Friday, July 28, 2017

Star Wars Forces of Destiny

Disney never ceases to amaze. They are currently running a great new Initiative called, Star Wars Forces of Destiny. This is a new drive to bring to light new inspiring stories from iconic Star Wars characters.  And true to Disney there are so many levels to this announcement.

The first level is the most visual, in fact they grabbed my attention and then led me to find this great new offering from Disney/LucasFilm.  There are 8 shorts on Disney Site that are really very good.  "The Choices we make,the actions we take, moments both big and small shape us into Forces of Destiny." This is the tagline that opens each of the animated shorts.  What follows is 2-3 minutes of pure Star Wars goodness.
Fans will be excited to discover that talent from across Star Wars films and animated TV series reprise their roles for the Forces of Destiny shorts: Daisy Ridley as Rey, Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, Tiya Sircar as Sabine Wren, Ashley Eckstein as Ahsoka Tano, John Boyega as Finn, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata and more.
The shorts are all very well made and are being shown on the Disney Channel and the above link.  Each tells a real quick story that has that Tagline as the core premise.  It's the decisions we make that shape our lives.

Now to the second level of what I think Disney is doing here.  As you can see from the voice talent there are a lot of the female leads mentioned.  This is due to the fact all of these stories available right now are based on Female characters, of which, Star Wars and Disney excels.  Each female character decides and acts on their own with confidence and determination.  This is doubly smart for Disney as they get extra fans looking at Star Wars.  As a big Star Wars fan, I'll watch anything that comes out regardless of the lead.  Give me a Rhodian as the lead and I'd be fine.  But what happens with these great girls/women is that we get a lot of girls and women who might not focused on the Star Wars universe yet.  Extra ticket sales and merchandise $$$ down the road.  Another quick note, no-where on the page or in the trailers, unless I missed it, does anyone address how the lead roles in these shorts are all female.

And now to the Third level of Disney Ingenuity, the toys...and other items.  After doing a little bit more clicking around I found the toys and books and such.  They need to pay for it somehow and making money is one of their goals.  Starting out, the books look great.  Readers for the younger kids, maybe 5-11 years.  And again a change in that they are mainly girl characters again, getting the girls into the Star Wars. Each of the ladies have their own movable action figures.  There are also a number of supporting characters.

This again shows how well the marriage of Lucasfilms and Disney has worked out for the better.  I'm looking forward to whatever comes next!  
May the Force be With You...

PostScript:  When looking this up, be aware the there is a D&D version of a SW games called Star Wars Force AND Destiny.  Cool, but not the same thing.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Dapper Dan's of Disneyland

One of the truly magical and most nostalgic of the entertainment offered at the Magic Kingdom, whether east or west, are the Dapper Dan's.  This is the turn-of -the-century Barbershop Quartet that find their home on Main Street and always gather a crowd when they perform.   They can be found anywhere on Main Street but it looks like in Disneyland, they have a small area set aside for them to perform.  I assume, but the sign was a giveaway.  This is located down Main Street on the left, right past the Coca Cola store in the Corner Café.  Very similar to Casey's Corner of WDW in most respects.  A great place to get a drink or some food and take a break.  Having the Dapper Dan's show up and begin was a greatly appreciated bonus.  During their show they interact with the crowd as they sing a lot of the standard Barbershop songs: 

“Yankee Doodle Dandy”
“Strolling Through the Park”
“Mr. Sandman”
“If You’re Happy and You Know It”
“Zip-a-Dee Doo Dah”
And many more.  Along with the great song library, the Dan's would have a variety of talents in addition to the singing.  A favorite instrument is the Organ Chime.  Think "Mr. Sand Man" as to what those chimes might sound like.  Also, I was surprised with another talent that I had not seen up until our trip to Disneyland.  They Tap Dance!  It was a really fun show! 

Dapper Dan's of Disneyland Link

Monday, January 16, 2017

Carousel of Progress C.S.I.: The Missing Person Case

Reported Crime:  Missing Person
Location: Magic Kingdom's Carousel of Progress
First Officer on Scene: Tom Morrow

This is a Case I was given by Capt. Capos, that I thought right off, Open and Shut.  There is no way the Disney Imagineers and storytellers could make a mistake in leaving no reference to identify a character in an attraction, but I was oh, so, wrong.  The crime was a missing person, a child no less.  From this point forward we are referring to the victim here as Jane Doe.  According to Officer Morrow, "She was there in one scene and gone in the next.  And for the rest of the show for that matter."  I told Tom to slow down and start from the top.

He glanced down at his pad and began.  "It appears our Jane Doe was seen in the very first scene of the Hit Disney show Carousel of Progress."  He went on, "I'm sure you've seen the show, it's been going on for over 50 years.  It has those four scenes that follow a family through time."  He looked up from his notes, "Here's where it gets odd.  They start out in the first scene with a family of 5 and an older family member.  You know, each scene it's the family and like a grandmother or grandfather or even an uncle.  This time it was the Grandmother, The Father, Mother, Little Girl (our Jane Doe), the Son, James, and the older Daughter, Patricia.  And then as soon as the 5 hours of wash was done...BAM... the little girl is gone.  They never see her again.  She never makes it out of the 1900's"

Morrow continues, "We have a picture of her from a witnesses phone and as you can see all looks normal.  No stress in the house, all seems calm.  There might be an issue with son viewing risqué material over in the parlor, but otherwise, normal."

I asked Officer Morrow why the other children had names yet this little girl has none?  He just laughed, "I've been asking all the witnesses the same question, but no one knows.  All of the members of this show have a name, all except that little girl.  Those futuristic looking cast members that direct people to sit down and stand up have name tags, and even that bum Uncle of theirs, Orville, has a name.  S%*T, even the dog, Rover has a name."  I told Morrow to calm down and watch his language on the job.  He had nothing else so I released him from the scene.  I took a couple more pictures and headed to the lab.

Some things to note, our Jane Doe looks to be dressed properly for 1900 and as they had not developed life-like Animatronics at that time, she has to be a real girl.  After checking many sources including Disney Wiki, Wikipedia, WikiLeaks, (side note, WikiLeaks auto-corrected to the way it looks here.  Can you say it is here to stay?) and a lot of Disney attraction information sites.  The father, mother, son and older daughter appear in all scenes as themselves and not as other families as it was thought early on in the investigation.  So now we are at a great big Nothing and it looks like we have an open case that needs more research.  Could it just be an oversight on the Imagineers side and the girl was just put in there to turn the washer crank?  I hope not.  It seems so cruel.

Do you have any ideas?  Leave any tips below in the comments!  We'll talk reward after I see the tip...