Sunday, October 31, 2010

Toy Story 3 Blu-ray Features!

Toy Story 3 (Four-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)

Over the past year, Disney has really stepped up the features on their Blu-ray releases. I was blown away by the recent Beauty and the Beast features and I was really looking forward to what I would find on the Toy Story 3 Blu-ray. I wasn't disappointed. A lot of the features really spoke about crafting the story and the artwork instead of focusing on the technology. When you think of a Pixar film, you assume that everything is crafted inside of the digital world. The behind-the-scenes features on the Blu-ray really show how much hand-drawn artwork goes into the movie.

Don't forget to pick up a copy of The Art of Toy Story 3 by Charles Solomon--it is an amazing companion to the film.

Toy Story 3 Bonus Featurettes:

The Rides - This is probably one of my favorite segments of the features. We get to go behind-the-scenes to see concept art and models for the latest theme park addition: Toy Story Land.

John Morris - a spotlight on the voice of Andy from all three Toy Story films.

Cereal Bar - a charming look at Pixar by its own animators.

Lending a Voice - The major stars of the film discuss their role in the Toy Story film.

Dancing With the Stars - a very cute feature that looks at the creation of a special dace.

TOY STORY 3 Blu-ray - Bonus Features:
  • Day & Night – The innovative and entertaining short from the imagination of Pixar artist and Director Teddy Newton.
  • Toys! – A closer look at all of Toy Story 3’s beloved toys from updating the classic characters to the creation of the Sunnyside Daycare and Bonnie’s Room toys.
  • Buzz Lightyear Mission Logs: The Science of Adventure – Produced in conjunction with NASA, this hybrid animation documentary of Buzz’s visit to the International Space Station focuses on research in zero gravity and Buzz’s triumphant return to Earth.
  • Paths to Pixar: Editorial – Pixar editors, past and future share anecdotes about their careers.
  • The Gang’s All Here – A touching look at the returning voice talent for Toy Story 3 and an introduction to the voices of the new characters.
  • A Toy’s Eye View: Creating A Whole New Land – A sneak peek at the new Toy Story-themed playland at Hong Kong Disneyland.
  • Studio Stories – A series of amusing animated anecdotes about life at Pixar: “Where’s Gordon?” – An animator finds a hidden room at Pixar; “Cereal Bar” – The majestic and expansive Pixar cereal bar is explored;  “Clean Start” – The Toy Story 3 animators shave their heads to mark the start of the film.
  • Toy Story Trivia Dash – This cool game challenges you to sprint to the finish with Woody, Buzz, Jessie and Rex as you quickly answer questions about all three Toy Story movies.
  • Cine-Explore – Commentary by Director Lee Unkrich and Producer Darla K. Anderson. 
  • Beyond the Toybox: An Alternative Commentary Track Featuring Leads from Story, Tech, Art and Animation – Commentary by Story Supervisor Jason Katz, Supervising Technical Director Guido Quaroni, Production Designer Bob Pauley and Supervising Animators Bobby Podesta and Michael Venturini.
  • Beginnings: Setting A Story In Motion – Screenwriter Michael Arndt analyzes successful opening scenes from Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.
  • Bonnie’s Playtime: A Story Roundtable – A roundtable discussion with Director Lee Unkrich and the story artists who brought the “Bonnie’s Playtime” scene to life.
  • Roundin’ Up A Western Opening – The development of the movie’s exciting opening scene. 
  • Life Of A Shot – Toy Story 3 artists and technicians describe their contributions to a few of the shots in the film’s “Western Opening.”
  • Goodbye Andy – An exploration of character design, acting and animation in the scene “Andy’s Goodbye.”
  • Accidental Toymakers – By creating the Toy Story characters, the Pixar filmmakers found themselves in the unlikely role of toy designers. Meet the toy company that took a chance on manufacturing the now iconic toys and learn of their incredible success that began with a modest number of Woody and Buzz Lightyear toys 15 years ago.
  • Making of Day & Night – The story behind the unique 2D/3D blended short.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Geek-End Update, Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Books!

We've added some more Disney titles to the Imaginerding library!

Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers (2011) by Lisa M. Battista

Mouse Of Zen by J.B. Conway

The Vault of Walt by Jim Korkis

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Video Theme Parkeology

Michael Crawford alerted the world to a video on the Progress City Public TV Youtube channel. Much to his chagrin, the world did not stop turning...

But the Deeks of the world stood up and raised their collective fists in triumph! This four-part special celebrates the Tencennial of Walt Disney World and features a bevy of B-, C- and D-list celebrities performing strange musical numbers. The real star of the show is the ten year-old Walt Disney World, herself. I spent some time getting some screen captures to do a little Theme Parkeology.

This first clip is just a nice shot of the family making their way to Contemporary. Notice the awesome traffic cones on the right. I wish the monorail was a littler clearer since it is the original Mark IV that ran from opening until 1989.

Pay attention to the use of the Contemporary logo above the door. Also, that is Michael Keaton in orange. Interestingly, Keaton was 31 when this was taped and was portraying a pre-21 year-old suitor to a 16 year-old Dana Plato. Set creepy to MAXIMUM!

A shot of Discovery Island and River Country. Notice the cars in the parking lot and the huge number of watercraft plying the waters of Bay Lake.

I pulled this shot because of Timothy Q. Mouse on top of the silver/mirrored globe and the blue arms holding the flying elephants.

Look! A festooned Empress Lilly. Notice the gangway leading from the upper dock. Also, you get a great view of the Village in its pre-Eisner glory. Captain Jack's is jutting out into the lagoon. Above the Lilly's pilot house is the Village Restaurant (which would become Chef Mickey's and ultimately, the Rainforest Cafe).

Check out Foxxfur's great list of the restaurants and shops of the Village at Passport to Dreams.

The following two images show the large field where Splash Mountain would be someday.

The pathway in the bottom-right leads to the original Frontierland Railroad Station.

Everyone loves the water bridge! This image shows one of the older Disney buses and the Southern Seas side-wheeler.

Our last shot for this post is of the Parking Entrance for the TTC. If you watch this quick segment of the videoclip you can see one of the amazing castmember outfits from the day.

Special thanks to Progress City USA, Widen Your World, Passport to Dreams and the Main Street Gazette for providing excellent background material for this post.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Phineas & Ferb: A Review From Deek Junior!

We are major video game players at Imaginerding. Two Xbox 360s, a Nintendo Wii, two Nintendo DS (one is a DSi XL), two computers and two android-based phones all provide a constant stream of videogame goodness in our home and on the go. We jumped on the opportunity to play through a review copy of the latest Phineas and Ferb game for the DS.

This review was texted to me by my eleven year-old son. I think he was making fun of me...

Phineas and Ferb Ride Again (Nintendo DS)
This sequel to the original game is far easier and more fun. But remember, this is one of those games where you have to go back to earlier missions to beat the game. It is menat for solo players doing the campaign. It is meant for ages three through thirteen and twenty through forty-five. Only play if you do not have a very complicated mind. Do not overdo it! Warning!!! the next section is for deeks only! Alpha deek could not beat mission one! Hahahahahahahaha! I am on mission three! Deeking off! Oh! I mean: Connery signing off!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Win a Fabulous Gift Package!

Did that get your attention?

Take a gander at the latest Deeks episode and leave a comment on the Chip and Company Youtube page for the video.

The more comments you leave, the better your chances of winning!

In this weeks episode we are giving away some really cool, one of a kind items from the Muppets Kitchen with Cat Cora.

Check out as George and Chip try their hands at cooking some of the delicious, yet easy, recipes from the Mupppets Kitchen.

To see more videos be sure to check out the link below:

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Do Beseech, Knowledge That Lies Beyond My Reach

The Black Cauldron: 25th Anniversary Special Edition

One of the most maligned animated films from Disney, The Black Cauldron has been released for a second time on DVD. Created during a critical transition period for the Company and the Animation Division, The Black Cauldron is seen as a passing off of the baton moment for the new animators and the new management. Many of Disney's Nine Old Men had retired or were getting ready to leave; new animators were ready to show off their new style and chops. The management team of Eisner, Wells and Katzenberg were ready to reinvent filmmaking at Disney. If you search the interwebs, you will find plenty of critical discourse about the film. I want to discuss my families thoughts on the film.
The Black Cauldron, Walt Disney Pictures’ 25th animated feature-length film, celebrates its 25th anniversary with a Special Edition DVD release September 14 from Walt Disney Home Entertainment. Based on Lloyd Alexander’s Chronicles of Prydain books, this mystical, action packed adventure debuts just in time for Halloween. The film tells the story of Taran, an apprentice pig keeper with dreams of becoming a great warrior, who embarks on a quest to find a magical and powerful Black Cauldron before the evil tyrant Horned King can possess it for his own diabolical purposes. Fantastical characters like the oracular pig Hen Wen, the willful princess Eilonwy, and the droll but annoying Gurgi face witches, elves, magic swords and other obstacles. As they journey through these thrilling escapades, Taran begins to learn the true meaning of what it is to be a hero. 
We watched the film over a three night period before bedtime. Both boys enjoyed the action of the film, but they even commented that the film had no heart. My oldest stated that it just didn't seem like a Disney film. To me, it was missing a cohesive story line. It really seemed like there was way too much packed into a short film. It is also one of the first animated films to not be released as a musical; the soundtrack is a more traditional orchestral score.

And don't get me started on Gurgi! Every moment he was on the screen, I got the feeling that he was the token Disney Cuteness for the darker film. I even wondered if he was George Lucas' inspiration for Jar Jar Binks!

It's National Smack Your Gurgi Day!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Geek-End Update, Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Hassle-Free Winners!

We gave away three copies of Steve Barrett's excellent book, the Hassle-Free Walt Disney World Vacation 2011 at our program last Thursday evening at the Asheboro Library. We wanted to thank Steve and his publisher for giving us the opportunity to give the books away.

During the program at the Library, we shared the history of Walt Disney World, some insider details and plenty of travel advice. It was great to meet so many people who were excited about planning their Disney trips and a few former castmembers! A special thanks to Stephanie Hudson from Mouse Fan Travel for answering some of the tougher questions!

Steve Barrett, er, Doctor Steve Barrett practices Emergency Medicine in Orlando. He has been visiting the parks regularly over the past 17 years (sometimes weekly) and he is also the famed author of the Hidden Mickey Field Guides.

The Hassle-Free Guide is a fantastic choice for first-timers and Walt Disney World veterans. Steve lays out some amazing touring plans that are guaranteed to save you time waiting in lines at Walt Disney World. In addition to the plans, Steve looks at each park, each land and each attraction. He offers the low-down on the different attractions and gives his rating. Steve offers plenty of thoughtful and intelligent advice throughout the book. This is a great addition to your travel-related library!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Really Don't Hate Christmas....

Phineas & Ferb: Very Perry Christmas

Phineas & Ferb is one of our favorite shows at Imaginerding HQ. It is a show that panders to both kids and grownups without sacrificing humor or intelligence. It is the smartest show on the Disney Channel and one of the smartest and well-written shows on television.

We jumped at the chance to review A Verry Perry Christmas.
Phineas and Ferb and Perry the Platypus are gonna save Christmas! Get ready for the wildest sleigh ride ever as the hilarious heroes of summer vacation launch into their merriest and "Perry-est" mission yet! Amp up the holidays with outrageous laughs, out-of-this-world fun and totally over-the-top songs -- everything you need for the ultimate Christmas extravaganza experience! In an all-new, Perry-powered adventure, Phineas, Ferb, and their pet platypus (AKA Agent P) set out to thwart Dr. Doofenshmirtz's "naughty" plot to ruin Christmas. Will they get everything wrapped up in time for Santa's flyby? Find out in the coolest gift you'll get this year -- packed with festive bonus features that will have you rockin' 'round the tree!
This DVD is the perfect holiday collection! In addition to the title episode, there are four additional Perry-related episodes (including Chez Platypus with Evil Love Song) and the bonus Doof Side of the Moon. Plus, the virtual fireplace is AWESOME! Holiday music plays in the background and the characters from the show make appearances every few minutes.
One of the funniest extras was the Keep on Buildin' documentary where the P&F creators write a song and decorate their co-worker's office. It is a testament to how amazing the creators are and reason enough to own this disc.

I leave you with Doofensmirtz's song to Perry about the reason that he is not going to do anything nefarious this Christmas. Seriously, what kind of evil genius sings? Pure awesomeness.

You see Valentines is torture
And my birthday is a mess!
New Year's is a lot of noise
And Arbor Day's a pest!
Halloween's a horror,
But I guess I must confess
That I really don't hate Christmas!

You see Flag Day is infernal.
April Fool's is just a bore.
Mardi Gras a waste
Unless you own a candy store.
All these other holidays
I can admit that I abhor,
But I really don't hate Christmas.

Now it isn't that I like it,
At the most I feel ambivalence!
But should I really just destroy it?
I'll admit that I'm still on the fence.
It makes me tense!

From the evil scientist community
I'm sure to get ejected.
But for Christmas I can seem to summon
Any true invective.
Because what is there to hate?
I mean it's really so subjective!
Though I really don't hate Christmas.

I hate puppy dogs and kittens,
I hate flowers in the Spring!
I even hate the sunshine
And the birdies when they sing.
I can work up animosity for almost anything
Tell me why I don't hate Christmas.

Though my childhood was atrocious,
Christmas never was that bad, you see!
So the best that I can muster
Is complete and total apathy.
What's wrong with me?

How can I prove that I'm
An evil villain worth his salt
When with a holiday so jolly
I can't even find a fault?
If I didn't feel ambiguous
I'd launch a big assault!
But I really don't hate Christmas!

... Ah what the heck? Kick line!

No I really...
No I really don't hate Christmas!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Don't Say Anything to Roy...

Jack Cutter started at the Disney Studio as an assistant animator in 1929 and eventually worked his way up to Head of the Foreign Department where he retired in 1975. His role was to ensure that Disney films could be released to the overseas markets with proper dubbing by appropriate voice actors. In the following excerpt from Walt's People - Volume 9, Jack is interviewed by Christopher Finch and Linda Rosenkrantz:
That’s how it was. Walt was never one to deal in half measures when he was interested in something. For example, I learned to fly some years ago and when Walt found out I had bought a plane, he talked to me about flying and said he would like to take it up. So I asked him to go flying with me. He did and was enthusiastic about it. When we came down, he said, “Don’t say anything to Roy because he will have a fit if he finds out I am interested in flying.” Walt never learned to fly, but some years later when he decided to have a Company plane, even though Roy was concerned about his flying, he started with a Cessna Queen Air and then a Turbo King Air, and finally a Gulfstream. Before he died he had ordered a Jet Gulfstream and was talking about going around the world in it. Walt was never one to think small. He always did things in big scope but never did anything foolish or extravagant.

Mickey One parked backstage as part of the Backlot Tour at Disney's Hollywood Studio.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

True-Life Adventures 2.0

Crimson Wing and Oceans are the second and third releases from Disneynature, an independent label of Walt Disney Pictures. In the same vein as the original True-Life Adventures, the Disneynature films are the heir apparent to the original films. Whereas the True-Life Adventure documentaries were a monumental breakthrough in education and entertainment, the Disneynature films are a perfect meld of artistry and ecology. No less educational, but far more artistic in presentation and scope. The spectacle that is life is rivaled only by the presentation of the filmmakers.

Crimson Wing

Of the two films, Crimson Wing is the more traditional nature documentary. We follow the life cycle of one crimson-winged flamingo, out of as million, as the flock journeys through the Rift Valley of Africa. The images are stunning, if not mesmerizing. The pink of the flamingos sets itself off against of the blue of the lake, which merges seamlessly with the African sky. There are moments when you can't tell if the flamingos are in the lake or the sky.

In looking at the two recent releases, Crimson Wing takes a far less abashed look at its subject. There were incidences with predators that made both myself and my eleven year-old son avert our eyes. As painful as it was to see the chicks fall to the predators, it was an opportunity to discuss life, our planet and how the world is truly intertwined. The music in Crimson Wing was composed by the Cinematic Orchestra and is as breathtaking as the visuals.


For Every Disc Purchased Now Through October 25th, Disneynature Will Make A Contribution To Help Protect Coral Reefs.

Oceans, by its nature, is more nebulous and offers a more cinematic experience. The filmmakers truly submerge the viewer into a hi-definition, liquid world. Oceans delves into all five oceans and the wildlife that spends its time on the surface and in the depths. The effect of watching the film on Blu-ray was one of being in the ocean with the filmmakers, riding along with the dolphins and crawling along the ocean floor. It was an amazing experience.

This film is more family-oriented and doesn't offer the normal predator vs. prey scenes. There are a few underwater skirmishes, including a battle between thousands of crabs, but nothing that ever made us look the other way. Where this film shines is during the introduction of species that rarely get this level of attention. You will marvel at the scenes showcasing these strange and astounding creatures. What about one of the filmmakers swimming alongside a shark? Amazing.

The film pulls no punches when discussing man and our effect on the oceans of the world. Pollution, over-fishing and shrinking environments are all chalked up the the destructiveness of our nature. It isn't heavy-handed, but it is presented in a straight-forward and compelling manner.

Both films are a worthy addition to your library and will offer hours of entertainment.

About “See OCEANS, Save Oceans”:
By purchasing a Disney Blu-ray Combo Pack or DVD of Disneynature OCEANS through October 25, viewers can help conserve our world’s oceans and the species that depend on them for survival. In honor of each Blu-ray and DVD purchased during that period, Disneynature, through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, will help establish new marine protected areas in The Bahamas with The Nature Conservancy, one of the largest conservation organizations in the world. In The Bahamas, The Nature Conservancy and its local partners, including the Bahamian government, are establishing a new marine protected area along the west side of Andros Island. Currently, new marine-protected area boundaries are being defined that will expand from 300,000 acres to more than 1 million acres. These areas will contain miles of vital coral reefs that provide natural habitat, nurseries and feeding grounds for hundreds of marine species. For more details on Disney’s collaboration with The Nature Conservancy, please visit:

Friday, October 15, 2010

Geek-End Update, Saturday, October 16, 2010

Scrubs: Goodbye, Farewell and Amen

Scrubs: The Complete Ninth And Final Season (Two-Disc DVD)

I am a huge fan of Scrubs. Even before it was on ABC. The entire nine seasons were produced by ABC Studios, even before it was brought on as a mid-season replacement in 2008.

The loss of JD in more than half of the episodes is felt in the style of the show. There is a new character introduced, that plays a female version of JD, that offers a whimsical look at med school a la JD but she is missing a Turk character to bounce off. The season is really missing its heart.

I still enjoyed the 13 episodes of the ninth season. When you reach the second disc, you have bonded with the new characters and you start looking forward to their various forays into their medical education. Dr. Turk and Dr. Cox take over most of the comedy responsibility and their characters are perfect.

I wouldn't start with this set, especially since it had been cancelled with only 13 episodes. It is a great ending to an amazing series.

Allowing millions of fans to complete their collections of one of the most outrageous comedies on TV -- on September 28, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment (WDSHE) releases ABC‟s Scrubs: The Complete Ninth and Final Season -- the home entertainment debut of the exciting final season of the fan-favorite series. Scrubs: The Complete Ninth and Final Season features every final season episode of one of ABC‟s most beloved comedies, complete and uninterrupted, along with never-before-seen bonus materials that fans will love, including bloopers, hilarious deleted scenes and much more.

These exciting DVD releases feature all the offbeat episodes of the hugely popular series, creating the ultimate must own for quirky and outrageous laugh-out-loud moments, with star Zach Braff as Dr. John “J.D.” Dorian (The Last Kiss), Donald Faison as Chris Turk (Next Day Air), John C. McGinley as Perry Cox (Superman/Batman: Public Enemies), Eliza Coupe as Denise (“Samantha Who?”) and Sarah Chalke as Elliott Reid (“How I Met Your Mother”).

Bonus Features: Scrubs: The Complete Ninth and Final Season Deleted Scenes (including introductions and explanations from Bill Lawrence) Bloopers Scrubbing In – from the halls of Sacred Heart Hospital, to the halls of Winston University, this cool bonus feature allows viewers to meet the talented newcomers to Season Nine, along with insights from Show Creator Bill Lawrence, and veteran actors Zach Braff and Sarah Chalke. Live From The Golf Cart