Friday, December 27, 2019

Fan Art Friday: Disney Stocking Stuffers (Part 4)

Christmas may be over, but the holiday season won't be until New Year's. And if you consider the 12 days of Christmas, the holiday itself isn't officially over until January 6. So here's some leftover random fan art for stocking stuffers. Enjoy!

To scavenge through the remaining stocking stuffers, click READ MORE:

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Toy Story Burger King Xmas Commercial


Still recovering from the holidays. Don't have a substantial post this week. So here's a quickie. Toy Story 4 was released earlier this year. And it's Christmas--or rather, was Christmas! So how about an old Christmas commercial for Toy Story gifts at Burger King? But not without watching a Welch's juice commercial first.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Magic Ears Dudebro Reviews: Christmas Eve On Sesame Street

Muppets Wiki

Several years ago, I reviewed two Muppets Christmas specials: one bad (“It’s A Wonderful Muppet Christmas”), and one good (“A Muppet Family Christmas”). With Sesame Street celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, and with the recent passing of Carol Spinney, the actor who played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch, I wanted to review another Muppets special, this one taking place on the most famous street in the world: Sesame Street.

If you grew up after 1969 like me, chances are Sesame Street was one of the very first television shows you ever watched. For more than 50 years, this show taught children their ABCs and 123s, all without them even knowing that they were learning. This show broke revolutionary ground by revealing how education and entertainment could be seamlessly blended together, proving that television, especially public television, could be a worthwhile educational asset. The show has been running for more than 50 years, and Lord willing, it’ll run for 50 years more. Sesame Street has had many Christmas specials during its run. Perhaps its most famous is also it’s very first: "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street."

The special was first released in 1978, and experienced several re-runs in the 80s and 90s. As such, I had the opportunity to watch it growing up. However, as the special was released 11 years before I was born, it portrayed a vastly different Sesame Street than I was initially familiar with. Many familiar Muppet characters like Elmo were absent (as they wouldn’t be introduced until years later), all of the human characters were much younger, the street setting looked different with a much grungier (and almost dirtier) look, and to top off the uncanniness, Mr. Hooper actually existed.

Yes, I was born in 1987, a good five years after the death of the character for whom Mr. Hooper’s Store was named after. Growing up, I always wondered who Mr. Hooper was. After all, if there was a Mr. Hooper’s Store, certainly there had to be a Mr. Hooper. The absence of such an eponymous character always confused me, and actually getting to see him in this special proved quite uncanny. It wouldn’t be until years later that I learned his actor passed away long before my time, and how his death managed to become the subject of one of the most influential Sesame Street episodes.

With the special showing a vastly different Sesame Street than I was familiar with, watching it as a little kid always proved to be a jarring experience. I enjoyed it, to be sure, but the stark contrast from the show I was growing up with made watching the special feel uncanny. I can’t say it’s one of my favorite specials. It certainly isn’t a Christmas classic like "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer."

And yet, for some reason, I keep coming back to this special time and again every Christmas. But why? What is it about this special that continues to intrigue me? What makes "Christmas on Sesame Street" worth watching and re-watching time and again?

To learn more about this special Sesame Street Christmas special, click READ MORE:

Friday, December 20, 2019

Fan Art Friday: Disney Stocking Stuffers (Star Wars Edition)

Rise of the Skywalker premieres today. So of course I'm going to be showcasing Star Wars-related fan art this week. Because what other type of fan art would be more apropos?

For some random fan art from a galaxy far, far away, click READ MORE:

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Burger Chef Star Wars Commercial


I know I said I would be focusing on obscure Christmas commercials all this month for Throwback Thursday. However, since the new Star Wars releases this week, I'd figure I'd highlight an obscure Star Wars commercial instead. The new Star Wars movies are being released around the holidays, so an obscure Star Wars commercial would technically count as a holiday commercial, right? Right?

Rise Of The Skywalker premieres this week. But you already knew that. It's impossible not to know that. The movie trailer practically plays as an advertisement before every single YouTube video. Not to mention all of the other advertising and marketing, including the McDonalds Happy Meal Toys.

But before McDonalds, there was another fast food burger chain that offered free toys with their kid's meals long before Ronald McDonald ever did. And some of them were Star Wars toys! There's even a commercial for it.

To learn more about the Star Wars toys offered at a fast food chain long, long ago (but not in a galaxy far, far away), click READ MORE:

Friday, December 13, 2019

Fan Art Friday: Disney Stocking Stuffers (Part 2)

Throughout the month of December, I'll be sharing random Disney fan art for this month's Fan Art Friday posts. There's no rhyme or reason behind them. They're just stocking stuffers. So go ahead and take a look!

For a look at these random stocking stuffers, click READ MORE:

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Santa's Helper Rubberband Man


Welcome back to yet another holiday-themed Throwback Thursday. All this month, we’re taking a look back at obscure holiday commercials, the ones that tend to be overlooked by popular nostalgia yet somehow still linger in the back of our collective memories, even if we don’t realize it.

What do rubber bands and Christmas have in common? Well, nothing, honestly! They have nothing in common, not unless you have a rubber band ball as a Christmas ornament. Yet Office Max not only wanted you to think of rubber bands, but other office supplies as well, when you thought of Christmas. And they used a then-popular character in their commercials to help them do it.

To learn more about this hip holiday commercial, click READ MORE:

Friday, December 6, 2019

Fan Art Friday: Disney Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is right around the corner! What are you looking forward to getting this holiday season? Would you like some Disney fan art? Because I've found plenty of it! And I'm sharing it all!

All this month, to celebrate the holiday season, I'll be posting "stocking stuffer" versions of my Fan Art Friday posts. I won't be focusing on a specific theme. I'm simply sharing random Disney fan art that I've stumbled across on-line and that I feel are worth sharing. Here's just a few to stuff your stockings!

To dig through this week's stocking of Disney fan art, click READ MORE:

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Christmahanakwanzika

© Blogspot

Merry Christmas, everyone, and Happy Holidays! All through December, I’ll be using my Throwback Thursday posts to reflect upon nostalgic Christmas commercials. There’s a lot of iconic holiday commercials that run all the time during this time of year. There’s also been plenty of obscure commercials, the type of commercials that often air once and only once, only to be forgotten, making you wonder if they were ever real.

This year, I’ll be focusing on some of the more obscure commercials, those that you may have nearly forgotten about but still remain buried in your subconscious. For this week’s post, I’ll be highlighting a very curious commercial, one that gets curiouser and curiouser the more you think about it. It’s a commercial that’s so weird, that even if you have seen it once, chances are you still have the jingle stuck in the back of your head. Allow me to introduce you all to Christmahanakwanzika!

To learn more about this blatant example of performative "woke brands", click READ MORE:

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Is The Live-Action Lady And The Tramp “Problematic”?

© Screen Rant

Recently, Disney has been remaking its beloved animated classics into live-action films. This year alone, the company has released three live-action remakes: Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King. However, upon launching their new streaming service, Disney Plus, they released a fourth movie specifically for the new platform: Lady And The Tramp.

As with previous live-action remakes, this movie re-tells the story of the original animated movie with a few minor changes. The biggest change, of course, is that the movie is in live-action. But as with other live-action remakes, the movie also tries to diversify the story by adding non-white characters, either new characters specifically created for the new adaptation, or recasting previously white characters with non-white actors. With Lady And The Tramp, the new movie turns Lady’s owners into an interracial couple and adds a few other non-white background and side characters.

Many Disney fans—or rather, a few loud and obnoxious voices—have decried this push for more diversity as an attempt to push a “woke” political agenda to make Disney’s classic stories more “politically correct” for modern audiences. However, what if diversifying the cast of Lady And The Tramp actually made the movie less “woke” and more “problematic”? Is the live-action remake actually more “problematic” than the original animated version—you know, the version with the song number with Asian stereotypes?

To find out if this movie is "woke" or "problematic", click READ MORE:

Friday, November 29, 2019

Fan Art Friday: Honoring The Natives

Yesterday was Thanksgiving. It's a day when we as Americans gather around the dinner table to honor the very first dinner between the Pilgrims and Native Americans. Of course, after that fateful meal, the settlers and the natives would go on to live happily ever after--until the natives were killed and had their land stolen.

I hate to be one of those ultra-pretentious "woke SJW" types who ruin Thanksgiving by complaining about how we as Americans royally screwed over the indigenous people, but, well, let's face it: we DID royally screw over the indigenous people and go on to present a whitewashed version of that history that's retold every year during this time.

So as a way to honor the original people who once inhabited this continent, I've decided to use this Fan Art Friday to share some fan art of Native American Disney characters. Granted, Disney hasn't always had a good track record of presenting the natives in a positive light. (Looking at you Peter Pan!) Here's some of the more "respectable" examples of representation.

For artwork honoring Disney's Native American characters, click READ MORE:

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Throwback Thursday: 9 Underrated Thanksgiving Specials

Oz Fandom

If you’re reading this post, I’m currently out-of-town with the folks for Thanksgiving. To hold everyone over until next week, I’ve created this brief pre-scheduled post. Hopefully, I'll have something more substantial next week.

One of the strange things about Thanksgiving is that it’s one of the few holidays without that many holiday specials or movies. Unlike Christmas or Halloween, there are few, if any, holiday-related media. This is most likely because there’s not much about the holiday outside of getting together with extended family for a big dinner.

Chad Rocco of Familiar Faces managed to scrounge up a few of the rare Thanksgiving gems to showcase and discuss in his video essay below. Check it out:

Monday, November 25, 2019

Magic Ears Dudebro Reviews: Frozen 2


Do I even need to explain Frozen at this point? You already know what it is. You wouldn’t be reading a review for Frozen 2 if you weren’t already interested in seeing that movie, and you wouldn’t be interested in seeing that movie if you hadn’t watched the original movie. And of course you did! Most everyone did. When it was released, Frozen was the highest-grossing animated movie of all time—that is until the “live-action” Lion King surpassed it for some inexplicable reason!

So, of course, you watched Frozen! And if you did, you would know why that movie has become one of the most popular animated Disney movies of the past decade. You know it’s a film that serves as both a genuine classic Disney princess story as well as a deconstruction of said story and its tropes, especially “true love at first sight.” You know Elsa’s story arc and big musical ballad offers a bold message of female empowerment, especially for people who feel marginalized and misunderstood by society. You know the music is some of the best Disney has produced in recent years, especially that one song that people keep singing over and over again, despite most of them having long become sick to death of it.

So you know why Frozen is a good movie. Thus you also know why Frozen has become Disney’s biggest hit within the past decade. So you know why Disney would want to ride the coattails of the original movie’s success within the cultural zeitgeist by releasing a sequel to that movie. So now the real question remains: is the sequel any good? More importantly, is it better than the original? Will this sequel help reignite the passion of the original “for the first time in forever”? Or will this movie cause Disney to reconsider the Frozen franchise and “let it go”?

To learn if Frozen 2 creates a bigger, better flurry of a movie, click READ MORE:

Friday, November 22, 2019

Fan Art Friday: Into The Unknown

Frozen 2 opens in theaters today. Will the sequel be just as great, if not better, than the original? Will it allow moviegoers to feel the magic "for the first time in forever"? Or will it be so underwhelming that people will "let it go"? (Sorry! I had to make the obvious puns!)

Again, only time will tell. Keep a lookout for my review of the movie in the near future. Until then, here's some Frozen fan art.

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

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Hap-Hap-Happy Snowman

© Original MC

Here’s a quickie of a Throwback Thursday! Frozen 2 releases tomorrow in theaters. With the second Frozen movie comes a second chance to see everyone’s favorite talking snowman, Olaf. (Or at least second favorite if you count Frosty!)

But long before Olaf sang about how in summer he’ll be a—happy snowman!—Disney offered a performance on television about another happy snowman. No, I’m not talking about Frosty. I’m talking about a musical number from the original Mickey Mouse Club.

To watch a musical number about a “happy snowman”, click READ MORE:

Monday, November 18, 2019

Magic Ears Dudebro Reviews: The Mandalorian


I’ll be honest. I’m not a hardcore Star Wars fan. I like the original movies. I even like the prequels. And so far, I consider the new movies to range from mediocre at worst to groundbreaking at best. Of the four movies produced by Disney, only one proves exceptional.

The Last Jedi stands out for subverting both tropes and expectations. The Force Awakens provided a fun romp, but offered nothing new, opting instead to copy familiar story beats. Rouge One was big on special effects and fight scenes but severely lacking in story and character. I didn’t even bother watching Solo. Han Solo may be my favorite character, but I don’t see the point of watching a movie about him (especially one not starring Harrison Ford) outside of pandering fan service.

As for the upcoming movie, The Rise of Skywalker, I remain cautious about it but teeter towards pessimistic. Being the final movie in the sequel trilogy, and with the previous two movies being disappointing and breathtaking respectively, the movie can either hit the landing spectacularly or flop embarrassingly—and with the screenwriter being the same hack who cursed the world with Batman Vs. Superman, I’m not too optimistic.

Outside of the main movies, I haven’t consumed any other Star Wars media. I haven’t read the novels. I haven’t read the comics. I haven’t watched the animated television series. I haven’t played the video games. The only other media I have engaged in are the attractions at Disney World, both Star Tours and the new Galaxy’s Edge. (BTW, the new park is awesome!)

I say all this to explain that I’m not a hardcore fan, simply a “dirty casual.” I’m not engrossed in the Star Wars lore. So I can’t say I was anticipating the new series that recently premiered on Disney+. As such, I don’t have any real expectations, neither high nor low. If anything, that probably makes me the best candidate to review it, as, not being blinded by nostalgia goggles, I can offer a more objective take as a blank slate.

So how is The Mandalorian? Is the series worth a Disney+ subscription? Will it take fans to new heights within a galaxy far, far away, or will it have sad internet fanboys within the Fandom Menace screaming “NOOOOOO!!!!” before airing their grievances in an hours-long YouTube video? (Yes, the fandom is that super toxic!) Let’s strap in and go into hyper-speed with this first impression.

To learn whether or not this original series will keep Disney+ subscribers hooked, click READ MORE:

Friday, November 15, 2019

Fan Art Friday: For The First Time In Forever

Six years have passed since Disney released Frozen, its biggest and greatest animated blockbuster of the past decade. Now six years later, Disney is set to release a sequel. Will it capture the same ice-based magic as the original movie? Only time will tell. For now, let's celebrate the upcoming release of the new movie with some Frozen fan art.

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

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Throwback Thursday: Walt Disney And You (Plus Disney+)

© Disney Wiki

This week saw the launch of Disney’s new streaming service, Disney+. The new service features all of Disney’s animated movies, most of its live-action movies, all of the Star Wars and Marvel movies, and even several original productions like Star Wars’ The Mandalorian. However, before streaming, and long before DVD and Blu-Ray, if you wanted to watch a Disney classic at home, you watched it on VHS.

The Walt Disney Company began distributing its movies on home video in 1980. Chances are if you grew up in the early 1980s and popped in a Disney VHS tape, you were greeted with a catchy musical number called "Walt Disney and You". What’s the story behind this promo? And why did it showcase so many obscure movies?

To learn more about this most nostalgic and iconic promo of the early 1980s, click READ MORE:

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Throwback Thursday: The Haunted Mansion You Never Got To Experience

© Disney Archives

Happy Halloween! I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted anything on this blog, but I wanted to share something especially spooky for this especially spooky holiday. And what could be spookier than the original spooky Disney attraction, the Haunted Mansion? Well, how about the original spooky version of that original spooky attraction?

Recently, the YouTube channel, Yesterworld Entertainment, released a video detailing the history of the Haunted Mansion and the original concept for the attraction. The video discusses the original spooky attraction that could have been, how and why it never became a reality, and what traces of it exists today.

The idea for a haunted house at Disneyland had been around ever since the theme park was still in development. Originally pitched as a walkthrough attraction, Disney Imagineers had cycled through various concepts, from the mansion of a ruthless pirate captain to a haunted hotel hosting a wedding for a ghost couple.

Of course, the Mansion that we know today would not be derived from any of these ideas. Not only were many of the original concepts considered “too dark” for the otherwise family friendly park (one concept involved the grisly murder of a park employee!), but making the attraction a walkthrough would have resulted in high park traffic and long wait times. Fortunately, the creation of the Omnimover system allow the attraction to be created as it is today.

Personally, I’m quite intrigued by these original concepts. If Disney had moved forward with any of them, the Haunted Mansion certainly would have become one of the darkest attractions the park has ever created. The only thing that comes remotely close is the Phantom Manor attraction in Disneyland Paris.

Interestingly enough, a tweet from another Disney park YouTuber, Tricksterbelle, raised an interesting point: since all of these concepts are walkthroughs, it would be quite simple for someone with a lot of free time and expertise to create their own homemade attraction based off of them. Who knows? Maybe someone actually will!

To learn more about the Haunted Mansion that could have been, check out the video in the break below:

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Celebrate America--No Matter What!

WDW Theme Parks

Hi! I know it's been forever since I posted something on this blog. I've been wondering whether or not to continue it myself. But for today, I decided to post something, because it's something I'm sure most people need to hear.

Today is July 4, Independence Day here in America. Some people are celebrating as usual. Others, however, probably aren't. They probably don't feel like celebrating. I don't blame them. Considering recent events and revelations, it's hard to feel that America's really worth celebrating.

If you're not feeling especially patriotic this year, or you haven't felt patriotic for a long time, that's okay. Your feelings are valid. There's a lot going on in our country and world, and most of it isn't good. So if you don't feel like you're up for celebrating America, that's okay. I know how you feel. However, let me offer some words of encouragement.

I know many folks aren't feeling patriotic because of things happening in America. My advice for them is to celebrate anyway. Don't let bad things done by bad people in our country make you feel bad. There's nothing bad people love more than making other people feel bad. If you allow them to make you feel bad, then they have won. Don't let them win. Celebrate America in spite of them!

After 9/11, we were told to go on with our daily lives despite what happened that day. Allowing the terrorists to affect our daily lives would have meant that they had won. Bad people want you to feel bad. Don't let them make you feel bad. Don't let them win.

Anyone with open eyes and open hearts know there are bad people in our government doing bad things, and what they're doing is most likely making other people feel ashamed to be an American. Don't let them make you feel bad about being an American. Don't let them win. Be proud to be an American!

Also, this Independence Day, let's celebrate what REALLY makes America great. We are a country built by immigrants. Diversity is our strength. Multiculturalism is our culture. That is what makes America great. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Celebrate America!

Sine this is a Disney blog, allow me to share something Disney-related relevant for today. Here's the song "New World Bound" from the American Adventure in Epcot. Let's never forget that some of the first people from the New World were refugees fleeing religious persecution and seeking a better life for themselves and their families. Our country was built by immigrants and refugees. Never forget that!

There's a land cross this ocean,
I'm waiting to see.
A land for these people
who dream to be free.
So stand by the mainsail,
the fierce storms will race
aloft with our king mates
King Neptune we'll face.

You think that these landlubbers
never would last,
this cargo of pilgrims,
twelve weak for the mast.

It's "Land ho!" me hardies,
at last we've arrived.
and praise be to God,
nearly all have survived.

But look o'er this wilderness,
brings me to dread,
that the first bitter winter
will leave 'em all dead.

They call themselves pilgrims,
these poor wretched souls.
With a dream to be free,
in the new world, their goal.