1 The Mickey Mindset: 2014

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. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

GIVEAWAY: Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide

With the premiere episode only a few weeks away, we've begun prepping up for Disney/Lucasfilm's epic new Star Wars adventure, Star Wars Rebels. Set five years before the events of Episode VI: A New Hope, Rebels follows young Jedi rebels as they escape and cheat the Empire as they continue to be hunted down because of their Jedi past. The series is bound to be just as incredible as Star Wars The Clone Wars was before it, so we couldn't be any more thrilled.

In order to prepare for the explosive new series, be sure to whip out your light-sabers and enter our latest giveaway contest. This month we're giving away a copy of DK Publishing's Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide. Be sure to enter so you can brush up on your Star Wars knowledge and stay up-to date with every passing episode.

To enter, just be sure to enter by following one of the easy tasks below. You can enter by simply following us on Twitter and/or liking us on Facebook, and tweeting and posting about the contest. The more times you tweet/post, the more entries you get to increases your winning chances. Be sure to enter through the Rafflecopter link below. Hurry! Contest closes Sunday September 21st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No purchase necessary to enter. Shipping address must be within the United States and Canada. Contest is open to fans of all ages.

Good luck, and may the Force be with you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Blu-Ray Review: Captain America The Winter Soldier

Mitchell Stein- In quite possibly what is the most brilliant Marvel movie yet to date, Captain America returns to the big screen, in an unbelievable nail-biting adventure that keeps you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. It's intelligent story keeps the movie fast-paced and suspenseful, and the characters that fill it are all incredibly enjoyable to watch move the story along. Marvel has yet created another masterpiece and set Anthony and Joe Russo to direct it. Major kudos go out to Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely for giving it such an entertaining and suspenseful story, being far more than just "your average comic book movie", but rather a political spy thriller, but with the same action and excitement you'd expect from Marvel.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a major game-changer for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, preparing us for what's to come in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and by the looks of it so far, we're in for a pretty awesome ride.
Finally, this awesome adventure is available to own on Blu-Ray, so let's take a quick look at the Blu-Ray release to see if it matches up with the theatrical film.

Most notably, there's On The Front Line: An Inside Look at Captain America's Battlegrounds which gives insight from the Russo brothers and stunt coordinators at the wonderfully-choreographed battle sequences of the film and some behind-the-scenes looks at how they filmed some of the iconic scenes of the movie.
Along with that, there's Steve Rogers' Notebook, which is a short two minute feature about Steve's notebook, and specifically how the notebook was edited for international versions of the film according to the culture. Also there's another short delightful feature, On Set With Anthony Mackie: Cut the Check! with Anthony Mackie, a.k.a Falcon, (a.k.a your new favorite Marvel character) and how Mackie has brought life to the character on set, ending off each of his perfect scenes with "Cut the Check!". I have no idea where Mackie even thought up the idea, but it's pretty hilarious.

That's not it though! There's also an awesome Audio Commentary, four deleted scenes, and a hilarious blooper reel. The deleted scenes are rather short but still perfectly incredible, and the reason it was likely cut was due to the movie's time duration.

In the end, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a worthy Blu-Ray release, adding fun and exciting bonus features to an already brilliant movie. I very much reccomend you pick up a copy of this fantastic masterpiece.

Film: 4.5/5 
Blu-Ray Bonus Features: 3.5/5

Friday, September 5, 2014

Aladdin The Series: 20 Years Later

Mitchell Stein- Coming right off the tremendous success of Aladdin in 1992, it was clear that there was a lot of demand for more Aladdin products and films. Continuing directly off the events of Return of Jafar, the television show brought back all of the favorites from the Aladdin films and aired on Disney Afternoon for a few years before moving to CBS. 

Being a major fan of the Aladdin film, I really do enjoy this show a lot. It obviously doesn’t match up against the original film, but it stands as a great show on its own feet. Just like the films before it, Genie stands out as the greatest aspect of the show, delivering the most hilarious scenes. Dan Castenella returned to perform the voice of Genie, previously voicing the character in Return of Jafar. While not quite the same as Robin Williams, I couldn’t possibly think of anyone nearly as perfect to step into the role of Genie. Castenella is hilarious as the Genie, although sometimes he can end up sounding a bit like his character Homer Simpson. The other characters are great too. Gilbert Gottfried is back as Iago and even better than he was in the movie. Iago steals almost every episode with the most memorable of lines. Where Genie is more slapstick-type humor, Iago always delivers the last laugh through dialogue. Also returning is Scott Weinger as Aladdin, Linda Landin is back as Princess Jasmine once again and Jim Cummings as Razoul. 

Then of course the villains are equally fantastic. Most notably, there's Mechanicles, who describes himself as "the greatest of the great Greek geniuses" who planned his evildoing by his mechanical creations, most memorably, giant mechanical insects in the episode "Getting the Bugs Out". Sadira is a great returning character who begins as a jealous and determined girl who attempts to get Aladdin to herself by any means necessary. Although she makes an appearance in "Strike Up the Sand" her most notable debut was in "SandSwitch" where she sets a memory eraser over everyone in order to lure people with false memories that she was the princess and Jasmine was just another street rat. Unfortunately for Sadira, the spell did not work on animals, and Iago and Abu get in the way of her plans. Sadira comes to join up with Aladdin later in the series and becomes good friends with the group. My favorite by far is Abis Mal, voiced by Jason Alexander and makes his first appearance in Return of Jafar. He is the main antagonist in the first episode of the series, "Air Feather Friends" and makes several recurring appearances throughout the rest of the series. Jason Alexander is just hilarious so there's no doubt that this is my favorite villain throughout the series. 

Although it can be rather silly at times, I really love this show. I think it’s one of the best crafted Disney television of the era..The story follows Aladdin and Jasmine still planning to get married (which they never do in the series, but finally get married in The Forty Thieves). What I think it's lacking is probably musical numbers like The Little Mermaid television series did before it, or at least an original opening song. The opening theme used was reminiscent of "Arabian Nights" with very different lyrics. I think I would have preferred the show with some songs like the movies before them. 

Twenty years later, Aladdin: The Series still stands as a great and fairly entertaining television series, although quite forgotten by Disney fans. I do hope this series makes it's way to Blu-Ray or DVD sometime soon. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Disney Animation Reviews: #43: Treasure Planet

Disney Movie Review: 43/52 - Treasure Planet

Ryan Dosier - With the release of Treasure Planet (2002), Disney animation starts to fall into a rut that they wouldn’t escape for 6-7 years (depending on your opinion). The scope and the ideas behind Treasure Planet are huge and impressive, but the execution is unfortunately lacking on almost all fronts.

The idea to take Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island to space is an interesting one, but one has to wonder if a more straightforward animated adaptation would have been better. Yes, space is modern and fun, but the vast landscape in this film fails to capture the adventurous nature of the original story. Give me the high seas and desert islands for Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver over spaceships and robots any day.

But I digress. The flaws present in Treasure Planet are consistent throughout. The character designs of the alien creatures are, for the most part, very weak. There is very little attractive or interesting about the look of the characters. The most appealing is the cyborg Long John Silver, whose robotic arm, eye, and leg are quite appealing. But on the whole, creatures like Dr. Doppler, Captain Amelia, and Billy Bones just do not look good. The designers should’ve taken note from films like Lilo & Stitch for greater looking creatures. 

There are numerous dynamic and exciting moments throughout the film, especially near the beginning when Jim is surfing on his flying board. The scene in the supernova is exciting, the climax is exciting, and a handful of other moments are fun, but as a whole the film rests on its laurels. There is a lot of wasted potential that is spent on humdrum montages with Silver and Jim bonding.

The writing of Treasure Planet is weak. The jokes are extremely lazy and involve fart jokes, funny sounds, and silly voices. Gone is the wit and smart dialogue of Lilo & Stitch and The Emperor’s New Groove. It’s very unfortunate that a film written by the men behind The Little Mermaid and Aladdin lacks charm and whip-smart dialogue.

Long John Silver is the only truly entertaining character in the film. He is troubled and appealing throughout and is the only character that really seems to grow. Yes, Jim Hawkins is the protagonist who we’re supposed to root for, but I am more delighted by Silver’s evolution by the end of the movie than I am Jim’s. Silver’s animation is also very impressive, with a great mix of hand drawn and computer generated animation. It’s the first mix of this style on a lead character and it is wonderful.

The voice acting in Treasure Planet is good, but not great. David Hyde Pierce is the most surprisingly entertaining in the film as Dr. Doppler. He is manic and delightful. Martin Short voices B.E.N., and he is fantastic, but doesn’t appear until 45 minutes into the story, which causes him to lose a lot of potential. Short should steal the show, but he doesn’t have enough screen time to make it work.

While Treasure Planet has a few merits, for the most part it lacks any of the magic present in most of the previous Disney features. There are some fun moments and fun characters, but Treasure Planet never reaches any sort of peak. It drudges on until some legitimately exciting moments at the end, but that is not enough to save the film. Treasure Planet has potential to be out of this world, but instead it stays grounded and dull.

2/5 Space Surfboards

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Story of Frozen: Highlights and What to Expect Next

Mitchell Stein- Somehow since it's release, Frozen has become an incredible instant classic, becoming the highest-grossing films of all time, and one of the most beloved Disney films in many years. Just under an hour ago, ABC finished airing The Story of Frozen gave us an insight behind-the scenes for this fantastic film and what's to come from Disney's latest cash cow.

What I'm not going to do is not tell you if it's good or not, because I am assuming we've all seen it by now, but what specific points seem to stand out for me and what I hope to expect in the future from the franchise.

The beginning of the special introduced us to some of the cast and crew of the film. The crew takes us through a quick journey which brings us back to the days of Walt Disney and the original concepts for The Snow Queen which would eventually become Frozen. The entire crew did a brilliant job on taking us behind the scenes and showing the journey on developing the Frozen characters, from early concept sketches to final animation, the work that went into this film is brilliant.

Beyond that, we look at some of the story development that went through many rapid changes. Originally in the new concepts, Elsa was a villian at first, but they swapped that idea when the Lopez's working on Elsa's song, switching out the original villain song for Let It Go, and an idea from John Lasseter, which would change Elsa's character from the evil villain into the misunderstood sister in the final draft. We also see some footage from the crew's trip to Norway to learn more about the architecture and culture in order to translate into animation and the promise of a big announcement was on the way.

Frozen, and the incredible TV special we saw tonight are just some of the examples of what kind of impact this film has had on the studio and the world, and it's quite clear this cultural phenomenon isn't going to be over quickly. The only questions that stand in the way are what direction Disney is planning to point them in.
Tonight they revealed that the studio is working on a brand-new short to premiere in Spring 2015 (no word on where the short will be shown) named "Frozen Fever" (which oddly is not about the overload of Let It Go parodies you've seen online). Another big project set to premiere soon is the characters of Frozen appearing on Once Upon a Time's fourth season in just a few weeks. While these are just a few big things, I have to say I'm really surprised how Disney is really holding back from milking this major cash cow that they have.

Many people (myself included) were hoping for a little more to come out of the announcement, with major rumors like a potential Frozen themed attraction replacing Maelstrom in Epcot, or a sequel led nowhere, at least for tonight's special that is. I have no doubt that we will hear some announcements about these eventually, and it's highly possible they're already concepts floating around at Disney, but why they are holding back on making these plans public are beyond me. My guess would be that Disney is holding back and just seeing how popular Frozen will be and how long this "Frozen Fever" can go on for, to see if it's a viable franchise.

For the future of the franchise, what I would like to see is a theme park tie-in, like Epcot's Norway would be a viable option to settle the characters, possibly a spot in Fantasyland. I wouldn't be surprised if they happen to land a show in Disney World sometime soon. With the American Idol Experience theater empty, it seems pretty possible a show may end up in that spot. I would also love to see a Frozen television series. Once Upon a Time will likely go in the opposite direction Frozen should be going in, so I think a television series, done in the same great fashion Disney series in the 90's such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules did before it. I think that would be a smart next move for the characters and would keep them in the spotlight for enough time for the folks over at Disney Animation to come up with the next Frozen feature film masterpiece. Whatever it is Disney is holding back from, I hope it's just because perfection takes time.

What would you like to see Frozen do next? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below! 

111 Awesome Disney Songs, Part 5

Ryan Dosier - Look, I'm being consistent and updating this list again! Let's jump forward with even more Awesome Disney songs!

45.)   "The Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room" from Disneyland
This is one of those songs that immediately makes me think of Disneyland, and makes me wonder why I'm sitting here typing and not in the park right now. It's chock full of great, silly lyrics and jokes ("I sing so beautiful, I should sing solo." "Si, so low we can't hear you!"), and the birds are all wonderfully fun characters. Really, there's not much more to say other than I adore this attraction and this song. Favorite Lyrics: "All the birds sing words/And the flowers croon/In the Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki, Tiki Room!"

46.)   "I've Got No Strings" from Pinocchio
Pinocchio is one of my favorite films, and the music is such a huge part of why it's so delightfully charming and enjoyable. This little number performed by Pinocchio as part of Strombolli's marionette show is so innocent and sweet... until the saucy German marionette girls swoop in. It's funny, it's fun, the music is simple but delightful, and the lyrics are adorable. Just like Pinocchio. Favorite Lyrics: "I've got no strings/So I have fun/I'm not tied up to anyone/They've got strings/But you can see/There are no strings on me."

47.)   "Dig a Little Deeper" from The Princess and the Frog
My favorite song from The Princess and the Frog is Mama Odie's brilliantly upbeat and joyful "Dig a Little Deeper." This song breathes so much life into Mama Odie, a character who only appears in a few scenes in the film, but steals every one of them. Couple that with the soulful vocals of Jenifer Lewis, and you've got one of the finest gospel-themed songs in any animated film. It's a blast. Favorite Lyrics: "Don't matter what ya look like/Don't matter what ya wear/How many rings ya got on your fingers?/We don't care--no, we don't care!"

48.)   "It's Gonna Be Great" from Winnie the Pooh
One of the most vastly underrated Disney animated features is 2011's Winnie the Pooh. It's so deliciously funny and clever, and its charm is never-ending. One of my favorite moments from the film is this song that Tigger sings with Eeyore as he helps the morose donkey become a Tigger. The song is, dare I say it, bouncy, and one of the finest singing performances from the legendary Jim Cummings. Favorite Lyrics: "Strike me down, give me all you got/Bounce me, trounce me, flounce me, pounce me/Do it, do it, do it/It's gonna be great, it's gonna be great, it's gonna be great."

49.)   "That's How You Know" from Enchanted
Ah, the modern day fairytale classic Enchanted. Not only is it one of Amy Adams' best performances, but the film features new music from Alan Menken and its awesome. No song is better than the show stopping production number "That's How You Know." The dancing, singing, spectacle is one of the best in live action Disney films. Trivia: the old men dancing in the park were the original "Step in Time" dancers from Mary Poppins! Favorite Lyrics: "Well does he leave a little note/To tell you you are on his mind/Send you yellow flowers when the sky is gray?/He'll find a new way to show you/A little bit everyday."

50.)   "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast
A spectacular opening number to one of Disney's finest features. "Belle" is a wonderful example of group performance and echoes Broadway-style music better than any Disney animated feature song before it. Leave it to Howard Ashman and Alan Menken for that! The catchy, "talking" lyrics, the refrain of "Bonjour!" to open the song, Paige O'Hara as Belle, and so much more make this song simply delightful. Favorite Lyrics: "There goes the baker with his tray, like always/The same old bread and rolls to sell/Every morning just the same/Since the morning that we came/To this poor provincial town/Good morning, Belle!"

51.)   "Topsy Turvy" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
A break from the dark tones of The Hunchback of Notre Dame is this joyful, colorful blast midway through the film. Clopin, the clown gypsy, sings the song with ease and speed. It's so much fun to watch all the wacky things going on in Paris on this Topsy Turvy Day. It also provides a brief moment of happiness for poor Quasimodo... before ripping it away in one of the film's darkest scenes. But still, fun song. Favorite Lyrics: "Once a year, we throw a party here in town/Once a year, we turn all Paris upside down/Every man's a king, and every king's a clown/Once a year on Topsy Turvy Day!"

52.)   "I've Got a Dream" from Tangled
Tangled features one of the few songs in modern-day Disney animated features to be primarily performed by unnamed characters, and it's this riotous ditty "I've Got a Dream." The main singers, voiced by Brad Garrett and Jeffery Tambor, are never given names, but their plights and their dreams are wonderful. It's such a treat to hear incredibly different voices like these performing in a Disney feature. This is perhaps my favorite moment in all of Tangled. Favorite Lyrics: "I've got scars, and lumps, and bruises/And something here that oozes/And let's not even mention my complexion!/But despite my extra toes, and my goiter, and my nose/I really wanna make a love connection!"

53.)   "Proud of Your Boy" from Aladdin (Deleted Song)
The only deleted song included on the whole list is also the fifth Alan Menken song in a row! Of course, "Proud of Your Boy" went on to be a major player in the Broadway version of Aladdin, but originally it was penned by Alan and Howard Ashman for the animated film. It was cut after a sub-plot involving Aladdin's mother was removed. But the song is so important and soft and powerful. It's one of the most resonating Disney songs, period, and I'm so thrilled that it has found a home on Broadway. Favorite Lyrics: "Proud of your boy/I'll make you proud of your boy/Believe me, bad as I've been mom/You're in for a pleasant surprise/I've wasted time/I've wasted me/So say I'm slow for my age/A late bloomer/Okay, I agree!"

54.)   "Winnie-the-Pooh" from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
I just need to hear someone start humming this song, and I immediately have to start singing along. It's so bouncy and catchy and lovely. This Sherman Brothers tune evokes everything that Winnie the Pooh represents: joy and kindness and friendship. Plus, it's a really handy way to remember all of the Pooh characters (except the oddly absent Tigger) in one handy song! Favorite Lyrics: "Deep in the Hundred Acre Woods/Where Christopher Robin plays/You'll find the enchanted neighborhood/Of Christopher's childhood days..."

55.)   "Bella Notte" from Lady and the Tramp
"Bella Notte" is one of the most wonderful Disney love songs, and one that often gets overlooked in favor of the newer era of songs. Still, its music and lyrics are some of the best to be found in the Disney canon. Performed by Tony, the Italian restauranteur who feeds Lady and the Tramp the famous spaghetti, "Bella Notte" is the perfect accompaniment to any romantic dinner or occasion. Favorite Lyrics: "This is the night/It's a beautiful night/And we call it bella notte/Look at the skies/They have stars in their eyes/On this lovely belle notte."