Enter to Win Tickets to Disney On Ice Presents “Dare to Dream” in Orlando, FL

To celebrate the arrival of Disney On Ice Presents “Dare to Dream” coming to the Amway Center in Orlando from September 8-10, 2016, Media Mikes would like to give our fans a chance to win a family four pack of tickets to this monumental ice skating spectacular. Please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Disney on Ice memory from when you were younger or with your family. This giveaway will remain open until August 30th. This is open to our readers in Florida only unless you want to travel. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Here are the available shows that the winner will be able to chose from:
Friday, Sept. 8 at 7:30pm
Saturday, Sept. 9 at 11am.

Amway Center, 400 West Church Street – Suite 200, Orlando, Florida 32801

Save 20% off select seats with code SAVE20. Not valid on premium VIP seating. Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires September 7, 2017.

I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities

Disney’s Smash Hits Moana and Beauty and the Beast Redefine Heroism as Part of Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream

Moana, Maui and Friends from Disney’s Moana Take the Ice for the First Time; Tickets On Sale Now for the 2017 Dates

Disney’s Moana voyages onto the ice for the first time as Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, produced by Feld Entertainment Inc., brings courage and adventure to hometowns across North America. Hosts Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse bring audiences on an expedition across raging seas and snow covered mountains in this action-packed extravaganza featuring Disney’s Beauty and the BeastFrozen, Tangled and Cinderella with other beloved Disney characters to help tell these extraordinary tales. Tickets are on sale today for the 2017 tour dates.

Dare To Dream takes families on a high-sea adventure as Moana sets sail on a life-changing quest to save her island with help from the demigod Maui. With the ice floor transformed into the vast oceanic scape, Disney On Ice allows Moana’s strength and determination to take center stage. This engaging atmosphere lets audiences deepen their existing connection to their favorite wayfinder and discover one’s true identity is never out of reach.

“As parents, we strive to find role models who embolden our children to choose kindness and exhibit the values we aim to impart, and this production of Disney On Ice truly embodies this goal,” said Executive Vice President of Feld Entertainment and Producer of Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, Nicole Feld. “With Dare To Dream, I want to inspire the youngest members of our families with the heroic stories of their favorite Disney characters and allow them to discover the hero within themselves.”

Beautiful production numbers invite audiences into the world of Beauty and the Beast, as Belle shows what it means to be fearless. Along with her new friends in the enchanted castle, Belle is encouraged to step outside the ordinary and find joy in the bleakest situation. As she looks beyond the harsh exterior of the Beast to reach his gentle heart, fans learn there are teachable moments in everyday life.

Through the athleticism and grace of Anna and Elsa, Rapunzel and Flynn, and Cinderella, brave heroes from FrozenTangled and Cinderella ignite passions to believe. Showgoers will witness each characters’ unique qualities and talents inspiring children around the world to discover their inner hero.

“One of the most magical things about Disney On Ice is the performers’ ability to authentically showcase the best qualities of Disney characters,” said Director Patty Vincent. “At our shows, moms and dads are able to experience the magic through the eyes of their children, allowing them to reconnect with their favorite characters and once again experience the childlike wonder and hope that inspires us all.”

Visit DisneyOnIce.com for the shows and dates coming to your hometown. Stay current on the latest developments through social media, including instructions on how to access presale codes for future Disney On Ice productions:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce
Twitter: @DisneyOnIce #DisneyOnIce #DareToDream @NicoleFeld (Show Producer)
YouTube: www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce
Instagram: @DisneyOnIce

About Feld Entertainment

Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that uplift the human spirit and bring people together. With millions of people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 75 countries and on six continents to date and include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On IceDisney Live! and Marvel Universe LIVE! More information about Feld Entertainment is available online at www.feldentertainment.com.

Theater Review: Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” – Kansas City, MO

Starlight Theater
Kansas City, MO
June 3, 2017

Our Score: 3 out of 5 Stars

Under the Sea. That is where the new production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” which made it’s debut performance this past Saturday – the show will be leaving KC to embark on an 18-city tour – intends to take theatre-goers. And it largely delivers on that promise, though not without a few questions.

If you are familiar with the animated film, and judging from a full-house which was easily 60% children, you know the story concerns young mermaid Ariel, the youngest daughter of Triton, falling in love with the very human Eric. Also along are the evil Ursula, the over-protective Sebastian and the goofy best pal Flounder. Young love, evil squids and great songs usually make for a fun night at the theater. However, there were a few things that distracted not only me during the performance but, if the fidgety children all around me were any indication, others as well. The problem with going to a show based on something familiar (book, movie, etc) is that any changes – and there are several plot/character changes here) or, in the case of a musical, new songs, have a tendency to throw viewers off, especially the little ones. If you’re hoping to see Max the dog or are hoping to see a cool shark chase on stage, you may be a little disappointed.

The production was directed by Glenn Casale, who also directed the original Broadway production. It is full of bright lights, bubbly performances and (mostly) familiar songs. Yet it didn’t really hold my full attention. I attribute this, in part, to the fact that this year Starlight has decided to utilize it’s large video screens above the stage, usually reserved for concerts, to “broadcast” the show to the audience. Meant to give the people in the rear of the theater a better, close-up view of the action on stage, if you are in the plaza seat area, watching the stage, you can’t help but have your attention drawn to the flickering images above the stage, which totally draws you out of the show. Also, for the first time in my years of attending shows here, the performance didn’t start on time. It was almost 8:30 before the curtain went up on the scheduled 8:00 show. Which means that the fidgety children were extra fidgety by the time it started. I do understand that this was, literally, the first show of this tour and that there may have been technical issues that needed to be worked out. A quick announcement to the audience would have been nice, especially with a show that runs almost two and a half hours.

Now on to the good stuff. The cast was first rate, with Diana Huey bright and energetic as Ariel. Eric Kunze was in fine voice as Prince Eric while Melvin Abston was truly the crowd favorite as Sebastian the Crab. Connor Russell earned some laughs as Flounder while Jennifer Allen oozed evil while belting out “Poor Unfortunate Souls” as Ursula. The production design was well conceived, and a scene where the creatures of the deep, including some impressive jelly fish, go by was a treat for the eyes. The one question I had, and maybe it’s because I’m an adult, was why, when everyone is in the water, why is Ariel the only one that has to move around CONSTANTLY while Flounder and other creatures just get to stay in place? Poor Ms. Huey’s arms must be dead tired after a show!

Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” runs in Kansas City through Sunday, June 11. For tickets head here.

Film Review: “Beauty and the Beast”

Starring: Dan Stevens, Emma Watson and Luke Evans
Directed By: Bill Condon
Rated: PG
Running Time: 129 minutes
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Disney has effortlessly remade one of its greatest films. That in itself should be commended because of the power that “Beauty and the Beast” still holds for old and young fans of the Disney brand. The 1991 animated classic still has some of the best theatrical music in their catalogue. It also has a story that managed to retell a fairy tale classic while thumbing its nose at formula, something that still feels fresh over a quarter of a century later. So how did Disney recapture the magic?

The sincerity by everyone involved is clear from the costume and set designers to the cast populating the screen. Emma Watson’s portrayal of Belle is spot on, from her obvious attractiveness to Watson matching Belle’s powerfully independent demeanor with stoic glares and gentle warmth in her eyes. There is subtle personality changes that evolves Belle from the two-dimensional hand-drawn character of yesteryear into a three-dimensional character grounded in reality that dances off the screen.

As for Dan Stevens, he had a tougher time capturing the brutish nature of his character, since the Beast is CGI. While I’d be willing to place bets that his voice was digitally tinkered with, Stevens’ ruffs, gruffs, and even singing, makes him stronger than Robby Benson’s portrayal back in the early 90’s. It also helps that we get a lot more backstory behind the Beast’s character and an extra layer of geniality beneath the coarse fur and fangs.

Going in I had my doubts that Luke Evans could play such a vain, muscular villain like Gaston, but luckily I was proven wrong by his character’s roguish suaveness and cunning wickedness. Josh Gad pairs with him nicely as a much more good-natured LeFou in this update. The cutlery and castle furniture are just as charming as their voice actors, Ian McKellan, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, GuGu Mbatha-Raw, and Ewan McGregor, who’s leading the way as the talking candlestick, Lumière. McGregor doesn’t disappoint when he voices the show stopping “Be Our Guest.”

The story remains true to the original, scrambling up a few pivotal moments, adjusting pacing, sewing in ideas from the Broadway adaptation, and taking some creative liberties (which I’m sure you’ve read or heard about one in particular in the media by now). After 25 years, it makes sense that some nuts and bolts have to be shifted and modernized, but it never forsakes the heart and spirit of the movie. The story’s soulful mix of romance and music remains intact.

There are about 30 more minutes of content that gives the audience a deeper of understanding of the characters, and not just our two lovebirds. We relate and feel more for the talking furnishings and silverware more than we did previously. While purists might fold their arms and slouch in their theater chairs in disgust over these changes and the vision, others will be enchanted by this interpretation, finding something there that wasn’t there before.

“Beauty and the Beast” is a magical retelling that will make fans of young ones and make Disney loyalists fall in love with the story all over again. While the original is still the standard bearer for Disney storytelling and animation, this 2017 version isn’t without its own merits. The 21st century “Beauty and the Beast” is a lot more melodic and even more visually extravagant without ever being gaudy. Its familiarity makes it a must-see, but its newfound charm makes it an instant classic for newcomers.

Film Review: “Moana”

Starring the voices of: Dwayne Johnson, Auli’i Cravalho and Rachel House
Directed by: Ron Clements, John Musker – co-directed by Don Hall and Chris Williams
Rated: PG
Running time: 1 hr 43 mins
Walt Disney Company

Our Score: 5 out of 5 Stars

Say hello to Maui. As voiced by Dwayne Johnson, Maui is a demi-god of great strength, humor and a beautiful singing voice! When her family is in need of help, it falls on the young Moana (Cravalho) to seek out Maui before it becomes too late.

Both brilliant and breathtaking, “Moana” is sure to be the next Disney classic. The characters are beautifully established and the actors behind them are pitch perfect. While much will be made of young Ms. Cravalho – who celebrated her 16th birthday on November 22 – the star here is the man formerly known as “the Rock.” Johnson established his skills for comedy in such films as “Be Cool” and “Pain and Gain,” his performance here is truly award worthy. And what a singing voice! Too bad the film is animated, as I wouldn’t be surprised if he can dance as well.

Like previous Disney animated features, the animation is outstanding. 95% of the film takes place in/on water, and the images on screen – I saw the film in 3D but it’s not necessary to enjoy it – flow by beautifully. Also like previous Disney animated films, there are some cute and funny animal characters that will steal your heart, among them a dimwitted chicken and the cutest piglet you’ve ever seen. Yes, cuter than the REAL Piglet! Other voice talents include Rachel House as Moana’s grandmother and Jermaine Clement as the crab Tamatoa. The songs are all Oscar worthy, with many them written by “Hamilton” scribe Lin Manuel Miranda. When all is said and done, it’s certainly the best way to spend 90 minutes this holiday!

Enter to win tickets to Disney On Ice Presents “Follow Your Heart” in Orlando, FL

To celebrate the arrival of Disney On Ice Presents “Follow Your Heart” coming to the Amway Center in Orlando from September 2-4, 2016, Media Mikes would like to give our fans a chance to win a family four pack of tickets to this monumental ice skating spectacular. Please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Disney character from this upcoming show!. This giveaway will remain open until August 21st at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in Florida only unless you want to travel. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Here are the available shows that the winner will be able to chose from:
Friday, September 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 3 at 11:00 a.m

Amway Center, 400 West Church Street – Suite 200, Orlando, Florida 32801

Just keep swimming with Dory, Nemo, Marlin and new pal Hank from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory as they embark on a life-changing excursion to find her parents and discover the true meaning of family. Cheer with the Emotions from Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out –Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust– as they help Riley find the confidence to win the hockey championship and experience the emotional rollercoaster of growing up. Venture to wintery world of Arendelle where Olaf and Kristoff help reunite royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and learn love is the most powerful magic of all. See Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana and the Disney Princesses make their dreams come true through their virtues of bravery, kindness and perseverance. And celebrate true friendship with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and The Toy Story gang. Make unforgettable memories with Mickey, Minnie and all your Disney friends when Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart skates into your hometown!

Disney On Ice Presents “Follow Your Heart” This September in Orlando

Tickets On Sale Now in Orlando for Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart Featuring Disney•Pixar’s Record-Breaking Animated Hit Finding Dory and Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out

ORLANDO, FL – July 7, 2016 Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart is bringing Disney•Pixar’s record-breaking animated feature Finding Dory to the ice for the first time in this live production produced by Feld Entertainment. The ice skating extravaganza featuring Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out, Disney’s Frozen and other beloved Disney stories visits Orlando from September 2-4, 2016 for six performances at Amway Center.

Just keep swimming with Dory, Nemo, Marlin and new pal Hank from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory as theyembark on a life-changing excursion to find her parents and discover the true meaning of family. Cheer with the Emotions from Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out –Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust– as they help Riley find the confidence to win the hockey championship and experience the emotional rollercoaster of growing up. Venture to wintery world of Arendelle where Olaf and Kristoff help reunite royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and learn love is the most powerful magic of all. See Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana and the Disney Princesses make their dreams come true through their virtues of bravery, kindness and perseverance. And celebrate true friendship with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and The Toy Story gang. Make unforgettable memories with Mickey, Minnie and all your Disney friends when Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart skates into your hometown! 

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart start from $18. Market pricing applies to all tickets. Rates can fluctuate based on factors that affect supply and demand. Lock in your price and location today!

Show Times:  Friday, September 2, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, September 3, 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, September 4, 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.All seats are reserved. Tickets are available atwww.DisneyOnIce.com  or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone for information only: 407-440-7900). For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.

Stay current on the latest developments through social media:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce

Twitter: @DisneyOnIce #DisneyOnIce #FollowYourHeart

YouTube: www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce

Instagram: @DisneyOnIce

# # # 

About Feld Entertainment

Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 75 countries and on six continents to date and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live! and Marvel Universe LIVE! More information about Feld Entertainment is available online at www.feldentertainment.com.

Film Review: “Pete’s Dragon”

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley and Wes Bentley
Directed By: David Lowery
Rated: PG
Running Time: 102 minutes
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Disney’s latest live-action rejuvenation goes way back into the dusty part of their movie vault. The 1977 “Pete’s Dragon” probably isn’t really the pinnacle of Disney’s catalogue and my last viewing of it came when I was five years old when I would generally watch any movie that had animation, especially dragons. So I had no memorable nostalgia, expectations or preconceived notions heading into the “Pete’s Dragon” reboot and I feel it’s a sufficient reimaging for today’s generation.

The 2016 version wisely takes us back to the 80’s, at a time where if there was a dragon, everyone involved wouldn’t automatically be whipping out their smartphones to record. Our trip back in time brings us to Pete (Fegley), a four-year-old about to go camping with his parents. A car wreck kills his parents, leaving Pete to wander into the woods where he’ll surely be consumed by the wildlife of the Pacific Northwest. Instead though, he’s greeted by a friendly, protective dragon.

Instead of a goofy potbellied beast, the computer generated winged creature has a emerald shag carpet fur coating his entire body. The giant reptile’s playfulness is reminiscent of the dragons in “How to Train Your Dragon”. Because of this, the dragon is more dog-like and cute when interacting with Pete. Unwisely though, Disney gives this dragon a growl and deadly fire breathing capabilities, putting the wrong people in peril in multiple instances.

“Pete’s Dragon” establishes a sweet bond as we watch the boy and dragon, which he names Elliot, over a six-year time span. They gallivant through the thick woods and play in the streams like childhood pals. Pete, clearly not remembering the traumatic events that placed him in the woods, reads a book his parents gave him to the dragon every night. It’s odd that the movie never touches upon Pete’s parental loss. A park ranger, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, spots Pete and drags him back to the real world.

With Pete taken from his forest home, Elliot is left alone, but he’s soon hunted by a bunch of Stone Age thinking loggers. It sets up some flimsy intrigue for the final act, but disappoints on a climactic and emotional level. While I do believe that Pete and Elliot have a fondness for each other and care deeply about one another, I never feel the love and adoration they have. “Pete’s Dragon” delivers a warm hug for audiences, but it left me wondering if the affection was genuine.

Kids, who are obviously the target audience, won’t see any of its problems and will enjoy the magic of it. They may understand the vague environmental and importance of family messages, but overall they’ll be wowed and thrilled by the dragon’s escapades. “Pete’s Dragon” is a sure bet for families needing a Summer escape and a positive message, but just like the original, this remake may inevitably end up in the Disney discount bin.

Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart Featuring Disney•Pixar’s Record-Breaking Animated Hit Finding Dory and Inside Out Heads to Orlando

Tickets On Sale Today in Orlando for

Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart Featuring Disney•Pixar’s Record-Breaking Animated Hit Finding Dory and Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out

ORLANDO, FL – July 7, 2016 Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart is bringing Disney•Pixar’s record-breaking animated feature Finding Dory to the ice for the first time in this live production produced by Feld Entertainment. The ice skating extravaganza featuring Disney•Pixar’s Inside Out, Disney’s Frozen and other beloved Disney stories visits Orlandofrom September 2-4, 2016 for six performances at Amway Center.  Tickets go on sale today.

Just keep swimming with Dory, Nemo, Marlin and new pal Hank from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Dory as they embark on a life-changing excursion to find her parents and discover the true meaning of family. Cheer with the Emotions fromDisney•Pixar’s Inside Out –Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust– as they help Riley find the confidence to win the hockey championship and experience the emotional rollercoaster of growing up. Venture to wintery world of Arendelle where Olaf and Kristoff help reunite royal sisters Anna and Elsa from Disney’s Frozen and learn love is the most powerful magic of all. See Cinderella, Rapunzel, Tiana and the Disney Princesses make their dreams come true through their virtues of bravery, kindness and perseverance. And celebrate true friendship with Buzz Lightyear, Woody and The Toy Story gang. Make unforgettable memories with Mickey, Minnie and all your Disney friends when Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart skates into your hometown! 

Tickets for Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart start from $18. Market pricing applies to all tickets. Rates can fluctuate based on factors that affect supply and demand. Lock in your price and location today!

Show Times:  Friday, September 2, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, September 3, 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, September 4, 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. All seats are reserved. Tickets are available at www.DisneyOnIce.com  or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone for information only: 407-440-7900). For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740. 

 

Stay current on the latest developments through social media:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce

Twitter: @DisneyOnIce #DisneyOnIce #FollowYourHeart

YouTube: www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce

Instagram: @DisneyOnIce

 

Members of the media should visit www.FeldEntertainment.com/PressRoom for more information.  Photos can be found at www.FeldEntertainment.com/hrp (username: feldmedia; password: photos). Photo credit: Feld Entertainment

# # # 

About Feld Entertainment

Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 75 countries and on six continents to date and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live! and Marvel Universe LIVE! More information about Feld Entertainment is available online atwww.feldentertainment.com.

Film Review: “Finding Dory”

Starring the Voice Of: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks and Hayden Rolence
Directed By: Andrew Stanton
Rated: G
Running Time: 103 minutes
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Back in 2003, “Finding Nemo” was the crown jewel of animated movies. After 13 more years of storytelling innovation and cleverness on Pixar’s end, “Finding Nemo” isn’t quite the pinnacle of Pixar’s animation catalogue anymore. It’s known that Pixar is willing to do sequel, just as long as it’s as emotionally resonant and intellectually stimulating as the original. “Finding Dory” does both, even while treading familiar waters.

The protagonist this time around is Dory (DeGeneres), obviously. The blue surgeonfish still suffers from short-term memory loss, but one of Nemo’s (Rolence) class field trips knocks a cobweb loose in Dory’s brain. Memories of her parents come flooding back in an instant. Soon Dory’s head is swimming in a sea of longing and sorrow for her parents. The how’s and why’s of her separation from her parents are still a bit fuzzy, but those will come as the story progresses.

Marlin (Brooks) begrudgingly follows Dory on her journey. “Finding Dory” is a more compact journey. Instead of crossing the vast ocean, the trio heads to California where they wind up at the Monterey Marine Institute and get separated. Dory is snatched up and placed inside the confines of the rescue center. As she slowly makes her way around, Marlin and Nemo spend the movie playing catch-up.

There isn’t any real peril, since the humans they encounter don’t want to hurt them and the other aquatic life populating the Institute are all non-aggressive. But Pixar has always been able to do a lot with a just a little. The smaller confines of the settings give way to Dory utilizing an octopus (referred to as a septopus by Dory because one of tentacles was ripped off) named Hank (Ed O’Neil). Hank provides the out of water transportation for Dory, eliminating a lot of the unique ways that the fish could possibly be using to get around. But that’s just a small complaint in an otherwise nearly perfect film.

Ever since “Cars 2”, there’s been apprehension before every Pixar movie. Especially in a sequel that seems warrantless. But the folks behind “Finding Dory” have repackaged and rebranded what made the first one so good. The animation, as always, is a mesmerizing Kaleidoscope trip through the sea. It’s easy to get washed over by the stunning imagery and forgot about the small little tweaks here and there that continually push what the boundaries of computer animation.

DeGeneres is tasked with carrying a lot of the poignant plot points through Dory. The blue fish that was a gag in the original now provides a lot of the heart-rending story. It’s nice to see the childlike wonder of Dory turn into childlike pain that her parents are gone. The themes are either hidden, creating a greater depth of meaning, or the themes are upfront and in focus so that kids can subconsciously learn and grow in a positive way. Pixar once again finds a way to make adults and kids alike find that soft spot of their heart that brings a tear to the eye.

 

Blu-ray Review “Walt Disney Animation Studios Shorts Collection”

Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Run Time: 79 minutes

Shorts: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

We all know that everyone buying this Blu-ray would be mostly for “Frozen Fever”, one of Disney’s biggest hits ever. Honestly, it is an amazing short and we have easily watched it ten times already. The new song is easily one of the best song Disney has ever created. Other than “Frozen Fever”, this Blu-ray contains two never before released on video shorts including “Tick Tock Tale”, and “Lorenzo”. “Paperman” is one of my favorite shorts…probably ever, same goes for “Tangled Ever After”, which is full of laughs and “Feast”, which definitely gets a smile on your face. I can easily watch this shorts over and over.

Official Premise: From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes an extraordinary new collection of award-winning and beloved short films featuring Disney’s Frozen Fever, starring Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Sven and Kristoff, and the Oscar®-nominated Lorenzo (Best Animated Short, 2004). The Short Films Collection includes contemporary shorts starring classic characters, such as the groundbreaking 2013 Mickey Mouse cartoon, Get A Horse! And the holiday treat Prep & Landing: Operation: Secret Santa, as well as celebrated Oscar winners Paperman (2012) and Feast (2014). Enjoy them together for the first time in this must-own collection with all-new extras including an inside look at the Disney Animation shorts, featuring introductions and interviews with the acclaimed filmmakers themselves.

Here are the complete list of the short films included: “Frozen Fever” (2015), originally premiered with “Cinderella”; “Feast” (2014), originally premiered with “Big Hero 6”. “Get A Horse!” (2013), originally premiered with “Frozen”; “Paperman” (2012), originally premiered with “Wreck it Ralph”; “Tangled Ever After” (2012), originally premiered with “Beauty and the Beast 3D”; “The Ballad of Nessie” (2011), originally premiered with “Winnie the Pooh”; “Tick Tock Tale (2010)”, previously unreleased; “Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa” (2010), originally premiered on ABC TV; “How to Hook Up Your Home Theater” (2007), originally premiered with “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”; “The Little Matchgirl” (2006), originally premiered with “The Little Mermaid Platinum Edition DVD”; Lorenzo (2004), originally premiered with “Raising Helen”; and lastly “John Henry” (2000), originally premiered in “Disney’s American Legends”.

Disney delivered a great release with a combo pack including a Blu-ray + DVD and digital HD copy. The 1080p transfer is flawless as expected from Disney. The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is also amazing especially with Paperman’s score and Frozen Fever’s song. There are a few bonus features for nothing great. There are intros from the filmmakers before each short but they are like 30 seconds each and don’t give much info at all. There is also an interview with “Big Hero 6” star T.J. Miller. Lastly there is a final short film, “Runaway Brain” starring Mickey Mouse…but it is only available online using the Disney Movies Anywhere app or website.

Enter to Win Tickets to “Disney On Ice – 100 Years of Magic” at Amway Center in Orlando, FL

To celebrate the arrival of Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt coming to the Amway Center in Orlando from September 4-6, 2015, Media Mikes would like to give our fans a chance to win a family four pack of tickets to this monumental ice skating spectacular. Please leave us a comment below or send us an email with your favorite Disney character. This giveaway will remain open until August 21st at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in US and Canada only. One entry per person, per household. All other entries will be considered invalid. Media Mikes will randomly select winners. Winners will be alerted via email.

Audiences will be a part of the magic of Disney as Mouse-ter of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse leads a parade of more than 50 beloved characters starring Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and featuring an ensemble of Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana. The wintry wonderland of Disney’s Frozen also comes to life with Anna, Elsa, and the hilarious Olaf, as they discover that true love is the greatest magic of all. Exciting moments from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Nemo, Disney’s Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast will leave the whole family with memories to last a lifetime.

The legacy of Disney is displayed through 14 classic and modern stories in this epic production that features an international team of award-winning figure skaters, high-energy choreography and a breathtaking set. With over 30 melodious masterpieces such as “Let It Go!,” “You’ve Got A Friend in Me” and “Hakuna Matata,” Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic is the ultimate Disney fan experience.

Where: Amway Center, 400 West Church Street – Suite 200, Orlando, Florida 32801
Dates and Times of Performances:
Friday, September 4 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 5 at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 6 at 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices and Purchase:
Tickets start at $25. Also available at $30, $40, $60, $75 (VIP) and $100 (Rink side). (Ticketmaster service charges and facility fees not included.) All seats are reserved, and tickets are now on sale to the public. Tickets are available at www.DisneyOnIce.com or www.ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster outlet, by calling 800-745-3000, or at the Amway Center box office (phone for information only: 407-440-7900). For group ticket sales and information, call 866-248-8740.

Save $5 off per ticket with code MOM5. Not valid on VIP or Rink Side seating. Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires September 3, 2015.

For a complete list of tour dates, visit the Disney On Ice website (http://www.disneyonice.com) and stay current on the latest developments through social media:

Facebook (www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce)
Twitter (@DisneyOnIce/@NicoleFeld (show’s producer twitter feed))
YouTube (www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce)

ABOUT FELD ENTERTAINMENT
Feld Entertainment is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that lift the human spirit and create indelible memories, with 30 million people in attendance at its shows each year. Feld Entertainment’s productions have appeared in more than 75 countries and on six continents to date and include Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Nuclear Cowboyz®, AMSOIL Arenacross, Disney On Ice Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt, Disney Live!

Disney, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox Announce The Star Wars Digital Movie Collection

/ PR Newswire / — As anticipation builds for the December release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the first new film in the Star Wars Saga in a decade, The Walt Disney Studios, Lucasfilm Ltd., and 20th Century Fox today announced the upcoming release of The Star Wars Digital Movie Collection. For the first time ever, all six epic films in the Saga, from The Phantom Menaceto Return of the Jedi, will be available on Digital HD throughout the galaxy – or at least here on Earth – globally beginning Friday, April 10.

“Since the debut of the first film nearly 40 years ago, Star Wars has become a worldwide phenomenon with legions of fans from every generation,” said Alan Bergman, President, The Walt Disney Studios. “It’s only fitting that audiences enjoy this legendary Saga and its many fascinating behind-the-scenes stories on a wide variety of platforms, and we’re very excited to finally bring all six films to Digital HD for the first time.”

“We’re thrilled that fans will be able to enjoy the Star Wars Saga on their digital devices wherever they go,” commented Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “These films broke new ground in technology, design, sound, and visual effects, and we’ve created some very special bonus material which delves into the Saga’s rich history, including new and never-before-released conversations between legendary Star Wars artists – the masters who helped George bring his iconic universe to life.”

With Star Wars: Episodes I-VI available for purchase as a complete digital movie collection and individually, viewers will have the Rebel forces at their beck and call across their favorite devices anywhere – sunbathing at the beach, relaxing in their living room with friends, or waiting to board a flight to Endor (or elsewhere).

Enhancing the movie collection are a host of never-before-seen special features including Star Wars: Discoveries from Inside and insightful Conversations between key contributors from across this celebrated film franchise, plus a curated collection of classic Star Warsextras from each film. These are the droids you’re looking for:

BONUS
*Digital bonus offerings may vary by retailer
STAR WARS EPISODE I: The Phantom Menace

  • Conversations: Doug Chiang Looks Back
  • Discoveries From Inside: Models & Miniatures
  • Legacy content includes “The Beginning”; The Podrace: Theatrical Edit; plus eight deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE II: Attack of the Clones

  • Conversations: Sounds In Space
  • Discoveries From Inside: Costumes Revealed
  • Legacy content includes “From Puppets To Pixels: Digital Characters In Episode II”; State Of The Art: The Previsualization Of Episode II; and “Films Are Not Released, They Escape”; plus Episode II Visual Effects Breakdown Montage and six deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE III: Revenge of the Sith

  • Conversations: The Star WarsThat Almost Was
  • Discoveries From Inside: Hologram & Bloopers
  • Legacy content includes documentaries “Within A Minute: The Making Of Episode III”; The Journey Part 1; and The Journey Part 2; plus six deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A New Hope (20th Century Fox)

  • Conversations: Creating A Universe
  • Discoveries From Inside: Weapons & The First Lightsaber
  • Legacy content includes “Anatomy Of A Dewback”; Star WarsLaunch Trailer; plus eight deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE V: The Empire Strikes Back

  • Conversations: The Lost Interviews
  • Discoveries From Inside: Matte Paintings Unveiled
  • Legacy content includes “A Conversation With The Masters” (2010); “Dennis Muren: How Walkers Walk”; “George Lucas On Editing The Empire Strikes Back 1979”; and “George Lucas On The Force: 2010”; plus six deleted scenes.

STAR WARS EPISODE VI: Return of the Jedi

  • Conversations: The Effects
  • Discoveries From Inside: The Sounds Of Ben Burtt
  • Legacy content includes “Classic Creatures: Return Of The Jedi”; “Revenge Of The Jedi Teaser Trailer”; Return Of The Jedi Launch Trailer; “It Began TV Spot”; “Climactic Chapter TV Spot”; plus five deleted scenes.

About The Walt Disney Studios
For over 90 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world.

Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; Disney|Lucasfilm; and Touchstone Pictures, the banner under which live-action films from DreamWorks Studios are distributed. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!

About Lucasfilm Ltd.
Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production. In addition to its motion-picture and television production, the company’s activities include visual effects and audio post-production, cutting-edge digital animation, interactive entertainment software, and the management of the global merchandising activities for its entertainment properties including the legendary STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES franchises. Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in northern California.

Lucasfilm, the Lucasfilm logo, STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. STAR WARS © & TM 2015 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. All other trademarks and trade names are properties of their respective owners.

About 20th Century Fox
One of the world’s largest producers and distributors of motion pictures, 20th Century Fox Film produces, acquires and distributes motion pictures throughout the world. These motion pictures are produced or acquired by the following units of 20th Century Fox Film: Twentieth Century Fox, Fox 2000 Pictures, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Fox International Productions, and Twentieth Century Fox Animation.

Blu-ray Reviews: Disney Presents Studio Ghibli Latest Films

Thank God for Disney since they have been delivering fans of Studio Ghibli films with new Blu-ray ever few months. The following three beloved films have never been available before on Blu-ray in the US. They are POM POKO, PORCO ROSSO and TALES FROM EARTHSEA. These films are not the most notable films in Studio Ghibli’s library but they are still classics. They also come with all-new digital masters featuring HD picture and sound. Having seen POM POKO and PORCO ROSSO back when I was a kid on VHS tape, this was quite the different experience. Almost felt like a different movie. The colors are absolutely vibrant and each films is accompanied with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track for both their original Japanese and English dub tracks.

POM POKO is directed by Isao Takahata know for his work on “Grave of the Fireflies” and “Heidi: A Girl of the Alps”). PORCO ROSSO is directed by the king of Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaki himself (“Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke”). Lastly TALES FROM EARTHSEA is directed by the son of the king, Goro Miyazaki, who also directed “From Up on Poppy Hill”. Like I said these are great films. Personally, I am really hoping my breath for my favorite Ghibli films including “Spirited Away” and “The Castle of Cagliostro” to head to US on Blu-ray but for now, these are a great addition to my Studio Ghibli collection.

POM POKO Official Premise: Studio Ghibli presents a film about the clash between modern civilization and the natural world from acclaimed director Isao Takahata. The raccoons of the Tama Hills are being forced from their homes by the rapid development of houses and shopping malls. As it becomes harder to find food and shelter, they decide to band together and fight back. The raccoons practice and perfect the ancient art of transformation until they are even able to appear as humans. In often hilarious ways, the raccoons use their powers to try to scare off the advance of civilization. But will it be enough? Or will the raccoons learn how to live in balance with the modern world? Celebrate the magic of the forest and the beauty of the creatures who live among us in “Pom Poko”—now on Disney Blu-ray for the first time ever.

PORCO ROSSO Official Premise: Take flight with “Porco Rosso,” a valiant World War I flying ace! From tropical Adriatic settings to dazzling aerial maneuvers, this action-adventure from world-renowned animator Hayao Miyazaki is full of humor, courage and chivalry. When “Porco”—whose face has been trans- formed into that of a pig by a mysterious spell—infuriates a band of sky pirates with his aerial heroics, the pirates hire Curtis, a rival pilot, to get rid of him. On the ground, the two pilots compete for the affections of the beautiful Gina. But it’s in the air where the true battles are waged. Will our hero be victorious? For the first time ever on Disney Blu-ray, “Porco Rosso” is a thrilling ride you’ll never forget!

TALES FROM EARTHSEA Official Premise: An epic animated adventure directed by Goro Miyazaki, “Tales From Earthsea” features the voices of Timothy Dalton, Willem Dafoe, Cheech Marin and Mariska Hargitay. Based on the classic “Earthsea” fantasy book series by Ursula K. Le Guin, “Tales From Earthsea” is set in a mythical world filled with magic and bewitchment. In the land of Earthsea, crops are dwindling, dragons have reappeared and humanity is giving way to chaos. Journey with Lord Archmage Sparrowhawk, a master wizard, and Arren, a troubled young prince, on a tale of redemption and self-discovery as they search for the force behind the mysterious imbalance that threatens to destroy their world. Featuring a timeless story and magnificent hand-drawn animation, “Tales From Earthsea” is now available for the first time ever on Disney Blu-ray.

POM POKO stars a great US cast including Clancy Brown (“The Shawshank Redemption,” “Starship Troopers”) as Gonta, J.K. Simmons (“Spider-Man,” “The Closer”) as Seizaemon, Jonathan Taylor Thomas (“The Lion King,” “Home Improvement”) as Shokichi, John DiMaggio (“Futurama,” “Adventure Time”) as Ryûtarô and Olivia d’Abo (“The Wonder Years,” “Conan the Destroyer”) as Koharu.

PORCO ROSSO does one up delivering an even better cast with Michael Keaton (“Batman,” “Toy Story 3”) as Porco Rosso, Cary Elwes (“The Princess Bride,” “Saw”) as Curtis, Kimberly Williams-Paisley (“According to Jim,” “Father of the Bride”) as Fio, Susan Egan (“Hercules,” “13 Going on 30”) as Gina, David Ogden Stiers (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Pocahontas,” and TV’s “M*A*S*H”) as Grandpa Piccolo and Brad Garrett (TV’s “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Ratatouille,” “Finding Nemo”) as Mamma Aiuto Boss.

Lastly TALES FROM EARTHSEA does not disappoint either, especially including a former James Bond to the cast. For this we get the talents of Mariska Hargitay (“Law and Order: Special Victims,” “Leaving Las Vegas”) as Tenar, Willem Dafoe (“Spider-Man,” “Finding Nemo”) as Cob, Timothy Dalton (“The Living Daylights,” “License to Kill”) as Ged, Cheech Marin (“The Lion King,” “Nash Bridger”) as Hare.

The special features on these Blu-ray range a bit with POM POKO delivering the least goods. POM POKO  includes original Japanese storyboards and also original Japanese trailers. PORCO ROSSO also includes original Japanese storyboards and also original Japanese trailers as well as a Behind The Microphone featurette with the US cast and also an interview with the film’s producer Toshio Suzuki. Lastly TALES FROM EARTHSEA also includes original Japanese storyboards and also original Japanese trailers as well as a feature on the film’s score “The Birth of the Film Soundtrack” and a making of featurette with “Behind the Studio: Origins of Earthsea”. Not too shabby for lesser known titles and definitely enough to make these Blu-ray worth the purchase.

Product Feature “Disney Frozen Olaf Inflatable Outdoor Christmas Figure”

Since the unbelievable success of Disney’s “Frozen” last year people have been in craze for any thing from this film. With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s that time to decorate the house and I was thinking to myself, “Hey, I want a giant inflatable Olaf in the front of my house!”. Well, leave it Gemmy to deliver us exactly that. Gemmy is the company who makes most of these amazing inflatable figures that end up on many of our front lawns. They have everything from “Star Wars” to ” Disney” and everything in between.

The Olaf inflatable figure figure stands at 3.5 feet tall and looks amazing when all blown up and standing tall. It inflates very quickly and with no issue at all. It uses energy efficient LED lights to conserve energy. I know it maybe been too late for this year but Gemmy should get on the wagon with Anna and Elsa inflatables as well. I would love to have a Frozen collection to celebrate the holidays. If you are a big fan of the Disney animated film, I would highly recommend this product and if you are a smart shopper you should be able to find it for below $40 bucks, which is a real steal for sure!