Showing 1 - 10 of 14 posts found matching keyword: disney

The 18th Annual Batman and Football Month got off to an inauspicious start last night when my cable provider Spectrum unexpectedly dropped ESPN from its lineup without warning just as Florida was preparing to kick off the season against Utah.

Apparently Disney wants Spectrum to pay a boatload for the privilege of sharing the same content you can get directly through a subscription to Disney+, and negotiations have stalemated as Spectrum rightly fears trying to pass that charge along to their subscribers like me, who are already paying $110 a month for a package that somehow no longer includes ESPN or ESPN2 or the SEC Network (or Disney or FX or nearly a score of others I can't say as I watch much).

I assume this tactic is intended to make me call Spectrum and demand they raise my rates to get ESPN back. Given that Disney and the other Hollywood producers don't seem very interested in paying writers or actors to create other content — today marks day 122 of the WGA strike and day 49 of the SAG strike — they rightly recognize that live sports is currently (and perhaps for perpetuity in the age of AI) their most valuable commodity.

While I respect Disney's right to try to negotiate for Spectrum's 15 million subscribers, I'm not particularly happy about becoming a pawn in these hardline tactics or the timing of all of this coming at the dawn of football season, especially since for the foreseeable future, it looks like I'll have to leave my house if I want to watch Monday Night Football or a wide selection of college games. It sure seems like Hollywood doesn't really care who they inconvenience in their quest for the biggest possible buck, and that just plain sucks. I won't forget this. As my father always says, pigs get fed and hogs get slaughtered.

And Gators... Gators lose 11-24, according to my local evening news. So it's not all bad. The University of Florida football team losing is a good start to any season.

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Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish® Special Edition Disney Mickey Mouse Cheddar crackers. You know, for kids.

If I squint hard enough, I can just about make out that it's supposed to be... Princess Leia?

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First sign of spring! (har, har)

All in the Golden Afternoon

Yes, those are the singing pansies from Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Mom wanted some colorful flowers in the yard. I added the Cheshire Cat for fun.

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Fifty-six movies and counting since the start of March. It's almost like something has been making me stay inside and watch movies....

67. (1721.) Floyd Norman: An Animated Life (2016)
A documentary of Floyd Norman, an animator on The Jungle Book among many other interesting things. He's even been named a Disney Legend, a title conveyed by the company on people of its choosing "for the significant impact they have made on the Disney legacy," which might be more impressive if they hadn't given the same award to Barbara Walters after Disney bought ABC.

68. (1722.) The Group (1966)
On more than one occasion I thought "why am I still watching this dishwater dull soap opera?" The answer, I guess, is because it was Candice Bergen's first film role. She's okay, though the role really doesn't ask much from her. Larry Hagman is more interesting in his trademark role as "the Asshole."

69. (1723.) Sunrise at Campobello (1960)
The true inspiring story of how FDR overcame polio to become president! It was very clearly a stage play first, and as it strongly relies on characters standing still and making speeches, it doesn't actually get good until Franklin is strong enough to consider a return to politics.

70. (1724.) Nickelodeon (1976)
This is close to a being a good movie, but it's badly let down by weak characters and a lack of overall story direction. (What's the point of it all? Is it a history? A romance? It's definitely not a comedy.) I watched it in the director's intended black-and-white format on TCM, and I can only imagine how much worse it would be as originally released by the studio in color.

72. (1726.) The Great Buster (2018)
Another documentary, this time about Buster Keaton, who oddly is not a Disney Legend despite the fact his genius movie Steamboat Bill, Jr — that's the one where the building facade falls on him and he narrowly escapes harm because he's standing in a window — was the inspiration for the title of Mickey Mouse's first talkie, Steamboat Willie. I guess they have to draw the line somewhere.

More to come.

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The Hollywood Reporter reports the totally inevitable news that Disney is remaking Bambi as a "live-action feature" as a "companion piece to its remakes The Jungle Book and The Lion King." I can't tell you how much it bothers me that Disney insists on calling its computer-generated eye-candy "live-action." I also can't tell you exactly why.

A large part of it must be related to my distaste for Disney itself. I once had a great deal of respect for the company that Walt built on the back of an animated mouse. Mr. Disney was an imperfect man, but he really did believe in making disposable entertainment into art. His successors less so. These days, the powers-that-be at Disney are obsessed solely in their quest to be the only entertainment company on earth. They'll do anything that gets them an extra almighty dollar, mostly including exploiting pre-packaged nostalgia for Walt's corpse.

However, a bigger problem is the lie itself. Computers are powerful, but outside of Weird Science, they remain incapable of breathing life into binary code. Nothing about The Lion King was live action, but Disney has been very careful to avoid saying so. (For example, they refused to submit the movie for consideration for Best Animated Feature Film Oscar.) I don't know why. Movies aren't real to begin with, so why mislead people about how they are made?

It increasingly looks like we're living in a post-truth society. The man in the White House can't say two sentences without a lie. Facebook will not restrict political campaigns from spreading intentional, demonstrable mistruths in paid advertising. Enemy states are using face-switching technology to promote propaganda on social media. With politicians already doing such a great job at it, why should we let corporations continue to degrade America's tenuous grasp on "reality" any further?

Sigh. I know I'm over-reacting. It's just promotional press for a movie that I won't watch. (Unless they shoot Bambi this time.) I know I'm just getting old and weary. But these uncontested, re-reported lies are really starting to get to me. It feels like 1984 is getting closer ever day, and now it's coming soon to a theater near you.

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The streaming entertainment service from the Conglomerate That Walt Built is now publicly available. I will definitely not be subscribing, as I have confirmed that the service will not include two of my favorite men, Condorman and I-Man.

As a public service announcement to all the young viewers out there who will be watching, let me say:

Han shot first.

Enjoy your revisionist history, kids.

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Let's just go ahead and get this out of the way.

167. (1226.) Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)

I asked Dad what he wanted to do for his birthday yesterday, and to my horror he said "I want to see Star Wars." So I took him to see it. (A child's job is never done.) Dad may not be, but I'm getting too old for this shit.

The original Star Wars wasn't exactly Shakespeare, but neither was it insulting. By comparison, The Last Jedi begs its audience to forget everything it knows about science and society, physics and psychology. I guess that's why it's marketed as a kid's movie — a kid's movie supersaturated with graphic violence, copious death, and a PG-13 rating. Say, if you're going to remake Empire Strikes Back, can you at least keep it under 2.5 hours, please? Sorry, but I can't suspend my disbelief long enough for this level of stupidity anymore.

Ugh. Every time I think about it, I find something new to irritate me. Unjustifiably incompetent Hux. Edsel bumper Phasma. Smug cartoon Snoke. Topless emo Kylo Ren. Horny Rey. Pointless Finn. Stalker Rose. Traitorous mass murderer Po. Atmosphere in space. Gravity-assisted bombers. Belated use of indefensible hyperspace missiles. Not enough Threepio! Aargh!

Was it all bad? No. Mark Hamill steals every scene he's in as Mirror Universe Luke Skywalker. Dead Yoda is the best Yoda. And I particularly enjoyed Benicio Del Toro's parting "maybe." But then how did Del Toro's DJ know the crucial piece of information that led there? Damn it! It's impossible to even praise this movie without tripping into another of its innumerable flaws.

There were parts where I think I could see where director Rian Johnson wanted to take the movie's theme of loss and transcendence. These themes would sit much better in the third act of a trilogy than the second, so why here and now? How much of a role did Disney's executives play in distorting that vision to keep its golden goose laying? I don't know. At this point, I don't care.

The worst of it is that I'm afraid this isn't the last Star Wars film I'll have to see. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. And hate leads to me being in the theater for whatever dreck Disney cranks out next Christmas. Let the past die, Dad!

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I tried to warn you. I urged you to pick up your pitchforks and light your torches. But I was too late. The Uprising had already begun.

When researchers in North Dakota set up "nest cams" over the nests of song birds, they expected to see a lot of nestlings and eggs get taken by ground squirrels, foxes, and badgers. Squirrels hit thirteen nests, but other meat-eaters made a poor showing. Foxes and weasels only took one nest each. Know what fearsome animal out-did either of those two sleek, resourceful predators?

White-tailed deer.

That's a quote from a recent article at, but the article's sources are over a decade old! Apparently, the signs have been there the whole time, we've just been turning a blind eye. Remember Bambi? Walt Disney was trying to warn us in 1942, but we were too worried about Japs and Nazis to recognize the real danger.

Say 'Monster'

When we were in high school, a wise man once told me that "there ain't nothing a deer won't eat except turnip greens and collards." I thought he was talking about things that grew in the garden. I didn't realize he meant me!

Don't ignore the warning signs. Eat more deer before the deer eat you!

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The 28th annual U.S. Public Interest Research Group Trouble in Toyland toy safety survey was released yesterday, and one of the offenders this year was the Captain America Soft Shield. The USPIRG is bent out of shape that it contains too much metal. What's it supposed to be made out of? Shields made of wool don't stop nearly as many bullets.

This shield is a small, soft version of Captain America's famous flying shield designed, you know, for kids. Apparently the manufacturer's idea of "softening" the shield is to make it with a soft metal, namely lead. USIPRG reports that its tests indicate the shield has 2,900 parts per million. Who cares if the federal limit is 100 ppm? Political Correctness really has gotten out of hand if we're now protecting Nazis from lead poisoning!

Is this really something we need the government to get involved in, anyway? One of the well-reported side-effects of lead poisoning is that children who have been poisoned become listless and stop playing with their toys. See? A self-correcting situation!

Another side effect of lead poisoning on the young is the common development of behavior disorders, including mental retardation. Only the mentally feeble would read Marvel Comic books, so this sounds like a comprehensive market strategy to me. Remember, The Walt Disney Company wouldn't do anything to hurt you or your children. They need consumers like you just as much as you need them.

The Free Market works, people. Leave it alone.

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An article in the paper this week commented that Walt Disney World was re-tooling their exhibit on "childhood obesity" to be more sympathetic to fat people. They were pressured into this, it is implied, by the National Association for the Advancement of Fat Acceptance. I find this astonishing. Not that Disney can bend to political pressure, but that fat people have a lobby.

Just what is this NAAFA? The acronym itself sounds like something you could expect a fat person to pant heavily between bites. The website of the NAAFA looks like the kind of site you'd expect to see from a canned link farm. Maybe NAAFA doesn't have a whole lot of people on staff who can hit just one key on a keyboard to program a better site. If I didn't know better, I'd suspect that their site is bare bones because someone ate the rest of it.

It turns out that NAAFA was created in 1969 in order to organize letter writing campaigns. It's hard to motivate others to accept your cause when you won't get off your ass for it yourself. In the years since, NAAFA has overhauled itself to become more pro-active. There are over 11,000 members in the group: if each pulled his own weight, they'd be able to get remarkable things done. Like make Disney change their policies. For all their trying, the 16-million member Southern Baptist Convention has never managed to do that. Maybe the Southern Baptists need to put on a little weight.

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To be continued...


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