Thursday, December 22, 2011

Disney Film: Experiencing TOY STORY (the first) again

Last night, the Disney channel was showing Toy Story in prime time, and when I got home from work, my boys were planted in front of the TV watching intently. I sat down across from my wife at the island in the kitchen, and I noticed that she continually shifted her attention to the action on the screen.

Finally I sat down between the boys and let myself get pulled into the movie again. It is far from my first time watching it, and it is not my kids' first time either. But the film is simply entrancing. It grabs you and you can't not watch!

I came in too close to the end, really. Buzz and Woody were in Sid's room, trying to escape before he awoke. Then there is the scene where the toys break the rules, and then the frantic chase to get onto the moving truck. Finally, the happy ending and the arrival of the puppy.

If I were to relate the story to someone totally unfamiliar with the movie, they'd probably say, "well, that's a nice story" or something like that. But the movie transcends the simplicity of the tale. It becomes something so much more, even today, after seeing Pixar's digital magic worked over and over, and seeing digital special effects that blow your mind! When it came out, the technology to create such a film was new, but Pixar infused it with something more than tech savvy - they gave it heart - the same heart that we see in so many Disney releases.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Disney Film: The Muppets

I took my kids to see The Muppets last Friday night. I wasn't planning to go; the idea of seeing the Muppets wasn't on the top of my wishlist. I don't think of Muppets and think "Christmas must-see".

But I read the blog entry at FutureProbe, where it was given a fairly enthusiastic thumbs-up, and my kids really were pretty excited about seeing it, so we picked that one over Arthur, Hugo and Puss In Boots>.

I'm glad we saw it. It was a lot of fun. Jokes aimed high and low; I found myself laughing at stuff and my kids would look at me like, "what was funny about that?" Several times. On the other hand, they laughed hard at a few things that, well, that just brought a smile to my face, as much for their reaction as to the onscreen joke. (Don't ask me what these were. I don't remember anymore.)

It isn't high concept stuff. It was just a fun little story about trying to save the Muppets Studio from a bad guy. Reminded me a little of The Blues Brothers with the whole "we're getting the band back together", needing to raise money quick through the use of a "show". I wonder if it has anything to do with Frank Oz's involvement in the original Muppets show and with the Blues Brothers movie?

I don't put this up there with the stuff we get from Pixar routinely, or even most of the stuff we've gotten from Disney Animation, but it was a good, fun movie, and I certainly didn't feel like I wasted our money on it! (In other words, it was worth seeing in the theater.)