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.

Listen, download, etc.

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: