November 10, 2012

New VICKI'S WISH video - 5 days left!

Vicki's Wish: 
A little girl who dreams of being an astronaut goes on an amazing adventure. 
An iPad book illustrated in high quality CGI.

We have 5 days left in our Kickstarter campaign! We've raised over $2600 but still need more help to make it to our goal of $5000. Even a $1 pledge gets a reward - if we meet our goal!

October 21, 2012

My Kickstarter project "Vicki's Wish"

Vicki is a young girl that loves everything about space, but is very afraid of the dark. She wears her favorite purple moon and stars pajamas every night, and before going to sleep she gazes up at the rising moon in wonder. One sparkling summer evening, a shooting star flies across the sky and she makes a wish.

A few hours later, a bump in the night wakes her up and she is afraid. It is the Star Pixie. The Star Pixie shows her that she does not need to be scared of the dark, and they become friends. With a touch of her hand, they float up out of her window, and the Pixie shows her how beautiful the night can be. 
The trip around the world teaches Vicki she does not need to be afraid of the dark, but as the dawn begins to break, she realizes that her deepest wish, the wish she made upon that shooting star, is not going to come true. Not tonight.

She gazes up at the moon, and the Pixie takes her hand again, pointing skyward. Vicki nods. They float higher and higher. Vicki believes he is taking her home. 

As they go higher, the ground gets smaller and smaller. They float above the clouds. The glow from sunrise and the haze of the atmosphere illuminate the gentle curvature of the earth.  Up, up, up. They pass a satellite and star dust, and gently land on the surface of the moon. 

She can't believe it. Her wish came true! All this would have never happened if she hadn't saved the Pixie, and been brave enough to go on the adventure with him around the world. She needed to learn how strong and independent she really could be.  The moon is her reward for being brave. 

A thick layer of powdery dust covered the hard moon rock. It reminded her of the time she burst a bag of flour all over the tile kitchen floor, and how the layer of flour would burst into a small cloud with every step, the same as this moon powder.

She bounced in the low gravity. She could jump so high! She tracked footsteps around the dust. She bent to lift a small pile of dust in her hands, letting the fine glittery powder slip through her fingers to the ground.  She looked to Earth. It looked so small. Just like the NASA poster on her wall in her bedroom. It was just as she imagined it.

A glimmer of something caught her eye in the distance. With the Pixie, she bounded over in 10 foot strides, leaving footprints and clouds of glittery dust behind her. It was an American flag, stuck in the ground, fabric stiff, and she realized this was Neil Armstrong's landing site.   The first man on the moon. Her idol and hero. She had watched old footage of Neil Armstrong many times, and realized that was what he saw, and how he must have felt. Proud, peaceful, quiet, and still. It was beautiful.

She looked down at the Pixie, who was making a snow angel in the moon dust at her feet. Next to the Pixie was a huge boot print in the dust. Neil Armstrong's footprint!  She looks down at her own small feet and toes, half buried in the powder.  Gently, so as to not raise a cloud of dust or disturb the outline in any way, she placed her bare foot inside the giant moon boot imprint.

Someday, she would be back. She would come back and find this spot again, and her feet would fill a real moon boot.  She would have moon boots of her own. The gentle outline of Pixie's moon dust angel lay next to the giant boot, which encircled her own small foot print inside.

Pixie yawned and gestured toward earth. Vicki knew it was time to go home. Vicki scooped a small, glittering moon rock with one hand as the Pixie took her other. They began to float away from the moon, and when the flag was finally out of sight, Vicki watched as the earth grew bigger and bigger.  The atmosphere and clouds felt moist and cool as they passed through them, and the houses, trees, and roads grew bigger and bigger.

The sky glowed bright pinks and purples with the dawn, and the birds chirped. Her house on the hill got bigger and bigger as they approached, until they floated right in her open window.  Vicki brushed the moon dust off her moon and stars pajamas, and climbed into bed. The Star Pixie landed on her pillow next to her head, stretched, and curled up like a cat to fall asleep. Vicki fell asleep, with a smile on her face, as soon as her head hit the soft pillow.

A few hours later, the sun was high in the sky as Vicki wakes up to find the Star Pixie gone.  She begins to wonder if the night's events were all a dream, but then discovers the glittering moon rock is still in her pocket.   She gazes up to her poster of the view of the earth from space, moon rock in hand, the same view she had in reality, just a few hours before.

Richly and uniquely illustrated, each panel is a full screen HD frame fully realized using the same CGI techniques and tools as in major feature films. Alex Scollay, the illustrator, has worked for 15 years in film, television, and commercials, including FarscapeSuperman Returns2012, and Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland.

These pictures will fully display in high-res HD on your ipad or Android screen. If we are successful with this launch, we plan to eventually Kickstart an interactive edition with animated panels, sound effects and narrator-mode.

Kickstarter utilizes an all-or-nothing approach to project funding. Our goal of $5,000 must be met within 30 days in order for us to receive any money. You can pledge any amount (even just $1) at any time during those 30 days. Only when our goal is reached will your credit card be charged and incentive rewards will be fulfilled. 

September 15, 2012

Saxophone Quintet - Disney/MGM - 1993

This awesome sax quintet performed during our first trip to WDW in 1993. Too bad they had to compete with a parade nearby, they were really really good. Anybody remember what this group was called?

September 10, 2012

Epcot Canada Pavilion comedy show 1993

Need help identifying my old Walt Disney World home movies. Does anybody remember what this show was called or anything about it?  It's from Canada Pavilion, Epcot. July 1993.

September 9, 2012

Future World Brass. 1993

Who remembers Future World Brass? They played in Epcot from 1982 to 2000. Here's old home videos I finally got digitized from VHS to DVD from our very first family trip to WDW in 1993.

They were so awesome!

June 20, 2012

Vintage Disney photos...weird and cool

Here are some fun/scary WTF vintage Disney photos from days of yore in the parks...

Mickey has put on a few pounds over the years.

Um scary. Yeah.

Took a while to figure out head size proportions.

Head size WTF example #2.

And some General WTF's for your amusement...

Mickey used to be quite a bit more heartless. Poison and TNT?

I got nothin...?!?

Apparently Mickey and Minnie got married at some point. Er.

Biggest WTF of them all...

Monster University Teaser

New teaser out for Monster University!

You may also enjoy:

Finding Nemo 3D Trailer
Wreck-It Ralph Trailer

June 19, 2012

Walt Disney World iPhone Wallpapers

I was hunting for these to Disney-fy my iPhone earlier today and thought I'd share a few of my favorites.  Enjoy!

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June 15, 2012

Goofy Movie "After Today" - School's out for summer!

It's getting to be that time of year ... Here's one of my favorite Disney songs celebrating the last day of school!

From A Goofy Movie (1995).


June 6, 2012

Wreck-It Ralph trailer - new Disney film (Nov 2012)!

I'm excited for this one! Video Game characters! No mention of princesses (except maybe "Your princess is in another castle")! John C Reilly and Jane Lynch!  

Can't wait.

May 31, 2012

What Disney Movies Taught Me (Jenna Marbles)

I love Jenna Marbles. I love Disney movies. These are her thoughts on Disney movies, especially the Princesses. I agree entirely (and I used to do some of those things she talks about when I was growing up, so I find it extra funny).


Beauty & The Beast (B*tchy Version) - hilarious!

Just in case anybody hasn't seen this yet. I had to share.


April 24, 2012

Starbucks in the Disney Parks - starting June 2012

Yes. That's Mickey Ears on Mrs. Starbucks or whatever her name is.  Starting in June 2012 the first of six themed Starbucks locations will open in Disney's California Adventure. Starbucks coffee will be served INSIDE the Disney Parks. 

According to Disney Parks Blog, "The cafĂ© will serve Starbucks items, including coffee and espresso beverages, Frappuccino® blended beverages, and signature breakfast sandwiches and pastries. Guests also will have their choice of Disney favorites, including signature sandwiches and other items, as well as delicious desserts and sweet treats."

OK, that sounds lovely, but I have mixed feelings about this.

Disney knows food. It knows themed dining. It certainly knows customer service.  Why do they need Starbucks to step in for the assist with this?  I’m no coffee aficionado, but seriously, the coffee selections in Disney parks are um, sub-par, to put it lightly. So I guess the quality will improve, that’s one good thing.

Which brings me to my devils-advocate point I’m trying to make here. As I said, Disney knows how to do food, they know how to do themed dining, but for some dumb reason they don’t know how to do coffee. The Nescafe insta-crud they offer for their coffee selections in the parks is barely drinkable. So… if their coffee is bad, which it is, and they have the money to hire the know-how, which they can…why don’t they just make the coffee better?! Doesn’t that sound a tad more reasonable than bringing a chain restaurant inside the parks? 

Outside the parks, anything goes as far as I’m concerned. Outside the parks is the “real world”.  For example, I live in Manhattan, so what does Starbucks remind me of…morning commutes, crowded subways, long lines, and cubicles.  Not exactly a fantasy world.  Starbucks serves its purpose in the real world, providing caffeine fixes for millions of people day in and day out.  But I don't want it in my fantasy world.

Inside the parks is not the real world, it’s fantasy world, a happy place where cubicles, deadlines, commutes, and emails don’t exist.   I don’t want to be reminded of the real world when I’m at a Disney park.  I go to Disney specifically to escape that very drudgery.   But now we’ll be surrounded by cups plastered with that smiling green Mrs. Starbucks, to remind me that the real world is still out there…waiting for me to return.

The Disney Starbucks locations will no doubt be themed and lovely in every way. They’ll be aesthetically beautiful, service will be excellent, the drinks will be varied and palatable (Not to mention ridiculously overpriced). You’ll be able to get your ‘Venti, Non-Fat, No Foam, No water, 6 pump, extra hot, chai tea latte’ (wtf? I never know how to order at Starbucks).  Just how you like it...every day on your commute to work. It will be familiar and that will make us happy. To get the same stuff we enjoy in the day to day "real world".  When "worlds" collide, eh?

Americans like Wal-Mart, too. I don't see that being plunked into Animal Kingdom anytime soon (I shudder at the thought).

Disney World Facebook Timeline Cover Photos

Love it or hate it, Facebook has made us all switch to the Timeline view in the past few weeks.  I am on Team "Love It". I think it keeps the information organized nicely and displays it in an aesthetically pleasing way. My favorite aspect of it is the ability to personalize your Banner / Cover Image.  Of course mine is a rotation of Disney oriented pictures, some my own, but also some professional shots.

These are from the Disney Tourist Blog. Stunning, aren't they!? 

Check out their site for the full collection (they have Disneyland ones too!): Disney Tourist Blog

You may also enjoy:

Disney World iPhone Wallpapers
Disney World Christmas Computer Wallpapers

March 22, 2012

Disney Characters in Reality TV Shows

Having fun today casting our favorite Disney characters onto trashy reality TV shows.

Hoarders. Ariel needs help.

Kuzco is the original Undercover Boss

Charlotte baby definitely goes on Toddlers and Tiaras

Both Cinderella and Fairy Godmother go on What Not to Wear

Jon and Kate Plus 8 (7 Dwarves plus the horse, heh)

Mary Poppins is the #1 British SuperNanny!

Remy is my Top Chef, of course.

January 24, 2012

Academy Award Noms and Snubs: Best Animated Film

I don't usually rant here, but I need to make an exception this time.  The Academy Award nominees were announced, and I agree with a lot of them. Hugo was a fantastic film, I saw it twice in the theater, and it deserves the 11 nominations it received.

However, I do have a problem with the 2011 Best Animated Film category. Here is the list:

Animated Feature Film

"A Cat in Paris" Alain Gagnol and Jean-Loup Felicioli
"Chico & Rita" Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal
"Kung Fu Panda 2" Jennifer Yuh Nelson
"Puss in Boots" Chris Miller
"Rango" Gore Verbinski

I admit, I have not seen the first two films, nor have I even heard of them, although I will make a point to now. Therefore I will say nothing more about them.

However, I have seen Kung Fu Panda 2, Puss in Boots, and Rango. 

I loved Rango. However, I did see Rango in a theater full of families with little kids that were simply too young for the film. Rango is not Cars, and clearly was not made for toddlers. So, the kids got bored, started screaming and crying, and basically ruined my movie-going experience. Rango was visually absolutely stunning, yes. For little kids? No. It was funny in a witty and subtle way.

Please keep in mind, animation is a medium not a genre!! Just because a film is animated does not mean it's for kids. That used to be the case perhaps, but not anymore.

Puss in Boots was cute but forgettable, and the Kung Fu Panda movies have never grabbed me. They're ok, but meh. I like them and enjoy them, but only on a superficial level. If I want to have a moving emotional experience (to characters with depth and story with meaning), while watching an animated film, I'll pop in Finding Nemo, Wall-E or Up. Not Kung Fu Panda.

Pixar has dominated the Animated Film category at the Oscars, as well it should, for many years.  This year, not even a nomination was made for Cars 2. Justifiably. Nobody in their right mind would consider Cars 2 an Oscar-worthy film the likes of Wall-E, Toy Story 3, or Up. The only reason they made Cars in the first place has to have been to offset all the Disney Princess stories that appeal to little girls. Plenty of Princess dolls, dresses, etc for elementary school girls. Not much for the boys.  

Disney/Pixar "Cars"
A film chock full of colorful talking cars filled that void, and is clearly a massive cash cow for Disney/Pixar. The merchandise for that film has been incredible. Every time I turn around I see a little boy wearing a pair of Cars sneakers or backpack or whatever. Cha-ching cha-ching!! 

The films exist not because the Cars movies hold a candle to any of the other Pixar films in existence, but simply because they're talking cars. Nothing little boys and their parents love more than talking cartoony automobiles. (Think: Thomas the Tank Engine's never-ending popularity with the 2-5 year old male demographic.)

But, if the cash flow from movies like Cars must be made to fund high-quality Pixar stories like Up, Wall-E, and Toy Story 3, then so be it. Take the good with the bad. Nobody is forcing me to watch them.

That being said, considering how much of a powerhouse Pixar is in the industry, I guess it's a big deal for them to not even be nominated, even though the film didn't deserve it. Eh, whatever.

"The Adventures of TinTin"
Which brings us back to the issue at hand, the Academy Award Nominees. My biggest problem is WHY was TinTin not nominated? It's accrued a massive amount of accolades this year, but now somehow NOT even nominated for the Oscar?? I know the Academy Awards are all about politics and who knows what was going on behind the scenes. Delicate egos in Hollywood and such, but come on. It's the best animated film this year, hands down. 

One argument is that it was done using Motion Capture ("Mo-Cap"). OK, fine. Maybe if you're a super-purist that could be construed as a legitimate argument, but then how do they explain Happy Feet (also made with Mo-Cap) winning Best Animated Film in 2006 (beating out Cars that year, mind you).  Therefore that argument doesn't have two legs to stand on. 

There must be some other forces at work. The anti-TinTin squad of the Academy or something. Spielberg's War Horse got 6 Nominations. Tin Tin got only one, Best Music (Original Score) - John Williams. Maybe they're sick of seeing Spielberg and Peter Jackson dominate the Oscars. Well, when either of them starts putting out mindless dreck, then so be it, their time has passed. But not yet.

Bad call, Academy of Motion Pictures. You're wrong on this one.