Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Disney Dudebro Updates (12/26/2017)

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas.  I certainly did. In fact, I've decided to give myself a break this holiday season. That and I'm also feeling under the weather.

As such, this blog is going to experience a brief hiatus until January 1. Until then, there will be no regular posts. No Throwback Thursdays. No Fan Art Fridays. No Dateline Disney.

So until then, enjoy the rest of the holiday season and have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 25, 2017

The Most Underrated Muppets Christmas Special?

© Pinterest

Most of us are familiar with A Muppet Christmas Carol. But did you know that there were many lesser known Muppet Christmas specials that were produced for television?

I reviewed one of the worse specials last week. So for this week, to make up for that, I'll be reviewing one of the better specials: A Muppet Family Christmas.

This special has a very special place in my heart, as it was released in 1987, the exact same year that I was born. That makes it one of the very first Christmas specials I ever remember watching. You could even say that this special and I are kindred spirits!

My folks recorded the special on VHS when it first came out, and I remember re-watching it every year for Christmas. Even when I stopped watching it, I still remember the enjoyment that it brought me every holiday season.

But were these holiday feelings genuine? Was the special really as great as I remember it? Or was it one of those specials that never really aged well?

And before you ask, yes, I am aware that the Nostalgia Critic already reviewed the special. That doesn't matter. I already had plans of reviewing it, and it's not like "reviewer dibs" is a real thing anyway.

To find out more about this underrated Muppet Christmas special, click READ MORE:

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Dateline Disney (12/24/2017)

With this being Christmas Eve, I wish I could be offering good tidings with good news, but that sadly doesn't seem to be the case, what with Marvel canceling many of their more diverse comic books, the new Star Wars movie being review bombed on Rotten Tomatoes, and the new Disney-Fox merger threatening to layoff up to 10,000 employees. But hey, at least we finally get to see Donald Trump in the Hall of Presidents. That's clearly good news that's not the least bit controversial, right? Right?!

To view this week's headlines, click READ MORE:

Friday, December 22, 2017

Fan Art Friday: Very Merry Christmas

Christmas arrives after this weekend. Until then, let's get in the holiday spirit with some Christmas-related Disney fan art.

For this week's festive fan art showcase, click READ MORE:

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Disney Afternoon Christmas Bumper

© YouTube

Christmas is less than a week away, so of course I have to share something both nostalgic and Christmas-related. And fortunately, I managed to stumble across something that’s both with this Disney Afternoon Christmas bumper.

To view and learn more about this bumper, click READ MORE:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Tangled Recap: The Alchemist Returns

So in this episode, do we ever learn what those glowing rocks are? No. But do you know what we do learn? That character who's been acting like he's turning into a villain? He's totally turning into a villain! Bet you never saw that coming!

Oh, and the glowing flower that has magical powers. Turns out it no longer has magical powers now that it's no longer glowing. And it's magical power is now in Rapunzel. Bet you didn't know that...unless you watched the original movie, of course!

Oh, and everyone in the castle is gullible enough to eat purple cookies given to them by a random stranger. This is why you don't take things from strangers, kids!

Okay. Okay! All joking aside, this episode, while it didn't reveal anything we didn't already know, did a good job of setting up for the season finale. We can only hope that all this hype will be worth it.

For a scene-by-scene recap of this episode, click READ MORE:

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Tangled Recap: The Quest For Varian

When I first learned that Disney Channel would be turning Tangled into a series, I never imagined it would amount to anything substantial. After all, how much material can you create from a movie based on a fairy tale that ended well enough with "happily ever after"?

Well, turns out a lot!

Ever since the mid-season hour-long special, the overarching plot with the mysterious glowing rocks has been quickly gaining momentum, and these last few episodes are really bringing it all to a head and preparing for the final outcome with the season finale.

So what are up with those glowing rocks? Are they related to Rapunzel's magical hair? What does Varian and his father have to do with them? Will Varian turn to the Dark Side of the Force for good? And who exactly are Rey's parents? (Okay, the last is a question about Star Wars, not Tangled!)

All those questions and more are...never answered in this episode. Or the next. In fact, we're still left with more questions than answers, and if the very next episode is any indicator, we still won't have those questions answered, even after the King's entire cover-up has been uncovered.

Gee, a politician who insists that everything is under control is lying and he doesn't really have anything under control? Color me shocked!

Like Rapunzel, we're still left wanting our questions answered, and we can only wait and see until they are when the season finale finally arrives. Until then, here's the recap for this episode.

For a scene-by-scene recap, click READ MORE:

Monday, December 18, 2017

Disney Dudebro Reviews: Star Wars: The Last Jedi


I'll be honest here: I'm not a fan of the new Star Wars movies.

I've already written about why I think The Force Awakens is overrated. To sum, the movie rips off too many plot elements from previous movies, its villain fails to come across as the least bit intimidating, its big "shocking" moment was too telegraphed within the movie to come across as even remotely surprising, and the entire movie undermines the very existence of the original movies. In short, it's overrated and overhyped!

That's not to say that I hated The Force Awakens or that I thought it was bad. While the movie wasn't "teh best Star Wars ebah!", it was at least entertaining, with plenty of cool moments and action scenes. I'd even say that the new trilogy has some potential.

And I'll give the movie credit: at least it was better than Rouge One!

If you want to know why I hate Rouge One...Quick! On the top of your head, name one character from that movie. Who isn't Jyn Erson. Or any of the old Star Wars characters. Actually, name three characters! If you can't, then congratulations: you know why I don't like that movie. It was a big flashy spectacle with no actual characters to care about.

So with the Force Awakens being disappointing and Rouge One being awful, I didn't exactly have high expectations for The Last Jedi. My expectations were as low as they could be. The only thing giving me the slightest hope was rumor that this movie would be darker and go in an much different direction than other movies.

So did this Star Wars movie serve as A New Hope? Or has the entire franchise turned to the Dark Side? Find out by clicking READ MORE:

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Worst Muppets Special Ever?

© Muppets Wiki

Most of us are familiar with A Muppet Christmas Carol. But did you know that there were many lesser known Muppet Christmas specials that were produced for television?

This Christmas season, I want to share two of these under-rated Muppet specials. One of them is good. The other? Not so much.

The good Christmas special I'll be sharing next week as a sort of Christmas present from me to you. That means this week I'll be reviewing the not-so-good special. (Consider this a coal in your stocking for any bad behavior this year!)

What's considered to be the worst Muppet movie ever is highly debated by fans. Some claim it's Muppets in Space, a movie that did so poorly in the box office that another theatrical release would not be made until 12 years later.

Other Muppet fans claim the worst movie to be Muppets Wizard of Oz, while others give that dishonor to Kermit's Swamp Years.

While most of these movies are bad in their own right, in my opinion, the worst of them all has to be the 2002 NBC made-for-television special, It's A Very Muppet Christmas Movie.

To learn more about the worst Muppet special ever, click READ MORE:

Dateline Disney (12/17/2017)

It's official. The Mouse has purchased The Fox! And with this massive purchase comes many goodies for the Mouse to play with, from the Fantastic Four and X-Men joining the MCU, to the Mouse taking control of Hulu and the Fox Network. What does this all mean? Find out with this week's Dateline Disney.

Check out this week's headlines by clicking READ MORE:

Friday, December 15, 2017

Fan Art Friday: May The Force Be With You

Star Wars: The Last Jedi makes its epic premiere today in a movie theater not to far away from you and by no means a long, long time ago. So to celebrate the new Star Wars movie coming out, here are some Star Wars fan art:

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Throwback Thursday: Star Wars Holiday Commercials

© Empire Online

The newest Star Wars movie premieres tomorrow. It's also the holiday season. So what would be more apropos for this week's Throwback Thursday than something that combines both? Something like the Star Wars Holiday Special?

Or at least that's what I would suggest if it wasn't for two things: one, every reviewer on the internet like the Nostalgia Critic has already torn that special to shreds. And two, I don't have utter contempt for my audience.

Everybody and their grandmother already knows that the special is the single worst thing to come out of the Star Wars franchise--well, perhaps not as bad as the Star Wars: The Clone Wars movie!

But if there's one good thing that came out of the special itself, it would be the commercials--not the commercials for the special, but rather the commercials that aired during the special.

To take a groovy trip back to the 1970s with these vintage commercials, click READ MORE:

Monday, December 11, 2017

Dateline Disney (12/11/2017)

Disney and Fox are working around the clock to come up with a deal sometime before Christmas. What will this mean for Disney? For Marvel? For Hollywood in general? We'll just have to wait and see. All this plus more news about the Disney World Skyliner and Disneyland Play Parade in this week's Dateline Disney.

Check out this week's headlines by clicking READ MORE:

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Force Awakens Is Overrated And Here's Why

© Gizmodo

Imagine you're attending a dinner party. You and a dozen friends have been invited over with the promise that you'd be served the world's best meal prepared by the world's best chef. Your expectations are quite high.

Your dinner is served, and you're presented with...a bowl of plain chicken broth. Not chicken soup. Chicken broth. No chicken. No noodles. No vegetables. Not even any spices. Just plain broth.

Curious, you take your spoon, dip it in, blow away the steam, and take a sip. The broth tastes exactly as it looks. You take a few more tastes to check if you're correct. You are. It's plain broth. It's not disgusting, by any means. Not even bad. Just bland.

You finish your meal. Even though your hunger has been sated, it has not been satisfied. After all, the only thing you ate was broth.

You're left confused as to why the lackluster meal was hyped beyond expectation, but you're even more confused by your friends and what they think about it.

All through the dinner, you hear them praise the broth as the most delicious thing they've ever tasted. They boast about how they cannot believe how amazing the broth was, declaring it to be the best meal they ever had.

Not only are you left feeling unsatisfied about the meal, but also isolated about your opinion on it. Your senses told you that the broth was okay at best, but everyone else insists that it was better than okay. You feel alienated, doubtful of your own senses, and afraid to say anything lest your friends think lesser of you.

As you can clearly tell, this is exactly how I felt about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What I consider to be a merely passable movie at the very least, everyone else insists is, "teh best Star Wars mobie evah!"

At first, I felt alone in my assessment of the movie. But after discovering and watching several other videos pointing out the movie's flaws, including the review by the Nostalgia Critic, I no longer feel alone. Even South Park seems to agree with me! And yet, even then, my opinion remains an unpopular one.

So as you can tell, I don't have high expectations for the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi. To explain why, here are my top four reasons why I think Force Awakens is overrated:

Friday, December 8, 2017

Fan Art Friday: The World Es Mi Familia (Part Deux)

To no one's surprise, Coco has been dominating the box office, even managing to triumph over Justice League. Not only is the movie doing well in its setting of Mexico, but also in other foreign markets such as China. When the Chinese are paying lots of money to see a movie set in Mexico, you know your movie is succeeding. So to celebrate this success, here's yet another fan art showcase:

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Throwback Thursday: A Very Merry Christmas Sing Along

© Bear Family

Christmas is a few weeks away, which means it’s that time of year for Christmas music. Or at least that’s what I would say if that fact wasn’t already self-evident right now.

Seriously, even before Thanksgiving, many radio stations had already transitioned into playing 24-hour Christmas music! So whether you love it or hate it, Christmas music is a staple of the holiday season, even long before the season officially starts.

So allow me to ask you this question: how were you first introduced to Christmas music as a child? Did your parents sing Christmas songs to you as a baby? Did they have the Christmas radio station playing on loop in the house or in the car? Did your church sing Christmas songs during morning service? Or did your parents buy you a Christmas record or video that they played for you over and over again?

For me, my introduction to traditional Christmas songs came in the form of the latter, specifically with a certain sing-along video that has a special place in my heart, as well as the heart of other children who grew up with it.

To learn more about this classic Christmas music video, click READ MORE:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tangled Recap: Not In The Mood

Stop me if you've heard this before: a bunch of characters have their personalities switched...yeah, you've heard this before. It's one of those personality/body swapping episodes. Not much else to see or explain here.

And honestly, I'm not even sure what the lesson is. You need to be self-aware of your flaws? Don't fight with people? Oh, I know: don't spike your friends' drink.

Yeah, I wish there was more I can say about this episode, but if you've seen one episode like this, you've seen them all.

For the scene-by-scene recap of this episode, click READ MORE:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Ducktales Recap: The Impossible Summit of Mt. Neverrest!

Fear is an emotion that's often maligned. We’re told that fear is a bad feeling. That being afraid makes us cowards. That we need to overcome our fears. That fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering. That we need to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy! And for the most part, these have all been good lessons. After all, if our ancestors never overcame their fears, we would all still be stuck huddling together in cold caves.

But like all feelings, fear is a natural emotion. It can be both bad and good. Fear is a self-preservation mechanism that ensures that we stay away from danger. After all, if you’re afraid of a large bear that’s five feet away from you, you’re not a coward if you run away from it. You’re simply a healthy human being looking after your own personal well-being. Sometimes, it’s okay to be afraid.

That’s a lesson that’s rarely expressed in media, especially with children’s media. Often, cartoons teach us that we need to conquer our fears and take risks against all odds possible. So it’s nice that we have an episode of Ducktales here that offers a more nuanced lesson: taking risks and overcoming your fears is a good thing, but so is learning when to walk away from them.

Scrooge is clearly a risk-taker, and it has been his risk-taking that has allowed him to make his fortune. So when there was a moment in his life when he failed to take such a risk, a failure that inevitably haunted him for most of his life, of course he’s going to do everything he can to take up that risk once again and prove his courage.

However, during his expedition, things become especially too risky, especially for his own family, and he has to learn to choose between appeasing his own ego and looking after the well-being of his own family. The smart choice, of course, was the latter. As Huey said: “Sometimes the bravest thing an explorer can do is walk away.”

So of course the main plot was good. As for the subplot, while it was entertaining to see Launchpad bumble around a spa thinking he was dying from “ice fever” because some snake-oil peddling salesman said he needed to purchase his merchandise in order to survive, while I understand what the lesson was supposed to teach, I don’t think it did quite the best job possible.

Yes, the salesman sold Launchpad those items under false pretenses, but in the end, what did he sell him other than items to keep him warm during a cold expedition? Yes, ice fever doesn’t exist, but do you know what does? Hyperthermia. Which comes awfully close. I’m just saying this could have been done a bit better.

For a scene-by-scene recap of this episode, click READ MORE:

Monday, December 4, 2017

Disney Dudebro Reviews: Coco


Many other reviewers have pointed out that, for as much as Pixar is praised for its originality, most of its movies have been following a similar formula since Toy Story. Moviebob previously explained this formula, but I can sum it up thusly:

You have the main protagonist who lives in a smaller world within a bigger world. For circumstances beyond their control, the protagonist is forced into the bigger world where they have to go on a quest to return to their smaller world. Through said quest in the bigger world, they ultimately have their worldview challenged, and upon returning to their smaller world, come back with a brand new point of view.

Let’s apply this formula to Toy Story. Woody lives in Andy’s room content with being Andy’s favorite toy. Buzz Lightyear comes along and usurps that position. Jealous, Woody tries to get rid of Buzz, but in the process, ends up getting lost himself. The two end up in Pizza Planet, and later in Sid’s room, where they have to learn to cooperate to get back to Andy. The two return, and in doing so, have learned to set their differences aside and not worry about being the favorite toy.

If you apply this formula to other Pixar movies, you start to see a connection. But in all honesty, it’s not like Pixar invented the formula. It’s a storytelling formula as old as storytelling itself. We see this formula played out with Harry’s acceptance to Hogwarts, Katniss’ conscription into the Hunger Games, Alice’s journey through Wonderland, Dorothy’s trip through Oz, and Frodo’s quest through Middle Earth.

In all of these stories, you have a hero who leaves their smaller world, ventures into a new, bigger world, and returns home as a new and improved person. It’s a story that keeps being told and re-told because it teaches the always relevant lesson of stepping beyond your own personal boundaries to explore the world at large and come back with a fresher perspective.

Such a story has its root in classic mythology, especially with myths about heroes venturing into the underworld. The most famous of these myths is that of Orpheus. Such a story has inspired many other storytellers, most famously surrealist filmmaker Jean Cocteau, who used this story as the motif in his adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. Kyle Kallgren, in his review of that movie, described the myth as one about self-realization, about “the artist who goes into the underworld, becomes changed, and returns…the artist delves into his soul, and brings his findings back into the world.”

So why this lengthy literary lesson in a movie review about yet another Pixar flick? Because it’s very interesting that Pixar would finally use this oft-repeated formula which has its origins in underworld myths to tell a story where the main character actually visits the underworld.

So was this movie good or dead on arrival? Find out by reading the rest of this review by clicking READ MORE:

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Disney Sued Over Alice In Wonderland?

© Pintrest

For many of us, the quintessential version of Alice in Wonderland is the Disney version—that being the animated 1951 film, not the 2010 live-action "Johnny Depp in Burtonland" movie!

But did you know that the 1951 film was not the first animated Alice movie? Not only was there an animated adaptation created two years prior, but when it was set to release in American theaters two years later, it sparked a legal battle with Walt Disney in an attempt to prevent it from being released.

Such a legal case seems just as curious and curiouser as any legal case where the sentence comes first and the verdict afterwards. And, of course, to share such a curious tale, we must start at the beginning and go on till we come to the end: then stop.

To learn more about this most curious case, click READ MORE:

Dateline Disney (03/12/2017)

As Bob Iger plans to step down from his role as Disney CEO, he has a rumored successor planning to step up and take his place. All that plus news about the new lead actress for Mulan and a planned expansion for Tokyo Disneyland in this week's Dateline Disney.

For this week's headlines, click READ MORE:

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Tangled Recap: Painter's Block

So after the big one-hour special that was Queen For A Day, you have to wonder how the series will follow up after such a major episode. The kingdom nearly froze over into eternal winter, the king and queen nearly lost their lives, Varian had been turned away and left to find out that his father has become trapped in crystal, and Rapunzel nearly failed to save the day. Obviously such a big story would have a big impact on the entire series. And as this episode shows, it did!

For starters, Rapunzel has evidently not recovered from the trauma she endured within that episode. Then again, can you really blame her? She was forced between a rock and a hard place to make a difficult decision about the fate of her kingdom, which she ultimately placed on a fairy tale. No one would be okay after such an ordeal. That’s something very few shows or movies touch upon. More often than not, after a character deals with a major fight or event, their life returns to normal as though nothing had happened, even though in real life the stress from such an ordeal would have an impact on that person. And as we see, Rapunzel is still suffering from that impact, both emotionally and mentally.

Also, the entire event with the giant wind-blowing machine has clearly produced unintended consequences, as it has unwittingly unleashed an evil force that had been imprisoned within it. Again, this has forced Rapunzel and her friends to deal with a threat against the entire kingdom, a threat which they had only barely managed to curtail in this episode. And if future episode titles are to be believed, more unintended consequences, specifically concerning Varian, will start to bubble up to the surface. Rapunzel may have freed Corona from the frying pan, but it only seems to be falling into the fryer.

Will Rapunzel be up to the challenge, especially after her previous ordeal? Only time will tell. Until then, here's the scene-by-scene recap for this episode:

Friday, December 1, 2017

Fan Art Friday: The World Es Mi Familia

Disney/Pixar's newest animated feature, Coco, has arrived into theaters. During a time when Hispanic Americans are facing a lot of prejudice and even oppression, it's nice to know that this movie helps provide them some much needed positive media representation. Not to mention a movie based on Dia De Las Muertas has a lot of potential, as Book of Life proves. And even with the movie having barely released, there's still plenty of fan art of it already, and here's just a few:

To check out this week's fan art showcase, click KEEP READING: