Sunday, May 30, 2010

Disney Does Right By Prince of Persia

The original Prince of Persia video game crawled onto game systems like my NES back in 1989.  The franchise has been fairly successful over the years and has a small, yet steady following. I am currently stuck in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time on my PS2. Saddly, it caused me to put the game down about 3 hours into playing it. But even if I never pick this game (originally distributed in 2003) up again, I have plenty other Prince of Persia titles to choose from. While the systems they play on vary, there are currently 14 games in this franchise.

And now, Disney has added a film to the pack.

When I first heard about this adaptation, I was excited - even though I'd only played 2 of the games. The story is great and would definately lend itself well to a more expansive story-telling media, such as books or film. In 2007, a graphic novel was released (which is more of a comic book than a "book", but still...), so that just left 2 medias left for the hero to conquer - Film and Theater.

Now, I highly doubt there will ever be a theater production of this story (though Aladdin comes pretty darn close - minus a genie and some action). But when I heard that Jake Gyllenhall was starring in it - I became skeptical. Surely this thin, pretty boy couldn't pull off the handsome, rugged, yet elegant warrior-prince that I'd come to love, right?

Boy, was I wrong! Jake does a wonderful job with what he's given. His versatility as an actor is beginging to impress me. (Just to get in shape for the role, he had an amazing work out schedule! But I guess when your "job" is to be in shape, it's worth it.)

That said, this movie is just fun and action, with a touch of heart. It's a wonderful escape for the day. I doubt it will become as ridiculous a success as similiar movies  (such as the Pirates films), but it follows more along the veins of The Mummy with more action. I recommend catching this film on the biggest screen possible.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Disney = A Collector's Nightmare

Ever since I can remember, I've always collected things. Seashells, pins and buttons, Star Wars stuff, rocks, hats, baseball cards, and yes, even Beanie Babies. It's locked down in my DNA somewhere that if there's something of interest to me it must be collected. And when it comes to Disney, there's no end to it.

Now I've never gone overboard with any of my collecting habits to where I've cluttered up my living space or spent the mortgage on these items. But I can easily say that if someone with a worsened condition of mine grabs a hold of Disney's history they would be up to their Mickey ear hat in a mountain of pins, snowglobes, figurines, and picture frames. There's pretty much no end to what Disney will slap a character on to sell. And why shouldn't they? It's bringing them the money.

Well they have gone and done it again. Beginning early last year, Disney released a new collecting/trading fad called Vinylmations. When I first saw and heard of these figures I immediately condemned them. "These are stupid. It'll never catch on. Why would anyone ever buy these?" I know some of you out there are wondering what they are and I'm here today to explain that and why I have judged them too quickly.

Vinylmations are vinyl figurines measuring 3" or 9" tall, depending on which ones you buy, in the shape of our favorite mouse's body. The head and arms are able to be moved but that is all. Each figure is painted with a Disney park or character reference and sometimes just pop culture items or silly pictures. Imagine a 3D Mickey Mouse canvas that you can paint anything on. The 3" Vinylmations are released in series of 12 and packaged blindly meaning you won't know which design in the series you are getting until you open it (much like a pack of baseball cards). On the side of the box that they are packaged in, you will see the design of 11 and one marked with a "?" and nothing more. This is a mystery Vinylmation design in each series known as a "chaser". Also released with each series is generally a few 9" Vinylmations as well. These are normally limited edition and numbered as such.

The hard thing to swallow with these is the price. Each of the 3" Vinylmations are $10 and the 9" are around $40 because of the limited allure. I finally bit the bullet last week and purchased two of these from the Disney Store website. I decided to get two from the Park Series #4 because there was an Epcot Center one that I thought was very cool, but obviously bought these realizing I may not get it. A few days later they show up at my door and I sit down to open them. Not only are these sealed in a glued-together box, they are also inside a metallic opaque bag with "NOT FOR RESALE" stamped all over it. Disney has gone to great lengths to ensure that you can not just easily sneak a peak at these and find the ones you don't have. Even the metallic bag needed a pair of scissors in order to open it. Inside the first box I opened was the exact Vinylmation that I wanted. Wow! That'll probably never happen again. Inside the second box was a yellow Nemo sub painted to envision the ride at Disneyland. Here is a picture of the two below.

It's probably worth it to note that there are other designs on the back of them as well. The Epcot Center one has a giant "82" on the back of the head to remind you of the year Epcot opened. The submarine one even has a propeller located on the back of Mickey's trousers. Now at $10 a piece I was afraid that these would be very lightweight and pretty cheaply made, but I was wrong on both accounts. The 3" Vinylmations have a nice bit of weight to them and are pretty solid. Also the paint does not appear as though it will chip off or fade. I was pretty happy with my investment and have completely turned around my feelings on these little works of art. Which is a big reason why I enjoy them. They are done very well and on the bottom of their feet is stamped with the artist's name that designed each one. They are tradeable at the parks, which may be a little harder to orchestrate than trading pins, but since there is a large possibility of getting doubles in the blind boxes, it should catch on pretty quickly.

I'd like to get some of the older series that I missed last year since they are no longer being sold, so if anyone has any and wants to trade just let me know!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Poll Results and the New Poll

Who should play Dream Finder in a Journey into Imagination Movie?

Robert Downy Jr. is first with 3 votes.
Johnny Depp is tied for second with Kenneth Branagh at 2 votes.
Patrick Stewart John Rhys-Davies both managed to pull in 1 vote.
Keanu Reeves for some reason wasn't able to garner any support in his push for this role. Oh well maybe next time Keanu.

How do you feel about the talking Mickey Disneyland Videos?

Talking Mickey 80's Style
Awesome, my life is complete. - 4 votes
Kinda cool - 4 votes
Whatever - 0 votes
It seems wrong - 1 votes
Scary beyond all reason! - 2 votes

Judging from those results it seems that the test run of the talking Mickey tech will probably be widely used in the next few years. It's interesting to note that there wasn't a single person who didn't have at least some kind of reaction, positive or negative.

So the new poll this week will be...

How do you feel about the Fantasyland Expansion?

Everything looks great! I can't wait
Kind of cool
I like the Dumbo idea
Neither here nor there
I'm going to miss Toon Town
Harry Potter = better idea

P.S. If anyone is good with Photoshop it would be cool to see a Robert Downey or Johnny Depp dream finder.

If you have a poll idea that you'd like to see email us at

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Magic Tricks of the Trade

For anyone who is interested on reading "Behind the Magic" things and finding out just what makes the Disney parks tick, a new book is out entitled "Walt Disney Imagineering: A Behind the Dreams Look at Making More Magic Real". This is a sequel to a best-selling book of the same name (minus the "More"). These books are comprised of interviews and tales from actual Imagineers who have worked on past projects and some who are working on current and upcoming projects (i.e.- Carsland and Fantasy Forest). These books also give a great amount of detail into how rides are conceptualized from paper to model to real life and are nothing short of amazing to read if you're a true Disney fan. Also included in the book are pictures of concept art from rides past and present as well as some ideas that have been shelved or never came to be. I just reserved my copy on Amazon today and I should have it next week. I may post a review when I'm done reading it. Or if you want to read it for yourself, I highly recommend the purchase.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cinderella to be live action

It's pretty much going to happen. Several sources around the internet have said that due to the recent success of Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" Disney has bought a live-action film project based on Cinderella. Nobody seems to know if this is going to be just like the Disney version from the fifties or different. The writers who pitched the idea and were shopping it around different studios are Aline Brosh Mckenna who penned "The Devil Wears Prada" and "27 Dresses" and Simon Kinberg  who wrote the new Sherlock Holmes.

This should be the look of the film!

Nobody knows many details about the actual film. The fact that people were shopping around the story to several studios makes me think that this isn't necessarily a remake of the Disney film. On top of that no one has officially said that this will even be similar to Mr. Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" to cash in on that type of success. We will just have to wait and see.

I'm personally more interested in the Meleficent movie that may or may not be happening. Disney if you're reading this (and I'm sure you're one of the twenty people who are) give me a call. I'll make that happen.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Marvel has arrived in Disneyland

Last Sunday, I went to Disneyland and went on Buzz Lightyear at the request of the 2-year-old Toy Story fan I was traveling with. As so often happens,  we exited the attraction into a gift shop.

 So, what's so special about this gift shop?

It was the first time I have openly seen Marvel character merchandise for sale in the parks since the acquisition of Marvel by Disney.

No, it wasn't Mickey Mouse dressed up as Spider Man or anything like that. It was just a small stand with Marvel merchandise area with a few small action figures for sale. Spider Man and Wolverine were the most memorable characters I noted.

This may just be a test phase. It was too crowded to get a cast member's attention and ask, but it was... interesting...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Poll Results and the New Poll

What attraction would you most like to see made or remade into a major motion picture?

The winner with 6 votes is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror remake.
The original incarnation of Journey into Imagination came in second with 5 votes.
A few people would really like them to give the Haunted Mansion another try. 2 Votes.
Finally we have Space Mountain with 1 vote.

I should say that I didn't put the Tower of Terror or the Haunted Mansion on here because they were aweful but I'd like to see them have another go with them. Anyone whose a fan of those films would probably be OK with a slightly different interpretation than the last. 
The original Journey into Imagination would be cool but would be really tricky to pull off well. 
I don't even know what Space Mountain would be. A space station thing I guess starring Tom Morrow. 
I put Spaceship earth up there because I found some fun spoofs online of a Spaceship Earth Trailer. 
Check it out.

I'm going to try something different this week. Since I've been pretty lazy on the blog I have two different polls for you first off.

Who should play Dream Finder in a Journey into Imagination Movie?
Johnny Depp
Robert Downy Jr.
Patrick Stewart
Kenneth Branagh
John Rhys-Davies
Keanu Reeves

In case you never got to ride that one you can check out you tube. Write in your vote with a comment here or an email. If we get someone writing in we could have two winners. Or just stick with the other poll.

How do you feel about the talking Mickey Disneyland Videos?

Awesome, my life is complete.
Kinda cool
It seems wrong
Scary beyond all reason!

If you aren't familiar with this you can check the post from two days ago or a quick You Tube search will bring them up.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Resorting to Value

Disney has made an announcement today that the second half of the Pop Century Resort in Walt Disney World is to be constructed finally. However, it will not be themed to the "Legendary Years" as was originally planned. Disney's Art of Animation Resort is scheduled to be completed in the year 2012 and will include themes from some of Disney and Pixar's most popular movies. The four movies selected will be The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Cars, and Finding Nemo. A lot of these resorts will be focusing on Value Suites for larger families. Disney had a trial period of suites at the All-Star Music Resorts and I guess the demand was great enough to move ahead and expand this further. The rooms will be themed to each movie respectively and as seen throughout the rest of WDW each area will have a themed pool as well. The Little Mermaid area is going to house a 35 foot tall representation of King Triton. I'm extremely happy to hear that Disney has decided to finish that area of the resort because it was looking desolate across from the Pop Century area.

Questions do loom about what Disney will do with the Pop Century Resort seeing as the idea to cover a full century has been scrapped. Will it be left alone or renamed? Or will the Pop Century theme be taken down to make way for more Art of Animation Resorts in the future? What do you guys think?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Talking Mickey Meet & Greet

The title says it all. Disney Imagineers recently tested a meet and greet with Mickey Mouse in which Mickey talks to guests. It's amazing. His mouth moves, his eyes blink, and he will address you by name. I have to admit that I was pretty impressed when I saw the characters talking on the stage show in front of Cinderella's Castle but this astounds me.

I guess the tests were conducted in the meet and greet area by Mickey's house in Toontown. That must have been great to be one of those people that was in on it. According to the L.A. Times, Imagineers stated that even with a successful test it would be a few years before the talking characters were widely available in the parks.

Here are some videos. I like the way that Van from the Netcot Podcast released this info.

So the nest generation is going to think that it was so lame for us to be waiting in line to meet silent characters.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Sorcerer's Apprentice...coming soon.

So, in taking a break from its normal sequels schedule, Disney has put together a remake of what is arguably its most famous cartoon, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice."

From the trailer, it looks like the answer will be yes to "Will there be dancing brooms?"

For you trivia nerds, the Sorcerer's name in the original cartoon is Yensid, which is simply Disney spelled backwards...clever eh?

Unfortunatley, our sorcerer's name in this version will be Balthazar Blake. Maybe he was a cousin?

Barbershop Video

From the DisneyParks YouTube channel.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Disney Blog To Check Out

I enjoy this blog. It has some fun things on it. There's are some nice posts about the Food and Wine Festival out in California adventure a few entries down the main page. You'll find those on one of the first entries in may and in the last entries in April. Hope you like it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Poll Results and the New Poll

What is the Best Magic Kingdom Transportation Attraction?

The Tomorrowland Transit Authority wins with 9 votes.
Coming in as the runner up with 1 vote is the Liberty Square Riverboat.

Now that this heated debate has been settled once and for all let's move on to our next poll. 

Which Disney attraction would you like to see made into a big budget film?

Spaceship Earth
Tower of Terror
Haunted Mansion
Star Tours
Imagination (original)
Space Mountain

I realize that some of these already have movies but I wasn't a huge fan. So, I'm putting them up as if they could be made into popular films. Star Tours is obviously based on Star Wars but what if there was a film from a Star Tours angle. You know with Captain Rex and the spaceport.

If you'd like to submit Ideas for attractions I haven't thought of we may be able to repeat this post. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Carly and I are still moving into our new place. We finally have room for our little piano though and I pulled out the sheet music for Newsies. My goal is to learn this song. I may have to wait until I learn to play the piano first.

Great Movie! I love the when his voice gets the echo as he jumps on the wagon.
Why wasn't this ever made into a musical on Broadway?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dancing Mickey

Sorry but my posts may be a little intermittent this week. Carly and I are moving so that's hectic. On top of that we failed at planning ahead so we won't  have internet until this weekend. I wanted to share these videos with you in case you hadn't seen them. They kind of weird me out a little bit but I like the angle of it.

What do you guys think?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Poll Results

What is your favorite Disney Resort Property?

Of course the winner is Walt Disney World with 9 Votes
We do have 1 Vote for Disneyland Paris

Can't beat the Phantom Manor. A very pretty park. The results for this poll aren't surprising as far as the winner is concerned. I thought it would be interesting to see how the other parks were represented fan wise. 

This weeks poll is:
The Best Magic Kingdom Transportation Attraction

Liberty Square Riverboat
Tomorrowland Transit Authority
Main Street Vehicles
Walt Disney World Railroad

Have a Great Idea for a Poll? Let me know at