Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Hooray, It's Mer-May!

I'm starting to warm up to month-long daily/weekly art challenges.  Not sure if I'm going to do weekly wrap-up posts or do a long one at the end of the month; we'll see.  Anyway, I love Mermaids, you love Mermaids, let's spend this whole month making art of lovely ladies of the water.

4.11.18 - Is it MerMay Yet?

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

My Afternoon With the Blue Catpeople: Thoughts on Pandora: the World of Avatar


I have to start by saying it feels really weird to be finally writing about Pandora: The World of Avatar now.  It feels like I'm extremely late to the party, and that the conversation in Disney Theme Park Internet World has moved on.  To a Galaxy far, far away in fact, and if anyone is talking about Pandora, it's judging it as a sort of test run for Star Wars: Nothing But Star Wars: Here, Have More Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

And comparing it to Harry Potter over in the competing park down the road.  That too.

I really don't want to do either of those things.  Instead, let's back up.  A long time ago, a terribly long time ago it feels, it was announced that a whole new Land was going to be built in a Walt Disney World theme park: Pandora, the World of Avatar.  I was generally more enthusiastic than, uh, everyone else it felt like.  You can read my initial thoughts here.  But that was many years ago and I've only got the chance to visit Pandora myself last month.  Everyone in the Disney Blog-verse has an opinion about the new land and here's mine:

I really like it.

I'm a sucker for a good, truly immersive, "You are in an imaginary land turned real" experience.  This delivers quite nicely.  The overall effect of the land is stunning, but I mostly appreciate all the smaller details.  And goodness, I wish I'd had more time to explore the land at night.

For now, Pandora has two rides.  I want to give some love to the Navi River Journey, as it tends to live in the shadow of Flight of Passage, the big state of the art headliner.  I'm just happy River Journey exists, because we've been losing so many slow-moving atmospheric rides lately.  Rides like The Great Movie Ride that you can enjoy with your grandmother.  "Grandma Rides", if you will.  If this is a genre, River Journey is an excellent standard for them.

And then, there's Flight of Passage.  I have no words, man.  This is damn near everything I always dreamed of in a flight simulator.  It's good and long, too!  It's also notoriously difficult to acquire Fastpasses for and has a standby line you could pretty much watch "Avatar" in while waiting.  Still, everything I've ever wanted from a flight simulator.


Plus it turns out I make for a pretty cute catgirl!  Look at my Avatar, look at her!  Dang, she even has the same "They're taking my picture! Oh, please don't blink..." look!

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Art of the Day:

Fishies!
4.8.18 - Fish!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Birds of Easter

Had a lovely Easter Dinner with my Aunt and Uncle, who live near a forest and have a bird feeder up all season.  I had the good sense to bring my little Zen Art Sketchbook mentioned in the last post and basically filled the last few pages.  Behold!

4.1.18 - Easter Birds

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

2018 Animal Kingdom Sketches

I went to Animal Kingdom for the first time since they opened Pandora: The World of Avatar Pandora Landora!  But before we talk about that, we need to dive deep into the early days of this blog and talk Moleskines and Moleskine alternatives.

2018 Moleskine-Alikes

The unthinkable happened; I was about to go on a trip and did not have a new Sketchbook handy to start once my current one ran out of pages.  (I draw through and entire Sketchbook and start a new one immediately.  I have heard this is unusual of me but my broken OCD brain and I just can't believe it.)  Fortunately, I was able to order the two lovelies pictured above right away from Amazon.

The one on top is the one I am currently using and that went to Florida with me, the ZenArt Supplies B6 Sketchbook.  And it's very nice for sketching, doodling, and writing with a pencil or ballpoint pen.  But the pages are almost ridiculously thin; I have to scan with a sheet of card stock in between the pages or you'd have a nice preview of the art on the next page.  Art markers bleed right through and the pages roll over and give up at the very sight of even a dry-ish watercolor brush.  It fits right in my purse, though, and so this little Sketchbook joined me on every ride, show, exhibit, and other adventure in Disney World.  (For what it's worth, yes the paper is blacklight sensitive.)

And the ZenArt went to Animal Kingdom with me.  I have to say the ZenArt is very nice for drawing quickly on the spot.  I suppose though, so would a Sketchbook with nicer paper of the same size.  Oh well, here are the studies of the animals there:

3.7.18 - Disney's Animal Kingdom Sketches

3.7.18 - Disney's Animal Kingdom Sketches

3.7.18 - Disney's Animal Kingdom Sketches

3.7.18 - Disney's Animal Kingdom Sketches

3.7.18 - Disney's Animal Kingdom Sketches

3.7.18 - Disney's Animal Kingdom Sketches

3.7.18 - Disney's Animal Kingdom Sketches

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The '90s Were Our '70s. Let's Watch "Witching You Were Here"!

The earlier Disney Parks specials have a certain "'70s-ness".  This special, however, celebrating the 25'th anniversary of Walt Disney World, has what I can only describe as a '90s-ness.

And also a '70s-ness.  See, I remember reading somewhere that you'd never be able to write a truly accurate depiction of life during the '70s without including the rampant '50s nostalgia.  Guess what rampant nostalgia '90s kids were bombarded with?

And so, we have a Disney Park special that whisks two little boys from 1971 through time to land in 1996.  Yup, it's bonkers.  It's more fun than "The Dream is Alive" at least; we actually get to see Walt Disney World for one thing.



Highlights to watch out for include the infamous Castle Cake, a deeply troubling walk-around Quasimodo costume, a God-damn "Really 700 Years Old" gag in a Disney special?!? 😨, and -of course- a mime!  Because it isn't a truly baffling vintage Disney Parks special without mimes.

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Art of the Day!

So, I've been thinking about the "Kingdom Hearts 3" trailer a lot, and I think my very favorite part is when this happens:

2.10 - So, That "Kingdom Hearts 3" Trailer...

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

"Ah, man, I heard about this thing..." - Let's watch "The Dream is Alive"!

I reiterate: I like to watch vintage Disney Park specials before heading down to The World.  I like to see what's changed, what's stayed the same, and what I missed out on that I honestly wouldn't believe actually happened unless they were documented on film for posterity.

"Walt Disney World's 20'th Anniversary: The Dream is Alive" does not preserve much of the latter (save for a brief glimpse of a Pleasure Island marquee).  In fact, this Disney Park Anniversary Special contains almost NO footage of Walt Disney World at all.  What it gives us instead is Michael Eisner -a LOT of Michael Eisner- struggling to be as charismatic as possible.

Whew, they really don't make them like this anymore.  Look for Eddie Murphy's expression at about the seven minute mark, because I had a similar one watching this.



Side note: Me having to pause and rub my temples at the sight of Michael Eisner's credit in "Bojack Horseman" is the new me having to pause and rub my temples at the sight of Seth MacFarlane's credit in "Cosmos". 

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Art of the Day!

Speaking of Especially Weird Disney Things, we recently got a look at "Kingdom Hearts 3" and...

Oh no...

Oh nooooo...

2.10 - So, That "Kingdom Hearts 3" Trailer...