Saturday, March 31, 2012

Disney Blog Roundup: 3/31/12

    Another week, another blog roundup.  Lots of cool stuff going on in our ridiculous/silly/insane Disney community.   I for one, have been feeling a lot of love lately... on the blog, or course...but also Twitter and Tumblr.  You guys know we have those, right?  Find us: Follow us.

   - Disney Lovin Spectrum Mom takes a close look at guest asistance cards that have kind of become a problem in the last few years.

   - Ooh! Ooh! Epic Mickey 2!!!!!! via Zannaland.  This looks terrific!

   - Over at Mousechow, Dawn gave Pinocchio's Village Haus the dreaded "one mouse" rating!  Seems fitting...

   - Our friend Michelle returns to her old stomping ground This Happy Place Blog to discuss her awesome encounters with Alan Menken.

   - At last! Some decent disney kitchen ware!  From EatingWDW. 

  - Finally, we want to point out this TOTALLY AMAZING/FANTASTIC/WONDERFUL series of articles by our dear Twitter friend Q.  Mysterious Island, and Mount Prometheus!  
Via Designing Disney.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Why Can't We Have This?

   Here is an amazing TV spot for Tokyo Disneyland.  It has all the elements of our stateside commercials.  Cheesy, faux whimsy,  and kids running around.  But why is it SO MUCH BETTER than our terrible ads? 


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Palace Library Lighting Fixtures.

   Continuing my journey down the proverbial rabbit hole of Disney is yet another look at the amazing light fixtures at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  This time located at the Palace Library at Kidani Village.   These lights are subtle without being boring, unlike a lot of AKL lights which are quite over the top.  Enjoy.

   I really like the second one quite a bit.  It's a good addition to the pantheon of AKL bad ass lights.  This one is rugged and weathered...just like most good things.   I have an intrinsic problem with the proverbs on the wall throughout the resort, however. (seen behind the last picture.)   I'm ok with the random paintings of animals, but why the proverbs?  hmmm....

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Alice Davis's Work on Toby Tyler.

   Everyone is getting really hyped up about the fact that Alice Davis is finally getting her window on main street.  This tough old broad has been not so subtle about her desire to be up there next to her late husband Marc Davis.  Deservedly so.  Alice's work has proved timeless and incomparable in the great canon of Disney imagineering.  Her costume design is both post modern, and classic at the same time. Whimsical, yes...but also understated.   If the focus needs to be on the character she would let it.

 Alice Davis working on the costumes for It's a Small World...

More after the jump...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Awesome Disney Obscureness: Moonspinners.

   On the outskirts our our Disney consciousness lays a world of really random and (usually) somewhat forgettable art.  Be it movies, theme park attractions, characters, books or any number of bad/random ideas...these are things that exist somewhere in our brains.  The topics that we discuss here in the theoretical Disney community are usually big ticket items.  Pirates of the Caribbean? Pixar? Huge theme park expansions? Food? guys got that covered, right? 
   Then, just beyond these "hot topics" is a realm of forgotten and overlooked obscure awesomeness.  I'm sure nobody is racing home to tell their friends about Flights of Wonder.  Still, we all know the importance of that attraction to the overall feel of Animal Kingdom.  It's these attractions (and books/movies/people etc...) that fill out the company to complete goodness.  Without them, our "world" would feel somewhat incomplete.  

   With all that said, here is a little nugget of Disney goodness...sure, its not a Sherman brothers song, but they can't all be, right?  From the 1964 Hayley Mills vehicle, The Moon Spinners:

   This is maybe Hayley's least popular Disney film.  I know that, for me, it is easily forgettable. (and I'm the biggest Hayley fan you'll ever meet.)  But there is something charming about the song, exotic location of the film, and a great performance by Pola Negri.  So, maybe if your not doing anything tonight, check it out.  :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Your Morning At Epcot...At Home!

   I'm sure that by now most of you have noticed my insane love/fascination/obsession with Disney background music (BGM).  I blog about it, tweet about it, bring it up in conversations...I'm pretty nuts.  The quantity alone (available on youtube, and esoteric sites like Mouse World Radio) has made this obsession insanely possible.
   One of the catalysts toward this hobby has been the need for unobtrusive music in my own home, as I go about my daily chores.  Trust me, you've never cleaned your bathroom, unless you've cleaned it listening to the Adventureland BGM loop.   I spent almost every morning for the last three years listening to the opening ceremony at the Magic Kingdom, followed by an hour of main street usa music...brought to us by the previously mentioned Mouse World Radio. 

more after the jump...

    Then, out of nowhere, something clicked.  I realized that I needed to change my routine, and Epcot it shall be.   I've created a Youtube playlist precisely following an Epcot rope drop.  Start playing it at 8:40 AM.
   1 - Line up at Epcot turnstiles. (entrance music)
   2 - Walk through Innoventions toward The Land pavilion.
   3 - Ride Soarin. 
   4 - Walk through Innoventions again...
   5 - Ride Test Track
   6 - Innoventions again...toward the land
   7 - Ride Living With The Land...
   8 - Nemo
   9 - Through Innoventions....
   10 - Ellen's Energy Adventure
   11 - Spaceship Earth
   12 - Fountain of Nations...

   At this point it should be around 11:00...which means that World Showcase is opening up.   Like any civilized human, we will be traveling around the lagoon clockwise, starting in Mexico.  Enjoy background music and attractions from each country.  We end our evening with if there were any other way.
  But seriously, please enjoy this silly playlist I put together, and have a very Epcot day.  

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday Quickie: Pooh at Animal Kingdom.

   We never braved the usually long line at Animal Kingdom to meet Winnie the Pooh...until this last trip. (the wait was a mere 5 minutes.)  Pooh is usually not on our short list of characters to meet, but I'm sure glad we did!  Like most fur characters, they all smell like fabreeze.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Few Reasons To Love Discovery Island

   Animal Kingdom is, by default, my second favorite theme park.  By which I mean that there is no way the Magic Kingdom couldn't be number one...but this is a close competition.  It isn't that there are a lot of attractions, because I know there isn't.  In fact there are relatively few attractions when compared to the other parks.  What gets me going back is atmosphere and general themeing.  This is a gorgeous park.
   Among the different themed lands at Animal Kingdom is Discovery Island.  The center of the park contains the iconic tree of life which houses the Tough To Be A Bug attraction...and little else.  Until recently I saw Discovery Island as little more than a short cut between other, more developed lands.   It took me a few years to realized how great this area of the park actually is.  Now that I've taken the time to explore and soak up the atmosphere around here it has deepened my appreciation for the area as well as my over all love of the park in its entirety.
   Here are a few reasons to love Discovery Island: 

 more after the jump...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Living With The Land...Or Die.

   Remember a long time ago, when I said I was working on some big projects?   You probably don't remember...because it was THAT long ago.   In lieu of a few minor setbacks, I finally finished writing this song, and made a silly video for it yesterday.
   Here is a song for all the Epcot dorks out there who would love nothing more than to work on Living With the Land. 


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Sherman Brother's Non Attraction Goodness.

   It seems like the death of Robert Sherman has brought in a new wave of Sherman Brother Love.   I never knew that appreciation  of these guys could get any bigger, but apparently it can.  This is a rare instance where I think the love and attention is totally warranted.
   The problem of Disney theme park enthusiasts is that we tend to focus on weird microcosms of Disney.  (My obsession with Epcot back ground music might be labeled as such. )  This seemed to be the case when Robert died last week.  We had tons of (deserved) attention dumped on the relatively small theme park work he did. (and also Mary Poppins, but to serve my point, that doesn't count) 
   Here are some of the best non-theme park, non-poppins Sherman brother songs:

The Age of Not Believing, from Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

more after the jump...

The Spectrum Song, by Ludwig Von Drake.

Hayley Mills sings Castaways.

For Now, For Always from The Parent Trap. 

The Monkey's Uncle, Annette and The Beach Boys.   

Monday, March 19, 2012

Disney at the Smithsonian

   Last month Adam and I went on a little jaunt to DC for the weekend.  In true ocd form, I was on a hunt for Disney related items that I can share with you!  We have already looked at the amazing portrait of Buckminster Fuller, and now we have a few more treats! Enjoy.

more after the jump...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Primeval Whirl.

   So, I've decided to start shaking up the ever popular Animal Kingdom Artifact series, by including pictures from the Animal Kingdom park.  The series will probably be divided 50/50 between the park and the do not distress.  This will give us more fun options.  (plus, lets be honest, AK is our favorite park...)

   Here are a few fun shots from our beloved Primeval Whirl!  Yay for getting bumped around!  Yay for being the first people on the attraction every morning!  :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Three Caballeros Illustrations...

   At the extreme cost of being a complete dork, here are some illustrations I just made of the three caballeros....proclaiming my love. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Top 5 Vegetarian Dining Meals in the Magic Kingdom

   One of the things us Disney Hipsters get most excited about during our trips to Disney World is food. We have both been Vegetarians since we were about 10 and therefore you would think eating in Disney parks and resorts would be rather challenging and lackluster. When I first visited the world about 10 years ago, veg options were few and far between. However, in the last 5 years Disney has made great attempts to include a greater and better variety of food suited for vegetarians, but that are also appealing to our omnivore friends.
Patiently awaiting Gnocchi
More after the jump...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Misrepresenting Mickey

   One thing that comes with the level of recognition of characters like Mickey Mouse, is that it becomes really tempting to others to use that likeness for profit. In most (if not all) cases, the people stealing these Characters do not possess the artistic skill or know how to pull it off convincingly. As a result, they usually fall flat and create something that is obviously fake, boring and is not even worth looking at. However, occasionally these ripoffs can be wonderful in the way great folk is wonderful. We recently had the pleasure of experiencing something just like that.

   My family is from Staten Island and they don't mess around when it comes to a party. We were lucky enough to attend our new cousin's 1st bday party. The celebration was Mickey themed including Mickey balloons, cake pops, cake and most importantly Mickey and Minnie themselves!!

   Andrew and I seemed more excited than the kids when the DJ announced Mickey and Minnie were on the way. We in no way expected them to be as wonderful as they were. Yes...they were totally unlicensed, cheap and worn out, but they sort of made us feel like we we were meeting Mickey and Minnie at Disneyland in 1965. (See picture below for reference) There heads were not quite paper mache but something very similar in texture. Mickey's ear flopped in different directions and Minnie had a weird tail. Their outfits were well put together, but it was all about their slightly lopsided heads and lifeless eyes.

   We are huge fans of American folk artists like Henry Darger and these costumes really reminded me of artwork you would see featured in the American Folk Art Museum in New York which we love. Not much more can really be said about them except that sometimes something as culturally important as Disney manages to inspire new things that are, in a way, as terrific as the original. 

   P.S. Did I fail to mention they did the chicken dance??!?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Disney Blog Roundup: 3/10/12

   I really hope everyone is having the best day ever.  If not, here's an idea!  Brew a big pot of coffee, sit around in your bath robe, and read some awesome Disney related blog posts.  :)  Nice.

   - Delightfully Disney heads over to Epcot favorite, Karamel Kuche for a yellow caramel cupcake!  Looks SOOOOOO good!

   - Over at Zannaland we find the first image of Johnny Depp as Tonto from the upcoming Disney film, The Lone Ranger.  I'm curious as to how this film will effect the parks, particularly Frontierland...

   - Will Gay brings us images of two old projects he worked on...a yeti door hanger and an ad for Crush n Gusher.  Awesome.

   - Yay!  They're back!  Go and look at the beautiful new This Happy Place Blog!!!!!!

   - Mouse Chow has an extensive, awesome review of the food from the Disney Fantasy christening!  Paddle pops in a it.

   - Sarah from Eating WDW continues my favorite of her series "Snacks From..." with Ramune!  from the Japan pavilion!  Delish.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Mr. Pinocchio Fancy-pants

   There is a wonderful used book store around the corner from our place that occasionally has awesome old Disney books.  Though I haven't found anything terribly rare, or even THAT wonderful, I have found a couple entertaining treasures.
   Recently I found Pinocchio and His Puppet Show Adventure...which includes some really terrific and stylized illustrations.  Pinocchio himself seems a little more, um...shall we say, fancy.   He has a wonderful little prance....


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Victoria Falls

   I love Victoria Falls...not so much for the drinks, but for the atmosphere.  Its situated snuggly between the Jambo House lobby and Boma on an mezzanine level.  Perfect.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Top Five Snacks Video!

   So, I finally got off my lazy butt and made a new video.  Inspired by our new friend over at MouseChow... here is a video of our Top Five Snacks!  Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

These Would Be Better With Mickey Ears...

   Sometimes I sit around my house thinking, "Gee, these would be better with Mickey ears."   So this morning I hastily made up some impromptu ears for a coaster set that sits on our coffee table.  The coasters are from Fishes Eddy in case you were wondering.  Enjoy.

more after the jump...

Goodbye, Mr. Sherman.

   Robert Sherman,  the legendary, amazing, influential songwriter passed away yesterday.  There is very little to be said about the Sherman brothers and their special place in the hearts of all Disney fans, whether conscious or not.
   As part of the Sherman brothers team, Robert brought dozens of unique, catchy, and beautiful songs to us.  From Walt's personal favorite Feed The Birds to theme park classic There's A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow...these songs are above all else simple and honest.

   Robert will perhaps be most remembered for his most famous song, It's A Small World After All...which has become a personal mantra of mine over the last few years.  In particular the lines, "There is just one moon, and one golden sun, and a smile means friendship to everyone."

   Go out, and have the best day of your life.  Smile at someone who looks down.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Animation Appreciation: Mickey's Polo Team.

   Released in 1936, at the height of Walt Disney's polo infatuation, Mickey's Polo Team is one of the lesser known shorts.  The studio does not rest on the high of Mickey/Donald mania rampant in the early 1930's.  Mickey's Polo Team is a unique entry in the catalog of animation studio.

more after the jump...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Animal Kingdom Artifact: Wum Rice Basket

   This rice basket is located near the entrance to Sanaa.  I claims to keep rodents out of the rice...but I think if I was a mouse I could still get in there.