Friday, September 27, 2013

Take To The Air in PLANES!

Well, for those of you who listen to our podcast, Tales From The Mouse House Disneyland Podcast, you'll remember us chatting about the 2011 Disney D23 Expo and all of the awesome movies Disney would be putting out. One of those movies we reviewed was Disney Planes, by Disney Toon Studios. Although Planes takes place in the same 'world' as Cars, it wasn't produced by Disney/Pixar.

From what we were shown at the 2011 D23 Expo, Planes looked to be just as fun and adventurous as Cars, and we had really wanted to see this one in the theater, but...well, we didn't! But fret not young crop duster! If you, like us, did not get a chance to see this heartwarming comedy in the theaters, you'll have another opportunity to see it on November 19, 2013, when it's released on Blu-Ray, DVD, Digital HD AND...On-Demand! Just in time for the Holiday Season!

After spreading its wings in theaters, “PLANES” soars to glorious new heights on Blu-ray, featuring wondrous high definition picture and sound and never-before-seen bonus features, including musical number “Franz’s Song,” deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes featurette that follows Director Klay Hall’s personal journey during the making of the film, a look at the ten greatest aviators in history hosted by ESPN’s Colin Cowherd, and more. 

Directed by Klay Hall (“King of the Hill,” “The Simpsons”), produced by Traci Balthazor-Flynn (“Return to Never Land,” “Bambi II,” “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning”) and written by Jeffrey M. Howard (“Tinker Bell,” “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue”), “PLANES” flew to the top of the U.S. box office this summer, holding altitude as the #1 family movie in America four weekends in a row.

“PLANES” is propelled by a star-studded voice cast that includes Dane Cook (“Louie,” “My Best Friend’s Girl,” “Dan in Real Life”) as Dusty, Stacy Keach (“The Bourne Legacy,” “Nebraska”) as Navy Corsair Skipper, Teri Hatcher (ABC’s “Desperate Housewives,” “Coraline”) as say-it-like-it-is mechanic Dottie, Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep,” “The New Adventures of Old Christine,” “Seinfeld”) as Rochelle, Priyanka Chopra (“Barfi!”) as Ishani, John Cleese (Monty Python, “A Fish Called Wanda”) as Bulldog, Carlos Alazraqui (James Garcia on Comedy Central’s “Reno 911”) as El Chupacabra, Roger Craig Smith (Captain America in Disney XD’s “Marvel’s Avengers Assemble,” voice of Sonic The Hedgehog in “Wreck-It Ralph”) as the world champion racer Ripslinger, Val Kilmer (“Batman Forever,” “Top Gun”) as Bravo and Anthony Edwards (TV’s “ER,” “Top Gun”) as Echo.

(Blu-ray, DVD and Select Digital Retailers)

Exclusive Franz’s Song (approx. 1:40) - Blu-ray & Select Digital Retailers
Produced exclusively for Blu-ray and HD Digital, this never-before-seen completely finished animated song features the German mini-car, Franz Fliegenhosen, who encourages Dusty on his flight.
Klay’s Flight Plan (approx. 15:00) Blu-ray, DVD & Select Digital Retailers
Follow Director Klay Hall’s personal journey during the making of “Planes” and discover why his family connection to aviation made “Planes” his perfect project.  Fly along with Klay as he lands on a working aircraft carrier to get first-hand experience on the flight deck.
Deleted Scenes (approx.. 3:46) Blu-ray & Select Digital Retailers
Director Klay Hall and Producer Traci Balthazor-Flynn introduce deleted scenes from the movie.
1. Training Montage (approx. 2:38)
2. Taj Mahal (approx. 1:08)
Meet the Racers (approx.. 5:50) Blu-ray, DVD & Select Digital Retailers
Featurettes introducing racers El Chupacabra (1:15), Ripslinger (1:15), Dusty (:90), and Ishani (:90). 
Top 10 Flyers (approx. 8:00) Blu-ray & Select Digital Retailers
ESPN’s Colin Cowherd hosts a fun, fast-paced countdown of the greatest aviators in history.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Presenting....Sofia The FIRST!

Review by: Joyce Kessel

On September 17, 2013 Disney Junior’s Popular TV Show “Sofia the First” released on DVD.  I love all things Disney and am aware of this newest Princess in training but this is the first time I have watched the show.  I loved the story, music and Sofia’s character.  She has all the qualities of a Disney Princess. 

Sofia the First is from the makers of Tangled and Wreck-it-Ralph.  Before the episodes begin, be sure to enjoy the previews for Disney’s Frozen out in theaters on Thanksgiving as well as Disney’s Little Mermaid Diamond Edition and the next Tinker Bell Movie: The Pirate Fairy.  I am so excited for all three!!!!
Special Guest Jasmine 

For those of you like me who are familiar with the newest Princess but not as familiar with the TV Series, “Sofia the First” is set in the storybook world of Enchancia and tells the story of Princess Sofia, an adventurous little girl who is learning how to adjust to royal life after her mom marries the king and she becomes a princess overnight.  Sofia quickly discovers that looking like a princess isn't all that difficult, but possessing the characteristics of a true princess – honesty, loyalty, courage, independence, compassion and grace – is what makes one truly royal.   

This Fairytale DVD includes 5 fun-filled episodes from the TV Series, including a special appearance by Princess Jasmine and a Sofia Dress Up Doll Kit.
Dress Up Doll Kit

Synopsis: Your favorite little princess-in-training returns for more music, majesty and magical fun, so get ready to have a ball with Sofia the First! Becoming royalty overnight is every girl’s dream, and Sofia is eager to prove she can be a true princess. Visit an enchanted circus, meet a pet dragon and soar through desert skies with Sofia and Amber on a magic carpet ride!  But when their high-flying adventure veers off course, it’s special guest Princess Jasmine to the rescue with inspiring advice about trying new things, staying strong and trusting yourself. Sparkling with extraordinary song unforgettable characters and thrilling surprises, Ready to Be A Princess opens the door to a whole new world of kindness, helping others and being the best you can be!

The first of the five episodes is titled: “ A Royal Mess”.   

In this episode, James, Sofia’s brother is excited as The Golden Wing Circus, grandest circus in the world, return to Enchancia, and they all sing with joy in the streets.  As they enter the Throne Room of the Castle to ask their father’s permission, James, still full of excitement,  is juggling and is reminded of the dangers of playing in the castle.  As his father leaves to get Sofia’s mother, he continues juggling and breaks the window.  Things gets worse from here when they try to fix it with magic.  Sofia covers for him and he is able to go to the Golden Wing Circus, but she is forbidden to go.  Will James go to the circus or tell the truth? Will Baileywick keep her secret?  Will Amber keep his secret?

Episode 2: The Shy Princess

Sofia attends art class and is paired up with a classmate to build their dream castle. Sofia is paired up with Princess Vivian and the other Princesses do not care for her because she is “strange”.  Sofia learns that is not strange but shy.  She finds beauty in her home and not a dark castle with gnomes and bats.   I like the songs and the message.  

This was my favorite episode. 

Episode 3: Blue Ribbon Bunny

Sofia visits the village fair for the first time as does Clover the Rabbit.  Sofia enters Clover the rabbit.  Since she has always dreamed of riding on the float she has to convince him to enter.  Can she and how will he do?  Clover has high self-esteem and thinks he is a blue ribbon bunny.  Will he win the blue ribbon and will her dreams come true?

Episode 4: The Princess Test

In this episode, Sofia learns a lesson more valuable that the lessons she would learn in the Princess training class.  Will this be enough to pass the test?  Will doing a good deed prevent her from taking the test and becoming a Princess?

Episode 5: Two to Tangu: 

During their first visit to Tangu, Sofia and Amber go on a magic carpet ride and they have trouble navigating their magic carpet, they fear that they may miss the party as they crash land because they cannot control their flying carpet. They get a special visit from Princess Jasmine who teaches them how to train their wild flying carpet.

As with most Disney stories, there are messages for all ages, some that we forget as adults and those that we can teach  younger children and reinforce in older children. 

The run time is approximately 110 minutes and is appropriate for all ages and genders.  Although girls may enjoy it more than boys.  The creator of Sofia the First, Craig Gerber is a Dad with two boys, who love hearing Sofia stories.

The DVD features languages and subtitles in English, French and Spanish.    

Tales From The Mouse House Disneyland Podcast...Episode 79

Welcome to episode 79 of Tales From The Mouse House Disneyland Podcast - another VIDEO VOICEOVER EXTRAVAGANZA!!! On this video greatness, we share some of our favorite memories from Halloween Seasons Past at the Disneyland Resort, our FAVORITE time of year to visit the Happiest Place On Earth! Why you ask? Well...just watch the video...
Halloween Season at Disneyland

Well, honestly part of the reason we love the Halloween Season so much at Disneyland, is because that was the very first time we had visited the Park together. In fact, Halloween Season 2007 was the VERY first time I (Al) had ever visited Disneyland! I know...shocking right? That's a long story, and if you've been tuning in to the show for any length of time, you've most likely heard it before, so I won't bore you guys again! (And a collective sigh of relief could be heard throughout the land!)
Such a BEAUTIFUL sight!

So, if you've NEVER had the fun of a Halloween Season Disneyland visit, trust me, it's something you're going to want to do.  Yeah, the Holiday Season is awesome, so is Spring Time, but for me at least, Halloween is THE best time. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not like a HUGE fan of Halloween. It's an ok 'Holiday', but never been my favorite. BUT...the way Disneyland dresses up the place for Halloween is...oh, I don't know...magical. Yeah, maybe it's because it always
Haunted Mansion Holiday
reminds me of our first visit, but still, you cannot deny that Disneyland does the fall/Halloween season up right! There's a wonderful chill in the air, especially at night; the fall themed decorations everywhere; Cast Members dressed in warmer clothing...everything! If you need a reality break, trust us, THIS is the time to go! One of the things we love during this season is to stop by the Market House, grab a nice cup of hot cocoa and sit either at the Hub or by the big
Fall Colors at Disneyland
Mickey Pumpkin in Town Square near the entrance to Disneyland, and just watch the happy guests! It's awesome to see the little ones all dressed up in Halloween costumes, HUGE smiles on their faces as they meet their favorite Disney characters all dressed up as well. (sniff, sniff), great, now I REALLY miss Disneyland!

Hey, if you have a favorite Halloween Disneyland memory, how about sharing with us? We'd LOVE to share it with other listeners on our Halloween Special coming up in October. In fact, it doesn't HAVE to be a Disneyland story. It could be ANY Disney Park or even just a favorite Halloween story. We always love to hear from you guys! 
Minnie Mouse in Costume

Hey, if YOU'RE in need of a great travel agent, why not give our sponsor, Randy Crane from Mouse Ear Vacations a holler! I bet he can make YOUR vacation a MAGICAL one! Visit Randy at NOW is the time to book your Disneyland Holiday adventure! 

As always, If you’d like to send in comments for the show, you can send us an email to, leave us voicemail on the Hotline at 304-TALES23, leave us feedback in iTunes or leave comments for us on our Twitter account @talespodcast. Heck, you can even find us on FaceBook, just search for Tales From The House House - Disneyland podcast! If you'd like to listen to the show, you can find it on iTunes, on our podcast site at, the direct episode link: Episode 79, or on Stitcher Radio now! Just visit and search for Tales From The Mouse House - Disneyland Podcast!



Thanks for making us part of your Disney experience and remember…

"Make It A Mickey Day!" ~~ Al & Joyce

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hi Ho Silver....AWAY!!!!

Bring the magic home to watch over and over again! 

Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer star in The Lone Ranger, from Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Director Gore Verbinski. It’s a wild ride of high velocity action, explosions and gunfights that brings the famed masked legend to life through brand-new eyes. The Lone Ranger (Hammer), the last of his kind, teams with Tonto (Depp), a dark and mysterious vigilante, to seek vengeance after justice has failed them. It’s a runaway train of epic surprises, as these two unlikely heroes must learn to work together before the ultimate showdown between good and evil explodes.

On December 17, 2013, Disney will release The Lone Ranger on Blu-Ray and DVD! The Blu-Ray+DVD+Digital Copy will include:

  • Blooper Reel (YEAH!).
  • Deleted Scenes.
  • Riding The Rails Of The Lone Ranger - For the production of the movie, director Gore Verbinski had a five mile oval track built along with multiple engines and cars. See the incredible effort that went into crafting such a detailed and important part of The Lone Ranger.
  • Armies's Western Road Trip - Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger) takes viewers on a tour of the scenic locations the production shot in as we see and learn more about the amazing places he went to become The Lone Ranger.
  • Becoming a Cowboy - Before the cast began shooting the film, they had to learn how to shoot a gun…and ride a horse. In this piece we follow the cowboy (and cowgirl) cast to boot camp, where they got a chance to experience what their characters would really be living like in the Wild West.
Disney's The Lone Ranger runs about 2 1/2 hours and is rated PG-13

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Super Buddies To The Rescue!

Here they come to save the day!!!! Disney's beloved and "SUPER" adorable "Buddies" are back in an all new movie for the whole family! 

That's right citizen, Budderball, Mudbud, B-Dawg, Buddha and Rosebud are all back and this time, they're super-charged and out for fun! This time, our super cute pups discover mysterious rings that grant them each a unique super power, and unleash their amazing new talents in a race to the rescue when a shape shifting bully from another planet threatens Ear-Th (yep, you'll have to watch the movie to understand THAT one!). But before they can take down the baddie, they have to learn how to harness their new found powers from none other than...Captain Canine himself!!
Colin Hanks voices Captain Canine

Ok, so to be totally honest, this straight to Blu-Ray and DVD movie isn't something that everyone will enjoy, or even get! It IS marketed for the whole family, but truthfully, only the younglings will really appreciate it fully. That being said...I liked it. I thought it was way up there on the "cute meter", but then, I'm a sucker for talking puppies! As you'd expect in a Disney movie with talking animals, Super Buddies is chock full of one liners, puns and silliness and humans acting goofy!

Although, as I mentioned, this IS a children's film, the plot is kind of flimsy. Without giving too much away (remember, we're as spoiler free as can be), Budderball's owner, Bartleby Livingstone (played by Trey Loney), is a wanna be comic
Super Buddies
book writer. Seems he's been collecting this toy rings that come in Budderball's bag of kibble, and now he has the complete set! He's also a fan of the comic book, Captain Canine and Kid Courageous. Now, Captain Canine, according to the comic book, is actually a hero from outer space who launched power rings out of his spaceship to avoid the evil Drex, who wants to possess the rings and RULE THE UNIVERSE!!! 
Super Buddies ASSEMBLE!

And what would a Disney movie be without a message to deliver? Well...probably not a Disney movie but that's beside the point! Anyway, the moral of this story really isn't hard to find, but it is an important one for kids. Especially today, when it's tough to find a proper positive message to be had. The Buddies discover that although it is cool to have super powers, it's not the POWERS that make you super, or's YOU. Just as you are. Now, this may sound cliche and a bit cornball, but it's a great message for children to hear. I and for one loved it!

John Ratzenberger as Grandpa
Of course, the action, one liners and silliness tend to be over the top but as I mentioned...for kids...not adults. Super Buddies, as are all the entries in Disney's Buddies franchise, is a cute, action packed and yes, even message driven movie that will appeal to just about anyone. Plus, Disney/Pixar favorite John Ratzenberger plays Bartleby's Grandpa, the incomparable Tim Conway plays the voice of Deputy Sniffer (a bloodhound) and Colin Hanks (son of Sheriff Woody!) plays the voice of Captain Canine!

Super Buddies in training!

Disney's Super Buddies is certainly a must own for anyone with children, or for anyone who likes a good talking dogs save the world movie! 

Available now on DVD+Digital copy for $29.99 SRP and 2-Disc Blu-Ray+DVD+Digital Copy Combo Pack for $36.99 SRP. Running time is about 88 minutes. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2013 D23 Expo Coverage...

Hey gang, episode 76 of Tales From The Mouse House Disneyland Podcast featured our good friend Faye Crane who graciously covered the 2013 Disney D23 Expo for Tales. As you may remember, we were granted ONE Press Credential for the Expo, but with our current situation were not able to make the trip. So, in our stead, Faye did a terrific job of covering this awesome Disney Fan Event! And as an added bonus, Faye wrote a detailed blog for you! Enjoy...

Disney D23 Expo 2013
by Faye Crane

Well, this year is the first time I was able to use/have a Press Pass. And that was a little exciting at first. I was wondering what I might be able to see and do with it more than the usual public. I mean, the Expo is always fun, but I was very curious how much more I was going to be able to do this year, because of the pass. 
Faye Crane

On Friday morning, the first thing that I was able to do, because of the Press Pass, was to be able to have a sneak peek at the Phineas and Ferb Waffle-inator Challenge and to catch a glimpse of the upcoming double-length episode that is a cross-over between Phineas & Ferb and the Marvel Universe.  It is called Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel and its premise is that the Marvel Super Heroes have lost their powers and they need the help of Phineas and Ferb to get them back. There we were able to talk with, get pictures with, and meet the voices of several of the stars—such as Vincent Martella, Alyson Stoner, Dan Povenmire, Jeff “Swampy” Marsh, Adrian Pasdar (I personally liked him as Nathan Petrelli on Heroes), Drake Bell, Fred Tatasciore, Roger Graig Smith, Bumper Robinson and Laura Bailey. That was fun, and yummy. Yes they served us breakfast. Well, waffles of course!

From there I got in line, I thought, to get what was called a StagePass. It is very much like the FastPass in the parks. The only catch was that you could get one during a segment of time (which was from 11am to 3pm or from 3pm to 6pm). These passes were good for Stage 23 and Stage 28. Those StagePasses were not good for any other sessions. So I went all the way up to Stage 23, and then had to be redirected down to the show floor and that was the only time Friday that I was there. There I got my StagePass for “Undiscovered Disneyland.” I went back upstairs to Stage 23 and was able to get in for my session of the morning, “Behind the Scenes of Walt Disney’s Mary Poppins”. That was so much fun. It was presented by Dave Smith, founder and Chief Archivist Emeritus of the Walt Disney Archives. He is so much fun! There I learned about how Walt found the stories of Mary Poppins (it was a bed time story for his daughters), and that it was Roy O. Disney who managed to convince the infamous P.L. Travers to come on board, not Walt (who tried for 20 years).  One of the things that convinced P.L. Travers to seal the deal was that Walt gave her final say-so with the script…though they didn’t always stick to what she said.
Mickey Mouse and Friend
For example, she was very against the American term, “The cat got your tongue”. She demanded that it was to be taken out, and at the time the writers (song and script) did so. But if you pay attention to some parts of the movie, it didn’t stay out. 
I also learned that Julie Andrews was not Walt’s original choice for Mary Poppins. It was Mary Margaret. But Walt soon was convinced that Julie would be a good fit after seeing her on Broadway in Camelot.  She accepted the role of Mary Poppins only if she didn’t get the role she really wanted, the role that ended up going to Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady. At the Academy Awards that year, Julie won Best Actress and not Audrey Hepburn. Julie was not given the role in My Fair Lady because the studio thought that they should have someone with more stage performance experience. Boy, I bet they were hitting themselves over that one.

I thought that “Undiscovered Disneyland” was fun, and the ones that were presenting it were Tony Baxter and Josh Shipley. They showed a lot of old-time film footage of how Disneyland used to be. In fact, they found so much that they renamed it “Rediscovered Disneyland”. That was fun, but I had to leave before it was done, because my Press Pass allowed me in on two of the sessions that afternoon that I don’t think I would have been able to get in otherwise. One of them was starting before this one ended (though “Rediscovered Disneyland” was running a bit late anyway.) 
That one was “Dave Bossert Remembers Roy E. Disney with Roy P. Disney”. This session was interesting.
Roy Disney
We got to “meet” Roy E. Disney both professionally and personally. He apparently didn’t start off working for the family business. He was originally with another studio as a page boy. After that job dissolved, he then went on and applied as the assistant film editor within the Disney Company. He was the one who pursued the Cal Arts dream after Walt passed away, though he was not an artist by trade, but more of a story teller. Throughout the years he moved though different positions, some with ease and some not so much. I learned here that he loved to fly and he started doing so at the age of 16. He also loved the Animal Kingdom and that Fantasia was his favorite movie. I also learn that thanks to his passion for the family business that he himself is the one that pulled it out of the red a couple of times to keep it going.

Disney Imagineering Legend Marty Sklar was the next and last session I went to that day. He has been at the opening of all 11 properties for the Disney Company and has been the only Imaginer to do so. As much as I wanted to hear about his experiences being Walt Disney’s literary right hand man, his monotone voice lost me so quick. I had a hard time tracking with what he was saying. Though I do know that he has written a book, and he was very proud of it. It is titled Dream It! Do It!

Bright (well, rather it was overcast, but you get the idea) and early Saturday we showed up and I had to get in line right away for the D23 Arena. That line was so long, and I really didn’t think I was that far back. There was a worker right in front of me who was telling the people in front of me that he had so far counted off 2,000, and I was thinking sweet, I get to go into the Arena, not the overflow (the overflow was new this year, and increased the number of people who got to see the Arena presentations by quite a bit). Which is good, because I was told the night before that the Press Pass would not get me any special privileges or special entry into it. Boy, could that worker not be any more off. I did end up going into the overflow. I was in line to see the “Let the Adventures Begin: Live Action at the Walt Disney Studios.” It was so worth it.

I got to see clips from the upcoming Marvel, Disney, and Muppets movies. And all promise to be really good (with the exception of maybe one)! I would have to say that I am looking forward to all of the Marvel movies! They didn’t have a whole lot to show for Iron Man 3, but Captain America: Winter Soldier, Thor 2, and Averages 2 all look really cool and exciting!! And that is saying something from a girl who doesn’t read a whole lot of comics. The one movie that really stood out to me that I want to really see is Maleficent! That is due to come out July 2014, my birthday month! The clips from that movie gave me goose bumps! It comes from the Maleficent’s point of view and how she got where she is when we see her in Sleeping Beauty. That looks really good! Angela Jolie then came out and talked a little bit about her role (Maleficent), the movie, and the making of the movie. The Muppets movie looks to really good, that is if you like the Muppets anyway! The villain looks like he is Kermit’s evil twin and he has an accent, so it was kind of funny to watch. I hate to say it, but the two movies that I’m not very impressed with are Tomorrowland and Saving Mr. Banks. Which makes me sad, because I love mysteries so I would have to be more intrigued with Tomorrowland (especially if they maybe presented it differently). If anything I was turned off from it.  And as for Saving Mr. Banks, I was turned off from it, because as much as I love Tom Hanks, he doesn’t do Walt Disney very well. His phony accent seemed just that that and doesn’t settle well with me. 
YIKES! She's NOT Under The Sea!!

So, as soon as I was done with that session I came out of the overflow, and went and found my husband, had lunch, and then we got back in line for the Legends Ceremony. The Legends this year were Tony Baxter, Collin Campbell, Dick Clark, Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Jobs, Glen Keane, and Ed Wynn. I was proud to say that I knew six of the names and roughly what they were known for, so that made it exciting and in some ways, it kind of felt personal. Both Bob Iger and Tom Bergeron were giving the inductions and the back stories of those who being presented with the awards. I won’t say that I got emotional over really much of it, but I felt touched by some in a deep way.
A Concert For The Ages

The line for the event of the weekend, Richard Sherman and Alan Menken: The Disney Songbook, was starting to fill up long before we got out of the Legends Ceremony. So we got right back in line again. That concert was so very cool. I was more raised during Alan Menken’s time, but nonetheless I was felt like I was back in time, during a simpler time, and just able to relax. It was fun! And yes Alan has a much better singing voice than Richard, but Richard had his music memorized and so, I think, he was able to relax a lot more of his segment of the concert. It was easy to tell that both of these men have a passion for music and they love what they did for Disney.

On Sunday, I was only able to get into three as well. The first one was “Secrets of the Lost Chords.” Here Randy Thornton, who is a Disney music historian, was able to give some insight about how and why some music that has been created over the years and then never used, along with some extra story lines or plots that were brought about with those songs. Such as a song that was supposedly between the butler and the maid in 101 Dalmatians was uncovered that would turned the plot of the movie completely around. It was titled “How Much You Mean to Me/Court Me Slowly”; let’s just say that it was a courting relationship where both parties weren’t being entirely truthful about the reason why they were in the relationship to begin with (greed is such mean and deceiving thing). And there was going to be a song with the story line from Cinderella about a dress that her mother wore. So as you can see, just with these two examples it would have turned the movies all around. Randy would first play the original recording of the song with the very basic instrumentation and then he has gone back though, found the sheet music, hired some singers, given the music to a full orchestra, and let them perform the music the way that it was originally supposed to be. It was awesome! To hear the music, the back stories, and everything else, wow!
Early Autopia - Walt Had A Special Car!

The next workshop had to do with talking with different women in different roles all around Pixar. There was a director, a producer, and three animators. They talked about what they do, what they did before Pixar, how they got into Pixar, the roles that women can play in Pixar, and where they see them going. Very good, and very worth it! I just wish I was able to sit up closer to the front. I was able to learn a lot. (Such as if you really want some thing, go after it, even if it takes 46 times to get there. One of the women had 46 interviews, before she was able to get hired on by Pixar.) 

“Leave ‘em Laughing” was the last session I went to and that was where the Imagineers Dave Fisher, Joe Lanzisero, Kevin Rafferty, Jason Surrell, and George Scibner were all were discussing humor and  how it has been used in movies and throughout the parks. Such as the fact, that an Imaginer, at Walt’s insistence, went to the park shortly after it opened and check it out. Marc Davis went down to the park and rode the Jungle Cruise (not the Pirates of the Caribbean, like I first thought and said on the podcast). At that time the Jungle Cruise was just an educational boat ride, and was not funny at all. Marc went back to Walt and told him that it needed something. It needed to be funny, or else it wouldn’t fly. Walt took his advice and soon started putting humor in that ride (in different ways, i.e. the men going up the pole with the rhino right below them, or the line of the gorillas finally getting the jeep to turn over) as well as many others throughout the park and movies to come. These Imaginers especially had fun in creating Toontown, and it was fun to hear them crack each other and themselves up with the different humor slides that they had planted.
The Infamous Hatbox Ghost

I also got to see countless people dress up in various costumes, throughout the three days, countless imaginers taking time to explain a concept to a guest, a child or adult alike look in awe at the dream or story of what the Disney company is glad to show us in whatever concept they have (i.e. painting, a statue, a drawing). It is kind of breathtaking to try to take in impact that one man can have long after he is gone.

Overall, I had a really good time and I’m very glad that I got to go. The imagination, the creativity, the stories, and most importantly the people behind the Disney company is shown much appreciation many times in the people that the come to these Expos who show up in their own costumes, their own stores, and loyalty to attending the different sessions, workshops, ceremonies, show floor, and concerts. Thanks to Al and Joyce I was able to.

You're VERY welcome Faye, we're glad that we were able to assign the Press Credential to you! And thank YOU for doing such a wonderful job of covering this event!  - Al & Joyce

Monday, September 9, 2013

College...Monsters Style!

Hey gang, our favorite Monsters are back in the movie Chris Nashawaty from Entertainment Weekly called “Hilarious and heartwarming”

On October 29, 2013, Monsters University is coming to YOUR house!! And you can pick up the Digital HD and Digital HD 3D Versions on October 8, 2013 

After scaring up big laughs in theaters, the in-home release of “Monsters University” opens its doors to the movie in stunning high definition Blu-ray, and provides hours of all-new bonus material, in-depth behind the scenes features, deleted scenes, the animated theatrical short “The Blue Umbrella” and much more.  Directed by Dan Scanlon ("Cars," "Mater and the Ghostlight," "Tracy"), produced by Kori Rae ("Up," "The Incredibles," "Monsters, Inc."), and written by Dan Scanlon and Robert Baird & Dan Gerson (“Monsters, Inc.”), “Monsters University” marks Pixar’s 14th consecutive film to debut at number one at the box office.  

Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike's plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, "Sulley" (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair's out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University's elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right. “Monsters University” bravely explores themes of self-discovery and the revelations that come with growing up. 

Joining Crystal and Goodman as part of “Monsters University’s” monstrously talented voice cast are Steve Buscemi (voice of Randy Boggs), Helen Mirren (voice of Dean Hardscrabble), Alfred Molina (voice of Professor Knight), Charlie Day (voice of Art), Sean P. Hayes (voice of Terri Perry), Dave Foley (voice of Terry Perry), Nathan Fillion (voice of Johnny Worthington) and Aubrey Plaza (voice of Claire Wheeler). Featuring a score from recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and award-winning composer Randy Newman ("Monsters, Inc.," "Toy Story 3")

Bonus Materials Overview for These Products:
 Digital HD
4-Disc Blu-ray 3-D Superset (3D + 2BD + DVD + Digital Copy)
3-disc Blu-ray 2-D Superset (2BD + DVD + Digital Copy)
3-Disc Blu-ray 2-D Combo Pack  (2 BD + DVD)

High-Definition & Standard Definition Digital 
Bonus offerings vary per select digital retailers
Campus Life – What's it like being on a production crew at Pixar? Get a look at a day in the life of the “Monsters University” crew through their own eyes.
Story School – This documentary examines the challenges of creating a prequel as well as themes that run through the story, and the change in focus from Sulley to Mike.  We'll also look at how gags are developed – from writing jokes to brainstorming a million ideas, only 5% of which actually end up in the movie.
Scare Games – At Pixar, we play hard while we work.  The same people who keep the film production moving - producers, managers, coordinators and artists - are also the ones who bring spirit and excitement to some of our extracurricular activities. We check out the MU production teams as they go head to head in the mostly playful Pixar Scare Games competitions. 
Welcome to MU – Sets aren't just buildings, they are the worlds our characters live in and explore.  This look at the Monsters University campus and its development is told from the perspective of the artists who created each piece of the campus from the architecture to the ivy leaves.  .
Music Appreciation – Randy Newman's scores are a mainstay of Pixar films, and this documentary will give you a privileged look at his creative process.  We follow the “Monsters University” scoring process from spotting to writing and on to the scoring session. including special college-themed recording sessions.
Scare Tactics – Animators are actors who digitally bring the characters to life. In this look at how the MU animation team worked, you’ll see their process of how they channeled their own monster-selves and created moments on screen that were really funny, really scary and also really serious, sometimes all at the same time.  
Color and Light – How can a single painting set the tone for an entire scene? We'll look at the creation of the colorscripts and how they were realized technically in the final film.  Along with the process, this piece explores the many layers of technical innovation required to produce such a naturalistic feel.
Paths to Pixar - MU Edition – When one door closes, sometimes another door opens – one with an even more exciting opportunity behind it. Members of the MU crew tell their own compelling backstories and share the challenges they overcame along their paths to Pixar.
Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective – Explore the difficulties in creating characters that are 20 years younger with tools that are 10 years more advanced in this contrasting look at the differing technical challenges that arose when making “Monsters, Inc.,” and “Monsters University.” 
Deleted Scenes – Four separate scenes – “Rivalry,” “Recon,” “Movie Night,” and “Drama Class” - are highlighted with an introduction from director Dan Scanlon.
“The Blue Umbrella” – This animated short film from Pixar Animation Studios, directed by Saschka Unseld and produced by Marc Greenberg, played in theaters in front of "Monsters University." “The Blue Umbrella” tells the story of an evening commute in which the rain starts to fall and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters. And in the midst, two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall eternally in love.
Additional Bonus Features - Audio Commentary, Promo Picks, College Campaign, Theatrical Campaign, Set Flythroughs, Art Gallery and more!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tales From The Mouse House Disneyland Podcast...Episode 78

Welcome to episode 78 of Tales From The Mouse House Disneyland Podcast! Well, we're back to a more 'normal' format this time around. No special interviews. No special coverage. Just us. Doing what we do. Sharing Disney Magic with YOU!

So, we kind of went a little long in Host Chat. What can we say? We had a lot to share. But it's fun. Well, kind of. Joyce and I chatted about what's going on around the old Tales House including what we HOPE is the start of a cooler season here in Arizona. Man it's been HOT! I mean like, Africa hot! Today was kind of a nice day, overcast, rainy. But still on the warm side but hey, it's a start, right?

Narrated by Al Kessel
We also chatted about my (Al) recent audiobook completion. This one marks number six for me and is titled The Warrior and the Flower, by Camille Picott. This was truly a fun book to narrate. I know what you're thinking: you HAVE to say that. Well, not really. But I really mean it. This was really a great novel. It's an Asian Fantasy, all about this ragged and worn warrior who adopts an eight year old girl. Well, saves her from a life of misery really. While he's trying to figure out just how to raise a little girl, he's also battling some pretty nasty villains in an effort to save the World Kingdom from total anarchy. See? Told you it was fun! The audiobook was approved recently by the author and should be up for purchase by the end of September at and iTunes. 

And of course, we shared a couple reviews. Joyce shared a few of her favorite attractions at Disneyland, and I shared a food review on Disneyland's Rancho Del Zocallo. If you like Mexican food, well, trust me, you'll have to tune in to my review. 

PLUS, and this is AWESOME news...our great friend and podcast sponsor Randy Crane from Mouse Ear Vacations has signed on for another sponsorship year! It's great to have Randy as part of the Tales Family and we're both very grateful for all he's done for the show. Thanks Randy! Everyone, send Randy a BIG thank you on Facebook!! 

We'll be sharing Faye Crane's D23 Expo coverage in an upcoming blog this week, so if you missed her episode (76), you can read all about it. Then go back and listen. Cuz there's no excuse. You MUST listen!! 

Congrats Jason!
What else....OH, we also announced the winner of our Ben G. Pirates Of The Caribbean Four Movie Blu-Ray Collection Trivia Contest Giveaway! We had a LOT of entries this time around, but only a few were correct. And the lucky winner of that AWESOME giveaway is....(insert drumroll here) Jason Gordon! Congrats Jason! Thanks to EVERYONE for entering and keep an ear out for some great contests coming up soon. 

Hey, if YOU'RE in need of a great travel agent, why not give our sponsor, Randy Crane from Mouse Ear Vacations a holler! I bet he can make YOUR vacation a MAGICAL one! Visit Randy at NOW is the time to book your 2015 Disney D23 Expo adventure! 

As always, If you’d like to send in comments for the show, you can send us an email to, leave us voicemail on the Hotline at 304-TALES23, leave us feedback in iTunes or leave comments for us on our Twitter account @talespodcast. Heck, you can even find us on FaceBook, just search for Tales From The House House - Disneyland podcast! If you'd like to listen to the show, you can find it on iTunes, on our podcast site at, the direct episode link: Episode 78, or on Stitcher Radio now! Just visit and search for Tales From The Mouse House - Disneyland Podcast!

Thanks for making us part of your Disney experience and remember…

"Make It A Mickey Day!" ~~ Al & Joyce