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The Story of a Wannabe Disney Princess and a trip to Neverland

Published September 1, 2019 by Disneyways.com
The Story of a Wannabe Disney Princess and a trip to Neverland.

Once upon a time in land called Orlando, a Wannabe Disney Princess was called upon to write and narrate a project that was literally – what her dreams were made of.  She had always fantasized about guiding her friends to the second star to the right and straight on ’til morning. I guess you could call her a wannabe Disney Princess with Tinker Bell-like navigation skills!  

Disney fans all know what happens when you wish upon a star. Anything your heart desires, will come to you! 
 
My name is Krista Joy, and I am that wannabe Disney Princess! 

Along the way of achieving my dreams of becoming a real Disney Princess, I feel like I am (already!) the Princess of manifesting my own dreams. The truth is that it only comes with the blessings the Lord chooses to give me, my heart full of gratitude, acceptance, living with intentionally and the help of lots and lots of good friends – of course!! 

Theme Parkology presents The Dark Ride Series Peter Pan’s Flight all started with a dream – Jerry Cornell’s dream! Today we want to give you a little more of the backstory on how this dream turned into reality. It took a little more than faith, trust and pixie dust! 

It all started when my dear friend, the fantastic, amazing and awesome Jerry Cornell, producer of documentaries extraordinaire – had a dilemma. He was ready to produce a new spectacular DVD  for his Theme Parkology fans. “Theme Parkology presents The Dark Ride Series Peter Pan’s Flight” was to be a DVD that would pull back the curtain on this magical attraction – in all of it’s versions – in Disney Parks all over the world. As a bonus, Jerry wanted to take Peter Pan’s Flight from concept to construction, to changes through the years. It was no small task. Jerry’s other writers were not available, and that’s where I wanted to step in and help.
The Wannabe Princess hoped to be the heroine of this story! Of course in every fairytale there is always a villain or two. Time stealers, my daily responsibilities, and needing money to keep my household going, are always there… like the proverbial Maleficent to the Aurora’s baby shower of my Disney dreams…ready to impose at any time and wreak havoc! After all, this is volunteer work – and I knew I would not gain money from any of it, or the sales!
In spite of it all, I was inspired by my own childhood memories of the Peter Pan attraction, the Disney magic that ensues each time I ride it, and ALL that it means to me. I felt that it was very important to portray and tell the story in a way that would help bring that magic to others. I understood the significance, weight and the magnitude of the task. I STILL wanted to be the one to take it on – and give it my best shot. My determination was like the sword of Prince Philip and the encouraging voice of Jerry Cornell was like the magic that guided the sword in the fight. 
I explained to Jerry it would be my delight to help, at no charge, but I would probably need a lot of time. Jerry was very understanding, as he always is, and emailed me the outline to work from, along with some talking points he wanted me to cover. He assured me that I could take as much time as I needed. I took a deep breath, read his email, and whispered to myself, “Come on everybody, here we goooooo!”  
This project was on my mind and in my heart. There was no turning back now!
During the time span of several months, I worked on it in bits and pieces. To me, it felt like fighting Captain Hook and his crew. Wannabe Disney Princesses have a gift for sprinkling pixie dust and leaving a trial of sparkles and happiness where ever they go. Writing facts and figures and being historically accurate does not come quite as naturally. It was essential and beyond important – that I write the information in this project as timelessly and accurately as humanly possible. I was feeling the pressure because just like with my own brand, Disneyways, it is essential that Theme Parkology keeps it’s reputation as a trusted source for Disney content.
The pieces started forming over a span of a few months. Ultimately, the most work was done in the 2 to 3 days in a row that I was able to carve out of my schedule to make the writing a priority. I shut out all forms of distraction and got to work. I pieced together all of the research I had done, doing my best to not leave out any sections. I wanted the language to be breezy, conversational english, while trying to keep it as fun and light as possible.
THEN… I got to the parts where Jerry wanted me to get technical about the mechanics of the ride, physics, and the thinking process of the Imagineers. YIKES! 
I remember calling Jerry and asking him…is this REALLY necessary?! This stuff is so BORING to me! Who really cares about all this anyhow?? 
In his reassuring way – Jerry once again calmed me down and told me, “Yes Krista. It’s essential. Theme Parkology fans LOVE this stuff the most. The more technical and detailed you can get on this part…the better.” 
He acknowledged that out of “Fantasy” and “Technical” I am one of his writers that he puts in the “Fantasy” category. WOW isn’t THAT the truth?!! 
Even so, he believed in me, and gave me courage to give it my all. I reluctantly agreed to it, and then set out to explain pulley systems, physics, and the scientific creative process for Peter Pan’s Flight – in the best way I knew how. Judging by the success and sales of this DVD – I hit the mark. 
Overall, it was a project that stretched me, and flexed my creative muscles to the max! 
I have been reading aloud and narrating as long as I can remember. This is my wheelhouse and it’s where I feel very, very comfortable. Jerry used my narrating skills for the “Disneyland Secrets” DVD so he knew I could do this part with ease. It was all recorded in my own home and I sent it in separate parts to Jerry over email. Reading what I had actually written was a joy. I was able to put inflection, emphasis, energy and even pauses…in all the places I wanted them to be. Jerry’s editing, graphics, and music are fantastic and really tie the whole thing together. His entire team worked in harmony together for one cohesive and immersive experience. Watch it and see for yourself! 
I think you can really hear my heart and my feelings about Peter Pan’s Flight as you enjoy this DVD. My deepest hope is that you are taking the journey WITH me and feeling all the same magic and nostalgia that I feel when we take this ride together. I hope that I have brought you to a very happy place with my part of this work. I hope that you feel educated, too, in the parts that really tested me. I hope your curiosity about the mechanics of the ride is beyond satisfied. I hope that you will watch and enjoy this DVD over and over.
Through this Theme Parkology DVD… let’s travel off to Neverland together, for years and years to come. Normally, at his part, the Wannabe Disney Princess would ride off into the sunset with her prince and live happily ever after. But our story is not over! There’s so much more Theme Parkology fun to be had. Just like Peter Pan, we never really have to grow up and we are JUST GETTING STARTED!! 

This DVD is now available from Theme Parkology!

Click below for a sneak peek!

Come one everybody, here we goooo!! This whimsical documentary explores the history of the attraction and was written and narrated by the talented Krista Joy, intro music by James Presley, and animated title sequence by C. Andrew Nelson.

This will be a wonderful addition to your Theme Parkology collection.

While you are at it, why not add the Enchanted Secrets of Disneyland to your cart as well?

 

**Theme Parkology is a fan publication not affiliated with the Walt Disney Company. I am not compensated for my work on these 2 projects. I was gifted with a few copies of them Parkology presents The Dark Rid Series Peter Pan’s Flight in exchange for my review. This in now way influenced my opinion and all thoughts are my own.***

Five things that might surprise you about Disney’s The Lion King

Published July 12, 2019 by Disneyways.com

It was my thrill and honor to be invited to the media preview of Live Action Lion King July 10, 2019 – before it was released to the public 9 days later.

Regarding this version of Disney’s Lion King it is officially stated like this:

“Staying true to the classic story, director Jon Favreau utilizes pioneering filmmaking techniques to bring the iconic characters to the big screen in a whole new way.”

Well, you might be wondering, like I was, how it could possibly stack up to the original. Is it possible they could improve this masterpiece? I mentioned before that I have very personal and very loving feelings about this movie that started all the way back in 1994.

Surprisingly, I found some things that I never expected (in spite of the story not really changing much!) even with the 25 year time difference in film release dates. You might be inspired to make your own list of shocking revelations!

Before we get to my list of surprises, I want to share a little about the day I saw this movie. I started practicing my best lion cub roar.

Practicing my best lion cub rawr…

After all, my maiden name is Rohrer. I lost count of how many times I said, “It’s pronounced ROAR..like a lion!” It’s no surprise that I should be pretty good at the Rohrer’s roar by now. Practicing was still fun. I contacted my friend Beatrice to join me for the viewing of this film, and our big day finally came. We both put on our favorite safari shirts and makeup for the occasion. We were definitely “feeling the love tonight” for Live Action Lion King!

OK OK OK – let me stop here for one second. We know it’s not really “Live Action.” No lions or baby ostriches or baby warthogs (OH MY!! More on those later!!) were harmed in the making of this film. But for the sake of this article, we will use the term “Live Action” Lion King to represent the version coming to theaters July 19th 2019. “Live Action Lion King” is easier to say than “Lion King…the photorealistic computer-animated remake of Disney’s traditionally animated 1994 film of the same name.”

Now let’s get to those 5 surprises.

Surprise #1: Mufasa at first glance – caused an audible “WOW!”

You may have already seen him – in the previews –  or maybe in photos – like the one below.

 

So had I.

I didn’t think much of it at the time. When you are sitting in the darkened theater and the film begins, everything seems different. I don’t know if it was the build up, maybe the music, or the herds of exotic animals on the big screen? But, you are going to see Mufasa’s valiant face pretty early in this film, and when you do….it just might make you turn to the person next to you and say an audible

“WOW!” 

Because that is what it did to us!!

Mufasa is gorgeous, regal, and stunning. You can see his wise eyes up-close. Watch his fur and mane blowing gently in the soft wind. The detail is astonishing. As my eyes gazed upon him in that moment …things got serious. I started thinking about the majesty of God and His beautiful creatures that are roaming this earth. For just a little while, I tried to grasp the thought of beautiful and exotic animals in the thousands or millions, so very far from my home, on a giant continent like Africa. God made each and every creature and I believe God cares for each one. I know God cares for me too, even as I sit in my small world, and look at my computer screen to write this for you. He cares for you – as you are reading it! If you believe the Bible then you know that God given us dominion over these beautiful creatures. Just imagine that! God is everywhere. Beautiful, majestic lions are such a small part of what God has created… and when you see Mufasa on the big screen… Mufasa almost leaves you breathless!!

Surprise #2: Rafiki is the “Dick Clark” of Pride Rock

The average life expectancy of a Mandrill (Rafiki is not a baboon, he’s a Mandrill) in captivity is 46 years. Who knew?? Well, Rafiki doesn’t even live in captivity, and he has to be at least 100 years old. I think this means Simba’s Kingdom, and Pride Rock, have been very good to him. He is such an amazing character and he holds up beautifully in live action. Have you noticed Rafiki never seems to age throughout the Lion King franchise? He’s portrayed as a wise old man as far back as 25 years ago in the original film, yet he remains spry and active for years and years. There is a beautiful scene in Live Action Lion King where Rafiki gets Simba to follow him through the dark jungle. Rafiki has no problem with his physical fitness, and let me tell you, he can really swing! In fact, young Simba loses Rafiki a couple of times in that scene – and has some trouble keeping up.  Rafiki inspires me to keep my joy and remain forever young! I’d bet he’s a great dancer, too. Maybe he could host his own version of Pride Rock Bandstand or even a New Year’s (Pride Rock)in’ Eve. Yep, I am pretty sure that makes Rafiki the “Dick Clark” of Pride Rock.

Surprise #3: The Baby Animal Cuteness Factor is OFF THE CHARTS 

Something for old and young here. During the big opening song, if you look closely, you will see little speckled baby ostriches running around. They look something like this.

I thought those little chicks just might be the cutest babies I’d ever seen until……later on … during Hakuna Matata. Pumbaa sings about how he was a young warthog. AND THEY SHOW HIM…oh my goodness. The realistic imaging on the big screen was almost too much to handle.

While Simba sings “I Just Can’t Wait to be King” you will need to brace yourself for more baby animals of all kinds!! Grouping together, walking together, frolicking in pairs… SO much baby animal super cuteness all in one place! Off the charts adorable. I don’t remember this many cute babies in the first Lion King. They surprised the heck out of me!

Surprise #4: “Be Our Guest” (the song!) makes an appearance

I don’t want to give too much away here because I loved the way they put this in the movie. I think you might enjoy it too!

Surprise #5: There Are Two NEW Songs

I was surprised to learn there are 2 new songs in this movie! One from Elton John and one from Beyonce.

I noticed a portion of Beyonce’s “Spirit” during the film. I recognized her singing voice right away. On a side note, it’s cool hearing Beyonce voice Nala’s speaking voice, as well.

I think you have to stick around for the end credits so you can hear “Never Too Late” by Elton John. I don’t recall hearing any portion this during the film, but maybe I missed it. Surprise!

A bonus surprise for me was how I sat through the whole film comparing it shot for shot (in my head) with the original. Apparently I am not the only one that thinks this way. I found a little video that gives you a side by side comparison of a few scenes.  The video is a minute and a half long. I have put a link to it HERE.

In closing, the story we think we know so well just might have some surprises in store for you too! If you love the original film and you want to admire exotic wild animals up close on the big screen, go see Live Action Lion King! I enjoyed it very much, and it made for a fun afternoon of spending time with my friend Beatrice. Here are some links so you can follow the official accounts for more fun!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DisneyTheLionKing/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DisneyLionKing

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lionking

Website: https://disney.com/lionking

Hashtag: #TheLionKing

**Please note that I was invited to a complimentary viewing of this movie on July 10, 2019 so that I could bring you this review. The free admission in no way influenced my review, and all opinions are my own.**

 

Simba Just Can’t Wait for our Lion King Review!

Published July 7, 2019 by Disneyways.com

We all know Simba just can’t wait to be king! But apparently he is looking forward to our movie review, as well!

Today is July 7th 2019, and my oldest son is turning 25 today! The Lion King movie always makes me think of my son Bradley because the original animated film came out just about 2 weeks before he was born.

Today felt like the perfect day to announce that I am delighted and honored to have been invited for the media preview for Disney’s The Lion King! Yep, Disney is bringing the “live action” Lion King to you in theaters July 18th – but you’ll be able to read our full review here at Disneyways.com on July 11th! Even if it’s not your birthday, it’s a little like getting an early birthday present from Disneyways to you. Remember to check it out!!!  And as Mufasa says,

“REMEMBER…who you are!” 

Check out all our recent movie reviews HERE

Top 5 Reasons Disney Fans Should Go See Live-Action Aladdin

Published May 23, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Aladdin basically repeats the exact story line from our animated favorite, yes, it’s true. But stay with me here – because I’m going to give you 5 reasons to go see this in the theater anyway. There are glorious parts that I think you’ll want to see and hear on the big screen if you are a die-hard Disney fan like I am. We are going to discuss rugs, Elsa moments and some other things to note as well. Fair warning, you may or may not find this review to be “spoiler free.” The story has been out since 1992, grossed more than $502 million at the global box office, and led to successful stage productions on Broadway and abroad as well as a North American touring company.  Chances are as a Disney fan – you are familiar with the tale!

“Aladdin” opens in U.S. theaters nationwide May 24, 2019. My future daughter-in-law Kelsey and I attended the media screening on May 21, 2019.

The live-action versions of Mary Poppins, and even Dumbo – switched up the story so it was different from the animated versions. If you go looking for that again, you won’t see it.

Just the same, here is my list of Top 5 Reasons Disney Fans Should Go See Live-Action Aladdin:

#1 The opening song “Arabian Nights” ~ like you’ve never heard it before!

The film opens with a version of the song Arabian Nights – but this time – Will Smith is the singer! YES Will Smith is the Genie. I had trouble wrapping my brain around it before I saw the film. BUT, I think if you had any concerns about live-action Aladdin, especially anything Will Smith-related, they will vanish once that first big song kicks in. As a fan of Will’s work since way back in the day when he was “The Fresh Prince” … it’s safe to say that I have been jamming “Prince Willie Style” for a long time.

For Arabian Nights, I LOVED hearing his voice in full song. Our theater had the volume up pretty loud for the whole film, so it made it extra epic! I got chills hearing Will belt out to the swell of the music:

“Araabiaaan Niiiiiiii-i-i-ghts like Araaabiann Daaaays….”

You can just imagine.

“A Whole New World” and “Friend like Me” won Oscars back in 1992. Why did this one not get one too? “Arabian Nights” is fantastic, so if you enjoyed it in the animated film, I know you are getting me here. By the way, Will Smith as the Genie, did not try to get fancy with the tune or change the arrangement. You’re going to recognize it, it stays true to the classic.

Note how in parts of this film, Genie might remind you a bit of Will’s character in Hitch.

#2 The CAPTIVATING Magic Carpet

Photo Source: Kirsten Acuna from Insider.com and she got it from Disney

I read and saw as little as possible about this film in advance because I wanted to be surprised. I had no idea that the carpet made a splash and was overshadowing all this talk about Will Smith being the Genie – as early as February 2019. But wow, I totally get it now!! Keep your eyes on the carpet – he is CAPTIVATING!! The detail really presents itself on the big screen of a movie theater. I never knew I could get so excited about a rug.

Speaking of “rugs” Mena Massoud who plays Aladdin…bless his heart… what was going on with his hair in this film? Maybe it’s just me and the world that I live in. In case you hadn’t heard, I work with Peter Alden, who is a stunning and talented Elvis Presley Tribute Artist with his own natural and beautiful hair – in a time where even the really young “Elvis guys” wear wigs. I don’t know if Mena was wearing a wig, or if they straightened is hair in an effort to get it to look more like cartoon Aladdin. But the hair was distracting to me. I feel like they could have done better.  Or even just left it alone. His natural hair is gorgeous. Go see this film on the big screen and tell me if you get what I am saying here.

YES!!!

 

Nooooo….

#3 “Speechless” A Princess Anthem: Jasmine has an “Elsa” moment this time around!

I was so glad to hear Genie’s show-stopping familiar songs like”Friend Like Me” and the fantastic “A Whole New World.” The new live action remake of Aladdin brings to life brand new versions of all your favorite songs, but it also adds an all-new tune to the mix.

The courageous and self-determined Princess Jasmine is portrayed by Naomi Scott. Remember her? She used to be a Power Ranger. Go go Princess Jasmine! She has a thick British accent in real life – but she drops it and you totally forget about it during her role as Jasmine. During this film, she sings a new song called “Speechless.”

While watching this in the theater I thought to myself that surely they are trying to recapture the magic of “Let It Go” from Frozen. It really reminded me of that song and the whole Princess Elsa scene. Now that I am researching this whole thing, I have found that there is good reason for that.

The music is by original Aladdin composer, Alan Menken. Jasmine and her storyline with the desire to be free of the constraints of the palace and be recognized for her own abilities was major in the last film – but it’s given even more prominence in this one.  The title of the song, “Speechless,” references the state that that those around Jasmine, like Jafar and her father, seem to want her to remain in. She, instead, wants to be able to speak her mind.

Does that sound a little like “Let It Go” to you?

I am from the (non-feminist) school of thought that Princesses were fine the way they were. But I enjoy seeing the girls shine in the newer films as well. So, to me, it’s mostly just nice for Jasmine to get a song of her own, because she never had one in the original animated film. If you recall, Jasmine’s only opportunity to sing back then – was as part of the “Whole New World” duet. Unlike many of Disney’s animated films, Jasmine is a princess that isn’t technically the main character in Aladdin.  As I mentioned, she’s a bigger deal in this film….and as a Princess fan, that alone was enough to make me happy. Go see Aladdin in the theater just to catch Princess Jasmine on the big screen having her “Elsa” moment! The colors in the film, the music and the thought behind this — are positive —  and fabulous.

#4 Aladdin dances Ballywood Style…On the Big Screen!

I’m going to leave that right there. The colors, the movement, the music…enough said.

#5 Prince Ali – fabulous he – Ali Ababwa…

Here comes the THRILLING and VIBRANT part. WOW, it was so beautiful, I almost cried. I can’t portray how fantastic this scene was to you in words. It was a moment I was happy that animation became live-action. This alone is a reason all Disney fans should go see this film in the theater, just to fully absorb the splendor. Here’s a YouTube video that gives you a couple sneak peeks at what I am talking  about.

It is interesting to note that when Will as the Genie sings the original lyrics “brush off your sunday salaam” he changes them to “brush off your FRIDAY salaam” … all I can think of is that maybe he did that because the film will be released on a Friday? Tell me if you know something about that!

I hope you enjoyed reading my top 5 reasons to see Aladdin in theaters! Send me your list when you go see it!  Here are some links so you can follow the official accounts for more fun!

Like Aladdin on Facebook: HERE

Follow Aladdin Twitter: HERE

Instagram: HERE

YouTube: HERE

**Please note that I was invited to a complimentary viewing of this movie on May 21, 2019 so that I could bring you this review. My guest and I each had to pay $8 for parking. The free admission and the money we shelled out for parking, in no way influenced my review, and all opinions are my own.**

 

Production notes:

Hashtag: #Aladdin

Genre: Action Adventure

U.S. Release date: May 24, 2019

Cast: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid

Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnussen

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Screenplay by: John August and Guy Ritchie

Animation Screenplay by: Ron Clements & John Musker and Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio

Based on: Disney’s “Aladdin”

Produced by: Dan Lin, p.g.a., Jonathan Eirich, p.g.a.

Executive Producers: Marc Platt, Kevin De La Noy

Songs

Music by: Alan Menken

New Lyrics by: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Lyrics by: Howard Ashman and Tim Rice

Score by: Alan Menken

 

 

If You Like Disney Music – You Won’t Want To Miss This!

Published May 1, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Find out what the buzz is all about! We’ve got the scoop for you here at Disneyways! You’ve seen it featured on major Disney Fan sites such as WDW Hints, WDW Magazine, City Surfing Orlando, and many more! Rave reviews from all major Disney influencers and talk show hosts are online now – for Peter Alden’s Kingdom Classics CD. If you don’t have this album for your Disney music collection – keep on reading to find out how to get yours!

Get ready for Classic Disney songs, with a retro rock vibe and your Disney hits with a Rock n Roll Twist!

Peter Alden captures the ‘classic’ feel of the golden age of rock and fuses it into some of your favorite Disney classics!!

Check out the demo video:

So who is the man behind the music? Thanks to all the coverage in the press, Disney fans who thought he was new on the scene, quickly found out that Peter Alden is a singer with a long and rich Disney history! He was a guest star on an episode of the Mickey Mouse Club TV show. He is proud to be an MGM Studios opening day cast member, a former Jungle Cruise Skipper, Backlot Tour team driver and “friend” of the Rocketeer! Currently, he resides full time in Orlando, right near the heart of Walt Disney World.

His performance career and resume are outstanding. He makes his living as a full time performer, and is a classically trained vocalist with “a voice like velvet.” When he’s not singing songs from Kingdom Classics, he performs everything from country to pop, while specializing in the golden era of rock n roll. He has a background in musical theater productions has worked for years to perfect his performance, in all ways – from vocal styling to mannerisms, from costuming to stage presence. In addition, his charm, sense of humor, and down to earth personality has endeared him to audiences everywhere. Peter has performed to acclaim across the country and in many parts of the world including Wales, Beijing, Mexico, Singapore, Vancouver, and Puerto Rico. He effortlessly combines his beautiful 5 octave vocal range with an energetic execution of well-selected repertoire.

The next time you visit Florida to visit the Disney Parks, make sure you check Pete’s schedule to see if he’s in town. You can find his appearances listed monthly on his Facebook Fan Page and his website. If you hit the timing just right – you can experience for yourself how Peter Alden has won the hearts of so many, and thoroughly entertained crowds around the globe with his exceptional performances!

Here’s a little known Disneyways treasure – just for you! If you don’t want to leave Disney property – you can hire Peter Alden to perform a private concert in the location of your choice. Send an email to PeterAldenTeam@gmail.com for more information. It’s a great way to celebrate a birthday, or any special occasion! But don’t take my word for it. Ask Disney fan Beatrice Denis, who hired Pete to perform his tribute to Elvis at her Disney wedding inside a grand villa suite in Disney’s Bay Lake Tower! You can see the album of photos HERE.

HERE’S HOW TO GET YOUR KINGDOM CLASSICS ALBUM!

Download online at CD Baby: HERE

Download online on iTunes: HERE

In store or online at TD Collectibles HERE

For a physical copy send $15 plus $5 shipping to Peter Alden’s Paypal Account: HERE

Physical copies on CD can also be ordered by emailing PeterAldenTeam (at) gmail.com

*Full Disclosure: Krista Joy is the founder of Disneyways.com and will directly benefit from sales of this album. You can read more about the relationship at Disneyways.com/Connect*

AVENGERS: ENDGAME – A Spoiler-Free Review by Peter Alden Grigsby

Published April 24, 2019 by Disneyways.com

AVENGERS: ENDGAME – A Spoiler-Free Review by Peter Alden Grigsby

There is just ‘something’ about watching a Marvel Universe Film. They continue to produce films that build on one another. Often times creating a final product that leaves you with a feeling of “how in the world can they top that?!?!” Very few highly anticipated films live up to the hype, but Endgame certainly does. It’s the best possible conclusion to Infinity War, and, at this point at least, is the crown jewel of the Marvel franchise. As previously stated, “how in the world can they top that?!”


As most fans are aware of by now, Avengers: Endgame is the official close of MCU’s phase 3, and it certainly does that! What I am about to say next is certainly not a ‘spoiler’, but I will say,

(Albeit ‘tongue & cheek’), DO NOT have a lot of fluids before this film, and stay away from the largest cup size at the theater! It is every bit of its reported 3 hour running time. The first hour and twenty minutes, while certainly a necessity in the story telling of the film, does drag a bit, and would be optimal for a bathroom break if needed. That being said, when this film kicks into high gear, it does not slow down, and you will be loath to move from your seat until the end!

Avengers: Endgame (2019) picks up almost immediately after the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), which left the universe in ruins. With the help of other allies, the remaining Avengers assemble in what might just be the last time, to attempt to undo Thanos’ actions, and restore the universe to normal. I feel almost silly attempting to write a ‘spoiler free’ review, because that is proving to be nearly impossible! I have started over a number of times, but buckle up true believers!

Endgame is, quite surprisingly, more inventive than I expected. We know where the story is headed, but there are some interesting turns getting there. I was also surprised at how emotionally engaging it was for a superhero film. With its 3 hour run time, this film spends quite a bit of time on character development, much more so than in previous offers. It does tend to make the film drag a bit early on, but I’m glad they did it, and it most certainly added to the reason the audience was so emotionally involved. There is also quite a bit of humor throughout as well. In fact, this is probably one of the funniest Marvel films since Thor: Ragnarok or perhaps Ant-Man. The laughs are intentional, but don’t feel forced or contrite. The battle scenes are visually stunning, and certainly live up to what we saw in Infinity War. It’s amazing to think that Marvel was able to keep this film under wraps, and I have no intention of spoiling that, but, suffice it to say, there are definitely some surprises that I certainly didn’t see coming. Run; don’t walk to see this little gem! Hopefully fans will keep a lid on things so that everyone can laugh, cry, gasp in surprise, and be thoroughly entertained without anything being given away or ruined.

One last thing though. I even struggled about this, but, in the end, I feel this doesn’t ‘spoil’ anything, so here we go. This film does not include mid-credits, or a post-credits scene, making it the first film in the MCU since The Incredible Hulk to include neither. Marvel has definitely raised the bar on themselves with this one, and I believe this could go down as the most successful superhero film, EVER!

**Please note that I was invited to a complimentary viewing of this movie on April 23, 2019 so that I could bring you this review on behalf of Krista Joy at Disneyways.com. The free admission in no way influenced my review, and all opinions are my own.**

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Peter Alden Grigsby is a Florida native. Pete has appeared in an episode of the Mickey Mouse club, was a Jungle Cruise Skipper, “friend” of the Rocketeer, tram driver on the backlot tour, and opening day cast member at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM). When he’s not writing movie reviews, he is performing as a singer and tribute artist all over the world and currently has a cover album of Disney songs called Kingdom Classics

Captain Marvel – A SPOILER FREE MOVIE REVIEW! WRITTEN BY PETER ALDEN GRIGSBY

Published March 6, 2019 by Disneyways.com

Captain Marvel – A spoiler free movie review written by Peter Alden Grigsby

You really have to admire the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They have managed to take Comic Book Superheroes, and make them one of the most viable franchises in modern cinema. They have been so successful in fact, that they have enough productions to sub-divide into phases. As of now, we are coming to the end of phase 3, which will culminate with “Avengers: Endgame”. Shifting from big league hitters such as Captain America, Iron Man, Thor and Hulk to characters that have not received as much attention such as Dr. Strange, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the lynch pin, Captain Marvel. Spider Man, quite possibly their most popular character ever, has also recently re-acquired from Sony, so he will also figure prominently in the new phase.

When we left what was left of the team after “Infinity Wars”, we learned that Nick Fury had sent an emergency signal to Captain Marvel, just before being vaporized by Thanos. But who is Captain Marvel? Why was she not included in “The Avengers Initiative”? How can she help, when some of earths ‘Mightiest Heroes’ have already been vaporized? These are just some of the questions that this film sets out to answer. While giving the ‘basic gist’ of the story, I’m not going into too much detail; I want to present this review with NO SPOILERS! So buckle up true believers, here we go!

Right off the bat, THIS is an ‘origin’ film! Simply stated, don’t expect too much of a plot. Take this film as a “hi, nice to meet you”/first date kind of experience. We start out in the middle of the story, where we learn that a race of people called ‘Kree’ is in a war with another race called the ‘Skrulls’. We learned a little about them in “Infinity War”, but we get more of an insight in this film. The Skrulls are shape shifters, and can control their appearance. This is where we first meet “Vers” played by Brie Larson, who comes off fairly well. She presents a “girl-next-door” type of personality, while also being perfectly believable as a woman that can handle herself in any situation. At times she comes off a bit ‘wooden’, but hey, it’s a superhero movie, not “Titanic”. Vers is dealing with reoccurring nightmares about people she feels she knows, but can’t explain why. She also has a mysterious power that even the Kree don’t understand, but properly harnessed could make her one of the most powerful beings in the Universe. Her mentor, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law) is doing his best to help her figure out both who she is, and how to control her powers. Training her to control her emotions, as that is how she can ultimately control her powers. Jude Law is certainly capable, and believable in what he is being asked to do. That said, it’s not much! His character is certainly not explored to the degree it could have been. The chemistry between Law and Larson is not quite Luke Skywalker/Obi-Wan Kenobi caliber, but acceptable. Much like an older brother helping his younger sister. After learning that the Skrull commander, Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) has captured Soh-Lar a Kree spy. Vers joins Yon-Rogg and a Kree rescue team to retrieve Soh-Lar. Of course, things go terribly wrong and Vers winds up separated from her team, and on a collision course towards Earth. For me, Ben Mendelsohn comes close to stealing this film! He gets some of the best lines in the movie, and delivers them brilliantly. This character, sadly, is not explored much either, but Mendelsohn managers to capture a menacing presence, without coming off as a typical ‘casting couch’ villain. He also demonstrates some brilliant comic timing.

Marvel uses a great ploy of ‘going back’ to move forward! Back, meaning to earth in the mid-90’s, (those familiar with the time period will enjoy the many ‘inside jokes’ that are presented.) and there are some genuinely funny moments. This is where we meet a young Nick Fury (Samuel A. Jackson), sans eye-patch, and a ‘rookie’ Shield agent Coulson (Clark Gregg). I’ve never really been a fan of the ‘de-aging’ CGI effects to make older actors look younger, I’ve never thought it looked real, but I will say it was done fairly well, and doesn’t really distract too much. Talos has followed Vers to earth, and is now after her. Sadly, this is where the ‘1990’s’ shtick becomes burdensome, and takes this film into a TV superhero feel. Not ‘camp’ but more like the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno ‘Incredible Hulk’ series. We learn Vers real name is Carol Danvers. She has a mysterious relationship with a Scientist (Annette Bening) she barely remembers. To me it seems that Bening was used for her ‘star power’ and very little else. What should have been a pivotal character was, again, never explored enough to the point that we actually cared anything about her. We also meet her best friend, Maria Rambeau (Lashanna Lynch). Maria Rambeau is extremely likeable, and presents her character as the kind of friend we would all like to have. However, other than being Danvers best friend, there is not much for her to do. Danvers and Rambeau, we learn, are kind of like a female version of “Top Gun”. Yes, there is even a mascot named ‘Goose’! It’s almost as if the writers got a bit lazy during this ‘middle section’ and just went into an auto pilot mode, burping up cliché’ after cliché’ and really over using what could have been a fun little plot point. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely some laughs, but all in all, the movie drags a bit here.

The last 30 minutes or so ramps up, and we get more of the action sequences we were expecting from the trailers. This is where I have to be careful because, as I said before, I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Suffice it to say, we DO learn how Captain Marvel will fit into the MCU in “Endgame”, as well as some interesting little twists along the way.

 

So, in going ‘back’ to move forward, “Captain Marvel” has set the stage for phase 4 of Marvel’s cinematic franchise. While certainly not Marvel’s best ‘solo’ hero movie, it’s certainly not the worst, (that dubious honor belongs to “Iron Man 2” in my opinion) and it’s certainly enjoyable as sort of a ‘Saturday afternoon matinee’! Story line, what little there is of it, is a bit contrived and confusing at times. As for character development, there were so many, so none of them was really explored in-depth. It was certainly nice to learn more about Fury, and how everything ties in together. There were a few moments in this film when I felt that it was heading into a ‘preachy’, feminist, “#metoo” direction, but thankfully it pulled itself back. It’s going to be tricky, moving forward with this character, to not fall into that trap. I hope Marvel can do it, because Captain Marvel could be a very interesting character. I would still recommend seeing it to fill in the last gaps before “Endgame”. This movie does at least explain why Danvers has been absent, and that was satisfying. So, in short: Dull story, some funny dialogue, mediocre villains, and a predictable plot. CGI was well done.

**Please note that I was invited to a complimentary viewing of this movie on Monday March 4, 2019 so that I could bring you this review on behalf of Krista Joy at Disneyways.com. The free admission in no way influenced my review, and all opinions are my own.**

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Peter Alden Grigsby is a Florida native. Pete has appeared in an episode of the Mickey Mouse club, was a Jungle Cruise Skipper, “friend” of the Rocketeer, tram driver on the backlot tour, and opening day cast member at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM). When he’s not writing movie reviews, he is performing as a singer and tribute artist all over the world and currently has a cover album of Disney songs called Kingdom Classics

As seen on major Disney Fan sites such as Disney World Enthusiast, WDW Hints, WDW Magazine, City Surfing Orlando, Disneyways.com and many more! Rave reviews from all major Disney influencers and talk show hosts are online now – for Peter Alden’s Kingdom Classics CD.
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