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?!? ๐Ÿ˜จ, and -of course- a mime!  Because it isn't a truly baffling vintage Disney Parks special without mimes.


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". 


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...

Monday, March 12, 2018

In Which Barbie and I Both Celebrate Our Birthdays In EPCOT!


Okay, this one is going to take some explaining.

If you spend any significant amount of time in the Disney fan portion of this vast sea we call the Internet, you'll find that one thing Disney Park fans like to complain about is the inclusion of popular established characters in Epcot attractions.  This hasn't been bothering me nearly as much as it does others, but after watching "BARBIE BIRTHDAY PARTY AT WALT DISNEY WORLD EPCOT '94!!!" (henceforth, "BARBIE IN EPCOT" because I just... can't) I can see where the dissent is coming from.

The whole "BARBIE IN EPCOT" thing was actually a contractual obligation between Disney and Mattel and ye gods, does it ever look like it.  I feel like this must have been the Faustian bargain for all the Mattel characters they got to include in "Toy Story".  The stage show lasted a little over a year and a half, and just about the only real evidence that it wasn't some kind of group hallucination is this video.  The video was available for purchase with special Barbie dolls for a penny, which seems about right.

On the one hand, it's always neat to get a behind-the-scenes look at Disney stage shows, and the segments about how birthdays are celebrated around the world are very nice.  On the other hand, you have the screaming 90's child actors.  Do anything you can to prepare yourself, because the screaming 90's child actor hosts of this special are like entire seasons of "Full House" made flesh.  I hate them, I hate them so much, and it's as much about the screaming and their being genuinely horrible (get your damn fingers off that cake!) as it is that I wish I could get as excited about anything as these screaming 90's child actors get about literally everything.


Because it's my Birthday and I love you (and also because Faebruary's still in my rear-view mirror and St. Patrick's Day is this weekend) have a Bonus Especially Weird Disney Thing!  Let me show you the traditional dances of my people:

This isn't what I saw a few nights ago in Raglan Road after downing two Kilkennys (though it's close).  This is "Light Magic".  It's from 1997 and was meant to be the replacement, in Disneyland, for the Main Street Electrical Parade.  Once again, videos like this are about the only real evidence this wasn't a mass hallucination.

It's also from that very weird, very specific, and thankfully very over period where Disney Parks defined "parade" as "Three or four floats that ride down the street, then stop and stay still for several minutes at a time to do a long elaborate show, then start moving again to suddenly stop and do another show and so on".  It went over even less well than "BARBIE IN EPCOT", not even surviving one whole year.

To paraphrase Cap'n Wacky,

May the good Fairies draw near to you,
And spread love and luck with their weird little dances every day.
And may a good strong drink
Make the memories of horrible screaming 90's child actors go away.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A Salute To All Nations, But Mostly America - Let's Watch "Walt Disney World's 15'th Birthday Celebration"!

I am going to celebrate a big momentous birthday in Walt Disney World!  And I really 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.

And this time, I've found some really weird ones.  First up, we have a special celebrating what, in my opinion, was the most awesome Disney Parks anniversary of all, the fifteenth anniversary of Walt Disney World.  I think this might have even been one of my family's first trips.  Every fifteen minutes, someone entering the park would win a prize, and the decorations were terrific. 

This special doesn't focus on that at all.  Instead, we get half of the Golden Girls, a really strange tour of World Showcase, a reminder of how 3/4ths of the Monkees were everywhere in the 80's, a seemingly endless patriotic production narrated by Charlton Heston, and previews of upcoming attractions, including something about a "studio tour"...