Enter to Win a Family 4-Packs of Tickets to Disney On Ice Presents “Mickey’s Search Party” in Orlando FL {ENDED]

Media Mikes is excited to be working with Feld Entertainment again to bring our readers a wonderful opportunity to win a family 4-pack of tickets to the upcoming Disney on Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party at the Amway Center in Orlando, FL.  If you want to win this great prize, please leave a comment below or email us with what Disney character would you love to see make an appearance at a Disney on Ice show!This giveaway will remain open until August 24th at Noon, Eastern Time. This is open to our readers in Orlando, FL only, no travel included. 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.

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party brings the magic closer to fans than ever before through dynamic and immersive moments that take place on the ice, in the air and in the seats when the show comes to Amway Center in Orlando September 7-9, 2018 for six performances. Produced by Feld Entertainment Inc., the worldwide leader in live touring family entertainment, Disney On Ice is once again elevating the ice show experience with brand-new engaging elements that will fascinate both newcomers and seasoned guests, alike. Tickets are on sale now at DisneyOnIce.com.

Joined by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, live hosts will enliven the performance space by welcoming everyone into the magical world of Disney On Ice, setting the stage for a participatory adventure. Guests will embark on a search for clues to find Tinker Bell after Captain Hook tries to capture her magic. As each scene unfolds, compelling storytelling will be delivered through multi-level production numbers by skaters, performers and acrobats, alike. As Miguel from Disney●Pixar’s Coco crosses the Marigold Bridge, he finds himself in the magnificent spirit realm painted with vibrant color, with skeletons atop sway poles oscillating back and forth over the audience in this culturally rich, heritage celebration. Through video projection, Arendelle builds from the ground up, and ice harvesters from Disney’s Frozen use extreme skating to launch themselves from the mountainous, wintry slopes delivering an athletically-driven performance as they chop their way through blocks of ice. The iconic chandelier seen in “Be Our Guest” comes to life as Belle and the enchanted objects from Beauty and the Beast become a rotating carousel using aerial silks and lift upward into the air, mesmerizing onlookers seated above and below.

Media Mikes is excited to be provided a special discount for our readers: Save 20% off select seats with code SAVE20. Not valid on premium VIP seating. Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires September 6, 2018.

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Mickey’s Search Party will feature a collection of Disney characters fans know and love portrayed by decorated performer-athletes who push the boundaries of what is possible. Their theatrical talent, combined with this innovative Disney On Ice production, elevates the live entertainment experience and will leave families with memories that will last a lifetime.

Ticket Prices: Starting from $18. For ticket information, visit DisneyOnIce.com.
Orlando Show Times: Friday, September 7, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, September 8, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, September 9, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Venue: Amway Center, 400 W. Church Street #200, Orlando, FL 32801
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 #MickeysSearchParty @NicoleFeld (Show Producer)
YouTube: www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce
Instagram: @DisneyOnIce @feld_nicole (Show Producer)

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About Feld Entertainment:
Feld Entertainment® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that bring people together and uplift the human spirit. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Disney On Ice, Disney Live!, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Sesame Street Live!, DreamWorks Trolls The Experience (coming Fall 2018) and Jurassic World Live (coming Fall 2019). Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit feldentertainment.com for more information.

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 On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party Brings the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before Through Unexpected, Never-Before-Seen Performances 

Tickets for All-New Show Coming to Orlando September 7-9 On Sale Today
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Orlando, Fla. – June 26, 2018 – Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party brings the magic closer to fans than ever before through dynamic and immersive moments that take place on the ice, in the air and in the seats when the show comes to Amway Center in Orlando September 7-9, 2018 for six performances. Produced by Feld Entertainment Inc., the worldwide leader in live touring family entertainment, Disney On Ice is once again elevating the ice show experience with brand-new engaging elements that will fascinate both newcomers and seasoned guests, alike. Tickets are on sale now at DisneyOnIce.com.
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Joined by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, live hosts will enliven the performance space by welcoming everyone into the magical world of Disney On Ice, setting the stage for a participatory adventure. Guests will embark on a search for clues to find Tinker Bell after Captain Hook tries to capture her magic. As each scene unfolds, compelling storytelling will be delivered through multi-level production numbers by skaters, performers and acrobats, alike.
.
As Miguel from Disney●Pixar’s Coco crosses the Marigold Bridge, he finds himself in the magnificent spirit realm painted with vibrant color, with skeletons atop sway poles oscillating back and forth over the audience in this culturally rich, heritage celebration. Through video projection, Arendelle builds from the ground up, and ice harvesters from Disney’s Frozen use extreme skating to launch themselves from the mountainous, wintry slopes delivering an athletically-driven performance as they chop their way through blocks of ice. The iconic chandelier seen in “Be Our Guest” comes to life as Belle and the enchanted objects from Beauty and the Beast become a rotating carousel using aerial silks and lift upward into the air, mesmerizing onlookers seated above and below.
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“Our goal with any show, no matter where you are in the world, is to deliver transformative performances that captivate audiences time and time again. With this production of Disney On Ice, we have brought the magic closer to guests than ever before by having the audience become an integral part of advancing the narrative as each story unfolds,” said Nicole Feld, Executive Vice President and Producer. “We have pushed the action past the ice, expanding the stage beyond our traditional surface. The excitement will not only happen in front of fans, but all around them with characters emerging from the stands in unexpected places for one-on-one delightful moments.”
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In a high-energy opening number, Club Mickey Mouse-inspired performers will hype up the crowd through cutting-edge figure skating choreography and hoverboard tricks on the ice. Air tracks will also allow the hilarious pirates aboard the Jolly Roger to flip, tumble and twist to greater heights as they attempt to showcase their talents for Captain Hook. Aerial straps combined with adagio pair skating will elevate Ariel’s transformation from mermaid to human creating a spell-bounding sequence high above the ice with Prince Eric to the classic song, “Kiss The Girl.”  Creative costume design and fabrication will enhance the scenes as the ensemble imitate life “Under the Sea” from Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and will also give the illusion the ice is enveloped in flames as Moana encounters Te Ka on her daring voyage to restore the heart of Te Fiti.
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Mickey’s Search Party will feature a collection of Disney characters fans know and love portrayed by decorated performer-athletes who push the boundaries of what is possible. Their theatrical talent, combined with this innovative Disney On Ice production, elevates the live entertainment experience and will leave families with memories that will last a lifetime.
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Ticket Prices: Starting from $18. For ticket information, visit DisneyOnIce.com.
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Orlando Show Times: Friday, September 7, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, September 8, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Sunday, September 9, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
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Venue: Amway Center, 400 W. Church Street #200, Orlando, FL 32801
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Stay current on the latest developments through social media, including instructions on how to access presale codes for future Disney On Ice productions:
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Twitter: @DisneyOnIce #DisneyOnIce #MickeysSearchParty @NicoleFeld (Show Producer)
Instagram: @DisneyOnIce @feld_nicole (Show Producer)
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About Feld Entertainment:
Feld Entertainment® is the worldwide leader in producing and presenting live touring family entertainment experiences that bring people together and uplift the human spirit. Properties include Monster Jam®, Monster Energy Supercross, Disney On IceDisney Live!, Marvel Universe LIVE!, Sesame Street Live!DreamWorks Trolls The Experience (coming Fall 2018) and Jurassic World Live (coming Fall 2019). Across the brand portfolio, Feld Entertainment has entertained millions of families in more than 75 countries and on six continents. Visit feldentertainment.com for more information.

Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream is Coming to Orlando May 11–13, 2018

Featuring the Box Office Smash Hits Disney’s Moana and Beauty and the Beast!

ORLANDO, FL  — Make unforgettable memories with Mickey, Minnie and all your Disney friends when Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream comes to Amway Center in Orlando May 11-13, 2018! The ice skating extravaganza features Disney’s Moana for the first time in a live production.

Good seats are still available for Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream, which was originally scheduled for September 8-10, 2017, but postponed due to Hurricane Irma. Tickets purchased for the September dates will be honored in May for the exact same day of the week and show time.

Celebrate what’s possible as five Disney heroines spark the courage inside us all at Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream! In her Disney On Ice debut, see how far Moana will go in an action-packed adventure with demigod, Maui, to save her island and discover her true identity. Join Belle as she fearlessly befriends the enchanted castle staff and reveals the Beast’s gentleness. Experience Anna’s devotion to her sister, Elsa, on her life-changing journey to stop an eternal winter. Explore with Rapunzel, Flynn Ryder, Cinderella and friends from around the Disney Kingdom as they find the strength, heart, and determination to make their dreams come true. Hosted by Mickey and Minnie, uncover why no dream is too big when we find the strength to shape our own destiny at Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream!

Good seats are still available! Since you are fans of Media Mikes, we are happy to share a special discount: Save 20% off select seats with code SAVE20. Not valid on premium VIP seating. Hurry for the best available seats! Code expires May 10, 2018.

Discover your inner hero when Disney On Ice presents Dare To Dream comes to your hometown!

Ticket Prices: Starting 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, May 11, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 12, 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, May 13, 1:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Venue: Amway Center, 400 W Church St #200, Orlando, FL 32801

For ticket information, go to DisneyOnIce.com.

To learn more about Disney On Ice, go to DisneyOnIce.com. Stay current on the latest developments through social media:

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/DisneyOnIce

Twitter: www.twitter.com/DisneyOnIce @DisneyOnIce #DisneyOnIce #DareToDream

YouTube: www.youtube.com/DisneyOnIce

Instagram: www.instagram.com/DisneyOnIce @DisneyOnIce

“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.”

DVD Review “Disney Minnie: Helping Hearts”

“Disney Minnie: Helping Hearts”
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 6, 2018
Run Time: 77 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

“Disney Minnie: Helping Hearts” is the latest DVD release from the hit Disney Junior series “Mickey and the Roadster Racers”. Disney isn’t dumb at all their new show may be themed towards boys at first but every episode of “Mickey and the Roadster Racers” also includes a second part which focuses specifically on “Happy Helpers” featuring Minnie, Daisy, and Cuckoo-Loca, so the girl market is covered also! Honestly the second half of the episodes are personally my (and my daughters) favorite anyway so this DVD is a win!

There are eight 11-minute episodes included on this DVD.
• The Happiest Helpers Cruise! • The Big Broadcast • Adventures in Buddysitting! • Lights! Camera! Help! • Grandpa Beagle’s Day Out • Artful Helpers • Cuckoo La-La • Figaro’s New Friend

These episodes are fun and primarily focused on Minnie, Daisy, and Cuckoo-Loca but still feature Mickey and the whole gang a bit as well. This latest DVD is missing the usual bonus item that comes with a Disney Junior DVD like a necklace or cardboard cut out as a bonus but still comes timed perfectly for Valentine’s Day and is quite cheap, running under $10 bucks, which make this a great gift for your special someone! I am looking forward to future releases from “Mickey and the Roadster Racers” as this is a fun show that also teaches great lessons to the kids watching!

Related Content

Animator Rick Farmiloe Talks About His Amazing Career

I hate to sound like Grandpa Simpson here, but “back in my day,” Saturday morning cartoons were…well they were cartoons. They weren’t 30 minute advertisements for toys (I’m looking at YOU, Transformers). Animator Rick Farmiloe remembers that time, and how his work then led him to a stint working on some of the greatest and best loved animated films in recent history.

Beginning on such shows as “Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids” and “The New Adventures of Tom and Jerry,” Mr. Farmiloe worked his way to the Disney Studios, where he helped with the animation of such early 1980 films as “The Great Mouse Detective” and “The Black Cauldron.” He continued working in television, including multiple episodes of “Ghostbusters” and “She Ra- Princess of Power.”

Back at Disney, he worked on “Oliver and Company,” then helped take Disney into an all new world of animation success, designing some of the most popular characters of all time, including Scuttle in “The Little Mermaid,” LeFou in “Beauty and the Beast” and Abu in “Aladdin.” He has also animated for Dreamworks (“The Prince of Egypt,” “Shrek”) and added his touch to “The Simpson’s Movie.”

To help spread the word that “Frozen” actresses Eva Bella, who played young Bella and Livvy Stubenrauch, who played young Anna will be appearing at the upcoming Kansas City Comic Con (Nov. 10th-12th), Mr. Farmiloe took some time out from his schedule to talk with me about his career.

Mike Smith: You began your career in what was, to me, the golden age of Saturday morning cartoons. How has the process and style of television animation changed since you started?

Rick Farmiloe: When I started in the late 1970’s all animation was still done in the US. Most of it now is sent overseas to keep down costs. Storyboarding is still done here, but the actual animation is done out of the country. TV animation was a good way for a young animator to get started. A lot of veterans were around to help with advice and drawing tips. These days there are a LOT more outlets and styles of animation. There were no ‘adult’ cartoons back then. It was all very safe and by the book. “The Simpsons” changed all that, and now TV animation runs the scale from pre-school to ‘R’ rated style shows.

MS: You’ve animated some of the true classic Disney characters of the past three decades. How are the characters assigned?

RF: At Disney we were cast just as actors would be cast. Those with very strong draftsmanship, or a bent towards more realistic characters would be cast on the leads. I always had a knack for doing more comical animation, so I was always cast to do funny sidekick characters. Those characters were always attractive to me because of the freedom to come up with funny things for my characters to do. I always wanted to ‘plus’ my animation, and if I could come up with an even funnier idea or gag, I was given the freedom to pitch it to the director. If he liked it, I gave it a shot. ALL animators were encouraged to improve upon ideas that were in the script or in storyboard form. A friend of mine once compared my animation to that of Ward Kimball, one of Disney’s famed ‘Nine Old Men’ because Ward pretty much only animated sidekicks as well. That was a huge compliment of course, but that was a role that I felt very comfortable with. I was never one of the best draftsmen at Disney, but I feel I had a talent at doing some funny animation. People still remember a lot of my scenes. I am very proud of that role.

MS: You’ve also worked on some non-Disney animated features. Are there different rules for animating for Disney as opposed to a studio like Dreamworks?

RF: At Dreamworks, Jeffrey Katzenberg made a decision to NOT be ‘Disney’. He was largely responsible for helping to create a style at Disney during the 80’s and early 90’s. He knew trying to be another Disney was the wrong way to go. The character designs and overall feel of the Dreamworks Films were much different from what was done at Disney, even though a lot of us came from Disney. He wanted the films to be for more mature audiences, not for small children but more like teens. “Prince of Egypt” was the first film in that style. It was a really bold choice in subject and style. I had to adjust my animation style to fit the subject matter. I animated the camel. I wanted to still make him funny, but without the usual broad animation and really cartoony style I was used to doing. I think the film holds up really well. I’ve always respected Jeffrey so much for wanting to come up with a new and unique style of filmmaking.

MS: Best show, in your opinion, between “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy” and “South Park?”

RF: You forgot “Ren and Stimpy!” (laughs). I like all of those shows a lot! The writing on all of them is just so smart and never obvious. They are all more of an adult nature, but completely unique in style and content. They all have their copycats of course, especially “Ren and Stimpy!” But since you are FORCING me to pick only one, I’m going to have to go with “The Simpsons.” It was the first and still the most consistent. Matt Groening is an absolute genius. The show has been on the air since 1962 or something and still has that great quality. The reason it’s still on, if you ask me….and I think you did….is because people LOVE that family! They seem 100% real. And beneath the sarcasm and cynicism, there is a real love between all the family members. I was lucky enough to work on “The Simpsons Movie,” and got to see first hand how that franchise works so successfully! INCREDIBLE writing! It will probably be on long after we are all gone!

MS: What are you working on next?

RF: I am always doing freelance on one project or another! I just finished animating on a live action Chinese feature that has some sections of hand drawn animation. We are in the planning stages of doing some animation for a documentary/celebration film on the legendary band, Cheap Trick! My girlfriend Christi Haydon and I have teamed up on a fun project called “Full Moon Cartoons.” It is a one panel cartoon that deals with us as cartoon characters who have moved to a town called Full Moon Springs. It is inhabited solely by monsters! It has a very mid-century modern style to it. It deals with us just trying to fit into the monster world as comfortably as we can, with funny results. It comes out every Friday, which we call ‘Full Moon Friday.’ You can find it on a site called HorrorBuzz.com, and our Facebook page called Rick+Christi’s Full Moon Cartoons. It’s so much fun for us because we have EXACTLY the same sense of humor. I have loved drawing classic monsters my entire life. Christi is a writer and production designer who loves stylistic details, and is great with color choices. We also love traveling around the country appearing at numerous comic conventions, meeting fans and making lots of new friends! It’s a very exciting time.

You can also see more of Mr. Farmiloe’s work here.

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!

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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.

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