the first Muppet Movie than it is definitely worth it and the kids will probably love it anyway.

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The Muppets Most Wanted 2014 7+ out of 10 (Disney Family Film #1)

The Muppets Most Wanted 2014  7+ out of 10

The Muppets are back in action again.  I love the Muppets and will watch any new Muppet movie that comes out.  I grew up with the Muppet Show on TV,  so the nostalgia is very strong for these characters.  The original Muppet movie was a classic and I love visiting the Muppets 3-D film at Disney’s California Adventure.  So  I didn’t complain when I got the duty of taking the kids to the movies.    

The Plot

I was a little disappointed in the previous Muppet movie for basically having the same plot as The Country Bears movie and for spending too much time on the new character of Walter.  This Muppet movie gets all of the classic Muppets much more involved in a story where Domenic Badguy (played by the always entertaining Ricky Gervais)  convinces the Muppets to go on a world tour.   Kermit is kidnapped by the World’s Most Dangerous Frog  Constantine and thrown into a Serbian jail.  Contstantine replaces Kermit unconvincingly to everyone except the clueless Muppets and then proceeds to rob museums with Domenic Badguy.   It is a good plot that only suffers slightly from the fact that Kermit is separated from the main group of Muppets  for most of the film.

The Music
One great thing about this latest Muppet movie is that once again the songs are written by Brett Mackenzie of Flight of the Chonchords –so all of the songs have that fun and clever feel of a Flight of the Chonchords song.  The song  “You can you what you want “ as sung by the World’s Most Dangerous Frog Constantine was especially entertaining .  The tone of these songs is perfect for the Muppets and their style of humor.

What is missing?
 I ended up seeing the Muppets in the theaters twice, only because the kids had different events on different days so I got movie duty.  It didn’t hold up as well the second time around.  I’m not sure exactly what was missing that made me disconnect  while viewing the film a second time.  Many of their adventures seem to fall into the same  general range of being good and yet not great and I think that is where this Muppet film will fall.  Maybe it is just the nature of there being puppets in the first place that keeps them from achieving  true greatness, I’m not quite sure and I can’t quite figure it out.   Maybe they just work better in small doses or in a TV show format with short sketches instead of getting lost within a Hollywood plot that always seems to water down the Muppets from their best.

Anyway….If you like the Muppets –you will probably like this Muppet adventure as well.   It is good –just not great.

Here are my thoughts on the previous Muppet film from 2012

Coming up soon I'll do a blog ranking all of the Muppet Movies.
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