Category Archives: Disney

E3 and Gaming Sundries

So it turns out that occasionally you end up with enough time to either play games or write about games and not necessarily both.  Probably shouldn’t have picked time management as my dump stat, but oh well.

I did end up going to the first E3 that took paying customers, and wrote about it here:  Suffice to say, decreasing the number of attending companies while increasing the number of attending guests doesn’t necessarily make for a better experience.

I also got a chance to play parts of all the Kingdom Hearts games when they recently got released for the PS4, so if you wanted to find out what someone who knows nothing about Kingdom Hearts thought while playing them, you can take a look here:

Next week I’ll be heading to Anime Expo for the first time, to hopefully feed my growing Visual Novel addiction so photos from there forthcoming, but probably not from the “after dark” side of it…

Disney Infinity 3.0 Thoughts: “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” Playset

TFA Poster-X2
Spoiler Thoughts:

Warning:  Potential spoilers for the film “Star Wars:  The Force Awakens” as well.

  • Wow, I am controlling this tie fighter in the intro as much as I always thought I was on the motorboat ride at Disneyland.
  • Well this was a succinct way to summarize the first half hour of the film.
  • Ok, taken ownership of Rey.
  • The first skill I always upgrade is health, because I tend to die a lot.
  • The second skill I upgrade is ranged attack, because personal bubble.
  • BB-8 is so kawaii in every incarnation.
  • Ugh. I can’t find the holding pen for this mouse droid.
  • I must say, I think this Playset is doing a better job of demonstrating the basic commands than the previous ones.
  • Or else, I was too confused to notice last time.
  • So far the beginning money/salvage collection mission is pretty similar to the beginning of the others.
  • I am a pretty poor shot as a starship gunner.
  • Like Henry Jones Sr. bad.
  • HAN.
  • Wow, Han got older looking digitally than in real life.
  • Poor Emo Vader.
  • Han took us to Takodana. Where, judging by the appearance of the building, we’re going to go eat at the Rainforest Cafe.
  • Oh, already died. Finn’s up next.
  • Oops, Finn was apparently poorly trained for this type of combat.
  • …The flailing around, button-mashing combat, that is.
  • Ok Kylo. Your turn.
  • Wow, Kylo darts around like a rabbit on speed.
  • There’s something pretty satisfying about seeing Kylo Ren dig around in the garbage, salvaging.
  • Hm. It appears you can’t do all the missions with every character. Kylo Ren can’t do this hacking mini game.
  • Oh man, this land/water speeder steers like the Mako.
  • This is a lot of stormtroopers.
  • Sheesh, the stormtroopers keep coming.
  • The stormtroopers with shields are pretty crappy.
  • I like how I can shoot a guy nine times and then suddenly Rey will decide she’d rather aim at a wall or a hapless bystander.
  • Ok, I can only hit these tie fighters if they actually fly into my shot.
  • Fortunately I can use that against them, because the only way I can hit the target areas is to fly into them with my ship.
  • Oh man, I cannot figure out how to get up to this ledge.
  • I’ve destroyed everything in this room nine times over.
  • Ok, finally got to the ledge.
  • Oh, the big platforming sequence.
  • I totally suck at the platforming sequences.
  • OMG, I hate this jumping segment.
  • Died as Finn.
  • Died as Poe.
  • Actually, you are better off dying than missing the last jump, because the last one puts you back at the beginning again.
  • Oh hey, turns out I actually did not know how to activate the super jumping ability.
  • So, a little easier with that.
  • Kylo Ren, you are one Pain in the Force.
  • How many times do I have to kill you?
  • Died as Rey.
  • I could not kill Kylo Ren with Kylo Ren.
  • Died as Darth Vader.
  • Ok, maybe you can’t kill him conventionally.
  • Finn, you’re back in the game.
  • Finn is doing a lot of dodging.
  • You might not be a Jedi, and you might still be level one, but you got the job done, Finn.
  • Yay, we won this battle!
  • Hm…wonder where Han went. Oh, he’ll probably turn up eventually.

Live Blog: “American Experience: Walt Disney, Part 2”

Back for the second half.  On the one hand, yay Disneyland!  And on the other, hard to think this one isn’t going to have a downer of an ending.

  • Ugh, Neal Gabler.
  • Man, can you imagine what your life would be like, if you had bought Disney at $4 a share?
  • Well this seems like an awful long amount of time to spend on Walt’s questionable reaction to the strike, when we spent virtually no time on his stint overseas with the Red Cross seeing the world and learning to cartoon.
  • Ok, I think it’s a little bit of a stretch to say that the whole South American goodwill tour was solely intended to let Walt “skip town.”
  • I think Rockefeller, the US government, and the Nazis might have had a little bit to do with it.
  • Nice.  The Bambi death scene.  HDY.
  • I don’t know–this seems like a long way to come just to pummel us with his involvement in McCarthyism.
  • I’m not sure I buy the whole “man in crisis” pop psychoanalysis.
  • How do we know what the context the quote is in?  Maybe he was being realistic, acknowledging that the market wasn’t going to allow him the same financial and artistic freedom he had with Snow White, and accepting that future productions would be under constraints?
  • With all the talk about how he apparently didn’t care about animation anymore, I don’t see them mentioning that he stated his favorite animated sequence was Marc Davis’ Cinderella transformation scene.
  • …Or maybe the Dude just liked trains?
  • It’s weird to me that the interstitial music always starts out like I think they’re going to use the music from “Wall-E.”
  • This Ryman Disneyland drawing has to be one of the most amazing pieces of contemporary artwork ever.
  • This Ellenshaw Disneyland painting with the black-light effect is also one of the most amazing pieces of contemporary artwork ever.
  • It says something about Walt’s powers of persuasion, that after over sixty years later, and as many times as I’ve been to Disneyland, I never fail to feel like getting in the car and driving over after watching him present it.
  • This is weirdly unhappy-sounding music for this building-Disneyland montage.
  • Wow, I would not have wanted to be one of the WED workers who tried to tell Walt to push back opening day.
  • “Traffic was backed up for seven miles on Harbor Boulevard.”  Now, we call that “Friday night.”
  • Oh man, I remember ticket booths.
  • Ah, the world’s least safety-compliant trams.
  • I see we cut away before shooting the dead guy lying outside the burning cabin.
  • I would move into the Monsanto House of the Future in a hot second.
  • Who in Heaven’s Name would ever think Reality was better than anything?
  • You know, I keep finding excuses to pause the video, because I know eventually they’re going to start bashing Disneyland, and then I’m gonna want to leap through the screen and rip someone’s lungs out.
  • Ron Miller!
  • The fact that you can’t imagine someone successful not being a jerk, maybe doesn’t mean that every successful person is, in fact, a jerk.
  • “Mary Poppins” is really practically perfect.
  • Oh, serious?
  • Funny, I actually thought I heard that corn anecdote as something Diane Disney had said to him.
  • Can you even imagine what it would be like to wander around EPCOT in a climate controlled environment?
  • Nooo, not 1966.  It’s too soon!
  • …And, we’re out.  *sniffle*
  • Well, I think it’s nice that it wasn’t a total hatchet job, but clearly they were taking pains to not look like they were making a Disney movie about Walt Disney.
  • On the whole, I’d agree that most of their important points in his timeline were correct–I would just question the lines they drew between them.
  • For example, it’s true that Disney did appear to abandon various mediums as soon as he peaked in them, but they make it seem more like he was constantly racing away from failure and feelings of worthlessness versus pursuing innovation and curiosity.
  • I also understand the viewpoint that says they needed to keep it more general for the broader, non-Disney Geek audience, but realistically, are we really thinking a huge number of people not already interested in Walt Disney are going to be seeking this out?
  • If you’re willing to commit four hours to watching a documentary on something, I think you’ve probably already self-selected yourself into a biased group.  I think it’s ok to dig a little deeper.
  • “True Hollywood” style “he was riding high–but then it all came crashing down” patterns aside, it was a nice looking piece, and if  “One Man’s Dream” isn’t going to be around anymore, it’s good there’s archival footage of Walt’s earlier days available.

Live Blog: “American Experience: Walt Disney, Part 1”

Ok, ready for this fairly-well publicized Walt Disney documentary.

  • Ugh, Neal Gabler.
  • Always amazes me, these people who have such a strong drive to do something from such a young age.  Jim Henson sounds like he was the same way.
  • Watching how Walt operated in his early years of Laugh-O-Gram, reminds me of that scene in “Music Man,” when Harold Hill is getting hunted down for scamming the townspeople towards the end, and Ronny Howard asks him if there was ever going to be a band, and Robert Preston says “I always think there’s going to be a band.”
  • Roy is such a generally unsung hero.
  • Ub Iwerks is an unbelievable genius.  It’s so unlikely that Walt would have lucked into working with him from the beginning, it almost gives the whole thing an air of destiny.
  • Wow, that was a quick jump from Ub to Lillian.
  • Now again, this makes it seem like some sort of unilateral-Roy-squelching measure that Walt takes on renaming the studio.  It’s the same thing they portrayed in that small musical that was made about Walt a couple years ago, but I have never heard or read of anything that implied that Roy wasn’t just as much a proponent of the idea as Walt.
  • Ugh.  F’ing Mintz.
  • Strange to put the whole Marceline segment during the train ride back from New York.
  • Interesting that they’re not going with the usual story of Walt coming up with Mickey on the train ride back.
  • I’m not totally sure I tend to think of Mickey as a big rebel figure.
  • Man, I want that $3.95 watch.
  • I wonder why they didn’t get Julie Andrews to narrate this, like with “One Man’s Dream.”
  • But maybe they didn’t want it to seem like a “Disney Production.”
  • An uncredited Marge Champion.
  • I can never figure out how Roy did all this intricate financial management with like a high-school level education.
  • All these years later, and “Snow White” still makes the majority of animated features out there look like two cents.
  • The Evil Queen design is so great.  Archetypal.
  • One of my favorite Walt quotes about this time period runs something like “I didn’t know if people would go to watch an animated feature, but what I did know, was that no one would go to see a bad one.”
  • This always seems like probably the single time in his life where he has a completely unadulterated success.  All those failures and bankruptcies and the years of people telling him he was crazy, and for this one moment in time, everyone liked what he did.
  • Well, if he was waiting for Hollywood to take animation seriously, he’d be waiting still.
  • Walt was such a great storyman.
  • He made his studios air conditioned and 75 years later, I have to spend the day in a Coffee Bean and Tea so as not to die in the heat.
  • Ok, I’m not totally sold that this is underwater photography, but it doesn’t detract from the amazing art “Pinocchio” featured.
  • Ok, THAT’s a better eye drawing than you’ll see in any modern-day feature.
  • Wow, that scene where Lampwick turns into a donkey is pretty horrifying.
  • That’s the thing with Old School Disney films.  You’d be watching along thinking “well that’s pretty.  Look at that, that’s cute, and GOOD LORD, WHAT’S HAPPENING, HOLY MOTHER OF”
  • Ah.  Always a good time when the gatekeepers come in to tell you you’re enjoying their favorite thing wrong.
  • So quaint now that they were agitated at Walt making 5x more than some of his offices.  How many times more do we think Trump makes compared to his lowest paid employees?
  • It paints a fairly unflattering portrait of Disney as far as his employees go, but it’s not hard to see where his viewpoints came from.  He had risen from abject poverty and worked all his life to get to where he was, so the idea that other people wanted money without having done the same was probably maddening.
  • Well that was kind of a down point to end on.

Disney Legends and Movie Stars: Everyone Comes to D23 Expo.

My report on the next couple of days I spent at D23 Expo 2015 is up now on http://AllEars.Net.

The first full day, I saw the Disney Legends Ceremony, tried to catch the big Animation panel, and heard about 60  years worth of Imagineering:

Photo courtesy of Disney.

The second day, I checked out next year’s slate of Disney live-action films, heard about the upcoming projects for Disney Parks and Resorts around the world, heard from “Once Upon A Time’s” Snow White and Evil Queen, and much more:

One more day to come!

D23 Expo 2015, Everybody!

So this last weekend, I attended the biannual Walt Disney Company convention “D23 Expo 2015” for http://AllEars.Net.  It was tons of fun!  Also exhausting!  Tons of exhausting!

The first day, I was able to attend the preview of “Walt Disney Archives Presents—Disneyland: The Exhibit,” and wrote it up here, over at AllEars.Net