Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top 5 Pixar Faves

The youngest Dis Kid expresses his love for Pixar with wooden letters
After seeing Pixar's 13th feature film, Brave this weekend, I thought I would do the very predictable blog post of my favorite Pixar films.

I know that I am a couple of months late seeing Brave, but in my defense is only premiered in Romania on August 17! Because it has been out for so long, I'm not going to give a full review of it, except to say that it was a very enjoyable movie, but not one of my favorites from Pixar.

For this post I I'll rank all of the 13 films in my preferential order, but will only comment on my top 5. I'm sure that some of my picks might surprise you, as they might not fall in line with other such lists, but hopefully my explanations will shed a little light on my thinking...

5. Ratatouille: You'll notice a couple of trends in my picks. One, the uniqueness of the story. And two, did I see this movie on a Disney Cruise? I love the story of Ratatouille. It was fresh and unexpected. Also I saw it on one of our cruises when Disney had one of their premiers at sea!

4. Cars 2: This is another one that I saw on a Disney Cruise! Making it even more special was the fact that we were on a Mediterranean sailing, and it kind of coincided with the theme of the World Grand Prix theme of the movie. The entire family from our youngest (3 at the time), to my almost 70 year old father enjoyed the film. I also found the animation the most beautiful of all the Pixar films (until Brave).

3. Cars: I have probably seen this Pixar film more times than any of the other 12. Again, the reason is that the entire family loves it! It has a great story, great music, and is just a lot of fun! I saw this movie in the theaters with our oldest daughter, and both of the younger Dis Kids have enjoyed it just as much ever since!

2. Monsters Inc.: The gap between number 2 and number 1 was razor thin! I love Monsters Inc. because of the story, and how imaginative it is. Monsters using kids' closet doors to enter the human world to sustain their energy needs through the screams of children, and it doesn't stop there. The door chase scene, the entire cast of Monster characters, it is all amazing! This one almost topped the list but I had to go with...

1. Finding Nemo: This film hit me at every level, except that I didn't see it on a Disney Cruise. First of all, the film is gorgeous, the underwater world that Pixar created was amazing. The characters were lovable and as a father I could really connect with Marlin and his quest. But what put Nemo on the top of my list was again, the story. Nemo overcoming his "lucky fin", Marlin throwing his cautious nature to the wind (or waves)           to save his son, and who doesn't love the character of Dory? We don't watch this movie as much as others, but when we do, I am almost always in it from start to finish. I just can't turn away from it!

So rounding out the rest...
6. Toy Story 3
7. The Incredibles
8. Toy Story
9. Toy Story 2
10. Wall-E
11. A Bug's Life
12. Brave
13. Up

This really is a case of there being no losers. I have really enjoyed all of these films. In fact, we own all of them with the exceptions of Ratatouille and Brave. Most of these 13 films are among my favorites for one reason or another. Like most people, I feel that what separates Pixar from Dreamworks and other companies making animated films is the story and the characters. No matter what Pixar film I'm watching, I feel a real connection to the characters, and really have an emotional connection with them while they embark on whatever journey they are on. The films are beautiful, and frequently have glorious musical scores to accompany the visuals.

John Lasseter and his staff have really produced some of my favorite movie memories, and I can't wait to see what else they have in store in the future!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Favorite Disney You Tube Videos

Do you remember when you were a kid and your Aunt Hilda would come over for dinner after returning from vacation, and she would show you hundreds of boring slides of whatever distant mind numbing place she had just visited? Well maybe that goes too far back for some of you...

What about when your co-worker gets back from their honeymoon and shows you two hundred Instagram photos of various flowers from whatever Caribbean island they just returned from? Why do these people think we care about their vacation photos? We weren't there, why try and comatose us with these pictures? We don't care!

Unless you are a Disney fan, and the pictures are of a Disney vacation.

Now you have my attention.

It's a funny thing about the Disney fan community... Many of us will go out and search on You Tube for complete strangers vacation videos! For a lot of people this is a great way to keep away in-between Disney trips depression. And there are a lot of these videos out there! In fact there are a lot of great ones, that are really professionally done.

Programs like iMovie and Windows Movie Maker have allowed so many people to produce great videos to share with the world. The quality of these videos have improved so much since I made our first Disney Cruise slideshow back in 2008.

Here are some of the favorites I have found recently...

Phil, Emma and Ben are a British family that travels to Disney often. Whenever they take a Disney trip, they take tons of video and post each day in one or two parts after they return. They have a huge online following, and lots of people have duplicated their style. They chronicle everything even the travel days! When I watch their videos, I really feel like I am there with them! Also, Emma is a member of the Disney World Mom's Panel. This video is from their most recent trip, but there are several more on their You Tube page.

This is a very popular video from a family's 2011 trip. What I love about this video is how professionally it is produced. There are a lot of cool effects, and you can tell that the family had an idea of what they wanted to do before they even got to Disney.

What I love about this video is that you can really see what makes a Disney vacation so special. This family has a great time, and there is a good message as well. I also love the music!

Those were just a few great Disney videos that you can find on You Tube. Do you enjoy reliving your Disney memories by watching other people's videos? Do you use them to get ideas for you next trip? Do you have a favorite, or have you made a video of a recent trip? Share them here in the comments section!