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.

CD Reviews “Walt Disney Records: The Legacy Collection”

Just when you think you have a complete collection of Disney soundtracks…think again! “Walt Disney Records: The Legacy Collection” includes the latest releases of your favorite film soundtracks. The first three that have been released in this collection are “Sleeping Beauty” (55th anniversary), “Mary Poppins” (50th anniversary) and “The Lion King” (20th anniversary)  featuring new and remastered content. These CDs aren’t just a collection of songs, they are an immersive experience. A must for any Disney nut and music collector.

“Walt Disney Records The Legacy Collection: Sleeping Beauty” is a 2 disc set, which features the classic songs and score from the film as well as studio recordings of Princess Aurora’s songs performed by Mary Costa, and never before released demos and tracks. Also included is beautiful new original artwork inspired by the original properties illustrated by Lorelay Bove, a visual development artist at Walt Disney Animation Studios (“Tangled”, “Wreck-It Ralph”).

“The Lion King” was the first of these to be released. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, This sound includes all the classic songs from this film. There is also about 30 minutes of previously unreleased score included. This is a real treat for any fan of the film. It is crazy to this that this has never been released before. There are also liner notes by Don Hahn (producer) and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, which gives great insight in the content included.

Last up for now is “Mary Poppins”, which actually gets a 3 disc set and trumps the others. I love that these Legacy Collection releases come in a book format and not just a crappy jewel case. Along with the wonderful and timeless music from the film, this also includes Mary Poppins Lost chords and excerpts from the P.L. Travers Story Meetings with Don DaGradi and The Sherman Brothers. I had no idea that there was so much extra music for this film but if you are a fan of “Mary Poppins”, this is definitely the ultimate collection. collector should own and enjoy.

“Walt Disney Records: The Legacy Collection” is going to be expanding over the next few years. Personally, I purchase all my music digitally these days but Disney has just given us a reason to purchase physical CDs again. Next up “The Little Mermaid”, which is being released November 24th. I am very excited for this release and to hear the demo and bonus content.  Beyond that there are plenty of upcoming anniversaries to celebrate including “Pinocchio” (75th), “Fantasia” (75th), “Cinderella” (65th), “Lady and the Tramp” (60th) and “Toy Story” (20th).

DVD Review “As Dreamers Do: Amazing Life of Walt Disney”

Actors: Olan Rogers, Travis Tritt, Mark Stuart, Walt Disney
Directors: Logan Sekulow
Rated: Unrated
Studio: Vision Films
DVD Release Date: September 16, 2014
Run Time: 90 minutes

Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars

If you are a Disney fan, than you probably have heard of “As Dreamers Do: Amazing Life of Walt Disney”, which looks into the early years of the man behind the mouse. The film features country singer Travis Tritt as the narrator of the story and Olan Rogers plays Walt Disney, who doesn’t a decent job in the role. The film never really takes off for me (limited by its budget) but it is still rather entertaining for the whole family…especially Disney fans. Worth a rent.

Official Premise: Behind every great mouse there is a man. Armed with an ever-growing imagination and eternal optimism, Walt begins to develop skills as an animator early in life. He overcomes a variety of hardships to become one of the biggest icons in the world: Walt Disney.

In case you didn’t know, this film is not the only film based on the early years of Walt Disney. There is also the upcoming “Walt Before Mickey” coming out, which stars Thomas Ian Nicholas and Jon Heder. I am anxiously awaiting that film since I have heard it is a close adaption to the Timothy S. Susanin’s book of the same title. “As Dreamers Do: Amazing Life of Walt Disney” is available now on VOD, online at Amazon.com and Walmart in stores on September 23rd.

Seven Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels In The Walt Disney World Resort In Florida Offering Enticing “Make Some Memories Rates”

Provide An Appealing Way to Take In Such Upcoming Events As Night of Joy, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, The Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival and the Eat To The Beat Concert Series at Epcot®
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LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL (August 2014) – There is still time to make plans to experience the special events being conducted at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Central Florida this summer and fall, such as Night of Joy, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival, and the Eat To The Beat Concert Series at Epcot®. A great way to experience these events, and/or to check out the recently expanded New FantasylandTM at Magic Kingdom® Park, is by taking advantage of the special “Make Some Memories Rates” that are being offered by the seven Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotelsthrough October 31, 2014.

In addition to their ideal location an easy walk to the shopping, dining and entertainment venues at theDowntown Disney® Area, these seven Official Walt Disney World® Hotels also provide complimentary shuttle transportation every 30 minutes to all four Walt Disney World® Theme Parks, two water parks, and to the Downtown Disney® area. As a bonus, guests at these hotels also receive the “2014 Downtown Disney Deals” booklet that features exclusive discounts and specials from over 30 merchants on Downtown Disney® area dining, entertainment and shopping.

 Available for stays through October 31, 2014, the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels’ “Make Some Memories Rates” are: 

 For more information on the “Make Some Memories Rates,” or to make a reservation, visit www.DowntownDisneyHotels.com/pr-make-some-memories, specifically.  Rates are based on availability and some blackout dates may apply. The rates do not include the Resort Services Fee or daily parking fee (if applicable), taxes or gratuities. The offer is not valid with any other special offers, promotions, existing reservations, or for groups.

 Taking advantage of the special rates also will enable you to enjoy such other benefits of staying at one of the seven Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels as: 

  • Disney tickets available to purchase at each hotel
  • Advance tee times and discounts at all Walt Disney World® golf courses
  • Disney Merchandise store located in each hotel
  • The ability to book advance dining and dinner show reservations for all restaurants across the Walt Disney World® Resort.

Special events at the Walt Disney World® Resort include:

  • Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party – select nights September 1-October 31, 2014, at Magic Kingdom® Park
  • Night of Joy – September 5-6, 2014, at Magic Kingdom® Park
  • Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival Presented by Chase® — Sept. 19-November 10, 2014, at Epcot®.
  • Eat To The Beat Concert Series – September 19-November 10, 2014, at Epcot®
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – now open at Magic Kingdom® Park

In addition to these special events you also could take in the wonders of the recently expanded New Fantasyland, which is the largest expansion in the history of Magic Kingdom® Park. It offers more immersive enchantment and interactive experiences, and features two new themed areas: Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus. Enchanted Forest attractions and experiences include Under The Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid; Be Our Guest Restaurant; Enchanted Tales with Belle; Ariel’s Grotto; Gaston’s Tavern; and the crowning jewel of New Fantasyland Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Storybook Circus attractions include: The Barnstormer; Dumbo The Flying Elephant; Casey Jr Splash ‘N’ Soak Station; Pete’s Silly Sideshow; andFantasyland Station.

Among the many coupons featured in the “2014 Downtown Disney Deals” booklet are discounts at Rainforest Café, T-Rex, Wolfgang Puck Express, Steve Baker Caricatures, Lego Imagination Center, Planet Hollywood Downtown Disney®, House of Blues® Restaurant, La NoubaTM by Cirque du Soleil®, Bongo’s Cuban Café®, and Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop.

“This is a great time to visit the Walt Disney World® Resort,” said Steve Garner, chairperson of the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels’ marketing committee. “The attendance at the theme parks is often lighter, and all of the special events at the Walt Disney World® Theme Parks are wonderful. Taking advantage of the special ‘Make Some Memories Rates’ is a great way to experience the many offerings of the Walt Disney World® Resort.”

Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels (www.DowntownDisneyHotels.com) is a consortium of seven hotels located in the Walt Disney World® Resort that includes: the stylish B Resort & Spa, opened in June 2014 with 394 newly renovated guest rooms and suites, the full-service B Indulged® by AVEDA spa (opening in September 2014), and a zero-entry pool; the 18-story Best Western Lake Buena Vista Resort Hotel, surrounded by 12 acres of lush tropical landscaping, and offering 325 spacious rooms and suites, and complimentary WiFi; the newly renovated and sophisticated Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa, featuring 1,014 guest rooms and suites, a 10,000-square-foot spa, three pools, and five restaurants and lounges; the luxurious and spacious 229-suite Doubletree Suites by Hilton, the only all-suite resort hotel in the Downtown Disney® Resort Area; the deluxe 814-room, full-service Hilton Orlando Resort, featuring seven on-site restaurants and lounges and the new Hilton Fitness by Life Fitness® Center; the Holiday Inn Orlando – Lake Buena Vista, the only Holiday Inn located in the Walt Disney World® Resort Area and featuring elegant rooms with modern Florida décor; and Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Resort, featuring 626 guest rooms which each feature a refrigerator), the Oasis Aquatic Playground with two pools and interactive water features, and six dining options.

With nearly 30 food and beverage outlets and restaurants, more than 3,600 rooms and scores of amenities, the Downtown Disney® Resort Area Hotels offer a rate, space and menu to please every guest. Located in the heart of the Downtown Disney® area, these properties are within walking distance of some of the area’s best shopping, dining and entertainment.

For reservations, or more information, visit www.DowntownDisneyHotels.com/pr-make-some-memories.

 

Related Content

Book Review “Walt Disney’s Classic Storybook (Volume 3)”

Age Range: 3 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
Series: Storybook Collection (Book 3)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Disney Press; 3 edition
Release Date: June 17, 2014

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

When my wife and I started dating back in 1999, she gave me the first volume of the Walt Disney’s Classic Storybook. I have always loved that book. The stories are so timeless and give you the ability to open it up at any time and revisit your favorite Disney stories very easily. I thought to myself that I was going to hang on to this book until I have kids one day and then this would make a great bedtime book. Fast forward 15 years, we have a two year old together now and there is a third volume of this series released perfect timing for our daughter bedtime story reading tradition. If you love Disney, this book is a must own.

This new third edition of Walt Disney’s Classic Storybook Collection retells some of Disney’s best known stories, including “Cinderella”, “Peter Pan”. “Lady and the Tramp”, “The Love Bug”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “Bambi” and “Pinocchio”. Also included are some lesser-known but still classic tales such as “Pluto Pup Goes to Sea” and “The Flying Car”. This updated collection also contains over 300 beautiful pieces of vintage art as well as gilded pages. This book is perfect to just flip through of to look at the wonderful artwork or to sit down and read these wonderful stories. Each story is not to long either, so as I stated they are perfect for bedtime stories. I hope Disney doesn’t wait too long to release a fourth volume because we are already half way through the book.

The Walt Disney Studios Release Schedule Update

Today, The Walt Disney Studios announced release dates and additional information for several upcoming films. Here’s a closer look.

THE MUPPETS 2 is now dated on 3/21/14.

  • MUPPETS 2 is produced by Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman and directed by James Bobin. The screenplay is by Bobin and Nick Stoller, who will also serve as executive producer. The cast includes Ricky Gervais and Ty Burrell – and of course, the whole Muppets gang.

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (Marvel) will be available in 3D.

  • Releases on 4/4/14.
  • CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER will pick up where “Marvel’s The Avengers” leaves off, as Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world. The film stars Chris Evans in the title role and will be directed by brothers Anthony and Joe Russo.

 

MALEFICENT is now dated on 7/2/14 (from 3/14/14).

  • MALEFICENT, the untold story of Disney’s most beloved villain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty,” reveals the events that hardened Maleficent’s heart and drove her to curse the baby, Aurora.
  • MALEFICENT will be released in 3D and is produced by Joe Roth and directed by Robert Stromberg, from a screenplay written by Linda Woolverton. The film stars Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley, Imelda Staunton, Miranda Richardson, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville.

 

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (Marvel) will be available in 3D.

  • Releases on 8/1/14.
  • GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, based on the Marvel comic books of the same name, features an unlikely cast of characters who must team up in order to defeat a cosmic force of epic proportions. James Gunn will direct.

 

1952 is now dated on 12/19/14 in 3D.

  • 1952 will be produced by Damon Lindelof and directed by Brad Bird, from a script by Lindelof and Bird. George Clooney will star.

 

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5 is now dated on 7/10/15.

  • PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 5 will be produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and will star Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. Jeff Nathanson is writing the screenplay.
  • The “Pirates of the Caribbean” films have earned over $3.7 billion at the worldwide box office. Most recently, “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” earned over $1.043 billion.

 

Book Review “The Art of Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms and Beyond”

Author: Christopher Finch
Hardcover: 504 pages
Publisher: Abrams; New edition
Release Date: October 1, 2011

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

Walt Disney has been a major influence on my life. I grew up watching the films and still today adore them all. I really look forward to sharing them with my soon-to-be daughter (due May 23, 2012). In fact, I even moved from NY to FL, just to be closer to the parks. This book is honestly the ultimate tribute to the art of Disney and The Walt Disney Company. This is not a new release though, the original edition was published in 1973 and since then there has been many revised and expanded editions released in 1975, 1995, 2004, and now 2011. If you are a Disney fan and don’t own this book, I highly recommend it. If you own past revisions, I would still recommend it because there is so much content added into this latest edition that it completely makes it worth wild.

The newest edition of the book covers the ever changing and expanding history of The Walt Disney Company. Author Christopher Finch didn’t just slap a few new pages and re-released this. He literally updated every chapter to showcase the achievements of The Walt Disney Company in not only filmmaking but also theater, and theme parks. There are a few new chapters though, focusing on mostly Pixar Animation Studio and the new work from Walt Disney Animation Studio like “Tangled”, as well as updated theme park information.. There are also new extensive interviews CEO, John Lasseter, and president, Ed Catmull. This also includes a foreword by John Lasseter. John is such a legend and has aided so much to the Disney legacy with his work over the years.

For a book that was published originally almost 40 years ago, this still relevant and still packs new information even for super fans like me. That is the other thing actually, even though the film is called “The Art Of”, it isn’t just colorful photos. It comes jam-packed with endless thorough information, I enjoyed that the most. You can really tell that author Christopher Finch is a super fan himself. I really looks forward to future revisions of this book. The Disney company will continue to grow throughout the years and will always have special place in my heart.

When you think about art and animation, Disney is the first to come to my mind. They are easily the most successful and influential in the business. This book contains some really amazing concept art, animation drawings and archival materials. Even if you have seen previous editions of this book, this edition literally contains hundreds of new images capturing, well…The Art of Walt Disney.  Let me just tell you how beautiful these images look.  Abrams did an amazing job with this release and delivers the highest quality images.  Whether you are reading this book for yourself or introducing it to your children, it is a great way to keep the Disney legacy going.

Media Mikes on the Radio 2/9/12 on “The Walt Bodine Show”

This Week on The Walt Bodine Show
Movie Critics: New Releases
Friday, February 10th, 2012

10:00 – 11:00 AM CST

Russ Simmons and the Movie Critics join Walt Bodine for a look at recent movie releases.

GUESTS:
Russ Simmons, co-host, KKFI, Fox 4 News
Mike Smith, MediaMikes.com

Call Walt’s LIVE Listener Line:
(816) 235-2888 or e-mail andrea@kcur.org

You can also listen online at http://www.kcur.org/programs/waltbodineshow