Wednesday, May 28, 2014

101 Dalmatians

After it’s success with Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Disney decided to dazzle audiences with the retelling of the 1961 Animated Feature Film, 101 Dalmatians. The films mirror each other almost seamlessly, except with a few changes. None of the animals spoke like they had in the animated feature, leveling the roles of the humans from secondary characters to leading roles.

Roger (played by Jeff Daniels) is an American Computer Game Designer who falls in love, by chance, with Anita (played by Joely Richardson) when their dogs create mischief during an afternoon walk. Anita works for the Risque Fashionista, Cruella De Vil (played by Glenn Close) as a fashion designer. The mayhem begins when Anita playfully adds Dalmatian spots to a design for Cruella’s next collection. Little did Anita know she had just begun to turn the gears of a mad woman. 

With a full cast of some of Hollywood’s brightest including Joan Plowright, Hugh Laurie, and Mark Williams, this film still carries the charm of the 1961 film and then some. Who couldn't fall in love with 99 little pups?! 

The film's popularity struck audiences by storm. There were multiple toy sets, clothes, computer/video games (the same one seen in the film), and even an animated television series chronicling the adventures of the puppies when the family moves out to the country side. I still remember the Dalmatian craze that hit the pet world once this film came out. It was almost like the Clownfish and Blue Tang craze when Finding Nemo came out in the early 2000's. Disney thought it could strike thunder twice with 102 Dalmatians, but it still wasn’t as popular as the first.

Take a look at the trailer for 101 Dalmatians.                                               

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book

If you were a 90’s kid like me, one of the things you may vaguely or vividly remember is when Disney came out with a movie called Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (RKTJB). Not too far from its origin, RKTJB was based on the stories in the Novel The Jungle Book (TJB) written by author Rudyard Kipling. Rudyard Kipling was known for his short stories and poems.  Just like when Walt Disney had interpreted the same stories and created the ever popular The Jungle Book with characters such as Mowgli, Baloo, Bagheera, Shere Khan, and even King Louie; RKTJB tells the story of how Mowgli (played by Jason Scott Lee) is raised by in the jungle. The difference between the two films, however, is that one focuses on Mowgli and his interaction with the Jungle Animals as his mentors and the other focuses on Mowgli's life as an adult. There are still some funny antics with the creatures of the jungle, but there is an element similar to Tarzan's Story. Mowgli is brought back into a Man's world and he has to decide which world he wants to belong to.

Without giving too much away about the film, it is definitely one to see. With actors like Cary Elwes, Lena Headey, Sam Neill, and John Cleese playing some of the key roles, this film was raved and praised when it came out in 1994. This film is full of fun and adventure, even including a little romance. 

Check out RKTJB's Trailer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

From Animated Feature to Live Action

As Disney Fans await in anticipation for the release of Disney’s Maleficent, one has to wonder if Disney will continue to transform some of its most beloved stories into live action blockbusters. Honestly, it’s not their first time up at the rodeo doing this sort of storytelling. There have been a handful of classic animated features that existed before even Tim Burton’s recreation of Alice in Wonderland had been thought of.

This has been a growing trend started in the early 90’s when The Jungle Book was featured on silver screens everywhere as Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. We also saw the recreation of 101 Dalmatians. Each time a story is retold, elements are changed and even entire storylines are adapted to better suited the limitations of a “live action universe”.

In anticipation for Maleficent, I'm going to revisit some of these films. ;D In the meantime, check out my favorite trailer for Maleficent.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Million Dollar Arm Reviw

Million Dollar Arm shows that not only must you have the drive in life to be successful, but that success is not always defined by monetary value of oneself.

This film is based on the true story of JB Bernstein and his desperation to be successful in the sports world. Without giving too much away, JB Bernstein (played by John Hamm) decides to take advantage of the untapped potential in India to find the next best baseball player. Through his adventures in India and most importantly in Los Angeles, his expectations of what most business people consider success is stripped away to reveal that there is more to life than just working. It is essentially the transformation from a work-aholic business mogul to caring family man. 

This film is for an older audience but has a great family aesthetic. I think younger kids might miss the messages on adult theming but there are two scenes where there will be some explaining to do by parents. Overall, this film reminds us that sometimes we need to slow down in the everyday grind and let the people closest to you know you love them. After all, they are the ones that will matter in the end.

Check out the trailer!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Disney Skins and Cases for All Your Favorite Devices!

Hi everyone! It's been a while since I have been able to post something so I am thrilled to have something so awesome to share.  Recently I was contacted by Decal Girl about their great ever-expanding line of electronics skins features some of our favorite from the Disney family! These licensed cases and skins come on nearly all devices (find yours on the super easy-to-navigate site's drop down menu when you first head over).  

When they offered to send me samples I was thrilled but then when I saw them I found myself unable to resist using these freebies as part of a giveaway rather than just keeping them all to myself.  The skins are great quality, come with specific and easy to follow instructions, and the customer service is friendly and easy to get in touch with.  

Additionally, there is a HUGE catalog of artwork.  Everything from simply to artistic to the not-so-run of the mill Disney characters you may not see on other sites can be found at Decal Girl.  My favorites are in the Muppets and Art of the Disney Princess sections. 

Head on over and check out the great deals (looks like there is a Mother's Day sale going on now mamas) and in a few weeks look out for the amazing prize pack featuring a Nook Ariel Skin and iPhone 5 Kermit skin! We have big changes coming to Picturing Disney this summer and around June 1st look out for the big announcement as well as the start of this great giveaway!