Designing Disney’s Theme Parks Book Review

Designing Disney’s Theme Parks Book Review

Designing Disney’s Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance was first published in 1997 and was edited by Karal Ann Marling. The book is a collection of essays, including a longer one by Ms. Marling, that takes us in-depth with the processes, thoughts, and philosophies of designing Disney themed spaces. There are 224 pages and the book weighs in at almost 3.5 pounds. It’s a large-format book, which means the concept art and photos are reproduced in a fairly large size.

Disney Disney’s Theme Parks Video Review

Do you own a copy of the book? Did you ever get to the the art exhibit?

The exhibit that spawned the book is one that I wish I’d bee able to visit, especially in the late 1990s. As I mentioned in the video, this book was published near the end of the Disney Decade, when Michael Eisner was touting the modern architecture that the Disney Company was proliferating. Eisner was working with the biggest and most acclaimed architects of the day, whenever it was for resorts, corporate buildings, or planned communities. This was all oa time before the advent of blogging and vloggers, so there were very few places to get information about Disney theme parks. (Seriously, how did you ever find out bout the latest cupcake without vlogging?!?!?!) Designing Disney’s Theme Park was also one of the first forays into the scholarship of Disney. Another great title to check out is Stephen Fjellman’s Vinyl Leaves, one of the very best sociological treatises on Disney World and a walk-through of every queued attraction at WDW around 1990. Trust me, you want both of these books!

Additional authors: Neil Harris; Erika Doss; Yi-Fu Tuan; and Greil Marcus.

Looking for other books about Walt Disney World? Check out my list of WDW books!


FTC Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

A Magical Half-Century: Disney World’s First 50 Years

A Magical Half-Century: Stories Celebrating Walt Disney World’s First 50 Years by Christopher E. Smith, a book review

Isn’t it hard to believe that Walt Disney World will be celebrating a magical half-century this year?

It seems as if we were just celebrating the 40th anniversary and the 50th anniversary was an impossible date. I was hoping that we’d be celebrating the 50th anniversary while wearing jetpacks.

Regardless, we’re here. Despite the shut-downs, the virus, and the social distancing, Disney has been slowly prepping the Florida property for a celebration of sorts. I assume there will be a 50th anniversary celebration at the Magic Kingdom, but no plans have been formally announced (as of this writing). That being said, I imagine that the celebration on Friday, October 1, 2021, will be somber.

Where Are the Books Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World?

I expected many more books published celebrating the 50th anniversary.  That being said, not many are showing up.

Author Christopher E. Smith reached out to me to review his latest book celebrating Walt Disney World’s first 50 years.

The only history book published that documents most of WDW is Jeff Kurtti’s Since the World Began. Jeff’s well done but surprisingly thin history of Walt Disney World set the standard for how to approach a subject as varied and dramatic as Walt Disney World. Hopes abounded for Jeff to re-visit the work and add the second half-century, but plans never came to fruition. I imagine a thorough history of the Vacation Kingdom of the World would be comparable to one of the later Harry Potter novels.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how Christopher put his own spin on Walt Disney World’s history by sharing 16 well-crafted and well-researched stories focusing on Disney World.

A Magical Half-Century

Christopher shares a unique approach to chronicling the first fifty years of Walt Disney World. Don’t expect a run through of the resort or a year-by-year chronology. Christopher weaves a tapestry that tells a larger story. Throughout the 16 chapters, Christopher regales us with historical tales covering different facets of the resort, while focusing on some pretty big milestones and attractions. And some details that you might take for granted.

I’m not a fan of spoilers of any kind, so I will caution you to skip the chapter on Rise of the Resistance until you’ve ridden it (Chapter 4). Rise of the Resistance is stellar (besides being based on the awful sequels) and any little detail gleaned will spoil some of the surprises. But you still need to read the rest of the book! Christopher offers readers some in-depth insight, including a chapter on the Society of Explorers and Adventurers (S.E.A.) that takes around the actual globeto visit some of the other Disney theme parks. Fans of the Adventurer’s Club will love this chapter.

What’s Inside the Walt Disney World History Book?

In the 16 chapters, Christopher visits Sleepy Hollow, the Great Movie Ride, Pirates of the Caribbean and the famed Western River Expedition, the EPCOT film, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, DinoLand, The American Adventure, and some of the littlest details: weather vanes. A Magical Half-Century is more than Christopher reciting a litany of facts; he ties multiple storylines together to present a larger history.  The section on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is really a history of the area and a look at the attraction queue, the ride experience, and the tributes. Christopher travels back in time to share early concepts for attractions that didn’t make the cut, including concepts with Roger Rabbit, Mel Brooks, and Dick Tracy. It’s a very satisfying and engaging read (like the other chapters) that offers much more than you think you’re going to get.

This is the kind of mash-up that is ImagiNERDing approved!

A Magical Half-Century recounts the history through images, as well. Christopher has provided crisp black-and-white photos to accompany the text. He’s also managed to wrangle Rob Yeo to provide the wonderfully retro cover art and line illustrations throughout the book. Rob’s design sensibility and charm help elucidate Christopher’s work.

Christopher includes a lot of details that future researchers and fans will enjoy. In many cases, he includes complete ride scripts and minor walk-throughs of the attractions. Sure, you can find these on the web, but it’s great to have them in a handy reference work.

Disney World and Intellectual Properties

In his regular job, Christopher is a lawyer that works with IP, or intellectual property. One of the chapters looks at IP and the Disney Parks, specifically to counter the argument that Disney is populating attractions solely based on IPs, like Frozen and the Pixar films. Christopher offers unique insight and provides a section at the end of the book replete with tables broken down by era (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom). The author goes a long (and entertaining) way to show how IPs were present well before it was a conflagration.

All-in-all, Christopher’s dive into the first 50 years of Walt Disney World is an engaging and satisfying read. The chapters go deeper than you expect and incorporate more history than you would think. He also provides a select bibliography, which is a must for any good historical work on any theme park.

Christopher used some top-notch titles for his research.

With the obvious dearth of titles related to Walt Disney World history, Christopher fills the void. He shares fascinating reads that will reach out to all Disney World fans, regardless of your experiences and interests. Grab a copy of the book, sit back, and enjoy A Magical Half-Century!

What’s Your Favorite Memory from the First 50 Years of Walt Disney World?


FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the author for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Aladdin, the Signature Edition

Aladdin, the Signature Edition

The 1992 Aladdin animated feature continued the success of The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. The Disney musical found its way to the forefront and changed pop culture and animated history. The true heart of the film was showcased in the music of Alan Menken and the should of the film shown through in the masterful performance of Robin Williams. Disney sent me a review copy of the animated feature and the 2019 live-action film for this review.

There’s no doubt that you love Aladdin and have watched it endlessly, but is there a need to buy the new Signature Edition? Let’s take a look at the special features and bonus material.

BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAY & DIGITAL: NEW BONUS MATERIAL

  • Sing Along With the Movie – Sing along to your favorite tunes as you watch the film. With magical on- screen lyrics.
  • Aladdin on Aladdin – Join the speaking voice of Aladdin, Scott Weinger (“Fuller House”), as he reflects on almost 30 years of being Aladdin.
  • “Let’s Not Be Too Hasty”: The Voices of “Aladdin” – Take your seat in the recording booth and watch as the voice actors of “Aladdin” work their microphone magic.
  • Alternate Endings – Enter the realm of “what if” and see just how differently the movie could have ended.

The new bonus features are fun, especially Aladdin on Aladdin, as we join the voice of Aladdin on a trip through 30 years of Aladdin. He runs into his fellow voice-actors and shares memories of the production. He even gets a singing lesson from Alan Menken! There was also a feature in which the directors discuss the legacy of Robin Williams and how he changed the film so much and was perfect for the genie. There’s also a segment with Ron Clements and John Musker as they discuss their history and how they came to meet and work together. DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE

  • Drawing Genie –Join prolific animator Eric Goldberg as he draws and reminices about the Genie.
  • CLASSIC BONUS – Revisit over 40 exciting bonus features from previous releases including: The Genie Outtakes; “Aladdin”: Creating Broadway Magic; Unboxing “Aladdin” and more!

The digital exclusives are the special features from previous releases and offer a lot historical features about the animated film.

Should I Buy Aladdin on Blu-ray or Digital Download?

The film looks and sounds amazing . The special features add to the enjoyment of the film and offers insight. If you don’t own a digital copy, then it’s worth it to have a version that you can stream anywhere. As far as an animated films, it’s one of the best from the second golden age of Disney animation and belongs in your collection. And it has some amazing songs!

Are You Going to Buy the Signature Edition of Aladdin?



Special thanks to Wes B.,  Aaron R. and Nicole S. for supporting me on Patreon.


FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the company for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Marvel Avengers Endgame

Marvel Avengers Endgame

There’s no need for me to tell you to run out and buy a copy of Marvel Avengers Endgame, right? I saw Endgame twice in the theater and it still rocked me emotionally when I streamed the review copy Disney sent me on Movies Anywhere. There’s not much to say about the film, but I can discuss the bonus features featured on the blu-ray and digital download. You’ll need something to watch once the film is over…

Avengers Endgame BONUS MATERIAL

Digital Exclusive:
  • Steve and Peggy: One Last Dance – Explore Captain America and Peggy Carter’s bond, forged in moments from previous films that lead to a momentous choice in “Avengers: Endgame.”
Blu-ray & Digital:
  • Remembering Stan Lee – Filmmakers and cast honor the great Stan Lee in a fond look back at his MCU movie cameos. It’s hard to think about Stan Lee passing, but this is a warm and very humorous tribute to the man. I forgot some of these cameos!
  • Setting The Tone: Casting Robert Downey Jr. – Hear the tale of how Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark in the original “Iron Man” — and launched the MCU. Sometimes I gorget that the entire 22 movie franchise started with this one film and finding the perfect actor for Iron Man. This is a well done look at how Robert Downey, Jr. was iron man.
  • A Man Out of Time: Creating Captain America – Trace the evolution of Captain America with those who helped shape the look, feel and character of this compelling hero. I enjoyed this extra because Cap is the hero inside of all of us, or the hero that we all want to be. He’s out shadowed by Iron Man, but there is something heartfelt in everything he does.
  • Black Widow: Whatever It Takes – Follow Black Widow’s journey both within and outside the Avengers, including the challenges she faced and overcame along the way. I wish they had been able to explore Natasha’s story in a full-length film, but this is a good look back at her story.
  • The Russo Brothers: Journey to Endgame – See how Anthony and Joe Russo met the challenge of helming two of the biggest films in cinematic history … back-to-back! Watching how the Russo Brothers brought these films to life is almost as overwhelming as the final battle in Endgame.
  • The Women of the MCU – MCU women share what it was like to join forces for the first time in an epic battle scene — and be part of such a historic ensemble. Strong women have always been central to the Marvel films.
  • Bro Thor – His appearance has changed but his heroism remains! Go behind the scenes to see how Bro Thor was created. Bro Thor…say no more!
  • Six Deleted Scenes – “Goji Berries,” “Bombs on Board,” “Suckiest Army in the Galaxy,” “You Used to Frickin’ Live Here,” “Tony and Howard” and “Avengers Take a Knee.”
  • Gag Reel – Laugh along with the cast in this epic collection of flubs, goofs and gaffes from set.
  • Visionary Intro – Intro by directors Joe and Anthony Russo.
  • Audio Commentary – Audio commentary by directors Anthony and Joe Russo, and writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.
The bonus features were solid, but they’re not the reason you’re going to buy Endgame. I enjoyed the extras, especially the ones about Stan Lee, Captain America and Black Widow; there was a lot of thought given to the characters and the actors chosen. The Gag Reel and Six Deleted Scenes were surprisingly disappointing. Overall, you’re going to want a copy on blu-ray or digital download so you can watch it over and over. Because you love the Avengers 3000!

Are You Going to Pick Up Avengers Endgame?



Special thanks to Wes B.,  Aaron R. and Nicole S. for supporting me on Patreon.
FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the company for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Mary Poppins Returns on Blu-ray and Digital Download!

Mary Poppins Returns on Blu-ray and Digital Download!

What did you think about Mary Poppins Returns when it was in the theater? Did it hold up to the iconic Mary Poppins film?

Disney has just released the home video version with a lot of extras, including a digital release-only item.

Check out the release information below.

Mary Poppins Returns on Blu-ray and Digital Download Extras and Special Features

BLU-RAY & 4K ULTRA HD:

  • Deleted Song—“The Anthropomorphic Zoo” – In this early song sequence, Mary Poppins and the children visit a very special zoo where the humans and animals trade places.
  • The Practically Perfect Making of “Mary Poppins Returns” – Join filmmakers and cast on an amazing journey to embrace the legacy of the original film while making a fresh modern sequel.
    • Introduction – Filmmakers and cast remember the first Mary Poppins movie and share the thrill of working on “Mary Poppins Returns.”
    • “(Underneath the) Lovely London Sky” – Discover how the team mined PL Travers’ books for a fresh perspective on a much-loved character. Plus, meet the Banks children!
    • “Can You Imagine That?” – Be on location for Mary’s iconic entrance from the sky, and explore the movie’s original songs, inspired by the Sherman Brothers.
    • “Nowhere to Go but Up” – Experience being on set with the legendary Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury, and celebrate the joy of choosing the right balloon!
  • Seeing Things From a Different Point of View”: The Musical Numbers of “Mary Poppins Returns”– Go behind the scenes and experience the film’s production numbers from a new angle.
    • “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” – Led by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the cast performs the film’s biggest production number, with dancing lamplighters, bicyclists and more!
    • “The Royal Doulton Music Hall” / “A Cover Is Not the Book” – Find out what it takes to create two musical extravaganzas inside an animated world, highlighted by dancing animated penguins!
    • “Turning Turtle” – Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy Turvy, played by Meryl Streep, has an unusual house that turns this musical number upside-down.
    • “Can You Imagine That?” – Dive under the bubbles with the cast and crew to see how this exuberant number was created.
  • Back to Cherry Tree Lane: Dick Van Dyke Returns – Dick Van Dyke, who played Bert and Mr. Dawes Sr. in the first film, returns after 54 years to Cherry Tree Lane as Mr. Dawes Jr.
  • Practically Perfect Bloopers – There’s nowhere to go but up with the cast and crew in this lighthearted collection of flubs, goofs and prop fails!
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Leaving Topsy’s – After their visit to Cousin Topsy, Mary, Jack and the children pause to take a look back.
    • “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” – The leeries light up the screen in this extended clip from the movie’s biggest musical production.
  • Play Movie in Sing-Along Mode – Sing along with all your favorite songs as you watch the movie.

DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE:

  • Play Movie with Audio Commentary – Watch the film with commentary by director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca.

I have to admit that the filmed charmed me so much more after the first viewing. The music was good, but didn’t seem to reach the legendary feel of the Sherman Brothers. Several songs captured my attention and a few have grown on me after multiple listens to the soundtrack. Several iconic scenes, like the Royal Doulton Music Hall, were inspirational and covered by the bonus features. Overall, you’re going to buy this blu-ray/digital download simply for the film. The bonus features are good, but nothing stands out as a must have.

I still highly recommend that you check out Practically Poppins in Every Way by Jeff Kurtti!


FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the company for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!


Join me on Patreon!

Special thanks to Wes B.,  Aaron R. and Nicole S. for supporting me on Patreon.

Check out the ImagiNERDing Patreon page to be part of the ImagiNERD community. Get special updates, behind-the-scenes information and more!

The Imagineering Process by Louis Prosperi

The Imagineering Process by Louis Prosperi

The Imagineering process is magic. And art. And science.

Imagineering is a process and it’s a system that you can apply to your life and creative work.

Louis Prosperi is a fan of Imagineering and has spent years studying and documenting the art of Disney theme park design. He sent me a review copy of his latest book, The Imagineering Process: Using the Disney Theme Park Design Process to Bring Your Creative Ideas to Life, which is the second title in his Imagineering Toolbox Series (I reviewed The Imagineering Pyramid, here).

The Imagineering Pyramid (book one) spotlights using Disney theme park design principles to develop your creative ideas. The Imagineering Process focuses on the steps to bringing your creative ideas to fruition.

The Imagineering Process: Bringing Your Creative Ideas to Life

The book is divided into three parts with fifteen chapters that take you step-by-step through the development of bringing your creative ideas to fruition. Louis does a tremendous job of distilling a daunting process into one understood by the general reader. The Imagineering Process is also a great title for anyone who has to work with a creative team.

Louis offers insights into the creative process from the Disney organization, other creative fields and his own endeavors. In some cases, the anecdotes are from Louis’s own personal experiences.

What I found most valuable about the book are the concrete examples that Louis offered. They helped to solidify the concepts as well as share real-life examples that you can follow. In some cases, the examples are famous Disney attractions, but Louis also shares projects that he worked on that are more relatable.

Each chapter is constructed like the book; he introduces the topic, gives examples, shows us how to implement them and wraps up the chapter with a checklist and questions. Louis sends us on our way with all the tools we need to take our creative ideas and implement them in our personal and professional lives.

The Imagineering Process: Disney Fans!

Just like in The Imagineering Pyramid, Louis proves he’s done his homework and provides a few gems for the Disney fans and historians. At the back of the book, you’ll find Appendix A and a Bibliography. Appendix A is Louis’s Imagineering Library. It is seven pages of books, periodicals, websites and other sources that Louis has collected over the years about Imagineers and Imagineering. Trust me: it’s an incredible list and you won’t find a better one outside of my personal collection.

The Bibliography is a five page list of all of the resources that Louis used in creating the book. Sadly, like most Theme Park Press titles, Bob McLain (the editor), doesn’t believe in endnotes or footnotes, which makes it difficult to verify what his authors are purporting. The lack of notes also diminishes the historical value of the titles for future researchers. I support Bob and what he’s doing, but I wish he would let his authors notate their sources. This really is important.

The Imagineering Process: Final Thoughts

The Imagineering Process is a must have for anyone working in a creative industry or  wants to get their creative juices flowing. The book is not full of exercises (which is good), but it’s full of solid advice and real-world anecdotes that will help you down the (often scary) path of creativity. People who manage creative groups will also find this book very helpful. Louis peppers the book with solid advice on managing creative projects from the perspective of a team leader. This book is a great addition to a manager’s toolbox!

Are You Going to Pick Up The Imagineering Process?


FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the author for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, blu-ray review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, blu-ray review

You’ve seen Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, right? And you don’t need me to tell you how fantastic the film is. But, should you buy a copy of the blu-ray release of the second installment of the Guardians franchise?

Of course, if you’ve seen the movie and you’re a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, then you need to buy it. The film is gorgeous and sounds amazing, especially with the music.

But what about the bonus features?

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Bonus Features

The blu-ray release has more than 80 minutes of bonus features and I watched them all with my thirteen year-old son. I was surprised, because he rarely wants to watch the extra features, but, he loved them! He thought they were funny and added a lot to the overall viewing experience.

Here’s  list of the bonus features:

The Making of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” – A four-part, behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, done in the style of classic-rock album liner notes.
Visionary Intro – Director James Gunn provides context on how he continues and expands the storylines of these beloved characters in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”
Guardians Inferno Music Video – Join David Hasselhoff and special guests for a galactic retro dance party.
Gag Reel – Laugh out loud at all the hilarious off-script shenanigans and bloopers that took place on the set of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” featuring all your favorite Guardians.
Four Deleted Scenes – Check out four specific scenes that had to be cut from the film, including two extended scenes and two deleted scenes.
Audio Commentary – Check out a special narration of the film by director James Gunn, who guides fans through an inside look at the making of the movie.

I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes features, especially the ones that showed the actors outisde of their costumes. Sometimes the differences were stunning.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2017

The digital version contains the following extras:

Three Scene Breakdowns (Digital Exclusives) – We’ll reveal the anatomy of a few key scenes from the film. Discover the process in bringing these scenes to life. It starts with a doodle and the rest is film history. Audiences will be given the option to view 5-6 layers of specific scenes in the film. Scenes include “Eclector Escape,” “Gamora and Nebula,” and “Rocket and Ravagers.”
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! (Digital Exclusive) – Get an exclusive sneak peek inside the most anticipated ride at Disneyland, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!. We’ll dig into the concepts and inspiration, and talk about what it took to bring the most epic ride at Disneyland to life.

I haven’t watched the digital extra features, but I will Sometimes, I run out of time to watch everything before the review is due.

Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2..L to R: Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt), Drax (Dave Bautista), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Groot (Voiced by Vin Diesel) and Rocket (Voiced by Bradley Cooper)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 may not have resonated as well as the first film, but it’s every bit as funny and charming; mores since we’re very familiar with the characters at this point.

I can’t wait to see how the Guardians are pulled into the Civil War films.

Are you going to pick up Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on blu-ray or digital download?


FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Pinocchio on Blu-ray, a review

Pinocchio on Blu-ray, a review

This is the second release for Pinocchio on blu-ray (released in 2009 and put into the vault in 2011). Pinocchio was the second animated film released by the Disney Studios after the enormous success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Technically, it is considered a masterpiece even though it wasn’t hailed as one during the initial theatrical release in 1940.

If you’d like to read the definitive work on Pinocchio, then check out the amazing book by J.B. Kaufman! Seriously, it’s that good.

So, should you pick up this edition of Pinocchio on blu-ray if you own the 2009 release?

If you don’t own the 2009 release of Pinocchio on blu-ray, then you definitely need to buy this edition. If you own the 2009 release, then I’m not so sure.

The film looks astounding and sounds superb. I swear it sounded like I was hearing things for the first time. For instance, the first scenes with Geppetto and the Pinocchio marionette were so charming musically, that I almost didn’t remember the scenes having as much music. Pinocchio is one of the few films to have received the rare 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Again, this is a Disney classic, so there’s not much I can say about the film that hasn’t been said before.

So, what is the Walt Disney Signature Collection?

The Walt Disney Signature Collection includes groundbreaking films created or inspired by the imagination and legacy of Walt Disney, featuring timeless stories and characters that have touched generations. Each release will offer special features for every member of your family.

The Pinocchio on blu-ray Bonus Features!

There are only four new bonus features available on the Walt Disney Signature Collection release. Usually, the bonus features are the main reason I will recommend a purchase in a case like Pinocchio.

Walt’s Story Meetings: Pleasure Island – The Pleasure Island scene in “Pinocchio” had much more development than what is seen in the film. Join Pixar’s Pete Docter and Disney historian and author J.B. Kaufman as they explore artwork recently discovered in Disney’s animation research library revealing some of the attractions, gags and games, which Disney animators created for this iconic location of the film, that never made it on screen.

I really respect Kaufman and I was glad to see him as part of this feature. It was well-done and typical of what’s expected from Disney when a deleted or changed scened is released on blu-ray. There were some new gags that I’d only seen in Kaufman’s Pinocchio book, but it was good to see them in relation to the film.

In Walt’s Words – “Pinocchio” – Hear Walt himself discuss the making of “Pinocchio” through archival recordings and interviews.

This was a short bonus feature that uses photos from Walt’s life to bring his thoughts and feelings on Pinocchio to life. I enjoyed it, but I have heard most of the quotes before.

The Pinocchio Project: “When You Wish Upon a Star” – Music influencers Alex G, Tanner Patrick and JR Aquino from Disney’s Maker Studios, a global leader in short-form videos, gather in a creative workspace to create their rendition of the film’s signature song, “When You Wish Upon a Star,” and produce a fresh new music video.

So, it seems like Disney puts something odd on every blu-ray release and this one was it. I’d never heard of any of these people and I really felt the song was incredibly lackluster. There just wasn’t any passion or emotion in the recording.

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in “Poor Papa” – This recently restored and scored 1927 short features Oswald the Lucky Rabbit who gets multiple visits from the stork and is forced to attempt various methods to help stop the onslaught of baby deliveries.

As always, it is amazing to see the earliest works of the Disney Studios. Despite a lack of introduction by Leonard Maltin to put the animated short into a proper historical context, it was an enjoyable cartoon. Just try not to be offended by Oswald shooting a rifle. Or the copious amounts of recycled footage.

Classic Bonus Features – These offerings from prior home entertainment releases include hours of bonus material, such as the making of “Pinocchio,” deleted scenes, sing-alongs, storyboards and theatrical trailers.

I’m glad that Disney includes the bonus features from previous releases, especially if you don’t own them. Unlike some of the other films that I’ve reviewed, it looked like the bonus features had been re-mastered, sort of. They were included in the 2009 Pinocchio on blu-ray release, which should explain the high quality.

Should you purchase this release of Pinocchio on blu-ray?

It really comes down to the bonus features. If they interest you, then yes. If you don’t own the 2009 release, then definitely!

Personally, there wasn’t enough bonus material to warrant a purchase if you own the 2009 release. This release (2017) was truly gorgeous and worth adding to your collection.

Are you going to pick up Pinocchio on blu-ray?


 

FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Iron Man The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer

Iron Man The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer, a book review

Iron Man The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer is another entry in Marvel’s young adult series. I’ve reviewed (and loved) the Black Widow series. When I found out Colfer was writing an entry about Iron Man, I was excited. Colfer should be swell-known name to ImagiNERDs—I’ve both loved his Artemis Fowl and WARP series. Colfer’s style is engaging, witty and, at times, sarcastic. I knew Colfer would be a great person to tackle Iron Man and Tony Stark.

Iron Man The Gauntlet straddles the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the comic books. It’s a great tie-in for both genres and will satisfy fans of the films, comic and cartoons. There’s no direct correlation to the films, but it’s a perfect addition. Fans and newcomers will learn quite a bit about Iron Man.

In Iron Man The Gauntlet, Colfer takes us into Tony’s past and we see a principal interaction between Tony and his father that sets Tony on a more altruistic path. Again, Colfer’s experience writing young adult and tween novels helps him build very believable characters.

Fans of Iron Man tech are going to love the book, especially the moments when Tony is backed into a corner and has to make due with partial suits and equipment. Friday, Iron Man’s artificial intelligence, and Tony Stark’s RoboTony (which does a lot of Tony’s yacht appearances when Iron Man is on a covert mission) both play a large part of the story and act as comic foils.

The gist of the story is that Tony is scheduled to make an appearance at an environmental conference in Ireland. Tony’s yacht, piloted by the RoboTony while the real Tony was on a mission, makes it’s way to Ireland. The yacht is pretty impressive and fans will love getting an inside peak at it. Tony decides to take his party pack suit, which is used for PR and public appearances. While he’s flying to the summit, he gets. ping on a boat on a deserted island. He decides to investigate it and that’s when the surprises happen.

One of the characters that helps ground the book in the teen  world is Saoirse Tory, a young Irish woman who ends up becoming the hero of the story.

Overall, there’s a lot of well-written action scenes in the book, which is expected since it is a superhero novel. But Colfer does take us deeper into Tony’s psyche as well as that of Saoirse. Yes, there is some teen angst, but all of the characters’ emotions lead to a deeper story. As intoned, there are times when Tony is backed into a corner without his suit or with a less powerful suit. We see Tony and Saoirse really depend on their intellects. The villain of the book is different from the movies (he is in one of the Iron Man films) and aligns closely with the comics. He’s drawn very well and an obvious villain to Tony as a hero.

Fans of Iron Man are going to love the book, especially the look at a few of the suits and how they function. If you’re new to the Iron Man universe, Colfer does a great job of bringing you up to speed and not leaving anyone behind.

Iron man The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer is a wonderful read and I highly recommend it, along with the Black Widow books.

Title: Iron Man, The Gauntlet
Author: Eoin Colfer
ISBN: 978-1484741603
Release Date: October 25, 2016

Have you read Iron Man The Gauntlet?


FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!

Maps of the Disney Parks Book First Look!

Maps of the Disney Parks Book First Look!

The Maps of the Disney Parks book has been highly anticipated. I did an unboxing and first look on my YouTube channel. Check it out and let me know what you think about the latest release from Disney.

Check out the table of contents to get an overview of what is offered in the book. A full review is coming soon, but I can guarantee that you’re gong to love this look at the various maps from Disney parks all over the world.

Have you picked up a copy of the Maps of the Disney Parks book, yet? Let me know what you think about it!


 

FTC Disclosure: A copy was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review. This post contains affiliate links, which means that ImagiNERDing receives a percentage of sales purchased through links on this site. Thank you for your support!