Monday, August 31, 2009

Big News for Disney Today (8/31/09)

That's right folks. I'm sure you've all heard the buzz that's taken over Disney news as well as all fan related media....

Kelsey Grammer is joining the cast of the recently brought back Broadway hit "Beauty and The Beast." Originally premiering in 1994 this stage show, based on the Disney animated feature has touched the hearts of millions. A few years ago its run on Broadway had ended, but a recent business decision by Disney made this reimagining of the stage classic a no brainer.

Here's a pic of Grammer in his new role:

Now I am going to stray from Disney related news for a second and talk about Marvel as the two companies are apparently inter mingled as of late. I know, this is a Disney blog, but bare with me as this is important. Screenshots of the upcoming X-Men 4 have been released. I have to say if you weren't a fan of X-Men 3, you might be pleasantly surprised to see this:

Well that's all the exciting news I have for you today. I figure I should end this blog on a personal note for once. Me and my girlfriend had a really fun time at the parks this past weekend. Here are some pics :)

That's all for today. Now I have to figure out what to do with this tossed salad and scrambled eggs.

They're calling again.

Good night everyone.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Ever Happened To The Community Of Tomorrow?

Well I know of at least 4 people who read my last blog here. I guess that merits another one. (I'm shooting for 5 with this one... maybe my expectations are a bit too high?). I was just at Epcot with my brother and sister-in-law the other night. Good times. There is a very neat set up at Innoventions by IBM now in which they put you in a video game. Here's one of me and my bro (for as long as they keep these online, I guess):
there's a nice little bit of dancing by yours truly if you beat it!

This is the type of thing we need more of at Innoventions. It's fun, it gets people interested in technology and it gets the sponsors name out there (not that anyone hasn't heard of IBM). I say this because over the past few years Innoventions has become, well, disappointing. The whole idea of the Innoventions pavilions is to showcase the wonderful advancements in technology being made today. What has been showcased over the past few years? Playstation 2, velcro, a big garbage truck, etc. Even the segway exibit is getting old as people are generally starting to realize Segways aren't all that practical (I'm still a pretty big fan of walking, how old fashioned). The key rule Disney should have learned when they completely remodeled Tommorrowland back in '98 is that the future is constantly changing, and if not constantly upkept, showcasing the future soon becomes showcasing the past.

Speaking of upkeep, Epcot needs some serious work in other areas as well.

Exhibit A: The Imagination Pavilion

It's hard to tell in this picture (as well as any I've found online), but it's just dirty. This is something you'd probably understand my meaning more when you see it in person at Epcot. When I was a kid i remember it being a magnificent beacon of intrigue. The windows shimmered in the sun and at night lights were shot out from the inside. Now it just looks kind of gross. I mean it looks like one of those attractions from a World's Fair that hasn't been used in decades. It looks like it may have been impressive at one time but everyone just lost interest. Granted I would say washing those windows must be extremely difficult work, but come on this is Disney we're talking about. Good show is so important.

And don't get me started as to what the pavilion houses. Journey into Imagination with Figment, a once great ride that, upon being renovated, taught us the meaning of the phrase "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!" And Honey I shrunk the audience: a 3-d show twice as out of date now as Captain Eo was back when they decided to kick out Michael Jackson for Rick Moranis.

Exhibit B: The Poopy Smell

Thanks to Epcot I now understand that the future stinks. Seriously. In the Coca-Cola cool station one detects the the faint aroma among the carbonated, sugary beverages of sewage. When they exit this building out the back and decide to cut through the adjoined building to the right (perhaps taking a shortcut to that run down Imagination place) it gets worse. Much worse. It smells like 20 fat dudes had diarhea and all decided to use the same bathroom. The first few times I walked through here I figured "oh it's just a sewage problem, this is Disney they'll take care of it right away." 2 years later and everytime I stop by it smells like the wrong end of an elaphant after thanksgiving dinner. Granted I could avoid this area all together. But I shouldn't have to! This is Disney we're talking about! They should find the source problem and fix it! Besides, it's also pretty fun to lead unsuspecting victems into the dump gauntlet.

I ask you, Epcot, is this really what the future holds? An ever present dump smell? After all the acheivements mankind will make could we never find adequite waste management techniques? Have we evolved to a state in which our sense of smell is no longer mandatory so our bodies get rid of it?

I know I'm probably being harsh. Epcot can, and probably should be, the best of all 4 parks at Walt Disney World. Maybe it's time for some fresh blood in management to get the ball rolling and reach that potential. Clean up some of those buildings, fix the sewars, and for goodness sake do SOMETHING with the Odyssey. Until then I guess I'll just keep a nose plug handy and squint my eyes often while I'm there.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Princess and the Frog

I was writing this up on the review section of Facebook's "Flixter" application and realized it seemed more like a blog entry. With that I realized with all my ties to the Walt Disney Company, I should really start to blog about my opinions. Everyone wants to read about what I think, right? If not then you probably aren't reading this now anyways. Anyways, here's my thoughts on Disney's highly anticipated upcoming feature "The Princess and the Frog."

I just finished watching some rough shoots of the animation in this film ( My goodness, Disney is really pulling out all the stops on this one. The animation is just beautiful. This is the most important thing the Disney company has done in years. Let me explain...

Like pretty much everyone else alive in America at this point, I grew up with Disney. For decades they were known for their overall quality. Walt Disney created the Animated Motion picture and the company just kept on going with innovation after innovation. But then something happened. Computer animation began taking over and everyone, including the suits running th
e Disney Company, lost faith and/or interest in traditional animation. To add insult to injury, at a time when 2-D animation was almost dead and Disney needed something to really wow audiences to keep alive the very art form that began the company... They released "Home on the Range."

Home on the Freaking Range.

Seriously think about this. The life of the "Disney Animated Feature Film" series up until this year began with arguably their most impressive "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," grew up and peaked during the "Disney Renaissance" (that's the term most Disney geeks are familiar with that refers to animated features from 1989-1999- that is Little Mermaid to Tarzan, Lion King being the crowning achievement in my opinion) and ended with... *sigh*... Home on the Range. A family movie featuring silly talking and singing animals that was so cliche in nature, I'm not sure if even Dreamworks would have produced it (they definitely would have, but I'm trying to make a point here).

Talk about dying not with a bang, but a whimper. But things are looking good. "The Princess and the Frog" looks to be the saving grace of our once beloved art form. Hopefully by the end of this year I'll be able to say "Disney's traditional animation didn't die. It was just resting."