Monday, December 30, 2013

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 156 - Saving Mr. Banks

This week the DFPP team finds themselves embroiled in the mystery of some missing Oscars when they are reminded about their fiduciary responsibilities regarding spoonfuls of sugar in the 2013 drama Saving Mr. Banks.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 155 - Frozen

This week the DFPP team heads to Arendelle for some ice fishing where they learn a whole lot about the export of opened doors that are fixer uppers, but learn to let it go and just build a snowman in the 2013 animated adventure Frozen.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Muppet Treasure Island & The Great Muppet Caper Blu-ray Combo Pack Review

Recently released on Blu-ray the “Of Pirates & Pigs Collection” contains the movies Muppet Treasure Island and The Great Muppet Caper. Right now The Muppets are very popular since the success of their 2011 self named movie, and their upcoming release of Muppets Most Wanted has a trailer that is getting a lot of television ad time. And it stands to reason that people are going to be searching for other Muppets movies this holiday season.

There’s not a lot of additional bonus content in this set, but there is Frog-E-Oke Sing-Along - now regular feature of Muppet movie Blu-ray releases. In this set you’ll get 3 songs: “Cabin Fever” from Muppet Treasure Island, and “Steppin’ Out With a Star” and “Happiness Hotel” from The Great Muppet Caper. The latter being one of my all time favorite Muppet movie songs. There’s also a music video of Kermit and all the pirates from the Hispaniola singing “Let the Good Shine Out” that was part of the Muppets Sing Alongs video for Muppet Treasure Island.

“The Tale of the Story Beyond the Tail” is a behinds the scenes for Muppet Treasure Island short hosted by Gonzo & Rizzo. You watch Brian Henson, Kirk Thatcher, Jerry Juhl talk about the film. There’s an interview with actor Brian Connolly where he talks about the scenes he did with Gonzo and how it was hard to act and not laugh while he was holding Gonzo’s nose. And we are reminded by Dave Goelz and Steve Whitmire that when you’re onstage with Muppets it’s all about upstaging each other. At the end of the piece there is a sort of tribute to Jim Hensen.

Whether you’re looking to update an old release of either or both of these movies, filling a gap in your collection, or looking for a good holiday gift for a Muppet fan that you know then this is a great release. Both of these movies are fun, enjoyable, and great for the whole family.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Lone Ranger Blu-ray Review

Icons are the sort of thing on which Disney is built. Whether they’re making them, transforming them, or building them. It is no surprise that Disney would pick up the reins of a legend like The Lone Ranger to create a classic Western tale in a time when such movies have all but escaped the consciousness of moving going audiences. If you missed this one in the theater, now’s your chance to see it as The Lone Ranger has been released on Blu-ray.

A lot of money was spent to make this movie and when you watch a feature line Armie’s Western Road Trip you can see just where some of it went. In this piece Armie Hammer narrates about his travels through the Southwestern United States while making The Lone Ranger. Seeing things like riding motorcycles through Monument Valley reminds me how fortunate I was to spend a summer touring the US when I was younger. Also depicted are the Canyon De Chelly, Creede Colorado, and Valles Caldera - all areas where parts of the movie were filmed.

In Becoming a Cowboy you can see how all the film’s actors spent a month training at a cowboy boot camp. There they learned to rope, ride a horse, and properly handle and shoot guns. The goal of this training was to achieve an authentic look and feel of men and women living in the Southwest in the 1800s. It allowed for them to become comfortable in their roles. It is well known that throughout the movie, Armie did many of his own stunts. And as a result of his training and practice, he became as good a rider as many stuntmen in the movie.

Do you like trains? Well, Riding the Rails of The Lone Ranger is something you’ll really like. It talks about how in the middle of the desert they movie crew built 5 miles of railroad track from scratch and by hand. This provided them the ability to control the rails for the movie rather than share live tracks with regular trains. While the famous “movie train” Sierra No. 3 was used for some shots they actually had to recreate real working trains that could be used, abused, and destroyed for the movie. You’ll also learn that in addition to trains on tracks they also built trains on the back of flatbed trucks that were driven on roads to film certain scenes with the tracks added digitally later. This allowed them to get an authentic feel they couldn’t get on a soundstage.

There’s also a deleted scene about a Locust Storm. It is part storyboard, and part rough computer graphics. There is music, but there is no other sound - only subtitles. In it, Tonto and The Lone Ranger look more like they do in the color episodes of the old TV series. It is about how the pair are saved from being strung up by the townsfolk by a swarm of locusts that attacks and destroys the town. In addition there is also a series of Bloopers available to watch from during the filming of the movie.

I can understand that you may be one of many who avoided this movie in the theaters. However that’s really no reason to avoid it in your home. It is in my opinion a very good movie and one that while you might not want to own, you should definitely rent. So take the reins and enjoy the ride. If you’d like to hear more about what I and my co-hosts thought of the movie you can listen to Episode 133 of our podcast.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 154 - Prep & Landing

This week the DFPP team head to the North Pole to help with modifications to Thrasher’s stealth transport when they discover a disgruntled elf who might have just ingested some bad eggnog in the 2009 animated short Prep & Landing.

Listen, download, etc.

Show notes:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review

Next year marks the 50th anniversary of what is considered by many the magnum opus of Walt Disney, Mary Poppins. It is without a doubt one of the most timeless movies ever made that is capable of crossing generational gaps and bringing people closer to each other. It’s touched so many over the years, that few have not heard of it, seen it, or sung its melodies. In preparation for this momentous event, Disney has released the Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray.

Now if you’re looking for a review of the movie you can listen to Episode 9 of our podcast or read a review by Ryan. Looking back the 40th Anniversary DVD set was a fantastic set in it’s own right that it’d be very hard to beat. It’s clear from this Blu-ray edition that Disney recognizes that. Other than the upcoming film Saving Mr. Banks, there has been very little new content put out surrounding the movie in these last 10 years. That is why the content on the Blu-ray consists primarily of everything you found in the 40th Anniversary DVD collection. The big plus is that all of it has been digitally enhanced in some capacity, and is now subtitle capable.

The one piece of new content is a piece called “Becoming Mr. Sherman” that is narrated by Jason Schwartzman and Richard Sherman. It is a discussion about how Schwartzman collaborated with and learned from Sherman in order to understand how to play the role of Richard Sherman in Saving Mr. Banks. Together they listened to original recording sessions from the movie. What I found most important was how positively Richard Sherman speaks very about the movie. He was there as a consultant for most of the scenes shot in the script planning room. Some of which he mentioned touched him emotionally as they recreated a part of his life that is very important to him.

The other new content is called “Mary-Oke” which consists of karaoke versions of some of songs from the movie. In these the lyrics are animated as they have been for similar karaoke pieces done for other Disney Blu-ray releases. This leads me to my one disappointment for this Blu-ray, there is no Disney Intermission feature - something you’d expect to be on such a momentous Blu-ray release. And these karaoke pieces would have been the perfect choice for the content for that feature as it’s been done for prior release of other movies.

I could write a summation telling you how much you’re going to love this Blu-ray and want it for your collection. But the truth is, if you’ve spent the time to read this you’re probably already planning to purchase it or already have. Having the movie in HD will allow you to watch it in the best possible quality you ever have over any television or theater. And having already seen Saving Mr. Banks twice, I can tell you that you’re going to want that available to you as soon as you get home from the theater.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2 Movie Collection of The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning and The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea Blu-ray Review

Containing two movies from the Disney Vault is the recently released 2 Movie Collection of The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning and The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea. These two movies cover adventures of Ariel that take place both before and after The Little Mermaid. Inside the set you’ll find DVDs of both movies complete with the original DVD content as well as a Blu-ray disc that contains both movies and most of the DVD bonus features.

Fans who have not seen these movies may be excited to learn that for both of these movies Jodi Benson reprises her role as Ariel. In Ariel’s Beginning we are told a tale about how Ariel brought music back to the her home of Atlantica. And in Return to the Sea we follow an adventure where Ursula’s sister Morgana is seeking both revenge against Ariel and control of Atlantica. She does this by coaxing Ariel’s daughter Melody into becoming a mermaid. Talk about role reversal!

There’s no new content on the Blu-ray other than a new top level menu that allows you to pick which of the two movies you’d like to watch. Most will consider Morgana from Little Mermaid II to be a stronger villain than Marina Del Rey from Ariel’s Beginning, though neither is more well liked or appreciated than their predecessor Ursula.

Folks who have the original DVD versions of these movies will be missing some of the content found in this collection - the additional content had been added in subsequent releases - and may be looking to upgrade their collection. As these are two of the more popular sequel / prequel movies in the Disney collection, if you’ve not seen these now might be a good time to see them whether buying or just renting.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 153 - A Very Merry Pooh Year

This week the DFPP team heads to the Hundred Acre Wood for the holidays when they find themselves stalked by a creepy honey seeking burro while trying to help deliver a letter to Sandy in the 2002 animated A Very Merry Pooh Year.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Review of Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United

Today marks the release of Iron Man & Hulk: Heroes United slated to the be the first in a series of computer animated Team-Up movies released by Marvel. As the title implies this movie centers around an adventure where Iron Man and the Hulk are placed in a situation where they need to team up in order to defeat a powerful enemy. The dynamic between the two characters is well known to comic book fans, and strong attempts are made to reflect that in the movie.

To keep these characters on familiar grounds, Marvel brought in the voice talents of Adrian Pasdar and Fred Tatasciore who are already well known by animation fans as the voices of Iron Man and Hulk. Rounding that out are the ever prevalent voice talents of Dee Bradley Baker as the primary villain Zzzax and David Kay who animation fans will also already recognize as the voice of Iron Man’s artificially intelligent computer system Jarvis.

Overall the story is okay, but it seems to bring in a number of diverse elements that probably could have been left out to make the movie a bit more short and the story a lot more tight. For example, the beginning has Hulk battling the Abomination, and somewhere in the middle it has Hulk and Iron Man fighting off a horde of Wendigo. Throw into the mix that the whole reason the problem the heroes have to solve together exists is the terrorist organization HYRDA, and well, as I said, the story goes all over the place when it really didn’t have to.

That said, it’s not terrible, and fans of Hulk, more so than Iron Man, will probably like this movie. My biggest complaint though has to be the animation itself. It’s just too inconsistent. There are some things that look really good, like the electricity effects and Zzzax itself. But then looking at Iron Man and Hulk I just feel then end up looking like painted computerized lumps of clay. After looking at the awesome graphics found in a movie like Frozen, it’s hard not to see the graphical flaws.

Fans should take notice that after the end credits there is the usual Marvel added scene, this one setting up the Red Skull, who runs HYDRA, as the protagonist in an upcoming Iron Man and Captain America Team-Up sequel. The Blu-ray also contains a number of shorts from the DisneyXDMarvel Mash-Up” series. They are included both as a Bonus Features and as part of the extended pause feature called “Marvel ‘Inter-Missions’”.

The movie is an okay diversion, and, like myself, fans of the current animated series like Marvel’s Avengers Assemble and Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. will enjoy taking the time to watch this movie.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 152 - The Muppet Christmas Carol

This week the DFPP team heads to London to investigate some ghostly activity when they find that with some awkward dancing, cheerful songs, and a generous heart you can redeem yourself in the 1992 comedy The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Mickey's Christmas Carol 30th Anniversay Blu-ray Review

Mickey’s Christmas Carol is an adaptation of the Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol. It stars Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit and Scrooge McDuck as the character that inspired him: Ebenezer Scrooge. In the United States, it was originally released in theaters along with a re-release of The Rescuers. At the time it had been Mickey’s first animated theater appearance in more than 30 years. And it was the last time that Clarence Nash voiced Donald Duck. Now 30 years later you can take home the new 30th Anniversary Blu-ray.

My largest complaint about this Blu-ray is that the menu is incredibly difficult to use because of the color choices. The selections have been placed on a brown parchment and are colored a very dark red. The selected item is black, and the two colors are barely distinguishable from each other. This is certain to frustrate many.

It does however contain my favorite Disney Blu-ray feature: Disney Intermission. Here you can sing Christmas Carols with Mickey and the gang. Included are “Wish You a Merry Christmas”, “Jingle Bells”, and “Deck the Halls”. Also included on the Blu-ray are the following shorts:

  • Yodelberg (2013) starring Mickey Mouse Minnie Mouse
  • The Hockey Champ (1939) starring Donald with Huey, Dewey, and Louie
  • Pluto’s Christmas Tree (1952) starring Pluto with Chip & Dale, and Donald
  • The Art of Skiing (1941) starring Goofy
  • Corn Chips (1951) starring Chip & Dale with Donald

Monday, November 25, 2013

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 151 - Thor: The Dark World

Once more the DFPP team doth journey into the mystery of Asgard to help uncover an all consuming darkness only to discover that with great power comes great loss and great trickery in the 2013 action adventure Thor: The Dark World.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A Very Merry Pooh Year Blu-ray Review

Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh year was released in 2002 by Walt Disney Animation in France. It contains a short titled Winnie the Pooh and Christmas Too that was done with the intention of being both a finale and homage to the television series The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Due to the recent release of this film on Blu-ray - the subject of today’s post - our podcast will be covering this movie in Episode 153 to be released on December 9th.

Overall there’s not a lot to be said about the Blu-ray itself. The video quality is about what you’d expect. And the movie itself, like its original DVD counterpart is designed to be watch as a sing-a-long experience for children and their parents. By default this feature is not turned on, but you can easily enable it.

The one thing that puts this Blu-ray above the DVD version is that it has its own version of Disney Intermission - a feature I feel that every Blu-ray coming from Disney should have. With this feature your children can learn some math with Rabbit, help Pooh with finding Piglet’s present, bounce along with Piglet, dance along with a “happy” Eeyore, etc.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A High Flying Planes Blu-ray Review

Today, November 19, Dusty returns home from his round-the-world race as Planes is released on Blu-ray.  Brought to us by DisneyToon Studios, Planes was released over the summer and tells us the tale of how a crop duster becomes a champion race plane.  I’ll be honest, my initial reaction to the film was not great, and if you want to hear what myself and my podcasting fellows thought of the film you can listen to Episode 137.

The Blu-ray itself is not what I’d call “chock full” of features, but what I did find interesting is that the many of features it does have are centered around Director Klay Hall and Producer Traci Balthazor-Flynn explaining their choices when making the film.  This is centered around deleted scenes primarily.  The big deleted scene, one you’ll be asking yourself, “why was this left out of the movie at all?” is one they call “Franz’s Song”.  This scene would have taken place just after Dusty arrives from flying across the ocean and meeting the flying car Franz.  To lift his spirits, Franz sings a song to Dusty.  It’s short, and clever, and was completely finished - it also fit well into the context of the moment and should not have been deleted.  Other deleted scenes are not finished, but are very rough, some story-boarded, and others partially CGI rendered.

In a piece titled, “Klay’s Flight Plan” we get to spend some time with Klay Hall and learn about his journey making the movie Planes. It’s an interesting piece where we learn that he has a strong affinity for airplanes due to his connection to his grandfather who was a WWII pilot and a Jolly Roger. One thing that I think shows through in this piece is that for much of the time Hall is talking about the original more war-based version of Planes that he set out to make. To the point where he’s talking about characters and moments that are not even part of the plot of Planes itself. Two interesting facts you’ll learn are how they plotted the race course using real fuel consumption calculations, and how Propwash Junction and characters in the movie were inspired by an old abandoned airfield they found.

You’ll get to go through all the original pre-release marketing clips that were available to learn about El Chu, Ripslinger, Dusty, and Ishani. In "Top 10 Flyers", sports reporter Colin Cowherd (the voice of Blimp announcer Colin Cowling from the movie) talks about the the real world top 10 aviators of all time. Unfortunately I felt this piece was far too short and not very detail oriented.


The bottom line is that if you or your children are Planes fans, there’s no reason not to get yourself a copy of this movie either on Blu-ray or digitally.  As a Blu-ray I feel it’s short on content and should have included interviews from Dane Cook, more about Fire & Rescue, a piece on animating the movie, etc. to help round it out.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 150 - Brother Bear 2

This week the DFPP team heads back to the glacial plains only to find it torn asunder by the spirits which leads them to learn that the consequences of the past can be erased in some transformative ways in the 2006 animated adventure Brother Bear 2.

Listen, download, etc.

Show notes:

Monday, November 11, 2013

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 149 - Candleshoe

This week the DFPP team finds themselves in England hot on the trail of a master of disguise who holds the key to a hidden pirate treasure and learns that sometimes the greatest treasure is a heart of gold in the 1977 adventure Candleshoe.

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Show notes:

Monday, November 4, 2013

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 148 - Race to Witch Mountain

This week the DFPP team visits a Sci-Fi convention in Las Vegas where aliens give a lecture on 3D holographic technology to some wrestlers and they all get to ride in a cab with the Rock in the 2009 action adventure Race to Witch Mountain.

Listen, download, etc.

Show notes:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monsters University Collector's Edition Review

The Pixar movie of the year was Monsters University, a look at the origins of the characters of Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan and how they got to be the friendly, loveable monsters we first met in Monsters, Inc.  If you’ve listened to our podcast, then you probably know that this is the sort of movie and story that is right in my wheelhouse.  This story about how they met in college, first became rivals, then partners, and finally the great friends we know and love is an almost timeless treasure.  Released today, October 29, 2013, I got to take a sneak peek at the Collector’s Edition which includes a Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy.  

This release is chock full of so many bonus features that they couldn’t all fit on the main movie Blu-ray, and they had to include a 2nd bonus features disc.  On the main disc you’ll find the cute and sweet tale of how umbrellas can find true love even in a rain slicked city, The Blue Umbrella.  As well as Audio Commentary by Director Dan Scanlon, Producer Kori Rae, and Story Supervisor Kelsey Mann.

Being the technical wizard that I am, one of my favorite features on the bonus disc are the Set Flyovers.  These are seamless, animated camera explorations through the sets of the movie.  They contain no monsters, just the sets themselves.  It really gives you a great in depth look at each of the locations: The Campus, The Scare School, Frat Row, and finally The OK House where you can even make out a Mickey Mouse ear hat tacked up on the wall (I hadn’t noticed this when I originally saw the movie).  There’s also Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective a discussion about the calculations and physics behind animating fur/hair.  How much things had advanced from 5 furry monsters in Monsters, Inc. to 250+ in Monsters University

In what I imagine will be a much talked about set of clips, the Deleted Scenes are introduced to us by Dan Scanlon, where he explains to us that movies are an evolutionary process.  He first discusses with us the scene called Rivalry that was designed to pay homage to the “You've been jealous of my good looks since the fourth grade. ... looks since the fourth grade” line from Monsters, Inc. and why it was removed from the movie.  Next is Recon where we learn how monsters make their information files on children through “Bedroom Recon”.  In Movie Night  and Drama Class we see elements that are brought us instead as part of the final scenes of the movie.

There are many more features that you’ll find in this Blu-ray set, including an Art Gallery with many pictures and sketches and other artwork from and for Monsters University.  If you get the Collector’s Edition you’ll also get DVD and Digital copies of the movie, and many will be happy to know that Disney has branched out beyond just Digital copies from Apple’s iTunes Store.  Monsters fans will enjoy this Blu-ray release, as it will offer then several hours of solid entertainment from which they could learn some truly interesting tidbits about Monsters University. 

Rivalry - Monsters University BTS on Disney Video

Monday, October 28, 2013

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 147 - Return from Witch Mountain

This week the DFPP team are in Los Angeles while tracking down a strange disturbance in the force when they are lead by a goat to a Plutonium plant that is under siege by a mad doctor in the 1978 adventure Return from Witch Mountain.

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Show notes:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 146 - Escape to Witch Mountain

This week the DFPP team receives a strange phone call from a man claiming to live in Hazzard county which leads them on the trail of two alien children and a widower who like to go flying in a Winnebago in the 1975 adventure Escape to Witch Mountain.

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Show notes:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gravity Falls: Six Strange Tales DVD Review

Gravity Falls is the story of Dipper and Mabel Pines as they visit their “Grunkle” Stan for the summer.  He lives and runs in a fantastic sideshow institution known as the Mystery Shack.  This relatively new animated series premiered back in June 2012.  And now, after the conclusion of its first season of episodes, on October 15th, Disney is releasing 6 episodes of the series titled Gravity Falls: Six Strange Tales.

The 6 episodes are:

  • Tourist Trapped
  • The Legend of the Gobblewonker
  • Headhunters
  • The Hand that Rocks the Mabel
  • The Inconveniencing
  • Dipper vs. Manliness

And while I won’t go into the specifics on each episode, I do want to discuss something near and dear to hardcore DVD owners… DVD Easter Eggs.  There are just a few on this DVD and here is how to access each of them (all of which are available from the Main Menu):

  • Moving up from “Play All” will produce a bunch of levitating Lil Gideon related items
  • Moving down from “Fast Play” will lead to a Rainbow Puking Gnome
  • Moving right from Episode Selection shows an owl clock which hoots and it’s 5 o’clock
  • Moving left from Set Up causes Mabel’s zombie boyfriend Norman to stumble across the screen
  • Moving right from sneak peeks causes a “Grunkle” Stan bobblehead to appear

Fans of the show may be wanting more of the episodes available on DVD, and while that is probably happening some time in the future I will remind that more gravity falls can easily be found online.  The DVD episodes themselves are crisp and clean quality, and that plus the Easter Eggs might be the reason to purchase it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Disney Film Project Podcast - Episode 145 - Moon Pilot

This week the DFPP team is called in to help kickstart the lunar program when they discover that benevolent aliens have arrived and are trying to help us with the race to space so they have someone out there to sing to in the 1962 adventure Moon Pilot.

Listen, download, etc.

Show notes:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition Blu-ray Review

It’s been quite some time since the Disney Film Project Podcast took a look at The Little Mermaid back in Episode 7.  Ariel’s adventure as she finds her way through her dream of living on land and finding true love is probably one of the most well known animated films of all time.  The scope of the impact the film has had on so many is one of those thing you hear about constantly.  As a result, The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition is probably one of the most highly anticipated and welcomed Blu-ray releases from Disney.

The first feature on the Blu-ray that caught my eye is titled @DisneyAnimation - which some might recognize as the Twitter handle for the Walt Disney Animation Studios.  John Musker and Ron Clements, the writers and directors of The Little Mermaid, discuss what it’s like to work for the studio.  There are also a number of other Animators at Disney who discuss how The Little Mermaid drove their careers and continues to inspire them today.  We get to see them working on the upcoming Disney film Frozen as well as the short Paperman.  There are some interesting Tilt Shift videos of the studios along the way.

There’s a piece titled Under the Scene: The art of Live-Action Reference where Clements, Musker, and others discuss how they returned to the roots of Disney animation to create The Little Mermaid.  They used live action to create scenes intended for the movie that were filmed and reviewed in order to study and recreate the movements in the animated movies.  The idea is to help make the characters believable, a practice that goes all the way back to Snow White.  You get to see Sherri Stoner and Joshua Finkel, the live action models for Ariel and Eric, performing these scenes and how they are recreated in the movie.

Howard’s Lecture is a narration by Musker and Clements about the late Howard Ashman.  They talk around bits and pieces from a lecture he gave to other animators where he discussed his beliefs about how to make a great musical by truly integrating the music into the musical itself.  This piece is very interesting and well done though a bit sad when you are reminded of the great talent that was lost with his death.

There’s also a new Disney Intermission titled Crab-e-oke Sing-a-long.  As you might have guessed this is a series of karaoke songs hosted by everyone’s favorite crab Sebastian.  The only real problem with this feature is that the narration voice for Sebastian is terrible.  The songs themselves are directly from the soundtracks - however the animation behind them is a combination of some new animation with re-worked animation clips from the movie.  The songs covered are:

  • Under the Sea
  • Kiss the Girl
  • Poor Unfortunate Souls
  • Les Poissones
  • Part of this World

Also on the Blu-ray you’ll find:

  • “Part of Your World” Music Video featuring Carly Rae Jepsen, which is a live action video that contains many real world counterparts to objects found in Ariel’s treasure cave in the movie.
  • Part of Her World: Jodi Benson’s Voyage to New Fantasyland, an overview of a trip by Jodi Benson and her family to Walt Disney World and New Fantasyland.  They also show her signing a picture of Ariel that is now part of the chandelier in the Art of Animation Resort lobby.
  • Deleted Character - Harold the Merman, a look at a character that was storyboarded but never made it to the movie.
  • Classic DVD Bonus Features

The Diamond Edition set continues to be top of the class when it comes to Blu-ray releases.  They always seem to contain just the right amount of additional features to go along with each feature.  And The Little Mermaid Diamond Edition is a perfect example of that.  I have no doubt that this will be a very popular item as we head into the holiday season.  Not to mention the High Definition remastering of the film is well done and helps really enhance viewing.