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Coco Movie Premier Review

Published November 22, 2017 by ltdjosh

I received a free movie preview in exchange for writing a review on this blog.

Last week, we were treated to our sneak preview premier of the newest Disney-Pixar movie, Coco. This is my humble review of the movie. I promise this will be a spoiler free review.

The first thing I can say is that you simply HAVE to go see this movie if you enjoy any kind of good movies. From the moment I saw the first artwork, I was drawn in to this colorful and magical world. Once the previews and teaser trailers started coming out, I got even more excited about the movie. However, I was not even prepared for how amazing and well thought out this movie is. So what exactly is the premise of Coco, you might ask?

Well, this movie focuses on the family celebration of Dia De Los Muertos, or the Day Of The Dead. This celebration is a time where families lay out altars, or “ofrendas” filled with pictures of relatives that have passed on along with the family members’ favorite foods. This celebration is one time of the year, it is said, that the passed on may cross the universe and return (in spirit) to the living world and be with their families. The movie focuses on the Rivera family, specifically young Miguel, as he fights his family for his right to be a musician instead of a shoe maker like the rest of the family. His family is against his decision because of an event that happens years ago, but Miguel is determined to be a musician, even if he has to do it behind his family’s backs.

Through a series of comical events, Miguel comes face to face with his family on the “other side” and has to find his way back to the living world before the end of Dia De Los Muertos. However, along the journey of getting back, Miguel discovers that things are not always as they seem, including his family’s history. Finally faced with the truth, he must make a decision that could potentially change his life. Where will this decision take him? Well, for that answer, you must watch the movie, but I guarantee that it will leave you breathless with laughter and leave you with  a deeper appreciation for, and better understanding of, the amazing culture of Mexico and Dia De Los Muertos.

There’s also another thing in this movie that followers of Pixar Animation have come to expect and enjoy: the music and the characters. Music plays a very pivotal role in this movie, as has become a bit of custom for anything coming out of the studio, and I have to say that the music in this movie is every bit as good as the music from Frozen (sorry Kristen and Idina). I use this reference because the people behind some of the most memorable music in this movie are the same team from Frozen: husband wife team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez. The music is just as catchy to me, and I look forward to hearing more from this talented duo. And the characters in this movie are so relatable. Whether you identify with Miguel’s Abuelita, a stern (at first) guardian of the family traditions who in the end just wants what’s best for her family, his Mama Imelda, who was so shaken by the departure of her husband that she bans music in the family forever (again, to protect her family), or Miguel himself, your sure to find a character to suit your fancy in this film, and leave wanting to know more about this amazing family.

To find tickets, just go to http://movies.disney.com/coco. I promise you won’t be disappointed by this amazing movie, and honestly believe that you’ll want to take your family back again and again.

Disclaimer: I received complimentary movie tickets in exchange for writing this review. This did not influence my opinion and all thoughts are my own.

MAGIC IN THE DETAILS: SCORING FOR BOTH TEAMS by guest author Adam M. Berger

Published February 3, 2015 by jpmdo

The longstanding rivalry between Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando, its crosstown competitor a few miles up the road, has become the stuff of legend, with the decades-long battle for tourism supremacy most recently documented by author Sam Gennawey in his enlightening, entertaining, and highly detailed book Universal vs. Disney: The Unofficial Guide to American Theme Parks’ Greatest Rivalry. But through it all, one towering creative figure has managed to play—and score (pun intended)—for both teams. I’m talking, of course, about the prolific film composer and conductor John Williams.

John Williams

Photo by TashTish at en.wikipedia

Mr. Williams’ cinematic career dates back to the late 1950s, with his sometimes uncredited musical contributions to the silver screen including such classic (and occasionally not-so-classic) movies as Some Like It Hot and Gidget. Of course, he is better known for composing and often conducting the scores heard in such blockbuster films as Jaws, all the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, and the Harry Potter movies.

Star Wars

 Copyright – Lucasfilm Ltd.

Those are a just a few highlights from the composer’s long and illustrious filmography. (If you’d like to see more, you can find an exhaustive list of John Williams’ credits on the IMDb website.) But perhaps you’ve noticed that all of the movies listed above have also inspired either current or retired theme park attractions at either Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando. Which gives Mr. Williams the rare distinction of being an artist whose works transcend the Disney-Universal rivalry to entertain and engage visitors at both resorts.

At Walt Disney World, Williams’ music adds to the magic of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where it forms the stirring soundtracks of three popular attractions: Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, Jedi Training Academy, and Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular.

Indiana Jones Spectacular Show

 Photo by Adam Berger

Travel a few miles northeast on Interstate 4 to Universal Orlando Resort, and you’ll be treated to the sound of John Williams’ distinctive movie scores in both of the resort’s theme parks. At Universal Studios Florida, Williams’ music accompanies your ride on E.T. Adventure, and his themes are heard almost continuously as you explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Diagon Alley. But for nearly two decades before Diagon Alley arrived in the park, another familiar John Williams score was heard on that specific patch of real estate, accompanying—and amplifying—the thrills of the now defunct JAWS attraction.

Harry Potter Universal

Copyright – Universal Orlando Resort

Nearby, Williams’ music again sets the mood and underscores the action throughout the Jurassic Park section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure, while the Harry Potter title theme and other music from the series wafts through The Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade.

Jurassic Park

Copyright – Universal Orlando Resort

And while certain other artists share dual residency at both Disney and Universal (most prominently director Steven Spielberg, represented by E.T. Adventure and Jurassic Park at the latter and Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at the former), John Williams easily takes the prize for having the most extensive presence at both resorts. Which just goes to show you that exceptional talent can, on rare occasions, transcend even the most intense and entrenched competition.

So how aware are you of the music when you’re in the Disney and Universal theme parks? Do you have any favorites? Feel free to chime in using the comments section below.

Every guest a hero

 

Adam M. Berger is a professional attraction show writer and design consultant, and the author of the book Every Guest is a Hero: Disney’s Theme Parks and the Magic of Mythic Storytelling—available in print and e-reader editions from Amazon.com and other fine online booksellers.

ab

BIG HAIR IS BACK …FINALLY!

Published May 23, 2012 by Disneyways.com

I graduated high school in 1993. I am very proud to be a part of what I consider the “big hair” generation.  Just like the girl in the Peanuts cartoons – I enthusiastically embraced my “naturally curly hair”.  Just to prove it – here’s a picture of me at about that time.

  You can stop laughing now. I still love my big hair, I just style it a little differently.  Have you seen the trailers for the brand new Disney Pixar movie coming out on June 22nd? It’s called Brave, and I know it sounds weird, but bringing big hair back may be one of the things that excites me most about this movie. Merida is the main character, a skilled archer, inadvertent unleasher of chaos, a beastly curse undoer, even a Disney Princess for the feminists – and she does all of this while redefining what it meant to have beautiful BIG hair. I haven’t even seen the movie and I love her already.

Speaking of Disney Pixar movies…summer is upon us here in Florida, and I think it’s way too hot to be outside. That’s why I want to tell you about the Disney Pixar Summer Movie Weekend.  In the midst of remembering our fallen heroes, along with all the planning and grilling this weekend, you just might want to find some time to relax and unwind! It’s pretty exciting that Disney is bringing back some Pixar classics. That’s right – this weekend  you can catch Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, Up, and Wall-E at participating AMC Theaters. Prices vary but many tickets are just $6! Click here to get tickets and a list of participating AMC Theaters.

Maybe you’re more like me. To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of seeing movies in theaters. Why risk having some kid kick my chair through the whole thing when 2 months later I could sit on my couch with my dog and enjoy the movie on my own time?  Pixar movies, however, are an exception. One has to be in a real movie theater to fully appreciate the graphics, sound, and detail of these movies. My fantasy is to head to AMC Downtown Disney 24 Dine-in Theater to see Ratatouille for the Saturday showing. I haven’t had a chance to go to the new theater or (I’m ashamed to say it…) to see Ratatouille! Alas, with so much going on, I’m afraid it will just remain a fantasy.

I will try to plan a little better and get out to see Brave after June 22nd. Who knows? Maybe I will even put on my MC Hammer pants and do a little dance for everyone in line for tickets that day. (Please Hammer – don’t hurt ‘em!!) I will definitely use lots of mousse and a diffuser on my hair for the occasion – that’s a given.  At least I will look hot when they haul me off to crazy town.

Simba’s pride…

Published April 18, 2012 by Disneyways.com

Monday I was at Diseny’s Animal Kingdom and we stopped in to catch the Lion King show. I’ve probably seen it a hundred times. It never fails however…the lights dim, the music starts…and I’m covered in goose bumps. My eyes well up with tears and the next thing I know I’m looking around, embarrassed, and casually trying to wipe my tears away hoping that nobody sees me.

I think there are two reasons for my visceral reaction to this show. The music touches my soul, AND the movie came out right about the same time I had my first child in July of 1994. My baby was a surprise – but he was also the most beautiful and wonderful thing that ever happened to me. I think when I hear the music and see images of the Lion King it just brings all those feelings back.

Tonight, thanks to my family, I get to go see the Lion King Broadway version at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. I doubt they even know how much it means to me. I will bring my tissues and practice wiping my tears inconspicuously…LOL

Here’s a link to some cool video of the show.

Where To Get FREE Disney Wallpapers for your PC, iPad, iPhone and Android

Published April 10, 2012 by Disneyways.com

Need a new look for your PC, iPad, iPhone,or Android?

You can get FREE official Disney wallpapers by clicking here.

They are adding new ones all the time – so  check back often!

Have a magical day!

wallpaper

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