Another Disney Park Icon is Going Away

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The changes keep coming to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 

Many were happy when the Sorcerers Hat was removed in 2015. Many others were ecstatic about the announcement of a Star Wars land coming to the park, along with a Toy Story Land.

I personally was not surprised or cared much that Disney was removing most of the backlot tour area. I never cared for it personally and thought it wasted a lot of valuable space. 

I am surprised to learn that the Earful Tower is being removed

No date was given for the Earffel Tower removal. The structure, 130 feet tall with a 32,000-pound set of mouse ears, has been at Disney’s Hollywood Studios since it opened. It does not hold water but was inspired by the working water tower in Burbank, Calif., a landmark at the Disney Studios since 1939.

I always felt the tower was a great symbol for the park, but it was in the wrong spot! Unless you visited the backlot area of the park, you never saw what was supposed to be ther park’s premier symbol. The Imagineers effectively fixed this issue with Walt Disney Studios Paris by placing their Earful Tower near the entrance. 

I suppose that could be in the works for Hollywood Studios, but I assumed that would have been mentioned. 

So, I wonder if the name change that Bob Iger mentioned at last year’s boared meeting will finally be announced and we will learn what the park’s new symbol will be? 

 

Disney Tunes Tuesday: The Lions, Bunnies, and Honey Badgers Sing Tonight

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There are a couple new tunes for us Disney fans to enjoy that are available to buy or stream depending on your listening preferences.

The first new song is from Shakira, called “Try Everything,” and you may have heard it playing over the latest trailer from Disney’s Zootopia. Its a decent enough song, but not sure how memorable it will be in the long term. Stream it here.

Surprisingly, there are some stronger tunes coming from the latest Disney Junior show, The Lion Guard. Now, I have always been partial to The Lion King but, seriously, some of these songs are catchier than Shakira’s latest.

Call of the Lion Guard, the main theme from the show is my favorite, but We’re the Same, Here Comes the Lion Guard, and It Is Time, among other tracks are worth checking out.

Anyway, judge for yourself. Have a ºoº day!

The Bear Necessities

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Now that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has debuted and has destroyed all box office records, we can get back to more straight forward Disney fare.

Zootopia is opening up in less than three months and it seems odd to have a new Disney animated film opening in March, but oh well.

Of course, there is also Disney’s that is coming out this year helmed by Jon Favreau. The LA Times has an interesting article on how Favreau approached Mowgli’s animal companions:

“We never want to make the animals express emotions in ways that their species doesn’t,” Favreau said at the time, explaining why his CG panther doesn’t ever furrow his brow. “How do you make it real? You hold a mirror up to nature. We have the breathing, the fur, the way the muscles move over the skin. The real challenge is to take all of this technical stuff and make it into an emotional experience.”

The article goes on to point out that Mowgli interacts with animals that are very realistic besides the fact they have human voices. I’ll admit that just watching Mowgli interact with a supposedly a real-life King Louie as opposed to a cartoon version does make each scene more intense.

The more I see of this film, the more I am looking forward to it.

Check out the latest trailer in case you missed it.

Judy Hopps Is On the Case! New Zootopia Trailer

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To start off the New Year, Walt Disney Animation Studios released another trailer for their upcoming film, Zootopia.

You know those trailers that give away most of the movie? Well I feel this one kinda does that. In addition, the plot appears to be pretty straight forward. I am guessing/hoping there will be some twists that haven’t been revealed.

I do love Judy Hopps from what I have seen so far. What are your thoughts? Check out the trailer below.

Happy New ‘Ear!

cropped-giphy-4.gif2015 is over and we Disney fans have a new year of animated films, park attractions, and other forms of Disney Magic to look forward to in 2016. 

I am most excited about Moana, Zootopia, Star Wars: Rogue One and hopefully checking out Rivers of Light at Animal Kingdom. I am also hoping we finally learn more about whether Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World will finally get its dramatic redux that has been rumored beyond just the new Star Wars and Toy Story lands. 

I personally hope to get back to Walt Disney World as I wasn’t able to make it this year. 

So, happy New Year all and I hope you have a magical 2016. 

Merry Christmas!

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I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and enjoy many magical Disney experiences in the New Year. 

The Good Dinosaur Crosses 100M

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Pixar’s latest may not be tearing up the box office like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but it did cross the important 100 million dollar threshold at the box office to be considered a “hit.” 

Disney woke up to a nice gift this Christmas morning as its animated family film The Good Dinosaur became the studio’s sixth film this year to cross the $100M mark. The not-so-little critters now step into the same club as Cinderella, The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, Inside Out, Ant-Man and, of course, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (which has the distinction of reaching the $100M mark faster than any film in history). The latest Star Wars crossed that plateau in Friday matinees after making history with the biggest preview night ever (logged by Disney as $57M).

However, this accomplishment probably won’t stop some from saying this film is Pixar’s first true “disappointment.”

Is Star Wars: The Force Awakens for Kids?

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A number of my friends have asked me this. Some have kids as young as four eager to see the new film. However, the pg-13 rating for The Force Awakens has rightly given some parents pause and wonder if their kids should see the film. 

Many younger children, say 8 and younger, have seen the previous films. In fact, my own daughter who is 8, saw all six films at home, which includes the Revenge of the Sith, which was rated pg-13. 

So, considering the content of Sith and that she handled it ok, we decided to take my daughter to see the latest Star Wars epic yesterday. 

Sorry to say, it didn’t go well. 

She almost immediately thought the film was scary. It started when blood was smeared onto Finn’s Stormtrooper helmet in the beginning of the film. Essentially, we ended up leaving about 30 minutes in. It probably didn’t help that the trailers prior to the film were intense as well. Sure, we saw previews for Zootopia, and another animated film, but we also saw the trailers for the next X-Men, the Fifth Wave, and others. These trailers were definitely marketed to an older audience. 

It hit me leaving the theater that the experience for kids watching Star Wars at home, surrounded by their parents and in a familiar setting, is vastly different than the theater which is dark, loud, and the images are much larger and intense. 

Granted, every kid is different, but that was my experience. Hope it helps some make a decision. 

First Impressions of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens is finally in theaters!

I literally rushed to see it on Thursday evening. I had a commitment prior to my screening which was running long so I had to first run home, change, then quickly head on over to the theater. Just to be safe, I had bought two tickets just in case the first theater was too crowded. I am glad I did!

I ended up seeing the movie around 11:00, but the theater was only a quarter full so it ended up working out.

It is a fantastic film!

There is more sincere filmmaking in this film in the first 15 minutes, then there are in the entirety of the sequels. It feels like the universe you are watching actually exists and is not some giant CGI creation. You see what it takes to survive in some parts of the Star Wars universe. It is not easy!

This film has none of “lets make the kids happy” characters and jokes that were brazenly inserted into the sequels and arguably into Return of the Jedi (Yes, I am referring to the Ewoks).

Instead of trying to capture everything that is going on in the Star Wars universe thirty years later, the creators made the wise decision to only show us a sliver of what is going on. Unlike the prequels where we learn about trade disputes, peek into galactic Senate meetings, this film only gives us a small glance into what is happening. That is probably a good thing.

Probably the only gripe I have after one screening is there is no strong musical theme from the film. Yes, there is the opening Star Wars theme we typically hear, but there is no “Imperial March” from The Empire Strikes Back or even Duel of the Fates (think Darth Maul) from The Phantom Menace. I am seeing the movie again today, so perhaps that impression will change. Again, this is a very minor, minor criticism, if you can call it that.

Regardless, if you plan to see the film, see it ASAP! There are major, MAJOR potential spoilers and the longer you wait, the longer you will mistakenly find out what happens.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is an amazing film. It is as good if not better than A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

SEE IT