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 →

The BFG Movie Review

From the mystical mind of Roald Dahl and magic of Steven Spielberg comes Disney’s latest movie, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant).  We had an opportunity to preview this movie, courtesy of Disney’s Official Fan Club, D23.


The BFG is a somewhat dark film with intense and scary scenes involving a little girl in a world of giants, most of whom want to eat her and are willing to do anything to satiate their appetite for “human beans.”

There are also funny and light-hearted scenes, strange words, and unusual happenings such as water running uphill or bubbles sinking in a glass.  These are similar to what we see in other classics from Roald Dahl such as Continue Reading →

Finding Dory Review

Can you imagine a movie that is bigger than Frozen or Zootopia?  It doesn’t seem possible, but the opening weekend of Finding Dory, the latest animated movie from Disney-Pixar, grossed more than $136 million!  More than double what Frozen brought in during its opening 3-days; and swimming past Zootopia’s $75 million for the same time period.


Dory returns with her own movie about finding her family, if she doesn’t forget where she is going. (©Disney-Pixar)

It’s no wonder.  Our favorite memory-challenged royal blue tang fish is back after a 13 year hiatus, bringing us laughs as she makes every attempt to locate her family.

After Mr. Ray’s school kids trigger memories about her past, Dory employs her close friends Marlin and Nemo to help her find her parents somewhere off the coast of California.

In this follow-on to Finding Nemo, we are introduced to baby Dory as her memories of her parents pop in and out.  Along the trip to California, we get to see some old faces such as Crush and Squirt, meet one of her childhood friends, Destiny, and greet a new friend, Hank, a cranky octopus (septopus?) who just wants to get to the Cleveland Aquarium and be left alone.

During this adventure, Marlin and Nemo find themselves separated from Dory and in an impossible situation.  But Marlin’s reflection on “what would Dory do” made him realize how she helped him be Continue Reading →

Pin Trading – the Hilton Head Way!

When people discuss something Disney, the conversations usually center on the parks, whether it be the ones in the U.S., or those located in other countries.  But Disney has other resorts that offer unique experiences, away from the hustle and bustle of a theme park.


Entry sign at the Hilton Head Island Resort

Due to circumstances, we recently spent 10 days in South Carolina.  While surfing the net looking for sights to see, we were perusing the Disney Pins Blog, one of the many blog sites we follow, and saw a story about Pin Trading at the Disney Hilton Head Island Resort.  So we grabbed our lanyards and trading bag and took the opportunity to head down there to meet with wonderful Cast Members and see if there were any new pins that we could pick up. Continue Reading →

Zootopia Review

We took the opportunity to take our three year old grandson to see Disney’s newest PIXAR animated movie, Zootopia, on opening weekend.  Our first choice for theaters was sold out for at least two showings; so we then purchased advance tickets online to make sure we could see the movie at our convenience.

Beginning this spring, Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia” will be visiting Disneyland Resort, where guests can find them on Hollywood Boulevard at Disney California Adventure park and at Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort during the “Move It! Shake It! Dance & Play It!” Street Party at Magic Kingdom Park. “Zootopia” opens in theaters in 3D on March 4. (©Disney)

An entertaining movie about a city full of anthropomorphic animals that live in Continue Reading →

Walt’s Barn

Walt Disney had another love that was in addition to his family and a certain mouse.  Walt loved trains.  He even had a miniature live steam railway that ran around his property in Holmby Hills, California, that he affectionately called the “Carolwood Pacific Railway.”  In fact, when he began to design Disneyland, it was imperative that a train encircle the park.

Walt's Original Barn

Walt’s Original Barn

Long after his passing, Walt’s other love lives on.  On the north side of Griffith Park in Los Angeles, California, a group of volunteers have kept his memory alive with an attraction called “Walt’s Barn.”  Here, they celebrate and remember his affection for trains with displays, pictures and other memorabilia. Continue Reading →

Run Disney

Why would we do something we thoroughly dislike?  Sometimes a person would do something because they have to; but we don’t have to, so why would we run like crazy?  Like most everything Disney does, they make running fun!  So over the next several months we will be participating in several 10K runs through Disney parks.

Star Wars 10K Starting Line

Star Wars 10K Starting Line (2015)

The most recent one was the second annual Star Wars run that went around and through Disneyland and California Adventure, the weekend of January 15, 2016.  We chose to run the 10K because we are not runners; so this is a good challenge for us without overdoing it trying to complete a half or full marathon.

So why would we do this?  As mentioned earlier, Disney makes this fun.  Crazy, right?! Continue Reading →

Star Wars – The Force Awakens

This review is written from Melvin’s perspective as Debbie has NEVER seen a single Star Wars movie and has no desire to see this one!  I will attempt to entice you to see this movie without having to issue a “spoiler alert.”

I finally saw the new Star Wars – The Force Awakens, a week after its opening.  I will say that I was impressed with Disney’s effort to breathe new life into this epic saga of good versus evil.  This is a new movie for a new generation of fans, introducing a new slate of technologies and never-before-seen characters, as well as bringing back some familiar faces.

The story picks up where Return of the Jedi leaves off, approximately 30 years later.  We see remnants Continue Reading →

Disney Pin Trading

You see people walking around the Disney parks, decorated like a Christmas tree.  You can’t help but wonder what kind of virus would so adversely affect seemingly normal people.  But there they are, wearing their hobby and passion around their neck.  You don’t understand it:  How someone could become addicted to something so simply blasé.

They are bought, sold, traded, hoarded and collected.  So what are we talking about? Continue Reading →

Disney Auction

How would you like to own a piece of Disneyland?  No, not a souvenir that you purchased, not a pin that was traded or something that you clandestinely put in your pocket, but something from a past attraction or other historical significance.

Original Sled from Space Mountain

Original Sled from Space Mountain

How about a sled from Space Mountain?  This sled has the original sound track from the attraction, is fully functional and it could be yours if the price is right!  (Estimated auction price $50,000 – $60,000).

Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks, CA, will hold an auction of Disney items on Saturday, November 21, 2015.  These items are gathered from private collections for this auction.  The back stories about how these items Continue Reading →