A Colorful Look at Cinderella

cinderella-landscape

Although Cinderella is a centuries old folklore tale, it was originally popularized in the 17th century by Charles Perrault.  In this version, titled Cendrillon, were added certain features of the tale well known in modern times: glass slippers, the pumpkin coach, and the fairy godmother.  It’s easy to see how, in the late 1940s, after enduring bad box office numbers due to World War II that Walt Disney himself turned to this version of the tale to create his next great animated movie Cinderella in 1950.  Now here we are in 2015, and Disney, as it moves toward a litany of live action remakes we get a new version of Cinderella.

This movie is brings in a mix of up and coming and seasoned actors and actresses like Lily James (Cinderella), Richard Madden (The Prince), Cate Blanchett (Lady Tremaine), and Helena Bonham Carter (Fairy Godmother).  In doing so it is clear that they are trying to attract a broad audience of both old and young adults.  To bring in a still younger audience to see the movie they have attached the new short Frozen Fever to the movie.  It’s not quite the Frozen sequel that people are looking for, but it will appease Frozen fans with a look at Anna’s birthday and what happens when Elsa gets sick.

At 30 minutes longer than it’s animated namesake, we get a lot more background into the story of Cinderella’s (simply Ella at the beginning of the movie) parents.  We also get to see the downward spiral of Ella into becoming Cinderella as her stepmother and stepsisters press her ever down until we find her at the bottom.  Her lowest.  Thats when Helena Bonham Carter comes onto the screen and works her ever quirky magic for viewers as she works magic on the screen as Cinderella’s fairy godmother. And from there it’s pretty much the story you already know, with no twists, turns, or deviations.

I have to be honest, I was not excited to be seeing this movie.  It’s not the sort of fare I tend to enjoy or that attracts me to the theater.  So I went in with low expectations.  And I personally could not bring myself to connect well with the movie.  My primary problem revolves around the main character.  Maybe my own personal feelings are too wrapped up in the animated version of the movie, but Lily James, to me, simply doesn’t evoke the elegance or grace as shown in Ink & Paint.  All the other characters to me are fantastic, and it’s not that James acts poorly… just to me, that’s not Cinderella up on the screen.  So I did not enjoy it.

That’s not to say it not worth seeing the movie.  It, like Maleficent, is a cleverly pretty movie.  It’s use of color, camera, space, and depth are fantastic.  If you watch closely during all of the ballroom scenes you will understand what I mean.  I suspect that overall critics will be split on this movie.  It’s well written, well directed, well shot, and even well acted.  But it lacks the quality and magic of the animated version.  Disney fans will want to see it.  Cinderella and Frozen fans will be there too.  Game of Thrones fans may go to see Madden.  But, if you love and are nostalgic about the animated Cinderella, you might find yourself seeing things my way.

 

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Saving Mr. Banks Free Behind-The-Scenes iBook

Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks iBook gives fans

a behind-the-scenes look

at the making of the timeless classic Mary Poppins

Saving Mr. Banks

Featuring Rare and Exclusive Archival Treasures, Recording Sessions from the Academy Award®–Winning Composers, an Interactive Timeline of Historic Walt Disney Studios Milestones, Storyboards, Video and More

 

Walt Disney Studios announces the release of SAVING MR. BANKS: The Official Multi-touch Book, based on Disney’s highly anticipated film “Saving Mr. Banks,” in theaters December 20, 2013. Exploring the previously untold story of how Walt Disney worked his magic on author P.L. Travers to secure the rights to her book, “Mary Poppins,” the book includes a foreword by Academy Award®-winning composer Richard Sherman; never-before-seen correspondence between Walt Disney and P.L. Travers; rare storyboards and scripts from the Disney archives; an interactive timeline of historic Walt Disney Studios milestones; original recordings of the Sherman Brothers, performing their “Mary Poppins” hit songs; facts and profiles on the key characters in “Saving Mr. Banks”—all created by Apple’s  digital book creation app, iBooks Author.

httpv://youtu.be/uOkXTPg1Yoc

The Saving Mr. Banks book is available for free, exclusively on iBooks at www.iTunes.com/SavingMrBanks.

 Saving Mr. Banks iBook PL Travers

Using Apple’s iBooks Author, the UK digital agency, Brandwidth was able to include video, audio and multi-touch interaction to create a robust storytelling experience. Readers can watch interviews featuring the cast and filmmakers, browse extensive photo galleries and explore the original storyboards and concept art—all in full retina detail. ‘Mary Popovers’ deliver fascinating facts throughout the book.

Saving Mr. Banks

Two-time Academy Award®–winner Emma Thompson and fellow double Oscar®-winner Tom Hanks topline Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks, inspired by the extraordinary, untold backstory of how Disney’s classic “Mary Poppins” made it to the screen.

When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney’s plans for the adaptation.

 Saving Mr. Banks

For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn’t budge.  He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp.

It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history.

Disney presents Saving Mr. Banks, directed by John Lee Hancock, produced by Alison Owen, Ian Collie and Philip Steuer, and written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Executive producers are Paul Trijbits, Christine Langan, Andrew Mason and Troy Lum.

 

Download book here:

www.iTunes.com/SavingMrBanks

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

A Spoonful Review Of Saving Mr. Banks

savingmrbanks1

For the past few years Disney and Mary Poppins fans have been anticipating the arrival of the movie Saving Mr. Banks.  There is a tremendous amount of words being set to page about this movie right now, and it is generally well liked – though it does have its detractors.  I can’t begin to tell you how good that is for a film like this.  I’ve seen Mary Poppins countless times (Star Wars: A New Hope being the only movie I’ve seen more), read the book (though not in some time, that needs to change), and even read some works about P. L. Travers herself.  That said, this isn’t a movie about Mary Poppins and if you think it is before having seen it, then you’re going to see quite a different movie then you’re expecting.

This is not a subtle movie in any way.  It will beat you senseless with its message while trying to mask itself with the appearance of subtlety.  Don’t get me wrong that doesn’t make it a bad movie at all.  In fact, I think it’s a fantastic movie.  One third of the movie is told in flashbacks to the life of P. L. Travers growing up as Helen Goff in Australia.  They are portrayed as wispy and almost dreamlike – thanks in part to the filter used on the camera.  Much like a dream.  Combine that with the way the relationship between Walt Disney and Travers is told and you can begin to see the magic of this film.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nijccxWvyXU&feature=share&list=PLTnR43JTLNs97g-zsOTqyBczgqxzuzxnt

As my brain groked what I’ve seen on the screen I realized that the story itself is an illusion.  It’s a dream.  And, as with most dreams, the roles that you see people portraying are not necessarily the people they represent.  Shift around the roles of the players a bit and you’ll realize that the more correct title for this film is Saving Mrs. Travers.

Saving Mr. Banks

Getting two actors who are well known character actors and setting them against each other was a stroke of genius.  Tom Hanks as Walt Disney is by no means perfect, but his mannerisms, stance, and appeal are all captured and I do not think another actor could have done as well a job with such a beloved individual.  Emma Thompson does an amazing job as Travers. Having spent numerous hours listening to the archival studio session tapes of meetings between Travers and various Disney employees, she tried to capture the emotional distress of Travers.  She even had her own hair styled to match Travers rather than using a wig.

Saving Mr. Banks

What really brought it all home for me though was listening to an interview with Jason Schwartzman and Richard Sherman.  Unlike Hanks and Thompson who had to study their roles by studying the past, Schwartzman was able to sit down and talk with the man he’d be portraying.  The two had spent countless hours together throughout the making of this film.  In the studio, Sherman was a consultant for all the “script room” scenes in the movie.  He has talked about how surreal and emotional many of the scenes were for him – seeing moments from his own life recreated.

Like is so often true for movies about topics and historical moments that have already been picked to pieces extensively, this film will not be for everyone.  In fact, it’s probably not a movie for the most hard core of fans – they’re not even the target audience.  Saving Mr. Banks is meant to tell the tale of how Mary Poppins almost didn’t get made in a way that is meant to appeal to the most general of audiences.  Keep in mind that this is not a family movie by any means, and you probably do not want to bring your small children to see it as there’s little in it for them – hence the PG-13 rating.

Saving Mr. Banks

In addition to doing the web design and programming for the On the Go in MCO website, Todd Perlmutter is a host for the Disney Film Project Podcast. You can join him and his fellow hosts for Episode 156 where they will discuss the movie Saving Mr. Banks.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

A Warm Look At Frozen

Disney-Frozen

Currently in theaters, Frozen is the tale of two sisters separated by magic, but joined by their love for each other.  Bearing almost no resemblance to it source work, “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Andersen, Frozen becomes a new, different, and original story by Disney.  In keeping with the current trend, this movie is completely computer animated, and at some very key moments in the movie it’s clear that this technology has advanced to such a point as to make magic take on a very real feel.

There are some interesting characters thrown into the film like the comedic sidekick Olaf the Snowman – a character I honestly found annoying from the original trailer – that I really enjoyed in the context of the full movie.  Drawing from something that worked really well in the movie Tangled, we get a second sidekick in the form of a carrot loving reindeer named Sven.  Since they were young Sven has been the companion of the ice trader Kristoff – together they have a relationship that reminds me of myself and my dog Jasper (yes including the talking).

Frozen

Arendelle is a very beautiful land that is in many ways made more beautiful when covered in snow and ice.  There are moments where that snow and ice are used to convey the emotion of the characters and the moment that just work so fantastically well, that you’re reminded of that magical element to winter from your childhood.  This coming from someone who can’t stand snow.

Frozen

The music in the movie is really strong, and does a fantastic job in helping to broaden the definition of the characters singing them.  One clever element is that instead of having the manly mountain man Kristoff sing a song about his feelings, his “family” of rock trolls sings it for him.  Anna’s entire drive for the movie is defined in the song “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” which is an ode to her longing for the companionship of her sister.  “Let It Go” is that moment when Elsa is finally able to be herself while at the same time letting us know that she too is lonely.

httpv://youtu.be/kHue-HaXXzg

For 70 years Disney has been looking for a way to bring the story of “The Snow Queen” to movie audiences, and it’s clear that they have succeeded.  It’s nice to have a story where the core, classic elements of what people perceive to be a “Disney Movie” can be turned on their side some and bring about the sort of depth of to characters that modern audiences crave.  Do I think everyone will like this movie? No. Do I think that Disney fans should go see this movie? Absolutely.  Frozen is a very good movie that tells a strong story using well defined characters that is very enjoyable to watch.

httpv://youtu.be/TbQm5doF_Uc

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

A Silver Bullet Review of The Lone Ranger

The Lone Ranger

Yesterday was July 4th, and I found it or that while I was standing in the middle of the Magic Kingdom that my only goal was to head over to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe and get myself a root beer slush.  Admittedly it was a fairly hot day, but that wasn’t why I was getting the drink.  What I wanted was the mug that it came in, shaped like a boot, and stamped with the logo for the newly released Disney film The Lone Ranger and the image of a Texas Ranger badge.  For the longest time, I’ve been a fan of the character, and his history.  As a child I had a spray-painted silver bullet on my desk, had made myself my own Halloween costume (that got worn more often), and was even a Texas Rangers fan.  So I’ll just apologize upfront if this seems biased.

The legend of the Lone Ranger goes back to a 1933 radio show which was one of the most popular of all time.  It has since gone on to produce a highly successful television program, a series of books, comic books, other movie treatments, merchandising, etc.  It’s safe to say that for 80 years this character has never not made money in some capacity.  And in 2007 the Weinstein brothers, after having left Disney, found themselves planning to buy the rights to the Lone Ranger for use in the home video market – only to see the company that was selling it to them snatched up by Dreamworks before this could happen.

Eventually, with the help of Jerry Bruckheimer, the movie was set up at Disney.  The first script treatment had had an extreme supernatural overtone, trying to play off the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. I’m not kidding, there were werewolves.  Elements of this original script were brought forward into the final product and can be found very obviously imbued into nature of the characters of Tonto and Butch Cavendish primarily, and to a lesser extent that of the main character John Reid.  In 2010, after the idea was on the verge of being scrapped, Gore Verbinski steps into the picture, and production kicked into high gear.  While Johnny Depp had been signed to the project back in 2008, they needed their Ranger, and Armie Hammer was signed to do so.

In my time as a fan I’ve read, watched, or listened to more than a dozen different version of the origin story of the Lone Ranger, and I have to say that this movie, The Lone Ranger, is a very fresh adaptation.  If you look closely it has so much of what has been brought before in it.  The Ranger is the lawman seeking justice, more literally as a lawyer.  Tonto is still the guide, taking a more spiritual bent.  And Butch Cavendish is as vile, rotten, and disgusting as he should be, adding a new bent that wasn’t too hard to… swallow (do you see what I did there).  A few of the twists in the movie are nicely done, especially the reveal – which is only lightly telegraphed.  There are still mines of silver and even nephew Dan as a future sidekick is alluded to.

For 22 (or more) minutes of the film I was on the verge of tears.  Why?  Because on the screen is something I feel no filmed treatment has gotten right since the television series use of the William Tell Overture.  The full treatment, overlaid on the end game of the movie is one of the most enjoyable on screen moments I’ve experienced.  The timing of every note to the action, movement, and feeling of the moment rounded this movie out fully and really brought it home for me.  It said to me, “Yes, this is the Lone Ranger.

Right now you’re seeing a lot of negative criticism about the movie, but really audience reviews of the movie are great.  Try to ignore the professional critics and go watch this movie and make your own decision about it.  There are some gruesome moments in the movie, that if you’re bringing your children you may get questions about.  Up front, I’ll warn you that Westerns aren’t for everyone, but we seldom get good ones that have the right feel to them anymore.  This however is one.  And if you’re a fan of the genre I feel you’re going to enjoy it.

In addition to doing the web designer and programming for the On the Go in MCO websiteTodd Perlmutter is a host for the Disney Film Project Podcast.  You can join him and his fellow hosts for a Live Review of The Lone Ranger on Thursday, July 18, 2013.

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

First Glimpse: Big Hero 6

Today we received a first glimpse into Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 2014 animated feature Big Hero 6!

Big Hero 6
BRIDGE TO SAN FRANSOKYO – Concept art showcases an iconic bridge and treasured landmark of the high-tech, fast-paced city of San Fransokyo, the setting for Walt Disney Animation Studios’ action comedy adventure “Big Hero 6”— in theaters on November 7, 2014.
Big Hero 6
SAN FRANSOKYO AT NIGHT – Pictured in concept art, the high-tech city of San Fransokyo is home to brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada and his team of first-time crime fighters in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ action comedy adventure “Big Hero 6”—in theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.

Big Hero 6 Summary:

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes Big Hero 6, an action comedy adventure about brilliant robotics prodigy Hiro Hamada, who finds himself in the grips of a criminal plot that threatens to destroy the fast-paced, high-tech city of San Fransokyo. With the help of his closest companion—a robot named Baymax—Hiro joins forces with a reluctant team of first-time crime fighters on a mission to save their city. Inspired by the Marvel comics of the same name, and featuring comic-book style action and all the heart and humor audiences expect from Walt Disney Animation Studios, the CG-animated Big Hero 6 hits theaters in 3D on November 7, 2014.

httpv://youtu.be/GSV3laJplpU

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Wreck It Ralph Merchandise at Walt Disney World

Wreck It Ralph Merchandise has arrived at Walt Disney World!!!

The Wreck It Ralph merchandise totally captures the spirit (and sometimes smell) of the movie! The pieces are super fun, with great details and imagination. I love it when the merchandise stays so true to a movie, especially when its a movie that I absolutely loved!!!

From Walt Disney Animation Studios and Emmy®-winning director Rich Moore comes “Wreck-It Ralph,” a hilarious, arcade-game-hopping adventure. For decades, Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) has been overshadowed by Fix-It Felix, Jr. (voice of Jack McBrayer), the good-guy star of their game who always gets to save the day. Tired of playing the role of a bad guy, Ralph takes matters into his own massive hands and sets off on a journey across the arcade through multiple generations of video games to prove he’s got what it takes to be a hero.

On his quest, Ralph meets tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch) from the first-person action game Hero’s Duty, and feisty misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) from the candy-coated cart-racing game Sugar Rush, who may just be his first real friend. But everything changes when a deadly enemy is unleashed, threatening the entire arcade and Vanellope herself.Ralph finally gets his chance to save the day—but can he do it in time?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m6RC9Nsl-g&feature=share&list=PLhc_IRGaIEKDhZu85PSCBs_tYS8OmGw2Y

Wreck it Ralph was such an amazing movie, and the Wreck It Ralph merchandise is great!

 

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

The Lion King: Diamond Edition on Blu-Ray Roars Into Stores Tomorrow!

 

 httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TI3cSw9MuM

 

When I first received the The Lion King”: Diamond Edition on Blu-Ray, available October 4th, my thoughts went back to when I saw the movie on the big screen in 1994.

I had just finished up my junior year of High School (yes, I am totally dating myself here), and as I walked up to the ticket counter I felt like people were going to think I was a total weirdo for going to see a ‘Kid’s Movie’ by myself. However, I was shocked (at the time) to find so many adults inside the theater.

The thing that I most enjoyed then was the music (by Elton John and Tim Rice), because I felt like it spoke to me as I was starting to realize that soon I would be leaving home…alone…to start my own adventure. I sincerely hoped that I would find a friendly warthog, Pumbaa, and meerkat, Timon, along the way that would be there to help me, because I was scared.  The whole ‘Circle of Life’ theme found a place deep in my heart, as I didn’t know what tomorrow would exactly bring.

Now we fast forward to now…And as I watched this movie as a Mom with Zoe, I find that my thoughts drifted into two drastically different directions.

I found that the sense of loss in this movie absolutely jumped off of the screen, and into a huge lump in my throat.  Seriously if you don’t experience this, you may want to consider consulting a doctor!!! 😀

But on a sometimes lighter note, the exploration of the many responsibilities and benefits of being a loyal friend and family member made me think back on events in my life with a touch of laughter and tears.

While the music is still absolutely amazing and helps set the mood of the movie, I find that I am more attached to the story itself rather than the big ‘song and dance numbers’.

Yet at the same time Zoe’s biggest take away from the movie was the friendship between Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa, because she is just learning how friendships work…at least in a Kindergarten way. Also, she now likes to hold up a doll and exclaim, “Nants ingonyama bagithi baba” or something to that effect.

I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting this Disney Classic as an adult. It was definitely an interesting way to look back on my life at a different time.

 

 

 

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram

Jake and The Never Land Pirates First Music Soundtrack and DVD

You may notice that Daddy has been taking some time off from the movie reviews (silly work), so it’s Mommy’s turn again to have some movie time with Princess Zoe!

Now that you know why you are suffering with my review…Let’s get to the fun stuff!!!

A new soundtrack and DVD inspired by Disney Junior’s #1 series Jake and the Never Land Pirates, are planned to set sail this September with Walt Disney Records’ album release of eighteen hook-filled songs from the series and The Walt Disney Studios Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Yo Ho, Mateys Away! DVD release featuring seven episodes from the series

Zoe is a HUGE fan of the show, and she was STOKED when the DVD/Soundtrack came in the mail!!!

If you haven’t seen the show, you are definitely missing something! Jake, Izzy (armed with pixie dust), Cubby, and their parrot Skully set sail in their ship, Bucky, in search of treasures and adventures. However, Captain Hook and the every faithful Mr. Smee are always around causing trouble for the foursome. The episodes are filled with lessons about friendship, problem solving, and tons of fun pirate rock. I really think that Sharky and Bones, of the Never Land Pirate Band, are her favorites! When the songs come on at the end of each episode, she is up and off of the couch in .08 seconds!

The DVD bonus features were fun, and Zoe really got a kick out of the Pirate Party with Pirate-oke, where she got to sing along with her favorite pirate band, and Yo, Ho, You Want To Be A Pirate?, where Jake taught her how to talk like a REAL pirate!

The 7-track CD sampler and pirate eye patch were a total bonus!!! I don’t think that the CD is coming out of the car anytime soon!!!

Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Yo Ho, Mateys Away! is a new favorite in our house!!!

 


 

Jake and the Never Land Pirates is cable’s #1 series among Boys 2-5 and is on track to be Disney Channel’s #1 preschool series ever. It is the most co-viewed series among all Disney Junior and Nickelodeon series, with 47% of Moms watching with their preschooler. A music-filled interactive treasure hunt, the series introduces a crew of kid pirates – leader Jake and pals Izzy and Cubby – and follows their Never Land adventures as they work to outwit two infamous characters, the one and only Captain Hook and Smee, from Disney’s classic “Peter Pan.” Every episode features the animated Sharky and Bones characters as they pop up throughout to perform original pirate ditties, and each episode concludes with a live action music video featuring The Never Land Pirate Band.

[youtube 0cqFyWgetGU]

Written and performed by Loren Hoskins and Kevin Hendrickson, a.k.a. Sharky and Bones of The Never Land Pirate Band, the album features 18 swashbuckling tracks sure to thrill any young pirate. Also included are downloadable activities and games to plan the perfect pirate party, a Sing-Along version of the show’s theme song and a bonus track from a future episode. The deluxe edition includes a pirate bandana. The album arrives at stores and online retailers September 20.

The album features a variety of songs that kids and parents can enjoy together. Songs include the kooky, comical “Hot Lava,” “Aw Coconuts,” “Pirate Password,” and the arrrghhh-rated “Talk Like a Pirate.” Some songs refer to popular characters in the show, such as “What’s Cookin’ Smee,” “Captain Hook (Is A Cranky Crook),” “Tick Tock Croc” and “Bucky’s Shanty.” Others capture the island spirit of Never Land, such as “Castaway on Pirate Island,” “Shipwreck Shuffle” and “Never Sky,” as well as the “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” theme song. All songs can be heard in episodes of the show.

Portland, Oregon-based Hoskins and Hendrickson have been creating pirate rock music for kids of all ages for more than a decade. The duo produced four previous children’s albums and even led their own pirate band. The pirate rockers also provide the musical score for “Jake and the Never Land Pirates.”

The Jake and the Never Land Pirates soundtrack will be available wherever music is sold on September 20. For more information on Walt Disney Records’ releases, please visit www.Disney.com/music , become a fan at www.Facebook.com/disneymusic and follow at www.Twitter.com/disneymusic .

 

Follow us for more updates: Facebooktwittergoogle_plusyoutubetumblrinstagram