Jentasmic on Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom

10 Aug

I was instantly hooked on Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom. So how’s about Disney bringing that technology to Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Here’s a snippet from this week’s Jentasmic! column, over on StudiosCentral:

SOTMK is more complex (both in technology and game mechanic) and has greater potential for expansion and re-themeing than its Epcot equivalent, Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure (which recently replaced an almost-identical game themed to Kim Possible). Aaron DelPrince recently reviewed this game here on StudiosCentral. I agree with Aaron that the Agent P experience is a step up from the Kim Possible version. But SOTMK is in another league entirely, using full-movement animation and a wider variety of variables which will affect each specific interaction in the game.

Disneyana at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum

6 Aug
Sleeping Beauty's Sewing Set

You have got to be kidding me. Does it include its own spindle?

Baltimore’s an odd little city in some ways. For one thing, who thought it was a good idea to put a large convention center across the street from the baseball stadium? Throughout Otakon, cosplaying anime fans and befuddled Orioles fans competed for space on the sidewalks.

My family flew into town the day before Otakon, knowing that we’d be able to pick up our pre-registered badges that evening. (We didn’t get into the crazy long line that snaked around the convention center all afternoon; we just waited until we saw someone tweet that there was only a 10-minute wait. Shazam, done.)

But maybe it’s not so bad that the stadium is so close to the convention center, because the Sports Legends museum shares a building with a great find for any fan of vintage Disney comics and merchandise: Geppi’s Entertainment Museum, which a friend was kind enough to suggest we visit that afternoon.

The Geppi’s web site explains their mission:

Geppi’s Entertainment Museum is dedicated to presenting the story of popular culture since the nation’s earliest days in an entertaining and educational fashion so that our guests have the unique opportunity to walk through a timeline that parallels and is entwined with history as a whole.

I’m not sure how well they accomplish the entwinement of history; I didn’t notice any references to historical events other than those specifically referenced in the pop culture materials they’ve archived. But they’ve done a great job of collecting and displaying nostalgic ephemera, from comic books to underpants. We spent an hour or so working our way through the collections, constantly tugging at each others’ sleeves and exclaiming, “You’ve got to see this one!”

My only disappointment in the museum is that their Local Heroes collection only has a small John Waters section. Museum staff explained that this is because they’d like to keep the museum family-friendly, which means they really can’t reference most of his films (they did have a couple of pink flamingos, referencing his least family-friendly movie).

Below is a photo gallery of just a few of the Disney items I saw at the Geppi Museum on July 26, 2012. If you’re in Baltimore, with or without tens of thousands of anime fans, I’d encourage you to drop in and visit the collections.

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I’ve also got to include one non-Disney image, because it makes me giggle.

Foxy Grandpa Hat Party

If Foxy Grandpa Hat Party isn’t already a euphemism, it should be.

Nemo and Ponyo Cosplay at Otakon 2012

3 Aug


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Photos from Otakon 2012, last weekend at the Baltimore Convention Center.


Hidden Mary Blair in Walt Disney World’s “it’s a small world”

2 Aug

I’ve always been terrible at spotting hidden Mickeys. I’ve got the guide and all, but even with incredibly explicit directions, I still can’t see half the things I go looking for, unless I’ve got a personal guide.

One of my favorite Easter Eggs at Walt Disney World is the hidden Mary Blair in “it’s a small world.” She’s hidden in plain sight, and large enough that I can find her just fine. But she’s in such an odd spot that I never noticed until my friend Trace showed her to me. So on my trip to Walt Disney World last month, I captured this video.

Trace tells me that there are hidden Mary Blairs in every “it’s a small world,” but the only other one I could find info on is the one at Disneyland, which interestingly enough is also located with the Eiffel Tower. Anybody out there got the scoop on Paris, Tokyo, or Hong Kong?

WDW Fantasyland Construction View from Dumbo

1 Aug

I love the updated Dumbo attraction at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom! The twin spires of Dumbo are a joy to behold, especially at night. And yes, I unabashedly ride Dumbo all by myself, and I am a middle-aged lady.

Right now one of the bonuses of riding Dumbo is the view of the Fantasyland construction. If you’re not already familiar with the Fantasyland expansion plans, AllEars has a great overview and recent updates.

Below are a video I captured while flying high on Dumbo on July 18, 2012, and a screen shot of perhaps the clearest view of the construction from the video:

construction view from Dumbo

Click through for larger image

Jentasmic: Why Stitch is My Hero

30 Jul

Stitch at MouseFest 2008, getting ready to board the Tomorrowland Speedway

Lilo and Stitch is one of my favorite Disney movies. This week’s Jentasmic! at StudiosCentral is an exploration of why Stitch means so much to me.

It’s easy to live by the spirit of ‘ohana when times are good. Making sure nobody gets left behind isn’t so tough when everybody can keep up with the same pace. And why would you forget someone when they’re still there? And I think we all know life isn’t always like that.

Please visit StudiosCentral for the rest of the story.

Jackson 5 Cover of Zip A Dee Doo Dah

27 Jun

I wasn’t sure I’d ever blog again. Hadn’t I said everything I had to say about Disney? In particular, hadn’t I already spoken my peace on the issues of gender, sexual orientation, race, and class which so often get under my skin when we’re talking about Disney?

But today, I’m innocently listening to the 2010 compilation album, J is for Jackson 5, and I swear to you my heart skipped a beat when I hear a little number from Song of the South, a movie about which I’ve already expressed an opinion a few times. And whaddya know, it turns out this track was on their debut album, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5. You can see them performing another version of this song live on what appears to be American Bandstand or some such show.

The controversy over Song of the South is not new, and Snopes tells me that Disney “kept [the film] out of circulation all throughout the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960s.” So I’m surprised that out of the enormous Disney catalog, they picked something from Song of the South to cover. Was there any cultural fallout? Google doesn’t seem to think so. And given that it was re-released as part of such a recent compilation, the Jacksons don’t seem to have a problem with it either. But, well, there’s plenty of commentary out there about Michael Jackson and his relationship with race, which I think it’s safe to say is a rather complex question.

But wow. Zip A Dee Doo Dah.

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