Thursday, March 31, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Twenty-Eight

Day 28: Favorite Disney Cartoon Show

I grew up in the late 80s early 90s so I got the best Disney had to offer for tv. Ducktales, Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers, Gummy Bears, Tale Spin, Darkwing Duck! The list goes on! It was a fantastic time to be a kid, that's for sure!

My favorite then and now and forever is Ducktales. Maybe it's because it's about Donald's extended family, I don't know, but I loved Ducktales and would never miss them on TV. I had them on tape (and I want them on DVD) and I loved the antics of Huey, Dewey, and Louie and Webbygirl! Launchpad McQuack added to the hysteria and who doesn't love that ol' softy Uncle Scrooge McDuck?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Twenty-Seven

Day 27: Favorite Quote

Yeah, like I can pick just one! But I guess this is the best place to tribute one of Disney's greatest Live Action films of all time. The ground breaking Pirates of the Caribbean brought back not only Disney fans, but it also gave rebirth to an actor who hadn't seen a lot of positive feedback in his career - at least, not by the heavy critics - and now Johnny Depp is everywhere.

Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow was epic (now they're running it into the ground, but that's a rant for another day) and his line delivery spot on for a Pirate... and he had me in stitches from the moment he came into the movie until it ended.

My all time favorite of his, though, is:

"Me; I'm dishonest. And a dishonest man you can always trust to be dishonest. Honestly, it's the honest ones you have to watch out for because you can never predict when they're going to do something incredibly stupid."

Monday, March 28, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Twenty-Six

Day 26: Saddest Death

I would share a video, but the only one on Youtube apparently has embedding disabled. I finally chose the death of Flynn Rider in Disney's newest classic, Tangled. I cried so hard at the end. I won't ruin the movie past that, but it was such a shock that Disney would allow it that I actually had to talk it out and remind myself that this was Disney and the hero never dies. Never, never, never! Haille wanted to know why I was crying because "the Prince never dies!" Guess the five year old is right. (okay so I totally spoiled the movie, so sue me, it comes out on DVD tomorrow.)

honorable mentions are Mufasa's death in The Lion King and Ray's death in The Princess and the Frog.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Twenty-five

Day 25: Favorite Scene from your Favorite Movie

I'm pretty sure I've rambled on enough about Sleeping Beauty, so I'll just share the video and be done with it! ha ha!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Twenty-Four

Day 24: Movie that makes you cry

Do Disney Park planning videos count, because those things make me cry like nobody's business!

Actually I think Disney-Pixar's UP takes the prize. Other than Toy Story 3, no film has been able to rip my heart out like that film does. I should've known bad things were coming when in the beginning of the film we meet the Fredricksons and then watch their life unfold until Ellie gets sick and passes away. And then towards the end he lets go of the house. What the heck? GAH! Why not just throw puppies in a river and drown 'em! SO SAD!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What is your favorite cartoon character?

Donald Duck!

Ask me anything

30 Days of Disney: Day Twenty-three

Day 23: Movie that makes you laugh

There are several Disney films I could name, but the first one that came to mind was The Emperor's New Groove. Disney's most sarcastic movie to date! Anyone who knows me, knows I love a good bit of sacarasm (especially if I'm the one getting to dish it out). The weakest part of his film is lack of creativity in the animation. It's simple, it's cartoonish, and there's no depth whatsoever. If it was supposed to be styled by some Incan or Mayan or whatever art, I think Disney missed the mark (I'm also not a fan of the Hercules animation even though we're supposed to believe that it's based in Greek art, which you can KINDA see, but again it's a cop out to make sure they don't need to have depth).

What the movie does have going for it is the vocals and, of course, the humor. David Spade and Eartha Kitt - I am so there!

Erin and I have so many inside jokes with this movie, and the "Yzma, put your hands in the air!" is screamed many times while at Disney on rides. Even the wimpy drops get that line from time to time. Because we're the Dorktwins - and proud of it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Twenty-Two

Day 22: Underappreciated Film

I guess I'd say Brother Bear. It's about Inupiat legend - I'm sure incredibly Disney-fied - and it does a great job bridging the many different groups. It has a bit of Alaska (what with the bear river, and of course Sitka, Denali and Kenai), you've got the Canadian moose (not really sure what that's about, eh?), and I'm sure those that are "across the pond" are also well represented.

The animation is pretty spot on, too, for a computer 2d adventure. I love the storyline too. It's so sweet. Yes there's a lot of Native Spiritualism, but even with that I recommend it to families (Christian families can use it as a teach/talking tool afterwards, IMO. To identify where the culture/spiritual beliefs differ from ours).

Sunday, March 20, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Twenty-one

Day 21: An Overrated Film

Any Disney CGI film before Tangled. Their storylines are horrible, the animation doesn't hold up to dreamworks (Shrek), Pixar (nothing better), or half a dozen other studios who do full out CGI animated movies. I think the only ones they're comparable to are the VeggieTales series, but those at least have short and sweet stories. Not so much - for me - with Meet the Robinsons or Bolt. I want Disney Animation to focus on the medium that grew this company into the monster it is today. 2d animation. Hate to break it to you, but even Tangled would have been just as amazing had they gotten the best 2d animators out there to work on it. Princess and the Frog was lovely (though I like the techonologies of Walt's Day more than doing it all in the computer with scans and what have you).

There's something to be said of the old classics where you can see the "pencil lines" of each character, there's more depth in those films (story and animation) than there are in the newer all done in the computer ones. I don't think Tangled gained anything from being fully CGI. I think the characters would be more life like on 2d form.

But that's just me.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

No easy decision.

With the disaster in Japan last week, figure skating has come to a standstill. Not only is one of the sports main supporting counties fighting to regain some sense of normalacy, but the World Figure Skating Championships were set to be held this week in Japan.

Then the earth shook and the waves came and all of that disappeared.

The International Skating Union's (ISU) President, Ottavio Cinquanta, spoke in a press release during the speed skating championships stating that the Figure Skating championships were being postponed out of respect for the Japanese people. When asked when he believed they would resume, he had no answer. Rumors are swirling on the ISU receiving bids from other nations ready to host, to saying dear ol' $peedy (Cinquanta) was pushing the championships until October.

Not many in the skating world can find compassion, empathy or even understanding when it comes to the ISU president, but the man is between a rock and a hard place. Some will critisize that he's even worried about something so trivial when thousands are without homes, without power, and thousands more are dead or missing. Others say that he's trying to come out with as much money as possible in this whole thing. Still others say he is not considering the athletes at all. Everyone, however, are upset that he's taking "so long" to make a decision and share it with the rest of us. But, think of it this way for a moment, he may actually be taking all of these points into consideration in making his decision.

October is the least favorite idea on how to handle the situation. How much recovery will Japan see in that time? Look at the Katrina efforts in the United States, they've built back up a bit, but so many are still in limbo and the government support has all but run out. There are new tragedies to worry about, and Americans are always better to help those across the oceans than across the street. Japanese may be more supportive of their own people, but we're not talking an overstuffed huricane with a broken levy. We're talking about a devastating earthquake followed by a large wall Tsunami. This is not something Brad Pitt and his team can go and convert into charity. This is not something we'll see get fixed in time for the next figure skating season. And we're not even talking about the Nuclear Radiation issue we're seeing now in Japan.

That leaves figure skating with two options: move Worlds to another locale in April or May... or cancel the entire thing. No easy choice for Cinquanta, even if he were better liked by the skating fandom at large. If he moves the event, he risks hurting the Japanese economy, as well as pride. They were so looking forward to the event, figure skating is at its height of popularity with the Japanese Public. Their champions are considered rock stars. Think figure skating in the 90s in the US and multiply it by about a thousand and you've got the interest level of Japan.

Cancel the event altogether and you risk killing the chances of dozens of skaters maximizing their potential. You will have fans in an uproar. The World Championships have only had one previous cancellation. That was in 1961 when the USFSA team was killed in a plane crash on their way to the event. This year marked the 40th anniversary and the USFSA just made their rounds with a new documentary film entitled Rise. The irony has not gone unnoticed by fans, but, again, it's on such a minimal scale compared to what the Japanese suffer at present.

Most of the skaters have voiced their concern for Japan, and the support of its People. They also have been very vocal about hating the current limbo they're all in with no definite plan for what lay ahead. Skaters have let their voice be heard in articles, on facebook, and twitter. There's no question that everyone is getting antsy before making any further plans.

So what is the president of the ISU to do? The decision is supposedly going to be decided on Monday. Fans have a petition going online to get the ISU to do anything but hold Worlds in October. Figure Skaters have also signed. No matter the outcome, some will be upset, others just thankful a decision was made. Still, our hearts and prayers stay with Japan.

(To sign the petition asking the ISU to forget the October option, please visit this page.)

30 Days of Disney: Day Twenty

Day 20: Favorite Sequel
We bring you back to our regularly scheduled program now that we're seeing the 39th Iditarod come to a close. The countdown has already started, for me, for Iditarod 40. We're going to make it a long weekend for the start. We're going to do it all. Musher's Banquet, Trail Guard for Ceremonial Start, and then head up to the restart! Very excited and I hope the plans go through.

Anyway, back to the game. Favorite Sequel. Welll, for the most part I hate Disney sequels, I think they're a waste of time and it seems the Disney animation department thinks so too. All it is is a cheap way to make money on unsuspecting parents who just snatch up all things Disney because it seems it required at parenthood. Not that I'm complaining, I think children should discover the brilliance of classic Disney. But the sequels are not classics, they're cheap knock offs of the classics.

Pixar, however, has done an amazing job with their Toy Story sequels, and apparently the next several Pixar releases will also be sequels based on other of their classic films. Pixar is all about the story as well as the animation and it works. I have no doubt that Cars 2 and even Monsters Inc 2 will get teh job done well. (I don't think Monsters needs a sequel - or really prequel - but no one asked me)

Toy Story 3 is probably the most emotional animated film I have ever had to watch. Land Before Time ate me up when I was little, but this movie kills me everytime I watch it. I was BAWLING my eyes out in the theater watching the ending scene. It's horribly real. Pixar has gotten better and better with each film in tugging at the heartstrings. Toy Story 3 nearly put me in therapy after watching it. I've watched it three times, and just watching the clip I shared had me snniffling this morning. Crazy.

So Toy Story 3 is definitely my favorite sequel (yes I know I chose Toy Story 2 as my favorite pixar film).

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Seventeen Iditarods in the making: John Baker is Champion

Long time Iditarod Veteran John Baker saw his dreams turn to reality when he rode into Nome at 9:46 this morning. He is only the second Native Alaskan musher to win the very Alaskan race (the first was Emmitt Peters in 1975) and is the first Eskimo musher to win. The Kotzebue musher has been a fan and musher favorite for years, and even second place Ramey Smith was heard saying "If I had to lose, I'd want it to be to [John]." He's the every musher, a humble, soft spoken, great guy. Who doesn't want the good guy to win? Not only did Baker defy the odds to win, he shattered Martin Buser's fastest time record.

Baker was met by Elders of his community as well as his wife and children. He pulled his wife and daughter into an embrace first off, and his wife sobbed tears of joy. Baker was all business, and almost stoic, as the officials went over his team and his sled checking off the required gear and care. With the signing of his last sheet, Baker was announced as the Iditarod Champion 2011. The Crowd errupted again in cheers (Bruce Lee commented that it was the largest ovation of any musher he could remember). John was a picture of grace and humility as he was pulled in all different directions for pictures, awards, and speeches.

Ramey Smith was second coming in about an hour after Baker's historic win, and is happy he'll get to have a real night's sleep. Hans Gatt came soon after, and Dallas Seavey was fourth. More and more are spilling in, in the fastest run Iditarod to date.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mitch Seavey joins Iditarod Insider team

2004 Iditarod Champion - and former competitor in this year's race - Mitch Seavey has joined up with the Iditarod Insider to finish out this year's race adding his "expert analysis" to an already great team of former racers keeping fans updated throughout the days of the race.

Seavey injured his hand in the Ophir checkpoint and was flown to Anchorage for surgery earlier this week. Race officials had to withdraw the musher from competition. After a successful surgery Mitch flew up in time to see the leaders pull into Unalakleet. Seavey says the top six teams look great, and he's excited to be watching the action.

If you haven't already, I suggest buying into the Iditarod Insider. They have great videos, access to the GPS tracker, and live coverage of the finish.

Swenson's Records Safe For Another Year

John Baker at the Ceremonial Start of Iditarod 39
Saturday, March 5, 2011
Unless a huge shake up happens in the next day and a half - very unlikely - Rick Swenson's records of youngest winner and 5 wins are still his and only his. Kotzebue musher John Baker is solidly in the lead. He's a "hometown hero", and musher/fan favorite. He's plugged away at this moment for years, and quite possibly would have won last year had he not, in his sleep deprived thoughts, believed he'd made a wrong turn on his way to the halfway point of Cripple. (Dallas Seavey was on his tail and passed him and took away the $3,000 in gold nuggets.)

Lance Mackey has all but given up, telling the press that there's no way he's going to hit five. We've heard this whole humilty speech from the Last Chance kennel before, but this time he seems to mean it. Mackey is hovering down in the 6-10th position fighting off Dallas Seavey and Martin Buser for a top ten finish.

Ramey Smyth and Sebastian Schnuelle have been quoted this morning as saying they can't catch, much less keep up, with Baker's team. Though, they're still in the hunt along with Hans Gatt and Hugh Neff - and a surprise, Reddington, Jr.! The race isn't over, but the top six are never won's in the Last Great Race (though they are far from rookies, all have impressive placements in their careers).

Anyone else think Swenson's breathing a huge sigh of relief? Still the most titles and records held. Can Buser's time record be beaten, though?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Team Jamaica scratches in Anvik

Jamaican musher, Newton Marshall, scratched this afternoon in Anvik stating he was concerned for the wellfare of his dogs. Newton had 11 dogs on his team when he scratched and stated that some were showing signs of illness. Marshall is an Iditarod veteran, having finished his first race last year, and has been mentored by Lance Mackey. One of Marshall's biggest boosters is singing legend, Jimmy Buffett. Yes, THAT Jimmy Buffett.
Newton is an Iditarod fan favorite, many citing the Disney movie "Cool Runnings" when speaking about the musher. In fact just last year I was saying Disney needed to make a sequel. Instead of an Olympic Bobsled team, the movie would focus on an Iditarod Sled Dog team. But I digress.

In other race news, John Baker still has a substantial lead heading towards Unalakleet (the checkpoint where Mackey normally makes his gigantic move and takes over the lead). Considering Baker's a favorite of Iditarod experts and followers, this has been an exciting twist into this year's race. It's still anyone's game at this point with at least 8 teams vying for - and able to pull off - a win.

Dallas Seavey and Martin Buser are neck and neck at this point at tenth place. According to the GPS tracker Dallas was set to pass Martin about five minutes ago. This race is anything but boring.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Mitch Seavey out of the Iditarod

Mitch Seavey at the Ceremonial Start of
Iditarod 39, March 5, 2011
By now everyone's heard the news as it happened early thursday morning, but Mitch Seavey was taken out of the race by the Race Marshal due to a severe injury to Seavey's right index finger. According to a statement provided by Seavey's family, Mitch was using a "poorly constructed" knife to cut a tie on a bale of straw when it snapped shut cutting his finger at the first knuckle. Seavey was declared withdrawl by Race Marshal Nordman around 4:17am Thursday March 10. As competitive as he is, Seavey wanted to continue racing, but understood and agreed with Nordman - and the vet team that patched him up - that it was in his best interest to withdraw and head to Anchorage for Surgery.

The surgery was successful, and Mitch was able to keep his finger, and, through a lot of PT, should be able to regain some use out of the digit. From the sound of the wound, it sounds like Mitch wouldn't have had enough strength to properly care for his dogs were he allowed to run. It was a good call on Nordman's part, and I'm glad Mitch ultimately agreed with the decision.

Mitch was carrying the ashes of his friend and long time Kennel Manager Scott Hagen's ashes. Hagen passed away just a week before the Iditarod began, and the family has been hit hard with the sudden loss. Mitch passed the ashes off to son (and fellow racer) Dallas Seavey and "told him to get the job done," according to a posting that Danny Seavey - Mitch's eldest - wrote on Facebook late Thursday evening.

Here's hoping Mitch a speedy recovery and that we'll see him out on the trail with his team soon!

In Iditarod news, John Baker is now the leader, just as he planned, on the Yukon. He's taken his 8 hours, and is keeping Hugh Neff about a mile behind him. Mackey is a somewhat distant third, he's down to 9 dogs with the possibility of dropping to 8. Mushers need only 6 to finish in Nome. Dallas Seavey is hovering around 10th (his highest finish was 6th two years ago).

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Iditarod 39: Taking Twenty-four

Sunday to now has been non-stop action and surprise in this year's iditarod. Teams that were deemed the strongest quickly fell to the back of the pack, with some favorites to win suggesting they might end up scratching. Mitch Seavey was reportedly planning to scratch on Monday, but thankfully decided against it. He's in Takotna sitting in tenth place and apparently taking his 24 hour layover.

Reader (and blogger) favorite Dallas Seavey is currently in 13th after a slow start. He made a jump several checkpoints back, but hasn't truly caught the leaders yet.

The surprising leader is four time champion Martin Buser. Once again, the Happy Trails Kennel is benefitting from the warmer temps, and hard packed, fast trail. It also helps that Martin's team was far away from the Yukon Quest where, apparently, many teams have picked up a strain of kennel cough which has slowed their teams considerably.

After announcing he was going to push for five, Lance has backed off of that statement saying he'll be lucky to stay top ten this year. He's having issues with his team being lethargic. But, I seem to recall him feeling worried about a sickly team about this time last year. Granted, he didn't drop as many last year as he has here (at the moment he's reading at 12 dogs, but is reportedly planning to drop more by the time he leaves the checkpoint tonight after taking his 24 hour layover).

Rick Swenson is likely to see his five time championship record tied by either Buser or Mackey, and it looks like there's very little chance of him increasing his record to six as he suffered a broken collar bone going through the Dalzell Gorge earlier this week. He decided against scratching as, all things considered, he's feeling pretty good. Rick was quoted as saying that as long as he keeps his arm low and doesn't extend it too far out he doesn't feel pain.

Not all of the teams have decided to take their layover in Takotna (a favorite among mushers because of the food - famous for their Iditarod pies and hospitality, who wouldn't want to stay there!) and several have pushed on to Ophir and the halfway point of Iditarod.

We're just minutes away from Martin Buser leaving Takotna (it took me a while to focus on this apparently)! Let the real race begin! Mush on!

(for more updates follow me on twitter! )

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bib Numbers Released

With the "small" number of 62 mushers in this years race, it looks like the bib selection went quicker than in years past. In fact, ITC has already posted the official numbers of each team on the website! I don't recall that happening so fast before. The Iditarod has been in competition with the Yukon Quest for the last few years now for fans/popularity. The ITC has been criticized for not utilizing the media (all forms) correctly. Being traditional and proud of the Iditarod I disagree. They work hard and are doing a fantastic job. The whiners would still complain even if the ITC did everything just like the Quest.

But, I digress.

The bib listing is as follows:
Bib #
Last Name
First Name
3Redington JrRayMWasillaAKUSAVeteran
5MooreAllenMTwo RiversAKUSAVeteran
6MarshallNewtonMSt. AnneJAMAICAVeteran
8HoffmanKrisMSteamboat SpringsCOUSARookie
11BuserMartinMBig LakeAKUSAVeteran
15StoreyBobMAuklandNEW ZEALANDRookie
18ZirkleAliyFTwo RiversAKUSAVeteran
25ThurstonTomMOak CreekCOUSAVeteran
36HendricksJessicaFTwo RiversAKUSAVeteran
41Williams, Jr.MichaelMAkiakAKUSAVeteran
42ClarkeLachlanMBuena VistaCOUSAVeteran
49SwensonRickMTwo RiversAKUSAVeteran
52LindnerSonnyMTwo RiversAKUSAVeteran
55MaixnerKellyMBig LakeAKUSARookie
57BardonerJamesMSignal MountainTNUSARookie
59SmythCimMBig LakeAKUSAVeteran

30 Days of Disney: Day Nineteen

Day 19: Least Favorite Pixar Film
Bug's Life. Like I said, this is easier than picking my favorite. I don't know what it is about Bug's Life that doesn't appeal to me. It's cute, there are some great lines and scenes, but over all it's just blah. But put me in teh parks and one of the first things I look for is It's Tough to Be a Bug. Go figure.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Eighteen

Day 18: Favorite Pixar Film
Oooo, this is tough. it's easier for me to pick my least favorite. I'd have to go with... well... maybe... I don't know... ummmmmm... Toy Story 2. It's an amazing sequel, and the only reason I don't choose #3, which is the most brilliant of the trilogy, is because it made me cry and I hate that. I don't like the ending because it's so real to life. It's just wrong. I like to escape in a Pixar or Disney film, not be reminded I'm an adult and I have to let go. It is almost an Anti-Disney film! haha!

Toy Story was very much a part of my childhood. I remember watching the first one and loving it, and by the time the second came out I was bursting to see it. Granted they both came out during the Baptist Boycott against Disney, so I didn't see either in theatres, but I did see them when friends would bring them over (hey none of our money went to the Mouse at that time, so it counts.)

Thankfully that boycott is done and over with, and I happily own the entire Pixar collection (and I'm slowly but surely making up for lost time Disney Animation wise).

So for today, Toy Story 2 is my favorite. Tomorrow it will probably be Cars or Up or Finding Nemo... or Monsters Inc... or Wall-E... oy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

30 Days of Disney: Day Seventeen

Day 17: Least Favorite Classic.

I'm not a fan of the Little Mermaid, I love teh music and Prince Eric is a decent prince, but over all I just can't get into teh storyline and find the animation to be.... well... not up to par with the princess movies then or since (though Aladdin has it's moments of shoddy animation as well. Stupid computers).

Mainly, though, I don't like the Princess Ariel. She's a spoiled brat who is defiant in a very wrong way. It's not like her father is some evil stepfather who locks her away, and his concern is very much real. But what do I know. I'm a Daddy's Girl who can't stand disappointing her best friend.

But, as I said, I LOVE the music. Under The Sea, Kiss the Girl, Le Poisons... so much fun!