Archive for the ‘Fandom’ Category

Darth Vader Visits Disneyland Again

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.

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A Day in the Life of John Lasseter

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.

E3 2011: Microsoft Underwhelms, Sony is Okay, Nintendo Wins

Last year, Internet Gods Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins accurately summed up what happened at E3 that year:

That comic can also accurately explain what happened at this year’s E3.

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.

Darth Vader Visits Disneyland

Seriously, just watch this ad. It’s brilliant:

Wally Boag Passed Away at Age 90

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.

New Fantasyland Will be Great, But it Could be Even Better

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.

The plans in this image are the original ones, so the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is not included. This image is in this post just as a visual aide for the area

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!

The Doctor is In

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.