A Cinematic Journey Into The Woods

into_the_woods

Based on the Stephen Sondheim play of the same name, Into the Woods is Disney’s big holiday movie for 2014.  The play itself is a tale about morality, vice, desire, and virtue.  Based on the concept that each fairy tale is supposed to teach us or our children a lesson to help them in life.  However the twist here is that several fairy tales collide to create the pillars of a whole new story where the object lesson is centered around the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for.”

I have to be perfectly honest here, before seeing this movie I knew very little to nothing about it.  Having never seen the play before or read much about it, never having heard the songs, I was going in blind.  There had been some brief discussion with my Disney Film Project Podcast co-hosts which contained a great deal of excitement from our own Rachel Kolb, who happens to be a huge fan of the play and knows a great deal about it.  When I’m in this situation I try not to come in with too many preconceptions.

The core story is about a Baker (James Corden) and his Wife (Emily Blunt) and their desire to start a family.  However they quickly learn that they have been cursed by their next door neighbor who happens to be a Witch played by Meryl Streep who really steals every scene she’s in.  Wanting to break the curse, and be able to have a child, the Witch assigns them to retrieve 4 seemingly normal items and bring them to her in 3 days time.  The trick however is that this sends them on a collision course with the fairy tales Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel. 4 items.  4 stories.

The problem however is that the wishes of each of the major characters – the Baker, his Wife, the Witch, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack, and Rapunzel – have consequences.  Each of their stories plays out somewhat as you know them, but it’s what happens after this that matters.  But the wishes themselves are just allegorical wrappings for the choices the characters continue to make throughout the story.  And how they have to learn to take responsibility for those choices.

There is a lot of commentary that discusses the difference between the musical and the movie, from the removal of songs, to the changes of plot elements.  While not having seen the play, I’m guessing this serves 2 purposes; the shorter time a movie has to tell a story, and that some things that work on stage do not work as well on film.  While this is a somewhat dark story that has some moments that you may need to either explain or gloss over to your children, this is still a family film.  I might consider the age and maturity of any pre-teen children before seeing this film with them.  This is a very solid movie, based on a well constructed story, that I greatly enjoyed watching.

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.

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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.

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A Look At Monsters University

Monsters_University_poster_3

It was 12 years ago that we first met Mike Wazowski and Sulley in what is now the 5th highest grossing Pixar film of all time, Monsters, Inc.  – reviewed in Episode 49 of the Disney Film Project Podcast.  In it we get introduced to these friendly monsters that are in a lot of ways just like us.  Only, with the exception that they’re monsters, living in a city populated by monsters, in world of monsters, all of whom were brought up to think that humans and especially children are toxic.  This Top Scarer team quickly learns that the world around them isn’t quite what it appears to be, and the quickly watch the house of cards tumble around them.

Now, on June 21st we get to learn how they met, in the long awaited… not sequel, but rather prequel, Monsters University.   Abandoning the idea that they met way back in the 4th grade as implied by a line in the original movie, but explained away by director Dan Scanlon, Pixar chose to go with the characters meeting in college. Twelve years is a long time, and it would never work for live actors because they don’t age in reverse, but fortunately these characters have all been sitting on computers at Pixar waiting all this time to once more stretch their legs.

The principal voice actors Billy Crystal and John Goodman return as Mike and Sulley.  And along with them come a new cast of characters played by a wide array of voice and acting talents: Helen Mirren, Dave Foley, Alfred Molina, and Nathan Fillion among them.  Together they help to bring to life a movie that reflects a much different world than that of the energy crisis ridden city of Monstropolis.

What we instead get is the journey of two younger monsters both learning to survive in the world around them.  One trying to live his dream, and the other trying to live up to his family’s expectations.  Two monsters who couldn’t be more different, on a journey to become the great friends we know them to be from Monsters, Inc.  And the most important aspect of the original movie is carried forward into this one: heart.

The view of college life in the movie does fall into the typical movie trope that everything that matters in college is decided and defined by fraternities and sororities.  But that hardly detracts from the points the movie is trying to make – it’s just the easier and more familiar path to take when making a college movie.  With all that said the portrayal of “the greek life” is minimal, and at times mocking.  The classroom scenes range from being reminiscent of both Harry Potter and Sky High.

Overall, I really think fans of the original won’t be disappointed with Monsters University.  It’s not nearly as new and fresh as Monsters, Inc. was when it came out, nor is it as good.  But it is a solid movie that makes it’s points, teaches us some lessons, tells us what we want to know going in, and even answers some questions we’d maybe been wondering along the way.  It was both fun and funny to watch, and I look forward to seeing it again this weekend.

httpv://youtu.be/xBzPioph8CI

In addition to doing the web designer 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 a Live Review of Monsters University on Thursday, June 27, 2013.

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Brave Is Available Now On Disney Blu-Ray

Brave
Brave is available now on Blu-Ray!

The first time I saw “Brave” it resonated with me on so many levels, and while I was an emotional wreck I was already excited to own it on Blu-Ray! Watching Merida and her Mother, Queen Elinor, made me think of when I was like Merida, a rebellious daughter, and now as a mother who, like Queen Elinor, is now in that tricky place where nurturing turns into molding a person where it is easy to get lost in responsibilities. And in November when “Brave” was released on Blu-Ray I was beyond excited with the quality of the movie and extras!

“Brave” follows the heroic journey of Merida, a skilled archer and headstrong daughter of King Fergus (voice of Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (voice of Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the unruly and uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (voice of Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (voice of Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (voice of Robbie Coltrane). Merida’s actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric Witch (voice of Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to harness all of her skills and resources – including her clever and mischievous triplet brothers – to undo a beastly curse before it’s too late, discovering the meaning of true bravery.

 

Directed by Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman, and produced by Katherine Sarafian, “Brave” is a grand adventure full of heart, memorable characters and signature Pixar humor that audiences of all ages around the world have come to eagerly expect.

“Brave” is absolutely stunning in the Blu-Ray format. The picture itself is just as breathtaking as it was on the big screen and the sound is just as immersive. The attention to detail really resonates in HD, and is a true delight to watch over and over again.

Brave

There are tons of great HD extras spread over two discs. With 13 featurettes, 4 extended scenes, an alternative opening, 15 minutes of promotional pieces from around the world, an art gallery with almost 500 images, and a sneak peek at Monsters University you will be busy for hours!

While there are a lot of different opinions about “Brave”, I have to say that it is definitely a new favorite in our house!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKdLpBLp3nM&feature=share&list=PLB45404C640C25503

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Weekly Review – Our Week On The Go September 10-14

Weekly Review – Our Week On The Go September 10-14

Weekly Review time!!! This past week here at On the Go has been full of great stuff, and now it’s time to look back at all that happened September 10-14!!!

Let’s Go!

Monday started with a review of Walt Disney Pocahontas and Pocahontas II: Journey into a New World action-packed animated musical adventure Pocahontas and Pocahontas II: Journey into a New World debut for the first time ever in vivid High Definition on August 21, 2012.

walt disney pocahontas - Weekly Review
Walt Disney Pocahontas and Pocahontas II is available on Blu-Ray on August 21, 2012.

Aurora shares some of her highlights from Nights of Joy with Shalon at the Magic Kingdom. Included are links to our many performance videos on YouTube and Facebook Albums of pictures!

Night of Joy - Lecrae - - Weekly Review
Lecrae putting on an AMAZING Show in front of Cinderella’s Castle!

Wordless Wednesday took us to the roofs of Hogsmeade at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Wordless Wednesday - Weekly Review
Wordless Wednesday – The Roofs of Hogsmeade

It’s almost time for Oktoberfest in Celebration, and if you are in the area you will want to swing by because it is a lot of fun for the whole family!

Celebration Florida - Weekly Review
Celebration, FL

Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orlando City Soccer’s President are visiting other parks in the Kansas City area, including Livestrong Sporting Park, to explore stadium options for the Citrus Bowl.

Orlando City Soccer - Weekly Review
Orlando City Soccer

Betsy had the chance to attend a Lunch and Learn for Joe’s Crab Shack, and their new menu additions look delicious!!!

Joe's Crab Shack - Weekly Review
Joe’s Crab Shack entrance

The Orlando Solar Bears announced today that they have agreed to terms with defenseman Derick Martin.

Orlando Solar Bears - Weekly Review
Orlando Solar Bears

Star Wars Celebration VI was held at the Orange County Convention Center, and Cheryl shares some of her preparations and pictures!

Star Wars Celebration VI - Weekly Review
Star Wars Celebration VI Logo

The Orlando Solar Bears announced that single game tickets for the 2012-13 season will go on sale beginning Wednesday, September 19.

Orlando Solar Bears Opening Night Logo - Weekly Review
Orlando Solar Bears Opening Night Logo

Thanks for joining us this week at On the Go, and we can’t wait to bring you even more posts next week!!! We are going to be dedicating a lot of our posts to one of our favorite events at the Magic Kingdom…Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!!!

And now for the shameless plugs…

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Weekly Review – Our Week On The Go September 3-7

Weekly Review – Our Week On The Go September 3-7

Weekly Review time!!! This past week here at On the Go has been full of great stuff, and now it’s time to look back at all that happened September 3-7!!!

Let’s get this party started!!!

We started the week with a look at SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team’s efforts to save stranded pilot whales. SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team, along with several local agencies, responded on September 1, 2012, to 22 short-finned pilot whales that stranded at Florida’s Avalon State Park Beach in St. Lucie County.

SeaWorld Orlando Animal Rescue Team Weekly Review
SeaWorld Orlando’s Animal Rescue Team, along with several agencies, responded to 22 short-finned pilot whales that stranded at Florida’s Avalon State Park Beach in St. Lucie County.

Tuesday, Aurora looked back on our time with the Orlando City Soccer Club this season.

Orlando City Soccer Weekly Review
Orlando City Soccer shoots and SCORES during their last game of the 2011-2012 Season!

Wordless Wednesday took us to one of my favorite moments in Wishes!

Wordless Wednesday Weekly Review
Wordless Wednesday – Wishes!

Scared Shrekless Family Fun is coming to the Gaylord Palms Resort this Halloween offering guests the opportunity to scare up some fun with their favorite characters from Shrek, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda!

Scared Shrekless at Gaylord Palms Resort Weekly Review
Scared Shrekless at Gaylord Palms Resort – October 13th and 27th

Betsy took us along on the final leg of her Disneyland in this amazing Trip Report!

httpv://youtu.be/O11z4CWTpqc

We also took a look at the adorable The Tigger Movie that is out now on Blu-Ray.

The Tigger Movie Weekly Review
The Tigger Movie is available now on Blu Ray!

And we ended the week with a giveaway that would make any woman happy…A chance to win a pair of Custom Christian Louboutin shoes! In honor of Disney’s global release of the classic animated masterpiece “Cinderella”, which will be available in Blu-ray™ Diamond Edition on October 2, 2012, Walt Disney Studios, in collaboration with Christian Louboutin and Glam Media, today reveal details of their national quest to find a modern-day Cinderella. One lucky woman whose style and fashion sense best embodies the Cinderella fairytale will ultimately be awarded with a pair of original Cinderella slippers re-imagined by world-renowned shoe designer Christian Louboutin during a private event at Disneyland, CA taking place on September 27th.

Cinderella Christian Louboutin Giveaway
Enter the Cinderella Christian Louboutin Giveaway Today!

Thanks for joining us our Weekly Review at On the Go, and we can’t wait to bring you even more posts next week!!! We’ll be covering Nights of Joy at the Magic Kingdom, Disney on Ice: Rockin’ Ever After, LEGOLAND going to galaxies far away, and a ghostly Titanic Experience!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook!!!

If you love pinning as much as we do, please make sure that you also follow us on Pinterest!

And if you don’t already, follow us on Twitter!

 

 

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The Tigger Movie Bounces On Blu Ray And Into Your Home!

The Tigger Movie BOUNCE-A-RIFFIC SPECIAL EDITION Bounces On Blu Ray And Into Your Home!

 “The Tigger Movie” Special Edition Includes All-New Exclusive Bonus Features

The Tigger Movie
The Tigger Movie is available now on Blu Ray!

Walt Disney Studios brings the magic of the Hundred Acre Wood to life with The Tigger Movie,” bouncing onto Blu-ray high definition and HD Digital for the first time on August 21, 2012. Featuring new digitally enhanced picture and sound and exclusive bonus features, “The Tigger Movie” Bounce-A-Riffic Special Edition Blu-ray Combo Pack invites families to relive the childhood fun of the one and only Tigger.

The exciting new Blu-ray Combo Pack provides hours of viewing fun with bonus materials including two all-new features: Disney Intermission—when the film is paused, young fans can participate in a variety of Hundred Acre Wood themed games including guess the character, spot the differences and counting; and “A Tigger Tale” a featurette where the filmmakers discuss how Tigger’s literary and film history influenced “The Tigger Movie.”

 “The Tigger Movie” Bounce-A-Riffic Special Edition Blu-ray is a tiggerific treat for the whole family and for added fun, comes packaged with a family tree activity poster and stickers.

In this charming musical tale of friendship and adventure, “The Tigger Movie” Bounce-A-Riffic Special Edition follows Tigger as he sets off on an epic journey to find other Tiggers in his family tree. Through a series of exciting adventures he discovers that families come in all shapes and sizes. This fun and playful animated tale delights a whole new generation of fans with its timeless characters and storytelling, rich animation and delightful songs by legendary Disney songwriting team of brothers, Richard and Robert Sherman. The film features the Hundred Acre Wood’s most lovable characters, Pooh, Eeyore, Tigger, Piglet and the rest of the gang.

What can I say? I am a HUGE Tigger fan and we absolutely loved watching this movie! The Tigger Movie is one of those movies that make you want to curl up on the couch with your little one and just watch and giggle. Also, the bonus features that are included are a lot of fun! The Winnie the Pooh characters aren’t all that familiar to Zoe, other than in the ride, so it was fun to watch the shorts with her and watch her bounce around the room with Tigger!!!

Its the perfect movie for a rainy day, because it will definitely make you smile!!!

The Tigger Movie
Disney’s The Tigger Movie

2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (1 Disc Blu-ray + 1 Disc DVD

Includes the movie plus:

·       Disney Intermission – While the film is paused, young viewers are entertained with fun and engaging Hundred Acre Wood themed games and activities.

·       “A Tigger Tale” – This featurette includes interviews with  director Jun Falkenstein, producer Cheryl Abood, art director Toby Bluth, animator Jeff Johnson and composer Richard Sherman who discuss how Tigger’s literary and film history influenced “The Tigger Movie.”

·       10 Mini Adventures of Winnie the Pooh shorts – The journey continues with these 10 animated shorts featuring all of the Hundred Acre Wood characters.

·       Round My Family Tree” Sing-Along Song – In this feature, fans can sing along with Tigger as the lyrics are highlighted on screen.

·       Kenny Loggins Music Video “Your Heart Will Lead You Home” – Singer/songwriter Kenny Loggins reunites with the Hundred Acre Wood characters in this heartwarming music video.

DVD

Includes the movie plus:

·       5 Mini Adventures of Winnie the Pooh shorts

·       Round My Family Tree Sing-Along Song

DIGITAL
Includes the movie plus:

·       “A Tigger Tale”

·       “Round My Family Tree” Sing-Along Song

·       Kenny Loggins Music Video “Your Heart Will Lead You Home”

Social Media:

Stay connected with the latest news and information on “The Tigger Movie” Bounce-A-Riffic Special Edition

• “Like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieThePoohTigger

• Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/disneypictures

• View exciting trailers, video clips and more at www.Disney.com/WinnieThePooh

 

 

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Spooky Buddies On Disney Blu-Ray And Disney DVD Out September 20th

If your house is anything like mine, you have a small child that has been going on and on about Spooky Buddies, out on Disney Blu-Ray and Disney DVD available on September 20th!

Zoe is a huge fan of these cute puppy movies, and I have no doubt that she will love this one as well!!!

It’s Halloween, and Disney’s irresistible talking puppies are back in an all-new movie that takes them far across town to a mysterious mansion where something very spooky is going on. With the help of some unexpected new friends, including a friendly ghost, this trick-or-treat adventure is howling-good Buddy fun.

In a race against the Howlloween Hound, the Buddies and their new friends, Pip, Zelda, Rodney and Skip must stop Warlock the Magician – and save the world from his dastardly deeds.

Overflowing with action, humor and a bag full of bonus features, Spooky Buddies is a spooktacular adventure that treats you to a celebration of friendship and teamwork your whole family will enjoy.

[youtube 4tq9iUFTDIw]

Blu-ray™ Bonus Features

  • “Monster Mash” Music Video — Featuring The Cast Of Disney Channel’s Hit Show Shake It Up
  • Sneak Peak: Disney’s Treasure Buddies
  • DIGS: Rosebud Edition — Join Rosebud As She Invites Kid Reporter Leo Into Her Home For An Exciting Tour

Blu-ray™ Technical Specs

  • Presentation Size: 16×9
  • Presentation Type: Widescreen
  • Color: Color
  • Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French Canadian 5.1 Dolby Digital , Latin Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: French Canadian, Latin Spanish

DVD Technical Specs

  • Presentation Size: 16×9
  • Presentation Type: Widescreen
  • Color: Color
  • Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French Canadian 5.1 Dolby Digital , Latin Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
  • Subtitles: English ESL, English SDH, French Canadian, Latin Spanish
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