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Daffy & Lebeau (sing it)


The big movie release of this past weekend, if I can believe the hype I’ve seen and the strong crowds I experienced, was the live action adaptation of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast. The 1991 animated musical production is one of the most beloved in the Disney canon, winning Oscars for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, and becoming the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture. The affection and nostalgia still attached to the animated film have made this year’s adaptation perhaps the most hotly anticipated live action Disney film of the past decade.

Join Lebeau and me as we discuss our own histories with the story and our reactions to the new film. There are mild spoilers here, but if you’ve seen the previous Disney film, the general story shouldn’t be much of a surprise.
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15 Great Oscar-Winning Songs!: “Beauty and the Beast”


Okay, so you knew I couldn’t spend two weeks covering Oscar-winning songs here without offering up some of the excellent examples brought to us by the folks at Disney. This particular one has actually grown gradually in my eyes over the years. If you had asked me at the time of its Oscar win in March of 1992 I probably would have expressed a preference for both “Be Our Guest” and “Belle” which were both also from the same movie and were both also nominated in the Best Original Song category. But mostly I remember being relieved that the three songs from the same film hadn’t cancelled one another out and allowed that awful song from the Kevin Costner version of Robin Hood to steal the statuette. That would have been a true injustice.
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20 Movies you should see before going to Disney World


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Below you will find the introduction for an article I first wrote in May of 2016 detailing my estimation of the Disney movies you should have seen before a Walt Disney World vacation in order to understand and appreciate best what you’re most likely to see there. It is now July of 2017 and there have been enough changes to the parks and resorts that I have decided to update this article. With the exciting new announcements at this year’s D23 convention it should be obvious that these ratings will not hold up for much longer than they did this time. My intention right now is to update these rankings whenever necessary. You will notice that some movies, like Lilo & Stitch and Pinocchio have dropped out of the top 20 while others have jumped up into this list. This is truly a moving target, but those movies are still great and ones I would recommend whether you’re going to Walt Disney World or not.

Recently, a co-worker of mine told me he and his wife are taking their kids on their very first trip to Walt Disney World in Florida this summer. Apparently he’d heard I’m something of an enthusiast on the topic. After a quick rundown of where they’re staying and eating, he expressed some concerns over the quickly approaching date for reserving the family’s Fastpasses and worried that his young kids might be scared of some of the rides (he has a 4-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son). I told him they probably would be a little tentative and suggested that he sit down with them on YouTube to get a preview of some of the attractions he thought they were targeting. I’ve heard from some parents that this has helped to demystify some of the gentle dark rides and can act as a stepping stone for the overall experience. He seemed pretty pleased with this suggestion and I came out of the conversation feeling rather happy with myself. It was a win-win.

Unfortunately, he came back a couple of days later with a completely different problem. He had watched several ride videos with his kids like I’d said, and he hadn’t gotten much feeling that they were frightened by what they saw. But maybe that was because they had spent the entire time asking him who all of the characters were! This came as quite a shock to both him and his wife. After all, they were pretty sure all kinds of cartoons were on in the house on a rather regular basis. But there he was, trying to explain the seven dwarfs, Peter Pan, and even the Little Mermaid to his kids. A cursory investigation of the family’s available Disney movies revealed part of the problem: they weren’t the ones with rides based on them. Frozen had been played past one family member’s tolerance, but that ride isn’t open yet. His son had practically worn out a copy of Pixar’s Cars, but there is next to nothing at Disney World featuring those characters. There was a lot of Disney Jr stuff like Doc McStuffins and Jake and the Neverland Pirates available, which really just covers one stage show and maybe a character meal. He snatched out a copy of Beauty and the Beast and insisted to his kids that they had all watched it together a couple of times. Maybe they had, but at that moment all he was getting were blank stares. “For crying out loud,” he said to me (or something less printable here), “What the heck do they need to see before we leave in nine weeks?!” Clearly, the stress of trip planning was getting to him.

I smiled and told him I’d have a list for him in a day or two, but that a refresher on Beauty and the Beast couldn’t hurt in the meantime. Join me as we look at a big part of that promised list.
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Disney Songs Poll Results! #5 – “Be Our Guest”


We’ve hit the prestigious top 5 of our Disney Songs Poll as voted by you, our readers!

Songs as iconic as “Be Our Guest” from Disney’s 1991 smash Beauty and the Beast become a part of our brain’s pathways. We can’t imagine them being any different than they always have been. But, as I discussed in yesterday’s post, those things which seem permanent often come about through chance, happenstance, or compromise…and just about everything about “Be Our Guest” was supposed to be different.
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Disney Songs Poll!


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As will become very obvious in the coming days, Lebeau and I are both taking Disney-related trips later this month. Lebeau and family are taking their first Disney cruise while I am in Anaheim at roughly the same time. As such, Disney and vacations in general will dominate much of June here at Le Blog.

Instead of our typical bracket game, I’ve decided to fill the first three weeks of the month by writing about one song from an animated Disney feature film each day. You, our faithful readers, will have a hand in deciding which songs I will write about by ranking four different lists of songs provided below. Polldaddy only allows ten candidates in each ranking group, so I separated forty famous songs from the house of mouse into four different groups.

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New Fantasyland Review: Be Our Guest Restaurant


Be Our Guest Concept Art

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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That’s Messed Up: Beauty and the Beast


Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite movies.  When pressed, I will frequently pick it as my favorite Disney animated feature of all times.  I love Beauty and the Beast unconditionally.  I love it enough to turn it into a prince.  And yet, when you stop and think about it, Beauty and the Beast is messed up. Read the rest of this entry

New Fantasyland Review: Beauty and the Beast


Fantasyland Expansion Concept Art – Pt 2

The Fantasyland Expansion project at Walt Disney World was completed this year.  New Fantasyland, as it is sometimes referred to, is being touted as the most significant addition to the Disney World Resort in years and the biggest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom.  These claims are true if you look at the entire project as one cohesive expansion.  But New Fantasyland was rolled out in several stages over the course of more than two years.  I covered all of New Fantasyland at a high level in my 2014 trip report.  But I also wanted to review the individual components of the project and see how they add up.  So I’ll be doing that here in the New Fantasyland Review.

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What the Hell Happened to Linda Hamilton?


linda hamilton 2014

Linda Hamilton

There are very few actresses who have played iconic roles in action movies.  Linda Hamilton is one of them.  But immediately following the biggest success of her career, Hamilton put her career on hold.  When she did work, it was usually as a guest star on a TV show.  She basically terminated her movie career at its peak.

What the hell happened?

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Fantasyland Expansion Now Open


I apologize for posting two Disney World themed articles in the same morning.  But today is a very exciting day for myself and readers who follow my Disney content.  The Fantasyland Expansion has now opened unofficially for what Disney calls “soft openings”.

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First Look: Walt Disney Imagineers Offer a Taste of the Be Our Guest Restaurant


As the Fantasyland Expansion has been shaping up at the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Disney has dropped a few teasers as to what we can expect.  I haven’t picked up on many of them here at Le Blog becuase for the most part I covered them all at least a year ago when details were hitting the rumor mill.

Today, Disney released a short video showing some of the work being done on the Be Our Guest Restaurant.  Again, there’s nothing new here.  But when I saw the giant wall mural that was being installed, I have to admit I was impressed by just how much this restaurant promises to transport guests into Beauty and the Beast (one of my favorite animated films of all times, by the way).

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