Tag Archives: Disney

“Mary Poppins Returns” Movie (2018) — OUTSTANDING; Destined To Be A Disney Classic.

by Anura Guruge



Uplifting.




Uplifting in every way, heartwarming and non-stop, sheer entertainment.

Pantomimish in the nicest possible way. Just, good ol’ fashioned fun — a rollicking musical.

As it was concluding it crossed my mind that this movie deserved applause, and sure enough as it ended the fairly decent crowd (for a weekday matinee) burst into applause! I can’t remember the last time I experienced that. Maybe when the ‘Lion King’ came out 20+ years ago. That alone tells you all that you need to know as to how good this movie is. The audience applauded.

I have seen “Mary Poppins” in Broadway and paid big bucks for the privilege. This movie was as engaging as the live play — and that is saying something.

Disney pulled out all the stops and obviously spent lavishly in its production. I had to look it up on IMDb.com. They believe the budget was $130 million. That is a fair chunk of money. Also appears that they have already grossed a quarter of that back and it has only been out for a week. As a Disney shareholder I am HAPPY.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” was a total DUD. This was the opposite. Outright winner. Brilliant. Destined to become a Disney Classic. People will be talking about this for decades.

Definitely recommend it. Must see. You will enjoy it. Kids will LOVE it. Disney got it spot-on.

Bravo. You will leave the theater with a big, silly grin on your face.


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by Anura Guruge

“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” Movie (2018) — V. Cruel Bait And Switch!

by Anura Guruge



Click to access IMDb.com listing for this disappointing movie.



DISAPPOINTING — Teischan (12) a connoisseur of “The Nutcracker“, having taken part in two semi-professional productions and having seen the ballet multiple times, including with the ‘Boston Ballet‘.

Flaccid — the Dad, who was not impressed at all, at all. It was a matinee and our two tickets, together, came to $16.50. In reality, that was $9.50 TOO MUCH. Waste of money. Wait until it comes out on TV.

I guess you CANNOT IMPROVE on the original and it was stupid to try.

I am both surprised and disappointed with Disney. They could have and should have done better. This was … well, FLACCID. Really. Flaccid.

It could have been the projection at the theatre we attended — our perennial, ‘Cinemagic‘ in Portsmouth — but the colors were dull. Even dark. More vibrant colors would have helped. Actually anything would have helped.

PLEASE do NOT go to this expecting the dancing, music and story of the original. This is a cruel, very cruel bait-and-switch.


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by Anura Guruge

‘Newsies’, Interlakes Summer Theatre, Meredith [N.H.] — August 17, 2018.

by Anura Guruge


Click pictures to ENLARGE.

Attribution WILL be enforced.




Click to access the “Interlakes Summer Theatre” Webpage.


Click to ENLARGE and read here. Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newsies



The dancing — acrobatic and adroitly choreographed — was very good, as good as what you would see on TV on “World of Dance” or “America’s Got Talent” (AGT). But, for a musical the songs weren’t that great and to make it worse the sound system left a lot to be desired. The lady seated in front of us, told us at the intermission, that she had to take off her hearing aid! That is not good — for a musical. It took me awhile to recognize the signature song — “Seize the Day” — and that was after Teischan gave me a hint!

I was not familiar at all, at all, with “Newsies“. I was confounded that it was billed as a Disney movie cum Broadway musical. I had to look it up. Ah! 1992. None of my kids were old enough. That explains it all.

It was a genuinely full-house. Not a single empty seat. We got the last two seats this morning. It is a small theatre so there are NO bad seats.

I was not familiar with the storyline — the “Children’s Crusade” in New York City. So, that was worthwhile learning. It wasn’t bad. Just wasn’t that great.

Though I have not been in quite a few years, I am no stranger to Interlakes Summer Theatre. When I lived in Meredith, 1996 — 1999, and during my early years in Gilford I used to attend regularly. Sometimes went to all the shows in a Summer season. I am sure I saw “Pirates of Penzance” twice in one week because my son, Matthew, loved it.

I always make a point to appreciate live theatre. And the dancing was GOOD. So, it was worthwhile. Huge thunderstorm during the show. You could hear the rain hammering on the roof. Tomorrow, i.e., Saturday, August 18, 2018, is the last show of the 2018 Season.


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by Anura Guruge

Canadian ‘Ballerina’ [Renamed ‘Leap!’] 2016 Movie: Unexpectedly Good & Enchanting With High-Quality Animation.

by Anura Guruge



Click here to access the IMDb.com listing for this intriguing movie — which was RENAMED ‘Leap!’.


Click here to access the official Canadian Website with some great, full-frame clips.


This proved to be an incredibly good and endearing animated movie.

The animation was top notch and I just assumed it was Disney. It was not. This is a Canadian movie with French collaboration.

The animation, especially the fast-paced sequences are as good as anything done by Disney or Dreamworks — possibly better!

Usual Disney ‘tear-jerker‘ storyline — orphans overcoming adversity to excel. Some parallels to 1997 Anastasia — given that Paris figures heavily in both movies.

I had NOT heard of this movie.

The renaming was confusing.

But, definitely, indubitably, a good, compelling Disney-genre film. Kids 8 – 12 would lap it up.

Glad we stumbled upon it serendipitously.


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by Anura Guruge


‘Beauty And The Beast’ 3D, The 2017 Disney Movie, Far Exceeded Expectations THOUGH It Is Far From A Classic.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access IMDb.com listing.



The official trailer on YouTube.


April 2016 ‘Prospect Mountain High School’ production. Click for lots more pictures.

It was GOOD. Very good, but not brilliant — though another lavish and sumptuous production true to the Disney-trademark.

Though I have seen the 1991 Disney animated version more times than I care to remember and was privileged to see the extremely good ‘Prospect Mountain High School’ version just last year, the ending of this brought a tear to my eye — so much so that the lady seated next to me (a total stranger) whispered to me: “haven’t you seen this before?”. I have. I have, but I am still a sucker for good ol’ fashioned sentimentality.

Kids will LOVE it. No question about that. They will, luckily, not be jaded by having seen the 1991 version which was, of course, a CLASSIC.

So, to keep this brief, let me hit the salient points in bullet form.

  • The infamous ‘overtly gay scene’ is so, so innocuous that it really should have gone unnoticed and uncommented. We see much verse, every day, on the sporting world! Gee. Come on.
    …..
  • The above said, Disney’s attempts to be INCLUSIVE, i.e., having black/colored semi-leading characters (e.g., main singer at the parties), was DISTRACTING and to a colored such as I, INSULTING. This is supposed to be 1600 France. If there were indeed non-white folks in very rural areas, they sure were not prancing around in fancy gowns being the ‘belle of the ball’. That was stupid.
    ….
  • I am a sucker for #D (but also a keen critic) — thought it was spot on. Others may disagree. 3D is so subjective. I am now convinced that one’s ability to truly enjoy 3D movies is connected to how quickly one’s brain is able to process the 3D data. If the brain doesn’t process the 3D data fast enough much of the 3D is going to get lost. That is a shame. Not the fault of the production or the technology. Not sure how this can be addressed.
    I Google “people having trouble seeing 3D movies”. Wow. Appears that it is quite a common problem; 1-in-10. This link, from ‘engadget’ was interesting:
    ….
  • The BEAST looked too much like a docile GOAT! Worst beast I have ever seen. It looked really, really dozy. Very distracting.
    ….
  • Got there 5 minutes before the 2pm start time and told that they only had a few seats left! The theater, for this Sunday matinee (at the Concord, Regal 10), was indeed full. Haven’t seen that around here in 20 years THOUGH we don’t go to the movies that often.
  • Appears that Disney made a very conscious effort not to step-on-the-toes of its animated version — so, for example, the dining table sequence was very subdued compared to what we saw in the 1991 version. That isn’t to say that it wasn’t good. Just got the feeling that Disney wanted to keep a separation.


All said, definitely worth watching. Kids will love it. I will probably watch it again when it is available on TV/online.


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by Anura Guruge


‘Finding Dory’ (3D) — Splendid, Touching Kid’s Movie.

by Anura Guruge


findingdorey

Click to access “IMdb.com” page for the movie.


Disney • PIXAR know the formula and were unlikely to get it wrong. A splendid kid’s animation. Just as it is meant to be. Well crafted story with neat twists and turns and a lovable cast of characters, especially ‘Hank‘ the octopus (or septapus, given he lost a tentacle). Cute, touching and heartwarming. Just when you think you have the ending worked out they throw in a neat, ingenious twist. Slightly educational too — kids are unlikely to forget that octopi have 3 hearts. Lots of positive messaging for kids about aspirations, goals, coping with limitations etc.

The 3D was muted. Nothing dramatic for the sake of showcasing the 3D. But the 3D adds to the presence and texture of the characters. The bulging of Dory’s eyes would not be the same outside of 3D.

Not sure whether it was as good as “Finding Nemo” — but “Nemo”, 13 year ago, was groundbreaking on so many fronts. In the intervening years we have become attuned to the technological and storytelling magic. That it is essentially a sequel to “Nemo” is neat.


piper-newpiperonbeach

Click to access “IMdb.com” page for “Piper” the PIXAR short.

Piper” the de rigueur 6 minute PIXAR ‘technology preview’ short that accompanies “Dory” is also incredibly cute. As always stunningly showcases PIXAR’s technological mastery.

Full Disclosure: I am a Disney shareholder and owned PIXAR for a very long time before it was acquired by Disney.

P.S., We saw it at the Concord, N.H. “Regal Cinema“, 7:10pm show. Other than us there were just 5 others in the theatre. 


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by Anura Guruge


“Hotel Transylvania 2” — Très Bien, What A Kid’s Cartoon Is Supposed To Be.

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by Anura Guruge


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>> ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’                   >> ‘The Other Son’ etc 

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hoteltransylvania2poster

Click for ‘IMDb.com’ listing.

Teischan (9) loved the first ‘Hotel Transylvania‘. She had been asking for a while whether we could go and see the second one. Yesterday I was able to fulfill her wish. We saw it at the ‘Regal Concord 10’ in Concord, N.H.

It was good. Very good — but I knew it would be. Uncomplicated, unadulterated entertainment — which is what these movies are supposed to be.

The quality and rendering, though very good, was not as good as Disney/Pixar (and as a Disney (and Pixar) shareholder I have to say that) and the dialogue lacked the inevitable Disney adult innuendo. But it was fast paced, amusing and cute. Kids loved it and to me that is all that matters.

It was not in 3D. We made the 4pm show, which is, in theory, a matinee. But it still cost, just for the 3 tickets, close to $32. That can get expensive.

But definitely all thumbs up. Go take the kids. They will love it.

Reminded me of “Grand Budapest Hotel”.


Disney/Pixar “Inside Out” A Tad Too SAD To Be A Good Kids Movie?

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
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“The Boxtrolls”
>>
Disney ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’                     >> “The Sessions”

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>> ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’                   >> ‘The Other Son’ etc 

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insideout1

Click to access IMDB.com listing for this movie.

Went to see this, with the kids (9 & 14), yesterday, in Concord, N.H. When we saw “Jurassic World” on Father’s Day both Teischan (9) and Deanna said they wanted to see “Inside Out“.

It is indeed, in every sense of the word, a very cerebral movie! A movie for thinking kids? That could be an oxymoron. As one approaching 62, who has been fascinated by the workings of the brain for over 40 years, I quite liked this movie. But I am NOT a kid. And that is the crux of the issue.

It is a movie that tries to explain how your emotions work and interact. It is very clever. Some of the cleverness, as is so often the case with kid’s movies, would be totally lost on the kids. E.g., they kept on repeating ‘deja vue’ in one scene. Very clever. Very profound. No way kids would get it let alone appreciate the beauty.

DEFINITELY NOT a movie for young kids. Teischan would not comment on it, though I asked her a number of times, until this morning. Then she, Deanna and Devanee (14) ALL said that it was a SAD movie. That is sad. I am a Disney shareholder (and owned Pixar shares when they first came out c. 1998).

This is a deep movie. It sets out to educate and in a way you can think of it as a dumbed down ‘Basics of Psychology‘ for kids. But kids who are taken to see it, who are expecting to see a ‘Frozen‘, are going to feel cheated and SAD. Not good. My honest advice is not to take young kids, i.e., under 13, to see this. They probably will not thank you.

As an adult, big into the brain, I KNOW that it was a worthwhile movie to make. Some of the metaphors and analogies were a bit flawed and they sometimes took a lot of poeinsideout_ff1tic license, as with the ‘train of thought’, but a lot of thought went into this movie.

It is probably best watched, for free, a few months later, on Amazon Prime — where you can opt to stop watching it without feeling guilty. 

They are trying to tie it in with ‘UP’. It is not UP. Up was poignant, funny much of the time and inspiring. ‘Inside Out’ not so much.

OK? Hope this helped.


Zebras Necking (Rather Than Kissing) At The Philadelphia Zoo — YouTube Video.

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by Anura Guruge


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Zebras necking Philadelphia zoo Anura Guruge

Click to access YouTube video.


This was beyond cute. I have seen videos and pictures of zebras kissing but this was NECKING in its classic sense. Cracked me up.

We had gone to the zoo, Philadelphia Zoo, on Sunday, May 17, 2015, so that Devanee could at last see some giraffes. We had been to the National Zoo in Washington D.C. but they didn’t have giraffes. We tried to do ‘Animal Kingdom’ at Disney last year, given that they do have giraffes BUT were foiled by the rain. The zebras were in the African savanna section of the zoo sharing the enclosure with a huge rhino.



Disney Movie “Monkey Kingdom” Filmed Entirely In Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka.

.Anura Guruge December 2014 thumbnail.
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by Anura Guruge


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++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ for more >>>>

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monkeykingsadsadasd

Click to access Disney’s homepage for the movie “Monkey Kingdom”.


monkeykinimdb

monkeykingsl1

Click to access IMDB page for “Monkey Kingdom”.


monkeykingsl1556as

Click to obtain official videos from Disney.


polasdadkkasASD

Click to ENLARGE and read. From Wikipedia. Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polonnaruwa


Polonnaruwa along with the older Anuradhapura are two ancients and (justly) much celebrated (not to mention venerated) Buddhist capitals in Sri Lanka. I know both of them well. Spent a lot of time, at both places, in my youth. I last visited in 1980. They both have iconic, impressive and sobering Buddhist artifacts — stupa, statues, remains of monasteries and libraries. This movie will do much to get the world to appreciate the beauties and magic of Sri Lanka. I am glad.

Note not the ONLY major movie filmed in Sri Lanka. “The Bridge Over River Kwai” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” were ALSO filmed in Sri Lanka.

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