A short film reel from 1957 of Walt Disney speaking about the invention of the MultiPlane camera, used in their feature animated productions:
A trio of weekends, a trio of movies, and now a trio of capsule reviews! Got a chance to catch The Lego Movie 2, How To Train Your Dragon 3, and Captain Marvel…
Potential Spoilers Ahead!
Lovely pic of a happy Nala by the character designer and supervising animator for the original (animated) film!
by Aaron Blaise
In keeping with the recent theme!
Disneyland upon opening in 1955:
And here’s the same(ish) view of Disneyland just a few months ago:
It’s amazing to see how much Disneyland has grown, both in density and by expanding outward beyond the railway (not to mention California Adventure, most of which isn’t shown in the picture). The railway itself has changed over the years, especially so for the new (and positively ginormous) Star Wars land, adopting a more sinuous route around the shortened river…
(It’s also fun to see how much has changed around the park — from groves to hotels and houses!)
Missed the usual Wonder Wednesday post this week as it was in the midst of another wonderful day at Disneyland!
Meeting up with some old friends…
Chip and Dale were totally amused by my shirt, and spent several minutes alternately pointing themselves out, hiding the other’s picture, doing hearts over them, and so on, all in a rapid flurry of paws. It was great!
Getting a deliciously big hug from Tigger…
I went with my friend Shadow Cheetah, who, as a costumer himself, totally loved watching all the mannerisms and especially interactions of the Disney characters with the guests. It was also his first time to Disneyland, for which I was incredibly excited and honoured to be the one to introduce him to all the theme park magic.
Can’t say hi to Tigger without visiting Pooh as well!
Also finally got a chance to try out the new Guardians ride at California Adventure, and it’s a blast! The Rocket animatronic in the antechamber was especially well done. Only got a chance to ride it once, so only saw one of the six music/sequence combos. More for next time!
Also got a chance to see the latest of the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge construction. You can get a great view from the second lift hill on Thunder Mountain, and what a view, oh my! Night had fallen, but the land was still lit up letting us see just how big it is. It. Is. Freakin. Huge. I never grasped the scope of it until now. Framed by the spires of Thunder Mountain, it filled the horizon to the edges of our vision with massive rock formations and a mess of buildings. And it’s all looking great already, the detail and the level of craft I think is going to be mind blowing.
Click on the above to see it in a 360 degree panorama format! (You may need to click on it a few times to get to the panorama feature)
To finish off the day we attended the Mickey and Minnie mouse 90th birthday dance party on Main Street. With a gaggle of Disney songs remixed (quite well) into a dance beat, it was a rocking time as projections flowed over every facade down main street, accompanied by a thousand spotlights all waving in patterns to the beat (even around the castle, which was half-covered in scrim for maintenance — you can see it in the image above).
As the lights returned to normal and the after-party music began, Shade and I continued to dance away, eliciting cheers and “right on!”s from other guests as they began to stream towards the exit. A powerfully fun end to a wonderful day.
The old, short lived, and long removed Disney Fort Wilderness Railroad!
First, John Williams is creating new music for Galaxy’s Edge! Second, great footage of the progress on the new park — it is looking fantastic!
Wreck it Ralph was director Rich Moore’s first film for Disney. It was a fun and inventive movie, full of great potential and lots of heart, yet marred by lackluster storytelling, extraneous jokes, and veering away at the last minute from actually engaging with the very strong contexts (ostracization and bullying) it had been heading towards. My opinion has shifted gears over the years to where I now find it a solid movie, if one that still feels like it could have reached higher.
So, for me it was a great delight when Rich’s next film (along with Byron Howard and Jared Bush) came along to find that these weaknesses had all been addressed – the storytelling was buttery smooth, the humour well integrated, the puns turbocharged, and in absolutely. no. way. did the movie avoid the profound and difficult inquiries it was grappling with. It was moving, it was beautiful, and it was, of course, Zootopia, a film I may have written a thing or two about…
Now, two and a half years after Zootopia and six years later from the original comes the sequel to Ralph (directed again by Rich along with Phil Johnston). As was the tradition, I avoided as many spoilers as possible, watched the original to get ready, and headed to the theatre opening weekend to catch a showing. Would Ralph Wreck the Day (in a good way) again?
(Spoilers Ahead!) Continue reading
Without much fanfare or warning, Disney dropped a teaser trailer for the “live action” remake of The Lion King…
… and I won’t lie, I got chills from watching it.
In no small part this is unsurprisingly due to the gorgeous visuals on display in this new teaser – the “realistic” rendering on display is quite stunning. Mainly, though, the chills arise because this trailer shows only beat-for-beat remakes of scenes from the original*, and the original, especially coupled with the great score by Hans Zimmer, will almost always give me the chills.
As for the enterprise as a whole I still have massive concerns about what will result from this remake. The remake of Beauty and the Beast left me cold in more ways than one** and I do wonder what the intent of this is (besides making a tonne of money, of course). There are only a pawful of narrative (or other) weaknesses that I’d say would need ameliorating; will they address those or miss them, will they try to shoehorn in unnecessary stuff, will they go for some radical reworking, or will they just leave it as a pure visual overhaul?*** Some of those paths could lead to something amazing. The others… not so much.
The 1994 release of TLK really landed for me in ways I may never be able to fully understand why. It had a monumental impact on my life, both in terms of how it spoke to me, what I took from it, the many friendships I developed around it, and the life-directing choices that emerged from it. I’m not concerned that the remake will ruin my time or memories of that time – I would never give anyone or anything that power – but this movie is something special to me. I already think it is a great movie, with good storytelling.
Again I won’t lie: they are clearing doing this, and I so want, and hope, that whatever gets released next year remains equally great, moving, wonderous, and powerful.
* Which makes me wonder why they didn’t actually pull a page from the original and release the entire Circle of Life sequence as the trailer…
** And Lindsay Ellis unraveled it even further here, enumerating a number of things that point to why my view of the remake had been souring further since I’d written my review…
*** Perhaps strangely I could get behind this direction. It does leave open a big question of “why bother?” but at the same time, so long as they’re being honest about what they’re doing, there’s an appeal to making something purely for aesthetic delight.