Touch the Sky

The Power of a Disney Song: Touch the Sky

Touch the Sky

Image ©Disney

When it comes to Disney, one of the things that strikes deep into the core of why I love all things Disney so much is the music. As I’ve written about before, often the Disney music is the strongest part of the Disney experience. Today, I’m sharing with you my thoughts on the song Touch the Sky from the Disney/Pixar film Brave.

For me, the song Touch the Sky is one of the most powerful of all the Disney songs of any movie.  Take a look at just some of the power in these lyrics:

I will ride, I will fly, Chase the wind and touch the sky

then, later on…

Take hold of my own dream, be as strong as the seas are stormy,

and proud as an Eagle’s scream!

Lastly, one last reminder for us all…

Chase the Wind,

Touch the Sky.

This song in my opinion transcends beyond just a movie, beyond Disney, for that matter.  This song can become a mantra for each and every one of us!  How, you might ask?  Well, let’s explore that a bit.

With the start of 2017, a new year often brings about a new sense of optimism, a new hope for what we can accomplish in our lives.  At this moment, we have this hope to remind us that we can be better in this year than perhaps we were in the last year.  The lyrics from Touch the Sky can empower us, and give us the passion, the drive, the energy to embrace who we are, what we do, and what we want to become, and, as the song says, take hold of our own dreams!

It won’t happen overnight, necessarily, but it may very well happen, if you remember these key components:

  1. Chase the wind, reach for and touch the sky.
  2. Take charge of your dream, but remember to stand strong against any adversity.
  3. Be proud of your accomplishments, and build off of them to even greater success!

Who’s with me?  Who’s ready to chase the wind and touch the sky of their dream for 2017? Let me know in the comments, and enjoy the incredible music from our friends at Disney/Pixar!

Book Review: The Art of the Jungle Book

{Editor’s Note: As a blogger, I may be compensated in some way (either pay, product, or experience) for sharing the post below. All opinions are my own. ~ Mike}

Jungle Book

Book Review: The Art of the Jungle Book

Post written by Mike Ellis.

Book written by Ellen Wolff

Forward by Jon Favreau

Disney’s The Jungle Book. A Classic movie originally released October 18, 1967, and a live featured film released April 4, 2016 (at the El Capitan Theater) and April 15, 2016 (everywhere else).  The movies are incredible in their own right, but today’s post is about a new book that I received a copy of to review.  Further on, I’ll also provide details about a giveaway that you can enter to win your own copy of this incredible book.

For that’s exactly what it is — and absolutely incredible book!  This coffee table style book, measuring 10″ x 11″, and containing 156 incredible pages, is the perfect addition for any Disney enthusiast!  What follows in these pages is a journey — a journey of discovery that delves into many of the aspects of what the Jungle Book movies are all about.

The book is divided into the following chapters, which take the reader along the journey into what it takes to create a movie of this magnitude.

  • Forward
  • Chapter 1 – A Return to Kipling’s Jungle
  • Chapter 2 – Assembling the Team
  • Chapter 3 – Characters and Locations
  • Chapter 4 – Exploring the Technology
  • Chapter 5 – Animating Realism
  • Chapter 6 – Putting it all Together
  • Conclusion

The beauty of this book isn’t in just the artwork that is depicted in it’s incredible pages; the beauty extends beyond that, and shows us the thousands of details that director Jon Favreau goes into in creating the Jungle Book movie.  It’s not just a recreation of the original story of the Rudyard Kipling’s novel; it’s a detailed and inspiring look at the role that actors, technology, and vision play in creating what may be the best version of this movie yet.

I think for me what I like best about the behind the scenes look at the movie is the incredible thought process that each of the actors takes in learning their role.  For example, actress Lupita Nyong’o, who portrays Raksha in the movie, prepared for her first ever voice-over role by studying the behavior of wolves and learning how their social hierarchy works.  For Christopher Walken, the man behind King Louie, he appreciated the role so much that he likened the process as less about making a movie and more about making music.  Those are just two examples are of what makes this movie special in my eyes.

Binding it all together though is the directorial genius of Jon Favreau.  This director knew what he wanted in the film, and searched long and hard to find the exact pieces to complete his puzzle.  For example, the actor who plays the role of Mowgli, Neel Sethi, was discovered among hundreds of auditions in cities across the country. At only ten years old, this was Neel Sethi’s first movie, and the role he played was perfect.

If you are interested in acquiring your own copy of this book, you may visit the Insight Editions or Amazon websites (list price $45.00); however, My Dreams of Disney has been selected to give away a copy of the book!  To enter to win, subscribe to the Insight Editions mailing list by clicking the link.  The link will be active from today, June 15, 2016, until 11:59PM on Friday, July 1, 2016.  After that time, Insight Editions will select a winner from those that entered. Good luck!

#FlashbackFriday: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Hello everyone, and welcome to a new post series I’m calling #FlashbackFriday!  Obviously, though, #FlashbackFriday is only new to me, as thousands of people join the ranks each Friday and share something on Friday from the past.  Well, today being Friday, I’m writing about a movie we watched last night that I had never seen before…Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Of course, I’ve known a lot of the music for this movie for years.  The music was written and performed by the legendary Sherman Brothers, so any Disney fan knows the music.  However, I had never seen the movie, although I certainly knew about it.  For whatever reason I just never got around to seeing it until last night.  I’ve got to tell you, though, I absolutely loved it!  It was so incredibly cool, sappy, funny, musical, and even sad at times.  In watching it, I caught a lot of similarities between this movie and one of my all time favorites — Mary Poppins.

When we were watching Dick Van Dyke’s character, Caractacus, dancing at the carnival with the other men, Sophie remarked to me how it reminded her of the part of Mary Poppins where the chimney sweeps were dancing to Step in Time.  I also saw distinct reminders between Truly’s character and Mary Poppins, not from a standpoint of what they did, but in the role that they both played with the children.

I’m glad that I watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and can check off one more non-Disney Disney movie off my list.  This one is a special movie, and if you haven’t seen it, I urge you to look it up.  In closing, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite songs from the movie — Hushabye Mountain:

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as I said, has it all, and it wraps it all up in a really creative way.  This is one movie that should be on every Disney fan’s list, if it isn’t already.

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!