Incredibles 2 Movie Review

After a 14 year hiatus, The Incredibles has hit the big screen with their sequel to the 2004 box office success, amassing and even larger opening weekend than Finding Dory, which was a box office record.

It’s amazing that after 14 years, Jack-Jack hasn’t aged a day!

Before we proceed with this review, we think it disappointing that we must issue a couple of warnings regarding a Disney animated movie.  First and most important, there are several scenes with flashing lights that could trigger an epileptic episode to those with this medical condition, or any medical condition that can be made worse with flashing lights.  Second, while many kids today have heard a lot of inappropriate language, this PG rated movie has a couple of scenes with stronger language than we believe is necessary for the plot.

The Incredibles is now back in theaters with their sequel. (©Disney/Pixar)

The Incredibles 2 picks up where it left off with the Underminer attacking the city and the supers attempting to catch him.  The pursuit leaves the city in shambles and causes a huge political uproar against them, so much so that the entire department is being shut down and their trusty government friend, Rick Dicker is being retired.  But a wealthy businessman and his sister want to hire them to Continue Reading →

Peter Pan Anniversary

Why do we have to grow up? I know more adults who have the children’s approach to life. They’re people who don’t give a hang what the Joneses do. You see them at Disneyland every time you go there. They are not afraid to be delighted with simple pleasures, and they have a degree of contentment with what life has brought – sometimes it isn’t much, either.” – Walt Disney

Over the weekend, the official Disney Fan Club – D23, held a “Magical Screening” of Peter Pan celebrating its 65th Anniversary.  Screenings were held at the Animation Studios in Burbank and the AMC Theater in Disney Springs in Orlando,

Screen shot of event title.

where we are currently visiting.  Events like these are a lot of fun and what keep us renewing our membership!

There is a lot of history about this movie that few know.  Peter Pan took many years to get to theaters; even though Walt obtained the animation rights to the story in 1939, it didn’t make it to the big screen until 1953 due to many circumstances involving finances and America entering into World War II.

The event was hosted by Steven Vagnini, the only D23 Cast Member in Florida, who has now been promoted to Walt Disney Imagineering and will Continue Reading →

Cars 3 Movie Review

“From this moment, everything will change”

The latest release from the imaginations of Disney/Pixar is now in theaters with Cars 3.  The story line of this latest animated movie in the trilogy is of the quality that should have been in Cars 2, harkening back to the original plots of racing and relationships instead of a sophisticated “James Bond” type of spy novel.

Cars 3, starring all of our favorite Radiator Springs characters is now in theaters. (©Disney/Pixar)

We find our favorite race car still winning race after race, with the occasional loss.  But then the inevitable happens:  Along comes a younger, faster car (Jackson Storm) who turns the racing world upside down.  Lightning McQueen, in an attempt to get back on top, pushes his limit to its unfortunate consequences and we next find him back in Radiator Springs, along with all the Continue Reading →

Beauty and the Beast Movie Review

Yeah, yeah, we know.  The movie has been out for almost three weeks – so what took us so long?  We just didn’t have the opportunity with our travels to find enough time for a night at the movies.  The important thing is we finally did it!  We saw the new Disney Beauty and the Beast live action movie in 3D.

Beauty and the Beast now in theaters. (©Disney)

With just a few exceptions, this story strays very little from the original 1991 animated movie; from the bookworm Belle, to the antagonist Gaston who is bent on marrying her, to the iconic songs and French setting.  The director and writers have taken the liberty of expanding on parts of the story that were left to the imagination in the original, such as the fate of Belle’s mother (most Disney movies are notoriously missing at least one parent).  The Enchantress who cast the beastly spell on the prince plays a much larger, and surprising role in this story.

The story also goes farther in humanizing the beast when he begins quoting Shakespeare, and then grumbles when Belle tells him that Romeo and Juliet is her favorite, which helps the audience realize that under that scary, hairy façade is a person who is capable of feeling.  The beast is also given Continue Reading →

80 Years of Animation

As D23 members, we spent an afternoon at the Disney Animation Studios in Burbank celebrating 80 years of animation with a viewing of Disney’s 50th animated full length feature, “Tangled.”

Disney Animation Studios Theater

Seated in the private theater on the Animation campus, the day began with a presentation by Disney Archivist, Dave Smith.  He recapped the 56 animated feature films by breaking them down into eras of Disney history.

He described these eras as:

1937-1942:  The Golden Age.  This was the dawn of animated movies and set Walt on solid footing for his studio.

1943-1949:  War & Reinvention.  These years Continue Reading →

Walt’s Barn, 2017 Visit

“Yes, in one way or another, I have always loved trains.” – Walt Disney

It has been a year since our last visit to Walt Disney’s Barn in Griffith Park.  Little has changed, but it was nice so see some Disney friends and make new ones.  On this day in January, visitors were treated to the chance to meet and visit with Disney Legends Bob Gurr and Floyd Norman.  More on these two in a moment.

Walt’s work bench.

Trains were such a large part of Walt’s life.  As a boy, he worked on several railroad companies in 1916 selling newspapers and snacks.  Once the Walt Disney Studios were running, Walt’s love of trains carried on to the point that he had a model train in his office.  He became interested in scale model live steam trains after discovering that two of his animators, Ward Kimble and Ollie Johnson had railroads at their homes.  Walt eventually created his Carolwood Pacific Railroad that ran Continue Reading →

Walt Disney Family Museum

A must-see for any Disney aficionado, the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco is a place containing everything one would want to see or know about the man himself.

One of three walls displaying Walt’s lifetime of achievements, awards and citations.

Created by Walt’s daughter, Diane in 2009, the museum tells about the Disney family history, from their migration from Ireland, through Walt’s childhood years and his eventual rise to the icon that he has become.

Entering the museum, a visitor is brought into the award gallery.  In here are the awards, achievements and citations that Walt received during his lifetime, including a Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.  We always associate Walt with his Emmy awards, including the special one created for Snow White, but it’s amazing to see all the Continue Reading →

50 Years in Passing

Partners Statue in Disneyland.

December 15, 1966.  Not a day to celebrate, like a wedding anniversary or Independence Day, but a day of remembrance like Pearl Harbor or 9-11.  Ten days after his 65th birthday, Walter Elias Disney passed away following complications from lung surgery, 50 years ago today.

While Walt normally worked very hard not to let the public, especially the kids, see him smoking, he was a heavy smoker from his early years and it took its toll on his life.  In November, 1966, Walt was to undergo surgery to repair a neck injury that he had suffered in a polo accident.  An X-ray taken prior to surgery revealed a dark spot on his left lung that was identified as cancer.  He recovered from the lung surgery and initially returned to work, but began feeling ill by the end of the month.  He spent Continue Reading →

Light Up The Season with D23

One of the perks of being members of D23 – The Official Disney Fan Club, is the special events we get to attend.  On December 4th, Disney created such an occasion.  Usually reserved for Animation Studio cast members, the “Light Up The Season” lighting of the campus has been expanded to include members of D23.  We were privileged to attend this Christmas Lighting event along with hundreds of other Disney fans.

Debbie filling bags with crayons, stickers, playdough and books for kids.

Debbie filling bags with crayons, stickers, playdough and books for kids.

The Burbank studio was set up with lights, decorations, photo back drops, character photos, games, “goodie stations” with hot chocolate, hot apple cider, cookies, popcorn, a train ride to the north pole and much more.  Additionally, the Marine Corps Reserve was there collecting Toys for Tots and a station was set up for making gift bags for kids in hospitals.

Most of the campus was open for exploring, including the Hall of Legends capped by the iconic Team Disney building which has the Continue Reading →

Moana Movie Review

Disney Animation Studio’s latest movie, Moana, is an original story about the daughter (and probably soon to be an official Disney princess) of a village chief who is attempting to save her people from disaster.  This story takes place on an island in the Pacific in a past era and incorporates a lot of Polynesian mythology.

Disney's latest animated movie, Moana, brings Polynesian history and mythology to life.

Disney’s latest animated movie, Moana, with demigod Maui, brings Polynesian history and mythology to life. (©Disney)

Chief Nui, Moana’s father is grooming her to become the leader of the village, but her heart is inexplicably drawn to the ocean.  Only when her grandmother reveals to her the village’s history of being voyagers and the story of how the demigod Maui stole the “heart” of Island Goddess Te Fiti, does she realize that she must journey across the ocean in order to save her people.

Trying to navigate the ocean on her own, she encounters a storm and washes up on an island where she encounters Continue Reading →