Spring Break at Walt Disney World: Hitting Rope Drop at Hollywood Studios – Daffy Does Disney

In today’s installment from my spring break trip to Walt Disney World, I start my second day of vacation by applying a couple of well-worn strategies for making good use of early morning hours. My series of interviews with other park guests continues, and you get a little talk from an animation snob. Enjoy!


April 24: Happy Birthday Shirley MacLaine and Barbra Streisand


This was one of those days where the headliners were pretty self-selecting.  They were photographed together at the 57th Golden Globes, where MacLaine presented Streisand with the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Shirley MacLaine, who is turning 83 today, has worked in film for over sixty years.  She made her debut in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Trouble With Harry, receiving a Golden Globe for New Star of the Year.  She appeared later the same year in the Martin and Lewis film Artists and Models, and received her first Oscar nomination (of six) for starring opposite Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin in Some Came Running.  One of her most famous roles then brought her a second Golden Globe, a BAFTA Award and a second Oscar nomination:

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Robin Wright: The Wright Stuff?

After a promising debut in the titular role of The Princess Bride, actress Robin Wright spent a few years toiling in movies most audiences had never heard of much less seen.  She wouldn’t appear in another hit until Forrest Gump seven years later.  During that time, she became romantically involved with her costar Sean Penn and dropped out of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves to have a baby.  In the April 1992 issue of Movieline magazine, Stephen Rebello asked Wright about her relationship with Penn, the press and her frustrations as a working actress.

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Weekly Recap: Searching for Unicorns and Mystic Timbers

Today is the last day to grab a Unicorn Frappuccino at your local Starbucks.  For the unaware, this colorful frozen drink is a promotional product which has become an internet sensation.  Starbuck unleashed this fruity, pixie-dusted, sweet-and-sour beverage on an unsuspecting public for less than a week.  The resulting feeding frenzy lead to many locations selling out of the ingredients necessary to make the drink.  On Friday night, I was informed that my oldest daughter just had to have one.  So off we went in search of a unicorn.  In this week’s recap, I’ll be covering all of the goings-on here at Le Blog as well as a few details about my week outside of the site.

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April 23: Happy Birthday Judy Davis and Shirley Temple


Australian actress Judy Davis, a two-time Oscar nominee and three-time Emmy winner, turns 62 today.  She made her reputation with only her second feature, starring as Sybylla Melvyn in My Brilliant Career, and winning two BAFTA Awards, for Best Leading Actress and Best Newcomer.  She attracted worldwide notice in 1984 when she was nominated for Best Actress for starring in David Lean’s A Passage to India.  A second Oscar nomination, for Best Supporting Actress, came eight years later for Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives.

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The 10 Most Famous Actors Who Never Won Oscars

When it comes to the Academy Awards, there are winners and losers.  It may be an honor to be nominated, but the fact of the matter is they only hand out so many statues every year.  Over the course of a career in showbiz, there are a limited number of opportunities to win an Oscar.  For varying reasons, some of the most famous actors and actresses in Hollywood history never took home the prize.  In the April 2002 issue of Movieline magazine, they compiled a list of the ten most famous actors who never won.

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April 22: Happy Birthday Jack Nicholson and Aaron Spelling


Three-time Oscar winner Jack Nicholson is celebrating his 80th today.  He made his films debut in 1958 in a teen drama produced by Roger Corman, The Cry Baby Killer.  He made a number of films in the sixties with Corman, and several Westerns with Monte Hellman.  His first major break came in 1969, when he starred in Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider and received his first Oscar nomination.

From 1970-75, Nicholson starred in a string of classic or near-classic films—Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces and The King of Marvin Gardens, Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail, Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (as Jake Gittes), and Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Passenger.  He capped this great run with his first Oscar, for Best Actor as Mac McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

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What’s the Big Deal With Pixar’s Cars?

Kevthewriter wonders why Pixar keeps making Cars movies when no one he knows seems to like them very much.

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Spring Break at Walt Disney World: Spaceship Earth & My Little Mermaid Room – Daffy Does Disney

In this video you’ll follow onto my last ride of the day and then back to my room at the Art of Animation resort where you’ll get some initial reactions and a review of my thoughts on the first day of my Walt Disney World vacation. Yeah, I’m just getting started!

April 21: Happy Birthday James McAvoy and Patti LuPone


James McAvoy is turning 38 today.  He began acting in the late nineties and has had a distinguished career in film (mixed with some television) and on the British stage.  One of his early stage roles was as Romeo in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet; he has since had the “Romeo” part in two films adapted (more or less) from that play, the 2003 film Bollywood Queen and the 2009 animated feature Gnomeo and Juliet.  He emerged as a major star in the mid-2000s with lead roles in The Last King of Scotland, Atonement, and Wanted.

In 2011 he made the first of three appearances in the film role he is probably best known for, Charles Xavier in X-Men: First Class and two sequels:

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Lego Dimensions: Harry Potter Team Pack

Out of all the offerings in the second year of Lego Dimensions, the one my kids were most excited about was the Harry Potter Team Pack.  Both of the girls are slowly working their way through J.K. Rowling’s series of books and have watched most of the movies.  It would be accurate to describe my oldest as a Harry Potter fan.  The youngest is getting there.  They couldn’t wait to explore iconic locations like Hogwarts and Diagon Alley in Lego form.  In that respect, this Team Pack did not disappoint.

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April 20: Happy Birthday Jessica Lange and Harold Lloyd


Six-time Oscar nominee Jessica Lange is celebrating her 68th birthday today.  Lange spent several years traveling and working as a model after graduating from college, and made her screen debut in 1976 in Dino De Laurentis’s remake of King Kong, winning a Golden Globe as New Star of the Year.  She then starred in Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz and the crime comedy How to Beat the High Co$t of Living, before having a terrific year in 1982, when she was nominated for Best Actress as Frances Farmer in Frances, and won Best Supporting Actress for Tootsie:

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Sam Raimi: Along Came A Spidey

Hard to believe but fifteen years ago there was no such thing as a Spider-man movie.  Now here we are and Spidey is on his second reboot.  When the original Spider-man movie debuted in 2002, super hero movies were still relatively uncommon and director Sam Raimi was known primarily as the director of cult horror movies.  Prior to the movie’s release, Raimi talked to Movieline about how he got the job, what controversial contributions James Cameron made to the movie and how the chemistry between Tobey Maguire and Kristen Dunst may have spilled over into real life.

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