Monthly Archives: July 2011

Disney World Videos

Like many a Disney nerd, I occasionally surf around on youtube for videos of characters at the Disney parks. They can be amusing and funny, especially if it is of a character you really like. I was surfing around one day and found this video, which quickly became one of my favorites.

I like this video because it really is an effective way of capturing all the fun of a trip to Disney. You can really tell how much the people in it enjoyed making it, and recording a few seconds of you dancing with the characters you want to meet seems like a much more fun way to do that than standing still for someone to snap a picture, then moving along. It’s just a silly little video, but I’m sure it holds tons of memories for the people involved in creating it. What better way to remember your trip? It makes me want to create a similar video on my next Disney vacation.

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Filed under Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Animation Review: Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh was released only a few days ago, but I’ve already seen it twice. Once on opening day, and again today (yesterday, by the time you read this), with my grandmother. Although perhaps not my favorite Pooh film it is still a wonderful movie.

The animated short The Ballad of Nessie accompanies this film. On my first trip I was a few minutes late, and ended up missing all but the last few seconds of this. I made extra sure I got to the theater in time to catch it the second time. Though very good, this short is exactly that. Short. I watch a lot of animated shorts, but this one seemed even shorter than it should have been. The story is about Nessie, aka the Loch Ness Monster. She lives in a small pond with her rubber duck friend MacQuack, until a businessman buys the land and builds a golf course right where poor Nessie’s pond had been. She and MacQuack travel around Scotland to find a new home, being told to keep their chins up and not cry, until finally she can’t handle it anymore. She cries and cries and eventually her tears create Loch Ness. It is an adorable story, emphasized by the adorable animation. The backgrounds in particular stood out to me. The hills of Scotland are drawn as a green plaid. Yes, it may be a bit much (we got that it’s in Scotland, no need to stick plaid everywhere) but it is a neat effect that I haven’t seen before.

After Nessie was over it was time for the main feature to begin. This too is very short, only about an hour long, which was a huge disappointment. It opens with some live-action shots of Christopher Robin’s bedroom, complete with the toys themselves, before transitioning into the animated opening. Though the song is now sung by Zooey Deschanel what we see is very similar to the opening of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, in that it is the characters move around a map of the Hundred Acre Wood inside the book. And it was nice to hear Tigger’s name added to the song. Pooh wakes up to find he is out of honey, and while searching for something to eat, he discovers Eeyore’s tail is missing. The whole gang gathers to find a new tail, but nothing seems to work. Later, Pooh is looking for Christopher Robin, but his friend is missing, having left a note saying he was busy, but will be back soon. Owl misreads this, and everyone thinks Christopher has been kidnapped by a monster known as a Backson. This launches one of the coolest scenes in the entire movie. They sing a song about the Backson and what terrible things it does, but they are drawn as chalk drawings on a blackboard. It was very neat.

Overall the animation was superb. In today’s world of computer generated animation, it is nice to see something traditionally animated, and done so well. I’m a fan of all things meta, so the characters interacting with the narrator and the words in the book as much as they did was wonderful. The tone of the film is very calm, and while I personally prefer Pooh movies that have a bit more edge to them, such as the Tigger Movie or Pooh’s Grand Adventure (which this reminded me of a lot), I cannot fault something for sticking so closely to the source material. If you’re  a fan of the original Pooh movie, or the books themselves, you will adore this.

One scene I had trouble with comes a little over halfway through the movie. While preparing to hunt down the Backson there is a bit that seems more like they are preparing for a war. It seemed oddly out of place for such an otherwise lighthearted film, and both times I have seen it I couldn’t get over just how jarring it is to the rest of the movie.
My verdict? This is an excellent movie. Between the lighthearted nature and the frequency of more, shall we say, trippy scenes, it would not be out of place among classic Disney films. Don’t go into this expecting something along the emotional level of Princess and the Frog or Toy Story 3, it is definitely a more childlike film, but even if you don’t have kids to see it with it can still be an enjoyable experience.

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Weird Park Coincidences

It has been many years since my dad last went with me on a trip to Disney World. However, back when he did go with us every year there was always something we could expect to happen. Yes, there were the normal jokes we could always expect him to make. For instance, every time we were about to go into the Enchanted Tiki Room? He would look up to the sky and, regardless of the weather, remark that “It looks like it might rain”.

I was an embarrassingly high age before I realized he said that in reference to the scene when it rains in the show itself.

But no, silly jokes are not what this post is about. There was always something quite eerie that would occur. Whenever my dad would ride the Haunted Mansion, without fail, the attraction would stop while we were in the room with Madame Leota. If he was off riding something else while some of us got on the Haunted Mansion? It would work fine, or at the very least stop in a different room. I can remember a time when I thought it odd, because we had stopped in the next room, but then remembered my dad was a few doom buggies behind mine, and that he would still have been in the room. It turned into a Thing with us, always pointing out that yes, we did stop there, or when he wasn’t there, ‘Oh my gosh we didn’t stop in the room with Leota, Daddy, it must have been because you weren’t there!’

 

Has anything like this ever happened to any of you? Odd patterns that seem to happen with you at the parks? Surely I’m not the only one… because that would be even spookier.

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Filed under General, My Life, Theme Parks