Well, it’s been a while. I feel as if I’ve broken some sacred covenant of the blogger with my handful of beloved readers. Nevertheless, when life in the outside world gets too interesting, exhausting or downright busy, it seems that the blog is the first thing to suffer. Perhaps I needed a small break from all things Disney; I must admit that I’m a bit behind on all the cutting-edge gossip from the last few weeks. My politics addiction has taken up all of my available blogging time, but I guess a change in scenery is good now and again. It recharges the linear induction motors.
Unfortunately, when life moves at near-relativistic speeds time dilation occurs, and even though it seems that little time has passed you might return to the Internet to find that hundreds of news cycles have come and gone. So although I have a lot of catching up to do, now that grants are submitted and life is settling down our world will once more be a World of Motion. In the meantime, here are a few Disney-related thoughts from recent weeks:
- There’s lot of park news dribbling out that I need to catch up on. Plans for DCA continue to be refined, with some elements being cut and some being plussed. I’ve yet to cover this expansion in depth, and my feelings about it are mixed. On one hand, you have a massive and highly-themed rehab coming to one of Disney’s poorest-designed parks. On the other hand, I really can’t get behind “Carsland” as the theme of the centerpiece of a park ostensibly themed to California. The fairly recent decision to cut the new version of The Walt Disney Story is also a major disappointment.
- It looks like Florida’s Magic Kingdom is going to get a clone of DCA’s Little Mermaid attraction. This is great news for a park that has not received an E-Ticket addition in sixteen (!) years, but unfortunately for fans, the clone wars continue…
- Florida’s Hollywood Studios have been allowing guests to test out the new Toy Story Mania. Reports seem to be good so far; some friends of mine have ridden it and quite enjoyed it. The park has long needed more dark rides, and this adds a touch of excitement to an increasingly stale park. Still, the nattering nabobs like myself continue to have issues with the theming of the attraction and its placement in DHS…
- More park rumors: new stuff to come for DHS, Star Tours 2.0 in the works at last, possible DAK expansion… and for some reason, certain parties insist that plans for the so-called “Night Kingdom” fifth gate continue to be developed. I’m really not certain what to think of this project, as there’s certainly a market for high-end experiences but how many families go rock climbing together? Meanwhile, Ed Grier drops word that planning continues for a third gate in Anaheim… make this one count, WDI…
- I saw Prince Caspian last week – sadly it was a bit of a letdown. In fact, it was a major letdown. It’s bad when a sequel makes you doubt the goodwill you held for the original film. Caspian had a major case of the blockbusteritis that plagues many large movies these days, including the vastly disappointing new Indiana Jones movie. The film is entirely exposition and action – it never stops moving. Things like character and motivation are swept aside for spectacle, and one misses the smaller, more meaningful moments that gave the earlier films that extra bit of soul that made them worthwhile.
There’s one exception to this: the scene in which Tilda Swinton’s White Witch appears and tries to trick the protagonists into releasing her back into Narnia. The scene is kind of dropped in there, and doesn’t really have any relevance to the main narrative, but it’s fantastic and by far and away the best scene in the entire film. Of course Tilda Swinton could probably read the phone book and it would still be bizarrely fascinating, but if the rest of the film had the feel and import of this one scene it would be far more memorable.
Also, Aslan was kind of a prissy jerk. No one wants a diva for their messiah figure.
On the positive side, the film was spectacular, well filmed, fairly well acted, and featured some magnificent effects and production design. The action scenes, aside from the glaringly poor editing and pacing of the castle siege, were top notch. I was afraid the final swordfight between Peter and Swarthy McEvilKing was going to just be a by-the-numbers Gladiator ripoff but it wound up being a very nicely staged and interestingly filmed duel – a rarity in the day of the quick edit. Also, no one has even been let down by a movie with a schoolgirl wreaking cold-blooded havoc with a bow and arrow.
I’ve not given up on Narnia – there wasn’t really anything bad in the film, it was just missing some important elements – but it will be nice to get some new directorial blood in the next installment.
- Speaking of movies, WALL-E continues to look amazing. I am seriously so excited about this film I might drink myself into a coma so I don’t have to wait the few weeks until its opening. We’ve also seen a bit more about the short which will accompany it, and it looks about as great as you’d expect.
Anyway, I suppose I should get to work as I have a month of Disney news to catch up on, as well as some larger stories I’d like to write. Thankfully my fellow Disney bloggers have continued to crank out great work whilst I’ve been away, so I have lots of interesting reading to do. Stay tuned!
P.S. Since this is my first post in a while, I’d like to give a shout out to my dear Swingin’ Teddi Barra… Welcome to the ‘ohana!