Monday, February 27, 2012

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 60 - The Secret World of Arrietty

This week the DFPP team heads under your floorboards to find discarded items they can borrow to build their Time Machine, and discover that sometimes little people can think big in the 2010 animated adventure The Secret World of Arrietty.

Show notes:

Enjoy the show!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gymnastics Goofy

Boy, that real life thing can suck the time away from blogging.  Regardless, I’m back today with the next in our 1949 series, Gymnastics Goofy.  And what a good short to return with, as its firmly in the tradition of the Goofy “How To” series, my favorite overall group of shorts in the Disney canon.  This one happens to be one that’s been widely seen, as it’s in constant rotation on Disney Channel’s Have a Laugh program.

If you haven’t seen this one before, it’s a real treat.  This is where Goofy begins to make the transition from a sportsman and outdoorsman to a regular Joe.  The short opens with him returning home from work, which is the first time we have seen the Goof as someone like us.  He works, he comes home tired, and he is out of shape.  It’s the latest evolution for Goofy, who just like Mickey and Donald, has gone from a farm boy to a city boy as his creators have done the same.

Goofy, rather than succumb to the temptations of the couch and laziness, decides to get up and start working out.  Having gone through this myself, this short is very relatable to me, so I have always enjoyed it.  Goofy quickly sends off for a home gym, gets it immediately and sets up in the apartment with this crazy group of exercise machines.  Chaos ensues.

The narrator in this short rolls from an omniscient narrator who is chastising Goofy for his lack of activity to the record that comes with the kit.  The record fits the normal narration pattern of these shorts, which is to have the narrator talk about what should be happening, while Goofy does things in his own way.  When Goofy exercises, you can be sure that damage will occur to the apartment.

Probably the most viewed part of this short is the very end, where Goofy slams into every single piece of the home gym set before eventually collapsing into the “ideal” man picture that came with it.  We get that great Goofy scream and the comedy of him crashing through walls, slamming into dumbbells and overall making a fool of himself.  It’s a highly kinetic and fun short that is one of the absolute best in the Goofy series, and a must see if you have not done so already.

All pictures copyright Disney.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tweetwatch Assemble!!!

That\'s right, people, it's almost Avengers time! And it's time to get ready with biweekly Tweetwatches of the five films leading into the biggest movie of the summer. Here is the schedule for the most heroic Tweetwatches of all:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 - Captain America - 8:30 p ET

Start things off with the World War II adventures of the nation's first super hero, Captain America.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - Iron Man - 8:30p ET

This is the movie that began it all for Marvel Studios, so join the fun of Robert Downey, Jr as Tony Stark and enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - Iron Man 2 - 8:30p ET

Sequel time! Downey returns as Tony Stark in this film that is the key to understanding a lot of what the Avengers movie may hold.

Tuesday, April 20, 2012 - The Incredible Hulk - 8:30p ET

Probably the most overlooked of the Marvel films. It takes place the same time as Iron Man 2 and Thor, but offers some key glimpses at the future. Hulk Smash!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - Thor - 8:30 p ET

The final film in our Tweetwatch extravaganza is Thor, which unveils the villain of Avengers and brings us the comedy stylings of Chris Hemsworth as Thor.

If you've never joined Tweetwatches before, it's super easy to do.  Here's the plan:

1.  Get the DVD or Bluray so you can watch with us.  Netflix, Redbox, whatever you need to do.
2.  Make sure you have it on your the links for each Tweetwatch to add it to your Plancast.
3.  On the appointed evening, head over to our Friendfeed room.
4.  At 8:30p ET, I'll tweet out the signal to push play, and we'll watch the movie together, while I fill you in on some of the little known facts about each film.

Bottom's time to get ready for THE AVENGERS!!!! May 4, 2012 can't get here soon enough.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 59 - The Princess and the Frog

It's almost Mardi Gras time, so the DFPP crew journeys down to good ol' New Orleans to take in some of the excitement of the Crescent City with Disney's 2009 hand drawn animated film The Princess and the Frog.  Joined by the lovely and talented Sally Kilpatrick, the crew talks about Tiana and Naveen, Dr. Facilier and all the great characters in this all new princess film.

Show notes:
Enjoy the show!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Second Screen with Lady and the Tramp

Last Valentines day the Disney Film Project Podcast team released Episode 6 about a movie about two dogs who fall hopelessly in love, spend a magical evening together, and get to experience what is considered to be one of the most romantic moments in a Disney film ever.  This year, one full year later, Disney has cracked open their vault once more to re-released the same movie, Lady and the Tramp, this time on Blu-ray as the Diamond Edition.  While we’re not going to revisit the movie on the podcast (though we highly recommend you listen to the episode), I thought I’d take this moment to go all “Wonky Sluice” on you and talk about once of my other passions... tech.

Of late, Disney Blu-ray releases come with this nifty add on feature called Second Screen - Lady and the Tramp is the 5th release to have this feature.  Now, since I’m both a recent iPad owner and a recent Blu-ray owner, I finally felt now was the time to sit through a Second Screen screening.  So I popped in the Blu-ay and went to set up the app on my iPad.  This was really the only big snafu I had.  The program is huge... it took a very long time to download from iTunes, and it took even longer to get it synced over to my iPad.  So if you’re planning to check this out, don’t want until you’re ready to watch to get the app on to your iPad.

There are two features in the app, and immediately rather than watch the movie, I jumped to the second feature which is a 360 degree viewing of Walt Disney’s Apartment in Disneyland.  It’s a nifty little program where the iPad’s accelerometer is used to allow you to tilt and pan your way through a 360 image of the apartment.  I read a few of the info panels that you can bring up as you look around, but really having looked at numerous pictures of the apartment over the years, I was done with it rather quickly and moved on to the movie itself.

Not entirely sure if I was supposed to start the application first, or the movie itself.  However I opted for the movie first and selected the option on the Blu-ray menu to start the Second Screen viewing of the movie.  Then I started the application.  It immediately gave me the option to sync the application to the movie one of two ways, either via audio from the movie, or I could attempt to sync the app via my home network to my Blu-ray player and have it control the movie.  I chose the latter and in seconds the movie adjusted back a bit and was synchronized with the application on my iPad.

It was an amazing experience.  First of all, the main dialog of the movie is no the main event when viewing the movie this way.  Instead, you’re listening to a voice over of Walt Disney and others who worked on Lady an the Tramp in a manner referred to as “Inside Walt’s Story Meetings”.  This is a true Disney movie geeks dream, and a lot of fun to listen to.  Much of it I had already known from my podcast research, however, there were a few new things I picked up as well.

Second Screen itself is a very neat concept, and I completely got it right away.  For starters, there’s a number on the bottom left of the application that keeps ticking along.  Similarly there is a number on the same spot on your television screen.  If these two numbers don’t match you’re app is out of sync from your viewing.  The app will immediately provide you with two buttons for re-syncing: Blu-ray to App, or App to Blu-ray - meaning either the movie jumps to where the app is or vice versa.

It’s important to note that on the Second Screen app you’re not watching the movie, but rather you’re being presented with information and activities that follow along with the movie.  Because you might spend some additional time on a particular item that is presented, the application has s Pause button that pauses the Blu-ray until you’re ready to un-pause it.  I used this feature extensively throughout.

One thing I really liked that each time the speaker changed, the app showed you an informational blurb about the speaker.  It was a really clever way to maintain the transition throughout.  Also throughout are little “Fun Facts” to expand upon what the speaker is discussing at the time.  There is a plethora of artwork from background stills, to character breakdowns, to storyboard sketches.

There are also several interactive elements.  Many of the pictures have additional information blurbs that can be triggered by pressing a  strategically placed “i”.  There are also several videos that you can play showing you fun scenes from the making of the movie, including one where the Mellowmen bark out the jailhouse blues heard at the dog pound in the movie.  My absolute favorite elements were called “Flip Books”.  These were actual animation artwork with a bar underneath where you could drag your finger back and forth and animate the artwork.  in addition you can press a button and have the artwork switch to the final animation from the movie.

Overall Second Screen is a great way for a Disney geek like myself to watch a movie and I’m going to break out some other movies I have with this feature and take them for a Second Screening real soon.

What about you?  Do you have an iPad?  A Blu-ray player?  Lady and the Tramp?  Have you experienced Second Screen with this movie?  Another?  What do you think of it?  As my grandpappy, Ol' Reliable, used to say...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 58 - The Aristocats

This week the DFPP team decides that they all want to be cats, so they head to Paris to learn the fine arts and end up assisting a big old alley cat help three kittens and their mom get home in the 1970 animated feature The Aristocats.

Show notes:

Enjoy the show!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 57 - The Hunchback of Notre Dame

This week the DFPP team heads to visit their friend Quasimodo in Paris only to discover that he and some golden haired dude have gone to rescue a gypsy girl from being burned alive in the 1996 animated drama The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Listen, download, etc.

Show notes:
Enjoy the show!