As I have discussed on Disney In Depth recently, the purchase of three key film properties – Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm – that have further realized Disney’s influence in the entertainment industry. Even the 2004 acquisition of The Muppets has forever changed the outlook for Jim Henson’s most adored faces. All of these characters unite the geek community, even those who enjoy Disney. In this edition, I will share some popular YouTube videos that spoof Marvel Studios, Pixar, Muppet, Star Wars and “regular” Disney films by featuring some famous personalities from the whole Disney universe.
We Disney aficionados simply cannot obtain enough neat tidbits of trivia, seeking answers to everyday quandaries that strike us. Fortunately, Disney Editions just released a fine trivia book that puts many questions to rest. Dave Smith, Chief Archivist Emeritus of the Walt Disney Archives, has long been known to help fans with this endeavor in his legendary “Ask Dave” column. Now, Smith, author of this fact-filled title Disney Trivia from the Vault: Secrets Revealed and Questions Answered, has compiled together over 1,000 questions, providing responses and well-explained descriptions as well.
In this edition of Disney In Depth, I’ll impart my thoughts on this book, and also share some of the more unique questions and answers that you can find inside Disney Trivia from the Vault. I’ll give you 23 fun facts. Why 23? If you’re a Disney fan you should know the reason. (1923 is the year the company was founded).
At just over 250 pages, this eight-chapter book, each dedicated to a different aspect of The Walt Disney Company, contains a vast variety of little-known pieces of trivia that you can bring up at social events. Well, I’m not sure how relevant bringing up the “Kids Amateur Dog Show” at Disneyland from the 1960s would be, but would you know about that had you not picked up a copy of this? I don’t think so. The allure of trivia books is that they contain such oddball details, each with fascinating and extensive stories, making this a treasure trove.
Welcome to another edition of Disney In Depth! This week, in honor of Disney-Pixar’s most recent feature, Brave, I will be focusing on some of the best elements of Pixar’s films: funny characters. They evoke a laugh or two during perilous scenes, and manage to make us smirk when a situation seems far from humorous. These are the funniest of the bunch, offering a witty quip or inspiring a gag. This animation studio is known for developing deep characters, in both their personalities and designs. Thanks to Pixar’s brilliant team of writers and the talented voice artists who made these images into fully-fleshed individuals, we have a bunch of characters to root for and giggle along with. Here are the ones I find as most hilarious.
A Bug’s Life Blu-ray Edition
Directed by John Lasseter & Andrew Stanton
Starring: Kevin Spacey, Dave Foley, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Denis Leary, Madeline Kahn, Phyllis Diller, John Ratzenberger
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release Date: May 19, 2009
On November 25, 1998, Walt Disney Pictures and the budding Pixar Animation Studio put out their second feature-length computer-animated motion picture after the classic Toy Story, and this movie was called A Bug’s Life. When it came out, the movie cost only $60 million to make, and pulled in over $350 million at the in box office, which was an amazing feat, seconded only by Toy Story‘s $30 million budget and over $350 million box office take. Even with these impressive numbers, Pixar still fought through many troubled times before really taking off and never looking back.
Since then, eight more Pixar movies have been released, and as we all know, they have all been brilliant. Pixar is now majorly considered to be completely fail-proof — and all of this started with the first couple of Toy Story movies and A Bug’s Life.
A Bug’s Life tells the story of a colony of ants who have collected a pile of food in order to pay off a bigger, more-dangerous group of grasshoppers lead by Hopper (Kevin Spacey) who demand payment from the little ants. The colony’s wannabe inventor Flik (Dave Foley), however, uses his latest invention to disastrously lose the entire pile of food into the river, which in-turn angers the grasshoppers, who in-turn demand another pile of food double the size of the initial rations. This would leave the ants without any food at all for themselves for the winter, so they banish Flik for his actions. Eventually, he convinces the Queen (Phyllis Diller) and the Princess (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) to allow him to venture off to Bug City and find the biggest, baddest group of bugs to stand up to the grasshoppers and get rid of them forever. Unfortunately, the bugs he finds may not be quite what they hoped for.