1 The Mickey Mindset

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The NEW Mickey Mindset!

Greetings Disney fans! Thanks for checking out The Mickey Mindset! We're super excited to announce that we moved our extensive library of articles over to our brand new website in a brand-new stunning and easy to use format which can be found at mickeymindset.com

Future posts will no longer be posted here, but business will continue as usual over on our new site. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ten Years of LOST: A Tribute to Oceanic 815

Mitchell Stein- Exactly ten years ago to this day, forty survivors boarded a plane from Sydney, Australia heading for Los Angeles, when disaster struck causing them to crash-land on a mysterious island.

This Disney-owned ABC series was quite honestly one of the most brilliant and creative story-telling in a television series in recent memory. Nearly every episode was well-crafted with usually brilliant stories and suspense always leaving me wondering what would happen next, which made for some very serious binge-watching. One of my main complaints concern the lack of answers that the show provides. They spent a tremendous amount of time building up to different questions and mysteries and barely bother to answer half of them.  I'm one of those folks who actually appreciated the series finale. I felt it was bittersweet, poignant and moving and really redeemed the lackluster final season.

Head writers Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof built a fantastic mysterious island, from the Dharma Initiative, Polar Bears and Smoke Monsters, everything felt like it fit, no matter what direction the story began to head in. I really enjoy the change that season four took on and beyond, and the time travel in season five was ingenious. Each season took upon a very different style and grew rather well.

The characters were great too. In the early episodes, they managed to make unlikable characters like Sawyer, Sayid, Sun and Jin grow and to get you to actually care. They also do a great turnaround in character storytelling. Many times at first who seems to be the villain is actually no threat at all, and shifts over greatly.

While other shows have come and gone since LOST, but I think most of us can agree that most of them don't quite live up to Lost's legacy. We have to go back!

What are your favorite moments from LOST? Feel free to share them below!

Disney Animation Review #44: Brother Bear

Disney Movie Review: 44/52 - Brother Bear

Ryan Dosier- Brother Bear (2003) is my next viewing stop on my ride through one of the weaker periods of Disney animation. The early 2000s failed to capture the love and admiration that other times in Disney animated history has, and it continues to be looked down upon as one of the worst periods for the company. Brother Bear did not help to curb that trend.

Right off the bat, it’s clear that Brother Bear will be a visually stunning piece. The animation is outstanding throughout and the layouts are severely impressive. The colors used in the film are also extremely vibrant and stunning. Disney animators had gotten very good at shading and coloring and lighting their films by this point. The artists created an amazing rendering of the ancient wilderness and watching the characters move in the backgrounds is one of the true highlights of the film.

Unfortunately, the rest of this lackluster effort doesn’t match the wonder of the artistic work. The storytelling is shoddy at best with some major plot holes and contrived resolutions that make no sense whatsoever. Kenai, the main character, kills a bear as a human before he himself is turned into a bear. Later we find out that the bear he kills is the mother of Koda, the young bear cub he has become friends with. Once Koda finds this out, he is—obviously—upset and refuses to be with Kenai. But this lasts all of five minutes before two comic relief moose inadvertently remind him that brothers love each other and sway him. (?!?!?) It is a baffling resolution that is solved way, way too simplistically. It is incredibly disappointing.

The characters are also very forgettable for the most part. Kenai, the main character (inexplicably voiced by Joaquin Phoenix) is not at all compelling. He is grumpy, stubborn, and comes to a very lame resolution. Rutt and Tuke, the two moose, are relatively funny but they serve virtually no purpose and simply appear randomly throughout the movie. The only truly fun character is Koda, who has a wonderful voice and spunk and charm that draws you in. He is very funny and an accurate representation of excitable kids on a road trip. Koda is the only great character in Brother Bear. 

Phil Collins, who had previously done music for Tarzan, wrote the music of the film. Brother Bear fails to have any song that reaches the level of anything in Tarzan, but there are a few great tunes. “On My Way” and “Welcome to Our Family” are both very good and very catchy. The rest of the songs left no impression on me and for the most part, Brother Bear's music is completely forgettable. Throughout the film, the music is not used to further the story, but it is used merely as an excuse to use a montage. This happens at least four times in Brother Bear and it just gets annoying and repetitive.

There’s not much more to say about Brother Bear. The film is entirely forgettable and leaves the viewer no good reason to remember it. While there is some truly stunning artwork in Brother Bear, the inexcusably weak story and resolution, the unenjoyable characters, and the forgettable music make it one of the least impressive Disney animated features to date.

1.5/5 Miffed Moose

Friday, September 19, 2014

Backlot Studio Tour Closes Permanently on September 27th

In a shocking reveal to Walt Disney World cast members earlier this afternoon, the famous ever popular Disney's Hollywood Studios attraction Backlot Studio Tour is closing for good starting September 27th 2014.

The report was first rumored by the folks over at WDW News Today, who speculated a Pixar Place expansion in an article this morning. WDW News Today has got word of the confirmed expansion just recently and have posted about it on their website.

No official word from Disney on what will replace the beloved attraction, so this page will be updated as more info becomes available.

Thank you WDW News Today for the scoop! Follow them at @WDWNT on Twitter for up-to-the minute updates on everything in Walt Disney World.

(Photo Credit: WDW News Today) 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Film Review: As Dreamers Do

Mitchell Stein- As I sit here typing this review just moments after I finished As Dreamers Do which is finally available for purchase online  and in-stores. This awesome Nashville based film crew managed to put together a beautiful fitting tribute to Walt Disney, but unfortunately, copyright problems cause the writing team to go a little bit farther back in history, to the early days of Walt's animation, and the early seeds of the Walt Disney Company.

The film is wonderfully directed by Logan Sekulow. Mr. Sekulow does a great job at steering the story, mixing hilarious and emotional scenes scattered throughout the film. There are quite a few sequences that felt like they dragged on for far too long, but those mistakes are made up for later in the film with every perfect emotional scene. Some scenes don't flow as well as they should, especially in the first act of the movie, but as the film progresses everything falls into place perfectly.
The movie does take some time to find it's footing, but when it gets there, it's delightful. Every aspect of the story is spot-on, and writer Wendy Ott really did her homework when it came to writing this film. The story is fabulous, and the character development throughout is superb.

Speaking of characters, I think it would be appropriate to mention Olan Rogers who takes on the role of Walt Disney quite well. Maybe not quite as an honest portrayal as I would have hoped, but Rogers creates a charming, likeable character who the audience will love regardless of whether that's portrays Walt's exact persona in those early years. Ryan Dunlap does a good job of playing Roy Disney, portraying a loyal likable character and William Haynes does a brilliant job of playing Ub Iwerks, filling the character and steals almost every scene he's in.

The story ends off at a rather interesting point in Disney history, but one that really opened the doors to the impossible achievements that Walt conquered, leaving the beautiful message in it's midst: To never give up, and keep moving forward.

3/5 Stars

As Dreamers Do is now available to own on DVD and Digital Copy

Monday, September 15, 2014

111 Awesome Disney Songs, Part 6

Ryan Dosier - Part 6, Part 6, woo-hoo!

56.)   "When You Wish Upon a Star" from Pinocchio
No song says Disney more than the theme from Pinocchio. In fact, this was (and in my opinion, still is) undoubtedly the anthem for The Walt Disney Company. "When You Wish Upon a Star" encapsulates everything that Disney stands for as both an entertainment company and an ideal to strive for. The "Disney Way" is this song, and it's perfection. Jiminy Cricket's original version from Pinocchio remains the stalwart best. Favorite Lyrics: "Like a bolt out of the blue/Fate steps in and sees you through/When you wish upon a star/Your dreams come true."

57.)   "Perfect World" from The Emperor's New Groove
Come on, I had to include a song from The Emperor's New Groove, one of Disney's most under-appreciated animated features. No, it's not a musical, but this number performed by rock and roll legend Tom Jones to open the film is spectacular. It sets the tone for the film immediately, and clues you into the fact that this will definitely not be the traditional Disney fare. "Perfect World" is a perfect song for this film. Favorite Lyrics: "He was born and raised to rule/No one has ever been this cool/In a thousand years of aristocracy/An enigma and a mystery/In Meso American history/The quintessence of perfection/That is he!"

58.)   "Once Upon a Dream" from Sleeping Beauty
This song is actually my favorite part of Sleeping Beauty. It's gorgeously animated, the backgrounds are incredibly stunning, and the song is magical. The lyrics illustrate such a beautiful ideal--meeting your true love in a dream, and knowing they're the one for you when you meet them for real. It's such a delightful moment in one of Walt Disney's classic films. Perfectly performed, stunningly animated, and a wonderful part of Disney music history. Favorite Lyrics: "I know you, I've walked with you/Once upon a dream/I know you, the gleam in your eyes/Is so familiar agleam/And I know it's true/That visions are seldom what they seem/But if I know you/I know what you'll do/You'll love me at once/The way you did once upon a dream."

59.)   "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" from Frozen
The newest song in the list this week comes directly from the icy world of Frozen, the latest Disney animated blockbuster. "Do You Want to Build a Snowman?" is the catchiest song in the film and the one that stuck with me the most after my first viewing of the film. I love the angelic voices of the girls singing the song, the adorable way Anna says "It doesn't have to be a snowman," and everything else about this song. Favorite Lyrics: "Do you wanna build a snow man?/Or ride our bikes around the halls/I think some company is overdue/I've started talking to/The pictures on the walls!"

60.)   "Gonna Take You There" from The Princess and the Frog
I really don't understand how you could not love The Princess and the Frog. Stunning traditional animation, wonderful storytelling, and exceptional music from Randy Newman. Ray the Lightning Bug (voiced by voice actor virtuoso Jim Cummings) is my favorite character in the film, and this quick zydeco-flavored song he sings to Tiana is a blast. The animation in this scene is especially stunning, with the many lightning bugs hopping and flying through the swamp. It's a joy. Favorite Lyrics: "We all go through together/Down here that's how we do!/Me for them and them for me/We'll all be there for you!"

61.)   "Stand Out" from A Goofy Movie
I'm pretty sure I've already said this, but my goodness does A Goofy Movie have excellent music. "Stand Out" is the first Powerline song we hear in the film, as Max ruins his school assembly performing it with incredible light and video effects. The song is actually a really nice message of coming to terms with how you're different and how you stand out because of it. Plus, it rocks super hard. Favorite Lyrics: "Some people settle for the typical things/Living all their lives waiting in the wings/It ain't a question of if, just a matter of time/Before I move to the front of the line!"

62.)   "Go the Distance" from Hercules
Perhaps my favorite Alan Menken ballad, "Go the Distance" is the anthem for many, many people setting out to live their dreams on a grand scale. I adore this song so much and I've sang it in the car when I needed a reminder of how important dreams are on multiple occasions. It's one of those songs with a message that will never get old or stop being important. "Go the Distance" is one of many factors that makes Hercules so wonderful. Favorite Lyrics: "I have often dreamed/Of a far off place/Where a great, warm welcome/Will be waiting for me/Where the crowds will cheer/When they see my face/And a voice keeps saying/This is where I'm meant to be."

63.)   "On the Open Road" from A Goofy Movie
Ooh, yet another song from A Goofy Movie, and one of my favorites! This is the only true "musical" style song in the whole film, where there characters are spontaneously all singing the same song. Oddly, I think "On the Open Road" is my favorite tune from the flick. I love Bill Farmer's singing voice as Goofy and this song fits him so well. The chorus of other drivers who chime in are also incredibly well done. Favorite Lyrics: "Do ya need a break from modern livin'?/Do you long to shed your weary load?/If your nerves are raw and your brain is fried/Just grab a friend and take a ride/Together upon the open road!"

64.)   "Strangers Like Me" from Tarzan
Have we had any songs from Tarzan on the list yet? Probably... and I'm too lazy to go back and check! Anyway, Phil Collins' work with the music in Tarzan is wonderful. One of the few Disney animated features to feature prominent songs that characters don't sing, Tarzan features a plethora of hits. "Strangers Like Me" is a beautiful storytelling song in the film, but also works as a wonderful anthem for finding a place where you belong. A true highlight of the film. Favorite Lyrics: "Every gesture, every move that she makes/Makes me feel like never before/Why do I have/This growing need to be beside her /Ooh, these emotions I never knew/Of some other world far beyond this place/Beyond the trees, above the clouds/I see before me a new horizon."

65.)   "Reflection" from Mulan
Another beautiful anthem from a Disney animated feature, "Reflection" is a favorite of many girls and women who adored Mulan. But really, "Reflection" reflects all of us searching for purpose and trying to define who we truly are. It's a touching and staggering song expressing how most people feel at a young age. Trying to figure out who you are at the most confusing period of life is never easy, and this song explores and expresses that incredibly well. Favorite Lyrics: "Who is that girl I see?/Staring straight back at me/Why is my reflection someone I don't know?/Somehow I cannot hide/Who I am, though I've tried/When will my reflection show/Who I am inside?"

66.)   "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" from Mary Poppins
Absolutely one of the most clever songs ever written, this impossible to spell Sherman Brothers classic is a delight. When performed by Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke, "Supercali-" becomes a masterpiece. I adore this song and how silly and fun and wonderful it is. It's the definition of a nonsense song, and it's marvelous. Favorite Lyrics: "Because I was afraid to speak/When I was just a lad/Me father gave me nose a tweak/And told me I was bad/But then I learned a word to help me save my achin' nose/The biggest word you ever hear/And this is how it goes, oh!/Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!" 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Frozen Attraction Heading to Epcot in 2016, replacing Maelstrom dark-ride

The Disney Parks Blog announced earlier today that Frozen is heading back to Walt Disney World, but even bigger than better than ever. After much speculation, it was confirmed that Frozen will find a new home and attraction in the Norway pavilion of Epcot's World Showcase. The new currently unnamed attraction will replace the Maelstorm attraction which has been operating since 1988. The attraction is currently planned to open in 2016.

" We’ve made “Frozen” a part of the guest experience in a number of ways already and our guests have both loved them and asked for more." says Tom Staggs in a Disney Parks Blog post "So I’m pleased to say that we’re starting construction at Walt Disney World Resort on a brand new “Frozen” attraction at the Norway Pavilion in Epcot. The new attraction, which replaces Maelstrom, will take our guests to Arendelle and immerse them in many of their favorite moments and music from the film."

Disney Parks also revealed that Anna, Elsa, Sven, Kristoff, Olaf and the rest of the Frozen gang will be joining Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Time Parade later this year with a special pre-show which will include Queen Elsa icing over the Cinderella Castle every night.

You can read more info about these upcoming attractions on the Disney Parks Blog.