Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ranking the Disney Channel Shows: #6

(Yes, this about five months later than I promised the release would be, but it is here, and you are reading it, so shut up!)

Yes, I watch Disney Channel, and I am going to college later in the year. These shows, though aimed at a younger audience, are still a form of entertainment, and I have been entertained by shows on the channel. I’ve decided to make a list of the top 6 Current DC shows, in my honest opinion.

(NOTE: This list does not include the newest show, Good Luck Charlie. While I had considered switching around the list, I felt it would be better to not make a true judgment on it yet since it is brand new.)

Now, onto the list.

6. The Suite Life on Deck

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. What was once the best show on Disney Channel has now turned into a complete mess of a series. Though it may be unfair, it is necessary to compare this show to its predecessor, as it uses the same characters, and is promoted as a continuation of the superior series. So, what is wrong with this show? Though I could go on forever on every specific thing this show did wrong, I’ll keep it to three main points. (And this is how I’ll look at every show; in three or four main points)

- The writing of the series and its characters has gone absolutely down the drain. The best way you can prove this is to compare the characterizations of those who were carried over from the original Suite Life. Mosby and London are shells of their former hilarious selves. Mosby, who was my second favorite character in the original series, has been turned into an unfunny, annoying personality. London went from a full of herself Rich girl into someone who is just plain dumb. Even Zack and Cody feel diluted, and they never truly were the best characters.

- Going off of that point, the characters on this show are so one-dimensional, and in the case of Marcus, zero-dimensional, it hurts. One of the best aspects of the original series was all the great characters they had and how well they played off of each other. The new series is missing great peripheral characters that can carry a scene like Arwin, Estaban, and Maddie. (Ashley Tisdale is especially missed. The dynamic between Bailey and London is, and sadly never will be, as good as the dynamic between Maddie and London. It really is a testament to how good Tisdale was. And I still wish that Arwin spin off would have gotten of the ground. Arwin was my favorite character in the original series.)

- The show has continues to get more and more ridiculous in its plots. The original Suite Life had four supernatural episodes I can think of in its entire series, two being fun, science fiction episodes and two being dreams. In On Deck, we have already had Genies, Groundhog Day, Alternate Realities, Possession by Ancient Queens, and more I know I am forgetting about. It is OK to have the occasional Supernatural theme, but to constantly have them without making it the point of series (ala Wizards), it ruins the credibility the series. The credibility of the series is already low considering they are in school on a cruise ship. Living in a hotel? Its believable. On a cruise? With a school? That's just a little bit too out there in comparison. (Or maybe that's the point; ridiculous setting means ridiculous plots.) In terms of the series’ dreams, the problem is most of them seem completely and utterly random in comparison to the original series.

That isn’t to say that On Deck can’t be good. The character of Kirby, whose actor is also brilliant in the Miller High Life commercials, is the most consistently hilarious thing on this show, and steals every scene he is in. One of the most recent episodes, “Seven Seas News,” contained some brilliant comedy, and is a great example of how good this series could be if everything clicked consistently. Maybe the show is on pace to break itself out of the basement. Ignore the fact that the next episode was the completely ridiculous "Starship Tipton"

(And if I ranked Good Luck Charlie, it certainly would rank above SLOD)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Imagineering Ideas: Hollywood Studios

It is my current dream to be an Imagineer, and with that dream naturally comes ideas for all the parks around the world. I plan to dedicate a few posts about my ideas for multiple Disney Parks.

Today, I will go over what seems to be regarded as the worst of the WDW parks, Hollywood Studios. I feel this park has a ton of potential, as I have a deep love for what the park represents: The Entertainment that makes millions happy every year. So, lets get started!

The Great Movie Rides
Yes, you read that right, rideS. My plan includes not only an update to the existing GMR, but adding two new versions that run on the same idea: Celebrating Films. I would the keep most of the existing scenes from the current GMR, but replace some of the scenes. Scene that would be candidates for replacement would be Footlight Parade, Alien, The Horror Section (Possibly with an actual Horror Film?) and Tarzan. (What these films would be replaced by would really be based on film availability.)

At the same time as this update is occurring, two other similar rides would be built. First, A revival of The Muppet Movie Ride idea, which would parody a number of the greatest movies of all time, while also delving into The Muppet's own rich movie history. The other, a creation of my own design, would be The History of Disney Animation, which would go through the history of Disney Short Films, Television Animation, and Feature Animation. This ride would be huge, featuring both the famous and the rare.

Phineas and Ferb's Tour of Walt Disney World
I've always thought that Disney Television Animation has been sorely represented in the parks, and I've been trying to find ways to better insert them into the parks. A perfect way to integrate the best Cartoon on TV into the parks is to use the show's trademark humor that would but a humorous spin on the resort itself. This would be an interactive motion simulator, allowing guest to have a unique ride every time. Of course, it would feature all the major characters from the show. I would only want this done if we were able to work with the creators of Phineas and Ferb

Expansion of Pixar Place
First, all of the following ideas hinge on the demolition of the Backlot Tour. This would free up so much room that expansion abilities for both Streets of America and Pixar Place would increase Tenfold.

The first big idea would to have a giant Monsters Inc Subland, which would include both The Monsters Inc Coaster and The Laugh Floor, which I would move from the Magic Kingdom to DHS in order to clear out room for my Tron idea (More on that in another post.)

Instead of Copying the Remy Ride that is going to Paris, My Rat movie representation would be, what else, a restaurant.

Also, I would move Pizza Planet to Pixar Place, which would free up some room for the Muppet Movie Ride across from Muppet*Vision 3D

I also want to add The Incredibles, WALL-E, and UP into this area, but I haven't found the right idea yet. The Best Idea I have for WALL-E would be to simply use his Living Character as one of the unique experiences of the area. An UP dark ride focusing on saving Kevin could also work, but it would need to be thought about further.

So there you have it, most of my ideas for DHS. The only other idea I'm currently working on is what to replace Sounds Dangerous with, but I've been hard pressed to find one. (The two ideas I have are live versions of Whose Line is it Anyway or something ESPN related.)

Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question, or even leave you ideas!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

WDW Trip Report

Let me start with my days of the week, so I can refer to days without explaining much.
Sunday: Arrival/EPCOT/Magic Kingdom
Monday: Hollywood Studios/Boardwalk
Tuesday: Typhoon Lagoon/EPCOT
Wensday: Animal Kingdom/Boardwalk
Thursday: EPCOTFriday: Magic Kingdom
Saturday: Magic Kingdom/Leave.

-I'll start off with a good note before I get to the one bad part of this trip (Not counting the annoying 20 minute rains every single day.)
-Hall of Presidents was absolutely stunning. I'm a history buff, and I'm glad that they distanced the show from EPCOT's American Adventure, I could and probably will write an entire post about how they hit the mark entirely.
-The Magic Kingdom had some mechanical problems this week. On Friday, Splash was down when I got to the park at 10 AM, after which Big Thunder broke down for a good 20. I didn't care because I ended up staying until 2AM, so I waited, but it was definately frustrating for other guests. Then, on Saturday. Haunted Mansion had to be evacuated while I was in line. It was up and running soon enough, as I passed it 30 minutes later and seemed to be running fine.
- I don't know what the heck was going on in my head, but I had a stange addiction to Country Bears this trip. Ussually I'll hit it twice, but this trip I hit is a stunning 6 times. I just seemed to get a new apprciation for it everytime I see it.
- What else did I hit 6 times? Splash. I think it really is my favorite Theme Park Ride ever.
- I didn't miss Space Mountain at all this trip. Don't get me wrong, I love Space Mountain, but it being closed didn't have the impact on me that I thought it would.
- Luckily, the topic of the DisneyShawn blog before and during (and now after) my trip was Tomorrowland, and now I appriciate the city theme it has. I've always loved the Pay Phone, (which was a project DisneyShawn actually wrote for) but the other elements just fit perfectly, including Buzz and Stitch.
- After the unfortunate incident where a Jungle Cruise Skipper told us that she wanted to be fired, Karma swung in my favor with two of the greatest skippers I've ever had. One skipper actually got sprayed by one of the elephants, which got my sister wet too, and we all howled with laughter. So many things just worked out, such as real ducks landing in the African Waterhole, which constituted hilarity.
- I still love Philharmagic, though I wish they had used one more Pre 90s movie. As much as I love the Lion King, I would have been happy had that part been replaced by a classic film.- I was finally able to pick up Pinocchio while at the MK, as well as the Saludos/3 Cabs double pack. Love them all.

- World Showcase is my all time favorite part of any Disney Park, and with my parents deciding to not emabark with me for most of this trip, I decided to slow down from my normal routine and spend more time exploring the WS. It was worth it I tell you. First time I really experienced the street performers in France, Italy, Japan, and China. It was a blast to slow down.
-Most underrated moment of any Disney Trip: Watching people rush to see British Invasion after hearing a Beatles Song blast from the speakers.-A new must do at EPCOT for me when possible: Off Kilter at 7:30 followed by British Invasion at 8:00. (Two seperated fans of Off Kilter wanted their CDs signed after the show. That must feel awesome.)
- Someone update the France film, please.- Future World is good. Nothing interesting happened there except having fun. Was a bit dissapointed that Living with the Land went down without much notice. Luckily nothing else in Future World broke down. ;)

- For the Record, I was planning to hit a half a day at the Studios on Saturday, but Good old Henry came a calling in my dreams (really, he did) and I went to MK instead.
- I do want Disney to update the GMR, but if they do, I hope its not changed too much. Just replace a couple of scenes, refurbish the good ones, and keep the film at the end. GMR movie montage is in my top five all time favorite WDW moments.
- First time I had ever seen Toy Story Mania NOT being the longest line in the park.
- I was really close to trying out for AIE, but decided it would be easier after I turn 18 and don't need a gaurdian to sign paperwork. I experienced another amazing singer. Who knew a physics teacher can sing "Ain't Too Proud to Beg"?
- Muppet*Vision had a least two full shows. And This was before the rain! I hope things work out well for this Muppet revival. I really do. Muppet*Vision remains my all time favorite WDW show.
-Sorry to be frank, but Backlot Tour seriously needs to go
.-The Princess and Frog display at DHS was stunning to me. Cannot wait for the film.
-Its amazing the people you find in One Man's Dream. Got into a 5 minute debate about the legacy of Eisner with another Disney Fantatic. Good Times, Goood times.

-I have been converted into an All Day Animal Kingdom guy. I bought the Imagineer's guide to AK, and was stunned at the amount of detail I had never noticed before. Planning on leaving at 1:00, I ended up staying until 5 because of just how much I've missed. It was a blast.
-Glad to see Br'er Rabbit and friends out and about. Can't they meet by their own ride? At least it wasn't as odd as Country Bears @ EPCOT.
- Everything was looking good at AK. No problems at all.
-I have the best new CM story ever. At the Boardwalk, My dad was pulling out his money clip to give my sister and I some money for the ESPN Arcade (I'm a sucker for small Arcades, OK?) while waiting for a spot at the Big River Grille to open. His Credidt Card flew out, and fell between the cracks and into the lake. We could see it floating in the water, and my Mom went to see if she could get a net. Soon enough, a boat came over from the beach club, with a Net in hand, to scoop it out. A crowd had gathered at that time, and they were all rooting for the CMs to get the card. When they got it, the crowd erupted in cheers. More Disney Magic, eh?
- The EPCOT resort lake now has turtles living in it.
-The walk or bike around the EPCOT resorts is a blast, actually.

This trip, I ate at California Grill, Sci-Fi, Cape May, Italy, ESPN Club, Big River Grille, and Whispering Canyon, all good.

Any questions/comments? If I think of more, I'll be sure to post it. Now, until then...
"The Bear Band Bears will play now, in the good old key of G...."

Sunday, July 19, 2009

5 Disney Films I want to write

I just finished the first part of my application for the University of Southern California, and I signed up for the Writing for Cinema and Television major, with the goal of becoming a Walt Disney Imagineer. However, I love movies, and there have been many movies that I've wanted to write. Here is a collection of already made Disney Movies and Park Rides I'd like to rewrite, in no particular order.

Expedition Everest- Think National Treasure, except with a giant Yeti looming over everyone. Trying to find the hidden village of the gods on Mount Everest, a group of explorers run into trouble with the locals, the mountain, and the fabled Yeti. This is my newest idea, and for sure needs more thought.

The Shaggy Dog- Yes, its been remade recently, but Shaggy is one of my favorites in the Disney live action library, and it needs a proper remake. Think about the original movie, except fit into the modern world, with a larger role for a mother character and the villain. Zac Effron would have been perfect for my Wilby. In fact, Vanessa Hudgens would have been a perfect love interest and dog owner. I'm sure another Disney Heartthrob will be there waiting for my script.

The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes- Medfield needs a larger role in today's Disney Films. This would actually be a mini spin off of another Disney Film I want to write which will end this list. In this modern age of technology, this would be a perfect film to re introduce to today's audience.

Space Mountain/Mission Space- Disney conquered the sea with the Pirates trilogy, so why not move to Space with another epic Trilogy. This one could be awesome, but honestly will be hard to write without copying Star Wars or Star Trek. A combination of two Disney Rides might make it easier. I've also thought about adding X-S as a major part of the story, which would add another Disney show to the mix.

and now, my first priority film to write.

Journey into Imagination- A combination of the old and new ride, this ride, to me, is just begging to be the next great Disney Film. Visually, think Sharkboy and Lavagirl, except a bit more adult and with better acting and less George Lopez. Nigel Channing, Dreamfinder, and of course Figment would all come along for the ride, along with some brand new villains. I really want to devote an entire post to this if your interested.
That's all for now. IF you want more information on my ideas, feel free to comment me.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A WDWer's view of Disneyland

After something around 40 trips to Walt Disney World, I was finally able to make it to Disneyland this past March. Here is a list somewhat comparing WDW to DL, in my own little style.

Things I liked better at DL
PotC- Blew me out of the water. It was just so much better in more ways than one.
Space Mountain-Repeat above, adding a comment about a great soundtrack.
Fantasyland- Really, an overall better collection of rides, and it doesn't look as cheap
Tiki Room-Given that I would like this. This was my first time seeing the original version of the show. It is absolutely wonderful, though honestly not my favorite

Things I like better at WDW
Tower of Terror- The DL version wasn't as bad as I thought It was going to be, but I still had a strong disliking of it, for a number of reasons
Splash Mountain- Prefer the banjo soundtrack at WDW, though both rides are excellent
Haunted Mansion- Ever so slightly, since their so similar. I like WDW's facade better than DL's
Buzz Lightyear= More references to the TV cartoon ;)
Small World- Officially on the I hate the Disney Characters in the ride bandwagon
Fronteirland- Very Underwhelming compared to the WDW one, which really gives a feel of the rambling old west.

Things exclusive to DL I liked
Matterhorn- Just a classic Roller Coaster
Roger Rabbit- WFRR is my favorite all time movie, and I loved all the inside references to Disney Cartoons in the queue. The Ride was fun to boot
Nemo Subs- Shocked at how much I loved this. I'm a big guy, and I actually like the feeling of being in the Subs. ME liking this shocked me almost as much as American Idol taking a liking from me
Indiana Jones- This should have been the fourth movie. It is a superb representation of the films.
California Screamin-Good Roller Coaster, with a nice soundtrack.
Remember...Dreams Come True- WOW MOST AMAZING THING EVER!
PDJ- Dunno Why, but I loved it.
Mr. Toad- First time ever riding it, Sad its not at WDW anymore.

Finally, I like the CMs in WDW better than the ones in DL. The ones in WDW just seem...happier to the guests. Also, I was shocked at the number of characters I saw over the two days, and even more shocked at who I saw. It was my first time seeing Br'er Bear and Fox as meetable in the parks, and I was floored to see Mickey Mouse as a Walk Around. That would never ever happen in WDW.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Eisner: Legend or Not?

(Sorry for the long delay of a new post, Football Doubles are tiring!)

The renowned Jim Hill is reporting that Micheal Eisner is on the shortlist to become a Disney Legend at the next ceremony. Naturally, the bloggers, the forum-goers, and whoever can get their voice out there has been commentating on whether or not he deserves it. And now it is my turn.

First, Let's take a look what some of the thing Eisner did wrong
  1. He started the whole chain of "DVDquels." While I do respect some of them (Return to Neverland comes to mind), most of them just ruined the original movie (NEVER EVER WATCH CINDERELLA 3. I'm glad I didn't)
  2. Disneyland Paris. Not the park itself, but the location. See, Disney and Spain were close to agreement before France stepped in at the last minute with a cheaper offer. Though Spain would pretty much be a financial success, Eisner and his boys decided on the much riskier location of France, and we all know how tragic that was for all the parks.
  3. Almost Losing Pixar. With the relationship strained as a result of money issues with Toy Story 2, Eisner nearly put the Disney-Pixar relationship in the coffin when he announce Toy Story 3 was in development without Pixar's Consent. Thank Got for Roy.

While those things were completely terrible, What he did good outweighs the bad.

  1. He revitalized not only Disney animation, but the entire genre of Feature Animation. The Disney Renaissance would have never happened without him, and The Walt Disney Company would have not been what it is today. Hell, if Disney wasn't there, who would have the guts to take a chance at an expensive project like Toy Story? Which brings me to my next point
  2. Finding Pixar. Yes, the nearly ruined the relationship, but the relationship never starts without him. If there is one thing Eisner had that everyone has to agree on, was guts. He took a big chance, and it has payed off tremendously for the company
  3. Park Expansions. Hollywood Studios was his idea, you know.Eisner also pushed Disney to get with the current trend and build some "extreme rides" such as Test Track. Eisner's business sense was important to gaining the exclusive park partnerships with George Lucas, The Muppets, The Twilight Zone, and Areosmith. This is all before mentioning worldwide expansion.
  4. Other media. Eisner's business sense also propelled Disney media to new heights. He embraced Disney relationship with ABC, as well as pushing The Disney Channel and Buena Vista records to excel.

So where is my final stance? Eisner should be inducted, but not this soon. Wait a couple of years, let the aftermath settle a little longer, then give Eisner his rightful place among the greats.

Even if thousands of Disney fans erupt about it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Walt Disney World Trip Report

Hey everyone, I finally have enough time to post a report on the wonderful one week trip that I just got back from. I will report interesting sights and sounds from every park I journeyed to this time around.

-One of the biggest controversies to come out of the Disney fan bases is the closing of Pleasure Island. Talking to a cast member over at the area, he told me that one reason for the decision was a new Florida Law which states (as I understood it) that anybody wanting to venture in an area with nightclubs must be 18 or older. This means that Disney has lost a lot of money on the clubs that were available for families to enjoy. I personally never liked Downtown Disney, I think Disney should stay Disney, But I understand the controversy. I'm sure this decision was tough for the Walt Disney Company. The only thing I don't understand is why do they have to close all of the clubs? If they close the actual nightclubs and tweak the comedy shows a little, wouldn't they not qualify as clubs, and thus regain the business?

-Most Likely the biggest surprise to come out of this trip, talking to our guide on the "Keys to the Kingdom" tour, he told me that as a reference to the Haunted Holiday Mansion over at Disneyland, Imagineers hid Jack Skellington and Sally dolls all though the attraction, as well as hiding a Nightmare Before Christmas book in the library. The book is very hard to see, but it is there. I also did catch a Sally Doll. If you lean forward and look to the right through the beginning of the attic scene, you should see one hiding behind a chair. The Imagineers intended the dolls to be inside jokes for themselves, and so some a hidden only so people working the ride can see them.

-Expect no new, groundbreaking rides for the Magic Kingdom anytime soon. A cast member told me that with the Imagineers focusing on California Adventure and Hollywood Studios/Pixar Place, The only ride that is being talked about is adding the Little Mermaid ride going to CA into Fantasyland.

-If there is one ride I hope is never knocked down, it is Carousel of Progress. It is the perfect testament to Walt's work, and it is the sleeper of the Magic Kingdom. I've been assured in the past that it will stay up, but what worries me is how long Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln has been "temporarily" replaced.

-Odd Character sighting #1: Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar were taking pictures and signing autographs. Now if they could get Humphrey the Bear...

-Besides the heavily talked about Soarin' update, nothing new in store for Epcot in the next couple of years. If anything, there will only be ride updates.

- I wish they would tear down the African Outpost and build another epic World Showcase Location. It still feels out of place, and a cool new country might thin out the World Showcase just a little bit.

-Odd character sighting #2: The Country Bears just outside The American Adventure. Not only are the Country Bears actually showing up, they are showing up outside their own park!

-With all the talk of the big expansion of California Adventure, the current evolution of Hollywood Studios gets lost in the mix. Toy Story Mania is super popular (Fastpasses ran out about an hour after park opening), the partnership with American Idol will be huge, and there are still tons of ride concepts on the drawing boards that finally take Hollywood Studios out of the shadow and into the spotlight.

-Multiple Cast Members told me that the Monster Inc. Roller Coaster planned for Hollywood Studios is being treated as day to day. My tour Guide literally told me "One day it was greenlighted, the next day it was back on the drawing board."

-Here are two things that I feel could really improve the park: Move Pizza Planet out of Streets of America and into Pixar Place, then add a new attraction or restaurant to the former area (If I were an Imagineer, I would suggest either reviving the idea of the Muppet Movie ride or my newest idea, a Phineas and Ferb interactive motion simulator. ) The other is to end the run of Voyage of the Little Mermaid, move One Man's Dream to CA, and add a new ride. (My idea, which is nearly ready to be posted on this very site, is The History of Walt Disney Animation.)

-One other interesting note: In one of the areas marked with the "Future thing here" sign, behind the fence, people were painting the old Muppet float from the former parade (The one with the Hot Air Balloon) Two possibilities: Either they are fixing it up to send to Paris, or they will go the Power Rangers route and use the float to transport a meetable Kermit and Miss Piggy.

Animal Kingdom
-Sadly, nothing new for Animal Kingdom. I talked to my guide about it, and he said although there have been very small talks about replacing Camp Minnie Mickey, nothing is on the horizon for Animal Kingdom in the near future.

-I really would like to See the Finding Nemo musical be expanded to Broadway. I thought they did an excellent job condensing the movie into just over 30 minutes.

That's all I have, if I remember anything else I feel is important, I'll be sure to post it here.