Friday, March 27, 2020

Fan Art Friday: Random Grab Bag I

So how's everyone holding up? Keeping safe inside from the COVID-19 scare? Feeling a bit cooped? You've got Cabin Fever? I've got it, too! We've all got it!

Okay, obvious musical reference aside, like everyone else, I've been staying at home, practicing my "social distancing." Haven't really focused on a specific theme for this week's Fan Art Friday. So I've decided to throw together a few random samples that I stumbled across. No specific theme. No particular order. Just good old fashioned Disney fan art.

To view this grab bag of fan art, click READ MORE:

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Throwback Thursday: Timon & Pumbaa Wash Your Hands

Disney Safety

Hope everyone is keeping safe and healthy during this COVID-19 crisis. I'm spending quality time at home working on plenty of side projects. Hope you all are finding ways to keep yourself occupied while social distancing.

For this week's Throwback Thursday, I was considering sharing an old Disney short about basic hygiene, perhaps from Jiminy Cricket's "I'm No Fool" series. Unfortunately, that series appears to have covered most safety and health topics EXCEPT hygiene.

However, while our favorite singing cricket and part-time conscience may not have discussed the importance of washing your hands, a certain meerkat and warthog have.

To learn more about hygiene with Timon and Pumbaa, click READ MORE:

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Disney Can Do Better With LGBTQ Representation


Since its premiere, Disney/Pixar’s newest animated feature, Onward, has faltered at the box office. Its opening weekend only made $39 million domestically, less than the debut of Pixar’s lowest-grossing movie, The Good Dinosaur. Though the film has slowly risen to the top of the box office, it did so during a time of low theater attendance, culminating in one of the worst box office weekends. Such a low turnout has been due to the coronavirus pandemic—which is why I haven’t reviewed the movie yet, and probably won’t until it releases onto DVD/Blu-Ray/streaming!

Perhaps most notable about the film has been the public response to a relatively minor aspect. Prior to its release, Disney announced Onward featured the studio’s first openly-gay character (a claim that has since been highly contested). The character is a female cyclops police officer named Officer Specter, voiced by Lena Waithe, herself a gay actress. Specter debuted in the trailer, where, during her brief apperance, she makes a glib remark about her "girlfriend’s daughter."

Since then, Onward has provoked controversy—interestingly enough!—from both sides of the political spectrum. The political right, of course, expressed homophobic outrage over the mere inclusion of a gay character in a children’s animated movie, claiming that Disney was promoting the "gay agenda." Meanwhile, the political left decried the film as "corporate pandering" to "performative wokeness" and "rainbow capitalism", with Disney allegedly hoping to gain "social brownie points" for offering the barest minimum of LGBTQ representation.

Interestingly enough, both sides bring up a fair point. Both sides have alleged that Disney only included the character as a way to pander to the LGBTQ community in an attempt to make the company look more "diverse" and "progressive." (Admittedly, both sides are not equal. The right’s response is rooted in homophobia, while the left’s response is focused on proper representation.)

In that regard, there's a fair point: regardless of its intent to include a minor gay character, Disney's announcement was clearly for the sake of generating positive corporate PR. If Disney truly cares about representation, then simply creating a minor character with a throwaway line simply isn't good enough. When it comes to LGBTQ representation, Disney can do better!

To learn why Disney's attempt at gay rep isn't good enough, click READ MORE:

Friday, March 20, 2020

Fan Art Friday: Historically Accurate Disney

Last week, I shared fan art of Disney princesses portrayed as "historically accurate" created by Wickfield on DeviantArt. I loved her work so much that I decided to share more of them this week. This time around, I'll be sharing images of Disney princes as they would appear "historically accurate."

As with last time, instead of posting my own personal comment on this work, I'll instead be sharing some of the notes Wickfield provided about the research she conducted to create these art pieces. Here's some of her notes from her Aladdin piece above:

"Another very important part of the Arab costume is the turban, which derives from the religious teachings of the Quran.  An Arab boy like Aladdin would DEFINITELY be required to cover his head, but just a cap was seen as the lowest of the low, so it appears that even the poor tried their best to imitate a turban, as in this depiction of a beggar, which also happens to be the closest match I could find for Aladdin's fez-type cap in the movie.  Interestingly, there is a similar illustration in this depiction of Moorish Arabs from Spain, so possibly the fashion was standard enough to reach other parts of the Arab world as well."

To see how Disney princes would look if they were historically accurate, click READ MORE:

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Throwback Thursdays: So Much For So Little

Warner Bros.

Recently, there’s been a public reckoning with healthcare. The current panic over coronavirus has revealed the flaws in our healthcare system. Anti-vaccination conspiracy theories have encouraged many Americans not to vaccinate, which has led to massive outbreaks of once-preventable diseases. Far too many Americans are one medical emergency away from bankruptcy due to increasing healthcare expenses. Many of these issues have been addressed by politicans like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren with proposals for healthcare reforms such as Medicare-For-All.

Regardless of your political affiliation, regardless of how you personally believe healthcare should be addressed—whether you want a single-payer healthcare system, a public option like Medicare For All, or free market reforms to allow our system to better emulate countries with similar systems like Singapore or Switzerland—one thing we should all agree upon is that our current system is broken and needs to be fixed. In the end, we should agree that every American deserves access to affordable, high-quality healthcare.

Believe it or not, the push for universal healthcare has always existed. In fact, more than 70 years ago, an award-winning animated short was created by a famous animator to help promote the very idea—the radical notion that every American can have "so much" in terms of high-quality healthcare by paying "so little."

To learn more about how better healthcare was promoted 70 years ago, click READ MORE:

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Go Vote--But Not For Joe!


Today is March 17. Primary elections are being hosted in states such as Arizona, Illinois, Ohio, and my own state of Florida. If you’re registered to vote, and you’re eligible to participate in this primary election, I implore you to perform your duty as an American citizen by going out to vote. (Just make sure you wash your hands afterwards!)

This upcoming election will be a vital one. The fate of our country and its future rests upon it. Now more than ever we need everyone to do their part by voting for the person to best represent us in the coming race. By all means, vote for whoever you feel best represents your views. I won’t tell you how to vote.

But if you want my advice, vote for anybody—except Joe Biden!

Normally, I try to avoid writing about politics. This is a Disney blog, not a political one. As such, I want it to remain open to all Disney fans, regardless of their political affiliation. However, I feel this is a rare occasion I can safely vent my political views, specifically about a certain someone.

Joe Biden is one of those rare few politicans, next to Michael Bloomberg, who’s hated by both parties, albeit for different reasons. Republicans don’t like him (obviously!), and despite him gaining traction in the primaries, most Democrats don’t like him, either.

I certainly don’t like him. I consider him the absolute worst Democratic candidate still running. (Michael Bloomberg was officially the worst before he dropped out.) And if he ends up being the Democratic nominee, he most certainly won’t stand a chance against Trump. So if you’re able to vote in the primary, by all means, vote for someone, anyone, other than him.

If you’re curious as to why people like me don’t like him, watch this video by Renegade Cut. Leon Thomas is someone whose political views I don't always agree with. However, his video here really cuts deep into Joe’s political BS and why he’s not fit to be a presidential candidate, let alone President. As the video’s title suggests, we can do better!

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Keep Calm And Wash Your Hands


Sorry it's been forever since I've regularly posted anything. I've been pre-occupied with other matters, not the least of which being a loved one's wedding.

I hope my previous two posts more than made up for the long absence. Plan on publishing more posts in the near future, especially a review of the newest movie, Onward. It really looks like a good flick. Too bad few people have been seeing it, mostly due to the coronavirus.

Speaking of which, we have quite the nasty virus on our hands. The good news is that, for as widespread and deadly as the virus has become, more people have died from seasonal flu. Still, we must all remain vigilant. Here's a very helpful comprehensive guide on the subject to keep you updated. And above all, keep calm and wash your hands.

And just in case you've forgotten how to do that, here are the Dwarfs to teach you how to wash up:

Friday, March 13, 2020

Fan Art Friday: Historically Accurate Disney Princesses

One of the best things about Disney movies are their attention to detail, especially to the smallest details such as with clothing. However, as much as the animators try to maintain a keen eye, they often lean more towards fantasy than reality, which means some details aren't always 100% accurate.

Such creative liberty is fine. These movies, at the end of the day, are fictional stories and thus are allowed such creative leeway. However, these movies and their artistic meticulousness have served as an inspiration to many artists, some of whom have aspired to create more "historically-accurate" depictions of famous Disney characters.

One such artist is Wickfield from DeviantArt. She created an entire collection of fan art depicting Disney characters in historically-accurate clothing. Her artwork involved plenty of research, the findings of which she chronicles within her art descriptions. For example, here's her notes about depicting Snow White with "her hair as dark as night" and "her skin as white as snow.":
"I happened to luck out with a period hairstyle that would suit Snow White’s “hair as dark as night” – many girls and women, including working-class ones, wore their braids looped across the top of their head, and some of them even decorated the style with a ribbon headband!  Her “skin as white as snow” would probably be compromised a bit by doing hard work outside in the sun, unless she decided to use some wheat flour to powder her face like other lower-class women - and her rosy lips could always be assisted by beeswax, too."
I really find her artwork and the research behind them quite fascinating. So for this Fan Art Friday, I will be showcasing some notable highlights from her series. And since her research notes are equally enlightening, I will be sharing exerts from them in lieu of my usual comments that I often make for these posts.

To see how Disney princesses would have really looked like, click READ MORE:

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Throwback Thursday: My Three Sons Nick Knacks Review


Here’s something not directly related to Disney, but it does have some indirect connections. YouTube essayist PopArena runs a video review series called “Nick Knacks”, which chronicles the history of Nickelodeon and every single show that ever aired on the network.

Currently, his Nick Knack series is covering shows from 1986, including three classic re-reruns that aired during a special block created to promote the then-new Nick At Nite. He already reviewed “The Donna Reed Show.” He’s about to review “Mister Ed.” His most recent review is the one I wanted to share: “My Three Sons.” Believe it or not, the show has some interesting connections to Disney.

To learn more about this most interesting classic sitcom, click READ MORE: