Disney’s Robin Hood (in my opinion, one of the best Disney animated features, and certainly one of the most overlooked and underrated films in their repertoire) was one of my favourite movies as a kid, and it still stands as one of the most influential films in my life. Robin Hood is still one of my favourite literary characters and I try to live my life by the same (romanticised) ideals.
Well, I was going to post a teaser for a new video project I’m working on, but YouTube doesn’t like the music I used, so I’m left without anything interesting to show for my next ambitious endeavour. If you’ve been to Disney’s ElecTRONica dance party either at California Adventure or Hollywood Studios, you might be familiar with the Power Surge stage show before the official opening of the party. I’m at present working on recreating a version of the show to enjoy at home. More details as they come, but for now, please enjoy my other offerings at my YouTube channel!
Okay, so being a fan of both the Star Wars franchise and Disneyland, it was really only a matter of time before I made a little write-up about the Star Tours: The Adventures Continue attraction at Disneyland (and Walt Disney World).
Apart from griping about the fact that some permutations of the ride experience involve elements from the godforsaken prequel films, Star Tours is just as campy and silly as the original ride. Disney Imagineers did a fantastic job of updating the entire experience for a new generation of fans. The queueing area feels more like a “legitimate” spaceport and less like some Quonset hut in a backwater rim world–this I’m not sure how I feel about. The original Star Tours had the same kind of feel as the original trilogy films: low-tech, analog, hastily constructed, and ad hoc. Now, the whole scene seems more elegant: Solari boards are replaced with high-resolution LCD displays, maintenance droids are replaced with security officer droids (albeit with similar whimsical attitudes about their jobs), and there’s no more People Mover running through the station.
Whether or not I appreciate the “upgrades,” I love the attention to detail and subtle nods to the original attraction. Oh, and the fact that Patrick Warburton voices one of the afore-mentioned security droids. In all, it’s definitely worth the trip to the park if you haven’t ridden it yet.
After a little searching, I happened to find a copy of the original video feed from the ride. Rex (the original pilot droid, voiced by the incomparable Paul Rubens) does not appear in the footage as it is the actual screen projection (probably recorded on VHS considering the tracking issue), but all the music, sound effects, and voices remain. The part that I enjoy the most is fact that it was filmed completely with models–not the CGI bullshitery that permeates Hollywood now (and ST:TAC is unfortunately no exception to this rule)–something about it just makes it look that much more real.
After three months of procrastination, I finally finished the video documentary of Disneyland’s Leap Day celebration event. Beginning at 6am on February 29 and running until 6am March 1, Surge, Jessica, Lucia, Ian, Angela, and I braved the elements, sleep deprivation, and the throngs of rabid crowds to survive one of the biggest events ever held by the Disney parks. Unfortunately, as you may find out from watching, it may have been one of the biggest event planning SNAFU’s since Opening Day. In all, it was quite the experience: one of laughter, merriment, and bonding that–if we’re lucky–only comes along every four years.