If you remember back to early June, you will remember that I posted a video about Darth Vader visiting Disneyland. Well, Disney released a number of extended scenes from the filming of the commercial, and some of them are absolutely hilarious.
Archive for the ‘Fandom’ Category
If you ever thought you had a busy work life, you should check out John Lasseter’s life:
That being said, he has one of the coolest houses ever. Seriously, secret passage to train library? Sign me up, please.
Last year, Internet Gods Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins accurately summed up what happened at E3 that year:
Here was Microsoft’s press conference:
That is honestly not a joke. Microsoft was all about the Kinect this year and they even managed to announce a video game about Disneyland that made me not want to play it. Seriously, they made Disneyland shovel-ware. It’s bad. To top of the steaming pile that was their press conference, they announced Halo 4, a game in a series that has never been better than mediocre since the beginning and now it’s not even being made by Bungie.
Sony’s press conference was a little better. They have the new PlayStation Vita, which is their new PSP, but considering that I have a PSP now that I don’t really play that much, I’m going to wait to see what the actual handheld is like before putting out the $249 to buy one. This isn’t a Nintendo handheld, Sony has not proven to me that there will be worthwhile games that will be released for it. The fact that there is a new Uncharted, LittleBigPlanet, and an original BioShock game coming, I will be watching the news about the Vita with a small amount of cautious optimism.
They also announced a 24-inch 3D monitor made for the PS3 that has some pretty cool implications for multiplayer gaming. If you buy a second pair of 3D glasses (each pair will be $69, but the TV comes with one pair), you will be able to essentially have your own screen with the way that the active shutters on the glasses work. The TV itself will be $500.
Now we come to the big gun, Nintendo. Nintendo won E3 again this year. Last year it was the 3DS, this year it’s the WiiU. The console is HD, the controllers have 6 inch screens on them, a camera, gyroscope, and motion sensors. You will be able to play games directly on the screen without using the TV or you can use the TV and the WiiU like a giant DS and play in that way. Wiimotes will be able to be used in conjunction with the WiiU and there is a slew of third party titles that will be coming to the system. Nintendo seems to have finally gotten out of it’s slump when it comes to third party games and the WiiU looks like it’s going to be a complete revolution like all of the previous Nintendo systems have been in the past few years.
They haven’t actually announced any 1st party games for the WiiU yet, but they showed off how Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (out on the Wii this holiday, finally) will work with the new system. They did announce Mario Kart 3DS and Luigi’s Mansion 2, Super Mario 3DS (now with more Tanooki suit), and did the biggest cocktease ever by announcing a new Super Smash Bros. game that will be for the 3DS and the WiiU and will connect between the two, but they didn’t actually reveal any information besides that.
Seriously, just watch this ad. It’s brilliant:
Comedian and actor Wally Boag passed away today. He was best known as Pecos Bill and the Traveling Salesman in the Golden Horseshoe Review at Disneyland and as Jose in the Enchanted Tiki Room. Boag was inducted as a Disney Legend in 1995 and even has his own window on Main Street. His style of comedy influenced Steve Martin and even got him onto the Muppet Show as a guest host. Mr. Boag will be sorely missed by the Disney community.
Most of you Disney fans out there should already know about the New Fantasyland coming to the Magic Kingdom in 2012. It’s the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom and is adding some pretty cool attractions and restaurants to Fantasyland, attractions like the Under the Sea: the Journey of the Little Mermaid (which is just a renamed version of the Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure at Disney California Adventure), Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Enchanted Tales with Belle, the Beast’s Castle, the Princess Fantasy Hall, and the Great Goofini; and restaurants like Gaston’s Tavern and Be Our Guest Restaurant. I am terribly excited about what is going on over and beyond the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Lagoon and the possibility that the East Coast Fantasyland could finally match up to it’s West Coast sister.
As stated earlier, the expansion is going to add a number of new attractions, but one thing that I noticed while looking over the concept art for the entire area is a lack of expandability. The announced attractions will completely fill up the open area in Fantasyland, from it’s a small world and Pinocchio’s Village Haus, across Fantasyland and all the way over to the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, absorbing Mickey’s Toontown Fair in the process. I don’t have any problem with the attractions being added into Fantasyland, and they’re much better than the numerous Princess meet-and-greets that were originally planned. My problem comes from something that was told at Destination D, which was kind of like a miniature D23 Expo that happened this past weekend. Tony Baxter did a panel about attractions that were never built and two of the attractions named were a new version of the Alice in Wonderland dark ride and a Sleeping Beauty dark ride.
When I heard about these attractions via Twitter, as I could not be at Destination D myself, my heart immediately sank. Sleeping Beauty and Alice in Wonderland are two of my favourite Disney movies, and the thought of maybe being able to have attractions based off of those movies so relatively close to home was a tantalizing thought. In fact, that was the reason that I started doing the research, I desperately wanted to know if there was any more room in the Magic Kingdom (because there sure as hell isn’t any in Disneyland). The Alice in Wonderland attraction would be similar to that of Roger Rabbit’s CarToon Spin at Disneyland and would feature ride vehicles that looked like teacups that would spin throughout parts of the attraction, and the ride system could have even been like Crush’s Coaster at the Disney Studios in Disneyland Resort Paris, with a combination of a standard dark ride and a roller coaster sort of like Primeval Whirl at Animal Kingdom. All and all, the Alice in Wonderland dark ride could have ended up being like the announced Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (a combination dark-ride/roller coaster) but it could have been so much better. Besides, since when does Disney not have multiple attractions that are very similar in ride system (I’m looking at you Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye and Countdown to Extinction).
The Sleeping Beauty attraction would have been a more standard dark-ride attraction, but there would have been a possibly full sized Maleficent dragon that breathed fire at the ride car, which would definitely make it a more thrilling experience than say Snow White’s Scary Adventures. I really wish that these attractions could have been built in an American Fantasyland, that being said, the plans for Shanghai Disneyland is supposed to be a new breed of Disneyland style park, and we might get at least one of these attractions there. Fingers crossed!
Doctor Who is one aspect of popular geekery that I just never got into. I knew a bit about the show, I knew what the TARDIS was and that it is an acronym (it stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space), I knew what Sonic Screwdrivers did and that a Dalek wants to destroy just about everything. That all changed about a month ago.
Every exam period, I start watching a TV show as it keeps me from going insane while studying for whole days straight. One semester, it was Nip/Tuck (short review: if you want a show that is incredibly screwed up and shows some of the horrors of plastic surgery, watch that show). Last semester it was Community (there is going to be a review of this up when I finish rewatching season 2, which will be in a few days). This past semester, it was Doctor Who.
All of the show up to the current season, which just started airing a few weeks ago at this point in time, are up on Netflix Streaming and you should definitely watch it. At the writing of this post, I have only seen the Christopher Eccleston run as the Doctor and a handful of random David Tennant episodes. That being said, this show still comes at my highest recommendation. It is right up my alley in almost every way, it’s sci-fi, it’s funny but also can be very serious and occasionally heartbreaking, it’s sarcastic, and it’s campy. Seriously, the first monsters you see in the show are living, killer mannequins. That being said, the show can and does have some down right terrifying episodes (there’s a two parter in the first season that takes place during the bombings of London during World War II in which the villain is a child wearing a gas mask that has almost god-like powers. Those episodes were very hard to watch, especially when you find out what is going on). As I stated earlier, the show can even be heartbreaking. There are some villains from early in the series who when they first appear, they are some unredeemable characters. They are just pure, hand rubbing, Bond villain-esque levels of evil. When one of them returns, though, the writers of the show managed to make me actually care about it. The same can be said about the first episode with a Dalek in it, it’s tragic and upsetting.
The show is, on it’s most base level, a monster-of-the-week show with the Doctor and whoever his associate is going up against whatever terror from beyond the stars is present in whatever time period and place the TARDIS takes them to, but when you delve deeper into the show and watch more of it, the results are surprisingly good. I can fully understand why this show has such a dedicated following.
It’s no secret that I REALLY do not like the Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management and like any other (more or less) sane person on the planet, I do not like fires that could have been an accident (but some would like to think could have been started for a reason), but when it works out well in the end…
EDITORS NOTE: We at the Adventures of a Lost Boy blog do NOT condone arson for any reason (unless it could bring back a better version of a Disney attraction. I’m looking at you Figment.)
Earlier this year, there was a fire in the attic of the attraction at the Magic Kingdom and some Audio-Animatronics were damaged during the event. It hasn’t been open since and there has been quite a lot of work going on in the thatched roof building. This, of course, made a lot of Tiki Room fans (myself included) yearn for the years before Iago and Zazu took over the show from Jose, Fritz, Pierre, and Michael in the late 90′s and hope that if we couldn’t get the original back, that we could AT LEAST get one of the two fantastic versions from Tokyo Disneyland. (Hey Disney, why don’t you put in the current one that has Stitch in it and bring back the ExtraTerrorestrial Alien Encounter? I don’t hate Stitch’s Great Escape as much as other Disney fans, mostly due to the fact that it scared the daylights out of me when I was a child, but now that I’m older I feel like I can really appreciate the attraction.)
It was announced today that yes, the rumours are true, a show “reminiscent” (as the Disney Parks Blog puts it) to the original Enchanted Tiki Room (and Tropical Serenade) is coming back to the Magic Kingdom. No word as to who will be sponsoring it (if anyone) or whether or not you will be able to take Dole Whips into it like you can at Disneyland (which is the much more pressing issue).
When the park first opened in 1971, Tropical Serenade was one of the very first attractions at the East-coast Disneyland. If you notice, I didn’t say that it was called the Enchanted Tiki Room and there is a very specific reason for that: the original attraction at Disneyland was personally owned by Walt Disney and WED Enterprises, hence why it is called Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. The Walt Disney Company could not use the name “Enchanted Tiki Room” without express permission from WED until the company was re-absorbed into the Walt Disney Company and renamed Walt Disney Imagineering.
There have been some major changes going on at the Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom recently. The one that is most visible as of right now is something that has been changing throughout the parks, namely the introduction of interactive queue elements that make people WANT to wait in line. They have one at Soarin’ (I doubt people actually want to wait in this line, it’s more that the FastPasses are gone by noon and the attraction is still wildly popular), Space Mountain, the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and there are plans to have one of the most ornate ones put into the new version of Dumbo the Flying Elephant that will be a part of the Storybook Circus in the New Fantasyland. Little is known about what is being put into the Haunted Mansion’s queue, but a lot of Disney fans (myself included) are hoping that it will somehow contain the same humour that is found in the graveyard that the Imagineers tore up to expand the queue. All we know is that is is being built.
One thing about the changes going on in the Haunted Mansion is this:
My first thought is: Disney y u do dis?
The best word to describe this change is shoddy. They replaced some spectacular audio-animatronics and one of the most amusing effects in a Disney park with some projections. Just some projections. The only thing that gives me solace is that Cast Members are saying that this effect is only a work in progress, and I really hope so. I would even be fine with the projections if they were to put the mirrors back up, just so that you could see yourself riding with the Hitchhiking Ghosts again. I want to be able to ride out with Phineas, Ezra, and Gus again, Disney. Just let me have this one.
I’ll keep you readers posted as to what happens with the changes to the Haunted Mansion when the information becomes available to me.
My earliest cinema-going memory was seeing Aladdin. It was the first movie I ever saw in theatres and, as the story is told by both my mom and I, my 3-year-old mind could not quite comprehend that my mom was not able to instantly start the movie when we got there like we could with the TV at home. After that point, practically all of my memories about movie theatres were associated with the movies in the Disney Renaissance. So when the original Toy Story movie was released, it was something really special to look back on. Something completely different from anything else I could remember. It was sarcastic, witty, and above all, a new form of animation that had not been seen by the major populous before.
I aged with Andy and his toys, the original movie became part of my VHS rotation, I saw Toy Story 2 on opening weekend, I had figurine versions of all of the characters that I constantly played with, was brought to tears every time “When She Loved Me” was heard, and rode the Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger spin attraction multiple times in each visit to the Magic Kingdom. The Toy Story franchise was a very important one to my childhood and Andy and his toys grew along side me and seemed like they were always there for me, so when I found out that Toy Story 3 would be all about Andy leaving home for college and having to do something with all of his old toys, I felt like I reached a new stage of my life. For me, leaving for college was 2 years ago, so it was a little bit before Andy’s big move, and I never really had to get rid of any of my toys when I left. That is not to say that I hadn’t gotten rid of toys in the past (through both donation and passing them onto kids I babysat), but there was definitely not some massive purge. In fact, I still have many of my toys from the early 90′s and definitely kept all of my LEGO sets.
The movie is both one of the funniest and saddest movies that has ever graced my eyes. Pixar has now shown that they know exactly how to make you cry and are more than pleased to show you their new found power. The film opens on a completely brilliant note, namely what the toys see while being played with. This section is one of the strongest uses of self referential humour ever, with One-Eyed Bart, the Evil Dr. Porkchop, Force Field Dog, the Dinosaur that eats force field dogs, and even death by monkeys (complete with a nuclear explosion formed completely out of monkeys) all making appearances. Shortly after that, the tears start flowing. Andy is packing and Woody and the gang are forced to deal with the ending of their lives and the loss of friends over the years (including my favourite character from the entire series, Wheezy the asthmatic squeeze-toy penguin). I don’t really want to talk to much about the story for the movie, as it is actually something that can be spoiled, but what I will say is that the daycare center that the toys eventually arrive at after almost being thrown out is not quite what it seems and it’s colorful and cheerful walls hide a rather sinister secret and there is a scene close to the end is easily the most intense sequence I have seen since No Country for Old Men. I am not ashamed to admit that the final scene made me cry like a baby both times I saw the movie.
One thing I have to ask, do kids really treat their toys like the way the Sunnyside kids do? I never treated my toys like that! My toys were always very organized and well-kept. Whenever one broke, which was a very rare occurrence, I would always try to get my parents to repair them as soon as possible.
One of the best parts of the Toy Story movies is the well-rounded cast of characters. Unfortunately, a lot of the toys from the first two movies didn’t make it the 11 years between 2 and 3, as I said earlier, but the core cast is still there. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen reprise their rolls as Woody and Buzz, Joan Cusack is back as Jessie, the only change up was the replacing of the late Jim Varney with Blake Clark, but the transition is incredibly seamless. To fill the gaps left by the missing toys, new ones, of course, had to be brought in. My personal favourites being all of Bonnie’s (a new character) toys including the thespian hedgehog, Mr. Pricklepants (Timothy Dalton), Trixie the Triceratops (wonderfully voiced by Kristen Schaal), Buttercup the Unicorn (Jeff Garlin), and finally… Ken, the preening yet identity confused doll voiced perfectly by Michael Keaton. Some other notable characters are the absolutely terrifying Big Baby, Barbie (voiced by Ariel herself, Jodi Benson), and Whoopi Goldberg in a very small role as Stretch the Octopus.
This movie really does not seem like it was made for children, it seems to have been aimed at the people like me who grew up with the franchise. People who would go into it and get all of the references and would cry (or just be very depressed) when their favourite toy didn’t return. People who would have the crap scared out of them at a scene that happens near the end and most of all, people who would realize how hard it is to part with an item that is so close to them that it feels like it’s actually alive.