“Planes” Flying to Theaters in August

We can’t escape “Cars.”  The film, my least favorite of Pixar’s (well, technically “Cars 2” would win that dubious honor), continues to be so popular, mostly through merchandising, that Disney keeps putting it front and center.  The latest way in which the company is doing so is with a new movie, due out this August. The new film isn’t really a sequel or prequel to “Cars.”  It’s more of a related film in the same general universe.  The primary difference in “Planes” is evident in the title.  “Planes” will be about the world that goes on above that of the … Continue reading

Underappreciated Disney Films: The Rescuers Down Under

“The Rescuers Down Under” doesn’t stand out as much as other films in my underappreciated series.  When looking at the full catalog of Disney feature-length animated films, I can understand why RDU and its predecessor don’t get as much attention.  I could have chosen either of them for this column, but given that “The Rescuers” was popular enough when it came out to warrant one of Disney’s only three theater-released sequels, I picked the latter film.  RDU is also hurt by the fact that its release came between that of Disney powerhouses “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast.” … Continue reading

Disney Movies on Home Release This Spring

Disney fans take note: the company has released the list of movies due out on home release this spring.  It’s a combination of films out of the vault, first time home releases, and TV on DVD.  First up, coming out last week, is “Peter Pan.”  In honor of the film’s 60th anniversary, this is Disney’s first Diamond Edition and Blu-Ray release of the classic.  Another famous Peter also hit the shelves this week: Peter Parker, in “Ultimate Spider-Man: Avenging Spider-Man.”  It’s one of the Marvel cartoons Disney’s currently producing. This week, in anticipation of its prequel’s June release, “Monster’s Inc.” … Continue reading

Disney Plans Star Wars Character Spin-Offs

 Boba Fett and the man who played him, Jeremy Bulloch The biggest Disney movie news of the past week was so big it needed its own post: Disney has announced that they’re planning character-based “Star Wars” spin-offs.  That means they’re looking to make movies that expand the stories of fan favorites like Yoda, Han Solo, and Boba Fett. If you’re wondering about the sequel trilogy, know that it’s still on track.  Episode 7 might not make it out in 2015 as planned, now that the ever-busy J.J. Abrams is helming, but these character pieces aren’t meant to replace Episodes 7-9.  … Continue reading

Latest Disney Movie News

There’s a lot going on in the world of Disney movies right now.  The Disney Blog has the scoop on all the details.  First I’ll start with the news on one of my most anticipated upcoming Disney films: “The Muppets” sequel.  That’s right: 2011’s Muppet movie was successful enough that the famous puppet troop is headed out for another cinematic adventure. Just like the 2011 Muppet movie drew inspiration from the 1979 original, its sequel shares elements with the original’s sequel.  The Muppets are headed back to London, where they went in 1981’s “Great Muppet Caper.”  In “The Muppets…Again,” the … Continue reading

101 Dalmatians Book and Movie: Always Charming

The 1956 book “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” by Dodie Smith is a very English, very droll story of married Dalmatians Pongo and Missis, and their also-married pets, Mr. & Mrs. Dearly.  You read that right: Missis.  Perhaps the biggest surprise (to me) reading the novel on which the Disney film was based, was to discover that Pongo’s wife was not called Perdita, but Missis.  Even stranger is when a dog named Perdita appears.  She’s a liver (brown)-spotted Dalmatian that serves as a wet nurse for Missis, who cannot handle the milk load required by 15 puppies. Perdita’s own pups … Continue reading

First Details from Disney’s “Frozen” Released

While there might not be a lot of new Christmas-related Disney stories to report, there is one wintry seasonal piece of news: the first concept image and story details from next year’s “Frozen.”  “Frozen” is Disney’s adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen,” a story that’s been in the works for years. Production on “Frozen” has been off and on for almost ten years, with the film looking like it’s getting made, and then being shelved.  It’s back on for real this time, and it even has a release date: November 27, 2013.  Just in time for most of … Continue reading

Wreck-It Ralph Review

Disney’s done it again with “Wreck-It Ralph.” This is a movie anyone can love, and it’s definitely another one to which it would be great to bring your kids along. The central protagonist, Ralph, is actually a villain, not a hero. He’s the guy in an arcade game who wrecks a building, for the hero (and titular character in his game), Fix-It Felix, to repair. Ralph has spent 30 years as the villain, and that wouldn’t be so bad if at night, when the lights in the arcade go off and the denizens of the games go off the clock, … Continue reading

“Cinderella” Escapes from the Disney Vault

Heralded by Disney as “the ultimate fairy tale,” “Cinderella” is released from the Disney Vault today. I don’t know about the ultimate fairy tale; the rags-to-riches trope is common across the world, and I can agree with that, but my feelings about the Disney version are lukewarm. But fans of the 1950 film should be pleased, because, as always when it’s released, it’s getting a lavish new edition. That is, if you’re willing to buy the Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack. Purchase this for around $25 (that’s the Amazon.com price), and you’ll get the movie on both Blu-Ray and DVD in the … Continue reading

Sleeping Beauty: A Strange Fairy Tale

Charles Perrault’s “La Belle au bois dormant” (literal translation “the Beauty sleeping in the wood”) is a bizarre little tale. Some people might find Walt Disney’s adaptation of the story as soporific as the curse upon Aurora, but at least it has narrative consistency. So many of the things that happen in Perrault’s story leave (modern) readers scratching their heads, and that’s on top of the hefty dose of terrible messages for women, something that didn’t come as a surprise after I read the 17th century Frenchman’s take on Cinderella. Up until the point of the teenage princess’ pricking of … Continue reading