Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Disney Dudebro Update (01/31/2018)


It is with heavy heart that I must inform you all this this will be my very last post on this blog, as I have decided to stop blogging about Disney. I recently reached this decision after reading the following article about how adults who like Disney need to grow up. And since I’m clearly an adult Disney fan, I have decided to take that article’s advice and “grow up.”

LOL! Just kidding!

Of course I’m not going to stop blogging, especially because of some screed written by a hack writer. If you want a good laugh, I’d suggest reading the anti-Disney diatribe here. And if you want a breakdown of said diatribe, I’d recommend reading this Twitter thread here.

As for this blog, the real bad news is that most of the Disney shows that I cover are all still on hiatus and not releasing new episodes, so no episode recaps for any of them this month. The good news is that this month will see the release of the newest and most anticipated Marvel movie, Black Panther, so expect a review of that when it releases later this month.

Aside from that, expect the usual with weekly posts such as Throwback Thursday, Fan Art Friday, Dateline Disney, and my regular weekly think pieces.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Worlds That Should Not Appear In Kingdom Hearts 3

IGN

Kingdom Hearts 3 is slated to be released later this year--that is, if it's not delayed yet again. (Because at this point, it certainly feels like Square Enix has conspired with Sony to keep delaying the game in an effort to keep selling new PlayStation consoles under the false promise that KH3 will be released this time around--no seriously, we swear!)

Ever since the game was officially announced in 2013, Kingdom Hearts fans have been speculating as to what new Disney worlds will be included in the newest installment. Already, the game has been announced to feature worlds based on Tangled, Big Hero 6, and Toy Story, with more worlds to be revealed in the future.

Like little kids writing wish lists to Santa begging for the toys they want for Christmas, every Kingdom Hearts fan has written their own wish lists of what worlds they want to see in the newest game--which is why I won't be writing such a list.

Aside from the fact that everyone else has already written such a list, I feel that writing my own would not only be as equally clichĂ©, but also as futile--almost as futile as, well, writing a wish list to Santa begging for the toys you want on Christmas. (Seriously, guys: it's not like Square Enix is combing the internet for ideas based on lists written by fan on internet forums. It ain't gonna happen!)

Instead, rather than writing a list of worlds that I want to see in Kingdom Hearts 3, I'll be writing the exact opposite: a list of worlds that I feel shouldn't be in the game. Because just because the Kingdom Hearts franchise has proven that Final Fantasy and Disney make for a unique combination like pineapple and ham on pizza, that doesn't mean you have to consider adding pickles and peanut butter--though I'm sure someone out there actually likes such a pizza combo.

So in an effort to be contrarian by countering the wish fulfillment of other KH fans, here's a list of worlds that should not be in the next game. Why? Because I said so. That's why!

To view the worlds that should not be in the next game, click READ MORE:



Friday, January 26, 2018

Fan Art Friday: Once Upon A Dream


Nearly 50 years ago, Sleeping Beauty made its theatrical debut on January 29, 1959. And, eh, well, to be honest, I'm not a big fan of the film. For one, it's a movie that I never grew up watching as a kid, so I don't really have a nostalgic attachment to it that I do to other Disney princess movies like Cinderella or Snow White.

Speaking of which, out of the three original Disney princesses--out of all the Disney princesses, honestly!--Princess Aurora is by far the blandest. There's not much about her character other than she's pretty and, well, that's about it. She's beautiful and nothing else!

As much as the original three Disney princesses were never really "feminist" role models, they at least had other admirable qualities about them. Snow White was a caring individual who put the needs of others before herself, and Cinderella was a hard worker who remained confident and patient even in spite of her station in life. But Aurora? She longs to be carried away by a handsome prince. That's about it!

If there is one redeeming factor with the movie, it's most certainly the villain, Maleficent. She's by far one of the best Disney villains of all times. Of course, what else would you expect from "The Mistress of all Evil"? And her big dragon transformation scene in the end where she fights Prince Phillp--only to lose, of course!--is the best scene in the movie. (Too bad the live-action remake ruined her character!)

But the very least that you can say about the movie was that it's beautiful to look at, and it's gorgeous artwork has only inspired equally gorgeous fan art. So to celebrate the movie's anniversary, here's a few for this week's showcase:

To view this week's Fan Art Friday, click READ MORE:


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Throwback Thursday: The Age of Information

Main Street Gazette

Could you imagine a world without the internet? For one thing, you wouldn't be reading this blog post now. The internet has become so ubiquitous within our everyday life that it seems almost impossible to imagine a world without it.

And yet, nearly 40 years ago, such a world actually existed. The very prospect of an "information superhighway" that connected all the world's computers together seemed unimaginable, and the very applications of such a network proved fathomless.

So it was only fitting that one of the many opening day exhibits at Epcot Center's Communicore (now Innoventions) was one that showcased such an "age of information", though the way it showcased this new idea proved quite old-fashioned.

To learn more about the Age of Information, click READ MORE:


Monday, January 22, 2018

Why Zenon And Smart House Are The Best Disney Channel Movies

© IMDB

If you follow Doug "Nostalgia Critic" Walker, you'll know that his Disneycember reviews last year were on the Disney Channel Original Movies. And if you're a millennial like myself who grew up watching those movies back in the 1990s and 2000s, you'd consider his reviews to be quite the trip down memory lane--for better or for worse!

In terms of quality, the Disney Channel movies are quite the grab bag. While a lot of them are cheesy, schlocky flicks that were always as bad as we remembered them, a few of them have proven to stand the test of time as quite the rare gems, or good enough movies.

Aside from High School Musical and Halloweentown, two movies that have come to be considered classics--or as "classical" as made-for-television movies can be--are two that were, interestingly enough, released on the same year of 1999: Smart House and Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century.

Both movies in recent years have risen to the surface within the cultural zeitgeist, with both movies ranking high on lists on Buzzfeed and Collider, inspiring several think pieces and reviews, and with Zenon even rumored to receive its own television series.

But what is it about these two movies that have captured the collective memories of millennials? Are these movies just as good as when they first premiered nearly two decades ago? Or are millennials just too blinded by nostalgia to realize that both movies have aged as well as the Y2K panic? (Answer: Yes, both of them are really that good!)

To learn more about these two movies and why they're so beloved, click READ MORE:



Sunday, January 21, 2018

Dateline Disney (01/21/2018)


It should go without saying that you don't need to like Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Nobody's forcing you to like it. You're free to like or dislike it. However, if the reason you don't like the movie is because you feel there's too many "women" in it, to the point where you feel that the movie would be "improved" by editing out all the female characters, then at least be honest as to why you don't like it. Also, be prepared to be ridiculed by other self-respecting Star Wars fans.

In better news, Animal Kingdom has a new baby hippo, the live-action Sword in the Stone has a new director, and Disney's new streaming service has a new executive. All this and more in this week's headlines.

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


Friday, January 19, 2018

Fan Art Friday: It's A Kind Of Strange Magic


This week's Fan Art Friday is going to be a little bit, um, "strange"--mostly because the source material literally has the word "strange" in the title, and it's also technically both a Disney movie and not a Disney movie.

The animated movie Strange Magic was released about three years ago by Touchstone Pictures, so while it's not an official Disney movie, it was a movie released by a studio owned by the Disney company, the same studio that released both Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Nightmare Before Christmas--and if both of those movies can be considered "Disney" movies, than there's a strong argument to be made that this movie can also be considered likewise.

Anyway, if you haven't heard about this movie, I don't necessarily blame you. It was George Lucas' attempt to release a fantasy franchise that could appeal to little girls in the same sense that Star Wars was a sci-fi franchise that appealed to little boys. (Because if the new Star Wars movies prove anything, it's that girls aren't interested in Star Wars, right?! /S)

On the one hand, this movie proved to be quite mediocre and milquetoast in its premise, and as such, bombed badly in the box office, despite the fact that there were high hopes of it becoming a franchise with multiple sequels.

On the other hand, while this movie wasn't well-received in theaters, it has since gained a cult following on-line, especially on Tumblr, and as such, has spawned several fan art. While I've never watched the movie myself, I can certainly see the appeal. So who knows. If its cult following gains enough traction, it could become a cult classic like Nightmare Before Christmas.

Anyway, to highlight this cult classic jukebox musical of a fantasy story, here's several fan art of it. To view this week's fan art showcase, click READ MORE:

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Garth Brook on Muppets Tonight

© Muppets Wiki

I know I said this month's Throwback Thursdays would specifically focus on retro visions of the future by Disney, but this week's post is going to slightly deviate from this theme.

I say "slightly deviate" because, while this week's post doesn't focus on any past predictions on scientific or technological progress, it does offer a promise of a better world for everyone regardless of who they are.

After all, if your own futurism doesn't focus on creating a better world than the one that exists today, then what exactly does your futurism entail?

So in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, allow me to share a musical number that pines for a better tomorrow that MLK himself would have envisioned.

To view this dream of a better world for all, click READ MORE:


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tangled Recap: Secret Of The Sundrop


Finally! Here we are. The season finale. 22 episodes in and we finally get to learn the secret of those mysterious glowing rocks. And that secret is...

...they're pointing Rapunzel in a direction somewhere outside the kingdom.

Okay, so it's not exactly the answer that we've been anticipating. In fact, many secrets that were expected to be revealed by now still remain a secret. What exactly is the connection between Rapunzel's hair and those rocks? What was the secret society that Quirin's a part of, and what do they know about the rocks and her hair? What was Quirin trying to tell Varian in that letter? And more importantly, when will he be free from that crystal? What will free him from that crystal?

All these questions and more remain unanswered. On the one hand, that leaves this finale feeling a bit hollow, as many of us were expecting these questions to be answered by now. On the other hand, it does leave plenty of plot threads open for the upcoming second season, and thus makes us anticipate it all the more.

As for the season finale itself, even for a Disney Channel show, it managed to really feel grand like a finale should, especially with the action scenes and the big musical numbers. The songs especially were great, and they not only prove that Alan Menken can still make good music, even for lesser projects, but that many of the actors can really sing. This is especially true for Varian, though less true for the King.

Speaking of which, the weakest part of the finale, if there was a weak part, was with the villain himself. On the one hand, kudos to the show for creating a villain that we can both sympathize with while also oppose. We know why Varian is doing what he's doing, but we still realize that what he's doing is wrong and that this isn't the way for him to accomplish what he wants.

On the other hand, what makes him a weak villain is exactly what makes him his character. Varian is a teenager, and an adorkable one at that. So when he tries to make himself look menacing and threatening, it has the same effect as a little kid dressing up in a Halloween costume trying to make himself look scary. You can't really take him seriously as a threatening villain, try as he might, because, well, he's still the adorkable Varian that we all know and love.

That's probably why I'm hesitant to see him turn to the dark side. I like this character. Since he was first introduced I liked him. I don't want him to be a villain. I want him to be the adorkable geeky sidekick to the other characters. Then again, I'm sure this is what the writers wanted everyone to feel. So I can only hope they manage to give him a proper redemption.

Anyway, this season finale strongly hints that the next season will involve Rapunzel and the others going on a grand adventure outside of the kingdom in search of whatever those glowing rocks want them to uncover. How much traveling will they do? Well, let's hope they get to see more of these Seven Kingdoms. And let's even hope that their travels will involve running across other Disney characters. (Frozen crossover! Disney, do it!)

Also, that mysterious gray haired lady at the end? The one who's allegedly a part of the same secret society that Quirin was a part of? The one who can cut through those rock with her big ol' sword? I really hope she's going to be a supporting character and not the villain. She'd be cooler in a supporting mentor role rather than as yet another antagonist.

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


Monday, January 15, 2018

Why Are There No Peoplemovers Outside Disney?

Yesterland

If you’ve ever visited the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland in Walt Disney World, chances are you’ve taken a "grand circle tour" on the Peoplemover. But have you ever wondered why you can only enjoy a ride like that at Disney?

The original Peoplemover opened in Disneyland in 1967 along with the refurbished New Tomorrowland, offering guests a leisurely 16-minute aerial tour of the land and its various attractions.

The ride was unique because the vehicles were constantly moving. This allowed it to offer a greater rider capacity than most other Disneyland attractions, carrying an estimated 4,885 passengers in one hour.

The Peoplemover continued to offer guests a “grand circle tour” of Tomorrowland until its closing in 1995. Following yet another refurbishment of the land in 1998, the ride re-opened as a new high speed attraction, Rocket Rods, which closed only two years later due to technical difficulties.

The good news? The Peoplemover continues to live on through its Walt Disney World counterpart, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, which opened in 1975 and continues to operate to this day.

The bad news? The ride is the only one of its kind, as no other Tomorrowland in any other Disney park has a similar attraction.

Even more disappointing, very few systems like it exist outside of the parks, despite Walt Disney himself having high expectations for the Peoplemover as an overall concept.

To learn more about the Peoplemover and its absence outside of the Disney Parks, click READ MORE:

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Dateline Disney (01/14/2018)


Rather ironic that my last big think piece was on the monorail, as not only was there reports of a monorail door opening in Disney World unexpectedly, but there were also rumors (and only rumors) that the monorail was going to be removed altogether. Fortunatley, mostly good news abounds with Coco winning a Golden Globe and Black Widow getting her own movie.

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


Friday, January 12, 2018

Fan Art Friday: Wind In My Hair


Tangled: The Series is fast approaching its season finale for its first season. And what a first season it has been! You can almost say that things have become quite...Tangled! What does the second season have in store for our golden-haired princess? What new adventures will she and her friends go on in future episodes? We can only wait and see. Until then, here's some Tangled fan art:

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Throwback Thursday: RCA Home of Future Living

© The WDW Blog

From 1957 to 1967, Disneyland offered guests a glimpse of future living through the Monsanto House of the Future, showing them what their own homes could someday look like with new emerging technologies—specifically with plastic provided by Monsanto, of course!

Disney World had something similar—sort of! When Space Mountain first opened in in 1975, it was sponsored by RCA, who, wanting to make the most of their sponsorship, decided to use the attraction to promote their own products through the ride’s post-show: the RCA Home of Future Living.

As with the Monsanto House of the Future, the RCA Home of Future Living also offered guests a glimpse of, well, “future living” by showing them what their own homes could someday look like with new emerging technologies—specifically with electronics provided by RCA, of course!

To learn more about how RCA led the way to the future, click READ MORE:

Monday, January 8, 2018

Dateline Disney (01/08/2018)


The new year may have opened, but many places across the Disney parks are closing. Toy Story Mania? Closed for refurbishments. Disneyland's Main Street and Dumbo ride? Closed for refurbishments. Stitch's Great Escape? Closing for good! Meanwhile, Downtown Disney saw a few grand openings with two new restaurants: The Edison and Maria & Enzo's.

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

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Why Are There No Monorails Outside Disney?

© Flickr

If you've ever visited any of the Disney Parks, chances are you've taken a ride on the monorail, whether you've traveled from the Disneyland Hotel to the iconic park in California, or enjoyed a scenic tour around the Seven Seas Lagoon at the Magic Kingdom.

The Walt Disney World monorail itself is one of the most heavily-used monorail systems in the world, serving more than 150,000 passengers daily. The only systems that are busier are the Tokyo Monorail in Japan and the Chongquing Rail Transit in China.

With so many people riding it, the Disney monorail has become a fan favorite among park guests. Some have organized their own meetup groups and pub crawl events. Others have even gone so far as to build their own monorails in their backyard.

However, whether it's their first time riding it or one of countless rides, most guests riding the monorail have probably wondered the same thing: how come there aren't any monorails outside of the Disney Parks?

There are monorails in cities such as Las Vegas and Seattle, but aside from them, these transportation systems remain a rare sight outside of a Disney Park, even though they're quite common in Europe and Asia. So how come Disneyland and Disney World are the few places in America where you can ride them?

To learn why there are no monorails outside of Disney, click READ MORE:


Friday, January 5, 2018

Fan Art Friday: Walking In A Winter Wonderland


The holiday season may be over, but the winter season will still be with us until March 20--or until the groundhog rears his head. Either, or. Until then, there's still plenty of winter fun ahead of us, and this week has plenty of fun winter fan art in this week's Fan Art Friday:

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Throwback Thursday: Magic Highway USA

© Gakwer

Well, it's 2018! An old year is over, and new one has just begun. This makes it the opportune time to contemplate the new year and what the future has to offer. Sometimes that means taking a look back to see where you started so you know where you're going. So all through the month of January, I'll be dedicating these posts to retro visions of the future by Disney, giving us glimpses of a new tomorrow through the lens of old yesterday.

Walt Disney was enthralled with breakthroughs in science and technology, and he loved to envision how these developments could potentially shape our future. One of the venues through which he shared his futuristic visions were Tomorrowland and his original concept of Epcot Center.

Another venue was through his Disneyland television series. Every week, Disney would often share an educational segment that exposited on the latest scientific and technological breakthroughs, with segments that envisioned what futures these developments could create for us.

Some of the more popular “Tomorrowland” episodes, as they were often called, involved space travel, which was then still in its infancy, with segments on the prospect of travels into space, the moon, and mars and beyond. But the episode I wish to share for this post involves travel, not in space, but on the road—specifically, the highway: Disney’s Magic Highway USA.

To learn more about this special, click READ MORE:

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Disney Dudebro Updates (01/03/2018)


A new year is upon us, and with it new opportunities for this blog. As the month of January is a time to contemplate the future in regards to the New Year, I’d figure that an apropos theme for this month would be the future, or at least the future as envisioned by Disney!

As such, my weekly posts throughout this month will focus on the “great big beautiful tomorrow” as it was dreamed by Disney. Two separate posts will discuss the monorail and Peoplemover and why we don’t see them outside of the Disney parks, one post will review and discuss two Disney Channel original movies whose visions of the future left an impression on young millennials, and one special post will even postulate how Disney’s original EPCOT would be proposed today.

Keeping with this futuristic theme, this month’s Throwback Thursdays will take a look back into the past to see how Disney looked into the future, with posts about different ways that the Disney company envisioned the future throughout the years. After all, you can only know where you’re going once you know where you’ve been.

Finally, as many television shows are currently under hiatus, there aren’t going to be any recaps this month on Ducktales, Big Hero 6, or SVTFOE. The only exception will be Tangled with its season finale on January 13.

There’s a lot to look forward to this month, and while now is the best time of your life, there’s a great big beautiful tomorrow just a dream away! LOL!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Disney Movies of 2017 From Best To Worst


Saying that 2017 wasn't the best year ever would be an understatement. It's like if 2016 said that no year would be worse than it was, and then 2017 came up to it and said, "hold my beer!"

This year was not exactly the best for Hollywood either, as it suffered its worst-attended summer movie season in 25 years! Then again, that should be expected when most of the summer "blockbusters" consisted of "half-baked sequels and remakes."

Fortunately, for the Walt Disney Company, while this year wasn't their best, it also wasn't their worst. This year saw the release of three big Marvel movies, a Star Wars movie that felt like a real return to form, and an animated movie that served as a grand celebration of Mexican culture during a time when the Hispanic community feels most stigmatized.

There are even more good movies on the way for Disney in 2018, and even more so in the near future, especially with the recent acquisition of 20th Century Fox. Until then, let's look back at last year's Disney movies and rank them from best to worst.

To view this ranking of 2017's best and worst Disney flicks, click READ MORE: