I was invited to attend a media preview of Frozen II. The Disney film is back with familiar characters and new adventures.
This time, Elsa hears a voice that no one else hears. She and her sister Anna, as well as Kristoff, Olaf and Sven go on a journey through enchanted forests and dark seas to find the truth behind that voice.
In Disney-fashion, the new version of “Dumbo” is shot well, has great sound and graphics. Directed by Tim Burton, the film is dark and moody.
There are many nods to the 1941 original Dumbo, which was animated. For example, in one of the early scenes, we see a stork fly over the train car signifying that Mrs. Jumbo has given birth to Dumbo, just like in the classic. Also, in the beginning and again at the end, we see some white mice, a tribute to Timothy Q. Mouse, the small white mouse that helps Dumbo soar in the animated original.
The premise of the film is similar to the original: a baby elephant with oversized ears is the joke of traveling circus. When the kids discover Dumbo can fly, they make him an instant success at the circus.
Soon, others want to cash in on Dumbo’s success. Enter over-the-top entrepreneur V.A. Vandevere, played by Michael Keaton, who makes Dumbo the star of his theme park, Dreamland. Aerial artist Colette Marchant portrayed by Eva Green plays Dumbo’s co-star as they fly around Dreamland. But the park isn’t as dreamy as it seems.
The themes of this movie are relatable. First, there’s the strong bond between parent and child as exhibited between Dumbo and his mother. It’s emotional when Mrs. Jumbo and Dumbo are separated.
The circus owner, Danny DeVito who’s well cast as Max Medici, decides to sell Mrs. Jumbo once he sees her baby has big ears. Devito has the perfect persona, attitude and energy for the role.
This theme plays out with the human characters, as well. Children Milly, played by Nico Parker and Joe, played by Finley Hobbins reunite with their father, Holt Farrier, portrayed by Colin Farrell, who has just returned home from war and is missing an arm. The character’s wife has died while he was deployed.
The next message is about the importance of respecting and taking care of animals. For example, a circus worker who does not respect Mrs. Jumbo, suffers a dramatic fate. Karma perhaps for not respecting the pachyderm.
I liked the film but I did have a problem with how they handled time periods. There are many anachronistic things that trouble me. For example, in the beginning of the film, we’re told the timeframe is 1919 but then Dreamland seems far too advanced for that time period. And the ringleader is voiced by the “Let’s Get Ready to Rumble” guy who announced, “Let’s Get Ready for Dumbo.”
Overall, the film was enjoyable and a pretty nice adaptation from the animated classic Disney fans have loved for years. The movie opens today – March 29, 2019.
It’s fitting that “Mary Poppins Returns” is opening right before Christmas. This cheery musical, based in 1930’s London, is a delightful gift for Disney fans of all ages.
The plot is simple: The Banks family is struggling to keep their home after their mother died. Michael Banks, whose childhood nanny was Mary Poppins, is widowed and struggling to pay his mortgage. The bank is ready to foreclose on the home. That’s when Mary Poppins flies in to assist the family whose home is on 17 Cherry Tree Lane.
Emily Blunt, as the leading lady and Lin-Manuel Miranda as a Jack, a lamplighter, are fabulous in their starring roles.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is jack in Disney’s MARY POPPINS RETURNS, a sequel to the 1964 MARY POPPINS, which takes audiences on an entirely new adventure with the practically perfect nanny and the Banks family.
Even 92-year-old Dick Van Dyke, an original cast member from “Mary Poppins,” has a cameo in the new film. The audience cheered when he was first seen on screen. A joy then and now, Van Dyke still has impeccable dancing and singing skills.
My kids and I attended a media preview and loved the film. Fun and upbeat, it’s poised to become a new Disney classic. There are moments of melancholy, like when the three Banks children are sad and miss their mother. But with Poppins’ magic, life lessons prevail – good triumphs over evil and family is everything.
The movie is based on “Mary Poppins” stories by author PL Travers. Like the 1964 original film, this one is packed with catchy, memorable songs and dances. It has a lot of heart and I’m sure the soundtrack will do well. One of my favorite scenes was for a song called, “A Cover Is Not the Book,” where Blunt and Miranda merrily sing and dance about books.
Throughout the musical, the costumes are colorful and the design is detailed. A few fun facts:
All the animation in the film is two dimensional and hand-drawn/hand-painted, just as it was in the original “Mary Poppins.”
Every costume Blunt wears features a bow at the neck of her blouse. The bows are a tribute to costume designer Tony Walton’s work in the original movie.
My kids and I thoroughly enjoyed “Mary Poppins Returns.” I’m sure we’ll see it again soon.
I’m going to miss the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland! This is the last weekend for this vintage parade.
I love the music, which has a throwback vibe, and all the old school floats. I’ve always enjoyed the mushroom and butterfly float, as well as the train, steered by Goofy, or course!
The Parade, which entertained Disneyland guests from 1972 to 1996, was in Florida at the Walt Disney World Resort until January of this year when it returned to Disneyland. It closes this Sunday, August 20, 2017.
I first saw the parade as a kid at DisneyWorld. I’ve had a soft spot for it ever since…
The patriotic ending is one of my favorite moments of the 20-minute parade.