Donald Duck

Happy Birthday Donald Duck!

Donald Duck

This photo from 2007 shows the excitement Sophie had for Donald Duck!

On June 9, 1934, Donald Duck made his debut in The Wise Little Hen, one of the Silly Symphony productions that Walt Disney did back in those days.  Donald Duck was created as a companion character for Mickey Mouse; according to Wikipedia, there is a rumor that Donald Duck got his name from Australian cricket legend Donald Bradman, who, the story goes, was dismissed for a “duck” in a match. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I could certainly see that happening!  Interestingly enough, a bit of trivia for you — did you know that Donald Duck has been in more films than any other Disney character, and that he is the most published comic book character outside of the superhero genre?

For me, my enjoyment of Donald Duck really stems from two things: my daughter and the Gran Fiesta Tour attraction in the Mexico Pavilion.  The picture at the top of this post is an old one — back then, Sophie was so excited for Donald Duck!  She was so excited during this meet and greet that she started bouncing, so of course Donald had to do the same!  Another time, we saw Donald in the Mexico Pavilion, where Sophie gave him a big hug.  She really enjoyed Donald back in the early days of our visits to Walt Disney World.

Now that she’s almost 15, I think her fascination with the characters has kind of waned a bit, and she’s more all about the adventures she makes with her friends.

The second thing that has caused me a lot of enjoyment with Donald is his role in the Gran Fiesta Tour.  That simple little boat ride, which I’ve written about before, is just one of my favorite attractions at Epcot.  I love all of the different scenes as we go looking for Donald!

So, happy birthday Donald!  If you wish, take a look at the start of it all — The Wise Little Hen!

Will live-action Cinderella compare with the Classic?

Cinderella 2015

Disney’s Cinderella opened yesterday, March 13th, to rave reviews from Disney fans and non-fans alike.  My family is planning on going to see it today, and the burning question in my mind and in the mind of my wife and daughter is this:  “Will the live-action version of Cinderella compare with the Classic movie from 1950?”

I don’t know if the question is a fair one. After all, one is an animated movie, and one is not; one was produced in a different era, a different time, and for many children and adults alike, that original 1950 version is timeless, and can’t be replaced at all, regardless of who is in the new version.  However, right here, right now, all the buzz is about the live-action version of Cinderella, and not so much about the animated classic.

I don’t know which version I will like better, and I won’t know until we finish watching the movie.  However, I do have to say that I have loved the trailers so far.  Here are the two that I’ve seen in case you haven’t.  Have a look, and then let me know if you will be going to see the film, and what you think your experience will be like.  Thanks for stopping by, have a great Disney Day!

This second trailer is similar to the first, but has a bit more for you to digest and ponder…

In the end, only time will tell what we think about the new Cinderella movie, but I think we will really like it.  What do you think?  I’d love to hear your comments!  Thanks for stopping by, have a great day!

As Dreamers Do Movie Review

As Dreamers Do

As Dreamers Do: The Amazing Life of Walt Disney, is one of those movies that you just happen upon, yet captures your mind, your imagination, and teaches you a thing or two about perseverance.  I was looking at my iPad, picking something out on my Amazon Instant Video app that I have, and I just searched for Disney, and came across this movie.  I had never heard of it, or if I had, I had forgotten all about it, and I was just looking for something to watch while I was on the treadmill.

The story covers the young Walt Disney — not the one that we all know, the one that created Disneyland and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and all of that.  No, this movie is about the Young Walt Disney, the child before he became a man.  Narrated by Travis Tritt, the film stars a lot of actors that I haven’t heard about before, but that just adds to this experience.  Since I was watching it on my iPad while doing my treadmill walking, I broke it up into three sessions.  The movie is right around an hour and a half long.

Dreamers covers some fantastic moments that occurred in Walt’s life, such as the time he and his sister Ruth painted the side of their house — in tar instead of paint!  The movie does such a good job of telling the story that you really can imagine that Walt didn’t realize that he was using tar.  Being the Dreamer that he was, Walt was often found drawing or painting or anything like that.

The story covers moments in Walt’s life, such as when the family moved to Marceline, and later on to Kansas City.  It covers the period of Walt’s life when Roy was in France fighting in the war, and Walt wanted to join him — but was underage — so he had join the Red Cross instead, and took up smoking.  The movie also covers the period of time when Laugh-O-grams was around, and he and Ub Iwerks were in business together.  It also covers the period of Walt’s life where his business ventures didn’t work, and he was living out of his office.

Through it all, though, no matter what life event was bringing Walt down, Walt was never down in the dumps for long.  The greatest legacy of Walt Disney is not his Parks, or his movies, or Mickey Mouse, or any of that — the greatest legacy of Walt Disney was his eternal optimism, his belief, perhaps his faith, in knowing that it was all going to work out all right in the end.

The movie concludes with Walt finally taking the advice of Roy, and moving to California to start the next adventure in his life journey.  It was in California that Walt’s ultimate dreams came true, but they were forged years before his his childhood upbringing.

If you haven’t seen As Dreamers Do: The Amazing Life of Walt Disney yet, I urge you to check it out.  You will learn a new appreciation for Walt Disney, and fill in some of those blanks that may exist in you like they did in me, without me even knowing.  If you have seen this movie, please tell me, what did you think?  Leave me a comment, and thanks for stopping by!  Here’s a trailer for you to watch.  Thanks for stopping by!

Cinderella 2015 — Do Not Miss This Movie!

Cinderella 2015

Earlier today, we published a post about the new Cinderella 2015 version of the classic story, and in that post, I wondered what we would think of this version of the film.  Well, my wife, daughter and I have seen the movie now, and we enjoyed it so much that both Sophie and I are writing a review of it!

One thing I liked happened right at the beginning of the movie — we were introduced to Ella’s mother and father.  We saw the love that they have for one another, and we quickly learned that Ella gets much of her grace and charm from her mother.

Those of us that know the story — either the classic or the new version — know that Ella ends up growing up without her parents; in this version, we learn that it was Ella’s mother that left us with words that we all should live by:

“Have courage and be kind.” ~ Ella’s Mother

Five simple words; those five simple words transformed Ella’s life.  It was by believing those words given to her by her mother that Ella is able to see past her circumstances, past the fact that both her mother and father are gone, past the fact that she has a step-mother and step-sisters that don’t care for her; past all of that, Ella is still able to see the good in the world, and to help others see the good in their circumstances.

The cast for this movie is phenomenal; starting with the directing of Kenneth Branagh, continuing with Cate Blanchett as the Stepmother, Lily James from Downton Abbey fame as Cinderella, and Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother.

If you were on the fence about this movie, wondering if you (or your own Princess) would enjoy it, don’t hesitate any more.  This movie was incredible, and everyone at the theater seemed to be enjoying it very much.  We even saw some children in their Cinderella costumes that were watching the movie.  There wasn’t anything at all in my opinion that was not suitable for any child.

Thank you for stopping by today.  Have you seen the movie yet?  If so, what did you think?  I’d love to hear your comments!  Thanks, and have a great day!

Nearly Wordless Wednesday – Favorite Pinterest Pins!

Hello everyone!  After what seems like an eternity, I am finally finding a bit of time to add in some pictures to share on my friend Deb’s site, Focused on the Magic!  This week, the theme is Favorite Pinterest Pictures, and I’m sharing with you two of my highest pinned photos on my Pinterest boards.  I hope you enjoy them!  As always, a special thank you to Deb for hosting this great weekly series!  Even though I haven’t been adding to it, I have been following some, so thanks for keeping it going!

IMG_6160

My most re-pinned Pinterest pin is of Expedition Everest!

This is also a well loved Pin -- it's of Walt Disney on Opening Day of Disneyland, July 17, 1955!

This is also a well loved Pin — it’s of Walt Disney on Opening Day of Disneyland, July 17, 1955!

Clicking on each image will take you to my Pinterest page and pull up the photo there, so feel free to check it out!  If you aren’t following me on Pinterest yet, please consider doing so!  Now, please go check out the other entries this week — just click on the button below and you’ll head over there.  Thanks, and make it a great Disney Day!

Focused on the Magic