Posts Tagged ‘first’

The Little Mermaid was the very first movie that I saw in theaters. My mom said that I spent the entire movie literally sitting on the edge of my seat, not saying a peep, eyes glued to the screen.

To this day I love that movie – Prince Eric is totally dreamy (for an animated character) and Ursula is one of my favorite baddies of all time.


Suffice it to say I’ve been excited about Ariel: The Undersea Adventure at Disney’s California Adventure ever since I heard they were going to start building it…and it’s FINALLY OPEN!



I love the King Triton statue on the front of the building

I would describe the attraction as a mix of a Fantasyland dark ride (taking you through a condensed version of the story) and Haunted Mansion (continuously moving Shell vehicles).


It takes you through all the best songs — including a HUGE Under the Sea area. It really does a great job of immersing you in the scenes.

Ariel "Under the Sea" (Image via Instagram)

Kiss the Girl - my fav movie scene (image via Instagram)

King Triton, in the final scene (image via Instagram)

The most amazing part of the attraction is the animatronic characters. I’ve never seen any look so lifelike before! It’s like they’ve literally plunked you into the movie with these characters — Ursula is especially impressive in her movements.

Ursula, larger than life (image via Instagram)

We luckily got the chance to ride it back when they were still doing previews and had no wait, but I’ve ridden it once since then as well now that it’s officially open, and I definitely foresee myself dragging everyone I’m with on it regardless of the ridiculous wait times throughout the summer. Luckily even a long line feels like it’s moving pretty quick with the continuously loading vehicles. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s a fan of the film!

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I love pretty much all incarnations of Peter Pan: Disney’s 1953 Peter Pan, the Peter Pan tv special starring Mary Martin, Hook, 2003’s Peter Pan, Finding Neverland. You name it, I will read it or watch it if it concerns our favorite lost boys and gangs of somewhat-surly pirates (scariness varies from one adaptation to another).

So even though I’m not exactly part of the demographic for a preschool aged show, you can bet I wanted to be at the D23 event giving us a sneak peak of Disney Jr’s new show Jake & The Neverland Pirates.


Disney Jr is the new name for Playhouse Disney, and Jake is the first new show under the Disney Jr name. After a few months on the Disney Channel in the mornings (like Playhouse Disney is now) Disney Jr is planning on migrating to it’s very own channel! I’m sure this is very exciting news to babysitters, nannys and moms & dads alike 😉


About to head into the theater

First there was a screening of the first two 11-minute episodes that will make up a half hour of Jake & the Neverland Pirates. I have to say — again, as someone that doesn’t have kids and isn’t 4 myself — that this is a VERY cute show. Jake & his crew, Izzy and Cubby  (voiced by Colin Ford, Maddison Pettis from The Game Plan and Jonathan Morgan Helt respectively) have adventures around Neverland and try and avoid/outwit Captain Hook, Smee and the rest of his dastardly pirate crew. Myself, and the rest of the audience, laughed out loud quite a few times, especially when Captain Hook was around.

After that there was a brief panel with: Story Editor Mark Seidenberg, Executive Producer Rob LaDuca (who also worked on the Gummi Bears, Duck Tales and Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers back in the day!), and voice actors extraordinaire Corey Burton (the voice of Captain Hook for the past 25 years!) and Jeff Bennett  (voice of Smee). They had a lot of fun talking about how the Neverland on the show is similar yet different to the Neverland we’ve seen before (Tink is off in Pixie Hollow for one thing…) D23 Disney Geek/Moderator  Jeffrey Epstein got the voice talent to do a lot of their iconic voices too, which was really neat to see in person.

Following the panel there was some mix and mingle time outside, where you got to meet Captain Hook himself!

Captain Hook and Me

Me & the Captain

Captain Hook and the Neverland Pirate kids!

Captain Hook with Izzy (Maddison Pettis) & Jake (Colin Ford)

Let’s just say there’s a possibility I may be watching Jake & the crew if I ever find myself with a lot of downtime & Disney Jr is on…

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Recently I’ve been reading up more on my interest in animation — finding artist or studio blogs, twitter feeds, etc… And here and there for the past few months many of them had been mentioning the “CTN Animation eXpo 2010”. Well, curiosity struck, and I did some searching, and discovered that the animation expo was in only it’s second year, and was going to be on a weekend in November in Burbank! (For the record, that’s really close to me — I’d actually even stayed in the hotel it was hosted at before)

Well, I checked in on it periodically, and watched as the panels got locked down and the list of awesome people and studios attending continued to climb…but wasn’t really sure I was going to go. I mean, obviously everyone who goes to Comic Con and the like aren’t directly involved in that profession. But this seemed like a smaller more career-oriented expo, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Cut to the Saturday evening of expo weekend…when I decide that on SUNDAY I’m going to go to CTN!

I’m really glad I decided to go — it was a really fun, intimate expo with a lot of really cool stuff! Allow me to explain:

One of the first things I found when arriving at the expo was this guy:


They had an actor surrounded by chairs for sketching! It shouldn’t really be surprising at an animation expo, but I thought it was a really cool hands-on aspect.

Later in the day he looked like this:


I actually got to the expo JUST in time to stand in the back of the room for the Untangling the Look of Tangled panel. Lucky me because it was a really great panel — including Art Director Dave Goetz and Supervising Animator Clay Kaytis, it was all about how they created the look of Tangled by referencing classic Disney films (like Cinderella and Pinocchio) and Disneyland, art direction for Rapunzel, and how they made all that hair (technically speaking). There were some great video clips of Glen Keane giving people notes on their shots — the faces he makes while drawing mimic the drawings and are HILARIOUS.


The Tangled Panel

I didn’t have as much luck getting into the Story Begins panel featuring story artists from different studios, but I managed to squeeze into the overflow viewing room for a few minutes at least to get some insight into how story artists collaborate with the writers, and the storyboarding process 🙂

After that it was time to wander! I wanted to check out the How to Train Your Dragon panel, but knew I didn’t stand a chance with the line… there were plenty of booths to look at though — so many artists had set ups showcasing a variety of projects. My favorite was the booth for Peck N Paw and the Black Mirror — a book made by the visual development artists at Disney. Basically they got the title as a jumping off point, and each person interpreted a story. Victoria Ying was at the booth, and she had some gorgeous sketches out for sale (unfortunately, I’m a little broke and kind of out of wall space). You can check out her art on her blog though!

One whole room of booths was dubbed “Opportunity Alley” and showcased schools and studios. Animation Mentor was there, which made me think of my friend Kellie! The studios were also critiquing peoples’ portfolios, which was really neat. I, of course, had to go say hi to the Disney Feature Animation booth while I was there 😉

As I was heading out, there was a big crowd by the Demo Area. They had some model sculptors, and someone working on some CG projects on a computer. At the traditional animation desk though, was Eric Goldberg! I geek-ily recognize him from some documentaries and Disney DVD bonus features, but for those of you who are not quite as nerdy, he animated the Genie in Aladdin and Louis in Princess and the Frog (among others).


He was working on Rabbit, from Winnie the Pooh

All in all, it was a really fun and pretty informative day. I’m so glad I spur-of-the-moment decided to go, and I’ll definitely be showing up next year!

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