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Showing posts from June, 2015

Pinocchio

A Disney Tale: A poor woodcutter, Geppetto, wishes on a star that his wooden puppet boy could be alive.  A blue fairy grants his wish and the puppet, Pinocchio, is given life.  On a series of adventures, he learns about right and wrong on his journey to becoming a real, human boy.


Disney Heroine: There is no real 'heroine' in this story and in fact, the only female characters are the Blue Fairy and Cleo the fish.


Disney Hero: Pinocchio is the 'hero' of the story, in as much as he is the main character.  His heroic actions, though, don't really occur until the final act of the film where is saves Geppetto from the belly of Monstro the Whale.  He is an interesting character.  Gullible to a fault, naive and innocent, he only narrowly escapes various terrible fates through the efforts of Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy.  Were it not for them he would either be Stromboli's captive or transformed into a donkey and working in a salt mine.  He is, though,…

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Video Game

Released on the Gameboy Color - and available to play at Game Oldies: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs- this game is not going to be a classic of any genre - Nintendo, Disney or Snow White.

The Easy mode involves walking Snow White (and later, Grumpy) through side-scrolling landscapes: the Queen's castle; a woodland; the diamond mine picking up flowers, butterflies, hearts, bunnies and diamonds.  There are a few hidden passages needed to find some of these but none of these sections are challenging in the least.  The final levels include collecting apples in the forest, a matching card game and then a final, Tetris like minigame which ends play.

In between the levels are other mini-games which are a bit more challenging: Catch the dishes (flicked towards you by a deer); shoot the vultures by reflecting sunlight off a diamond; find your way out of a labyrinth; rearrange a sliding picture puzzle.

The levels and games are separated by short text and illustrated screens telling the story …

Snow White Miscellaneous

There are a number of existing and retired attractions across the various parks which feature elements of Snow White.  Some of these I'll review in more depth in the future (such as the Storybook Land Canal Boats and Fantasmic!) but here's what there is:


* The Candy Cauldron is a sweet shop in Downtown Disney themed around the Queen/Witch.  It specialises in Caramel Apples.
 * Mickey Mouse Revue was an animatronic musical attraction featuring a wide variety of characters including Snow White and the Dwarves.
* Cinderella Castle Mystery Tour was themed around various villains and including the Queen's laboratory.
* Storybook Land Canal Boats
* Fantasmic! 

The wider world of Disney also includes many Snow White elements.  Once Upon a Time (the live action TV series) features characters based on the Queen, Snow White, the Prince, the Mirror and all Seven Dwarves.  It's a series I will definitely get around to at some point in this blog.  Unfortunately due to Channel 5 not purch…

Seven Wise Dwarfs

Seven Wise Dwarfs is an odd cartoon short made during the Second World War when Disney provided a fair bit of propaganda for the war effort; this time for Canada.

It begins with the familiar scenes of the dwarves diamond mining and singing Heigh Ho.  However, when they leave they do not return to their cottage as in the film but to their local Post Office!

Here they discover that they can spend their hard-earned diamonds on War Certificates.  This seems to be a scheme whereby ordinary Canadian citizens could put 'loan' their savings to the war effort to help in funding the building of planes, tanks and the like.  

It is not something I had ever come across before delving into the furthest reaches of the internet as I explore material for this blog and it really stands out as little more than an extended advertisement.  An oddity.

The Reluctant Dragon

A Disney Tale: The Reluctant Dragon is an odd beast.  The original film was a mix of live action and animation and apparently revolved around a man called Robert Benchley attempting to sell the rights to 'The Reluctant Dragon' to Disney, and in doing so taking a tour of the studios.  Eventually, he finds that Disney have already made a cartoon of The Reluctant Dragon which he watches before returning home.

What I'm reviewing is the animation section, The Reluctant Dragon, itself.  This has been released in various forms often under the banner of 'Mini-Classics', minus any of the live action elements from the original film.  It tells the tale of a young boy, an aged knight and a reluctant dragon fooling the local populous into thinking that the knight and the dragon are having a battle, therefore maintaining the reputation of both parties.

Disney Hero: Their are two heroes in The Reluctant Dragon; the 'Boy' and Sir Giles.  The 'Boy' leads…

Snow White Grotto

A small Snow White-themed attraction called Snow White's Grotto appears in three theme parks - Disneyland's California, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

As such it isn't something I have personally visited but from videos it seems a pleasant spot to pause and reflect.  A wishing well similar to the one from the beginning of the Snow White film (and some versions of the dark ride) sits beside a waterfall and pool of water.  At the top of the waterfall is a small statue of Snow White and a deer, and further down are figures of the seven dwarves.  Frogs squirt water into the pool and a trio of fish circle (a fun detail) in the centre.  Snow's song, I'm Wishing plays when people throw a coin into the well (which I imagine means it plays on a constant loop...).

All the statues are plain white and apparently were an anonymous donation to Walt Disney.  Snow White is the same size as the dwarves which is why she has been placed at the top of the waterfall in an attempt to force the pers…

Snow White: Happily Ever After & An Enchanting Musical

I have found videos of 3 musicals based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  

At Disneyland Paris, in 2013 (it's clearly Christmas)  there was a short stage show at Le Theatre de Chateaux area just beside Sleeping Beauty's castle.  Titled Snow White, Happily Ever After, it sees costumed characters of the seven dwarves, Snow White and the Prince singing the classic songs Heigh Ho, Whistle While You Work, The Silly Song and Someday My Prince Will Come (mostly in French).  I can only imagine how difficult it is to dance around in the dwarf costumes with their oversized heads; due credit to the actors inside them for giving the dwarfs any sort of characterisation.

There's an odd scene at the end where the Prince arrives and gives Snow White something which looks like the Key to Time; so I'm not quite sure what was going on there.  There is also a brief interlude where the Evil Queen's voice can be heard and the dwarves surround Snow White and spin around a bit.  

The Quee…

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

The newest attraction to be themed on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Disney World.  It is part of the expanded Fantasyland and is a rollercoaster themed around, obviously, the diamond mine the dwarfs work in.

Only opening in 2014, I've yet to ride it, but as a massive fan of rollercoasters I look forward to putting the experience top of my list when we return to Florida in the future.

Courtesy of Youtube, it looks like a fun, not-too-intense coaster with some good dips and curves.  The highlights look to be the dark ride elements.  The trains pass through the diamond mine allowing riders to witness some amazing animatronic dwarves.  The ride also ends by passing the dwarves' cottage where they are dancing with Snow White to The Silly Song in a set-up highly familiar from the Snow White's Scary Adventures ride.  Indeed, the figures are recycled from that ride as it was closed prior to this ride being opened.  The animatronic witch lurking ou…

Blanche Neige et les sept nains

or...Snow White's Scary Adventures



I've titled this post with the French title for this classic Disney 'dark ride' as that is the version I have most recently ridden.  However, I will take a look back at the Disney World version, as well as using some online sources to compare and contrast the Disneyland California and Tokyo Disney versions.

The 'English' title for this ride is incredibly apt.  Scary is what it is.  After the usual twisty-turny queue line (no fastpass for this one) you are placed into minecarts decorated with squirrels and the like.  The ride first leads you through the dwarves' cottage where you see animals cleaning (as in Whistle While You Work); Snow White climbing the stairs to the bedroom; and the seven dwarves singing and dancing to The Silly Song. 

You then leave the cottage to pass the Queen outside before heading down the mines full of colourful, glittering jewels.  A minecart full of gems heads towards you before leaving the mine and…

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

A Disney Tale: A young princess narrowly avoids death on the command of her evil stepmother.  She shacks up with a group of mining dwarves but the stepmother finds her and puts her to sleep with a poisoned apple.  The dwarves put her inside a glass coffin until a prince comes and kisses her, releasing her from the spell to live happily ever after.



Disney Heroine: Snow White is the first Disney princess, but having viewed this around the same time as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty (my daughter is going through a Disney Princess phase) I would argue that those princesses are what we think of when we talk about Disney Princesses.  Cinderella and Aurora are twee and feminine, but Snow takes it to the extreme.  She is far too twee for my tastes, talking to the animals, cleaning and cooking for the dwarves and fawning over the first man she sets eyes on.  I'm also not sure how old she is supposed to be.  Apparently she is supposed to be 14  which is an increase from the ori…

Another Blog

I have a number of blogs already, mainly about Doctor Who and other sci-fi and fantasy stuff.  A while ago I started writing reviews of Disney films I was watching with my family.  I posted those reviews in my general blog.

However, a recent trip to Disneyland Paris with my family - the first trip for my children, Toby and Imogen - has inspired me to set up a brand new Disney specific blog.

My wife and I are lifelong Disney fans.  We own every Disney animated feature as well as many of their other releases.  We have been to Disney World, Florida, and Disneyland Paris a number of times between us - although I visited neither until I was an adult.  We simply adore the theme parks.

This blog will feature reviews of the Disney films, Disney rides and anything else Disney that takes my fancy.  I may well drop in a few links to the other love of my life, Doctor Who, simply because I probably won't be able to resist.

So, sit back, relax and let's spend some time in the House of Mouse.