BESIDES 'MAD MEN," THIS IS THE SMARTEST SHOW ON TELEVISION
Posted on Oct 15 2010 by Greg
The creators of Phineas and Ferb have exactly what I always expected from watching the show -- a lot of creative freedom. The show started quietly and gained its audience on its own, not because of a business plan, but because they were largely left to make a funny, smart show. This new DVD
contains the recent PHINEAS AND FERB CHRISTMAS VACATION episode plus four more: Interview with a Platypus; Oh There You Are, Perry; Chez Platypus
and Perry Lays an Egg
. All are great examples of how this series weaves its storylines with grace and panache, loaded with lots of quick asides in the spirit of other great comedy cartoons like Bugs Bunny and Bullwinkle.
There's an extra episode in the Bonus Features called "Doof Side of the Moon" preceeded by a 12-minute feature about how the creative team writes and performs their original songs and how one of their favorite episodes "Spongebob"veteran Dan Povenmire, comedy writer/performer Martin Olson, Jon Colton Barry (son of legendary songwriter Jeff Barry) and Jeff "Swampy Marsh" whose is the grandson of bandleader Les Brown.
I mention the musical connections especially because Phineas and Ferb is very music-generated and again, not just by committee-engineered pop tunes by by comic effect, from rock to big band, Broadway to Bollywood. Many of the songs written for the show have been released on CD, including a new holiday favorites album. Most of the music and songs came from the above team, with the able help of musical director Danny Jacob.
The interactive menu is really
interactive, not just called by that heavily-used term. Clicking various objects results in quick appearances by characters. One in particular takes you to a video in which the show staff conspire to cover a co-workers office with post-it notes.
You can tell from the bonus features on the new PHINEAS AND FERB: A VERY PERRY CHRISTMAS DVD
that the creative forces behind the show are relatively free of the
interfering words: "Well, I don't get that joke and neither do my
associates, so the whole world won't so therefore kill it dead and let
me watch is fester, rot and bleach in the sun." Well, maybe not in those
words, but I can just imagine how a song like "Squirrels in my Pants"
might die in a corporate approval process.
Let's hope the recent phenomenal success of Phineas and Ferb continues to thrive in relative autonomy. But somehow even if it does happen to a degree, we can probably look forward to a sly spoof of the internal ordeal, so veiled it may pass over the tops of the Herman Miller head rests.
'THE BOYS," "WALT & EL GRUPO" & "WAKING SLEEPING BEAUTY" FOR ONE PRICE
Posted on Oct 09 2010 by Greg
Just got a message that Disney is offering all three of these long awaited documentaries on DVD in a three-for-one price offer.
These were only shown theatrically in selected cities (and to paraphrase David Letterman, my city was not usually selected).
They're being sold together with a special 49.95 offer here
The offer also includes special 8x10 lithos. FYI.
BEAUTY AND THE BLU-RAY
Posted on Oct 05 2010 by Greg
Disney's Beauty and the Beast
has become the quintessential animated musical, chock full of moments that have become iconic -- even to the point of parody -- since its smash debut in 1991. It was the ultimate connection of consummate talents, some who were already legendary and many of which who have become industry giants.
This is the first time in seven years that Beauty and the Beast has been issued on home video, this time in a DVD/Blu-Ray combo
that kindly for DVD owners, still offers the superb audio commentary by producer Don Hahn
, composer Alan Menken
and directors Kirk Wise
and Gary Trousdale
and three versions of the film, as they appeared on the Platinum Edition.
Once again, this Diamond Edition offers yet another reason to get a Blu-Ray Player if you want to see how great the digital restoration is in all its glory. (As far as I can tell, you can't buy the DVD without getting the Blu-ray discs as well.) If you want to see some new features such as an Alternate Opening, a Deleted Scene, new games, new documentary features and a new music video. You might want to hang onto your Platinum DVD because there are a few features, including some games, that do not appear on the new edition.Beauty and the Beast
is one of those Disney classics that transcends its release date, the age of its audience and the tinge of its lesser imitators. Somehow it all works, and as the artists say themselves, even they didn't know whether it would all work but somehow it did. That's the fascinating, elusive nature of great artistry.
BBC RADIO PROGRAM ABOUT WALT DISNEY THIS WEEK
Posted on Oct 03 2010 by Greg
BBC Radio is presenting a short panel discussion about the life and work of Walt Disney
that is available for a limited time by clicking here
As part of the series "Great Lives," the half hour features artist Gerald Scarfe
, who actually worked for the Disney company as the production designer of Hercules
; Who Framed Roger Rabbit
animation director Richard Williams
and major entertainment historian Brian Sibley
(whose also wrote the current BBC Radio 2 documentary series, The Musical
, which is hosted this week by Whoopi Goldberg
The program approaches its subject with a wry, detached style, with some controversies addressed, but overall the impact of Walt Disney on the world is met with awe and respect.
THE BEST TINKER BELL MOVIE SO FAR...
Posted on Sep 22 2010 by Greg
if you're a Disney and Peter Pan
fan and you ever had any doubts about whether making Tinker Bell the central character of a Disney film series would work, they should all disappear when you see Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue
. I really believe this would be a very successful film if released theatrically, especially this time of year when pickings are lean at the theaters.
The first film, titled Tinker Bell
, was largely an origin story, and the second, Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure
, helped develop the supporting characters (especially Terrence) and Tinker Bell's anger issues. This film offers a good balance between our lead fairy and her friends along with a really solid story that never seems padded, a hazard in some direct-to-video films.
Like a Victorian E.T.
, this new film gives us a chance to see what happens when a young, imaginative child gets the dream of a lifetime -- to meet a fairy. Woven beautifully into the narrative are the young girl's need for her father's attention (who is present for her in body only), the dynamics between the fairy characters (focusing mostly on Vidia, who is nicer in this film but still having the prickly attitude of Veronica Lodge) and the wonderful activity of creating fairy houses (which is showcased in a bonus feature taking place at the Epcot
Flower & Garden Festival).
The film has a nice, lyrical pace but never lags for a moment, much in the style now identified with Pixar movies (some character designs even have a Pixar look). What are most delightful for fans are the references to the 1953 Disney classic. In the opening moments, Terence brings Tinker Bell to Fairy Camp and says, "There it is, Tinker Bell -- Fairy Camp!" much as Peter Pan said, "There it is Wendy -- second star to the right and straight on 'til morning!" At one point, there is a glimpse of the Darling home from the sky, as well as the iconic Big Ben landing.
This is the least musical of the Disney Fairies films, but the score by Joel McNeely
is magnificent -- yet there does not seem to be a soundtrack album! Maybe it will show up as a download.
Visually, Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue
is a feast and a good excuse to finally get that Blu-Ray player. With a big screen TV you can simulate the look of the film in a movie theater.
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