Tag Archive | "disney"

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FLICKS: Coco & The Man who Invented Christmas opens this weekend

Posted on 22 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave


Was he a good boy?” David Eller asked my mother while lunching at Duffy’s. Fortunately for me, Mom answered in the affirmative.

This exchange symbolizes my almost two decade professional relationship with my publisher and boss. Like my Grandfather, Dave G. Watson, Mr. Eller held positions of responsibility, yet he made a point of reaching out to his employees and celebrating their accomplishments. David Eller’s southern charm, loyalty to his employees and commitment to community philanthropy will be his legacy for many years. [See story about Mr. Eller on Pg. 1].

Opening this Thanksgiving weekend, Coco is a family friendly movie about memory and mourning. Despite what the mass marketing has revealed about a kid playing a cool looking guitar, this Disney/Pixar animated movie has much heart with an emotional roller coaster ride from tears to laughter.

When the opening credits roll, we learn about a man who runs away from his wife and child to pursue a musical career. For many generations, the family bans music from the household. As the generations pass through time, the great grandson Miguel feels the lure of music and keeps a guitar hidden.

When El Dia de Muertos approaches, Miguel is expected to participate in the annual family rituals. Instead Miguel tries to sneak off and enter a talent contest. The matriarch gets upset and smashes Miguel’s guitar. Angered, Miguel runs away from home and tries to enter the talent contest without his guitar. Told that he needs an instrument, Miguel sneaks into the tomb of the musical legend Ernesto de la Cruz and borrows his unique guitar. This theft causes a shift in the fabric of the universe and Miguel enters the land of the dead.

While this transition to the land of the dead provides the scariest portion of Coco, this film is full of beautiful amber, orange and gold imagery, which enhances this excellent story. The conflicts which drive the character motivation follow a logical progression, though with many surprises and character revelations. The character of Coco has limited screen time, but is the heart and soul of the movie.

Being a Disney/Pixar movie, Coco is filled with many visual details reminiscent of the award-winning Up. As Brave promoted Scottish folklore, Coco celebrates Mexican culture. The song, “Remember Me,” will be heard frequently during the awards season. The holiday cinema season is off to a fine start with the opening of Coco this season.

Based on Les Standiford’s book, The Man who Invented Christmas also opens this weekend. Starring Beauty and the Beast’s Dan Stevens as Charles Dickens, the story details the author’s inspiration to write A Christmas Carol. Christopher Plummer portrays the curmudgeon who inspired Ebenezer Scrooge. The buzz is good for this film and if you cannot get a ticket for Coco, then The Man who Invented Christmas could be a fine substitute. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Disney World’s NEW Fantasyland

Posted on 18 December 2012 by LeslieM

By Rachel Galvin

Photos by “Cinema” Dave Montalbano

In one of the biggest public relations events in four years, Disney World Orlando invited press as far north as Toronto and as far west as California to walk beyond Cinderella’s castle walls into the new Fantasyland.

There, they found an Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus.

The opening ceremony included animation legends Jodi Benson, Paige O’Hara, Jo Anne Worley, Ron Clements and John Musker, as well as actress Ginnifer Goodwin, known for playing Snow White on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, and American Idol winner Jordin Sparks, who treated guests to some classic Disney songs.

The media who attended enjoyed VIP treatment and not only enjoyed the rides and attractions, but also saw fireworks and a fire breathing dragon!

The Observer’s own “Cinema” Dave Montalbano had a first-hand experience with this new and improved Disney magic.

Wondering what is within the new Fantasyland? In the Enchanted Forest, guests can listen to “tales as old as time” from Belle, have a sip of Le Fou’s Brew in Gaston’s Tavern and have dinner in Beast’s castle at Be Our Guest Restaurant. They can also visit with Ariel at Ariel’s Grotto or jump in a clamshell at Prince Eric’s Castle and take a dark ride beneath the sea in the Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid. These are just a few highlights.

The Storybook Circus is inspired by Dumbo. But features rides with other characters like Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy. Fly with Dumbo, spiral in a stunt plane at The Barnstormer or get soaked at Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station. You can even go to Fantasyland Station to take a 20-minute scenic tour of the Magic Kingdom on an antique train, the Walt Disney World Railroad! These are just a few of the attractions. Look for Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, Prince Charming and other familiar faces.

Splitsville Luxury Lanes also had a ribbon cutting in Downtown Disney (across from the House of Blues) and even Goofy attended. This twolevel venue, the largest of its kind, features 30 lanes and 50,000 sq. ft. of entertainment for families. It opens to the public Dec. 19.

And over at Epcot, the reimagined Test Track (presented by Chevrolet) celebrated its grand opening. Here, guests can drive their own custom concept vehicle through all the exhilarating twists and turns at as fast as 65 mph.

Walt Disney also announced some of its future plans, including Princess Fairytale Hall, scheduled to open in 2013, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. At only about three hours away, Disney World is a fun holiday option for the whole family to get out of town, but not go too far.

Make sure to check out the Osbourne Family Dancing Spectacle of Lights at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, featuring an extensive choreographed holiday light display. The event ends Jan. 6.

And if you are feeling a bit wild, head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, where they have improved their safari ride.

disneyworld.disney.go. com/parks



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