Benjamin Walker's trips in the 2010s
2010 (of the Red Age)
Jean Simmons (Hamlet, Spartacus) died from lung cancer at her home on January 22nd, 2010, nine days before her 81st birthday.
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim
The mission for saving money had been accomplished and my dreams of going to Disneyland had finally came true!
On February 12th, 2010, I left 3705 NW Columbia Avenue with my Mother and head to the Portland International Airport. Emily, Mom, and I board the plane heading for Santa Ana in southern California. We arrived at Disneyland Resort (in honor of its 55th anniversary) in Anaheim and stayed in the Grand Californian Hotel. I brought a few DVDs (Toy Story 2 (in honor of its sequel this summer), Cinderella (in honor of its 60th anniversary), Toy Story (in honor of its 15th anniversary and its sequel this summer)).
The first day started and we went to Disneyland Park and went on Indiana Jones Adventure, Tarzan's Treehouse, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, It's a Small World, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, and Space Mountain and went shopping at It's a Small World Toy Shop and the Emporium at Main Street USA. The next day starts and we went to Disney's California Adventure Park and went on California Screamin', Grizzly River Run, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, and Muppet*Vision 3D and we went shopping in the World of Disney at Downtown Disney.
At February 15th, 2010, we departed Anaheim and flew back to Portland.
After returning from a brunch on March 14th, 2010, Peter Graves (Mission: Impossible, Airplane!) collapsed and died of a heart attack at the 83, four days before his 84th birthday.
According to a spokesperson, Fess Parker (Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone) died of natural causes on March 18th, 2010 at his home in Santa Ynez, California, near the Fess Parker Winery. He was buried at the Santa Barbara Cemetery in Santa Barbara, California.
How to Train Your Dragon (March 26, 2010 – October 14, 2010)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
MPAA Rating: PG (for sequences of intense action and some scary images, and brief mild languages)
Critic Score: 98% Certified Fresh.
Average Rating: 7.9/10.
Critics Consensus: Boasting dazzling animation, a script with surprising dramatic depth, and thrilling 3-D sequences, How to Train Your Dragon soars.
Box office: $494,878,759
The island of Berk is a remote Viking village, from which dragons periodically steal livestock. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) the awkward son of the village chieftain, Stoick the Vast (Gerald Butler), is too small to fight the dragons and instead fashions mechanical devices under his apprenticeship with Gobber (Craig Ferguson) the blacksmith, though his inventions often backfire. During one attack, Hiccup believes he has shot down a Night Fury, an extremely rare and dangerous dragon. Hiccup later finds it in the forest trapped in his bolas, but finds that he can't bring himself to kill the dragon and instead sets it free.
Stoick assembles a fleet to find the dragons' nest, leaving Hiccup in a dragon-fighting class taught by Gobber. Hiccup returns to the forest to find the Night Fury still there, and realizes it is unable to fly properly because of its crippled caudal fin. Hiccup gradually tames the dragon and gives it the name "Toothless", for its retractable teeth. Hiccup makes a harness and prosthetic fin that allows him to guide the dragon in free flight. By studying Toothless' behavior, Hiccup becomes proficient in subduing the captive dragons during training. Stoick's fleet arrives home unsuccessful, but he is cheered by Hiccup's unexpected success.
Astrid (America Ferrera), a tough Viking girl whom Hiccup has a crush on, discovers Hiccup is training Toothless but before she can tell the village, Hiccup takes her for a ride to demonstrate his relationship with the dragon. Toothless unexpectedly takes the pair to the dragons' nest where they discover a gargantuan dragon named the Red Death that eats the smaller dragons unless they bring it stolen livestock.
Back at the village, Hiccup subdues a captive dragon in his final training test in front of his father instead of killing it, but Stoick inadvertently angers the dragon into attacking. Toothless attempts to protect Hiccup in the ensuing panic but is instead captured by the Vikings. Hiccup accidentally reveals to Stoick that Toothless is capable of locating the dragons' nest. Stoick disowns his son and sets off for the nest with Toothless chained to the lead ship as a guide.
The Vikings expel most of the dragons but are overwhelmed by the Red Death until Hiccup, Astrid and their fellow pupils fly in riding the training dragons from the academy and provide cover fire. Hiccup almost drowns trying to break Toothless free from a sinking ship but Stoick saves them both and then reconciles with his son. Toothless and Hiccup destroy the Red Death but Hiccup is injured in the fight. Hiccup regains consciousness on Berk where his left foot has been replaced by a prosthesis, and the Vikings and the dragons now live in harmony.
John Forsythe (Bachelor Father, Charlie's Angels, Dynasty) died on April 1st, 2010, from pneumonia in Santa Ynez, California, aged 92. He was interred at Oak Hill Cemetery, Santa Barbara, California.
Eddie Carroll (the voice of Jiminy Cricket) died on April 6th, 2010 of a brain tumor at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.
Dorothy Provine (It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World) died of emphysema on April 25th, 2010 in Bremerton, Washington.
Lynn Redgrave (Georgy Girl, Gods and Monsters) died from breast cancer in her Kent, Connecticut, home on May 2nd, 2010, aged 67.
Lena Horne (Stormy Weather, The Wiz) died on May 9th, 2010, in New York City.
Shrek Forever After (May 21, 2010 – December 7, 2010)
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild action, some rude humor and brief language)
Critic Score: 58%.
Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critics Consensus: While not without its moments, Shrek Forever After too often feels like a rote rehashing of the franchise's earlier entries.
Box office: $752,600,867
Shrek (Mike Myers) has grown steadily tired of being a family man and celebrity among the local villagers, leading him to yearn for the days when he felt like a "real ogre". When he takes his family to Far Far Away to celebrate his children's first birthday, a series of mishaps further injure his ego, causing him to lose his temper and walk out in anger.
Shrek encounters Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn), who seizes his chance, having observed Shrek's angry outburst. He follows Shrek and arranges for Shrek to appear to save his life. To "thank" him, he gives Shrek a day to live like a real ogre, in exchange for a day from his childhood that he would not remember being erased.
Shrek signs the contract and appears in a reality where he is feared by villagers. He takes the opportunity to cause some lighthearted mischief until he finds "WANTED" posters for Fiona and his home deserted and desolate. He is kidnapped by witches and taken to Rumpelstiltskin, now the King of Far Far Away, which has become derelict and run down.
Upon inquiry, Rumpelstiltskin reveals that the day he erased was the day of Shrek's birth. Therefore, Shrek never saved Fiona (Cameron Diaz), never met Donkey (Eddie Murphy), and consequently Rumpelstiltskin was able to get King Harold (John Cleese) and Queen Lillian (Julie Andrews) to sign their kingdom away, making them both disappear. When the day ends, Shrek will disappear as well. Shrek escapes Rumpelstiltskin's castle with Donkey. Initially terrified of Shrek, Donkey decides to trust him after seeing Shrek cry over his erased history, something he had never seen an ogre do before. After Shrek explains the situation, Donkey helps him find a hidden exit clause: the contract will be nullified if Shrek and Fiona share true love's kiss.
They soon encounter a band of ogres who are resisting Rumpelstiltskin. The ogres are led by a still-cursed Fiona who, after escaping from the tower where she was held captive, keeps the retired and overweight Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) as a pet. Shrek does everything he can to gain Fiona's love, but she is too busy preparing an ambush on Rumpelstiltskin. She is also bitterly cynical and disillusioned about the power of true love and throws herself into planning Rumpelstiltskin's capture. While sparring with her, Fiona begins to like Shrek, but stops short of kissing him. Puss encourages him to continue pursuing Fiona.
During the ambush, the ogres are captured by the Pied Piper (Jeremy Steig), though Shrek and Fiona escape with the intervention of Puss and Donkey. Shrek insists Fiona kiss him, saying it will fix everything, but because Fiona does not truly love him, the kiss does not work. When he hears that Rumpelstiltskin is offering the "deal of a lifetime" (where all wishes come true) to the one who brings him Shrek, Shrek turns himself in and uses the deal to free the other ogres, who then storm into the castle, battle the witches, and capture Rumpelstiltskin.
As the sun rises, Shrek begins to fade from existence. But Fiona, having fallen in love with him, kisses Shrek just before he disappears, thereby voiding the contract and restoring Shrek to his world, just before he lashed out at the party. Shrek embraces his friends and family with a newfound appreciation for everything he has, truly living happily forever after.
Eugenia Paul (Zorro) died on May 24th, 2010 at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Florida, at the age of 75.
Eddie Barth (Simon & Simon) died of heart failure at his home in Los Angeles on May 28th, 2010 at the age of 78.
Dennis Hopper (Speed, Blue Velvet, Easy Rider) died at his home in the coastal Los Angeles district of Venice, Los Angeles on the morning of May 29th, 2010, 12 days after his 74th birthday.
Jimmy Dean (Big Bad John) died at the age of 81, on June 13th, 2010 at his Red Roof Inn in Varina, Virginia.
Toy Story 3 (June 18, 2010 – November 2, 2010)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Winner.
MPAA Rating: G
Critic Score: 99% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 8.9/10
Critics Consensus: Deftly blending comedy, adventure, and honest emotion, Toy Story 3 is a rare second sequel that really works.
Box office: $1,063,171,911
17-year-old Andy (John Morris) is about to leave for college, and his toys have not been played with for years. He intends to take only Woody (Tom Hanks) with him, and puts Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack) and the other toys in a bag to be stored in the attic. Andy's mother (Laurie Metcalf) mistakenly takes the bag to the curb for garbage pickup. The toys escape and, believing Andy intended to throw them away, decide to climb into a donation box with Barbie (Jodi Benson) bound for Sunnyside Daycare. Woody follows them but is unable to convince them of the mistake.
Andy's toys are welcomed by the other toys at Sunnyside, and are given a tour of the seemingly idyllic play-setting by Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear ("Lotso") (Ned Beatty), Big Baby, and Ken (Michael Keaton), with whom Barbie falls in love. All of the toys choose to stay, except Woody, who attempts to return to Andy, but is instead found by Bonnie (Emily Hahn), one of the Sunnyside students. She takes Woody home and plays with him along with her other toys, which are well-treated. Meanwhile, at Sunnyside, a group of toddlers play roughly with Andy's toys.
Buzz seeks out Lotso to request to have them moved to the older children's room, but Lotso, who controls Sunnyside ruthlessly, refuses, explaining that the newer toys need to be sacrificed to the younger children to protect the older ones, indifferent to damage or suffering they might endure. Seeing promise in Buzz, he resets him to his original space ranger persona, which also resets his memory. At the same time, Mrs. Potato Head (Estelle Harris), through an eye she accidentally left in Andy's room, sees Andy searching for the toys and realizes Woody was telling the truth. However, before they can leave, Andy's toys are imprisoned by Lotso's gang, guarded by Buzz.
At Bonnie's house, a toy named Chuckles (Bud Luckey) explains to Woody that he, Lotso and Big Baby once had a beloved owner named Daisy. When the toys were accidentally left behind by Daisy's family during a trip, they made their way back to her house, only to find that Lotso had been replaced, causing Lotso to become embittered and cruel.
Woody returns to Sunnyside and learns from a Chatter Telephone toy (Teddy Newton) that there is only one way out of the daycare: the trash. He reconciles with Andy's other toys and begins planning a way out of Sunnyside. That night, the toys execute their escape, but accidentally reset Buzz to Spanish mode instead of his old persona. Buzz promptly allies himself with Woody and falls in love with Jessie. The toys reach a dumpster, but are caught by Lotso and his gang. As a garbage truck approaches, Woody reveals what he learned about Lotso and tosses Daisy's ownership tag, which Chuckles had kept, to Big Baby. Lotso smashes the tag and claims that toys are meant to be discarded, but this leads an enraged Big Baby to throw Lotso into the dumpster. As the toys try to run away, Lotso pulls Woody into the dumpster just as the truck collects the trash. The rest of Andy's toys fall into the back of the truck while trying to rescue him, and a falling television lands on Buzz, restoring his memory and normal personality.
The truck deposits the toys at a landfill, where they find themselves on a conveyor belt leading to an incinerator. Woody and Buzz help Lotso reach an emergency stop button, only for Lotso to abandon them and escape. The toys resign themselves to their fate, but are rescued at the last second by the Aliens (Jeff Pidgeon) operating an industrial claw. Lotso is found by a garbage truck driver who straps him to his truck's radiator grill and drives away. Woody and his friends board another garbage truck back to Andy's house.
In Andy's room, Woody climbs into the box with Andy's college supplies, while the other toys ready themselves for the attic. Woody leaves a note for Andy, who, thinking the note is from his mother, takes the toys to Bonnie's house and introduces her to them. Bonnie recognizes Woody, who, to Andy's surprise, is at the bottom of the box. Though hesitant at first, Andy passes Woody on to Bonnie, and then plays with her before leaving. Woody and the other toys watch Andy's departure as they begin their new lives with Bonnie. Meanwhile, Barbie, Ken and Big Baby have made vast improvements to Sunnyside, and maintain contact with Woody and his friends through letters.
On June 29th, 2010, Ron Gans (Transformers, Welcome to Pooh Corner, Dumbo's Circus) died in Los Angeles at the age of 78, due to complications from pneumonia.
Ilene Woods (Cinderella) eventually died on Thursday July 1st, 2010, suffering complications from Alzheimer's disease in a nursing home at Canoga Park in Los Angeles.
Despicable Me (July 9, 2010 – December 14, 2010)
MPAA Rating: PG (for rude humor and mild action)
Critic Score: 81% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critics Consensus: Borrowing heavily (and intelligently) from Pixar and Looney Tunes, Despicable Me is a surprisingly thoughtful, family-friendly treat with a few surprises of its own.
Box office: $543,113,985
Gru (Steve Carell), a supervillain, has his pride injured when an unknown supervillain steals the Great Pyramid of Giza, an action that is described by his colleague Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) as "making all other villains look lame." Gru decides to do better, with the assistance of Dr. Nefario, by shrinking and stealing the Moon, an idea based on his childhood dream of being an astronaut, which was always disparaged by his mother Marlena (Julie Andrews). The plan is expensive and Gru seeks a loan from the Bank of Evil, where the president Mr. Perkins (Will Arnett) is impressed by the plan, but will only provide the money if Gru can obtain the necessary shrink ray first.
Gru and his Minions steal the shrink ray from a secret base in East Asia, but the up-and-coming supervillain, Vector (Jason Segel), who was also responsible for the Pyramid theft, immediately steals it from Gru, as revenge for freezing his head earlier at the Bank of Evil. Gru attempts to break into Vector's fortress to get the shrink ray back, but is defeated by numerous booby traps. However, he notices three orphan girls, Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Elsie Fisher), who are able to easily walk into the base because they are selling cookies. Gru disguises himself as a dentist and adopts the girls from Miss Hattie's (Kristen Wiig) Home for Girls, planning on using them to infiltrate Vector's base so he can get the shrink ray back. However, Gru has difficulty nurturing them properly due to their rambunctiousness, their ballet classes, and his own ineptitude as a parent.
Eventually, Gru and the girls arrive at Vector's fortress and Gru manages to steal the shrink ray. The girls then suggest a day at a theme park; Gru agrees, believing he can abandon the girls there, but he is later told by an attendant that they must be accompanied by an adult. He is then dragged around the theme park for the day, eventually warming to the girls after they compliment him on blowing up a rigged carnival game to get Agnes a toy unicorn.
Later, Gru contacts Mr. Perkins, stating that he finally has the shrink ray in his possession. Margo, Edith, and Agnes interrupt the meeting, and Perkins announces that he has lost confidence in Gru and will no longer fund his operations. As Gru tells the Minions he can no longer pay them for their services, the girls offer the contents of their piggy bank to fund the plan. The Minions then hand over their own savings, too. Gru, inspired, sacrifices parts of his lair to construct a spacecraft. Gru plans to steal the Moon when it is nearest the Earth, but this ends up being the same day as the girls' ballet recital. Gru becomes conflicted, and Dr. Nefario, seeing the recital as interfering with the plan, arranges for the girls to be returned to the orphanage. At the same time, Mr. Perkins informs Vector (who is revealed to be his son) of Gru's possession of the shrink ray and the adoption of the three girls, encouraging Vector to take action.
Gru successfully shrinks and steals the Moon, but is too late to attend the recital — finding a note from Vector, who has kidnapped the girls, and will exchange the Moon for them. After arriving at Vector's headquarters, Gru readily makes the trade, but Vector reneges on the deal, flying off with the girls and the Moon, much to Gru's anger. Meanwhile, Dr. Nefario discovers that the effects of the shrink ray are temporary; the bigger the object was originally, the faster it will regain its original size. As the Moon starts to expand in Vector's ship, Gru, Dr. Nefario, and the Minions pull off a daring mid-air rescue of the girls just as the Moon explodes out of Vector's ship and launches itself back into orbit, with Vector trapped on it.
Sometime later, Gru has readopted the girls and treats them as his daughters, writing them a bedtime storybook framed around his own experience. The film ends with the girls performing their own ballet recital for Gru, Marlena, Dr. Nefario, and the Minions.
James Gammon (Major League, Nash Bridges) died of adrenal gland and liver cancer in Costa Mesa, California on July 16th, 2010.
Lorene Yarnell, of Shields and Yarnell, died of a ruptured cerebral aneurysm on July 29th, 2010, age the age of 66 at Sandefjord, Norway.
Cammie King (Gone with the Wind) died on September 1st, 2010 at her home in Fort Bragg, California, at age 76, from lung cancer.
On September 7th, 2010, Glenn Shadix (Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas) fell in the kitchen at his condominium in Birmingham, Alabama, and died of blunt trauma to his head.
Billie Mae Richards (The Care Bears Movie, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Rudolph's Shiny New Year) died on September 10th, 2010 following a stroke.
Harold Gould (The Sting, Rhoda, The Golden Girls) died from prostate cancer on September 11st, 2010 at Woodland Hills, California.
Gloria Stuart (The Invisible Man, Titanic), at the age of 100, died on the afternoon of September 26th, 2010 of respiratory failure and lung cancer. She was cremated.
Tom Bosley (Happy Days, Father Dowling Mysteries) died from complications of a staph infection on October 19th, 2010 (18 days after his 83rd birthday), at a hospital in Rancho Mirage, California, near his home in Palm Springs, California.
James MacArthur (Hawaii Five-O, Swiss Family Robinson) died of undisclosed causes on October 28th, 2010 at the age of 72, at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.
Megamind (November 5, 2010 – February 25, 2011)
MPAA Rating: PG (for action and some language)
Critic Score: 72%.
Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critics Consensus: It regurgitates plot points from earlier animated efforts, and isn't quite as funny as it should be, but a top-shelf voice cast and strong visuals help make Megamind a pleasant, if unspectacular, diverson.
Megamind (Will Ferrell) is a super intelligent alien who was evacuated from his homeworld as a baby, as was Metro Man (Brad Pitt); the two fall into paths of super villainy and superheroism respectively and grow up as rivals fighting for control of Metro City. Megamind is consistently defeated by Metroman and is in prison. After using a holographic watch to escape with the aid of Minion (David Cross), a talking fish with the robotic body of a gorilla, he kidnaps Metro Man's supposed love interest, reporter Roxanne Ritchi (Tina Fey) and holds her hostage to lure him into a trap. Finding that copper is Metro Man's one weakness, Megamind's plan to obliterate him with a death ray powered by the sun succeeds, and Megamind finally takes over the city. His joy is short lived though, as without a hero to fight, he finds his life has become meaningless. He goes to the Metroman Museum, which was dedicated to him on the day of his death and nearly runs into Roxanne. He uses his holographic watch to disguise himself as the museum's curator Bernard (Ben Stiller), and she innocently gives him the idea of creating a new superhero to take Metro Man's place. After creating a formula from Metroman's DNA, Roxanne intervenes in his plans and he accidentally injects the serum into Hal Stewart (Jonah Hill), Roxanne's dimwitted cameraman, who has an unrequited crush on her. Under the guise of his "Space Dad", Megamind tries to mold Hal into a superhero named Titan (misheard by Hal as "Tighten"), as it was the only name he could trademark. Unfortunately, Hal's ambitions are crushed when he sees Roxanne and Megamind as Bernard on a date. However, Megamind's disguise falters during dinner and she rejects him, causing him to lose track of his invisible car which contains the gun capable of removing Hal's powers.
On the day of their planned battle, Hal doesn't show up and Megamind finds that he has been using his powers for ill-gotten gains and wants to team up with Megamind to take over Metro City. Megamind tells Hal that he tricked him, revealing his Space Dad and Bernard disguises, but that infuriates Hal, who tries to destroy Megamind. Megamind activates a failsafe to trap Hal in copper as it was Metro Man's weakness, but that too fails. After he escapes, Megamind pleads with Roxanne for help, and they go to Metro Man's hideout to search for clues to why the copper didn't work. Instead they find Metro Man, still alive but having been disillusioned with the life of a superhero, he chose to fake his death in order to pursue a career in music. He refuses to help despite the danger, but encourages Megamind that good will always rise up against evil. Not seeing himself as a hero, Megamind gives up and returns to prison. Meanwhile, Hal kidnaps Roxanne and holds her hostage to call Megamind out of hiding. Megamind begs the Warden to release him to face this threat, inadvertently apologizing for an argument he'd had with Minion earlier that caused the two to separate. Minion reveals himself under the Warden's (J.K. Simmons) disguise and the two leave to face Hal together.
At Metro Tower, Hal threatens to send it toppling into the city with Roxanne tied to the roof. Megamind appears and tricks Hal, freeing Roxanne and the two flee as he throws the tower at them. Roxanne gets away, but Megamind is struck by the tower's antenna and appears near death. Metro Man finally appears and chases Hal away from the scene as Roxanne discovers that the Megamind that saved her was actually Minion, and that Metro Man is actually Megamind in disguise. He successfully scares Hal off, but accidentally mispronounces the city's name Metrocity as Monstrosity, as Megamind often did and Hal returns. Finding the invisible car, Megamind grabs the diffuser gun just as Hal hurls him into the sky. To avoid falling to his death, Megamind dehydrates himself and lands with the gun in the fountain in front of Hal, re-hydrating and then hitting him with the gun, removing the villain's powers and returning him to normal. Now hailed as heroes, Megamind and Minion appear at the reopening of Metro Man's museum, now dedicated to Megamind instead while Metro Man, in disguise within the crowd silently congratulates his former rival.
In a mid-credits scene Minion is doing the laundry when a re-hydrated Bernard pops out of the washing machine. After chiding Megamind about cleaning out his pockets, he knocks Bernard out with the Forget-Me Stick.
Tangled & Muppets & Fairies Ever After (November 24, 2010 – March 29, 2011)
Awards: Best Original Song Nominees "I See the Light" and "Man or Muppet."
MPAA Rating: PG (for some mild rude humor and brief mild violence)
Critic Score: 90% Certified Fresh.
Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critics Consensus: Visually stunning and throughly entertaining addition to the studio's classic animated canon, Muppets & Fairies Ever After delivers Jim Henson lovable creations a welcome party, with its lush colors, magical air, and beautiful animation – while possessing a passable plot and opening up a world beyond the Disney universe.
Box office: $591,794,936
Long ago, a drop of sunlight became a golden flower capable of healing illness, decay and injury. For hundreds of years the flower is used by Mother Gothel (Donna Murphy) to retain her youth until it is discovered by soldiers of a nearby kingdom, Corona. They use the flower to heal their ailing Queen Arianna, who soon afterwards gives birth to princess Rapunzel (Delaney Rose Stein). While attempting to recover the flower, Gothel discovers that Rapunzel's hair has the flower's healing properties. However, attempting to take just the hair by cutting a piece from it destroys its power, and so she kidnaps Rapunzel and raises her as her own daughter in an isolated tower. Once a year, King Frederic and Arianna release sky lanterns on Rapunzel's birthday, hoping for their daughter's return ("When Will My Life Begin?").
The nature-talent fairies, including Silvermist (Lucy Liu), Rosetta (Kristin Chenoweth), Iridessa (Raven-Symoné), and Fawn (Angela Bartys), are bringing to the mainland the leaves, hibernation, chilly breezes, and pumpkins: autumn. Brothers Walter (Peter Linz) and Gary (Jason Segel), residents of Smalltown, are fans of the Muppets, having watched The Muppet Show throughout their youth. Now adults, Gary plans a vacation to Los Angeles with his girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams), to celebrate their tenth anniversary, inviting Walter so he can tour the Muppet Studios. Mary feels Gary's devotion to Walter is detracting from their relationship ("Life's a Happy Song").
Meanwhile, Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) and dust-talent fairies like Terence (Jesse McCartney) and Fairy Gary (Jeff Bennett) are staying in Pixie Hollow. Tinker Bell is trying to make a "Pixie Express". But it fails just as she is called by Viola (Grey DeLisle), a summoning fairy; to meet Queen Clarion (Anjelica Huston), Fairy Mary (Jane Horrocks), and Redleaf (John DiMaggio), the Minister of Autumn. They show her a mystical moonstone and explain to her its tremendous powers. Every eight years, there is a blue harvest moon in Pixie Hollow. When the light of this rare blue moon passes through the moonstone, it creates blue-colored pixie dust to strengthen and rejuvenate the pixie dust tree. The Autumn Revelry is the associated event during which the fairies gather to collect the dust.
Nearing her eighteenth birthday, Rapunzel (Mandy Moore) asks Gothel for permission to leave the tower and discover the source of the lanterns, but Gothel refuses, telling her that the outside world is a dangerous place ("Mother Knows Best"). Elsewhere, a thief known as Flynn Rider (Zachary Levi) has stolen Rapunzel's crown from the kingdom and inadvertently discovers the tower after ditching his cohorts, the Stabbington brothers (Ron Perlman). Rapunzel captures Flynn and discovers the crown, but is unaware of its significance. Rapunzel plans to show Flynn to Gothel in order to prove she can take care of herself, but when Gothel becomes enraged at Rapunzel's insistent desire to leave, she asks for a special paint that will take Gothel three days' round trip to obtain and return. Gothel agrees and departs.
In Los Angeles, the three visit the abandoned Muppet Studios. A new scepter is to be made to raise the moonstone, and Tinker Bell has been recommended. Although Tinker Bell has made mistakes in the past, Fairy Mary explains that tinker fairies learn from them, most of the time. Tinker Bell accepts the task, as well as help from Terence. But as the work on the scepter progresses, Tinker Bell begins to have trouble with Terence, who is trying too hard to be helpful. During the tour, Walter sneaks into Kermit the Frog's office and discovers Statler (Steve Whitmire) and Waldorf (Dave Goelz) selling the Muppet Theater to oil magnate Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) and his henchmen Bobo the Bear (Bill Barretta) and Uncle Deadly (Matt Vogel). After Statler and Waldorf leave, Walter overhears Richman reveal his plan to destroy the theater and drill for oil underneath. Walter explains to Gary and Mary that if the Muppets can raise $10 million by the time their original contract expires, they can repurchase the theater.
When Tinker Bell asks Terence to go find something sharp, Terence meets Bobble (Rob Paulsen) and Clank (Jeff Bennett); brings a compass to her workshop, irritating Tinker Bell. She kicks the compass, causing it to roll over and break her newly completed scepter. After a row with her friend, Tinker Bell's furious antics result in her accidentally smashing the moonstone as well. Tinker Bell sets out on in a balloon she's created to find a magic mirror, which, according to legend by storytelling fairy Lyria (Grey DeLisle), granted two of three wishes before becoming lost. Tinker Bell intends to use the third and last wish to repair the shattered moonstone to its original form. Agreeing to stop Richman, they find Kermit (Steve Whitmire) and inform him he must organize a telethon to raise the money, which appears difficult since the Muppets have gone their separate ways since the show ended its run ("Pictures in My Head"). Convinced to try, Kermit sets off with the three to reunite the group by traveling by car with his valet, '80s Robot (Matt Vogel). Rapunzel convinces Flynn to escort her to see the lanterns in exchange for the crown ("When Will My Life Begin? (Reprise)").
While trying to evade a hungry bat, a firefly named Blaze (Eliza Pollack Zebert) crash lands into Tinker Bell's balloon. Tink orders him to leave, but he truly wants to tag along with Tink on her quest to find the magical mirror. After Blaze's apparent exit, Tink tries to read her map but it's too dark to see. Blaze then sheds light on the map to help Tink, and the tinker finally allows him to stay. Kermit dissuades Fozzie Bear (Eric Jacobson) from continuing to perform in Reno, Nevada with the Moopets, a tribute group of uncouth Muppet impersonators. Meanwhile, Gonzo (Dave Goelz) has become a plumbing magnate, and despite his initial objection, destroys his business and joins them. Animal (Eric Jacobson) is recovered from a celebrity anger-management clinic, but is instructed by his sponsor Jack Black (Himself) to avoid drums. Scooter (David Rudman), Rowlf the Dog (Bill Barretta), and the other primary Muppets rejoin through a montage. Later in Paris, the group finds Miss Piggy (Eric Jacobson) working as an editor for "plus-sized" fashion at Vogue Paris. Unable to convince Miss Piggy to return, the group replaces her with Moopet counterpart Miss Poogy (David Rudman).
As the duo's adventure continues, Tink thinks she has stumbled upon the stone arch that is said to lead way to the mirror. She leaves the balloon to make sure of this and leaves Blaze to watch over it. Once Tink flies off, however, the balloon begins to stray away. After unsuccessfully trying to anchor it, Blaze rushes to tell Tink, though she is too busy trying to figure out why she stumbled upon a bent tree instead of the stone ark to notice Blaze. When she finally sees the balloon floating off, she gives chase, Blaze in tow, but the harsh winds knocks them down. The next morning, Tinker Bell awakens, hungry and lost. Blaze scouts out to rally some forest insects that provide food and water for Tink. They also lead her and Blaze to the stone arch, and the adventure continues.
The Muppets return to Los Angeles and pitch their telethon idea to several television networks, but are rejected. Following a show's cancellation, CDE executive Veronica (Rashida Jones) gives the Muppets a recently vacated two-hour slot in the network's schedule, on the condition that they find a celebrity guest. The Muppets refurbish the theater ("We Built This City"), but their first rehearsal is unsuccessful and Kermit is unable to contact a celebrity guest. Miss Piggy returns, forces Poogy out, and informs Kermit that she refuses to work with him. Kermit inspires Walter to find his talent and perform in the telethon. Meanwhile, Mary goes sightseeing alone ("Me Party").
During their excursion, Flynn takes Rapunzel to the Snuggly Duckling, a pub filled with the frightening people Gothel warned Rapunzel about – the thugs, but who instead are charmed by Rapunzel's innocence, was include Hookhand (Brad Garrett) the pianist; the lovesick Big Nose (Jeffrey Tambor), Vlad (Richard Kiel), and a small Shorty (Paul F. Tompkins) ("I've Got a Dream"). When the royal soldiers, led by the Captain of the Guard (M.C. Gainey) appear searching for Flynn, the pub regulars help the pair escape. The soldiers give chase, led by Maximus, one of the lead horses in the royal army, and locate them at a dam. The dam is inadvertently breached, and the resulting deluge traps Flynn and Rapunzel in a flooding cave. Fearing this is the end, Flynn reveals his real name is Eugene Fitzherbert. Rapunzel starts to reveal that her hair glows when she sings – but then realizes that this is their key to escape, as her hair provides enough light to find a way out of the cave ("Healing Incantation"). Eugene and Rapunzel take refuge in a forest where Gothel, now in league with the Stabbingtons, gives the crown to Rapunzel and suggests using it to challenge Eugene's interest in her ("Mother Knows Best (Reprise)").
The next morning, Maximus finds the pair and tries to capture Eugene, but Rapunzel arranges a truce in honor of her birthday. Kermit entreats Richman to return their studio. Richman declines and reveals that the Muppets will also lose their trademark names, which he plans to entitle to the Moopets ("Let's Talk About Me"). Unsuccessful, Kermit returns home. The group reaches the kingdom and enjoys the festivities, culminating in an evening cruise as the lanterns are released ("I See The Light"). There, Rapunzel gives Eugene the crown. When he sees the Stabbingtons on the shore, Eugene leaves Rapunzel and intends to let them have the crown. Instead, the brothers tie Eugene onto a boat and confront Rapunzel, claiming Eugene is escaping with the crown. Gothel then stages a rescue by betraying the brothers and returns Rapunzel to the tower as Eugene and the Stabbingtons are arrested by the royal guards. Miss Piggy enlists the remaining Muppets to kidnap Black as a celebrity guest. Meanwhile, after discovering that a devastated Mary has returned to Smalltown, Gary realizes that he must improve his relationship with Mary and follows her back home to reconcile, while Walter discovers he was intended to join the Muppets ("Man or Muppet"). Tink and Blaze find the shipwreck that is said to house the mirror and head inside Tinker Bell finally discovers the mirror. Just as she is about to make the wish, Blaze keeps getting in her face, causing her to blurt out her wish for the firefly to be quiet for one minute, accidentally wasting her third wish. She blames Blaze for distracting her, but then, realizing that her temper is what had gotten her in trouble in the first place, she apologizes and breaks down crying. She is found by Terence, who has been following her after discovering her plans and the fragments of the moonstone in her empty house. They reunite, but then they are chased by rats.
Back at the tower, Rapunzel recognizes the symbol of the kingdom, which she had subconsciously incorporated into her paintings over the years. Realizing that she is the long-lost princess, she confronts Gothel. The telethon begins and gradually attracts a large audience, with the Muppets raising donations with support from celebrity callers and Jack Black serving unwillingly as host. During the show, Richman cuts the theater's power supply, but Gary and Mary return to Los Angeles and restore the power. Richman then attempts to destroy the theater's television transmitter, but a regretful Uncle Deadly stops Richman. Kermit and Miss Piggy finally reconcile and the Muppets perform "Rainbow Connection" as their final act. However, the telethon runs short as the $10 million has yet to be collected. Having found his talent, Walter performs a whistling act, which is unanimously praised by the audience.
As Eugene is being led to execution, he is rescued by the Snuggly Duckling regulars and carried back to Gothel's tower by Maximus. Eugene enters the tower by climbing Rapunzel's hair, only to find Rapunzel bound with chains and gagged with a handkerchief. Gothel then stabs him with a knife and attempts to leave with a struggling Rapunzel. Refusing to lose, Richman disables the telephone lines and evicts the Muppets from the theater, after the latter fall short of their monetary goal. Rapunzel agrees to lifelong captivity if she is allowed to heal Eugene, but before she has the chance to save him, Eugene slices off her hair, turning it from golden blonde to brown and destroying its magic. Gothel's age rapidly catches up to her, and she falls from the tower, disintegrating into dust. Kermit gathers the group in the lobby and delivers a speech, suggesting that they will restart their career together as a family. As Eugene dies, a heartbroken Rapunzel's tear, which still contains a bit of the sun's power, lands on his cheek and restores his life. Exiting the theater, the Muppets are greeted by a vast gathering of supporters on Hollywood Boulevard. With Gary's encouragement, Walter greets the crowd and is accepted by the Muppets as their newest member.
The two return to the kingdom, where Rapunzel is re-united with her parents. Tinker Bell and Terence start back to Pixie Hollow. Along the way, Tinker Bell fixes the scepter using a white gem from the top of the mirror, the scepter pieces Terence has wisely brought, and the moonstone pieces, all set at just the right angle. She discovers the magic of true friendship, humility, and love. Thanks to inspired teamwork with Terence, she is ready to give the scepter to Clarion. When she unveils the scepter, the assembled fairies are all shocked and alarmed to see the fragments of the precious moonstone. However, the broken moonstone shards create an unexpected benefit: they drastically magnify and increase the surface area through which the rays of the blue moon could pass, creating the largest supply of blue-colored pixie dust ever seen in Pixie Hollow. The kingdom breaks out in celebration and Eugene is pardoned for his crimes. Rapunzel and Eugene eventually marry. Gary proposes to Mary, Richman returns the theater and naming rights to the Muppets after suffering a head injury, and Kermit and Miss Piggy enjoy their private life ("Life's a Happy Song (Reprise)" and "Mahna Mahna").
On November 28th, 2010, 84-year-old Leslie Nielsen (Airplane!, The Naked Gun) dies in his sleep from pneumonia around 5:30 pm.
On December 15th, 2010, Blake Edwards (The Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany's) died of complications of pneumonia at the Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
Bill Erwin (Seinfeld, Falcon Crest, The Twilight Zone) died from natural causes at his home in Studio City, California on December 29th, 2010.
2011 (of the Orange Age)
On January 2nd, 2011, Pete Postlethwaite (In the Name of the Father, Inception, The Usual Suspects) died at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, suffering with pancreatic cancer.
Charlie Callas (Silent Movie, Switch) died on January 27th, 2011, from natural causes, aged 86, in his home in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bill Justice (Peter Pan, Bambi, Alice in Wonderland) died of natural causes at a nursing home in Santa Monica, California, one day after his 97th birthday.
Kenneth Mars (Young Frankenstein, The Producers, The Little Mermaid) died on February 12th, 2011, aged 75, after a three-year battle with pancreatic cancer.
Rango (March 4, 2011 – July 15, 2011)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Winner
MPAA Rating: PG (for rude humor, language, action and smoking)
Critic Score: 88% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critics Consensus: Rango is smart, guddily creative burst of beautifully animated entertainment, and Johnny Depp gives a colorful vocal performance as a household pet in an unfamiliar world.
A pet chameleon named Rango (Johnny Depp) becomes stranded in the Mojave Desert after his terrarium falls from his owners' car by accident. He meets an armadillo named Roadkill (Alfred Molina) who is seeking the mystical "Spirit of the West" and directs the parched chameleon to find water at a town called Dirt. While wandering the desert, he narrowly avoids being eaten by a vicious red-tailed hawk and has a surreal nightmare before meeting the desert iguana Beans (Isla Fisher), a rancher's daughter, who takes the chameleon to Dirt, an Old West town populated by desert animals.
Using bravado and improvisation to fit in, the chameleon presents himself to the townsfolk as a tough drifter named Rango. He quickly runs afoul of outlaw Gila monster Bad Bill (Ray Winstone), but avoids a shootout when Bill is scared off by the hawk's return. Rango is chased by the hawk until he accidentally knocks down an empty water tower which crushes the predator. In response, the town mayor (Ned Beatty), an elderly tortoise, appoints Rango the new sheriff. Meanwhile, the townsfolk worry that with the hawk dead, the gunslinger Rattlesnake Jake (Bill Nighy), who was afraid of the hawk, will return.
After discovering Dirt's water reserves — stored in the town bank inside a water cooler bottle — to be near empty, a skeptical Beans demands Rango investigate where all the water has disappeared to. That night, however, Rango inadvertently assists a trio of bank robbers, led by a mole named Balthazar (Harry Dean Stanton), mistaking them for prospectors. The townsfolk find their water bottle stolen the next day, so Rango organizes a posse. They discover bank manager Merrimack (Stephen Root) dead in the desert having somehow drowned despite the towns lack of water, and track the robbers to their hideout. They fight the robbers' clan over the stolen water bottle in a chase through a canyon before discovering the bottle to be empty. Despite the robbers professing they had found it empty, the posse brings them to town for trial.
Rango confronts the mayor about his buying of the land around Dirt, who denies any wrongdoing and shows Rango that he is building a modern city with the purchased land. The mayor summons Rattlesnake Jake, who runs Rango out of town after humiliating him and making him admit that everything he told the town about himself is a lie. Rango wanders away ashamed and confused about his identity. Finally, he meets the Spirit of the West (Timothy Olyphant), whom Rango identifies as the Man with No Name. The Spirit inspires Rango, telling him, "No man can walk out on his own story."
With the aid of Roadkill and mystical moving yuccas, Rango learns that Dirt's water supply is controlled by an emergency shut-off valve in a water pipeline to Las Vegas, which the mayor has been manipulating to cause a drought so he could buy the land. Recruiting the robbers' clan to aid him, Rango returns to Dirt to call out Jake for a duel with a single bullet, a diversion so the clan and yuccas can turn the pipeline's valve to flood the town with water and free the falsely accused robbers. The mayor, however, forces Rango to surrender by threatening Beans' life, and locks them inside the glass bank vault to drown. He then tries to shoot Jake with Rango's gun, believing that Jake is still part of the Old West that the mayor wants to destroy along with the rest of the town. The mayor is shocked to discover that the gun is empty; Rango has taken the bullet, which he uses to crack the glass and shatter the vault, freeing himself and Beans while washing the Mayor and his men away outside. Impressed, Jake tips his hat to Rango as thanks for saving his life and drags the mayor into the desert to take revenge for double-crossing him. The citizens of Dirt celebrate the return of the water and recognize Rango as their hero.
Michael Gough (Sleepy Hollow, Batman) died on March 17th, 2011, in London, after a short illness.
Wayne Robson (The Red Green Show) died at his home on April 4th, 2011 from a heart attack.
Rio (April 15, 2011 – August 2, 2011)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Original Song Nominee "Real in Rio"
MPAA Rating: G
Critic Score: 72%.
Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critics Consensus: This straightforward movie reaches great heights thanks to its colorful visual palette, catchy music, and funny vocal performances.
Box office: $484,635,760
In Brazil, various exotic birds are smuggled out of the country. In Moose Lake, Minnesota, a crate with a male Spix's macaw hatchling falls out of a truck and is found by a little girl named Linda Gunderson (Leslie Mann), who names him Blu. Over the next 15 years, Linda owns a bookstore. Highly domesticated and unable to fly, Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) is ridiculed frequently by the Canada geese that come by outside of Linda's bookstore.
One day, ornithologist Túlio Monteiro (Rodrigo Santoro) invites Blu and Linda to Rio de Janeiro on the condition that Blu, who is the last male of his species, mates with a female macaw. Linda accepts and they fly to Rio, where Blu meets a red-crested cardinal named Pedro (will.i.am) and his yellow canary friend Nico (Jamie Foxx). At Túlio's aviary, Blu meets Jewel (Anne Hathaway), a fiercely independent Spix's macaw longing to flee into the wilderness. The macaws are captured by Fernando (Jake T. Austin), an orphaned boy, and a sulphur-crested cockatoo named Nigel (Jemaine Clement), both of whom work for a group of smugglers led by Marcel (Carlos Ponce), who wants to leave the country as soon as possible to secure a black market deal regarding Blu and Jewel. While Fernando has second thoughts about his actions, Nigel tells the macaws that he desires to exact revenge on "pretty birds" after his role on a television program had been ruined by one. However, because of Blu's familiarity with cages, they flee into the jungle. Fernando meets Linda and Túlio and helps them find the birds, while Blu and Jewel meet Rafael (George Lopez), a toco toucan, who offers to take them to his bulldog friend, Luiz (Tracy Morgan), to remove their leg chain. He attempts to teach Blu how to fly, before they meet up with Pedro and Nico. Meanwhile, Nigel hires a horde of thieving marmosets led by Mauro (Francisco Ramos) to capture Blu and Jewel. Pedro and Nico then take the two birds to a Rio-style dance party, where they perform a duet and begin to fall in love, but encounter the marmosets in the process. The birds fight them off while the five escape on a tram. Fernando takes Linda and Túlio to the smugglers' hideout, where they discover that the birds have already been moved out. Marcel explains that he will use the Rio Carnival parade to smuggle the birds to the airport, as the other streets have been blocked off for the festivities. Meanwhile, Blu and the others meet Luiz, who releases the chain holding Blu and Jewel. After the two get into a heated argument, they decide to go their separate ways.
Pedro and Nico then witness Nigel capturing Jewel. When Blu and Rafael learn of it, they rush to the carnival to rescue her. Meanwhile, Linda and Túlio have spotted the smuggler's parade float and organize a rescue attempt for the birds. As Linda and Túlio pose as dancers in Spix's macaw costumes, Nigel captures Blu and the group. Linda and Túlio are unable to stop the smugglers in time and Marcel's group takes off in a Short SC.7 Skyvan. During the flight, Blu destroys his cage using a fire extinguisher and releases the other captive birds. However, Nigel attacks the macaws, injuring Jewel. Blu sends Nigel flying into the plane's engine using the fire extinguisher, causing the plane to fall. The smugglers flee the plane. Unable to fly, Jewel falls out of the plane's open cargo hatch towards the ocean. Jumping out of the plane to rescue her, Blu finally discovers that he is able to fly as he and Jewel kiss, and he carries her to Linda and Túlio for help. Later, they adopt Fernando and organize a sanctuary to protect the jungle from smugglers. Blu and Jewel eventually raise three children together, and fly above the jungle, joined by Linda and Túlio in a hang-glider. Meanwhile, Nigel survives the plane accident but is ridiculed for his loss of feathers, and the smugglers are sent to jail.
Jackie Cooper (Skippy, Our Gang, Superman) died on May 3rd, 2011 after a short illness, in Santa Monica, California.
In May 10th, 2011, Norma Zimmer (The Lawrence Welk Show) died at her home in Brea, California at the age of 87.
Bill Skiles (Skiles and Henderson) died on May 16th, 2011 at the age of 79 at his home in St. Cloud, Florida.
On the morning of May 20th, 2011, Randy Savage died at age 58 after suffering a sudden heart attack while driving with his wife in Seminole, Florida.
Bill Hunter (Muriel's Wedding) died of liver cancer on May 21st, 2011, aged 71 in Kew, Victoria, Australia.
Kung Fu Panda 2 (May 26, 2011 – December 13, 2011)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
MPAA Rating: PG (for sequences of martial arts action and mild violence)
Critic Score: 81% Certified Fresh.
Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critics Consensus: The storyline arc may seem a tad familiar to fans of the original, but Kung Fu Panda 2 offers enough action, comedy, and visual sparkle to compensate.
Box office: $665,692,281
Years before the events of the first film, Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), the scion of a peacock clan that rules Gongmen City in ancient China, seeks to harness fireworks as a weapon. After discovering from the court's goat Soothsayer (Michelle Yeoh) that "a warrior of black-and-white" will defeat him if he does not change his ways, Shen leads an army of wolves to exterminate the panda population to avert the prophecy. Shen's parents are horrified at this atrocity and exile their son, who swears revenge.
In the present day, Po (Jack Black) is living his dream as the Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, the Furious Five; Tigress (Angelica Jolie), Crane (David Cross), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Monkey (Jackie Chan). His teacher Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) tells him, however, that he has yet to achieve inner peace. While defending a village from wolf bandits who have been stealing refined metal for Shen, Po is distracted by a symbol on the wolf leader's (Danny McBride) armor, which causes Po to have a flashback of his mother and allows the wolves to escape. Po asks his goose father, Mr. Ping (James Hong), about his origins. Ping reveals that he found Po as an infant in a radish crate and adopted him, but Po remains unsatisfied, wondering how and why he ended up in the Valley of Peace.
Shifu receives word that Shen has killed Thundering Rhino (Victor Garber), the leader of the kung fu council protecting Gongmen City, and is plotting to destroy kung fu tradition and conquer China with his newly developed weapon, a cannon that fires weaponized fireworks. Po and the Furious Five set out to Gongmen City to stop Shen and destroy his weapon. They find the city occupied by Shen's forces, with the two surviving council members Storming Ox (Dennis Haysbert) and Croc (Jean-Claude Van Damme) imprisoned. The six heroes ask the council members for help to liberate the city, but the two cite their helplessness against Shen's weapon and refuse. Po and the Five are discovered by the wolf boss and give chase, only to be arrested in front of Shen's tower.
Upon being brought before Shen in his tower, Po and the Five free themselves and destroy Shen's weapon. However, Po is again distracted by a flashback upon seeing the same symbol as before on Shen's plumage, allowing Shen to escape and destroy the tower with an arsenal of cannons. After Po and the Five escape, Tigress confronts Po over his distraction, who reluctantly explains that he remembers Shen's presence on the night he was separated from his parents, and wants answers about his past from Shen. Though empathetic, Tigress tells Po to stay behind for his own safety. Despite this, Po breaks into the factory to question Shen, inadvertently foiling the Five's plan to destroy the factory. Shen claims that Po's parents abandoned him, and then blasts Po out of the factory into a river with a cannon, where he is presumed dead.
Po survives and is rescued by the same soothsayer, who takes him to the ruins of the nearby village where Po was born. Guided by the soothsayer to embrace his past, Po remembers that when he was an infant, his parents had sacrificed themselves to save him from Shen's army, his mother hiding him in a radish crate and luring Shen's forces away from him. Po attains inner peace, realizing that he has lived a happy and fulfilling life despite this early tragedy.
Po returns to Gongmen City to save the captive Five and prevent Shen's conquest of China. A battle ensues between Shen's armada, sailing in the heart of Gongmen City, and Po and the Five, joined by Shifu, who has persuaded Ox and Croc to help. Po modifies the movements used during his inner peace training to redirect Shen's firework shells against his own armada, destroying it. Po then urges Shen to let go of his own past, but Shen attacks Po until Shen slashes the ropes holding up his last cannon, which falls and crushes Shen to death. Victorious, Po returns to the Valley of Peace and reunites with Mr. Ping, lovingly declaring the goose to be his father.
At the same time, Po's biological father, Li Shan is shown to be living in a far-off, hidden village inhabited by surviving pandas, and senses that his son is still alive.
Jeff Conaway (Grease, Taxi, Babylon 5) died in the morning of May 27th, 2011 at the age of 60.
On June 3rd, 2011, Wally Boag (Disneyland's Golden Horseshoe Revue) passed away. The following day, June 4th, 2011, Boag's longtime partner at the Golden Horseshoe Revue, Betty Taylor, also died at the age of 91.
Don Diamond (F Troop, The Adventures of Kit Carson, Zorro) died due to heart failure in Los Angeles, California on June 19th, 2011 at age 90.
On the evening of June 23rd, 2011, Peter Falk (Columbo, Pocketful of Miracles, The Princess Bride) died at his longtime home on Roxbury Drive in Beverly Hills at the age of 83. His death was triggered by cardiorespiratory arrest, with pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease being the underlying causes. He is buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
Cars 2 (June 24, 2011 – November 1, 2011)
MPAA Rating: G
Critic Score: 39%.
Average Rating: 5.5/10
Critics Consensus: Cars 2 is as visually appealing as any other Pixar production, but all that dazzle can't disguise the rusty storytelling under the hood.
Box office: $559,852,396
Finn McMissile (Michael Caine), a British spy, infiltrates the world's largest untapped oil reserves owned by a group of lemon cars. After being discovered, he flees and fakes his death.
Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson), now a 4-time Piston Cup champion, returns home to Radiator Springs to enjoy some quiet time, but when Italian formula race car, Francesco Bernoulli (John Turturro), challenges McQueen to the newly created World Grand Prix, led by its creator Sir Miles Axlerod (Eddie Izzard), he and his best friend Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) — along with Luigi (Tony Shalhoub), Guido (Guido Quaroni), Fillmore (Lloyd Sherr), and Sarge (Paul Dooley) — depart for Tokyo for the first race of the Grand Prix. Meanwhile, the lemons, who are led by unknown mastermind Professor Zündapp (Thomas Kretschmann), secretly plot to secure their oil profits by using an extremely dangerous camera (discovered by Finn on the oil platform) to trigger and destabilize the use of Allinol, a fuel that was created by Axlerod and required for racers to use in the Grand Prix. McMissile and his partner Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) attempt to meet with American spy car Rod "Torque" Redline (Bruce Campbell) at a World Grand Prix promotional event in Tokyo, to receive information about the mastermind. However, Redline is attacked by Zündapp's henchmen, but not before passing his information to Mater before he is captured, who is then mistaken to be the American contact of Holley and Finn. Before killing Redline, Professor Zündapp finds out that Mater was given the information.
At the first race, several cars are ignited by the camera, and McQueen falls second in the race after Bernoulli, due to Mater accidentally giving him bad racing advice shortly after evading Zündapp's henchmen with help from Holley and Finn. Mater is soon abducted by Finn and boards his plane, where he helps to identify some of the information he was given. After travelling to France to get more information from Finn's old friend, they travel to Italy, where the next race is being held. While the race is being held, Mater infiltrates the criminals' meeting, just as the camera is used on a few more cars, causing a multi car pileup, while allowing McQueen to finish first. Due to the criminals plan causing Allinol to be perceived as troublesome, Sir Miles Axlerod removes it as a required fuel for the final race. However, when McQueen decides to continue using it, the criminals plot to kill McQueen in the next race in London, which spooks Mater, causing him to blow his cover and allow him, Finn and Holley, to be abducted.
Taken to the inside of the clock tower of Big Ben clock in London and tied up in it, while the final race is being held, Mater discovers that the camera did not function on McQueen, but quickly learns the criminals are planning to plant a bomb on him in his pits, causing him to break free and escape. Finn and Holley escape later, but realize that the bomb is on Mater's air filter. Mater soon flees on the race course when McQueen (who arrived at the pits) chases after him, while Finn apprehends Professor Zündapp. The other lemons soon arrive and outnumber Finn, Holley, Mater, and McQueen, but they are soon rescued by the arrival of the other Radiator Springs residents. Mater then uses evidence he had seen to reveal that Axlerod is the leader of this plot and placed the bomb on him, whom he soon confronts and forces to deactivate the bomb, before he and the other lemons are taken into custody, foiling the operation.
In the end, Mater receives a honorary knighthood from the queen (Vanessa Redgrave), while Sarge reveals that he changed McQueen's fuel from Allinol to gasoline, hence why the camera did not work on him. Finn and Holley ask if Mater can join them on another mission, but he turns it down. The final scene ends with the World Grand Prix competitors racing each other at Radiator Springs.
Gordon Tootoosis (Pocahontas, Legends of the Fall) died on July 5th, 2011, after being hospitalized for pneumonia at St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon, Canada.
Winnie the Pooh & The Pixie Fairies Summer Rescue (July 15, 2011 – October 25, 2011)
MPAA Rating: G
Critic Score: 91% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critics Consensus: Adorably lovely, gently whimsical, and the second rare sequel that arguably improves on its predecessors, The Pixie Fairies Summer Rescue uses a sweetly traditional nostalgic treat, inventive storytelling, gorgeous animation, and a talented cast to deliver another rich moviegoing experience to friendship tale.
Box office: $50.1 million
Set two years after the events in Tinker Bell & Looney Tunes, Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) attends fairy camp like the other fairies while Michael Jordan (Himself), Bugs Bunny (Jeff Bergman), and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang attended the summer festival in Orlando, Florida to celebrate the arrival of Alice (Chloe Grace Moretz). They prepare for Michael's basketball camp, but failed when Alice stumbles and hurts her arm. Michael's wife, Juanita (Theresa Randle) decides to leave Alice behind. The next day, Alice discovers Wheezy (Jerome Ranft), a penguin, has been in the patient room next door due to his sore throat. When Tink attempts to go find some lost things, Vidia (Pamela Adlon) asks her if she's going to the human house, which isn't far from camp. The question makes Tink curious and eventually sneaks off. Vidia follows behind to watch over her.
When she reaches the house, she is amazed by their "horseless carriage". She takes the time to flitter around under the car, while Vidia tries to get her to leave. When Juanita takes Wheezy to the yard sale, Alice rescues him, only to be stolen by a greedy cartoon collector, who takes her to his apartment. Eventually they do, but on their way back to camp, Tink and Vidia stumble upon a fairy-sized house made by Lizzy (Lauren Mote), a human girl who wishes to meet a real fairy. Tink immediately heads in to investigate, despite Vidia's constant warnings. Tink claims it to be perfectly safe, so Vidia slams the door shut in an attempt to scare her but unintentionally locks Tink inside. When Lizzy begins to approach the house, Vidia tries to free Tink to no avail. Lizzy discovers Tink inside and takes her to her home. She prepares to show Tink to her father, Dr. Griffiths (Michael Sheen), a very busy and serious scientist, but upon seeing all the butterflies he has pinned in display for research, she decides to keep Tink a secret. Bugs and all of the Tunes identify the thief from a commercial as Al McWhiggin (Wayne Knight), the owner of an acme store called Al's Toon Barn. Bugs, Daffy Duck (Jeff Bergman), Porky Pig (Bob Bergen), Sylvester (Jeff Bergman), and Tweety Bird (Jeff Bergman) all set out to rescue Alice. Meanwhile, Vidia rallies Rosetta (Kristin Chenoweth), Iridessa (Raven-Symoné), Fawn (Angela Bartys), Silvermist (Lucy Liu), Clank (Jeff Bennett) and Bobble (Rob Paulsen) to rescue Tink. They try to sail on a stream which would take them straight to the Griffiths' house.
At Al's apartment, Alice learns that he is a valuable collectable based on a Lewis Carroll and A. A. Milne tales, Alice in Wonderland and Winnie the Pooh and is set to be sold to a cartoon museum in Tokyo, Japan. Pooh (Jim Cummings) wakes up one day to find that he is out of honey ("The Tummy Song"). While out searching for more, Pooh discovers that Eeyore (Bud Luckey) has lost his tail. Pooh, Piglet (Travis Oates), Rabbit (Tom Kenny), Owl (Craig Ferguson), Kanga (Kristen Anderson-Lopez), and Roo (Wyatt Hall) come to the rescue while Tigger (Jim Cummings) has his bouncing fun, and Christopher Robin (Jack Boulter) decides to hold a contest to see who can find a replacement for Eeyore's tail ("A Very Important Thing to Do"). The prize for the winner is a fresh pot of honey. After many failed attempts for what would replace Eeyore's tail (such as a cuckoo clock), Kanga suggests they use a scarf, but it unravels ("The Winner Song").
Back at the human house, Lizzy reveals her fascination of fairies. Tink is flattered by her obsession and since Tink can't leave the house because it's raining outside, she decides to teach her nearly everything about fairies. They record their information in a new research book given to Lizzy by her father. During this time, they have grown a great friendship. While the other characters from the tale—Lorina (Elle Fanning), the White Rabbit, and Stinky Pete the Prospector (Kelsey Grammer)—are excited about going, Alice wants to return home because he is still one of the Tune colleagues. Lorina is upset because the museum is only interested in the collection if Alice is in it since they will return to storage if he is absent from the collection. When her arm is injured accidentally, Alice attempts to retrieve the healing medicine and escape but is foiled by someone mysteriously turning on Al's television set. When their ship goes over a waterfall, Silvermist manipulates the water to create a mid-air stream. While this does save their lives, the boat is wrecked.
The next day, Pooh goes to visit Christopher Robin and he finds a note that says "Gon Out Bizy Back Soon". Because Pooh is unable to read the note, he asks for Owl's help. Owl's poor reading comprehension skills lead Pooh and his friends to believe that Christopher Robin has been abducted by a ruthless and mischievous monster they call the "Backson" and Owl describes it in a song that is shown in a chalk-drawn scene ("The Backson Song"). Rabbit plans to trap the Backson in a pit, which they think he'll fall into after following a trail of items leading to it. Meanwhile, Tigger, wanting a sidekick to help him defeat the Backson, recruits Eeyore to be a second Tigger. He dresses up like the Backson and tries to teach Eeyore how to fight. Eeyore, who is doing this against his will, escapes from Tigger and hides underwater ("It's Gonna Be Great").
The next morning, a doctor fixes her arm and he learns that Lorina was once the beloved daughter of a mother named Lady Ida, who eventually outgrew her and gave her away. The Prospector warns her that the same fate awaits him when Michael grows up, whereas he will last forever in the museum. This convinces Alice to stay, now believing that all toons eventually get discarded by their owners. Meanwhile, Bugs and the other Tunes reach Al's Toon Barn, having travelled 20 blocks. While searching for Alice, Bugs is imprisoned into a cardboard box by his dead ringer of Bunny Dodgers with a utility belt, who thinks he is a real space hero. Bunny Dodgers joins the other Tunes, who mistake him as their Bugs. The fairies continue on foot but upon crossing a mudbank, Vidia gets stuck waist deep. While Clank and Bobble try to find something to pull her out, the other fairies are nearly run over by a car but are saved when Iridessa blinds the driver, who then vacates the car, giving the girls a chance to get Vidia out by grabbing onto the driver's shoelace.
After a while, the rain dies down, and Tink is able to return to camp. She gives Lizzy a hug and makes her way out but before she leaves, she watches Lizzy attempt to show her father the research. Unfortunately, Dr. Griffiths is too busy fixing the house's leaks to pay her any mind, so Tink returns and fixes the leaks, saving Lizzy's father from the burden. Afterwards, she makes the choice to release a captive butterfly Dr. Griffiths was planning on showing to a group of scientists. Thinking that his daughter was the one who set free the butterfly free, he sends her to her room. After discovering Al's plan, the troops arrive his apartment while Bugs escapes and pursues them, accidentally freeing Marvin the Martian (Eric Bauza), who immediately goes after him, intent on destroying him. Meanwhile, Vidia confesses to the rescue team that it was her fault that Tink has been captured. They comfort Vidia about the situation, informing her that it could have been worse without her presence.
Back in the tale, after a failed attempt to get honey from a bee hive, Pooh's imagination combined with his hunger get the better of him which has end up eating some mud and later, accidentally falls into the pit meant for the Backson ("Everything Is Honey"). Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Owl, Piglet, and Eeyore (who had found an anchor whilst he was hiding to replace his own tail) try to get him out, but fall in themselves. Piglet, who didn't fell in, attempts to get Pooh and friends out of the trap (though continuously irritating Rabbit with over-interpretations of his instructions), but he runs into Tigger, still in his Backson outfit, and mistakes him for the actual monster. Piglet escapes from Tigger on a red balloon, which knocks some of the storybook's letters into the pit. After the chase, Tigger and Piglet fall into the trap as well, where Eeyore reminds Tigger that he, being "the only one," is "the most wonderful thing about Tiggers". Eventually, Pooh figures out to use the fallen letters to form a ladder, and the animals are able to escape the pit. They soon find Christopher Robin, and tell him about the Backson, but he clarifies, saying he meant to be "back soon." The hunny pot prize was given to the red balloon from earlier, much to Pooh's dismay.
Back at the house, Tink shows Lizzy how to fly in her room with pixie dust. Once the rescue team finally reaches the human house, they are attacked by Lizzy's pet cat, Mr. Twitches. Despite being an animal fairy, Fawn is unable to immediately tame a cat under pressure. A chase ensues before she is able to find catnip, eventually taming the cat. After the Tunes find Alice, Bugs rejoins them and proves that he is the real Bugs, but Alice refuses to go home. Bugs reminds Alice of a toon's "true purpose" and warns him that in the museum, he will only be able to watch children from behind glass and never be played with again. Later, Pooh visits Owl only to find that Owl was the one that took Eeyore's tail, not realizing it belonged to Eeyore. Owl had been using Eeyore's tail as a bell-pull for his door. Pooh chooses to leave and return the tail to Eeyore instead of sharing a pot of honey with Owl. Christopher Robin is proud of Pooh's selflessness and rewards him with a large pot of honey ("Pooh's Finale").
After the show is over, Alice changes her mind and asks the storybook characters to come with him, but the Prospector prevents their escape. Having foiled Alice's escape the previous night, he reveals that he wants to go to Japan because he was never sold to cartoon lovers, allowing Al to take the storybook character with him. Then her father walks in, forcing Tink to hide in the fairy house. He finds footprints on the ceiling and sternly demands the truth. Lizzy tells him about Tink and shows him the research she and the fairy did in the book he gave her. Her father, however, still refuses to believe in fairies, and he and his daughter get into a disagreement. Angered by Dr. Griffiths stubbornness, Tink reveals herself and chides him. The sight of the fairy astonishes the scientist and prompts him to capture Tink so that he could take her to London for research, but Vidia arrives just in time and pushes her out the way. Vidia is instead captured by Dr. Griffiths, but Lizzy and the fairies are able to convince him to think otherwise.
Bugs and the gang prepare to save Alice, but are caught by Marvin, who wants to destroy Bugs, but Daffy knocks him down Al's building. The Tunes follow Al while Bunny Dodgers chooses to remain behind with an injured Marvin. Accompanied by the Nerdlucks, they steal a delivery truck and follow Al to an airport, where they enter the baggage handling system and free Alice. Prospector injures Alice's arm again while preventing his escape, but is stuffed into a crate by the Tunes to teach him a lesson of what it is like to be loved. They free the White Rabbit, only for Lorina to end up on the plane bound for Japan. Assisted by Bugs and the White Rabbit, Alice frees Lorina and the Tunes find their way home. Dr. Griffiths apologizes to his daughter for not believing her. Vidia is then freed.
In the end, Michael returns from the basketball vacation, he accepts Lorina, the White Rabbit, and the Nerdlucks as his new colleagues, thinking Juanita bought them, and cares for Alice's injured arm. Meanwhile, Al's business has suffered due to his failure to sell the storybook characters. Alice tells Bugs that he is not worried about Michael discarding her because, when he does, they will still have each other for company. Wheezy's throat has been fixed. Lizzy and her father are now closer than ever. Vidia and Tink form a friendship.
In an epilogue scene, it is revealed that the rumored Backson (Huell Howser) actually exists deep in the woods, but is much friendlier than imagined. He discovers the trail of objects that the animals left, and picks up each one, planning to return them to whoever owns them. He ends up falling into the pit that was originally meant for him and waits for someone to arrive and help him out. He adds, "I sure hope that fellow will be back soon."
D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event (2011)
The D23 Expo returned for its second time at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California on August 19th-21st, 2011. Closely resembling the Inaugural D23 Expo on 2009, the Show Floor has expanded its pavilion with Disney Channel and Radio Disney, the Collector's Forum, Walt Disney Studios, Disney Living, Dinsye Corporate Citizenship, and Disney Interactive Media Group. The Treasure of the Walt Disney Archives has expanded by 12,000 square feet (1,100 m2) since the Inaugural D23 Expo. The Show Floor also featured a new pavilion, similar to the Walt Disney Imagineering pavilion from the D23 Expo 2009, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts's Carousel of Projects which shows the highlights of the developing projects coming soon in Disney Parks around the world.
Shopping opportunities include the D23 Expo Dream Store returning from the Inaugural Expo. Other D23 Expo-exclusive stores include Mickey's of Glendale from Walt Disney Imagineering Headquarters in Glendale, California and the Walt Disney Archives Treasure Trove from the Walt Disney Archives in Burbank, California. Other stores include A Small World Village and a Disney Store in the Disney Living Pavilion. Another popular area was the Collectors Forum, where guests could buy Disney Collectibles and with the Disneyana Fan Club, Mouse Planet, Mice Chat, Hidden Mickey author Nancy Temple Rodrigue, and artist Brian Rood with his one-of-a-kid The Rocketeer.
Events took place at the D23 Arena, Stage 28, the "red carpet" at the Talent Round-Up area, Storyteller Stage at the Disney Living pavilion, and at the Disney Channel/Radio Disney stage. The Disney Channel stage held performances from Coco Jones, China Anne McClain, a first look for Radio Disney's N.B.T. (Next Big Thing), and a karate exhibition from Leo Howard. Guests also had the chance to meet and greet the cast of Good Luck Charlie, Jake and the Never Land Pirates and The Never Land Band, Lemonade Mouth, So Random!, Phineas and Ferb, Kickin' It, Fish Hooks, A.N.T. Farm, Handy Manny, Special Agent Oso, Pair of Kings, and Shake it Up.
Stage 23 hosted many events involving sneak peeks to projects from The Walt Disney Studios and ABC Studios including Marvel's The Avengers, The Muppets, Brave, Monsters University, Once Upon a Time and Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice, and the celebration for the 25th Anniversary of Pixar. Stage 28 hosted Walt Disney Imagineering panels for the Disney Cruise Line, Cars Land, Buena Vista Street, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, "The Voices of the Parks", and vintage photos and videos of Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
The first rounds of the UDTT were held on August 18, 2011 (one day before the D23 Expo) which narrowed from thousands to one hundred and from one hundred to 20. It was hosted by Dan Roebuck (guest starred in LOST and Wizards of Waverly Place) who narrowed down the final round from 20 people to 3. After two full days of trivia questions, John Kurowski is the winner of the inaugural Ultimate Disney Fan Trivia Tournament. His name will be engraved in a Ludwig von Drake (cartoon character) trophy which will be preserved in the Walt Disney Archives and John Kurowski will also win a preview cruise on the Disney Fantasy ship which will set sail to the public, part of the Disney Cruise Line, in 2012.
The D23 Arena hosted many milestone events only at the D23 Expo. This is the second time that the Disney Legends Ceremony has taken place in front of guests at the D23 Expo (originally taken place at the Walt Disney Studios). This tradition started in 1987 and since then, 287 people have been awarded. In the Expo, the Company honored 12 people who contributed to the The Walt Disney Company. This includes Jodi Benson (the voice of Ariel in The Little Mermaid), Barton Boyd, Jim Henson (the creator of Kermit the Frog and the Muppets), Linda Larkin (the speaking voice of Jasmine in Aladdin), Paige O'Hara (the voice of Belle in Beauty and the Beast), Regis Philbin, Anika Noni Rose (the voice of Tiana in The Princess and the Frog and Tinker Bell & Looney Tunes), Lea Salonga (the singing voices of Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan), Ray Watson, Guy Williams, and Jack and Bonita Wrather.
At August 21st, 2011 (the month of the D23 Expo), I departed from 3705 NW Columbia Avenue and head on to Deschutes County with my family and my pet dogs, Q and Zero. I brought a few DVDs (Rio, Alice in Wonderland (in honor of its 60th anniversary), and The Fox and the Hound (in honor of its 30th anniversary)).
I started posting screens from the new website Disney Screencaps. I went bike riding, went to the Fort Rock Park with Q and Zero. They said there will be a new water park in Sun River. The trip is ended at August 27th.
Frances Bay (Happy Gilmore, Blue Velvet, The Middle) died in Tarzana, California on September 15th, 2011, of complications from pneumonia at the age of 92.
At September 21st, 2011, I departed from 3705 NW Columbia Avenue and head to the University of Oregon (where Melissa will attend after her graduation in June 2011) at Eugene with my family. I brought a computer and a few DVDs (The Lion King and Dumbo (in honor of its 70th anniversary)). I and my sister went and see The Lion King in 3D.
Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Inc., died at his Palo Alto, California home around 3 p.m. on October 5, 2011, because of complications from a relapse of his previously treated islet-cell neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer, resulting in respiratory arrest.
Puss in Boots (October 28, 2011 – February 24, 2012)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
MPAA Rating: PG (for some adventure action and mild rude humor)
Critic Score: 84% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critics Consensus: It isn't deep or groundbreaking, but what it lacks in profundity, Puss in Boots more than makes up for with an abundance of wit, visual sparkle, and effervescent charm.
Box office: $554,987,477
Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) is a talking cat named for his signature pair of boots. Puss is a fugitive on the run from the law, looking to restore his lost honor. He learns that the outlaw couple Jack (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jill (Amy Sedaris) have the magic beans he's been looking for most of his life, which can lead him to a giant's castle holding valuable golden goose eggs. When Puss tries to steal them from the outlaws' room, a female cat named Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek) interrupts, and both fail. Kitty is allied with Humpty Alexander Dumpty (Zach Galifianakis), a talking egg and Puss' long-estranged childhood friend from the orphanage where he was raised. Puss tells Kitty his origin story and of his feelings of betrayal for a youthful misadventure when Humpty tricked Puss into helping commit a bank robbery in his hometown of San Ricardo; Puss has been on the run ever since. Humpty eventually convinces Puss to join them in finding the beans and retrieving the golden eggs.
The trio steal the beans from Jack and Jill and plant them in the desert. Puss and Kitty's relationship becomes romantic. The trio ride the beanstalk into the clouds to find the castle of the late giant, while avoiding the Great Terror, a mysterious monster that guards the Golden Goose. When they realize the golden eggs are too heavy to carry, they steal the Goose, which is just a gosling, and escape the castle. While celebrating their victory, the group is ambushed by Jack and Jill, who knock Puss unconscious.
When Puss wakes up, he tracks Jack and Jill to San Ricardo where he learns the entire heist was a plot by Humpty to lure him home to be captured, as revenge for abandoning him to the authorities when Humpty's youthful heist went bad. Jack, Jill, and Kitty were involved in the con. After pleas from Imelda (Constance Marie), his adoptive mother, Puss turns himself in to the guards while Humpty donates many golden eggs to the town and becomes a hero.
While in prison, Puss meets the original Jack (Mike Mitchell) from "Jack and the Beanstalk" who warns him that the Great Terror is in fact the Goose's mother, and it will stop at nothing to get its child back. A repentant Kitty helps Puss break out of prison and tells him she loves him. Puss tracks down Humpty, who wants the Great Terror to demolish the town. Puss convinces Humpty to help him fight off the Great Terror, saying he knows Humpty is a good person at heart. The Great Terror, a giant goose, arrives. Using the Goose as bait, Puss and Humpty lure the Great Terror out of the town. During the chase, Jack and Jill betray Humpty and try to take the Goose, but get crushed by the Great Terror. Humpty and the Goose are knocked off a bridge with Puss holding onto them. Humpty knows Puss cannot hold both of them, so he lets go, sacrificing himself to save the Goose and the town. Humpty's shell cracks open to reveal he was a golden egg on the inside. The Great Terror then takes the Goose and Humpty back to the giant's castle.
Puss' efforts to save San Ricardo make him a hero among the townspeople and Imelda. In the epilogue, Jack and Jill are recovering from their injuries, Humpty is shown once again in his regular egg form, wearing a golden egg suit, as he rides the Great Terror into the clouds, and Puss and Kitty kiss.
Mickey's Christmas Carol Remastered (November 4, 2011 – November 20, 2012)
MPAA Rating: G
Critic Score: 95% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critics Consensus: Despite its great addition to Disney's animation legacy, Mickey's Christmas Carol Remastered garners traditional animation and revives a fantastic plot from Charles Dickens' classic tale and is a return-visit to form for Walt Disney's lovable rodent that is sure to win new fans, as well as please longtime Disney traditionalists, for the holidays.
English author, Charles Dickens (The Troubadour) (Rob Paulsen) divides the book into five chapters, which he labels "starves", that is, song stanzas or verses, in keeping with the title of the book. He uses a similar device in his next two Christmas books, titling the four divisions of The Chimes "quarters" after the quarter-hour tolling of clock chimes and naming the parts of The Cricket on the Hearth "chirps".
On Christmas Eve 1843, Ebenezer Scrooge (Scrooge McDuck) (Alan Young), a bitter, miserable old moneylender at a London counting house, goes to the funeral of his former business partner, Jacob Marley (Goofy) (Bill Farmer). At first, he refuses to pay the undertaker, but eventually gives up the two pennies and takes another pair from Marley. He leaves the funeral parlor in a sour mood.
Seven years later, Scrooge is still the same; he holds everything that embodies the joys and spirit of Christmas in contempt. He refuses to visit his cheerful nephew, Fred (Donald Duck) (Tony Anselmo), at his Christmas dinner party with his family, and rudely turns away two gentlemen (Ratty and Moley) (Corey Burton and Jess Harnell) who seek a donation from him to provide a CHristmas dinner for the poor. He complains when his overworked, underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit (Mickey Mouse) (Bret Iwan) begs to take the day off for his own poor family. At home that night, Scrooge is visited by Marley's ghost, who is now forced to spend his afterlife carrying heavy chains forged from his own greedy ways. Marley tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three spirits that night, and that he must listen to them or be cursed to carry chains of his own. As Marley departs, Scrooge witness other restless spirits who wasted their lives and are suffering from their inability to help their fellow man. Scrooge is then visited by the three spirits Marley spoke of – each visit detailed in a separate stave – who accompany him on visits to various Christmas scenes.
The first of the spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past (Jiminy Cricket) (Phil Snyder), takes Scrooge to Christmas scenes of Scrooge's boyhood and youth at the boarding school, which stir the old miser's gentle and tender side by reminding him of a time when he was kinder and more innocent. These scenes portray Scrooge's lonely childhood, his relationship with his beloved sister Fan (Webbigail Vanderquack) (Russi Taylor) who died giving birth to Fred, and a Christmas party hosted by his first employer, the warm-hearted Mr. Fezziwig (J. Thaddeus Toad) (Jeff Bennett), who treated Scrooge like a son. They also portray Scrooge's neglected fiancée, Belle (Daisy Duck) (Christy Carlson Romano), who ends their relationship after she realizes that Scrooge will never love her as much as he loves money, and a visit later in time to the then-married Belle's large and happy family on Christmas Eve. The elderly Scrooge is unable to bear witnessing these events again and extinguishes the spirit with the jar.
The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present (Willie the Giant) (Will Ryan), takes Scrooge to several different scenes – a joy-filled market of people buying the makings of Christmas dinner and a major part of this stave is taken up with Bob Cratchit's family feast, and introduces his youngest son, Tiny Tim (Morty Fieldmouse) (Max Charles), who is full of simple happiness despite being seriously ill. The spirit informs Scrooge that Tiny Tim will soon die unless the course of events changes. The spirit then takes Scrooge to celebrations of Christmas in a miner's cottage and in a lighthouse. Scrooge and the spirit also visit Fred's Christmas party, where Fred speaks of his uncle with pity. Before dying in an immense bell tower, the spirit shows Scrooge two hideous, emaciated children named Ignorance and Want; he tells Scrooge to beware the former above all, and replies to Scrooge's concerns for their welfare by repeating Scrooge's own words: "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"
The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (Pete) (Jim Cummings), shows Scrooge Christmas Day one day later. The spirit shows Scrooge scenes involving the death of a "wretched man". The man's funeral will only be attended by local businessmen (Weasels) if lunch is provided. His charwoman Mrs. Dilber (Clara Cluck) (Russi Taylor), his laundress (Aunt Gertie) (April Winchell), and the local undertaker (Burny Mattinson) steal his bedroom fixtures while his corpse still lays in the bed, and sell them to a fence named Old Joe (Maurice LaMarche). Tiny Tim is also shown to have died, leaving the Cratchit family to mourn him on Christmas. Scrooge is horrified and asks the spirit whether the images he has seen are sure to happen or can be changed. To little response, the spirit takes Scrooge to a dark and desolate graveyard and reveals Scrooge's own grave, showing his own date of death as December 25 of a forthcoming year, and forces Scrooge to fall into his empty coffin sitting in a deep grave atop the fires of Hell.
Scrooge suddenly awakens to find that he is alive, and also that it is Christmas Day, and that all three spirits have visited him over the course of one night. He joyously spots a child on the street and sends him to have a prize turkey brought to him, so he can have it delivered to the Cratchit home. He wishes Mrs. Dilber a Merry Christmas as she runs off claiming that Scrooge had gone mad. He gives money to the poor and celebrates with his fellow men when he goes for a walk. Later that night, Scrooge attends his nephew's dinner. The next morning when Bob Cratchit comes to work late, Scrooge raises his salary before sending him out to buy more coal. As he steps out, Bob Cratchit affirms with the audience that Scrooge has become a kinder man and a second father to Tiny Tim, who survives thanks to Scrooge's charity. The story closes with the narrator repeating Tiny Tim's famous words: "God bless us, everyone!"
The Muppets (November 23, 2011 – March 20, 2012)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Original Song Winner "Man or Muppet"
MPAA Rating: PG (for some mild rude humor)
Critic Score: 96% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 8/10
Critics Consensus: Clever, charming, and heartfelt, The Muppets is a welcome big screen return for Jim Henson's lovable creations that will both win new fans and delight longtime devotees.
Brothers Walter (Peter Linz) and Gary (Jason Segel), residents of Smalltown, are fans of the Muppets, having watched The Muppet Show throughout their youth. Now adults, Gary plans a vacation to Los Angeles with his girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams), to celebrate their tenth anniversary, inviting Walter so he can tour the Muppet Studios. Mary feels Gary's devotion to Walter is detracting from their relationship.
In Los Angeles, the three visit the abandoned Muppet Studios. During the tour, Walter sneaks into Kermit the Frog's office and discovers Statler (Steve Whitmire) and Waldorf (Dave Goelz) selling the Muppet Theater to oil magnate Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) and his henchmen Bobo the Bear (Bill Barretta) and Uncle Deadly (Matt Vogel). After Statler and Waldorf leave, Walter overhears Richman reveal his plan to destroy the theater and drill for oil underneath. Walter explains to Gary and Mary that if the Muppets can raise $10 million by the time their original contract expires, they can repurchase the theater.
Agreeing to stop Richman, they find Kermit (Steve Whitmire) and inform him he must organize a telethon to raise the money, which appears difficult since the Muppets have gone their separate ways since the show ended its run. Convinced to try, Kermit sets off with the three to reunite the group. Kermit dissuades Fozzie Bear (Eric Jacobson) from continuing to perform in Reno, Nevada with the Moopets, a tribute group of uncouth Muppet impersonators. Meanwhile, Gonzo (Dave Goelz) has become a plumbing magnate, and despite his initial objection, destroys his business and joins them. Animal (Eric Jacobson) is recovered from a celebrity anger-management clinic, but is instructed by his sponsor Jack Black (Himself) to avoid drums. The other primary Muppets rejoin through a montage. Later in Paris, the group finds Miss Piggy (Eric Jacobson) working as an editor for "plus-sized" fashion at Vogue Paris. Unable to convince Miss Piggy to return, the group replaces her with Moopet counterpart Miss Poogy (David Rudman).
The Muppets return to Los Angeles and pitch their telethon idea to several television networks, but are rejected. Following a show's cancellation, CDE executive Veronica (Rashida Jones) gives the Muppets a recently vacated two-hour slot in the network's schedule, on the condition that they find a celebrity guest. The Muppets refurbish the theater, but their first rehearsal is unsuccessful and Kermit is unable to contact a celebrity guest. Miss Piggy returns, forces Poogy out, and informs Kermit that she refuses to work with him. Kermit inspires Walter to find his talent and perform in the telethon. Meanwhile, Mary goes sightseeing alone.
Kermit entreats Richman to return their studio. Richman declines and reveals that the Muppets will also lose their trademark names, which he plans to entitle to the Moopets. Unsuccessful, Kermit returns home and Miss Piggy enlists the remaining Muppets to kidnap Black as a celebrity guest. Meanwhile, after discovering that a devastated Mary has returned to Smalltown, Gary realizes that he must improve his relationship with Mary and follows her back home to reconcile, while Walter discovers he was intended to join the Muppets. The telethon begins and gradually attracts a large audience, with the Muppets raising donations with support from celebrity callers and Jack Black serving unwillingly as host. During the show, Richman cuts the theater's power supply, but Gary and Mary return to Los Angeles and restore the power. Richman then attempts to destroy the theater's television transmitter, but a regretful Uncle Deadly stops Richman. Kermit and Miss Piggy finally reconcile and the Muppets perform "Rainbow Connection" as their final act.
However, the telethon runs short as the $10 million has yet to be collected. Having found his talent, Walter performs a whistling act, which is unanimously praised by the audience. Refusing to lose, Richman disables the telephone lines and evicts the Muppets from the theater, after the latter fall short of their monetary goal. Kermit gathers the group in the lobby and delivers a speech, suggesting that they will restart their career together as a family. Exiting the theater, the Muppets are greeted by a vast gathering of supporters on Hollywood Boulevard. With Gary's encouragement, Walter greets the crowd and is accepted by the Muppets as their newest member. Gary proposes to Mary, Richman returns the theater and naming rights to the Muppets after suffering a head injury, and Kermit and Miss Piggy enjoy their private life.
Harry Morgan (M*A*S*H, Dragnet) died peacefully in his sleep at 3:00 a.m. in Los Angeles, on December 7th, 2011 at the age of 96.
Nicol Williamson (Inadmissible Evidence, Spawn, Excalibur) died peacefully on December 16th, 2011, aged 75, after a two-year struggle with esophageal cancer.
2012 (of the Yellow Age)
Ian Abercrombie (Seinfeld, Army of Darkness, Star Wars: The Clone Wars) died in Hollywood, California, on January 26th, 2012 at age 77, from kidney failure.
Laurie Main (Welcome to Pooh Corner) died on February 8th, 2012 in Los Angeles at the age of 89.
On February 11th, 2012, Whitney Houston (The Bodyguard) passed away at the age of 48, due to drowning and the "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use."
The Lorax (March 2, 2012 – August 7, 2012)
MPAA Rating: PG 9for brief mild language)
Critic Score: 54%.
Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critics Consensus: Dr. Seuss' The Lorax is cute and funny enough but the moral simplicity of the book gets lost with the zany Hollywood production values.
Ted Wiggins (Zac Efron) is an idealistic boy, who lives in "Thneedville", a walled city that, aside from the human citizens, is completely artificial; everything is made of plastic, metal, or synthetics with no living plants. Ted has a crush on local environmentalist Audrey (Taylor Swift), who wants to see a "real tree" more than anything in the world, and decides to find one in order to impress her. His energetic Grammy Norma (Betty White) secretly tells Ted the legend of the Once-ler (Ed Helms), who will tell anyone about trees if you brought him fifteen cents, a nail, and a shell of a great-great-great grandfather snail. When Ted leaves Thneedville in search of the Once-ler, he discovers that the outside world is a contaminated, empty wasteland. Once the boy finds him, the Once-ler agrees to tell Ted about the trees on the condition that he listens to the story over multiple visits. Ted agrees, but on his way home, he encounters the mayor of Thneedville, Aloysius O'Hare (Rob Riggle), who is also the proprietor of a company that sells bottled oxygen to Thneedville residents. O'Hare explains to Ted that because trees produce oxygen free of charge, he considers it a threat to his business whenever he hears people talking about them. After revealing that he has "security camera eyes" all over the city, O'Hare pressures Ted to stay in town. However, Ted continues to sneak out of O'Hare's sight (with his grandmother's encouragement) and learns more of the trees' history.
Over Ted's various visits, the Once-ler recounts the story that when he was a young man, he departed his family to find good material for his Thneed invention and make a business. After stumbling upon a lush Truffula Tree forest, the Once-ler meets the guardian of the forest, the Lorax (Danny DeVito), after cutting down a Truffula Tree. The Lorax urges Once-ler to leave the forest, but Once-ler refuses. Eventually, the Once-ler promises not to chop another tree down, and the two seem to begin a friendship of sorts. Then, the young businessman's Thneed invention becomes a major success and Once-ler's family arrives to participate in the business. At first keeping his promise, the Once-ler continues Thneed production by harvesting the Truffula Tree tufts in a slow, but sustainable manner. However, his greedy and lazy relatives soon convince him to resume chopping down the trees. Over time, the Once-ler's deforestation spirals into a mass overproduction. Flushed with wealth, the Once-ler rationalizes his short-sighted needs into arrogant self-righteousness, and the Lorax's helpless protests do not stop him. The Once-ler pollutes the sky, river, and landscape, until the very last Truffula Tree falls. With no further chance of business, he is left broken and abandoned by his family, with his mother disowning him, and with the region uninhabitable because of his business's pollution, the Lorax sends the animals off to find a new place to live before he departs into the sky, leaving only a stone-cut word: "Unless". Distraught and ruined, the Once-ler became a recluse.
After he finishes telling his story, the Once-ler finally understands the meaning behind the Lorax's last message, and gives Ted the last Truffula seed in hopes that he can plant it and make others care about real trees once more. Ted's desire to impress Audrey also becomes a personal mission to remind his town of the importance of nature. O'Hare, still determined not to have trees undermine his business, takes heavy-handed steps such as covering Audrey's nature paintings, closing off the door that Ted uses to see the Once-ler, and forcibly searching Ted's room for the seed. Ted enlists his family and Audrey to help plant the seed, which has begun to germinate after water was accidentally spilled on it. O'Hare and his employees pursue the dissidents until they manage to elude him and reach the town center. When Ted finally attempts to plant the seed, he is interrupted by O'Hare, who rallies the population to stop them by telling the people that trees are dangerous and filthy. To convince them otherwise, Ted takes an earthmover and rams down a section of the city wall to reveal the environmental destruction outside, thereby showing them what O'Hare is encouraging. Horrified at the sight and inspired by Ted's conviction, the crowd defies O'Hare, with his own henchmen expelling him from the town. The seed is finally planted, and Audrey kisses Ted on the cheek. Time passes and the land starts to recover; new trees sprout, the animals begin to return, and the redeemed Once-ler is happily reunited with the Lorax.
Robert B. Sherman, of the Sherman Brothers, died in London on March 6th, 2012 from an age-related illness at the age of 86.
Titanic 3D (April 4, 2012 – September 11, 2012)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for disaster related peril and violence, nudity, sensuality and brief language)
Critic Score: 88% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 8/10
Critics Consensus: A mostly unqualified truimph for James Cameron, who offers a dizzying blend of spectacular visuals and old-fashioned melodrama.
Box office: $2,186,772,302
In 1996, treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Bill Paxton) and his team aboard the research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh search the wreck of RMS Titanic for a necklace with a rare diamond, the Heart of the Ocean. They recover a safe containing a drawing of a young woman wearing only the necklace dated April 14, 1912, the day the ship struck the iceberg. Rose Dawson Calvert (Gloria Stuart), the woman in the drawing, is brought aboard Keldysh and tells Lovett of her experiences aboard Titanic.
In 1912 Southampton, 17-year-old first-class passenger Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), her fiancé Cal Hockley (Billy Zane), and her mother Ruth (Frances Fisher) board the luxurious Titanic. Ruth emphasizes that Rose's marriage will resolve their family's financial problems. Distraught over the engagement, Rose considers suicide by jumping from the stern; Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), a penniless artist, intervenes and discourages her. Discoved with Jack, Rose tells a concerned Cal that she was peering over the edge and Jack saved her from falling. When Cal becomes indifferent, she suggest to him that Jack deserves a reward. He invites Jack to dine with them in first class the following night. Jack and Rose develop a tentative friendship, despite Cal and Ruth being wary of him. Following dinner, Rose secretly joins Jack at a party in third class.
Aware of Cal and Ruth's disapproval, Rose rebuffs Jack's advances, but realizes she prefers him over Cal. After rendezvousing on the bow at sunset, Rose takes Jack to her state room; at her request, Jack sketches Rose posing nude wearing Cal's engagement present, the Heart of the Ocean necklace. They evade Cal's bodyguard (David Warner) and have sex in an automobile inside the cargo hold. On the forward deck, they witness a collision with an iceberg and overhear the officers and designer discussing its seriousness.
Cal discovers Jack's sketch of Rose and an insulting note from her in his safe along with the necklace. When Jack and Rose attempt to inform Cal of the collision, he has his bodyguard slip the necklace into Jack's pocket and accuses him of theft. Jack is arrested, taken to the master-at-arms' office, and handcuffed to a pipe. Cal puts the necklace in his own coat pocket.
With the ship sinking, Rose flees Cal and her mother, who has boarded a lifeboat, and frees Jack. On the boat deck, Cal and Jack encourage her to board a lifeboat; Cal claims he can get himself and Jack off safety. After Rose boards one, Cal tells Jack the arrangement is only for himself. As her boat lowers, Rose decides that she cannot leave Jack and jumps back on board. Cal takes his bodyguard's pistol and chases Rose and Jack into the flooding first-class dining saloon. After using up his ammunition, Cal realizes he gave his coat and consequently the necklace to Rose. He later boards a collapsible lifeboat by carrying a lost child.
After braving several obstacles, Jack and Rose return to the boat deck. The lifeboats have departed and passengers are falling to their deaths as the stern rises out of the water. The ship breaks in half, lifting the stern into the air. Jack and Rose ride it into the ocean and he helps her onto a wooden panel only buoyant enough for one person. He assures her that she will die an old woman, warm in her bed. He dies of hypothermia but she is saved.
With Rose hiding from Cal en route, the RMS Carpathia takes the survivors to New York City where Rose gives her name as Rose Dawson. She later finds out Cal committed suicide after losing all his money in the 1929 Wall Street crash.
Back in the present, Lovett decides to abandon his search after hearing Rose's story. Alone on the stern of Keldysh, Rose takes out the Heart of the Ocean – in her possession all – and drops it into the sea over the wreck site. While she is seemingly asleep or has died in her bed, photos on her dresser depict a life of freedom and adventure inspired by the life she wanted to live with Jack. A young Rose reunites with Jack at the Titanic's Grand Staircase, applauded by those who died.
On April 25th, 2012, Paul L. Smith (Popeye, Dune, Maverick) died in Ra'anana.
The Pirates! Band of Misfits (April 27, 2012 – August 28, 2012)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild action, rude humor and some language)
Critic Score: 86% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critics Consensus: It may not quite scale Aardman's customary delirious heights, but The Pirates! still represents some of the smartest, most skillfully animated fare that modern cinema has to offer.
In 1837, the Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant), inexpert in the ways of pirates, leads a close-knit, rag-tag group of amateur pirates who are trying to make a name for themselves on the high seas. To prove himself and his crew, the Pirate Captain enters the Pirate of the Year competition, with the winner being whoever can plunder the most. After several failed attempts to plunder mundane ships, they come across the Beagle and capture its passenger Charles Darwin (David Tennant). Darwin recognises the crew's pet Polly as the last living dodo, and recommends they enter it in the Scientist of the Year competition at the Royal Society of London for a valuable prize. Secretly, Darwin plans on stealing Polly himself with the help of his trained chimpanzee, Mr. Bobo, as to impress Queen Victoria (Imelda Staunton) whom he has a crush on; the Pirate with a Scarf (Martin Freeman) becomes suspicious of Darwin's motive after one failed attempt to steal Polly.
The pirates disguise themselves as scientists to enter the competition, and the dodo display wins the top prize, which turns out to be minuscule trinkets and a meeting with the Queen. The Pirate Captain hides Polly before the meeting. There, the Queen requests that the Pirate Captain donate Polly for her petting zoo. The Pirate Captain refuses and accidentally reveals his true self, but Darwin steps in to spare the Captain's life, secretly telling the Queen that only the Captain knows where Polly is kept. The Queen lets the Pirate Captain go and orders Darwin to find Polly by any means necessary. Darwin takes the Pirate Captain to a tavern and coaxes out of him that Polly is stashed in his beard. Darwin and Mr. Bobo are able to steal the bird, leading on a chase into the Tower of London where the Queen is waiting. She dismisses Darwin, and instead offers the Pirate Captain a large sum of money in exchange for Polly, which for the Pirate Captain would be enough to assure his win as Pirate of the Year. He accepts the offer and returns to his crew, assuring them Polly is still safe in his beard, though the Pirate with a Scarf is suspicious of his newfound wealth.
At the Pirate of the Year ceremony, the Pirate Captain wins the grand prize from the Pirate King (Brian Blessed), but rival pirate Black Bellamy (Jeremy Piven) makes the Queen's pardon known to all. The Captain is stripped of the prize and his pirating license, and admits his loss of Polly to his crew, who abandon him. The Captain returns to London, intent on rescuing Polly. He reunites with Darwin, learning that the Queen is a member of an exclusive dining society of world leaders that feast on endangered creatures, and that Polly is likely on her flagship, the QV1 to be served at the next meal. The Pirate Captain and Darwin work together to steal an airship to travel to the QV1. Mr. Bobo, meanwhile, goes to find the rest of the Captain's crew to enlist their help.
Aboard the QV1, the Queen locates the Pirate Captain and Darwin and attempts to kill both of them, but together they best her. In the battle, they accidentally mix the ship's store of baking soda with vinegar, causing a violent reaction that rends the ship in two. The Pirate Captain rescues Polly and they escape safely, leaving behind a furious Queen. With his reputation among pirates restored because of the large bounty now on his head, the Pirate Captain is reinstated as a Pirate, and he and his crew continue to explore the high seas in search of adventure.
In a few post-credits scenes, they leave Darwin on the Galapagos Islands, Mr. Bobo joins the Pirate Captain's crew, the Queen is left at the mercy of some of the rare animals she had planned on eating, Black Bellamy is forcefully stripped of his trophy by the Pirate King because of the Pirate Captain's new infamy, and the crew present the Pirate Captain with their own homemade Pirate of the Year trophy.
Digby Wolfe (Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In) died in Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 3rd, 2012, after a short battle with cancer.
George Lindsey (The Andy Griffith Show, Mayberry R.F.D., Hee Haw) died on May 6th, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee following a brief unspecified illness. He was 83.
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (June 8, 2012 – October 16, 2012)
MPAA Rating: PG (for some mild action and rude humor)
Critic Score: 79% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critics Consensus: Dazzlingly colorful and frenetic, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted is silly enough for young kids, but boasts enough surprising smarts to engage parents along the way.
Box office: $746,921,274
Many days after bidding the penguins goodbye, Alex (Ben Stiller) suggests to his friends and the lemurs that they should go to Monte Carlo to get the penguins and the chimpanzees and fly back to New York City, which they agree to do.
In Monte Carlo, the penguins and chimpanzees have been saving up their daily winnings from the casino to fly back to Africa and bring their friends home. Animal control led by Chantel DuBois (Frances McDormand) chases them around the city, with Alex and his gang barely escaping, DuBois vowing to capture Alex and add him to her collection of animals she's captured.
In the skies of France, the plane crashes as the authorities close in. They come across a circus train consisting of Stefano (Martin Short), Gia (Jessica Chastain), and Vitaly (Bryan Cranston), and manage to gain entry, claiming that they are circus animals themselves. The animals soon learn from Stefano that they are performing in Rome and London, where they plan to impress a promoter to get them on their first American tour. Before the zoo animals' claim is discredited, the penguins suddenly appear with a deal to purchase the circus themselves; however, the circus animals' show in Rome proves to be a failure.
In route to London, Stefano soon reveals to Alex that Vitaly was the biggest star of them all, but quit due to an accident in one of his stunts; therefore, the friends losing faith in the circus. At a stop in the Alps, Alex convinces the circus to continue pursuing the circus, in the process they grow closer.
Meanwhile, Dubois is arrested in Rome after causing problems with the local police officers while chasing the animals, but escapes and discovers that Alex was the missing lion from the zoo in New York. Once free, Dubois recruits her injured men and they head toward the Alps, forcing the animals to proceed to London despite incomplete rehearsals. Alex finds Vitaly preparing to leave and convinces him to stay by reminding him of how he enjoys performing the impossible. He suggests that he uses hair conditioner as a safer lubricant to perform his flaming ring jump as well as fix his damaged fur. As a result, Vitaly's stunt is performed perfectly and the show is a spectacular success. After the impressed promoter arranges for an American tour, Dubois shows up with a paper showing that Alex was missing. Though the penguins are able to foil Dubois' plan, Alex is forced to confess that the four of them are just zoo animals trying to get home, disappointing the others who feel used and lied to by the four of them.
The zoo animals and circus go their separate ways, but arrive in New York City at the same time. Realizing how much their adventures have changed them, the zoo animals find that their true home was with the circus. Before they can go back, however, Dubois tranquilizes and captures them, before being discovered by the zoo staff, who believe she is responsible for returning the missing animals. Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen) and the penguins manage to get to the circus and convince the circus animals to rescue their friends.
Back at the zoo, Alex awakens to find that he alone with his friends are trapped in larger fence enclosures. DuBois who was honored by the zoo guards secretly loads a poison-filled dart into a gun that she hides inside a foam finger in preparation for publicly executing Alex. The circus animals arrived led by Skipper (Tom McGrath) and are able to defeat DuBois and her henchmen, Alex and his friends decide to permanently join the circus to pursue their adventures. Meanwhile, DuBois and her henchmen are in boxes bound for Madagascar just like Alex and his friends in the first film.
Brave (June 22, 2012 – November 13, 2012)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Winner
MPAA Rating: PG (for some scary action and rude humor)
Critic Score: 78% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critics Consensus: Brave offers young audiences and fairy tale fans a rousing, funny fantasy adventure with a distaff twist and surprising depth.
Box office: $538,788,207
In Medieval Scotland, Merida (Peigi Barker), a young princess of the clan Dunbroch, is given a bow and arrows by her father, King Fergus (Billy Connolly), for her birthday. Her mother, Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson), is dismayed. While venturing into the woods to fetch a stray arrow, Merida encounters a will-o'-the-wisp. Soon afterwards, Mor'du, a huge demon-bear, attacks the family. Merida flees on horseback with Elinor, while Fergus fights off Mor'du at the cost of his left leg.
Later as a free-spirited young woman, Merida (Kelly Macdonald) discovers that she is to be betrothed to the son of one of her father's allies, much to her dismay. Reminding Merida of a legend of a prince whose pride and refusal to follow his father's wishes destroyed his kingdom, Elinor warns her that failure to consent to the betrothal could harm Dunbroch.
The allied clan chieftains arrive with their first-born sons to compete in the Highland games for Merida's hand in marriage. Merida twists the rules, announcing that she is eligible to compete for her own hand as the first-born of Clan Dunbroch. She defeats each of her suitors in an archery contest, shaming the other clans and leading to an argument with Elinor. When Merida leaves, she follows the wisps to the hut of an elderly witch. Merida bargains with the witch (Julie Walters), and receives an enchanted cake that will change her fate.
When Merida gives the cake to Elinor, it causes Elinor to transform into a black bear. Merida returns to the witch's cottage with Elinor, who still retains most of her human personality. The witch has abandoned the cottage but left a message: unless Merida is able to "mend the bond torn by pride" before the second sunrise, the spell will become permanent. Merida and Elinor are led by the wisps to ancient ruins, where they encounter Mor'du. Merida discovers that he was the prince in the legend, transformed by a similar spell. Merida vows to her mother that she will not let her become a wild animal like Mor'du. She believes that she can reverse the spell by repairing a tapestry she damaged during their argument.
The clans are on the verge of war. Having learned the importance of responsibility from her experience with her mother, Merida intends to declare herself ready to choose a suitor as tradition demands. However, with silent encouragement from Elinor, she instead insists that the first-born should be allowed to marry in their own time to whomever they choose. The clans agree, breaking tradition but renewing and strengthening their alliance. Merida sneaks into the tapestry room with Elinor. Elinor, who is losing her humanity, attacks Fergus, but suddenly regains her composure and flees the castle. Mistaking the queen for Mor'du, Fergus pursues the bear with the other clans. With the help of her younger triplet brothers, who have been transformed by the enchanted cake into bear cubs, Merida repairs the torn tapestry while riding after her father. The clans and Fergus capture Elinor, but Merida intervenes before Mor'du attacks. Mor'du scatters the clan warriors and targets Merida. Elinor intercedes, using her bear strength to hold off Mor'du until he is crushed by a falling menhir. This releases the spirit of the prince, who silently thanks Merida for freeing him. As the sun rises for the second time, Merida realizes the mistakes she has made and reconciles with Elinor, causing the queen and the triplets to turn back into humans.
Later, Merida and Elinor work together on a new tapestry when they are called to the docks to bid farewell to the other clans.
Ernest Borgnine (Marty, McHale's Navy, From Here to Eternity, SpongeBob SquarePants) died of kidney failure on July 8th, 2012 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. He was 95 years old.
Joey Travolta's Film Camp: San Francisco (2012)
At July 1st, 2012, I departed 3705 NW Columbia Avenue and headed down Interstate 5 down south to Walnut Creek in northern California with my friend Roscoe. Roscoe and I stayed at the Renaissance Club Sport Hotel with his wife Hester. I brought a few DVDs (Titanic (in honor of the blockbuster's 15th anniversary and the centennial of the sinking) and two of Walt Disney Animation Studios' least commercially successful films (Home on the Range and Treasure Planet (in honor of its 10th anniversary)).
I went to St. Mary's College for Joey Travolta's Short Film Camp (10:00 AM - 3:30 PM). At film camp, I danced to start camp, I played the judge at the filming of Tree Trial, and I watched Hugo. I took the train to San Francisco. At San Francisco, I went to Pier 39, Alcatraz Island, Disney Store (where I collect some stuff from Brave (Pixar Animation Studios' first fairy tale film about a Scottish princess) (Merida in her hood form and Harris, Hubert, and Hamish) and Rapunzel in her wedding dress in Tangled Ever After), the Ferrari store, and the Walt Disney Family Museum. Roscoe, Hester, and I went to San Jose to go to Raging Waters. At Raging Waters, I went on Bombs Away, Dragon's Den, Pirate's Cove, the Wave Pool, the Lazy River, Blue Thunder, and Shotgun Falls. I went to Berkeley and visited University of California, the bookstore, Rasputin's Music and Videos, the Brazil cafe for dinner, and the toy store. I went downtown Walnut Creek and went to Barnes & Noble and I went to the movie theater and see Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Brave.
The trip ends at July 13th (the day of the release of Ice Age: Continental Drift).
Ginny Tyler (Davey and Goliath, Fantastic Four, Space Ghost) died on July 13th, 2012, aged 86 at a Washington nursing home.
Ice Age: Continental Drift (July 13, 2012 – December 11, 2012)
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild rude humor and action/peril)
Critic Score: 37%.
Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critics Consensus: Ice Age: Continental Drift 3D has moments of charm and witty slapstick, but it often seems content to recycle ideas from the previous films.
Box office: $877,244,782
While Scrat (Chris Wedge) inadvertently causes the break up of Pangaea, Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) are forced to deal with the trials and tribulations of their teenage daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer), who has trouble fitting in with her peers. Ellie tries to support her daughter, but Manny becomes exceedingly over-protective. Meanwhile, Sid's (John Leguizamo) family returns, but only long enough to drop off the elderly Granny (Wanda Sykes) before abandoning them both. Shortly after, a continental break-up separates Manny from the herd. Trapped on a moving chunk of ice with Sid, Granny, and Diego (Denis Leary), Manny has no choice but to ride out the current. Meanwhile, a giant land shift encroaches on Ellie, Peaches, and those remaining on land, causing them to make their way toward the land bridge.
Meanwhile, Scrat, in a subplot, finds an acorn that has a treasure map on it that directs him towards an island. After violent weather pushes them further away from land, Manny's group is captured by a band of pirates sailing on a floating iceberg led by a Gigantopithecus, Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage), who attempts to press them into his crew. When they refuse, Gutt tries to execute them, leading to their escape, which inadvertently cause the ship and food supplies to sink. Gutt's first mate, a female sabretooth named Shira (Jennifer Lopez), joins them after she is left for dead.
The herd washes ashore on Switchback Cove, which gives a current back to their home. Manny coordinates a plan using a group of hyrax to steal a new iceberg ship that Gutt is planning to use, and they are able to escape using the ship, Shira staying with Gutt. Gutt forms another ship and plans to seek revenge on Manny.
After narrowly escaping a pack of sirens, Manny, Sid, Diego, and Granny return home only to find the land bridge destroyed and that Gutt has beaten them and taken Ellie, Peaches, and the rest of the herd hostage. A fight issues, as Granny's pet whale Precious arrives and fends off Gutt's crew. Manny defeats Gutt in a final duel on an ice floe and reunites with his family and friends. Gutt subsequently encounters a siren that assumes the shape of a female Gigantopithecus, and is eaten alive. With their home destroyed, Precious takes the entire crew, including Shira to a lush island.
In the film's epilogue, Scrat discovers the island on the map, known as Scratlantis (a parody of Atlantis), but his uncontrollable urge to hunt acorns in the acorn-rich city inadvertently causes the entire island to sink when he unplugs an acorn drain holder; Scrat is then ejected into the newly created desert now known as Death Valley, California.
Norman Alden (Back to the Future, Ed Wood, Tora! Tora! Tora!) died at the age of 87 on July 27th, 2012 from natural causes in Los Angeles.
Geoffrey Hughes (Coronation Street, Yellow Submarine, Keeping Up Appearances) died from the illness on July 27th, 2012.
ParaNorman (August 17, 2012 – November 27, 2012)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
MPAA Rating: PG (for scary action and images, thematic elements, some rude humor and language)
Critic Score: 87% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated and solidly scripted, ParaNorman will entertain (and frighten) older children while providing surprisingly thoughtful fare for their parents.
In the small town of Blithe Hollow, Massachusetts, Norman Babcock (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is an 11-year-old boy who speaks with the dead, including his late grandmother (Elaine Stritch) and various ghosts in town. Almost no one believes him and he is isolated emotionally from his family while being ridiculed by his peers. His friend, Neil Downe (Tucker Albrizzi), is an overweight boy who is bullied himself and finds in Norman a kindred spirit. During rehearsal of a school play commemorating the town's execution of a witch three centuries ago, Norman has a vision of the town's past in which he is pursued through the woods by townsfolk on a witch hunt. Afterward, the boys are confronted by Norman's estranged and seemingly deranged uncle Mr. Prenderghast (John Goodman) who tells his nephew that he soon must take up his regular ritual to protect the town. Soon after this encounter, Prenderghast dies from a sudden stroke. During the official performance of the school play Norman has another vision, creating a public spectacle of himself which leads to his father (Jeff Garlin) grounding him. His mother (Leslie Mann) tells him that his father's stern manner is because he is afraid for him. The next day, Norman sees Prenderghast's spirit who tells him that the ritual must be performed with a certain book before sundown that day; then making him swear to complete the task, Prenderghast's spirit is set free and crosses over. Norman is at first reluctant to go because he is scared but his grandmother tells him it is all right to be scared as long as he does not let it change who he is. Norman sets off to retrieve the book from Prenderghast's house (having to take it from his corpse).
He then goes to the graves of the five men and two women who were cursed by the witch, but finds that the book is merely a series of fairy tales. Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a school bully, arrives and prevents Norman from reading the story before sundown. Norman attempts to continue reading from the book, to no effect. A ghostly storm resembling the witch appears in the air, summoning the cursed dead to arise as zombies, who chase the boys along with Norman's 17-year-old sister, Courtney (Anna Kendrick) and Neil's older brother, Mitch (Casey Affleck) down the hill and into town. Having realized that the witch was not buried in the graveyard, Norman contacts classmate Salma (who tells them to access the Town Hall's archives for the location of the witch's unmarked grave) for help. As the kids make their way to the Town Hall, the zombies are attacked by the citizenry. During the riot, Norman and his companions break into the archives but cannot find the information they need. As the mob moves to attack Town Hall, the witch storm appears over the crowd. Norman climbs the Hall's tower to read the book, in a last-ditch effort to finish the ritual, but the witch strikes the book with lightning, hurling Norman from the tower and deep into the archives.
Unconscious, Norman has a dream where he learns that the witch was Agatha Prenderghast (Jodelle Ferland), a little girl of his age who was also a medium. Norman realizes that Agatha was wrongfully convicted by the town council when they mistook her powers for witchcraft. After awakening, Norman encounters the zombies and recognizes them as the town council who convicted Agatha. The zombies admit that they only wanted to speak with him to ensure that he would take up the ritual, to minimize the damage of the mistake they made so long ago. Norman attempts to help the zombies slip away so they can guide him to Agatha's grave, but is cornered by the mob. Courtney and the kids confronts the crowd and convinces them to back off, arguing that their rage, fear, and misunderstanding make them no different than the cursed townsfolk from long ago. Judge Hopkins (Bernard Hill) guides Norman's family to the grave in a forest. Before the grave is reached, Agatha's magical powers separate Norman from the others. Norman finds the grave and interacts with Agatha who has become a vengeful spirit/poltergeist in the spirit dimension, determined to stop the cataclysmic tantrum she has been having over the years. She asks him to leave her be, but Norman holds his ground, telling her he understands how she feels as an outcast. Norman endures her assault and eventually convinces her that her vengeance is accomplishing nothing and persuades her to stop. Norman tells her that there must have been someone who was kind to her.
Agatha recalls happy memories with her mother. At last, having finally encountered someone who understands her plight, she is able to find a measure of peace and cross over to the afterlife. The storm dissipates, and she and the zombies all fade away. The town cleans up and regards Norman as a hero. In the end, Norman watches a horror film with the ghost of his grandmother and his family, who have grown to accept Norman for who he is.
On the morning of August 20th, 2012, Phyllis Diller (The Pruitts of Southampton) died in her Brentwood, Los Angeles, California home of natural causes at age 95.
On August 23rd, 2012, Jerry Nelson (The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock) died at his Cape Cod home from complications of his illness, a month after his 78th birthday.
At August 26th, 2012 after my father, age 51, returns from the Olympics at England, I departed from 3705 NW Columbia Avenue and head on to Deschutes County with my family and my pet dogs, Q and Zero. I brought a few DVDs (The Lorax, The Rescuers Down Under, Pocahontas, The AristoCats, and The Rescuers (in honor of its 35th anniversary)). I will have my new books from the new Disney Fairies' film, Secret of the Wings. The new water park is called Sun River Homeowners Aquatic Center. I went bike riding, went to the Fort Rock Park with Q and Zero, and go see ParaNorman.
The trip is ended at September 1st.
On September 3rd, 2012, Michael Clarke Duncan (The Green Mile, Armageddon, Daredevil) died after suffering a heart attack in Los Angeles.
Lance LeGault (The A-Team, Magnum, P.I.) died on Monday, September 10th, 2012 at his home in Los Angeles at the age of 77.
Finding Nemo 3D (September 14, 2012 – December 4, 2012)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Winner
MPAA Rating: G
Critic Score: 99% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 8.7/10
Critics Consensus: Breathtakingly lovely and grounded by the stellar efforts of a well-chosen cast, Finding Nemo adds another beautifully crafted gem to Pixar's crown.
Box office: $936,743,261
Two ocellaris clownfish, Marlin (Albert Brooks) and his wife Coral (Elizabeth Perkins), admire their new home in the Great Barrier Reef and their clutch of eggs when a barracuda attacks, knocking Marlin unconscious. He wakes up to find that Coral and all but one of the eggs have disappeared. Marlin names this last egg Nemo (Alexander Gould), a name that Coral liked.
Nemo develops a smaller right fin as a result of damage to his egg during the attack, which limits his swimming ability. Worried about Nemo's safety, Marlin embarrasses Nemo during a school field trip. Nemo sneaks away from the reef and is captured by scuba divers. As the boat departs, a diver accidentally knocks his diving mask overboard. While attempting to save Nemo, Marlin meets Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), a good-hearted and optimistic regal blue tang with short-term memory loss. Marlin and Dory meet three sharks – Bruce (Barry Humphries), Anchor (Eric Bana) and Chum (Bruce Spence) – who claim to be vegetarians. Marlin discovers the diver's mask and notices an address written on it. When he argues with Dory and accidentally gives her a nosebleed, the blood scent causes Bruce to enter an uncontrollable feeding frenzy. The pair escape from Bruce but the mask falls into a trench in the deep sea.
During a hazardous struggle with an anglerfish in the trench, Dory sees the diving mask and reads the address located in Sydney, Australia. The pair swims on, receiving directions to Sydney from a school of moonfish (John Ratzenberger). Marlin and Dory encounter a bloom of jellyfish that nearly kills them. Marlin loses consciousness and wakes up on a sea turtle named Crush (Andrew Stanton), who takes Marlin and Dory on the East Australian Current. Marlin tells the details of his long journey with a group of sea turtles, and his story is spread across the ocean. He also sees how Crush gets on well with his son Squirt (Nicholas Bird).
Meanwhile, Nemo is placed in a fish tank in the office of a dentist named Phillip Sherman (Bill Hunter) on Sydney Harbour. He meets aquarium fish called the Tank Gang, led by a moorish idol named Gill (Willem Dafoe), who has a broken fin. The fish learn that Nemo is to be given to Sherman's niece, Darla (LuLu Ebeling), who killed a fish by constantly shaking its bag. Gill then reveals his plan to escape, jamming the tank's filter, forcing the dentist to remove the fish to clean it. The fish would be placed in plastic bags, and then they would roll out the window and into the harbor. After an attempt at the escape goes wrong, a brown pelican, Nigel (Geoffrey Rush), brings news of Marlin's adventure. Inspired by his father's determination, Nemo successfully jams the filter, but the dentist installs a new high-tech filter before they can escape.
After leaving the East Australian Current, Marlin and Dory are engulfed by a blue whale. Inside the whale's mouth, Dory communicates with the whale, which carries them to Port Jackson and expels them through his blowhole. They meet Nigel, who recognizes Marlin from the stories he has heard, and he takes them to Sherman's office. Darla has just arrived and the dentist is handing Nemo to her. Nemo plays dead to save himself as Nigel arrives. Marlin sees Nemo and believes he is dead before Nigel is thrown out. In despair, Marlin leaves Dory and begins to swim home. Gill then helps Nemo escape into a drain that leads to the ocean. Dory loses her memory and becomes confused, and meets Nemo, who reached the ocean. Eventually, Dory's memory returns after she reads the word "Sydney" on a drainpipe. She directs Nemo to Marlin and they reunite, but then Dory is caught in a fishing net with a school of grouper. Nemo enters the net and orders the group to swim downward to break the net, enabling them to escape. After returning home, Nemo leaves for school, with Crush's son Squirt, and Marlin, no longer overprotective, proudly watches Nemo swim away with Dory at his side.
At the dentist's office, the high-tech filter breaks down and the Tank Gang escapes into the harbor, belatedly realizing they are still confined in plastic bags.
On September 25th, 2012, Andy Williams died of bladder cancer at the age of 84 at his home in Branson, Missouri.
Hotel Transylvania (September 28, 2012 – January 29, 2013)
MPAA Rating: PG (for some rude humor, action and scary images)
Critic Score: 45%.
Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critics Consensus: Hotel Transylvania's buoyant, giddy tone may please children, but it might be a little too loud and thinly-scripted for older audiences.
In the aftermath of the death of Dracula's wife Martha (Jackie Sandler) at the hands of an angry human mob, Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) designs and builds a massive five-star hotel in Transylvania in which he raises his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and to serve as a safe-place getaway for the world's monsters from fear of human persecution.
Famous monsters such as Frank (Kevin James) and his wife Eunice (Fran Drescher), Wayne and Wanda Werewolf (Steve Buscemi and Molly Shannon) and their massive immediate family, Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade), and Murray the Mummy (CeeLo Green) often come to stay at the hotel which is completely human-free and safe for monsters.
On Mavis's 118th birthday, Dracula allows his daughter to leave the castle in order to explore the human world, but he sets up an elaborate plan using his zombie bellhops disguised as humans to make them seem intimidating and frighten her home. The plan works, but the zombies inadvertently lure a 21-year-old human named Jonathan (Andy Samberg) to the hotel. Dracula frantically disguises him as a Frankenstein's Monster and passes him off as "Johnnystein", a distant cousin of Frank's right arm. Jonathan soon encounters Mavis and the two "Zing" (a form of magical attraction). Unable to get Johnny out of the hotel without notice, Drac quickly improvises that Jonathan is a party planner, brought in to bring a fresher approach to his own traditional and boring parties. Jonathan quickly becomes a hit to the other monsters, especially Mavis but this disgusts Dracula greatly. Drac orders Johnny to leave, but Johnny is brought back by Mavis. After being shown the beauty of a sunrise by Johnny, Mavis is inspired to give humans another chance. Meanwhile, the hotel chef Quasimodo (Jon Lovitz) with the help of his pet rat Esmeralda learns that Johnny is a human and kidnaps him in order to cook him. Dracula intervenes and magically freezes Quasimodo to keep him from telling anyone that Jonathan is human. Dracula leads Jonathan to his quarters and shows him a painting of his wife. Much to Dracula's surprise, Jonathan knows the woman in the painting and relates a story about how she fell perfectly in love with a count, but died in a mysterious fire. Dracula reveals the full painting with himself in it and confirms the truth of the tale, and proceeds to tell the full version, thus explaining why Dracula built the hotel and the origin of his overprotective behaviour. Jonathan is understanding and Dracula develops respect for his knowledge, and the two bond. Jonathan then tries to leave for good, but Dracula convinces him to stay to avoid ruining Mavis's birthday.
The party is a great success the next night, and Mavis looks forward to opening a gift from her deceased mother. However, when Jonathan and Mavis share their first kiss, Dracula overreacts and in his outburst confesses to deceiving Mavis with the town. A still-frozen Quasimodo bursts in and the Fly (Chris Parnell) translates from his frozen speech that Johnny is a human disguised by Dracula. The guests are outraged by the deceit at play, but Mavis is undeterred and wants to be with Johnny even knowing he is human. Jonathan feigns disinterest in Mavis and rejects her out of respect for her father and leaves the hotel. Mavis then angrily yells at Dracula and flies off. Dracula finds Mavis on the roof with her mother's present. He learns it is a book about how her mother and Dracula "Zinged" and fell in love. Dracula realizes that Mavis and Jonathan are the same, and he should not have interfered.
The monster guests are furious and checking out en masse, but Dracula apologizes and quells their anger. After confessing that he isn't certain if human kind has become tolerant of monsters, Dracula manages to convince Frank, Wayne, Griffin, and Murray to head out into the human world help him find Jonathan, and with the scent-tracking ability of Wayne's daughter Winnie they learn that he is bound on a flight to America soon. The four head to the airport, but are held up in a town celebrating a Monster Festival along the way. Instead of being frightened by the appearance and powers of real monsters, the humans admire the group, and a team of men dressed as vampires help Dracula by providing him shelter from the sunlight while he rushes to the Airport. Drac arrives to see Jonathan's plane taking off, and he gives chase in bat form, burning in the sunlight. After getting Jonathan's attention, Dracula makes his way to the front of the plane and uses his mind-controlling power on the pilot (Brian Stack) to help him apologize for his actions. Jonathan accepts his apology; Dracula then manipulates the pilot to return to the Transylvanian airport for a "refuel".
Dracula returns Jonathan to Mavis. Jonathan confesses that their Zing was mutual and the two kiss, making Dracula realize his daughter has grown up and can make her own decisions. The monsters finish celebrating Mavis's party as Dracula, Mavis, Jonathan and their monster friends sing "The Zing" to the audience of hotel guests.
Frankenweenie (October 5, 2012 – January 8, 2013)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
Critic Score: 87% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critics Consensus: Frankenweenie is an energetic stop-motion horror movie spoof with lovingly crafted visuals and a heartfelt, oddball story.
Young filmmaker and scientist Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) lives with his parents, Edward (Martin Short) and Susan Frankenstein (Catherine O'Hara), and his beloved dog, Sparky, in the quiet town of New Holland. Victor's intelligence is recognized by his classmates at school, his somber next-door neighbor, Elsa Van Helsing (Winona Ryder), mischievous, Igor-like Edgar "E" Gore (Atticus Shaffer), obese and gullible Bob (Robert Capron), overconfident Toshiaki (James Hiroyuki Liao), creepy Nassor (Martin Short), and an eccentric girl nicknamed Weird Girl (Catherine O'Hara), but communicates little with them due to his relationship with his dog. Concerned with his son's isolation, Victor's father encourages him to take up baseball and make achievements outside of science. Victor hits a home run at his first game, but Sparky, pursuing the ball, is struck by a car and killed.
Inspired by his science teacher Mr. Rzykruski's (Martin Landau) demonstration of the effect of electricity on dead frogs, a depressed Victor digs up Sparky's corpse, brings him to his makeshift laboratory in the attic and successfully reanimates him with lightning. Seeing Weird Girl's living cat, Mr. Whiskers, the undead Sparky escapes from the attic and explores the neighborhood. He is recognized by Edgar, who blackmails Victor into teaching him how to raise the dead. The two reanimate a dead goldfish, which turns invisible due to an error with the experiment. Edgar brags about the undead fish to Toshiaki and Bob, which, in panic of losing the upcoming science fair, inspires them to make a rocket out of soda bottles, which causes Bob to break his arm and Mr. Rzykruski to be blamed and fired due to his accused influencing and reviling the townsfolk for questioning his methods when he steps up for self-defense. So, the gym teacher replaces Mr. Rzykruski.
Eventually, Edgar's fish disappears when he tries to show it to a skeptical Nassor (who was told by Toshiaki), and when Edgar is confronted by Toshiaki, Nassor and Bob on the baseball field at school, he accidentally reveals Victor's actions, inspiring them to try reanimation themselves. Victor's parents discover Sparky in the attic and are frightened, causing the dog to flee. Victor and his parents search for Sparky while the classmates invade the lab, discovering Victor's reanimation formula. The classmates separately perform their experiments, which go awry and turn the dead animals into monsters — Mr. Whiskers holds a dead bat while it is electrocuted, resulting in him fusing with it and becoming a monstrous bat-cat with wings and fangs. Edgar turns a dead rat he found in the garbage into a wererat, Nassor revives his mummified hamster Colossus and Toshiaki's turtle Shelley is covered in Miracle Gro and turns into a giant Gamera-like monster. Bob's Sea-Monkeys grow into amphibious humanoids. The monsters break loose into the town fair where they wreak havoc.
After finding Sparky at the town's pet cemetery, Victor sees the monsters heading to the fair and goes with his classmates to help deal with them — the Sea-Monkeys explode after eating salt-covered popcorn, and Colossus is stepped on by Shelley, while the rat and Shelley are returned to their original, deceased forms after both being electrocuted. During the chaos, Persephone, Elsa's pet poodle, is grabbed by Mr. Whiskers and carried to the town windmill with Elsa and Victor chasing after. The townsfolk blame Sparky for Elsa's disappearance and chase him to the windmill, which Mayor Burgermeister accidentally ignites with his torch. Victor and Sparky enter the burning windmill and rescue Elsa and Persephone, but Victor is trapped inside. Sparky rescues Victor, only to be dragged back inside by Mr. Whiskers. A final confrontation ensues, and just as Mr. Whiskers has Sparky cornered, a flaming piece of wood breaks off and impales the bat-cat, killing him instantly. The windmill then collapses on Sparky, killing him again. To reward him for his bravery and saving Victor, the townsfolk gather to revive Sparky with their car batteries, reanimating him once more. Persephone, who has a hairstyle similar to Elsa Lanchester's Bride of Frankenstein, comes to Sparky as the two dogs share their love and kiss.
Ken Sansom (Winnie the Pooh, Transformers, The Chipmunk Adventure) died on October 8th, 2012 due to complications of a stroke at the age of 85.
John Clive (A Clockwork Orange, The Italian Job, Yellow Submarine) died after a short illness on October 14th, 2012 in England.
Russell Means (Pocahontas, The Last of the Mohicans) died on October 22nd, 2012, less than a month before his 73rd birthday, due to esophageal cancer.
Wreck-It Ralph & The Pixie Olympics Arcade (November 2, 2012 – March 5, 2013)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
MPAA Rating: PG (for some rude humor and mild action/violence)
Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critics Consensus: Equally entertaining for both kids and parents old enough to catch the references, The Pixie Olympics Arcade is a clever, colorful adventure built on familiar themes and joyful nostalgia.
Box office: $471,222,889
When Litwak's Family Fun Center & Arcade closes at night, the various video-game characters leave their normal in-game roles and are free to travel to other games. Within the game Fix-It Felix, Jr., the characters celebrate its titular hero Fix-It Felix, Jr. (Jack McBrayer) but loathe the game's villain character, Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly). At a support group for video-game antagonists, Ralph reveals his desire to stop being the bad guy. Rosetta (Megan Hilty) is busy helping to set up flowers for the big night, when she meets a new garden fairy named Chloe (Brenda Song), who drops a lump of dirt in front of her, accidentally getting her dirty and, because she's ironically afraid of dirt, causing her to freak out until Silvermist (Lucy Liu) douses her with a water droplet. Chloe announces she has been training for the Pixie Hollow Games and is excited to be competing. Even though the garden fairies have little hope of winning and haven't ever won, Chloe is confident that she and her partner can turn things around and end the losing streak. When it comes time for the team selection with Fern (Zendaya), Chloe has already volunteered and Rosetta is selected to be her partner.
Back home, Ralph finds the other characters celebrating their game's 30th anniversary without inviting him. Felix reluctantly invites Ralph to join them, but the others isolate him. Gene (Raymond S. Persi), the Niceland's mayor tell him that if he won a medal, just as Felix does in their game, they would respect him. The night of the games, Rosetta wears a fancy, formal, pale-red gown, certain that she and Chloe will be eliminated after one round. The storm fairies, Rumble (Jason Dolley) and Glimmer (Tiffany Thornton), are the heavy favorites to win the competition. They have won the last four years in-a-row, winning four winners' rings each and wanting to get a final ring. The first event is leapfrogging. Similar to chariot racng, the teams ride on frogs, yoked together by an harness. Then the competitors leapfrog over one another to the finish line. Rosetta refuses to get onto the frog, but finally does when the spectators yell in protest, leading to total chaos on the racetrack.
At Tapper's root beer game, Ralph learns he can win a medal in the first-person shooter game Hero's Duty. Ralph enters the game and encounters Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch), its leader. Between game sessions, Ralph climbs the game's central beacon and collects the medal, accidentally hatching a Cy-Bug, one of the game's enemies. It clings to Ralph as he stumbles into an escape pod that launches him out of the game. Meanwhile, with Ralph missing, a girl (Stefanie Scott) reports to arcade-owner Litwak (Ed O'Neill) that Fix-It Felix, Jr. is malfunctioning. Since broken games get unplugged, leaving their characters homeless, Felix searches for Ralph.
Ralph crash-lands in Sugar Rush, a kart-racing game. As he searches for his medal, he meets Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), a glitchy character who takes the medal and uses it to buy entry into a race. King Candy (Alan Tudyk) and the other racers, consisting of Taffyta Muttonfudge (Mindy Kaling) refuse to let Vanellope participate, claiming she is not really part of the game. The next day, Rosetta and Chloe continue to compete in a series of games, such as dragonfly water skiing, twig-spheres, and mouse polo, slowly moving up in the standings during each game. But things start to turn south in the final challenge of the day.
Ralph helps Vanellope build a kart. At her home in Diet Cola Mountain, an unfinished racing course, he discovers she is a natural racer. Back in Hero's Duty, Felix meets Calhoun, who warns that the Cy-Bugs can take over any game they enter. As the pair searches for Ralph and the Cy-Bug in Sugar Rush, they separate when Felix, enamored with Calhoun, inadvertently reminds her of her fiancé, who had been killed by a Cy-Bug in her backstory. Calhoun finds hundreds of Cy-Bug eggs underground, and Felix becomes imprisoned in King Candy's castle during his search for Ralph.
At the end of the teacup race, there's a series of chutes covered in slimy mucus that the teams must slide down to get to the finish line. Chloe dives down the chute with no double, But Rosetta, afraid of getting muddy and dirty, nervously crawls down the chute, to Chloe's dismay. However, they're still in the games since Iridessa (Raven-Symoné) and Lumina (Jessica DiCicco) after Iridessa coated their cup in too much pixie dust, causing them to crash into the roof of the cavern. Regardless, Rosetta's actions put them in last place, and no team has ever won from last place. For the first time in the Games, Chloe is starting to doubt Rosetta. Desperate, King Candy hacks the game's code to retrieve Ralph's medal and offers it to Ralph, explaining that letting Vanellope race would be disastrous for both her and the game. Fearing for Vanellope's safety, Ralph wrecks the kart and returns to his own game, but finds that everyone has evacuated except for Gene, expecting the game to be unplugged in the morning. Discovering Vanellope's image on the Sugar Rush cabinet, Ralph realizes that King Candy had lied and she is an intended part of the game, not a glitch. Ralph returns to Sugar Rush, finds Felix and Vanellope with the help of Sour Bill (Rich Moore), the king's assistant, and asks Felix to fix the wrecked kart.
As the race proceeds, the hatched Cy-Bugs attack and Felix, Calhoun, and Ralph battle them. Vidia (Pamela Adlon) and Zephyr (Alicyn Packard) take the shortcut and crashed, then Terence (Jesse McCartney) and Fairy Gary (Jeff Bennett) try to jump the pond but land in it, leaving just the garden and storm fairies. Rosetta and Chloe take the mudslide mountain short and successfully make it over thanks to Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) adding built-in spikes to the wheels and a propeller to cross the steep mountain and get ahead of the storm fairies. When Vanellope catches up to King Candy, her glitching reveals that he is actually Turbo, a character from an old game, Turbo Time, who sabotaged a newer game out of jealousy, causing both to be unplugged. Vanellope escapes from Turbo, who is consumed by a Cy-Bug. The group flees the doomed game, but Vanellope finds she cannot pass through the exit. Calhoun says the game cannot be saved without a beacon to attract and kill the Cy-Bugs. However, in the last leg of the race, Rumble uses Glimmer's lightning ability to zap one of the wheels causing the girls' cart to crash. Glimmer is appalled.
Ralph heads to Diet Cola Mountain, where he plans on collapsing its Mentos stalactites into the cola at the bottom, causing a blinding eruption that would attract the bugs. Before he can finish, Turbo, merged with the Cy-Bug that had consumed him, attacks him and carries him away. Ralph breaks free and dives toward the mountain, intending to sacrifice himself to start the eruption on impact. Vanellope in turn uses her glitching abilities to save Ralph. The eruption starts and draws the Cy-Bugs to their destruction, including Turbo. Seeing their cart destroyed, Rosetta and Chloe push their cart over the finish line and at least finish together. Vanellope crosses the finish line, restoring her memory and status as Princess Vanellope, the game's ruler and lead character, while keeping her advantageous glitching ability. Rumble is already celebrating his victory, when Queen Clarion (Anjelica Huston) announces that the garden fairies are the winners. Rumble protests, until the Queen shows him that Glimmer abandoned him just before the finish line for cheating, thus his victory doesn't count. Therefore, the garden fairies win.
Felix and Ralph return to their game in time for Litwak to see that it is in fact not broken, sparing it from being unplugged. Calhoun and Felix marry, and the characters of Fix-It Felix, Jr. gain a new respect for Ralph. The movie ends with Rosetta and Chloe celebrating with their best friends that they broke their losing streak.
The Red Carpet: San Francisco (2012)
At November 4th, 2012 (just two days after Wreck-It Ralph & The Pixie Olympics Arcade is released), I board the plane with my Mother, Roscoe, and Hester and head to Oakland and stayed one night at the Renaissance Club Sport Hotel. I brought two DVDs (Titanic (in honor of the blockbuster's 15th anniversary and the centennial of the sinking) and The Muppet Christmas Carol (in honor of its 20th anniversary)).
Tonight, I, my mother, Roscoe, and Hester went to St. Mary's College for the Joey Travolta's film premiere.
That was the one-day trip and it ends at November 5th, 2012.
Lucille Bliss (Crusader Rabbit, The Smurfs, Invader Zim) died from natural causes on November 8th, 2012 at the age of 96.
Rise of the Guardians (November 21, 2012 – March 12, 2013)
MPAA Rating: PG (for thematic elements and some mildly scary action)
Critic Score: 74% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critics Consensus: A sort of Avengers for the elementary school set, Rise of the Guardians is wonderfully animated and briskly paced, but it's only so-so in the storytelling department.
Jack Frost (Chris Pine) is awakened from the depths of a frozen pond with amnesia. Upon discovering no one can see or hear him however, he wanders off alone. Three hundred years later Jack, as the spirit of Winter, enjoys delivering snow days to school kids, but resents that they do not believe in him and still cannot see him. At the North Pole, the Man in the Moon warns Nicholas St. North (Santa Claus) (Alec Baldwin) that Pitch Black (Jude Law), the Boogeyman, is threatening the children of the world with his nightmares. He calls E. Aster Bunnymund (the Easter Bunny) (Hugh Jackman), the Sandman/Sandy, and Tooth (Isla Fisher), the Toothfairy, to arms. They are then told that Jack Frost has been chosen to be a new Guardian. Jack is unimpressed by this position, as he feels wronged for not being believed in, but North convinces him to aid them in facing Pitch.
Visiting Tooth's world, Jack learns that baby teeth contain the memories and innocence of the children who lost them; Jack's teeth are included and he informs her that he has forgotten his true identity. However, Pitch raids Tooth's home in order to kidnap all of her subordinate tooth fairies (except Baby Tooth whom Jack managed to save), so that the children's teeth can't be collected. If the teeth aren't collected the children will stop believing in her. In order to complete the scheme, he also steals all the teeth thus preventing Tooth from sharing Jack's memories with him. In order to thwart the Boogeyman's evil plan, the group decides to travel the world collecting the lost teeth. During their journey, they come across a young boy named Jamie (Dakota Goyo), who is awakened during a quarrel between North and Bunnymund. Since he believes in them, he can see all of them except for Jack. Pitch's nightmares attack in full force, provoking Sandy into action as the Guardian of Dreams. Jack aids him, but fails as Sandy is overwhelmed and seemingly destroyed by Pitch.
As Easter approaches, the dejected Guardians gather in Bunnymund's home. With the unexpected aid of Jamie's little sister, Sophie (Georgie Grieve), they begin the process of painting eggs for the coming morning. After Jack takes Sophie home, he is lured to Pitch's lair by a voice. While there, Pitch taunts him with his memories and fears of not being believed in. This distracted Jack long enough for the nightmares to destroy all the Easter eggs, ruining Easter and causing children to stop believing in Bunnymund. After losing his trust in the disappointed Guardians, Jack isolates himself in Antarctica, where Pitch tries to convince Jack to join his side. When Jack refuses, Pitch threatens to kill Baby Tooth, unless Jack gives him his staff. Jack agrees, but Pitch breaks Jack's staff and throws him off a chasm. Jack unlocks his memories and he remembers that he was a mortal human boy who fell into a frozen pond while saving his younger sister from falling through. This memory inspires Jack and he fixes his staff and returns to Pitch's lair to rescue the kidnapped baby fairies.
Due to Pitch's powers, all the world's children's beliefs in the Guardians fade, except Jamie's. When Jack finds even Jamie's faith in them is wavering, he causes it to snow in his room and makes him realize that Jack Frost exists. Jack is finally seen and heard after centuries and while the weakened Guardians face Pitch in battle, Jack and Jamie gather Jamie's friends, whose renewed belief bolsters their fight against Pitch as well. Pitch tries to terrify the children with his nightmares, but their dreams prove even stronger, resulting in Sandy's resurrection. Defeated and no longer feared, Pitch tries to retreat, but his own nightmares turn against him due to his own fear and drag him under the desolate bed into his own world. Afterward, Jamie and his friends bid goodbye to the Guardians as Jack accepts his place among them as the Guardian of Fun.
Mel Shaw (Fantasia, Bambi, The Fox and the Hound, The Lion King) died from congestive heart failure on November 22nd, 2012 at the Woodland Care Center in Reseda, California, at the age of 97.
Monsters, Inc. 3D (December 19, 2012 – February 19, 2013)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
MPAA Rating: G
Critic Score: 96% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 8/10
Critics Consensus: Clever, funny, and delightful to look at, Monsters, Inc. delivers another resounding example of how Pixar elevated the bar for modern all-ages animation.
Box office: $562,816,256
The parallel city of Monstropolis is inhabited entirely by monsters, and is powered by electricity which is generated from the screams of human children. At the Monsters, Inc. factory, skilled individuals called "scarers" access the human world through closet doors in children's bedrooms, to scare the children so they will scream. It is considered dangerous work, as human children are believed to be highly toxic to monsters.
However, energy production is falling because children are becoming more difficult to scare. The company's chairman, Henry J. Waternoose (James Coburn), is determined to find a solution. James P. "Sulley" Sullivan (John Goodman) is the organization's top scarer, but he is engaged in a fierce rivalry with a sinister chameleon-like monster, Randall Boggs (Steve Buscemi).
One day, Sulley discovers that Randall left a door activated on the scarefloor, and a small girl (Mary Gibbs) has entered the factory. After failing to put her back, Sulley takes her home. His best friend Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal) is on a date with his girlfriend Celia (Jennifer Tilly), and chaos erupts when the child is discovered to be there. Sulley and Mike escape the Child Detection Agency (CDA) and gradually discover that the little girl is not toxic after all. Sulley grows attached to her and names her "Boo". They smuggle her into the factory in an attempt to send her home. Randall discovers that Boo is there and tries to kidnap her, but instead he kidnaps Mike.
Randall reveals that he has built a terrifying machine which can be used to extract all possible screams out of captured human children, thus solving the company's production problems. Randall straps Mike to the machine, but Sulley unplugs it and reports Randall to Waternoose. However, Waternoose is secretly in league with Randall, and exiles Mike and Sulley to the Himalayas. The two are taken in by a Yeti, who tells them about a nearby village which can enable them to return to the factory. Sulley heads out, but a frustrated Mike refuses to follow.
Randall straps Boo to the Scream Extractor, but Sulley saves her by destroying the machine. Waternoose sends Randall to get Sulley. Mike returns to apologize, but thinks Sulley is ignoring him because an invisible Randall is attacking Sulley. Sulley manages to temporarily incapacitate Randall, and escape with Mike and Boo.
Randall pursues them as they speed through the factory, riding on the doors that are heading into a giant vault where millions of doors are stored. Boo's laughter activates the doors, which allows the pursuit to pass in and out of the human world. Randall attempts to kill Sulley, but Boo attacks him. Sulley and Mike trap Randall in the human world, inside a trailer, where the residents, who mistake him for an alligator, beat him with a shovel.
Sulley and Mike find Boo's door, but Waternoose sends it back to the Scarefloor. Mike manages to distracts the CDA. Waternoose reveals that he is working with Randall to kidnap kids and use the Scream Extractor in order to keep the company from going out of business. The CDA, having recorded this confession, arrest him. The CDA's leader is revealed to be the librarian Roz (Bob Peterson), who was working undercover for two-and-a-half years, trying to expose Waternoose's plot. Sulley and Mike say goodbye to Boo, and return her to her home. Then, on Roz's orders, Boo's door is shredded to prevent any more escapes.
Sulley comes up with a way to end the company's production problems. The monsters now enter children's bedrooms to make them laugh, because laughter is ten times more powerful than screams.
Mike takes Sulley aside, revealing he has rebuilt Boo's door, and only needs one more piece, which Sulley took as a memento. Sulley enters and happily reunites with Boo.
Charles Durning (Evening Shade, Rescue Me, The Sting) died of natural causes at his home in Manhattan on December 24th, 2012 (Christmas Eve), age 89.
San Diego & Palm Springs
At December 28th, 2012, after three days ago after Christmas, I left 3705 NW Columbia Ave with my family and went to Portland International Airport where I board the airplane heading for San Diego at southern California. I brought a few of DVDs (Brave, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Finding Nemo, Up, and Treasure Planet (in honor of its 10th anniversary)).
I stay in the DoubleTree Hotel with my grandma Joan, my aunt Amy, my uncle Jaime, and Isabella. I went to San Diego Zoo, Belmont Park, and SeaWorld. I went to the Fashion Valley mall to visit the Disney Store (where I collect the late Christmas gifts including Cinderella from Cinderella, stuff from Wreck-It Ralph & The Pixie Olympics Arcade (a new Walt Disney Animation Studios film about a arcade game bad guy who dreams of becoming a hero and a garden fairy who compete in the Pixie Hollow Games), including Rosetta, Ralph, Chloe, Vanellope, Felix, Taffyta, the Sugar Rush racers, and the figurine set and stuff from Monsters, Inc. including Mike, Randall, Waternoose, Sullivan, Boo, Celia, George, and Roz and the Electronic Monsters, Inc. Factory playset). At New Year's Day, the beginning of 2013 (the most thrilling and exciting year), we arrived at Palm Springs and stayed at Rancho Las Palmas hotel. We went to see Rise of the Guardians, Wreck-It Ralph & The Pixie Olympics Arcade and Monsters, Inc. in 3D (in honor of its prequel next year). The hotel has a river and two slides. We visited Joshua Tree National Park that Dad told me about the pictures of it in our living room.
At January 4th, 2013, the trip ends and we head back to Portland.
2013 (of the Lime Age)
On January 7th, 2013, Huell Howser (California's Gold) died at the 67 at his Palm Springs home. He had been battling cancer for several years and his death certificate listed metastatic prostate cancer as the cause of death.
Patty Andrews, the last surviving member of The Andrews Sisters, died of natural causes at her home in Northridge, California, on January 30th, 2013 at the age of 94.
Ed Koch, Mayor of New York City, died on February 1st, 2013, of heart failure.
Richard Briers (The Good Life, Ever Decreasing Circles, Peter Pan) died at his home in Bedford Park, London on February 17th, 2013 from the effects of a cardiac arrest.
Educational Tour: London, England
On March 21st, 2013, I left 3705 NW Columbia Ave with his dad and he drops me off at the Portland International Airport where Roscoe, Mr. Shelton, and his class are waiting. I, Roscoe and Mr. Shelton's class board the plane heading for San Francisco and another heading for London. They slept all night at the plane and arrived at England in the morning. I brought a few DVDs (Wreck-It Ralph & The Pixie Olympics Arcade, Brave, Rise of the Guardians, Megamind, Despicable Me (in honor of its sequel this summer), The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Monsters, Inc. (in honor of its prequel this summer), Mulan (in honor of its 15th anniversary), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (in honor of its 25th anniversary), and Brother Bear (in honor of its 10th anniversary)).
The Westfield Stratford City is a vast 1.9 million square foot shopping mall billed as the 'gateway' to London's Olympic Park. Opened on September 13th, 2011, Westfield Stratford City was a significant part of the development of this area of East London leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games with John Lewis at one end, Marks & Spencer at the other and more than 300 shiny new shops (including the Disney Store (since it's early Easter, I collect Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Merida in her blue dress form from the Academy Award-winner Brave, Peter, Wendy, John and Michael from Peter Pan, the stuff from A Bug's Life and Finding Nemo (Flik, Marlin, Atta, Dory, Dot, Nemo, Hopper, Francis, Gill, Heimlich, Peach, Slim, Bloat, Rosie, Bruce, Dim, Crush, Tad, Squirt, Pearl, P.T. Plea, Sheldon, Anchor, Chum), and Disney Fairies Activity Book and Coloring Book), the Apple Store, Claire's, the Entertainer, HMV, the LEGO Store) and restaurants (including Burger King, Starbucks) in between. There are 300 high street shops here including well known names like H & M, Primark, Topshop, Monsoon, River Island as well as stationers WH Smith and Boots the chemist. Many of the 50 or so restaurants are located just off the central arcade offering spectacular terrace views overlooking the Olympic site. Add to that a 14-screen, all-digital Vue cinema (which I go and see Disney's Peter Pan (in honor of its 60th anniversary), The Croods, A Bug's Life in 3D (in honor of its 15th anniversary), and Finding Nemo in 3D (in honor of its 10th anniversary)), the UK's largest casino and an All Star Lanes bowling alley as well as offices, residential apartments and three hotels (including the Premier Inn Hotel (where we stay for eight nights and have sausages and pancakes for every breakfast), the 4-star flagship Holiday Inn) and you have more than an impressively sized shopping centre. In 2012, all eyes will be on the Olympic Stadium, and several million people will view Westfield Stratford City as their first glimpse of the site.
We always use the Underground Subway to transport to London for the Educational Tour. We visited St. Paul's Cathedral, Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, the British Museum, Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, Tower of London, Piccadilly Circus, and the London Eye. We went to many plays including The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, and Spamelot. They went to other places in England including the birthplace of Shakespeare, Stonehenge, and Bath (where I collect Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen storybook). The English tour guide named Paul helps me and Roscoe find the Hamley's toy store and the Disney Store at Oxford Street. It has a bit of winter snow in London and the birthplace of Shakespeare.
At March 29th, 2013, I and Roscoe (since Shelton and his class made it back to America) departed England and flew to Chicago and have dinner here and finally made it back to Portland tonight.
Richard Griffiths (Withnail and I, The History Boys, Harry Potter) died aged 65 at the University Hospital Coventry on March 28th, 2013 after complications following heart surgery.
The Croods (March 22, 2013 – October 1, 2013)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
MPAA Rating: PG (for some scary action)
Critic Score: 70%.
Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critics Consensus: While it may not be as (ahem) evolved as the best modern animated fare, The Croods will prove solidly entertaining for families seeking a fast-paced, funny cartoon adventure.
Box office: $587,204,668
A cave family called the Croods survives due to the overprotective nature of their stubborn, stern patriarch, Grug (Nicholas Cage). The only one who questions the family's sheltered life is his teenaged daughter Eep (Emma Stone) who frequently disobeys her father's orders out of curiosity, which he finds dangerous. Grug and Eep, along with her mother and his wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), her grandmother Gran (Cloris Leachman), and her younger brother and sister Thunk (Clark Duke) and Sandy (Randy Thom) face time sheltered in their cave home.
Eep sneaks out when she sees what she discovers to be a torch of fire and she encounters an inventive modern human boy named Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and his pet sloth Belt (Chris Sanders). He warns her of an impending apocalypse and offers to take her with him, but concerned for her family, Eep stays, getting a shell horn from him to blow in case she needs his help. Reuniting with her frantic father, she tries to tell her family what Guy told her, but fearing things that are "different" and "new" they destroy her horn.
A massive earthquake then destroys their home, and to avoid the earlier carnivore, they descend down into a tropical forest that lay hidden behind their cave all the time. Encountering a "Macawnivore" a brightly colored feline that Gran dubs "Chunky the Death Cat," the family flees him until he is deterred by swarms of piranhakeets that devoured a ground whale. Using another horn, Eep calls to Guy who rescues them from the birds with his fire. After a great deal of confusion regarding their first contact with fire, Grug imprisons Guy in a log until he can guide them somewhere safe.
Outrunning the destruction, Guy is trusted enough to be let out of the log and he gives the Croods rudimentary shoes to walk over the harsh landscape as he leads them to a mountain in which he says will be safe. Guy also tells them stories of "Tomorrow" a haven of safety where he is headed and where curiosity is not deadly as Grug had claimed. At his treetop home, Grug sees the impression Guy is leaving on his family and he becomes jealous, especially when he realizes that Eep has fallen in love with Guy. Attempting to invent things like Guy, Grug only further embarrasses himself and drives his family further away from him. After the family is split up in a labyrinth of tunnels, all but Grug manage to escape by coming up with ideas of overcoming obstacles in their paths.
Reaching the mountain, Grug tries to force his family to hide out in a cave, but they resist, telling him that they can't live in caves anymore, that they don't want to "survive" but to "live". This enrages Grug, who attacks Guy and the both of them end up in a tar flow where Grug learns that Guy's family had perished in one. Realizing that Guy's method of survival is better for his family, Grug works with him and they lure Chunky into a trap to free themselves. The family reunites, then flees a massive cataclysm as the land begins to violently rip apart.
The family is cut off from their destination by a continental split, but Grug, realizing the errors of his ways decides to throw his family to safety. He shares an invention he calls a "hug" with Eep, briefly before sending her across as well. Cut off from his family, Grug finds a cave for safety, where he encounters Chunky; who is truly a frightened and sweet feline, and he comes up with an idea to get across the chasm. Using a skeleton and the Piranhakeets to fashion a simple airship, Grug manages to send themselves; including several animals the family had encountered during their journey, across the chasm, reuniting with his family once again. He apologizes to them all and promises to never be so overbearing again.
Later, the Croods now live on the land and have settled on a vast beach where every day they can follow the light to "Tomorrow."
Phil Ramone was hospitalized in late February 2013 with an aortic aneurysm. He died of complications from surgery, on March 30th, 2013 at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan at the age of 79.
Jane Henson, co-founder of The Muppets, died on April 2nd, 2013, from cancer at the family home in Greenwich, Connecticut. She was 78.
Jean Sincere (Glee, Roxanne, The Incredibles) died from natural causes in Los Angeles, California, on April 3rd, 2013 at the age of 93.
On April 4th, 2013, Roger Ebert (Chicago Sun-Times, Siskel & Ebert) died at the age of 70 in Chicago as he was preparing to come home from the hospital, ending his 11-year battle with cancer.
On April 8th, 2013, Annette Funicello (The Mickey Mouse Club) died at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, California, at the age of 70, from complications due to multiple scierosis.
Jonathan Winters (It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Mork & Mindy) died of natural causes on the evening of April 11th, 2013 in Montecito, California at the age of 87.
Richard LeParmentier (Star Wars, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Octopussy) died suddenly on April 15th, 2013 while visiting his family in Austin, Texas, United States, aged 66.
Arthur Malet (Mary Poppins, Halloween, In the Heat of the Night, Anastasia) died on May 18th, 2013 from natural causes at the age of 85.
Epic (May 24, 2013 – August 20, 2013)
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild action, some scary images and brief rude language)
Critic Score: 64%.
Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critics Consensus: Though its narrative themes are all too familiar, Epic is beautifully animated and crafted with just enough flair to make for solid family entertainment.
17-year-old Mary Katherine (Amanda Seyfried), or M.K., moves in with her eccentric scientist father Professor Bomba (Jason Sudeikis) who has been searching for tiny humanoid soldiers called Leafmen. They protect the forest. Bomba lives near from wicked creatures called Boggans and their malevolent leader Mandrake (Christoph Waltz). An independent young soldier named Nod (Josh Hutcherson) decides to quit much to the ire of the no-nonsense Leafmen leader Ronin (Colin Farrell).
The queen of the forest, Queen Tara (Beyoncé Knowles), must choose an heir to her throne and goes out to a field of leaf pods, guarded by a laid-back slug named Mub (Aziz Ansari) and a wannabe Leafman snail named Grub (Chris O'Dowd). Immediately after she chooses a pod, the Boggans attack. Tara flees the area with the pod, and though her bodyguards do their best to protect her, they are soon overwhelmed by the sheer number of Boggans. Eventually, Ronin arrives for her and the pair fly off on his hummingbird mount. They are then attacked by Mandrake and his son Dagda (Blake Anderson). Dagda is killed by Ronin, but Tara is shot with an arrow by Mandrake.
Meanwhile, M.K. decides to leave after having an argument with Bomba about his research. Before she can leave, Bomba's dog Ozzy runs into the woods. While looking for Ozzy, M.K. sees Tara falling. Dying, Tara gives her the pod and uses her magic to shrink her. She tells M.K. to take the pod to a Glowworm named Nim Galuu (Steven Tyler) before she dies, and M.K. joins Ronin and the Leafmen, along with Mub and Grub. Ronin discovers that Nod has entered a race against other creatures and bugs on birds. Nod goes back on a deal with a tough bullfrog named Bufo (Pitbull) to throw the race. Before Bufo and his two henchmen can feed Nod to a snake for not throwing the race, Ronin intervenes and orders them to leave. A reluctant Nod joins him, M.K., Mub, and Grub after hearing about Queen Tara's death which Bufo overhears.
Ronin, Nod, M.K., Mub, and Grub eventually track Nim Galuu down he then leads them down to the scroll library, where M.K. discovers Tara's brief message before shrinking her, and a message that will get her back to normal size. When Ronin leaves, Nod takes M.K. on a deer ride and they begin to fall in love. Meanwhile, Mandrake has had the Boggans bring Bufo to him, finding out the location of the pod. Mandrake goes to Nim Galuu's place to steal the pod, which, if it blooms in darkness will help Mandrake destroy the forest. He takes the pod and kidnaps Mub and Grub. Ronin scolds Nod for not being there to protect the pod. To get into Boggan territory undiscovered, M.K., Nod, and Ronin set out to Bomba's house to get some disguises, where M.K. learns that the Leafmen have deliberately been leading Bomba off their trail. Bomba sees that he has visitors and captures M.K., fainting when he sees her. M.K. marks the location of Moonhaven on a map Bomba has made of the forest before rejoining Nod and Ronin.
When they reach the Boggan land Ronin distracts the Boggans while M.K. and Nod rescue Mub, Grub, and the pod. Mandrake discovers them and orders the Boggans to stop them. M.K., Nod, Mub, and Grub escape alive, but Ronin sacrifices himself to ensure their escape. Before the full moon can sprout the pod at Moonhaven, Mandrake's bats block the light, causing the pod to begin sprouting in darkness. The Leafmen set out to fight the Boggans; M.K. tries to get help from her father by visiting his various cameras he had set in the forest. However, upon regaining consciousness, Bomba believes that he didn't really see M.K. and that he has been insane all these years, and shuts down all his cameras. He changes his mind when he sees a red push-pin that M.K. had put on his map.
Bomba is overjoyed to see that he has been right and he follows M.K. to Moonhaven. M.K. uses Bomba's iPod to make bat sounds, luring Mandrake's bats away. Meanwhile, Mub and Nim Galuu try to stop Mandrake from reaching the pod, but are unsuccessful. Just then, Ronin appears, bearing scars and bruises from the Boggans. Mandrake manages to outdo him, but Ronin is defended by Nod, who finally realizes the importance of teamwork. Before Mandrake can obtain his victory, the pod blooms in moonlight, defeating the Boggans, and sealing Mandrake into a nearby tree.
The chosen heir is the flower child who helped save Tara earlier in the film. Grub becomes a Leafman, Nod and Ronin reconcile, and Nod and M.K. kiss before M.K. is returned to her original size. After reuniting with Bomba and becoming his assistant, the human family still keeps regular contact with their small friends as they continue the research of their world.
On May 31st, 2013, Jean Stapleton (All in the Family, You've Got Mail) died in New York City of natural causes. She was 90.
James Gandolfini (The Sopranos, In the Loop, Crimson Tide) died at the age of 51 of a heart attack during a vacation in Rome, Italy on June 19th, 2013.
Joey Travolta's Film Camp: San Diego (2013)
On June 3rd, 2013, I went with Roscoe and my class at Westside to Washington Family Ranch for our senior trip. We went zip lining, swimming, swinging, play basketball, skateboarding, and rock climbing. On June 6th, 2013, we went back to Portland and stopped at Beaverton Foursquare Church for the rehearsal of my graduation.
On June 7th, 2013, I graduated successfully and celebrate my early birthday the next day. My graduation birthday presents are the Monsters University figurine set and the education action figures of Mike Wazowski & Art, James P. Sullivan & Scott "Squishy" Squibbles, Don Carlton & Terri & Terry, Johnny Worthington & Randy Boggs.
On June 14th, 2013, one day after my 19th birthday, I departed 3705 NW Columbia Avenue and headed down Interstate 5 with my mom and pick up Melissa and her friend Brian and rent the winnebago in Eugene. Then we all took the winnebago van and headed down to southern California (drove past Hollywood, Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Orange County (home of Disneyland), Riverside, and Palm Springs and made to San Diego). I brought a portable DVD player that I got for my graduation birthday to watch films during the drive (Brave, The Emperor's New Groove, Monsters, Inc. (in honor of its prequel), Peter Pan (in honor of its 60th anniversary), Lilo & Stitch, The Muppets (in honor of its sequel this holiday season and spring next year), Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Tinker Bell & Looney Tunes, Muppets & Fairies Ever After, The Pixie Fairies Summer Rescue, Cars and Cars 2 (in honor of its spin-off this August), Finding Nemo (in honor of its 10th anniversary), A Bug's Life (in honor of its 15th anniversary)). It's a long drive so we make stops to stay at the motels. I stayed with Melissa and my mom at the Residence Inn Marriot hotel at La Jolla. I went to Joey Travolta's Inclusion Film Camp (10:00 AM - 3:30 PM) at the COX Communications for filming of the crime movie.
The premiere on June 21, 2013 was Monsters University (a Pixar Animation Studios prequel to 2001's Monsters, Inc. featuring Mike and Sulley's college days). I went to the Fashion Valley mall to visit the Disney Store (where I collect the stuff from Monsters University including Randy, Squishy, Hardscrabble, Terri & Terry, Don, Chet, Art, Johnny, Greek Council President & Vice President, and Archie and from Planes, a spin-off of Disney/Pixar's Cars including Dusty Crophopper, Skipper, Chug, Risplinger, El Chupacabra, Bravo & Echo, and Leadbottom). We went to San Diego and visited Seaport Village and Little Italy. We went to SeaWorld and its new water park, Aquatica. At SeaWorld, we went on Bayside Skyride, Journey to Atlantis, Dolphin Point, SeaWorld Sky Tower, Shamu's Happy Harbor, Shipwreck Rapids, Turtle Reef, Wild Arctic, Riptide Rescue, and Manta. I played on Shamu's Happy Harbor where I find pirate ships, jungle gyms, water geysers, and kid-size rides.
At June 28th, 2013, we stayed at Brian's house for the night. The next day, we went home, staying at the motels during the long drive back to Portland. June is a big busiest month of the year!
Monsters University (June 21, 2013 – October 29, 2013)
MPAA Rating: G
Critic Score: 78% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critics Consensus: Offering Monsters, Inc. fans a return visit with beloved characters, Monsters University delivers funny and thoughtful family entertainment for viewers of any age.
Box office: $743,559,607
A young monster named Michael "Mike" Wazowski (Noah Johnston) dreams of being a scarer; a monster who enters the human world at night to scare children and harvest their screams for energy; when he grows up after visiting Monsters Inc, Monstropolis's most profitable scaring company, on a school field trip. Eleven years later, Mike (Billy Crystal) is a first-year scare major at Monsters University, where he meets fellow monster James P. "Sulley" Sullivan (John Goodman). Mike studies hard, while the privileged Sulley, coming from a family of talented scarers, relies only on his natural ability and begins to falter. As the semester progresses, Mike and Sulley attempt to join a fraternity, but only Sulley is accepted into the Roar Omega Roar, the toughest fraternity on campus. At the semester's final exam, a fight between the two causes them to accidentally break Dean Abigail Hardscrabble's (Helen Mirren) cherished Scream Can. Hardscrabble promptly fails both of them immediately, stating that Sulley does not study enough, and Mike is not scary enough.
Wanting to prove himself, Mike enters the university's "Scare Games" and makes a wager with Hardscrabble to reinstate him and his team to the scare program if they win, but Mike must leave the university if they lose. He joins a group of misfits in the weakest fraternity named Oozma Kappa, but they are denied entry to the Games for being one team member short - until Sulley joins them, seeing the competition as his ticket back into the scare program. Oozma Kappa finish last in the first challenge, but are saved from elimination after another team is disqualified for cheating, and Oozma Kappa advance through subsequent challenges, improving gradually due to Mike's training and intricate knowledge of scaring. In the final round, they pull off a close victory with a decisive final scare by Mike in the simulation bedroom - however, Mike soon discovers that he only won because Sulley secretly rigged the machine to improve his score.
Determined to prove he can become a scarer, Mike breaks into the school's door lab and enters a door to the human world leading to a summer camp, but he is unable to scare a cabin full of children and runs off into the woods. Back at the university, Roar Omega Roar offers to reinstate Sulley, but he refuses, instead confessing to Hardscrabble that he cheated, just as she is alerted of Mike's break-in. Realizing what happened, Sulley defies Hardscrabble and enters the same door to look for Mike. After finding Mike and reconciling, they try to return, but are unable to exit after Hardscrabble deactivates the door while waiting for the authorities to arrive. Pursued by camp rangers, Mike realizes that the only way to return to the monster world is to generate enough scream energy to power the door from their side. Working together, Sulley and Mike terrify the camp rangers and generate an overwhelming amount of scream energy to return to the lab seconds before the device overloads and explodes in front of Hardscrabble.
Mike and Sulley are led away by the CDA and are expelled from the university as a result of their actions, but the other members of Oozma Kappa are accepted into the scare program the next semester, as Hardscrabble was impressed by their performances in the scare games. As Mike leaves on the bus, Sulley runs after him to raise his spirits. Hardscrabble then appears and wishes the two luck, claiming they were the first students to have surprised her. The two take jobs in the mail room of Monsters, Inc., eventually working their way up to join the Scarer Team and setting the events of Monsters, Inc. in motion.
Despicable Me 2 (July 3, 2013 – December 10, 2013)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee and Best Original Song Nominee "Happy"
MPAA Rating: PG (for rude humor and mild action)
Critic Score: 74% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critics Consensus: Despicable Me 2 offers plenty of eye-popping visual inventiveness and a number of big laughs.
Box office: $970,761,885
A mysterious vehicle using a huge magnet steals a highly potent mutagen known as PX-41 from a secret laboratory in the Arctic Circle. The Anti-Villain League (AVL) tries to recruit former supervillain, Gru (Steve Carell), to find who stole the mutagen, but Gru refuses, claiming he is a legitimate businessman now as well as the father of Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier), and Agnes (Elsie Fisher). Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand), Gru's friend and assistant, has decided to leave him for new employment, claiming he "missed being evil." Gru reluctantly partners with undercover AVL agent Lucy Wilde (Kristen Wiig), and they search a local mall, the Paradise Shopping Mall, disguised as bakery employees. Mexican restaurant owner, Eduardo Pérez (Benjamin Bratt), is suspected by Gru of being "El Macho", a legendary supervillain who supposedly died after skysurfing a shark into the center of an active volcano. Gru and Lucy break into Eduardo's restaurant at night, but find nothing to prove that he is the culprit. Meanwhile, Agnes expresses her wish to have a mother someday and believes that Gru will fall in love with Lucy, but despite her excitement, Gru tells her that his relationship with Lucy is strictly professional.
Gru and Lucy investigate wig merchant Floyd Eagle-san (Ken Jeong), but Gru is still suspicious of Eduardo after seeing Eduardo's two-timing son, Antonio (Moises Arias), going out with Margo, and inviting everyone to his Cinco de Mayo party. Afterwards, Gru is set up on a horrible dinner date with a rude woman named Shannon (Kristen Schaal), who notices Gru's wig and threatens to humiliate him, but Lucy rescues him by shooting Shannon with a tranquilizer dart. They take Shannon home, and afterwards, Gru realizes that Agnes was right, as he has fallen in love with Lucy.
The next day, the AVL arrests Floyd Eagle-san due to an almost-empty mutagen jar being found in his shop, and the investigation is closed. Lucy is reassigned to Australia, but before leaving, gives Gru her lipstick Taser to remind him of her. This leaves Gru heartbroken because he loves her, but he cannot find the courage to ask her out on a date. Instead, he brings the girls to the Cinco de Mayo party and finds proof that Eduardo is El Macho. Gru discovers that he and his partner, Nefario, have captured and mutated a large number of Gru's Minions using the PX41 Serum, turning them into insane Evil Minion. with El Macho planning to send rockets full of mutated Minions to major cities and achieve world domination. El Macho proposes that he and Gru team up, but Gru avoids answering and leaves.
On her flight to Australia, Lucy realizes she has also fallen in love with Gru and jumps out of the plane, but after hang gliding down to the party, she is captured by El Macho after Pollito, his pet chicken, retrieves her AVL ID badge from her purse. Fortunately, Nefario informs Gru, and to rescue Lucy, Gru visits Macho along with two Minions covered in purple paint, pretending he was captured by them. Fighting alongside his daughters and Nefario, Gru and his team spray all of the mutated Minions with jelly containing a powerful antidote that Dr. Nefario made, whereupon they revert to their friendly yellow state. Macho then takes the mutagen himself, but Gru and Dr. Nefario overcome him using Lucy's lipstick Taser and a fart gun.
Gru sees Lucy strapped to a TNT-loaded shark rocket and starts to untie her, but Pollito launches the rocket, sending the rocket flying towards the same volcano where Macho previously faked his death. Lucy accepts Gru's invitation for a date, and the pair dive into the ocean seconds before the rocket enters the volcano.
After 147 dates, Gru and Lucy are married and Margo, Edith, and Agnes finally have a mother. The Minions close with a rendition of "I Swear" and "Y.M.C.A" as the whole family celebrates.
Turbo (July 17, 2013 – November 12, 2013)
MPAA Rating: PG (for some mild action and thematic elements)
Critic Score: 67%.
Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critics Consensus: It's nowhere near as inventive as its off-the-wall premise might suggest, but Turbo boasts just enough colorful visual thrills and sharp voice acting to recommend as undermanding family-friendly fare.
In a suburban San Fernando Valley garden in Los Angeles, Theo, a.k.a. Turbo (Ryan Reynolds), is a garden snail who dreams of being the greatest racer in the world, just like his hero, 5-time Indianapolis 500 champ, Guy Gagné (Bill Hader). His obsession with speed and all things fast has made him an outcast in the slow and cautious snail community, and a constant embarrassment to his older brother, Chet (Paul Giamatti). Turbo desperately wishes he could escape the slow-paced life he's living, but his one chance to live proves a near fatal disaster when he tries to recover a prize tomato and needs to be rescued by Chet.
Demoralized, Theo wanders onto a freeway to admire the traffic and wishes he was fast on the first star (which is actually an airplane light). Suddenly, he gets into a freak accident when he gets sucked into the supercharger of a drag racer, fusing his DNA with nitrous oxide. The next day, when Theo wakes up, he now possesses incredible speed and accuracy, as well as some characteristics of an actual car. Unfortunately, Theo's first attempt to show this power off ends with him crashing a Big Wheel tricycle into the garden, getting himself and Chet fired from the garden crew by their foreman (Paul Dooley).
As the siblings quarrel over Theo's problems, Chet is snatched by a crow, but is pursued and rescued by Theo at a run down strip mall called Starlight Plaza. There, they are captured by Tito (Michael Peña), a "Dos Bros" taco truck driver, and are brought to a snail race held by him and his co-workers. Theo astounds both humans and snails alike and earns the respect of the snails, led by Whiplash (Samuel L. Jackson), with his crew members Smoove Move (Snoop Dogg), Burn (Maya Rudolph), Skidmark (Ben Schwartz), and White Shadow (Michael Patrick Bell), who have skills of their own. Inspired by this extraordinary snail, Tito dreams to revive the strip mall with Theo as an attraction, and eventually with the help of the snails who manage to divert and strand a tour bus and drum up impressive business. At this success, Theo convinces Tito to enter him in Indianapolis 500 as a competitor. While Tito's brother, Angelo (Luis Guzmán), still declines to support him, the neighbors agree to put up the entrance fee and accompany them to Indianapolis.
Once there, Tito is refused entry into the race, but a chance meeting with Guy Gagné gives Turbo a chance to show off his speed, astounding the audience and the racers and qualifies for the race. This impossible feat soon becomes a sensation on social media and the CEO (Kurtwood Smith) gives in to the pressure, egged on by Gagné himself, to let the snail compete. However, the night before the race, Turbo is demoralized by Gagné, while Chet confesses that he cannot bear to see his brother endanger himself. Undeterred, Turbo enters the race the next day, but the dangerous racetrack and the more experienced competitors leave him trailing in last place. At a pitstop, Whiplash and his crew give Turbo a vital pep talk, advising him to stop racing like a car. Back in the race, Turbo realizes what they mean and uses his small size to his advantage. With the snail rapidly gaining in the standings, Gagné starts racing dirty and manages to knock Turbo against the circuit wall, damaging his shell and weakening his speed powers.
Eventually, in the final stretch with Turbo in the lead, Gagné tries a desperate maneuver to beat the snail and gets into a major crash that snares most of the competitors in a major pileup. Similarly, Turbo is thrown, waking up from unconsciousness with his shell punctured and his speed gone. Alarmed at seeing Turbo giving up, Chet puts himself into incredible dangers to meet up with Whiplash's crew to get to the racer. Seeing his brother and the crew arrive on crows to encourage him to continue, Turbo resumes the race. Unfortunately, Gagné, refusing to lose, single-mindedly pursues him by dragging his wrecked car after the snail and attempts to crush him. At the last second, Chet tells Turbo to tuck and roll into his shell at Gagné's last blow and the force allows him to tumble past the finish line to win. Gagné is then attacked by Kim-Ly (Ken Jeong).
At this victory, Starlight Plaza becomes a major attraction with all the businesses becoming spectacular successes including extremely elaborate snail races with Whiplash's crew getting special propulsion aids for their shells, while Chet is content as the track referee. As for Turbo, he becomes happier discovering that his shell has healed, and with that, his superspeed has returned.
Eileen Brennan (The Last Picture Show, Private Benjamin, Clue) died at her home in Burbank, California, on July 28th, 2013, of bladder cancer. She was 80.
D23 Expo (2013)
The D23 Expo returned for a third time August 9th-11th, 2013 at the Anaheim Convention Center. The Walt Disney Studios presented exclusive looks at live-action films including Saving Mr. Banks, Maleficent, Muppets Most Wanted, Tomorrowland, and Thor: The Dark World, as well as animated productions from such as The Good Dinosaur, Frozen, Never Fairies & Muppets, Party Central, and Get A Horse!. Lucasfilm had its first appearance at D23. Media outlets had speculated that casting information for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens would be announced at the event, but no such announcement was made. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts showcased pavilion relating to Avatar Land, future Star Wars attractions, Marvel's Avengers Academy on the Disney Magic, Disney Springs, and Shanghai Disneyland.
Planes (August 9, 2013 – November 19, 2013)
MPAA Rating: PG (for some mild action and rude humor)
Critic Score: 26%.
Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critics Consensus: Planes has enough bright colors, goofy voices, and slick animation to distract some young viewers for 92 minutes – and probably sell plenty of toys in the bargain – but on nearly every other level, its a Disney disappointment.
Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) is a crop duster plane who works at a cornfield and practices aerobatic maneuvers in his spare time, dreaming of becoming a racer. His dreams are scorned by his boss, Leadbottom (Cedric the Entertainer), and his forklift/mechanic friend, Dottie (Teri Hatcher). However, he is supported by his fuel truck friend, Chug (Brad Garrett). Dusty and Chug train for qualifiers for the upcoming Wings Across the Globe race. On the night before the qualifiers, Dusty asks an elderly and reclusive navy war plane named Skipper Riley (Stacy Keach) to teach him how to fly well, but Skipper refuses. Dusty enters the qualifiers, and although the audience mocks him for being a cropduster, he manages to wow them by his well-practiced flight maneuvers; but he barely makes it into the race.
Later in the morning, Skipper visits Dusty and tries to talk him out of racing, but when Dusty explains he wants to prove he's more than just a crop duster, Skipper decides to mentor Dusty on his speed and agility. While in the midst of his training, Dusty admits that he has a fear of heights. Despite this, their training continues, and when it is complete, Dusty heads off to the meeting of the race at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. There he befriends an eccentric but loyal Mexican race plane named El Chupacabra (Carlos Alazraqui), who eventually falls in love with a beautiful French-Canadian racer named Rochelle (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), who shows no interest in him. Dusty then makes a rival of the arrogant and villainous 3-time-winner plane Ripslinger (Roger Craig Smith), who rudely dismisses him as being only a crop duster. He also falls in love with a racer plane named Ishani (Priyanka Chopra), who becomes supportive of him. During the first leg of the race from New York to Iceland, Dusty's refusal to fly high causes him to finish in last place. During the second leg of the race to Germany, Dusty shows good sportsmanship by saving another racer, Bulldog (John Cleese), from crashing when Bulldog's eyes get squirted with oil from one of his propellers, winning Bulldog's respect but finishing last again.
In India, Ishani invites Dusty to fly around the Taj Mahal and advises him to fly low through the Himalayas by following some railroad tracks. However, after encountering a tunnel and barely being able to fly through it, Dusty realizes Ishani deliberately gave him bad advice to get a new propeller from Ripslinger, and he shuns her. As the race continues, Dusty manages to get into first place. In Shanghai, Dusty manages to help El Chupacabra win over Rochelle with a romantic song. In the next race across the Pacific Ocean, Ripslinger's henchmen, Ned and Zed (Gabriel Iglesias), under orders from Ripslinger, sabotage Dusty's navigation antenna. Lost and low on fuel, Dusty miraculously comes across the USS Flysenhower (a reference to the real-life carrier) which allows him to land and refuel. While on the carrier, Dusty sees a hall of fame set up for Skipper's squadron but discovers that Skipper only flew one mission, which contradicts his previous reputation as a veteran of many battles. He is then forced to take off to try and beat an oncoming storm.
Dusty gets distracted from flying by his thoughts about Skipper and ends up crashing into the ocean but is eventually rescued. He is flown to Mexico to his friends but he is severely damaged and may never fly again. Skipper confesses to Dusty that he did indeed fly only one mission in the Pacific theatre, where his entire squad of trainees was killed in an attack on the Japanese Navy. Skipper was the only survivor, but torn by his guilt, he never trained another plane or flew again. Demoralized and heartbroken, Dusty begins to consider dropping out of the race but is encouraged by his friends, Bulldog, Ishani, and many of his newfound fans to continue, and they all donate parts to have Dusty repaired.
With a change of heart and morale restored, Dusty becomes determined to continue in the race, but Ripslinger still won't give up and plots to put an end to Dusty's competing in the race "once and for all". He and his goons attack Dusty but are thwarted by Skipper, who has overcome his guilt and come to help Dusty. When trying to catch up with Ripslinger, Dusty conquers his fear of heights when his engine starts losing power, forcing him to ride the jetstream. Both he and Ripslinger make it to the finish line in New York; and when it looks like Ripslinger will win, his ego gets the best of him, and he slows down to have his picture taken. Dusty manages to fly above him and win the race while Ripslinger crashes into some portable toilets. Dusty is congratulated by his friends and fans, and Skipper thanks him for giving him the confidence to fly again. Skipper rejoins the navy briefly in the company of Dusty and they take an honorary flight together, ending the story.
On August 19th, 2013, Lee Thompson Young (The Famous Jett Jackson, Friday Night Lights, Rizzoli & Isles) died from a gunshot suicide in Los Angeles.
At August 21st, 2013 (the month of the D23 Expo), I departed from 3705 NW Columbia Avenue and head on to visit Melissa's new apartment at Eugene with my mom. We went to visit Hirxons gift shop and visit the University of Oregon. I brought a portable DVD player and a few DVDs (Epic, Return to Never Land, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Oliver & Company (in honor of its 25th anniversary), The Sword in the Stone (in honor of its 50th anniversary), Robin Hood (in honor of its 40th anniversary), and The Muppet Movie (in honor of its 35th anniversary, almost)). I and my sister went to the mall and see Planes.
Since the film is poor-reviewed, I talked to Mom about going to Disneyland this Christmas, but she told me to wait. However, I can't help it because of the critics.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (September 27, 2013 – January 28, 2014)
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild rude humor)
Critic Score: 70%.
Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critics Consensus: While not as clever or inventive as its predecessor, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 compensates with enough dazzling to keep younger viewers entertained.
After Flint Lockwood (Bill Hader) and his friends save the world from the food storm in the first film, super-inventor Chester V (Will Forte), the CEO of Live Corp and Flint's childhood idol, is tasked to clean the island. He relocates Flint, his friends, and the citizens of Swallow Falls to San Franjose, California. Unbeknownst to Flint, the FLDSMDFR survived the explosion and landed in the center of the island, and Chester is determined to find it. Chester invites Flint to work at Live Corp, where he meets Chester's assistant Barb (Kristen Schaal), a talking orangutan with human intelligence. Six months later, Flint humiliates himself during a promotion ceremony when his invention, the "Celebrationator", explodes. Meanwhile, Chester is informed that his search-parties on the island have been attacked by monstrous cheeseburgers named cheespiders (a combination of a cheeseburger and a spider) which are learning how to swim. Seemingly fearing the world's inevitable doom, Chester tasks Flint to find the FLDSMDFR and destroy it once and for all. Despite Chester's demands to keep the mission classified, Flint recruits his girlfriend, meteorologist Sam Sparks (Anna Faris); her cameraman Manny (Benjamin Bratt); police officer Earl Devereaux (Terry Crews); Steve (Neil Patrick Harris), a monkey who communicates via a device on his chest; and "Chicken" Brent (Andy Samberg). Much to Flint's dismay, his father Tim (James Caan) joins the crew and they travel to Swallow Falls on his fishing boat.
Upon arriving back at Swallow Falls, they notice that a jungle-like environment made of food has overgrown the island. Tim stays behind while Flint and the others investigate, finding a vast habitat of living food animals called foodimals and meet a cute strawberry nicknamed Barry (Cody Cameron). Tim, searching for sardines at his abandoned tackle shop, encounters a family of humanoid pickles and bonds with them by fishing. Chester discovers that Flint allowed his friends to join him on the mission, so he travels to the island with Barb, chagrined and determined to separate them, and he arrives just in time to save them from a Cheespider. Flint then finds his old lab and invents a device to find the FLDSMDFR. After escaping a Tacodile attack, Sam notices that the foodimal was protecting its family, and begins to suspect Chester is up to no good. Sam attempts to convince Flint to spare the foodimals, but Flint is intent on impressing Chester. Sam leaves in anger, and Flint's other companions go with her. In the jungle, Manny confirms Sam's suspicions when he reverses the Live Corp logo to reveal the "Live" as "Evil" spelled backwards. In addition, Sam proves that the foodimals mean no harm by taming a Cheespider. They also learn that the foodimals had known the truth about Live Corp before. Upon realizing Chester's intentions, the group is then ambushed by Evil Corp employees.
Flint finds the FLDSMDFR, but notices a family of cute, friendly marshmallows and becomes hesitant to destroy the machine. Chester immediately seizes control of the FLDSMDFR and announces his plot to make his updated line of food bars out of the foodimals. A crushed Flint is knocked into the river but rescued by the marshmallows. Flint is taken to his father, and they and the foodimals all work together to allow Flint and Barry to infiltrate the Evil Corp building that is under construction on the island. Barry frees the trapped foodimals while Flint confronts Chester, who threatens to make food bars out of his friends. Chester makes numerous holograms of himself to overwhelm Flint, but Flint uses the Celebrationator to expose the real Chester, allowing Flint to rescue his friends. An army of foodimals led by Barry arrive and fight Chester's employees. Chester tries to make off with the FLDSMDFR, but is thwarted by Barb, who has a change of heart and Chester gets eaten by a Cheespider. With the island safe from Chester V and Evil Corp destroyed, Flint returns the FLDSMDFR to its place and frees it from Chester's control and the foodimals continue to live in peace as more are born. The film ends with Flint fishing with his father for the first time, finding it enjoyable.
The Red Carpet: San Diego (2013)
At October 3rd, 2013, I left the apartment with my mom and head to the airport and board the plane heading to San Diego. I brought a few DVDs (The Little Mermaid, The Croods, The Wizard of Oz (in honor of its 75th anniversary and the IMAX re-release), and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (in honor of its sequel)). I will have my new books from the new Walt Disney Animation Studios' film inspired by Hans Christian Anderson's The Snow Queen, Frozen and Never Fairies & Muppets (a Walt Disney Animation Studios film and another rare sequel based on Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale The Snow Queen and J.M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy, featuring Peter Pan, Kermit the Frog, Wendy Darling, Tinker Bell, and the characters from the Disney Fairies and Muppets franchises in a Ice Age European world's fair tour, an international spy espionage/crime caper and the Norwegian winter story featuring new princesses, Anna and Elsa).
We stayed three nights at Best Western Hacienda hotel at the Old Town. We went to Fashion Valley to go to the Disney Store (where I collect Sofia, Rapunzel, the stuff from The Little Mermaid (Ariel, Eric, Sebastian, Flounder, Ursula, and Scuttle), and stuff from Frozen and Never Fairies & Muppets (Anna the summer solstice princess, Tinker Bell, Kermit, Elsa the winter solstice snow queen, Periwinkle the winter fairy, Miss Piggy, Olaf the snowman, Sven the reindeer, and Kristoff the mountain man)). We visited the Old Town where they hold the Art Festival. We went to the film premiere at the Reading Cinema at downtown San Diego. At the hotel, I went to the pool all my myself twice. We went to meet my mom's friend, Liise and Molly Miller. We went with Molly to see Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
At October 6th, 2013, we board the plane and head back to Portland.
Marcia Wallace (The Simpsons, The Bob Newhart Show) died from pneumonia and sepsis on October 25th, 2013, aged 70, a week before her 71st birthday.
Toby Bluth (Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Smurfs) died on October 31st, 2013 in Los Angeles, California following a stroke.
Diane Disney Miller died on November 19th, 2013 at age 79 from medical complications that developed after a fall.
Jane Kean (The Honeymooners) died on November 26th, 2013 at age 90, at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California of complications from a fall.
Frozen & Never Fairies & Muppets (November 27, 2013 – March 18, 2014)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Winner and Best Original Song Winner "Let It Go."
MPAA Rating: PG (for some action, mild rude humor, and mild thematic elements)
Critic Score: 89% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critics Consensus: Joyful, fast-paced, and dramatically wintry, Never Fairies & Muppets adds another worthy entry to the Disney canon that packs enough shimmering animation and singalong songs to look as iridescently gorgeous as the winter wonderland.
Box office: $1,287,000,000
Following on from the ending of Muppets & Fairies Ever After in 2010, Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire) and the Muppets find themselves at a loss as to what to do next ("We're Doing a Sequel"). Per the suggestions by British tour manager Sir Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), the Muppets decide to embark on a world tour in Europe and Norway with the fairies of Pixie Hollow, known as the Never Fairies; for the last season of the year: winter (the season of Christmas and Hanukkah).
This shows icemen harvesting ice. A young boy named Kristoff (Tyree Brown) and his pet reindeer, Sven, is among them ("Frozen Heart"). Elsa (Eva Bella), the winter princess of Arendelle, the palace in Norway; possess cryokinetic and frigiokinesis powers, with which they were able to produce or manipulate ice, snow, frost, sleet, hail, and cold at will. One night while playing, Elsa accidentally injures her younger sister, Anna (Livvy Stubenrauch), with her powers. Their shocked parents, King Agnarr (Maurice LaMarche) and Queen Iduna (Jennifer Lee) seek help from Pabbie (Ciarán Hinds), the troll king and shaman who heal Anna and removes her memories of Elsa's magic. He also informs Elsa that if she had struck Anna's heart it would have been fatal. In order to protect Elsa and Anna, the royal couple isolates the children in their castle until Elsa learns to control her powers. Afraid of hurting Anna again, Elsa spend most of their time alone in their room, refusing even to speak to Anna, and a rift develops between the sisters as they grow up. When the girls are teenagers, their parents die at sea during a storm ("Do You Want to Build a Snowman?").
In Siberia, Russia, the criminal mastermind named Constantine (Matt Vogel), a near-exact double for Kermit in appearance, escapes from a maximum security Gulag 38B. Out in the North Atlantic Ocean, British spy fairy named Finn McMissile (Michael Caine) infiltrates the world's largest untapped pixie dust reserves, owned by a group of "lemon" fairies, led by unknown mastermind Professor Zündapp (Thomas Kretschmann). After being discovered, he is forced to flee and fake his death.
Scrat (Chris Wedge), a saber-toothed squirrel climbs a glacier to bury his acorn, but accidentally opens a hole in it, causing water to spurt out. Following on from the events of their last film, Wendy Darling (Chloe Grace Moretz), now a Never Fairies Squad skating champion, returns home to Never Land, Hollywood and reunites with Peter Pan (Blayne Weaver) and their colleague Bugs Bunny (Jeff Bergman) to enjoy some quiet time. But when Irish formula tourist fairy named Fionnoula O'Callaghan (Kelly Macdonald) challenges Wendy to a world's fair called World Global Pavilion Incorporated (WGP Inc.), led by Sir Miles Axlerod (Eddie Izzard), a former pixie dust tycoon, who promote his new cleaning pixie dust named Incanta; she and Peter–along with the Never Fairies, the Muppets, and the Nerdlucks–depart for Oslo where Arendelle and WGP Inc. is located.
When Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel) come of age, Arendelle prepares for Elsa's coronation as queen ("For the First Time in Forever"). Among the guests is the Duke of Weselton (Alan Tudyk), who seeks to exploit the kingdom for profit. Anna explores Arendelle and meets Hans (Santino Fontana), the prince of the Southern Isles. Zündapp and the lemons, secretly plot to secure their pixie dust profits by using an electromagnetic pulse emitter weapon disguised as a television camera to ignite the Incanta pixie dust. Finn and his partner Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer) attempt to rendezvous with American spy fairy Rod "Torque" Redline (Bruce Campbell) at the WGP Inc. promotional event in the Oslo National Art Center, to receive information about the mastermind. However, Redline is attacked by Zündapp's goons Grem (Joe Mantegna) & Acer (Peter Jacobson) and passes his information to Peter before he is captured.
As the Muppets and Never Fairies begin their tour, Constantine makes contact with Dominic and joins his subordinate; a position Constantine frequently reminds him of; to begin a plot to steal the Crown Jewels of England. Dominic offered to manage the group and schedule the European tour in WGP Inc. Despite Elsa's fears, her coronation takes place with incident. During the reception, Hans proposes to Anna, who hastily accepts ("Love Is An Open Door"). However, Elsa refuses to grant her blessing and forbids Anna and Hans's sudden marriage. The girls argue, culminating in the exposure of Elsa's abilities in an emotional outburst. Panicking, Elsa flees the castle, while inadvertently unleashing an eternal winter/deluge curse on the pavilion. Zündapp tortures Redline and reveals that Incanta can ignite if impacted by a high electromagnetic pulse. Zündapp demonstrates it on Redline, killing him, but not before they realize that he passed this information to Peter. High in the nearby mountains, Elsa abandons her restraint, vowing to never return and building herself a solitary ice palace ("Let It Go").
Once the Muppets arrive in Berlin, Germany, they intend to play a shabby venue, but Dominic secures them a show at a prestigious location. Kermit, frustrated with the troupe's ludicrous requests for the show, including The Great Gonzo's (Dave Goelz) "Indoor Running of the Bulls" and Miss Piggy's (Eric Jacobson) five songs and insistent hints at the wedding and marriage, goes for a walk along the deserted canal at Dominic's suggestion. However, the hooded Constantine ambushes him and slaps a fake mole onto his right cheek, matching Constantine's own resemble, then slips away. Mistaken for Constantine, Kermit is arrested and sent to the Gulag while Constantine escapes. When everyone in Germany is preparing for winter, Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) wants to go to the Winter Woods, due to her curious nature. She sees that the tinker fairies, including Fairy Mary (Jane Horrocks) are making baskets which are carried by snowy owls, who then delivers them to the fairies of the Winter Woods, and learns that there will be another shipment tomorrow. Meanwhile, Zündapp, Grem, and Acer uses the weapon on several tourist fairies.
Later that day, Finn and Holley help Peter evade Zündapp's goons. Tink volunteers to help her friend Fawn (Angela Bartys) take the animals to the Winter Woods. Peter inadvertently gives Wendy bad racing advice, which causes her to fall second and lose the race to Fionnoula. While Fawn is busy Tink crosses the border into the Winter Woods, and her wings start to glow. But Fawn warns her that her wings are freezing and rushes her off to the hospital with Iridessa (Raven-Symoné), Rosetta (Megan Hilty), Silvermist (Lucy Liu), and Vidia (Pamela Adlon). After being fixed by the fairy doctor (Jodi Benson), Tink remains curious about the sparkles and colors her wings made in the Winter Woods. Tink went off to the library, where she finds a book titled Wingology, but unfortunately, a bookworm has chewed the page on "Sparkling Wings" up. Scribble (Thomas Lennon), the fairy librarian with glasses tells Tink that the author of the book, the Keeper, might be able to help her, but he lives in the Winter Woods.
The world of ice is slowly melting. The creatures are all shown enjoying themselves on slides and pools made by the melting ice at Glacier Fountain, the water park in Madrid. Sid (John Leguizamo) the sloth opens a small day camp, where none of the younger creatures take his seriously, nor do Manny (Ray Romano) the mammoth and Diego (Denis Leary) the saber-toothed tiger, which leaves Sid seeking a daring deed.
After Manny heard the story of a young burro with younger creatures, Fast Tony (Jay Leno), the giant armadillo and local con artist is claiming that the valley will flood and that the bark and reeds that he sell are needed to stay alive. Manny dismisses the idea, but is distracted when he sees that Sid will try to high dive from a giant waterfall; as Manny goes with Diego to the top of the waterfall to save Sid from his act of daredevilry, suddenly the ice under Diego's feet was breaking, causing him to bolt in fear, this also made Sid figure that Diego is suffered from aquaphobia. They figure that the pleasant sunshine has caused the ice shelves to melt, and it is kept from destroying the valley only by the glaciers, which have formed a dam.
The Lone Gunslinger Vulture (Will Arnett) warns the mammals that a giant sequoia tree can act as a boat that can save them if they make it to the end of the valley within three days' time, and all soon set out to find it. As the mammals begin their journey, Sid sings three songs to tease Manny about mammoths being "extinct". A glacier which contains two se reptiles from the Mesozoic era, Cretaceous and Maelstrom, breaks off.
Taking Kermit's place, Constantine meets up with the rest of the Muppets and raises the suspicions of no one who all believe him to be Kermit, expect Animal (Eric Jacobson), who bites him. Constantine and Dominic review their plans ("I'm Number One"). The Berlin performance opens with Constantine freezing at the sight of the large audience and Scooter (David Rudman) has to introduce the show. Later, Constantine and Dominic sneak off to steal a selection of paintings from a nearby National Treasure Museum. The next morning after the burglary, Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) and CIA agent Sam the Eagle (Eric Jacobson) team up to begrudgingly form an alliance to apprehend the culprit, whom Jean believe to be his nemesis "The Lemur" - the number two criminal in the world, after discovering a coin-based calling card. Finn drafts Peter into foiling Zündapp's plot. Finn and Peter escape Grem and Acer and climb aboard Siddeley.
Preparing herself for the Winter Woods and using the final shipment as her only chance, Tink sneaks into the depot and climbs inside one of the baskets and waits for the owls, with the help of Clank (Jeff Bennett) and Bobble (Rob Paulsen). She gets picked up by an unexperienced owl and makes her way across the border. Suddenly, the owl accidentally drops the basket, and Tink crashes into the snow. Realizing her book has been flung from her bag, she tries to get it back before the frost sparrowman named Sled (Matt Lanter) finds it. However, Milori (Timothy Dalton), the Lord of the Winter Woods finds the book and asks Sled, to return the book to the Keeper.
Using this as a opportunity, Tink follows Sled to the Winter Library. Upon arriving, she spots Dewey (Jeff Bennett), the Keeper of all fairy knowledge. But before she can talk to him, the frost fairy named Periwinkle (Lucy Hale) rushes into the room and proclaims that her wings are sparkling the day before when Tink's wings begin to glow and sparkle. An irresistible force guided Tink toward Peri. They ask Dewey to explain what was happening to their wings. Bringing Tink and Peri to a platform and positioning their wings, the whole chamber becomes filled with images explaining their origins. Tinker Bell and Periwinkle realize that they are fraternal twin sisters.
Suddenly, Milori arrives, concerned about the book, warning Dewey to send any 'warm' fairy back to WGP Inc. Dewey tells the two they can spend five days together before Tink has to return home. Peri shows to Tink that she also collects lost things and tries to find a use for them. Next, they go to the Frost Forest to introduce Tink to Gliss (Grey DeLisle) and Spike (Debby Ryan). Following instructions hidden behind the stolen painting, Constantine and Dominic divert the course of the Never Fairies/Muppet tour to Madrid, Spain as part of a plot.
Meanwhile, after being locked in the Gulag ("The Big House"), Kermit has attempted multiple escape attempts, all of which are thwarted by Gulag prison officer Nadya (Tina Fey); knowing of his true identity, Nadya is obsessed with him as Piggy. Nadya orders Kermit to help organize the prisoners' annual prison talent show. Reflecting on his time with the Muppets, Kermit gains the inmates' respect. While getting supplies at Oaken's (Chris Williams) trading post, Anna meets Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Sven ("Reindeers Are Better Than People"), and convince him to guide her to the North Mountain, where it locates the ice palace until the wolves attack them.
Meanwhile, on the train, Constantine wins over Piggy ("I'll Get What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)"). Arriving in Spain, Constantine informs the rest of the Muppets that they permitted to perform any act they wish, much to Walter's (Peter Linz) puzzled suspicion. During this show in Madrid, the Muppets perform while Constantine and Dominic break into a Museo del Prado museum and destroy a roomful of busts in the process to find a key need for their plan. Even though the performance is a disaster that puts the audience to sleep, the Muppets' performance receive critical acclaim.
When Manny briefly is separated from them, Diego and Sid encounter two mischievous possums named Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck) who drive them nuts by playing Whac-A-Mole with them. Manny is depressed about being the last mammoth alive and his family, which has been killed, but is surprised when he encounters Ellie (Queen Latifah), the female mammoth who believes she is a possum and Crash and Eddie's adoptive sister. Sid invites her to tag along with the group to escape the flood, and she brings his brothers. On their journey, the group encounters Olaf (Josh Gad), Elsa and Anna's childhood snowman, whom the later recreated and unknowingly brought to life. Olaf dreams of seeing and experiencing summer for the first time ("In Summer"). Finn and Holley remove the tracking device on Peter and discover in it a picture of a mysterious British wing, which Peter identified by the wing and some rare parts.
Finn, Holley, and Peter fly to Paris, France, where they go into a black-market and meet Tomber (Michel Michelis), Finn's underground informant and old friend. Finn and Holley show the mysterious wing to Tomber, who tells them that the fairy with the wing was his best customer, but he has never met him in person. Peter explains what she knows about the evil Lemons, and realizes that every Lemon involved with the plot is one of "history's biggest loser fairies." Tomber tells Finn, Holley, and Peter that the lemon are going to have a secret meeting at the Casino of Gold in Ireland, where the next leg in the World Grand Prix would be held. Jean and Sam deduce that the connection between the crimes in Berlin and Madrid is the Never Fairies/Muppet tour, and the pair interrogate the Muppets at a police station to little success ("Interrogation Song"). The instructions on the stolen key lead Constantine and Dominic to schedule the next show in Dublin, Ireland.
After a perilous ordeal with Cretaceous and Maelstrom while crossing a pond, Sid prompts Diego to encourage him to admit and faces his fears - Diego insists that "fear is for prey", so Sid points out that Diego is behaving as if he is the water's prey. They discover an area which Ellie recalls as the place of willow trees that shaped the mammoths where she was adopted. She finally realizes she is a guardian and also expresses her suspicions about how different she was from other possums. Despite this bonding moment with Manny, Ellie distances herself from him when he suggests "saving their species". Manny and Ellie ultimately make up when they must co-operate to save the group when the ground cracks under their feet. Sid is kidnapped by a tribe of mini-sloths who believe Sid to be a fire worship king. Sid starts fire for them, and believes that he has finally found respect, but they plan to sacrifice him by tossing him into a volcano. Sid narrowly escapes.
Anna arrives at the ice palace and found Elsa, who stills fears hurting her sister. When Anna insists that we can unfreeze the kingdom, she becomes agitated and her powers leash out, accidentally striking Anna in the heart ("For the First Time In Forever (Reprise)"). Elsa creates a giant snow monster named Marshmallow (Paul Briggs) that throws Anna out of the palace. When Tink and Peri build a campfire to stay warm, Tink realizes that if she can make it warm, Peri can make it cold at Ireland. After Dewey and his pet snowy lynx, Fiona save Tink and Peri from a near death experience, he tells the sisters that Tink has to go home. The sisters realize that they might never see each other again, but Tink comes up with a plan. When the three people reach the border in Ireland, Tink whispers to Peri to meet her at the border tomorrow.
When Tink arrives in Dublin, she asks Clank and Bobble for help. Later, Fawn and some of her other friends learn about Tink's sister and excited at the prospect of meeting her (Peri) decide to help Tink. As the tour reaches Dublin, Walter discovers that Dominic and Constantine had been giving away show tickets and bribing critics and journalists to ensure a packed house and write great reviews, and Fozzie Bear (Eric Jacobson) notices the resemblance between Kermit and Constantine. The two discover that Constantine has taken Kermit's place. Constantine sees that they have found out, and attacks Walter and Fozzie, but Animal fends him off and the three manage to escape by hopping onto the freight train. They then figure that the best course of action is to go to Siberia and rescue Kermit. Tink arrives at the border with Clank and Bobble pulling along a snowmaking machine. Peri arrives too with her friends, pulling along a big ice cube with Slush (Benjamin Diskin), a glacier fairy.
Now able to keep Peri cold enough, Peri crosses the border to the warm side of Ireland. Peter infiltrates the criminals' meeting and discovers Zündapp's plan. Peri meets Tinker Bell's other friends, which Rosetta gives her a periwinkle flower. Tink notices Peri's wings wilting. The snowmaker was running out of ice, and there wasn't enough snow to keep Peri cold, so Tink and Peri return to the border. Grem and Acer, meanwhile, use their weapon on several more tourists during the race, eventually causing a multi-fairy pileup. Wendy beats Fionnoula and finishes first, but bittersweet. Milori appears and instructs Peri how to fix her wings. Queen Clarion (Anjelica Huston) arrives too, and sadly explains to the sisters that they can never see each other again and that it was her who created the rule that warm and cold fairies should remain apart. With the Incanta pixie dust under suspicion, Axlerod suspends its use for the final leg in England. However, Wendy chooses to continue using it. As the sisters leave, the snowmaker gets knocked by Milori into the stream, and creates a snowstorm. Upon hearing that Zündapp and his criminals decided to kill Wendy in the last race, Peter is exposed and captured, along with Finn and Holley, and tied up inside Big Ben's bell tower in London, England. Peter realizes how foolishly he has been acting.
Later that day, Clarion and Milori tries to make Tink and Peri understand why the rule about not crossing the border was so important. They are told the story of two fairies who met and fell in love. One of them was a winter fairy and the other was from the warm seasons. They met every sunset at the border, where spring touches winter. But as their love grew stronger, they wished to be together and share each other's worlds. They disregarded the dangers across the border. One of them broke a wing, for which there is no cure. From that day, Clarion decreed that fairies must never again cross the border and Milori agreed that their worlds should forever remain apart.
During the Dublin performance, Dominic steals a locket from the Irish National Bank and during the climax of the performance, Constantine proposes to Piggy onstage; she accepts, and the pair intending to plan a wedding to be held at the Tower of London, where the Crown Jewels are kept. Hans is in search of Anna with the Duke's thugs and arrive at the ice palace. They defeat Marshmallow and attempt to kill Elsa, thinking it'll end the winter, but she subdues them. Elsa is knocked unconscious by a falling chandelier and Hans brings her to the castle, where she's imprisoned in the cell. He pleads with Elsa to undo the winter curse, but she admits she doesn't know how. Arriving in London, Constantine and Dominic conspire to use the wedding as a distraction. Before the wedding, Piggy contemplates her impending marriage and future with who she assumes is her true love, Kermit ("Something So Right").
That night, Kristoff introduces Anna and Olaf to the trolls, his adoptive family ("Fixer Upper"). Pabbie explains that Anna has struck by Elsa. Unless it can be thawed by an "act of true love", Anna will become frozen solid forever. Believing that only Hans can save her with a kiss, Kristoff races back with her to the palace. Fozzie, Walter, and Animal reach the Gulag on the night of the annual performance and inform Kermit of Constantine's plot, and Kermit uses the prison show as a front to allow them, himself, and all the prisoners to escape, and they head to England, much to Nadya's dismay ("Working In The Coal Mine"). Anna reunites with Hans and begs him to kiss her to break the curse. Hans reveals that his true intention in marrying her is to seize control of Arendelle's throne. Leaving Anna, he charges Elsa with treason for her younger sister's apparent death. But Elsa escaped from the castle. Sid found Manny and tells the others about him experience but none are convinced.
The trapped snowmaker begins to freeze Bloomsbury. Clarion, Tink, her friends, and the seasons' ministers arrive at the waterfall to find Clank and Bobble attempting to free the snowmaker. They succeeded in pushing the machine down the waterfall, but that it isn't over. Tink shows that there's a freeze coming. Clarion told everyone to save Pixie Hollow and the tree or the freeze will kill the tree, eternally, stopping the flow of pixie dust and therefore making it impossible for fairies for fly. All warm nature fairies of London evacuate the Bloomsbury corner houses and journey to the tree, located in the boat. All fairies try everything they can to head to the boat and Tink checking that her furry and insect friends are all snugged up comfy. Tink then notices that a flower that Peri had covered in frost is still alive, despite its cold surroundings. Tink flew straight to the Winter Woods and ask Gliss and Peri why the flower was still alive. Gliss explains that the frost carries warm air inside, and Peri suggests that they could frost the tree before the freeze comes.
Tink, Peri, and the frost fairies rode Fiona to London. The herd find a field of hot geysers, which separate Manny, Sid, and Diego from Ellie, Crash, and Ellie when they argue about which way to go through it. The criminals use the weapon on Wendy during the race, but nothing happens. The four Muppets infiltrate the Tower as the wedding gets underway, and Dominic (with the help of Bobby Benson's (David Rudman) Baby Band) uses the stolen key and locket to disable the security systems protecting the jewels and successfully steals them. Meanwhile, Manny, Sid, and Diego made to the boat, but Gustav (Matt Berry), the gatekeeper bird guards the boat. Kermit interrupts the ceremony and reveals Constantine's true identity to be nothing more than an impostor.
When the flood comes, Peter warn her friends of a bomb planted in the Tower altar, but Finn and Holley find out that the bomb is actually planted in Peter's upper forehead. They warn him about the bomb, but he flees to protect his friends. However, he is pursued by Wendy in an attempt to reconcile, unaware of the danger until they are beyond the range of Zündapp's remote detonator. Manny saves Ellie from drowning as she is caught in the cave (due to falling rocks), while Diego overcomes his fear of water to save Sid, Crash, and Eddie. Cretaceous and Maelstrom arrive, but due to Manny's quick thinking, they are finished off by a rock which falls on them, killing them both. Zündapp sends his criminals to kill Wendy and Peter, but they are foiled by the combined efforts of Holley, Finn, and the Looney Tune residents. Upon his capture, Zündapp reveals that only the person who installed the bomb can deactivate it.
Meanwhile, Olaf comes across Anna and reveals that Kristoff cares about her; they then escape onto the fjord. At the tree, Clank, Bobble, and Tink's other friends try to place some blankets on the branches, but the strong winds blow them away while the other citizens are at the mercy of the water currents. To Clarion's fear and disappointment, the plan is failing but then Tink, Peri and some of her friends arrive explain the power of the frost to Clarion, and they get right to work. Constantine escapes and takes Piggy as his hostage and flees to a waiting honeymoon helicopter out on the Tower runaway. He is intercepted by Dominic - actually the Lemur and now dressed in a lemur costume - who announces his intend to double-cross Constantine and keep the Imperial State Crown for himself. Constantine responds by ejecting him from the helicopter and tries to take flight with Piggy, but Kermit jumps aboard and intercepts while the rest of the Muppets, in aid with Jean and Sam, climb atop each other as a "Muppet Ladder" to stop the escape in its track. Spike realizes that the tree is too big for the others to finish in time. However, Tink spots Milori, Dewey, and the rest of the winter fairies who came to help frost everything everything else that isn't frozen. Hans confronts Elsa, telling her Anna is dead because of her. In Elsa's despair, the storm suddenly ceases, giving Kristoff and Anna the chance to locate each other.
Accomplished of frosting the whole mainland, Milori states that they've done all they can. Milori warns the fairies that the freeze is upon them and they must take cover including Clarion who his gives his cape to so she can keep warm, revealing that he has a broken wing (hence why he flies around on a snowy owl). Milori then orders all the winter fairies to stand guard all over the tree. Some time later, Peter realizes that Axlerod is the mastermind behind the plot and confronts Axlerod, trapping him next to the bomb. Axlerod deactivates the bomb. Meanwhile, Scrat climbs up the glacier and at the top sticks the acorn he has into the ice. Kermit knocks Constantine out, with the help of an irate Piggy. Nevertheless, Anna, seeing that Hans is about to kill Elsa with his sword, throws herself between the two just as she freezes solid, blocking Hans's attack and causing the glacier to form a crack, which widens into a crevasse, diverting the flood and saving the herd. Scrat is then washed away in the torrents. Axlerod and the lemons, along with Constantine and Dominic were arrested by Jean, Sam, and the police. As Elsa grieves for her sister, Anna begins to thaw. Anna's decision to sacrifice herself to save her sister constitutes an "act of true love." Nadya arrives in London and attempts to arrest Kermit once more for initiating the prison escape and "break her heart." The Muppets express her if she arrests him, she will have to take all of them as well. Nadya relents, allowing Kermit to go free and belongs with them and drops the charges. The freeze begins to melt and pixie dust begins to flow again.
All the fairies celebrate, however Tink reveals that he had broken a wing when she flies into the Winter Woods and warns Peri to go back to the Winter Woods before her wings wilt. As the sisters hold hands and say goodbye, they reunite their wings and an explosion of pure sparkly light bursts from their wings, slowly magically healing Tink's broken wing. Clarion and Milori decide to get rid of the rule so that everyone can be together and kiss romantically revealing that they were the fairies that fell in love in the story. Realizing love is the key to the secret. Elsa thaws the mainland and helps Olaf survive on summer. As a reward for his heroism, Peter receives an honorary knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II (Vanessa Redgrave). It is revealed the camera didn't trigger Wendy because the Nerdlucks replaced Incanta with gasoline. A herd of mammoths shows up, but Manny and Ellie decide to remain together anyway. Cretaceous and Maelstrom become sushi for the amphibians. Hans is deported to the Southern Isles to face punishment for his crimes against the royal family of Arendelle, while Elsa cuts off trade with Weselton.
From that day on, warm fairies of WGP Inc. can cross over the border into the Winter Woods to hold a Winter Wonderland Tour (after they have their wings frosted over to preserve them) and friendship in Oslo becomes whole again as Clarion & Milori and Rosetta & Sled begin their romantic relationships and the sisters reconcile and soon realize that they are half of each other. Elsa promises never to shut the gates again. Finn and Holley ask if Peter can join them on another mission, but he turns it down. The Muppet tour concludes at the Gulag where Constantine is part of the Gulag show ("Together Again"). Nadya, apparently having been promised a solo by Kermit, prepares to sing but is cut off by the film's "The End" logo.
The epilogue shows Scrat having a near death experience after falling into the fissure. He enters a heaven full of acorns. Suddenly, he finds himself torn away. He unhappily wakes up, having been resuscitated by Sid, who he proceeds to viciously attack.
In the credits scene, Clank overcomes his fear of glaciers through the help of Slush.
On November 30th, 2013, Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious, Pleasantville, Joy Ride) died from the combined effects of traumatic and thermal trauma after the car crashed into a concrete lamppost and two trees on Hercules Street.
Eleanor Parker (The Sound of Music, Detective Story) died on December 9th, 2013 at a medical facility in Palm Springs, California of complications of pneumonia. She was 91.
Peter O'Toole (Lawrence of Arabia, The Lion in Winter, Troy) died on December 14th, 2013 at Wellington Hospital, London, aged 81.
Redlands, California (2013)
At December 29th, 2013, after four days ago after Christmas, I left 3705 NW Columbia Ave with my dad and went to Portland International Airport where I board the airplane heading for San Bernardino. I brought a few of the DVDs (Monsters University, Despicable Me 2, Cars, Muppet Treasure Island, The Great Muppet Caper, Mary Poppins (in honor of its 50th anniversary and the feature film)).
I stay with my grandma Joan, my aunt Amy, my uncle Jaime, and Isabella at 972 Lolita Ave. I went to the cider farm for a hike, my grandma Joan's friend's house, and Disneyland Resort (as my dream for more stuff from Never Fairies & Muppets but only until September 2014 after I did the Shamrock Run in March 2014). We visited Joshua Tree National Park. We went to see Frozen, Never Fairies & Muppets and Saving Mr. Banks.
At January 3rd, 2014, the trip ends and we head back to Portland.
On December 31st, 2013, James Avery (The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) died at age 68 from complications following open heart surgery at Glendale Memorial Medical Center at California.
2014 (of the Aqua Age)
Juanita Moore (Imitation of Life) died at her home in Los Angeles on January 1st, 2014, from natural causes. She was 99 years old. She is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery.
Dave Madden (Laugh In, The Partridge Family, Alice) died on January 16th, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida, where he was receiving hospice care, of complications of myelodysplastic syndrome. He was 82.
Margery Mason (The Princess Bride, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Love Actually) died on January 26th, 2014 peacefully from natural causes at her home in Swiss Cottage.
Arthur Rankin, Jr. (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer) died after a brief illness on January 30th, 2014, aged 89, in his home at Harrington Sound, Bermuda.
The LEGO Movie (February 7, 2014 – June 17, 2014)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Original Song Nominee "Everything Is Awesome."
MPAA Rating: PG (for action and rude humor)
Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critics Consensus: Boasting beautiful animation, a charming voice cast, laugh-a-minute gags, and a surprisingly thoughtful story, The LEGO Movie is colorful fun for all ages.
Box office: $469,160,692
In the Lego universe, the wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) attempts to protect a superweapon called the "Kragle" from the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell), but fails. He then prophesies that a person called "the Special" will find the Piece of Resistance, a brick capable of stopping the Kragle.
Eight-and-a-half years later, a construction worker named Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) comes across a woman named Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks), who is searching for something at Emmet's construction site after hours. When he investigates, Emmet falls into a hole and finds the Piece of Resistance. Compelled to touch it, Emmet experiences a vision and passes out. He awakens to find himself in the custody of Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), Business' lieutenant, and with the Piece of Resistance attached to his back. Emmet learns of Business' plans to freeze the world into perfection with the Kragle, a partially weathered tube of Krazy Glue. Wyldstyle rescues Emmet, believing him to be the Special, and takes him to meet Vitruvius in the Old West. Emmet learns that she and the wizard are "MasterBuilders"—people capable of building anything from their imagination without needing building instrutions—who oppose Business. Though disappointed to find Emmet is not a Master Builder, Wyldstyle and Vitruvius are convinced of his potential when he recalls visions of a seemingly human deity referred to as "the Man Upstairs".
Emmet, Wyldstyle, and Vitruvius evade Bad Cop's forces temporarily, and escape with the aid of Batman (Will Arnett). They go to Middle Zealand, which leads to the hidden "Cloud Cuckoo Land". There they attend a council of Master Builders, who are unimpressed with Emmet and refuse to fight Business. Bad Cop's forces attack, having placed a tracking device on Emmet, and capture everyone except Emmet, Vitruvius, Wyldstyle, Batman, Benny (Charlie Day) (a Space Colony Lego figure), and Princess Unikitty (Alison Brie), the ruler of now-destroyed Cloud Cuckoo Land. Escaping, they are picked up by Metal Beard (Nick Offerman), a cyborg pirate. Emmet devises a team plan to infiltrate the office and disarm the Kragle, but the group is captured and imprisoned in the Think Tank, where all the captured MasterBuilders make the instructions. Trying to retaliate, Vitruvius is decapitated by Lord Business, who sets a self-destruct protocol and leaves everyone to die, including Bad Cop. As he dies, Vitruvius reveals he made up the prophecy. He soon reappears as a ghost to Emmet and tells him that his belief makes him the Special. Strapped to the self-destruct's battery, Emmet seemingly sacrifices himself to save his friends, by jumping into a void and severing the connection, causing the computer to shut down. Inspired by Emmet's sacrifice, Wyldstyle rallies the Lego people across the universe to use whatever creativity they have to build machines and weapons to fight Business' forces.
Emmet finds himself in the human world as a toy Lego man unable to move. The events of the story are being played out in a basement by a boy, Finn (Jadon Sand), on his father's Lego set. The father—"the Man Upstairs" (Will Ferrell)—chastises his son for ruining the set by creating variations of different playsets, and proceeds to permanently glue and rebuild his perceived perfect creations together. Realizing the danger his friends are in, Emmet wills himself to move and gains Finn's attention. Finn returns Emmet and the Piece of Resistance to the set, where Emmet now possesses the powers of a Master Builder and confronts Business. Meanwhile, Finn's father looks at his son's creations and realizes that Finn had based the villainous Business on him and his perfectionism. Through a speech Emmet gives Business, Finn tells his father that he is special and has the power to change everything. Finn's father and Business have a change of heart, capping the Kragle and ungluing his victims with mineral spirits. Emmet is hailed as a hero, and Wyldstyle becomes Emmet's girlfriend, with Batman's blessing.
As a result of the father allowing Finn's younger sister to join them in playing with his Lego sets, Duplo aliens beam down and announce plans of conquest.
Shirley Temple died on February 10th, 2014 at the age of 85, of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
John Henson (The Muppets) died of a heart attack on February 14th, 2014 at his home in Saugerties, New York after playing with his daughter in the snow.
Christopher Malcolm (The Empire Strikes Back, Highlander, Absolutely Fabulous) passed away from cancer, aged 67, on February 15th, 2014.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman (March 7, 2014 – October 14, 2014)
MPAA Rating: PG (for some mild action and brief rude humor)
Critic Score: 79% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critics Consensus: Mr. Peabody & Sherman offers a surprisingly entertaining burst of colorful all-ages fun, despite its dated source material and rather convoluted plot.
Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell) is a gifted anthropomorphic dog who has an adopted 7-year-old son, Sherman (Max Charles). He tutors Sherman travelling throughout history using the WABAC, a time machine.
They visit Marie Antoinette (Lauri Fraser) in Versailles during the French Revolution in 1789. Getting caught in the Reign of Terror, Peabody is nearly executed by Maximilien Robespierre (Guillaume Aretos) with a guillotine, but escapes with Sherman through the Paris sewers.
In the present day, Sherman attends the Susan B. Anthony School in New York City. His knowledge of the apocryphal nature of the George Washington cherry-tree anecdote leads to a fight with Penny Peterson (Ariel Winter) in the cafeteria where she puts him in a choke hold. Peabody is called in by Principal Purdy (Stephen Tobolowsky) who tells Peabody that Sherman had bit Penny. He is also confronted during this meeting by Ms. Grunion (Allison Janney), a Child Protective Services agent, who implies that Sherman's behavior is due to being raised by a dog. She informs Peabody that she'll come to their home to investigate whether he is an unfit parent.
Peabody invites Penny and her parents over for a dinner party to reconcile before Ms. Grunion arrives. Penny calls Sherman a liar for claiming first-hand knowledge of history. Despite Peabody's contrary instructions, Sherman shows Penny the WABAC. Penny goads Sherman into taking her into the past, where she stays in Ancient Egypt in 1332 BCE to marry King Tut (Zach Callison). Sherman returns to get Mr. Peabody's help. Peabody hypnotises the Petersons, and retrieves Penny by telling her the fate of a pharaoh's widow.
The WABAC runs out of power, but Peabody is able to get them to Renaissance Florence in 1508 where they meet Leonardo da Vinci (Stanley Tucci). Penny and Sherman explore da Vinci's attic, finding his flying machine. Penny goads Sherman into flying it, which he manages to do before crashing. Da Vinci is thrilled the device works, but Peabody's upset that Sherman risked his safety and destroyed a historical artifact.
They again attempt to return, but a black hole forces them into an emergency landing during the Trojan War in 1184 BCE. Upset about learning what Ms. Grunion would do to him, Sherman runs off and joins the army of King Agamemnon (Patrick Warburton) in the Trojan Horse. During the final parts of the Trojan War, Penny is trapped inside the Horse as it rolls towards a cliff. Peabody rescues her, but apparently dies during the attempt.
Sherman pilots the WABAC to a few minutes before they left in the present to get Peabody's help to fix everything. As Sherman and Penny try to explain the situation, Sherman's earlier self shows up. Peabody tries to conceal the presence of two Shermans from the Petersons, then Grunion arrives. Then a second Peabody arrives from Ancient Troy. Grunion's attempt to collect both Shermans causes them to touch and begin to merge. Both Peabodys rush to assist, but they each merge back together amidst a cosmic shockwave. Grunion grabs Sherman to take him away, hurting him in the process. Peabody furiously bites Grunion, who then calls the NYPD. Peabody, Penny, and Sherman race to the WABAC, but cannot time travel due to a rip in the space-time continuum caused by the merger of their cosmic doubles. Historical figures and objects from the past begin falling from the cosmic rip and into the present.
Peabody crash-lands the WABAC in Grand Army Plaza at William Tecumseh Sherman's statue's base. Historical figures and police officers quickly surround them. Grunion calls in Animal Control to collect Peabody. Sherman explains that everything was his fault, but Grunion contends that it's all because a dog can't raise a boy. Sherman climactically shouts down Grunion, saying that if being a dog means being as loving and loyal as Peabody is, then he's proud to be a dog too. Penny, her parents, the historical figures, and others all make the same pledge. George Washington (Jess Harnell) is able to grant Peabody a presidential pardon which is supported by Abraham Lincoln and Bill Clinton (Jess Harnell).
Peabody, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein (Mel Brooks), Isaac Newton (Jess Harnell), and Agamemnon try to figure out how to close the rip, Sherman suggests they travel into the future. Peabody and Sherman take off in the WABAC and undo the damage. The historical figures are dragged back to the respective times, with Agamemnon abducting Grunion back to his own time as she vows revenge on Peabody.
Sherman returns to school having made friends with Penny. History meanwhile is contaminated with modern traits, while the Grunion and Agamemnon get married in the Trojan Horse.
Joe Lala (Monsters, Inc., On Deadly Ground) died suddenly from complications of lung cancer on March 18th, 2014 at approximately 7:00 AM, at the age of 66.
Richard Petty's wife Lynda Petty (Cars) died on March 25th, 2014 at her home in Level Cross, North Carolina at age 72, after a long battle with cancer.
The Shamrock Run (2014)
At March 16th, 2014 (the day before St. Patrick's Day, the day of celebrations that generally involve public parades and festivals, ceilidh, and the wearing of green attire or leprechauns or shamrocks), the Shamrock Run starts in the morning and I run the 5K around downtown Portland with Emily and Roscoe.
After the practice before the run, I goaled in for Disney extras (Mowgli and Kaa from The Jungle Book, Mike Wazowski from Monsters University (in honor of Billy Crystal's 66th birthday and the preparation of of its short film, Party Central), and Constantine the world's most dangerous frog from Never Fairies & Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted) in Clackamas Town Center, during the Friday Game Night. After the run, I'm also getting goaled in for the home video release of Frozen and Never Fairies & Muppets this Tuesday March 18th and the theatrical release of Muppets Most Wanted and Monsters University's Party Central (the first PG-rated short film since Roger Rabbit's Roller Coaster Rabbit) this Friday March 21st.
Muppets Most Wanted & Party Central (March 21, 2014 – August 12, 2014)
MPAA Rating: PG (for some mild action)
Critic Score: 78% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critics Consensus: While it may not reach the delirious heights of The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted still packs in enough clever gags, catchy songs, and celebrity cameos to satisfy fans of all ages.
Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman) are visiting Monsters University for the weekend. The Oozma Kappas are throwing their first party, but no one shows up. Fortunately for them, Mike and Sulley had a feeling that something this would happen, so they had a plan prepared beforehand to liven up the house for a party. Using a borrowed door station, they sneak into a party at the Roar Omega Roar fraternity and steal all of its food and guests to fill the Oozma Kappa house. The supply runs take them through the closet doors of a married couple's bedroom, repeatedly disturbing their sleep. Johnny Worthington (Nathan Fillion) arrives at the party, only to find it empty.
Once they have the party fully stocked, Scott "Squishy" Squibbles' (Peter Sohn) mother, Sherri (Julia Sweeney), walks in on it while doing a load of laundry. She is angry with the fraternity, but only because they did not invite her. After lighting a bonfire on the front lawn, Sherri introduces the crowd to "door jamming." This involves jumping from the roof and landing safely on the lawn after passing through the two doors, to the humans' terror. The guests congratulate the Oozma Kappas along with Mike and Sulley for putting together such a great party, which many of the guys at the party wanting to pledge to Oozma Kappa. In a post-credits scene, the husband and wife wake their young son, Timmy (Cristina Pucelli), up and ask if they can sleep with him. They say that there are monsters in their closets, to which their son vehemently replies, "That's what I've been trying to tell you!"
Following the events of the previous film, The Muppets find themselves at a loss as to what to do until Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais) suggests the Muppets go on a European tour with him as their tour manager. As the Muppets begin their tour, a criminal mastermind named Constantine (Matt Vogel), a near-exact double for Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire) in appearance, escapes from a Siberian Gulag and joins his subordinate Dominic to begin a plot to steal the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.
Once the Muppets arrive in Berlin, Germany, Dominic secures them a show at a prestigious venue. Frustrated with the group's incessant requests and Miss Piggy's (Eric Jacobson) insistence they marry, Kermit goes for a walk at Dominic's suggestion. Constantine ambushes him and glues a fake mole onto his cheek, matching Constantine's own, then slips away. Mistaken for Costantine, Kermit is arrested and sent to the Gulag. Taking Kermit's place, Constantine's blunders in imitating him are covered by Dominic; however, Animal (Eric Jacobson) knows the truth. Constantine and Dominic steal paintings from a museum while the Muppets perform. The next morning, Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell) and CIA agent Sam Eagle (Eric Jacobson) grudgingly team up to apprehend the culprit whom Napoleon believes to be his nemesis "The Lemur" - the number-two criminal in the world.
Meanwhile, Kermit has attempted several times to escape the Gulag, but is thwarted each time by prison guard Nadya (Tina Fey), who is not only aware of his true identity, but is as infatuated with him as Miss Piggy is. Nadya orders Kermit to help organize the prisoners' annual talent show.
Following hidden instructions on the stolen painting, Constantine and Dominic divert the tour to Madrid, Spain. Constantine allows the Muppets to perform whatever they wish, much to Walter's (Peter Linz) confusion. During this show, Constantine and Dominic break into a museum and destroy a roomful of busts to find a key needed for their plan. Even though the performance is a disaster, the Muppets receive critical acclaim. Sam and Napoleon deduce that the connection between the crimes is the Muppet tour, and the pair interrogate the Muppets, only to find that they are too ill-equipped to be guilty. The instructions on the stolen key lead Constantine and Dominic to schedule the next show in Dublin, Ireland.
In Dublin, Walter discovers that Dominic has been giving away show tickets and bribing critics to ensure a packed house and rave reviews, while Fozzie Bear (Eric Jacobson) notices Kermit's resemblance to Constantine. They both realize that Constantine has taken Kermit's place and brought in Dominic as his accomplice. Constantine attacks Walter and Fozzie, but Animal fends him off and the three escape from the train so they can rescue Kermit. During the Dublin performance, Dominic steals a locket from a museum and Constantine proposes to Miss Piggy onstage; Piggy accepts, and the pair plan a ceremony to be held at the Tower of London in London, England, where the Crown Jewels are kept.
Fozzie, Walter, and Animal reach the Gulag on the night of the performance, and Kermit uses it as a front to allow them, himself, and all the prisoners to escape. Kermit, Fozzie, Walter, and Animal infiltrate the Tower as the wedding begins, and Dominic (with the help of Bobby Benson's (David Rudman) Baby Band) uses the stolen key and locket to disable the security system protecting the jewels and steals them.
Kermit interrupts the ceremony, revealing Constantine's ruse, but the crook takes Piggy hostage and flees to a helicopter, where he is intercepted by Dominic - actually the Lemur and now dressed in a lemur costume - who intends to double-cross him. Constantine ejects him from the helicopter and tries to take off with Piggy, but Kermit jumps aboard and the rest of the Muppets climb atop each other to stop the escape. Kermit and Piggy knock out Constantine and both criminals are arrested. Walter apologizes to Kermit for not noticing that he has been replaced. Nadya arrives in London to arrest Kermit for escaping. The other Muppets tell her that if she arrests him, then she will have to take all of them as well. She relents, allowing Kermit to go free. The Muppets perform at the Gulag with Constantine and the prisoners participating.
The Busiest Year
Our prize is the Disneyland trip at Anaheim with Roscoe in September 16-20, 2014. To make Ben's dream come true, starting in May 2014, his mission is to go see a few PG-13 films this summer and compete in two 5Ks, the Hagg Lake course (due in August 10, 2014) and the Color Run (due in September 6, 2014). If I find out the new animated film get an average grade or it was poor-reviewed, I still want Disneyland.
On Sunday, April 6th, 2014, Mickey Rooney (The Black Stallion, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Night at the Museum) died of natural causes in his sleep at his stepson Mark Rooney's home in Los Angeles, California at the age of 93.
Rio 2 (April 11, 2014 – July 15, 2014)
MPAA Rating: G
Critic Score: 48%.
Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critics Consensus: Like most sequels, Rio 2 takes its predecessor's basic template and tries to make it bigger – which means it's even busier, more colorful, and ultimately more exhausting for viewers outside the youthful target demographic.
Box office: $500,188,435
Blue macaws Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and Jewel (Anne Hathaway), and their three children, are living happily in the city until Jewel realizes that her children are becoming more like humans. Meanwhile, Blu's former owner, Linda Gunderson (Leslie Mann) and her ornithologist husband, Tulio (Rodrigo Santoro) are on an expedition in the Amazon and, after a fall down a waterfall, discover a quick-flying Spix's macaw that loses one of its feathers. When word gets out about this through television, Jewel believes that they should go to the Amazon to help find the blue macaws. While the kids are ecstatic, Blu is uncertain, but he is pressured into going along. Rafael (George Lopez), Nico (Jamie Foxx) and Pedro (will.i.am) decide to come along. Luiz (Tracy Morgan) attempts to follow but fails. Blu brings a fanny pack full of supplies, one of which he uses mostly is a GPS, much to Jewel's displeasure.
Meanwhile, the leader of a group in a line of illegal logging named Big Boss (Miguel Ferrer), discovers Linda and Tulio's expedition to find the macaws and orders his henchmen to hunt them down to avoid disruptions to their work. Also, Blu and Jewel's old nemesis, Nigel (Jemaine Clement) the cockatoo, has survived the plane crash from the first film, but he is now unable to fly and is working as a fortune teller/con artist. When he sees Blu and his family flying overhead, he immediately decides to seek revenge on them. He enlists two minions to help him in his plans; a silent anteater named Charlie and a poison dart frog named Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth), who is in love with Nigel. Blu and his family use a boat to get to the jungle (with Nigel's first plan of revenge being inadvertently foiled by Charlie); and, when they arrive, they find nothing. However, they are eventually taken to a flock of blue macaws that are hiding in a secret paradise land. There, they meet Jewel's stern long-lost father, Eduardo (Andy García), his older sister Mimi (Rita Moreno), and Jewel's childhood friend, Roberto (Bruno Mars). Eduardo seems unimpressed with Blu's domesticated human behavior.
While searching for the macaws, Linda and Tulio are eventually trapped by the loggers. Meanwhile, Blu does his best to fit in with the flock, as his family and friends are doing, although the flock (especially Eduardo) are against humans and all things human. Meanwhile, a disguised Nigel plans to kill Blu at the new Carnival show after landing in an audition hosted by Rafael, Nico, Pedro, and Carla (Rachel Crow). When Blu tries to pick a Brazilian nut for Jewel, he accidentally tries to get it in the territory of the Spix macaw's enemies, the scarlet macaws, led by the hostile Felipe (Philip Lawrence). Blu inadvertently causes war between the two tribes for food when he accidentally hits Felipe with a twig. The war turns out to be just like football (soccer), and Blu accidentally costs the flock the food when he sends the fruit ball into his own team's goal.
Blu visits Tulio and Linda's site, where he discovers that it has been majorly disturbed. After discovering the loggers are destroying the jungle, Blu sends Roberto (who followed Blu) to warn the flock as he saves Linda and Tulio. Blu persuades the macaws to defend their homes, and they easily outmatch the loggers with help from the scarlet macaws and the other animals. Big Boss tries to blow up the trees as a back-up plan, but Blu steals the lit dynamite. Nigel goes after Blu, and reveals himself as they are falling down when he tugs on the dynamite. After the dynamite goes off, Blu and Nigel engage in a battle while tangled in vines. Gabi and Charlie try to help Nigel by shooting Blu with a dart that has Gabi's poison on it, but it accidentally hits Nigel, who gives a Shakespearean death speech before seemingly dying. Gabi tries to commit suicide by drinking her own poison and the pair are seemingly dead. However, Bia reveals that Gabi isn't poisonous at all (she was lied to by her parents that she was). Nigel tries to attack Blu one last time, but Gabi showers Nigel with affection against his will. Meanwhile, Big Boss is eaten alive by a boa constrictor.
With the flock now under Linda and Tulio's protection, Blu and Jewel decide to live in the Amazon with their kids and friends, though still agreeing to visit Rio in the summer. Meanwhile, Nigel and Gabi are captured by Tulio, and are both sent back to Rio. Luiz finally arrives in the Amazon after hitching a ride with Kipo, and Charlie joins the birds' party.
On April 29th, 2014, Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Mona Lisa, Hook) died of pneumonia at a hospital in London, England at age 71.
Poet Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings) died on the morning of May 28th, 2014.
On June 9th, 2014, Rik Mayall (The Young Ones, Drop Dead Fred, Bottom) died at his home in Barnes, Richmond-upon-Thames, London, at the age of 56 of an "acute cardiac event" after a morning run.
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June 13, 2014 – November 11, 2014)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
MPAA Rating: PG (for adventure action and some mild rude humor)
Critic Score: 91% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critics Consensus: Exciting, emotionally resonant, and beautifully animated, How to Train Your Dragon 2 builds on its predecessor's successes just the way a sequel should.
Box office: $621,537,519
Five years after the Viking village of Berk and the dragons made peace, they now live together in harmony. Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) goes on adventures with his dragon, Toothless, as they discover and map unexplored lands. Now 20 years old, he is being pressed by his father, Stoick the Vast (Gerald Butler), to succeed him as chieftain, although Hiccup remains unsure if he is ready for this responsibility.
While investigating a burnt forest, Hiccup and Astrid (America Ferrera) discover the remains of a fort encased in ice and met a group of dragon trappers led by Eret (Kit Harington), who blames them for his fort's destruction and attempts to capture their dragons for an insane conqueror named Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou). The two dragon riders escape and return to Berk to warn Stoick about the dragon army that Drago is amassing. Stoick orders the villagers to fortify the island and prepare for battle. Hiccup, however, refuses to believe that war is inevitable. After Stoick interrupts Hiccup's plan to get Eret to take him to Drago, Stoick explains that he once met Drago at a gathering of chiefs, where Drago, mocked after offering the chiefs his service in return for their servitude, murdered them all, with Stoick as the only survivor. Undeterred, Hiccup flies off with Toothless in search of Drago to try to reason with him.
They run into a dragon rider named Valka (Cate Blanchett), who is revealed to be Hiccup's long-lost mother. She explains that she, like her son, could not bring herself to kill dragons. After being carried off during a dragon raid, she spent twenty years rescuing dragons from Drago's traps and bringing them to an island nest created out of ice by a gigantic Alpha dragon called a "Bewilderbeast", which is able to control smaller dragons. Stoick tracks Hiccup to the nest, where he discovers that his wife is still alive. Meanwhile, Astrid and the other riders kidnap Eret to find Drago, but Drago captures them and learns of Berk's dragons.
Drago and his army lay siege to the nest, where he reveals that he has his own Bewilderbeast to challenge the Alpha. A battle ensues between the two colossal dragons, which ends with Drago's Bewilderbeast killing its opponent and becoming the new Alpha. Drago's Bewilderbeast then seizes control of all the adult dragons, who hypnotically obey. Hiccup tries to persuade Drago to end the violence, but Drago orders him killed. Toothless, under the Bewilderbeast's influence, approaches Hiccup and launches a blast, but Stoick pushes Hiccup out of the way and is hit instead, killing him. The Bewilderbeast momentarily relinquishes control of Toothless, but Hiccup drives him away in a fit of despair. Drago maroons Hiccup and the others on the island and rides Toothless, again under the control of the Bewilderbeast, to lead his army to conquer Berk. Stoick is given a Viking funeral and Hiccup, now having lost both his father and dragon, is unsure what to do. Valka encourages him by telling him that he alone can unite humans and dragons, and inspired by her words and his father's, Hiccup decides to return to Berk to stop Drago.
The dragon riders fly baby dragons back to Berk, as they are immune to the Bewilderbeast's control. They find that Drago has already attacked the village and taken control of its dragons. Hiccup confronts Drago and a brainwashed Toothless while the other riders work to distract the Bewilderbeast. Hiccup succeeds in freeing Toothless from the Bewilderbeast's control, much to Drago's surprise. Hiccup and Toothless briefly separate Drago from the Bewilderbeast and confront Drago on the ground, but the Bewilderbeast attacks them, encasing them in ice. However, Toothless blasts away the ice, revealing that both he and Hiccup are unharmed. He then challenges the Bewilderbeast, firing at it repeatedly, which breaks its control over the other dragons, who now side with Toothless as the new Alpha dragon. All the dragons repeatedly fire at the Bewilderbeast until Toothless fires a final massive blast, breaking its left tusk. Defeated, the Bewilderbeast retreats under the sea with Drago on its back. The Vikings and dragons celebrate their victory and Hiccup is made chieftain of Berk.
Afterwards, Berk undergoes repairs while feeling secure knowing that its dragons can defend it.
Casey Kasem (Scooby-Doo, Super Friends) died on June 15th, 2014 at St. Anthony's Hospital in Gig Harbor, Washington at the age of 82, after suffering with Lewy body dementia.
Eli Wallach (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The Magnificent Seven, Baby Doll) died on June 24th, 2014 of natural causes at the age of 98.
Paul Mazursky (An Unmarried Woman, Harry and Tonto, Moscow on the Hudson) went into cardiopulmonary arrest and died on June 30th, 2014, aged 84, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Dickie Jones (Pinocchio, Buffalo Bill, Jr.) died after a fall at his Northridge, California home on the evening of Monday, July 7th, 2014 at the age of 87.
Joey Travolta's Film Camp: San Francisco (2014)
Since The Good Dinosaur's release is removed from May 2014 to Thanksgiving of 2015 and the Party Central full short film is deleted from YouTube (since Muppets Most Wanted is out of theaters), I started to have concerns about the new non-Pixar film film, Planes: Fire & Rescue (the sequel to 2013's Planes, hoping to get better reviews before the release in July 18th or I'll ask Disney to bring the short film back online).
At June 28th, 2014, I departed 3705 NW Columbia Avenue and Mom's apartment and headed down Interstate 5 down south to Walnut Creek in northern California with my mom. Mom and I stayed at the Renaissance Club Sport Hotel. I brought a few of the films (The LEGO Movie, Cars, Frozen, How to Train Your Dragon (in honor of its sequel), The Muppets Take Manhattan (in honor of its 30th anniversary)).
I went to St. Mary's College for Joey Travolta's Short Film Camp (10:00 AM - 3:30 PM). At film camp, I danced to start camp, I played the role at playing cards, and I watched the make-up film. I took the train to San Francisco. At San Francisco, I went to Pier 39, Alcatraz Island, and the Disney Store where I got a few characters from Planes: Fire & Rescue (Dusty Crophopper, Blade Ranger, Windlifter, and Lil' Dipper) and from Sleeping Beauty (Briar Rose, Fauna, Flora, Merryweather, Phillip, Maleficent, Samson, Owl, and two Rabbits). Mom, Hester, and I went to Sacramento to go to Raging Waters. At Raging Waters, I went on the Treehouse Reef, Dragon's Den, the Shark Attack Waterslide Extreme, the Wave Pool, the Lazy River, and Splashdown. To honor the death of Pinocchio's Dickie Jones in July 7th, I collected a plush from the Disney Store. I also collect the stuff (Donald Duck, José Carioca, and Panchito) from Donald and His Friends (a Walt Disney Animation Studios film featuring Donald Duck on his trip to Mexico with his friends, celebrating his anniversary with José Carioca and Panchito, thus exploring the events of the 1944/1945 film, The Three Caballeros. I went downtown Walnut Creek and went to Barnes & Noble and I went to the movie theater and see How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Donald and His Friends.
The trip ends at July 11th, 2014 (just before seven days until Planes: Fire & Rescue is released).
Elaine Stritch (Elaine Stritch at Liberty, 30 Rock) died in her sleep at her home in Birmingham, Michigan on July 17th, 2014. She was 89 years old. She suffered from diabetes and had stomach cancer at the time of her death.
On Saturday night, July 19th, 2014, James Garner (Maverick, The Rockford Files, Murphy's Romance) suffered from a heart attack and died at the age of 86.
Planes: Fire & Rescue (July 18, 2014 – November 4, 2014)
MPAA Rating: PG (for action and some peril)
Critic Score: 44%.
Average Rating: 5.2/10
Critics Consensus: Although it's too flat and formulaic to measure up against the best family-friendly fare, Planes: Fire & Rescue is a passable diversion for much younger viewers.
Since winning the Wings Around the Globe race in the first film, Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) has a successful career as a racer. Unfortunately, his engine's gearbox becomes damaged because Dusty routinely operates the engine beyond its design limits. With that particular model of gearbox now out of production and none available anywhere, Dusty's mechanic Dottie (Teri Hatcher) fits a warning light to his control panel to ensure he doesn't damage his gearbox any further. No longer able to race and faced with the possibility of returning to his old job as a crop-duster, Dusty goes on a defiant flight and tests his limits. In doing so, Dusty exceeds his limits and makes a forced landing at Propwash Junction airport, causing a fire.
The residents put out the fire with some difficulty, but the accident leads government inspector Ryker (Kevin Michael Richardson) to condemn the airport for inadequate firefighting personnel. Aggrieved at his carelessness, Dusty offers to undergo training to be certified as a firefighter to meet the necessary regulations to reopen the airport. To that end, Dusty travels to Piston Peak National Park where he meets a fire and rescue crew under the command of a helicopter named Blade Ranger (Ed Harris). The leader of an efficient unit, Blade is initially unimpressed by the small newcomer and Dusty's training proves to be a difficult challenge.
Maru (Curtis Armstrong), the team's mechanic, replaces Dusty's original undercarriage with two pontoons fitted with retractable undercarriage wheels for his new role as a firefighter. During training, Dusty learns that Blade was formerly an actor who played a police helicopter on the TV series CHoPs. Later, Dusty is devastated by a call from his friends at Propwash Junction noting that all attempts at finding a replacement gearbox have failed and that his racing career is over.
Lightning in a thunderstorm over a forest near Piston Peak starts several spot fires which unite into a serious forest fire, and the team fight it and seem to have extinguished it. But during the grand reopening of a local lodge, visiting VIPs fly too low and make air eddies which blow embers about, creating a larger fire, and thereby forcing the need for an evacuation.
A depressed Dusty's education in the midst of the large fire falters to Blade's frustration and things come to a head when Dusty makes a forced landing in a river during a fire dispatch and is swept through the rapids with Blade trying to extract him. Eventually, the pair make it to land, and Dusty confesses his physical disability, to which Blade advises Dusty not to give up. They shelter in an abandoned mine while the fire passes. The situation is complicated in that Blade also is damaged from protecting Dusty in the fire, and is temporarily grounded for repairs. While Blade is recuperating, Dusty learns from Maru that Blade's co-star (Erik Estrada) from CHoPs was killed during a stunt gone wrong on set that Blade was helpless to stop, so he decided to become a firefighter to save lives for real.
The national park's superintendent, Cad Spinner (John Michael Higgins), selfishly diverts all the water supply to his lodge's roof sprinklers to prevent the lodge from burning, and so prevents the firefighters from making fire retardant for their own duties. With only their pre-existing tank loads, the firefighters manage to help the evacuees escape the fire while Dusty is alerted that two elderly campers named Harvey and Winnie, that he met earlier, are trapped on a burning bridge deep in the fire zone. He races to the scene and is forced to push his engine to the maximum to climb vertically up a waterfall to refill his water tanks to drop water to save the campers, as the only other surface water near is a river too shallow and twisty and rocky for him to scoop from. Meanwhile, Blade shows up and assists Harvey (Jerry Stiller) and Winnie (Anne Meara) by holding up the bridge. Dusty successfully drops water and extinguishes the fire, allowing the campers to escape just before the bridge collapses, but his overstressed gearbox fails completely and his engine stalls. He tries to glide through the trees to make a safe landing, but one of his pontoons hits one of the trees and he crashes.
Unconscious, Dusty is airlifted back to base where he wakes up five days later to learn that not only has his structure been fully repaired; Maru has built a superior, custom-refurbished gearbox for his engine to allow full performance once again. Impressed at Dusty's skill and heroism, Blade certifies him as a firefighter. Propwash Junction is reopened with Dusty assuming his duty as a firefighter, celebrated with an aerial show with his new colleagues from Piston Peak.
During the end credits, it is shown that Cad's misconduct resulted in his demotion and reassignment as a park ranger in Death Valley.
James Shigeta (Flower Drum Song, Die Hard, Mulan) died in his sleep on July 28th, 2014 at the age of 85 in Beverly Hills, suffering a stroke two years earlier.
Kauai, Hawaii (2014)
On July 24th, 2014, I left 3705 NW Columbia Ave with Melissa and my dad and we went to the Portland International Airport. We board the plane heading for Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii on the Pacific Ocean and another heading for Kauai, another island at Hawaii. I brought a few of the DVDs (Planes (in honor of its sequel), Despicable Me 2, Cars, and the SpongeBob SquarePants first season (to honor of the 15th birthday of the fictional sea sponge and fry cook character and the feature film next year) (Why? It's part of Pacific, but we live underwater). I will have my new books that we order two days ago (Sleeping Beauty Big Golden Book and Monsters University's Party Central picture book. But the new Disney Fairies Secret of the Wings comic book will wait until after the trip).
We stayed at the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation Resort at Poipu Beach with Aunt Amy, Grandma Joan and Isabella. We went to go see Planes: Fire & Rescue and The Muppets Take Manhattan. We went to the beach, snorkeling, parasailing, the county fair, the Waimea Canyon, and downtown Poipu.
At July 31st, 2014, we departed Hawaii and flew back to Portland tonight to see my new Disney Fairies Secret of the Wings comic book that I'm worried about.
Robin Williams (Good Will Hunting, Aladdin, Mork & Mindy) died on August 11th, 2014 at the age of 63, after committed suicide at his home in unincorporated Paradise Bay, California.
Lauren Bacall (Key Largo, The Mirror Has Two Faces, Applause) died on August 12th, 2014 at her longtime apartment in The Dakota, the Upper West Side building overlooking overlooking Central Park in Manhattan. She was 89, five weeks short of her 90th birthday.
Don Pardo (Saturday Night Live, Jeopardy!) died in his sleep on August 18th, 2014 in Tucson, Arizona, at the age of 96.
Joan Rivers (Spaceballs, Fashion Police) died on September 4th, 2014 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, suffering from a cardiac arrest.
On September 10th, 2014, three days short of his 75th birthday, Richard Kiel (The Spy Who Loved Me, Happy Gilmore, Tangled, Muppets & Fairies Ever After) died at St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno, California, of acute myocardial infarction, possibly caused by coronary artery disease.
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim (2014)
The mission for PG-13 films and two 5Ks had been accomplished and my dreams of going to Disneyland is finally here!
On September 16th, 2014, I left the apartment with my Mother and he drops me off at the Portland International Airport where Roscoe is waiting. Roscoe and I board the plane heading for Santa Ana in southern California. We finally arrived at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and stayed in the Paradise Pier Hotel. I brought a few DVDs (Frozen, Never Fairies & Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted, Toy Story of Terror, Sleeping Beauty (in honor of its 55th anniversary Diamond Edition release next month), The Princess and the Frog & Tinker Bell & Looney Tunes (in honor of its 5th anniversary) and the downloaded Intrada Records soundtrack of Tinker Bell (in honor of 6th birthday), The Adventures of Ichabod & Mr. Toad (in honor of its 65th anniversary), Hercules, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Tarzan (celebrating its 15th anniversary), The Incredibles (in honor of its 10th anniversary and the next superhero film by Disney)).
Since Big Hero 6 (a new Walt Disney Animated Studios feature film based on Marvel's superhero comics set in the metropolis version of San Francisco and Tokyo) is coming out in November, the shops in Disneyland had just released its merchandise and I collected some (including Hiro Hamada the robotics genius, his inflatable robot Baymax, and Fred in his battle suit with the appearance of a tradition Japanese Kaiju monsters based on his favorite kaiju, Krogar). The first day started and we went to Disneyland Park and went on Indiana Jones Adventure, Tarzan's Treehouse, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion Holiday, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, the King Arthur Carrousel, Peter Pan's Flight, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White's Scary Adventures, the Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough, It's a Small World (in honor of New York World Fair's 50th anniversary), Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Space Mountain, and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and went shopping at It's a Small World Toy Shop and the Emporium at Main Street USA. The next day starts and we went to Disney's California Adventure Park and went on Toy Story Midway Mania!, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, Soarin' Over California, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, Muppet*Vision 3D, Disney Animation, and Radiator Springs Racers at Cars Land and we went shopping in the World of Disney at Downtown Disney. Despite the success of the year so far and since the release of Party Central full short film video is finally reconciling to YouTube this Halloween, I collect more gifts from the Never Fairies & Muppets sing-along edition, including Coronation Anna, Wendy in her WGP form, Coronation Elsa, Dewey the Keeper of all fairy knowledge, Tabby, Foo Foo, Beaker, Rowlf, Gliss the winter fairy, Fawn, Iridessa, Camilla, Rizzo, Vidia, Scrat the saber-toothed squirrel, Animal, Silvermist, Fozzie, Walter, Fast Tony the armadillo, Pepé, Fionnoula O'Callaghan the Irish tourist, Rosetta, Jack Frost the guardian of Peri, Eddie & Crash, the two opossums, Robin, Cretaceous & Maelstrom the two sea reptiles, Scooter, the Swedish Chef, Gonzo, Spike the winter fairy, Sam the Eagle, and Sled the winter fairy). There's a Halloween season in this resort and getting kinda spooky.
At September 20th, 2014 (before three days until the movie books from Big Hero 6 had came in the mail), I and Roscoe departed Anaheim and flew back to Portland.
The Boxtrolls (September 26, 2014 – January 20, 2015)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
MPAA Rating: PG (for action, some peril and mild rude humor)
Critic Score: 75% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7/10
Critic Consensus: While it's far from Laika's best offering, The Boxtrolls is still packed with enough offbeat wit and visual splendor to offer a healthy dose of all-ages entertainment.
In the fictional large hill-top town of Cheesebridge during the Victorian era, rumors abound that subterranean trolls (known as Boxtrolls for the cardboard boxes they wear) have kidnapped and killed young children. Pest exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) strikes a deal with the city's leader Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris) to exterminate every Boxtroll in exchange for membership in the city's cheese-loving council called the White Hats despite the fact that he is severely allergic to cheese.
In actuality, the Boxtrolls are peaceful and emerge from underground at night to scavenge for discarded items with which to make useful inventions. A human boy named Eggs (Issac Hempstead-Wright) lives among them, cared for by a Boxtroll named Fish (Dee Bradley Baker). As Eggs grows up over ten years, he becomes dismayed by the disappearing Boxtrolls seized by Snatcher. When Lord Portley-Rind's daughter Winnie (Elle Fanning) notices Eggs with two Boxtrolls, Snatcher captures Fish. Eggs sneaks to the surface to find him and emerges in an annual fair to commemorate the disappearance of the "Trubshaw Baby" who was presumed killed by Boxtrolls.
Disgusted by the town's inaccurate portrayal of the creatures, he follows Winnie. After a brief exchange, he asks her for directions to Snatcher's headquarters, located at an abandoned factory, where Eggs rescues Fish. They are caught in the escape. Snatcher recognizes Eggs as the Trubshaw Baby and reveals that all the captured Boxtrolls are building him a machine. Winnie, who covertly followed Eggs, overhears this exchange. She then helps Eggs and Fish escape from Snatcher and they take shelter in the Boxtrolls' caves, where Fish explains that Eggs' father had given him to them to keep him from Snatcher. Winnie agrees to help Eggs tell Portley-Rind the truth. At a ball held to commemorate the purchase of a giant cheese wheel called the Briehemoth, Eggs tries to confront Portley-Rind, but inadvertently knocks the cheese into a river. Eggs announces himself to the party as the Trubshaw Baby, but no one believes him.
Eggs tries to persuade the remaining Boxtrolls to flee for their own safety, but Snatcher digs into the caves and captures them all. Eggs awakens to find his father, Herbert Trubshaw (Simon Pegg), a prisoner beside him. He sees the Boxtrolls stacked in a crusher and begs them to run. They escape by abandoning their boxes to the crusher.
Snatcher drives his machine to Lord Portley-Rind's house, shows him the flattened boxes as proof of the Boxtrolls' extinction, and demands Portley-Rind's white hat (his symbol of office) in exchange for the last (actually Eggs disguised). The Boxtrolls and Herbert free Eggs while Snatcher tries to take Portley-Rind's hat by force. With Mr. Trout (Nick Frost) and Mr. Pickles (Richard Ayoade), who switch sides, Eggs, Herbert, and the Boxtrolls disable the machine. Mr. Gristle (Tracy Morgan) is crushed by the machine as Eggs and Snatcher are thrown clear and land on the recovered Briehemoth, where Snatcher's allergy to cheese causes him to expand to an enormous size. He forces Lord Portley-Rind to give up his hat in exchange for Winnie's safety, but explodes upon consumption of an aged cheese.
Thereafter the townspeople co-exist peacefully with the Boxtrolls. Winnie tells the tale of Snatcher's end to a crowd, while Eggs and Fish drive off in one of Herbert's contraptions. Mr. Trout and Mr. Pickles are now cleaning the streets.
Marian Seldes (A Delicate Balance, Affliction, August Rush) died on October 6th, 2014 in her Central Park South apartment following a long illness. She was 86 years old.
Jan Hooks (Saturday Night Live, Designing Women, Batman Returns) died on October 9th, 2014 of non-chemo responsive throat cancer in her home in Woodstock, New York at the age of 57.
Elizabeth Peña (The Incredibles, Rush Hour, Jacob's Ladder) died on October 14th, 2014 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California at the age of 55. The cause of death was cirrhosis of the liver due to alcohol, acute gastrointestinal bleeding, cardiogenic shock, and cardiopulmonary arrest.
Gerry Parkes (Fraggle Rock, The Boondock Saints) died three days after his 90th birthday on October 19th, 2014.
On October 24th, 2014, Marcia Strassman (Welcome Back, Kotter, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids) died of advanced breast cancer at her home in Sherman Oaks, California, on October 24th, 2014. She was 66 years old.
Since the home video release of Mr. Peabody & Sherman, we celebrate in Bullwinkle's Restaurant in Wilsonville, Oregon as the 55th anniversary of The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends, featuring Rocky the flying squirrel and his moose pal, Bullwinkle. Their enemies are the Russian-like spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. The other characters are Mr. Peabody the dog and Sherman, his adopted boy.
At October 24th, 2014, I departed from the apartment and head on to visit Melissa at Eugene with my mom. We went to visit Hirxons gift shop and visit the University of Oregon. I brought a portable DVD player and a few DVDs (Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Monsters University's Party Central on Disney Movies Anywhere, and Sleeping Beauty (in honor of its 55th anniversary). I and my sister went to the mall and see The Book of Life and get the pumpkin for Halloween.
At October 26th, 2014, I took the train home to Portland all by myself.
The Red Carpet: San Francisco (2014)
At November 2nd, 2014 (just before five days until Big Hero 6 is released), I board the plane with my Mother and head to Oakland and stayed one night at the Renaissance Club Sport Hotel. I brought a few DVDs (The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (in honor of its 10th anniversary and the sequel next year)). Tonight, I, my mother, Roscoe, and Hester went to St. Mary's College for the Joey Travolta's film premiere.
That was the one-day trip and it ends at November 3rd, 2014.
On November 3rd, 2014, Tom Magliozzi (Car Talk) died in Belmont, Massachusetts, due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77.
Big Hero 6 (November 7, 2014 – February 24, 2015)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Winner
MPAA Rating: PG (for action and peril, some rude humor, and thematic elements)
Critic Score: 89% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critics Consensus: Agreeably entertaining and brilliantly animated, Big Hero 6 is briskly-paced, action-packed, and often touching.
Box office: $657,818,612
Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) is a 14-year-old robotics genius in the futuristic fictional city of San Fransokyo. Raised by his aunt Cass (Maya Rudolph) and older brother Tadashi (Daniel Henney) after the death of his parents, he spends his time participating in illegal robot fights. To redirect Hiro, Tadashi takes him to the robotics center at his university, where Hiro meets Tadashi's friends, GoGo (Jamie Chung), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), and Fred (T.J. Miller), as well as Baymax (Scott Adsit), the inflatable healthcare companion robot Tadashi created. To enroll in the school, Hiro signs up for the school's science fair and presents microbots, swarms of tiny robots that can link together in any arrangement imaginable. Professor Callaghan (James Cromwell), the head of the university's robotics program, is impressed, and grants Hiro entrance to the university. Alistair Krei (Alan Tudyk), renowned entrepreneur and president of Krei Tech, offers to buy the microbots, but Hiro declines. When a fire breaks out at the university, Tadashi rushes in to rescue Callaghan, but the building explodes, apparently killing both Tadashi and Callaghan.
Weeks later, a depressed Hiro inadvertently activates Baymax, who follows Hiro's only remaining microbot to an abandoned warehouse. There, the two discover that someone has been mass-producing microbots, and are attacked by a man wearing a Kabuki mask controlling the bots. After they escape, Hiro equips Baymax with armor and a battle chip containing various karate moves, and they track the masked man to the docks. GoGo, Wasabi, Honey Lemon, and Fred arrive, and the masked man attacks the group. The six escape to Fred's mansion, where they begin to form a superhero team, with Hiro creating armor for his friends to complement each one's area of scientific expertise.
The group tracks the masked man, who they suspect to be Krei, to an abandoned secret Krei Tech laboratory, which they find was researching teleportation technology until a test pilot (Katie Lowes) was lost in an accident. The masked man attacks, but the group manages to knock off his mask, revealing him to be Professor Callaghan, who had stolen Hiro's microbots to shield himself from the explosion. Realizing that Tadashi had died for nothing, the enraged Hiro removes Baymax's personality/healthcare chip, leaving only the battle chip, and orders him to kill Callaghan. GoGo, Wasabi, and Fred attempt to stop Baymax, but are quickly overpowered, and Honey re-installs the healthcare chip at the last second, preventing Baymax from carrying out the kill order. Callaghan escapes, and Hiro, furious at his friends' intervention, flies off with Baymax. Back home, Hiro makes repairs then tries to remove the chip again, but Baymax prevents him, stating that vengeance is not what Tadashi would have wanted. To comfort him, Baymax shows Hiro videos of Tadashi running tests during Baymax's development. A remorseful Hiro apologizes to his friends, who forgive him since they understand his pain, and the team reunites to stop Callaghan.
The group discovers that Krei's test pilot was Callaghan's daughter Abigail, and that Callaghan is seeking revenge on Krei. Callaghan interrupts a public Krei event and attempts to destroy his headquarters using a teleportation portal. The team destroys Callaghan's microbots and saves Krei, but the portal becomes unstable. Baymax detects Abigail inside, alive but in hyper-sleep, and leaps into the portal with Hiro to rescue her. They find Abigail's pod, but Baymax is damaged by debris, leaving them adrift inside the portal. Baymax uses his armor's rocket fist to propel Hiro and Abigail back through the portal, forcing them to leave him behind. They make it back and Callaghan is arrested. Sometime later, Hiro discovers Baymax's personality chip clenched in the rocket fist. He rebuilds Baymax and the six friends continue their exploits through the city, fulfilling Tadashi's dream of helping those in need.
During the end credits, it is shown through newspaper headlines that Hiro has been awarded a grant from the university, where a building has been dedicated to Tadashi. In a post-credits scene, Fred accidentally opens a secret door in his family mansion and finds superhero gear inside. His father, a retired superhero (Stan Lee), arrives stating "We have a lot to talk about" as they embrace each other.
The Penguins of Madagascar (November 26, 2014 – March 17, 2015)
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild action and some rude humor)
Critic Score: 72%.
Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critics Consensus: The Penguins of Madagascar is fast and brightly colored enough to entertain small children, but too frantically silly to offer real filmgoing fun for the whole family.
In Antarctica, three young penguins – Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), and Rico (Conrad Vernon) – defy the laws of nature to save an egg the other penguins believe to be doomed. After saving it from a pack of leopard seals and accidentally setting themselves adrift on an iceberg, the egg hatches into Private (Christopher Knights).
Ten years later (after the events of the previous film), the penguins decide to leave the circus to celebrate Private's birthday by breaking into Fort Knox in order to treat him to a discontinued snack called "Cheezy Dibbles" in the vending machine of their break room. Despite this, Private begins to feel out of place with the team, as he is described as being the "secretary/mascot". Suddenly, they are abducted by the machine and sent to Venice, Italy by Dr. Octavius Brine (John Malkovich), a renowned geneticist who removes his human disguise and reveals he is actually an octopus named Dave, who has grown resentful of penguins after he had been shunned from every zoo in the world because of cute penguins.
Rico swallows Dave's collection of snowglobes along with a canister of a green substance called the Medusa Serum before the four escape and are chased through the canals and streets of Venice by Dave's henchmen. When cornered, they are rescued by a group of animals from an Arctic elite undercover interspecies task force agency called "North Wind" consisting of their leader, a gray wolf whose name is Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch)(Skipper mistakenly refers to him as "Classified" throughout the entire film), a harp seal demolitionist named Short Fuse (Ken Jeong), a polar bear named Corporal (Peter Stormare), and an intelligent snowy owl named Eva (Annet Mahendru) with whom Kowalski is instantly smitten. Their mission is to help animals who can't help themselves.
At their hideout, their communication systems are hacked by Dave, who reveals that he has an enormous supply of the Medusa Serum and that he intends to capture the penguins out of every zoo he was kicked out of. Not wanting the penguins' help, Classified sends the group to their most remote base (which happens to be on Madagascar) but the penguins awaken mid-flight and crash land in the Sahara Desert before making their way to Shanghai, which they mistake for Dublin, Ireland. Discovering Dave's next target in Shanghai, the penguins ship themselves to their current location and make their way to the zoo. Disguising himself as a mermaid-tailed penguin (a tourist attraction) to distract Dave from his real target, Private himself is captured along with the Shanghai penguins after the North Wind arrives to put a stop to Dave's plan. The penguins take the North Winds' high-tech plane to give chase, but accidentally self-destruct the machine. They manage to track Private to an island though, using a device planted on him when Classified tranquilized them before planting them in a flight to Madagascar. Meanwhile, on the island, Dave demonstrates his way to genetically mutate the penguins into hideous monsters as an effort to make humans disgusted by them as revenge.
Skipper and Classified argue on the best means to rescue the captives and stop Dave, settling on Classified's plan of a frontal assault and Skipper agrees to act as a diversion. The North Wind manages to corner Dave in his lair only to be captured by Dave's henchmen as well as the other penguins. Dave demonstrates his mutation ray at full power on Private, apparently disintegrating him with the beam, but unbeknownst to them he escapes at the last minute by using a paper clip he swallowed earlier. Private rescues the North Wind members, who want to regroup, but Private, not wanting to leave anyone behind goes to stop Dave. As Dave's submarine docks at New York with the promise of returning the penguins he found to the zoo, he turns the ray on the rest of the penguins, mutating them all into hideous monsters. The city erupts into chaos as the brainwashed, mutated penguins run amok on the terrified human crowd. Getting the senses back into Skipper, Kowalski and Rico, cute Private decides to connect himself into the ray to return them to normal. They turn all the penguins back to normal in one huge blast.
Private is left mutated from the machine while the rest of the penguins are restored to normal. Despite his strange new look, the Penguins show their gratitude and new-found respect for Private. Dave (who was caught in the blast) has been turned into a pipsqueak version of himself and is trapped in a snow globe where he is admired by a little girl. Finally seeing one another as equals, Classified promises to grant the Penguins anything they want. In addition to Kowalski getting a kiss from Eva, the Penguins are given their own jet packs and they then fly off above the clouds looking for their next adventure.
In a mid-credits scene, the Penguins return to the circus and plug Mort (Andy Richter) into the ray and use him to revert Private back to normal. Mort does not appear to show any side effects from the ray until he manages to swallow King Julien (Danny Jacobs) whole, much to King Julien's delight.
At November 26th, 2014 (the day of the release of The Penguins of Madagascar, I departed the apartment and head on to Deschutes County with my family. There's snow in Sun River. We celebrate Thanksgiving. I brought a few DVDs (Planes: Fire & Rescue, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Frozen Sing Along Edition, Never Fairies & Muppets Sing Along Edition, The Wind Rises, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (in honor of its 50th anniversary), and Kiki's Delivery Service (in honor of its 25th anniversary). I will have my new book, Frozen CineStory. I went to go see Big Hero 6.
The trip is ended at November 30th.
On December 22nd, 2014; Christine Cavanaugh (Rugrats, Dexter's Laboratory, Babe, Darkwing Duck) died after suffering from leukemia at her home in Cedar City, Utah. She was 51 years old.
David Ryall (The Singing Detective, Harry Potter, The Elephant Man) died on December 25th, 2014 (Christmas Day), aged 79.
Edward Herrmann (Gilmore Girls, Richie Rich, The Lost Boys) died on December 31st, 2014 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Hospital of brain cancer, at the age of 71.
2015 (of the Blue Age)
Lance Percival (That Was the Week That Was, The Beatles) died in January 6th, 2015.
Rod Taylor (The Time Machine, The Birds) suffered a fatal heart attack on January 7th, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 84, four days shy of his 85th birthday.
On January 23rd, 2015, Barrie Ingham (The Great Mouse Detective, Doctor Who, A Challenge for Robin Hood) died, 18 days shy of his 83rd birthday, at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (February 6, 2015 – June 2, 2015)
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild action and rude humor)
Critic Score: 80% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critics Consensus: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water won't win over many viewers who aren't fans of the show, but for the converted, it's another colorful burst of manic fun.
A pirate named Burger-Beard (Antonio Banderas) travels to the island of Bikini Atoll to obtain a magical book that makes any text written upon it come true. The book tells the story of SpongeBob SquarePants (Tom Kenny), a childlike sea sponge who loves his job as a fry cook at the Krusty Krab fast food restaurant and faithfully guards the secret Krabby Patty formula from Plankton (Mr. Lawrence), owner of the Chum Bucket and business rival to Mr. Krabs (Clancy Brown), SpongeBob and Squidward's boss.
The Krusty Krab is attacked by Plankton; after a military battle with giant foods and condiments, Plankton feigns surrender: he uses a decoy of himself to offer the greedy Mr. Krabs a fake penny, which he hides inside to gain access to Krabs' vault. The Plankton decoy distracts Mr. Krabs by crying outside the restaurant so he can gloat about his victory. Plankton steals the formula, leaving a fake in its place; however, just as he is about to escape, SpongeBob catches him and they both have a tug of war over the formula, but it magically vanishes before either can claim it.
With the secret formula gone, SpongeBob is unable to make Krabby Patties, and the customers become ravenous. Only SpongeBob knows Plankton is innocent of stealing the formula, and when all of Bikini Bottom turns on them, SpongeBob rescues Plankton with a giant soap bubble that he and Plankton fly away in, leaving Krabs in a state of confusion. Bikini Bottom is soon reduced to a post-apocalyptic wasteland because of the absence of the much-relied-on Krabby Patty. SpongeBob proposes that he and Plankton team up to get the formula back; he attempts to show Plankton the meaning of teamwork, but he does not quite understand. Eventually, the duo decides to go to the Chum Bucket and rescue Karen (Jill Talley) so they can use her as a power source for a time machine that will take them to the moment before the formula disappeared. They assemble the machine at an abandoned taco restaurant, but accidentally travel far into the future, where they meet Bubbles (Matt Berry). They eventually succeed in retrieving the formula, but it turns out to be the fake Plankton has left.
Burger-Beard, along with his seagull minions, converts his ship into a food truck to sell Krabby Patties at a beach community named Salty Shoals. The final page, which has been discarded in the ocean, lands on Sandy’s treedome. Crazed by the lack of Krabby Patties, Sandy thinks the page is a sign from the "sandwich gods", and suggests a sacrifice be made to appease them. The town attempts to sacrifice SpongeBob, but he and Mr. Krabs smell Krabby Patties, and the crowd follows the scent, which leads to the surface. Bubbles returns because SpongeBob cost him his job as overseer of the universe. In reality, Bubbles hated the job and thanks SpongeBob by allowing him, Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke), Mr. Krabs, Sandy (Carolyn Lawrence), and Squidward (Rodger Bumpass) the ability to breathe on land; Plankton joins also, stowed away in SpongeBob's sock. Bubbles shoots them out of his blowhole to the surface, and they land on a beach.
The team locates Burger-Beard, who, using a book, banishes them to Pelican Island. Using Squidward's ink and the final page, SpongeBob transforms himself and the others into superheroes with special powers — The Invincibubble (SpongeBob), Mr. Superawesomeness (Patrick), Sour Note (Squidward), The Rodent (Sandy), and Sir Pinch-a-Lot (Mr. Krabs). They return and encounter Burger-Beard, who drives off with the formula, which forces the team to give chase. During the ensuing battle, the book is destroyed and the team attempts to apprehend Burger-Beard, who picks the team off one by one.
Plankton, who has been left on Pelican Island, becomes a muscle-bound hero named Plank-Ton and comes to assist them. After retrieving the formula, Plank-Ton and Invincibubble work together to create one final attack that sends Burger-Beard all the way to Bikini Atoll. Plankton, who has learned the values of teamwork, returns the secret formula to Mr. Krabs, and the gang uses the final page's magic to return home to Bikini Bottom. With Krabby Patties back, Bikini Bottom returns to order, and Plankton re-assumes his role as business rival, bringing things back to the status quo.
Richard Bakalyan (Batman, Chinatown, The Fox and the Hound) died suddenly on February 27th, 2015 at the Arnot Ogden Medical Center, in Elmira, New York, aged 84. Leonard Nimoy (Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, Fringe) died of complications from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) on February 27th, 2015 (the same day as Bakalyan), at the age of 83, in his Bel Air home at Los Angeles.
To celebrate Bugs Bunny's 75th birthday and the Looney Tunes' 85th anniversary, I brought the Bugs Bunny classics and reminiscing about my childhood memory of the Warner Bros./Looney Tunes Studio Store at Washington Square (1991-2001) (It was incredible for the giant statue of Bugs Bunny and the other Looney Tunes gang (Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, the Tasmanian Devil, Tweety, Sylvester, the Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, Pepe Le Pew, Foghorn Leghorn, and Speedy Gonzales), the tapestries of Bugs and Taz at the river, and of course the Marvin the Martian spaceship, with those buttons that would play Looney Tunes' sounds and catchphrases and the "Duck Dodgers in the 24th and 1/2 century!" button).
At February 27th, 2015, I departed from the apartment and head on to visit Melissa at Eugene with my mom. We went to visit Hirxons gift shop and visit the University of Oregon. I brought a portable DVD player and a few DVDs (101 Dalmatians, Big Hero 6, Frozen, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, The Book of Life, Never Fairies & Muppets (in honor of its sequel), and The Sound of Music (in honor of its 50th anniversary). I and my sister rode our bikes to the mall and see The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and shop for new stuff from A Never Pirate (a Walt Disney Animation Studios film and sequel to Never Fairies & Muppets based on J.M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy and Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Treasure Island, featuring Tinker Bell, Kermit the Frog, and the characters from the Disney Fairies and Muppets franchises. The characters will include Tinker Bell in her water-talent uniform and Kermit as Captain Smollet, while they introduce a new characters, Jane Hawkins, Zarina, and Baby Croc).
At March 1st, 2015, I took the train home to Portland all by myself.
The Shamrock Run (2015)
At March 15th, 2014 (two days before St. Patrick's Day, the day of celebrations that generally involve public parades and festivals, ceilidh, and the wearing of green attire or leprechauns or shamrocks), the Shamrock Run starts in the morning and I run the 5K around downtown Portland with Emily, Ryan and Roscoe.
Before the run, Ryan asked me to go see the R-rated film, since he is past 17. When we go see The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, he agrees that they will go next week. Maybe I had a wager: If Ben beats the record in the Shamrock Run, he will chose to go see Cinderella (and Frozen Fever) (twice in Clackamas Town Center, just in case I'm worn out from the run), plus get goaled in for the Disney extras (The Dalmatian figurine set from 101 Dalmatians, Anna and Elsa in her new uniforms and the Snowgies from Frozen Fever (showing before Cinderella) in Clackamas Town Center and the home video release of The Penguins of Madagascar this Tuesday March 17th (the day of St. Patrick's Day). But if he doesn't, Ryan will make me go see the R-rated film. The following week shows Home in Friday.
Cinderella & Frozen Fever (March 13, 2015 – September 15, 2015)
Elsa (Idina Menzel) plans to give Anna (Kristen Bell) a surprise birthday party with the help of Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Sven, and Olaf (Josh Gad); but while Anna is led on a "party treasure hunt" by a string that winds through the kingdom, Elsa has caught a cold, and unknowingly produces a group of small animated snowmen with each sneeze, who begin to dismantle the birthday party's decorations while Kristoff tries to stop them. While Elsa takes Anna on the hunt, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf try to control the 'Snowgies' and fix the decorations in time for Anna and Elsa's return. After Elsa nearly falls off a clock tower, Anna convinces her to take rest. While Anna enjoys the party, Elsa sneezes a giant snowball through an alphorn, and stuns Hans (Santino Fontana) overseas; whereupon Elsa rests in bed under Anna's care. Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven escort the 'Snowgies' to Elsa's ice palace, where they stay with her snow-giant doorkeeper 'Marshmallow' (Paul Briggs).
Ella (Lily James) lives with her loving parents on a beautiful estate in a peaceful kingdom. From a young age, she is taught by her mother (Hayley Atwell) to believe in magic, allowing Ella to befriend many animals on the estate, especially the mice. Everything is perfect until her mother falls ill. On her deathbed, she asks Ella to promise that she will always have courage and be kind. Ella's father (Ben Chaplin) eventually remarries Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett), the widow of an old friend, who has two daughters of her own: Drisella (Sophie McShera) and Anastasia (Holiday Grainger). Ella welcomes her new step-family, despite the stepsisters' unpleasant attitudes.
When Ella's father goes abroad for business, Lady Tremaine gradually reveals her cruel and jealous nature, as she pushes Ella to give up her room to the stepsisters for the attic. Sadly, Ella's father dies during the trip, causing Lady Tremaine to dismiss all servants to save money and place all the chores on Ella. On one cold evening, Ella sleeps by the fireplace for warmth but wakes up next morning covered in cinders. Her step-family consequently mock Ella as "Cinderella", and forbid her from eating with the family.
Crushed by their cruelty, Ella rides off into the woods, where she meets Kit (Richard Madden), an apprentice from the palace, who is part of a hunting party chasing a stag. Not knowing Kit is actually the prince of the kingdom, Ella admonishes him for hunting the stag, and pleads for the stag's freedom, which Kit agrees. Touched by his kindness, Ella takes a liking of Kit. Kit is likewise enchanted by Ella's charm, kindness, and unique outlook on life. The two part without Kit learning of Ella's name, but not before both express the wish to see each other again. The king (Derek Jacobi), upon learning he has little time left, insists Kit takes a bride, who should be a princess for the advantage of the kingdom, at the upcoming royal ball. Kit persuades his father to invite every eligible maiden in the land to the ball, in hope of seeing Ella.
When the ball is announced, the Tremaine family is ecstatic at the prospect of marrying into royalty. Ella is also excited to attend the ball for the chance to see Kit. She fixes up her mother's old pink dress when Lady Tremaine refuses to buy her a new one. On the night of the ball, Ella tries to join her step-family on the way out, but Lady Tremaine, together with her daughters, ridicule and tear up Ella's dress, and leave without her. Losing courage, Ella runs into the garden in tears and meets an old beggar woman, who reveals herself to be Ella's fairy godmother (Helena Bonham Carter). Changed into her true form, the fairy godmother magically transform a pumpkin into a magnificent carriage, four mice into white horses, two lizards into footmen, a goose into a coachman, and finally Ella's ripped dress into a gorgeous blue gown, complete with a pair of magical glass slippers. Before sending Ella on her way to the ball, the fairy godmother warns the magic will be broken at the last stroke of midnight.
At the ball, the entire court is entranced by Ella, especially Kit. Nervous but happy to see each other, Ella and Kit have a perfect first dance, as if the two have been partners their entire lives. This irritates the Grand Duke (Stellan Skarsgård), as he has promised Kit to Princess Chelina of Zaragoza (Jana Perez), a fact that Lady Tremaine overhears.
While surprised by Kit's true identity, Ella nonetheless has a marvelous time with Kit, touring the palace grounds and Kit's secret garden. But before Ella can tell Kit her name, the clock begins striking as midnight approaches, forcing Ella to flee and accidentally drop one of her glass slippers on the palace steps. She manages to get away at the final stroke of midnight, but the spell wears off and causes the animals and Ella's dress to revert back. Ella hides the one glass slipper she has under the floorboards of her room as a keepsake, reasonably content that her one night will become a beautiful memory.
The king dies soon after, but not before giving his son permission to marry Ella if he wishes. Not knowing Ella's identity and whereabouts, Kit, once become king, declares his love and intend to marry the "mystery princess" who wears glass slippers to the ball, if she is willing. Excited at the news, Ella hurries to retrieve the glass slipper in her possession, only to find her stepmother holding it. Having deduced that Ella is the mystery princess, Lady Tremaine demands to be made the head of the royal household in exchange for allowing Ella to come forth and marry Kit, and once queen, Ella is to ensure Drisella and Anastasia be married off to wealthy husbands. Ella refuses, and Lady Tremaine smashes the slipper and locks Ella in the attic. Lady Tremaine then takes the shattered slipper and identity of the mystery princess to the Grand Duke in exchange for the title of countess and advantageous marriages for her daughters. The Grand Duke tries to convince Kit to forget the mystery princess with the shattered slipper, but this only makes Kit even more determined to find her.
The Grand Duke and the Captain of the Guards (Nonso Anozie) lead the mission to find the mystery princess by trying the remaining slipper on all of the maidens in the land, but the magical slipper refuses to fit. When they arrive at Ella's estate, the shoe fits neither of the stepsisters. As they turn to leave, Ella's singing of "Lavender's Blue" is heard through a window that the mice have opened. The Grand Duke tries to ignore this, but Kit reveals himself to be one of the guards. Kit asks the Captain to investigate the source of the singing. Once Ella is found, Lady Tremaine attempts to forbid her from trying on the shoe on the grounds that she is Ella's mother, but she is overruled by the Captain, as Ella curtly tells Lady Tremaine that she has not been, and never will be, her mother.
Ella and Kit are thereby reunited, and Kit recognizes Ella even without the shoe, which fits her perfectly. Promising to take each other as they are, Ella and Kit leave the house as Ella offers forgiveness to her stepmother. Afterward, Ella's step-family, along with the Grand Duke, leave the kingdom never to return.
At last, Ella and Kit are married. The Fairy Godmother narrates that they become the land's most beloved monarchs, ruling with the courage and kindness that Ella has promised her mother, and that they live happily ever after.
A Never Pirate & Frozen Fever (March 13, 2015 – August 18, 2015)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
MPAA Rating: G
Critic Score: 88% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Consensus: Wonderfully animated, packed with exciting energy, and full of fun references to the world of Peter Pan, A Never Pirate is a lively swashbuckling pirate-themed adventure with another example of how new ideas can help keep a trilogy fresh.
Box office: $543.5 million
Jane Hawkins (Elle Fanning) is a young orphan who lives in the Admiral Benbow in England with her friends Gonzo (Dave Goelz) and Rizzo (Steve Whitmire). Jane listens to the tales of Billy Bones (Billy Connolly), who tells of his former captain, Captain Flint, who buried his treasure trove on a remote island and executed all of his crew so only he would own the island's map. Zarina (Christina Hendricks), a very smart and inquisitive pixie dust-keeper fairy, is amazed by the magic behind pixie dust and is determined to find out all that it is capable of. After her secretly experimenting with some blue pixie dust and causing an accident in Pixie Hollow, her supervisor Fairy Gary (Jeff Bennett) prohibits her from being a dust-keeper. In sorrow, Zarina takes her experiments and runs away from Pixie Hollow. One night, one of Bones' crewmates Blind Pew (Matt Vogel) arrives, giving Bones the black spot. Bones gives Jane the treasure map and reveals that she had been Flint's first mate. Just before dying of a heart attack, he begs Jane to go after the treasure and keep both it and the map safe from pirate hands. An army of pirates attack the inn, destroying it, but the orphans escape with the map.
One year later, Pixie Hollow celebrates the Four Seasons Festival, with performances from fairies of all the seasons. During the show, Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman), Silvermist (Lucy Liu), Iridessa (Raven-Symoné), Rosetta (Megan Hilty), Fawn (Angela Bartys), and Vidia (Pamela Adlon) spot Zarina flying around the audience and using some strange pixie dust to summon several poppies that cause everyone to fall asleep, except Tink and her friends who take cover. After Zarina is gone, they realize that she stole all of the blue pixie dust, the only way to make the yellow dust that the fairies use to fly, so they go after her to return it to its rightful place. They follow Zarina to the coast, where it is revealed that she became the captain of a pirate crew, including the cabin boy, James Hook (Tom Hiddleston). The fairies manage to retrieve the blue dust for a moment, but Zarina gets it back after throwing at them some multicolored pixie dust that magically switches their innate fairy abilities and talents. Tinker Bell becomes a water fairy, Silvermist becomes a fast-flying fairy, Fawn becomes a light fairy, Iridessa becomes a garden fairy, Rosetta becomes an animal fairy, and Vidia becomes a tinker fairy, much to her horror and disgust.
The trio take the map to the half-wit Squire Trelawney (Fozzie Bear) (Eric Jacobson), who arranges a voyage to find the treasure. The orphans are enlisted aboard the Hispaniola as the cabin children, accompanied by Trelawney, Dr. Livesey (Bunsen Honeydew) (Dave Goelz), and his assistant Beaker (Steve Whitmire). The ship is commanded by Captain Abraham Smollett (Kermit the Frog) (Steve Whitmire) and his overly strict first mate Mr. Arrow (Sam Eagle) (Eric Jacobson). The orphans meet the cook Long John Silver (Ralph Fiennes), a one-legged man who Bones warned them of, but Jane and Silver become good friends. The ship sets sail, but Smollett is suspicious of the crew, believing them to be of shady character. They struggle with their swapped talents as they search for Zarina and the pirate ship, in the process meeting a baby crocodile which takes a liking to Rosetta. They find the ship and sneak in, where they hear James saying how the pirates met Zarina after drifting off course, and she became the captain with the promise of making the ship fly so that they could plunder anything without getting caught. After Gonzo and Rizzo are kidnapped and tortured by three of the crew, who have turned out to be pirates, he has the treasure map locked up for safe keeping. It is revealed that Silver and all the secret pirates in the crew had been part of Flint's crew and want the treasure for themselves. Silver fools Mr. Arrow into leaving the ship to test out a rowboat, claims he drowned, and has his minions steal the map during Arrow's memorial service. Jane, Gonzo, and Rizzo discover Silver's treachery and inform Smollett.
The ship arrives at Skull Rock, where the fairies discover the pirates' camp and a mysterious Pixie Dust Tree, which Zarina had grown using pink-colored pixie dust of the garden talent. Arriving at Treasure Island, Smollett orders the entire crew save the officers to go ashore, planning to keep himself and all non-pirate crew aboard the ship and abandon the pirates on the island. However, his plan falls through when it is discovered that Silver has kidnapped Jane to have leverage against the captain. The fairies attempt to retrieve the blue pixie dust but are caught when Iridessa loses control over her nature/earth-based talent and reveals their location. Tink tries to convince Zarina to return home to Pixie Hollow, but she refuses as no one appreciates her unusual talents in dust-keeping, which eventually led her to leave. With the fairies now captured, the pirates begin making pixie dust which becomes successful.
On the island, Silver invites Jane to join them in the treasure hunt using her late father's compass. When Jane refuses, Silver forcibly takes the compass from him. Smollett, Gonzo, and Rizzo land on the island in an effort to rescue Jane. However, unbeknownst to them, Silver had hidden a squad of pirates aboard the Hispaniola before leaving, and they capture the ship in Smollett's absence. On the island, Smollett and the rest of the landing party are captured by the native tribe of pigs, where Smollett reunites with his jilted lover Benjamina Gunn (Miss Piggy) (Eric Jacobson), the tribe's queen. Hook, curious about what it's like to fly, convinces Zarina to use some on him, with the result that he begins to fly. After joyfully flying around the cave, Hook double-crosses Zarina and traps her in a lantern, revealing he is the real captain of the pirate crew and that he has merely been using her all along to get the pixie dust for his own purposes of getting to the second star to plunder around the seven seas of Neverland.
The pirates find the cave in which Flint hid the treasure is empty, leading to a brief mutiny against Silver. Silver reveals that, even though he is a pirate, he cares for Jane and allows her to escape. Smollett and Benjamina are captured by Silver, and Smollett is hung from a cliff to fall to his death. In an effort to save Smollett, Benjamina reveals the treasure is hidden in her house, but when she spits out a kiss from Silver, he hangs her off the cliff as well. Tinker Bell and the others attempt to escape their prison without any success, until the baby crocodile Rosetta befriended arrives and releases them. The fairies attempt once more to retrieve the blue pixie dust and almost succeed, before being confronted by Hook, who threatens to throw Zarina into the sea unless they hand the blue pixie dust over. Tink willingly gives the pixie dust up, and Hook sprinkles it over the ship before throwing Zarina into the water, leaving the fairies to rescue her. Jane rescues her friends and with Mr. Arrow (who is revealed to be alive), the group regains control of the Hispaniola, and rescue Smollett and Benjamina. The group engages the pirates in a sword fight, until only Silver is left standing, but he surrenders when he finds himself outnumbered.
As the pirates sail towards the Second Star, the fairies return and use their switched talents to defeat the pirates and turn the ship away from the Second Star. Zarina attempts to retrieve the blue pixie dust from Hook, who chases after her. Zarina manages to gain a speck of blue pixie dust which she then throws at Hook, who starts flying crazily as the two kinds of pixie dust react to each other. As the fairies fly away, Hook angrily swears revenge on them until he is attacked by the baby crocodile, leaving his crew members to laugh at him, much to his dismay. Zarina returns the blue pixie dust to Tink and her friends, before preparing to leave. While all the pirates are imprisoned, Silver discovers he still has Mr. Arrow's keys and tries to escape with the treasure. Jane confronts him but allows him to leave as long as they never cross paths again, much to Silver's disappointment. Silver rows away, but not before returning Jane's compass to her. However, Mr. Arrow informs Jane and Smollett that the boat Silver used was not seaworthy, and Silver is stranded on the island with no gold.
However, she is offered the chance to return to Pixie Hollow and this time accepts, and helps her friends to sail the ship back to Pixie Hollow where the others are waking up with no recollection of what had happened. Zarina promises not to tamper and experiment with pixie dust again, but is convinced by Tink to show off her astoundingly profound pixie dust abilities one last time. Zarina does so, and in the process, gives Tink and her friends back their original fairy talents, allowing them to put on a beautiful performance to the audience at the Four Seasons Festival. Everyone rushes over to congratulate them, particularly Zarina whose unusually strong and rare talent of pixie dust alchemy is finally accepted and can be who she is.
The epilogue program starts with Elsa (Idina Menzel) planning to give Anna (Kristen Bell) a surprise birthday party with the help of Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Sven, and Olaf (Josh Gad); but while Anna is led on a "party treasure hunt" by a string that winds through the kingdom, Elsa has caught a cold, and unknowingly produces a group of small animated snowmen with each sneeze, who begin to dismantle the birthday party's decorations while Kristoff tries to stop them. While Elsa takes Anna on the hunt, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf try to control the 'Snowgies' and fix the decorations in time for Anna and Elsa's return. After Elsa nearly falls off a clock tower, Anna convinces her to take rest. While Anna enjoys the party, Elsa sneezes a giant snowball through an alphorn, and stuns Hans (Santino Fontana) overseas; whereupon Elsa rests in bed under Anna's care. Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven escort the 'Snowgies' to Elsa's ice palace, where they stay with her snow-giant doorkeeper 'Marshmallow' (Paul Briggs).
With Jane promoted as the ship's new captain, the crew of the Hispaniola sail away, while Silver is left marooned with only a wisecracking Moai head for company.
Upon an extra scene during the end credits of the film, a drifting Captain Hook comes across an unknown ship at sea. One of the crew members, Smee (Jeff Bennett), comes to greet him. Taking no notice of Smee's words, Hook orders to be pulled up into the ship.
Home (March 27, 2015 – July 28, 2015)
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild thematic elements)
Critic Score: 47%.
Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critics Consensus: Colorful, silly, and utterly benign, Home is a passable diversion, but there's no shortage of superior animated alternatives.
Box office: $386,041,607
On the run from their enemy, the planet-destroying Gorg, the Boov find Earth a suitable place to call "home". Led by Captain Smek (Steve Martin), they commence their "friendly" invasion of the planet, relocating the humans, whom the Boov deem as simple and backwards, to other parts of the planet while the Boov inhabit their homes in a quick and bloodless conquest. One of the Boov, named Oh (Jim Parsons), is a more excitable, freethinking member of the species, who decides to invite the Boov to his apartment for a housewarming party, despite the race's antipathy towards him. Not far from Oh is a fourteen year old girl named Tip (Rihanna), who drives away through her home city to find her mother Lucy (Jennifer Lopez) after being separated from her during the invasion, leaving her with only her calico cat Pig and fueling her hatred for the Boov.
Oh runs into the street to meet up with a Boov cop named Kyle (Matt Jones), who, like the rest of the Boov, refuse to befriend him. Oh invites him to the party but accidentally sends a mass invite to every Boov on Earth. However, the "send all" button he pressed actually sends the invite to absolutely every alien race in the entire galaxy including the Gorg. Everyone, aggravated with Oh for revealing their location to the enemy, starts chasing him down. Oh runs into a convenience store to hide just as Tip and Pig enter the same store to grab supplies. They come across each other, and after Tip's car fails to start, Oh transforms it into a fantastical, hovering craft to continue transportation. Oh hitches a ride with Tip when he promises to help her find Lucy, but unfortunately, they must to go to the Boov Command Center in Paris and locate her from there.
After reaching the Boov Command Center, which is in the now-floating Eiffel Tower, Oh manages to get into his account, and deletes the message just a second before it reaches the Gorg. He then plugs in Tip's brain to help her find Lucy. They eventually trace her location to Australia, where she is also looking for her daughter. The other Boov then find the two and try to "erase" Oh, while Tip grabs the gravity manipulation system and flips it over, causing the whole Tower to tilt upside down.
As Oh and Tip head off to Australia, they see other Boov riding by them in fear, and realize that a Gorg ship is close behind them. Tip and Oh manage to knock it down, but in the process a chunk of it hits them and they lose their slushie fuel. They come across the fallen Gorg ship and find out that it is actually a drone. Oh recovers a special chip and uses it to get their car up and running.
Tip and Oh make it to Australia and see the Boov evacuating to their mothership. When they land the car, Tip starts to run for her mother, but Oh insists on evacuating with the other Boov instead. Tip gets angry at him for trying to break the promise again, and she declares that they were never friends. Heartbroken, Oh returns to the ship. The Gorg mothership comes close to the Boov ship, but Oh pulls out the Gorg chip and uses it to fly the ship further away from the Gorg. The Boov become astonished at Oh's plan, but Smek becomes upset and reminds everyone that he is the captain. However, after Oh tells the Boov what he learned from Tip, Kyle grabs Smek's "shusher" (a scepter with a rock on top of it) and gives it to Oh, declaring him the new captain.
Tip rushes aimlessly around the city to find Lucy, but no one can help her. Oh returns to her side and helps her track down Lucy. The mother and daughter finally reunite and thank Oh. The Gorg mothership descends upon the planet, and Oh realizes that they want the rock on the shusher, since Smek had previously stolen it from them. Oh runs to the ship to try and get its attention, locking Tip and Lucy in the car for safety. Tip breaks out of the car and shines a light in the Gorg Commander's face to bring his attention to Oh as he holds the rock up. The Gorg Commander (Brian Stepanek) halts the ship as it crunches down on the ground, with Oh in its path. Tip rushes to rescue him, but Oh is seemingly crushed beneath the machine. It backs up and Oh is revealed to be unharmed. The Gorg Commander emerges from his armor to show that he is actually a harmless starfish-like creature. Oh returns the rock to him, which turns out to be an egg for millions of developing Gorg larvae; the next generation of Gorg, revealing that the Gorg Commander had been the last of his kind, alone and almost extinct. He thanks Oh and departs.
Two weeks later, the humans have returned to their original homes, and Oh finally gets to have his party at his apartment, with both humans and Boov in attendance. Tip plays her music and gets the rest of the Boov to experience dancing for the first time, while other Boov, including a reformed Smek, party on the moon, and thousands of ships from other planets, including the Gorg, head to Earth for Oh's party upon receiving his invite.
During the mid-credits scene, a pack of chimpanzees climes in the broken Gorg ship.
The Tough and Busiest Year
Our prize is the Disneyland trip (in honor of its 60th diamond anniversary) at Anaheim with Emily (starting teamwork on June 2nd, 2015) when the Christmas/holiday season starts in November 2015. To make Ben's dream come true, starting March 26th, his mission is to take his iPad on vacation until the end of October. He needs to go see a few PG-13 films and compete in a 5K, the Wipeout Run (due in Summer 2015, canceled). Due to the SpongeBob Movie's average grade, if I see another animated film get a C grade, I want to bring it back.
Richard Dysart (L.A. Law, Wall Street, The Thing) died at home in Santa Monica, California on April 5th, 2015, after a long illness. He was 86.
Stan Freberg (Looney Tunes, Lady and the Tramp) died on April 7th, 2015, aged 88, at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica in Santa Monica, California from pneumonia.
John Stephenson (The Flintstones, Dragnet, Jonny Quest) died of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 91 on May 15th, 2015.
Anne Meara (Archie Bunker's Place, The King of Queens, Life Mike) died on May 23rd, 2015 at her home in Manhattan, at the age of 85.
On May 26th, 2015, I departed the new-moved apartment and headed down Interstate 5 with my parents and visit Melissa and her friend Brian in Eugene. Then we all headed down to central California. I stayed at the Residence Inn Marriot hotel. I brought a few of the DVDs (Big Hero 6, Frozen Sing Along Edition, Cars, The Book of Life, Lady and the Tramp (in honor of its 60th anniversary), and The Three Caballeros (in honor of its 70th anniversary)).
I had visits to the childhood vacation places; Aunt Amy's house and Dennis the Menace playground! I watched our cousin Isabella graduate. Melissa graduated in 2011 and I graduated in 2013. I went to the Northridge Mall to visit the Disney Store and collect the Disney extras (Joy, Sadness, Bing Bong, Fear, Anger, Disgust, and the figurine set from Inside Out (the returning studio's newest blockbuster by Pixar, set in a mind of a young girl named Riley, due in June 19th, 2015).
At May 30th, 2015, we went home, staying at the motel during the long drive back to Portland.
Christopher Lee (Dracula, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars) died at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital on June 7th, 2015 at 8:30 AM after being admitted for respiratory problems and heart failure, shortly after celebrating his 93rd birthday.
Inside Out (June 19, 2015 – November 3, 2015)
Awards: Aacademy Award for Best Animated Feature Winner
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild thematic elements and some action)
Critic Score: 98% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 9/10
Critics Consensus: Inventive, gorgeously animated, and powerfully moving, Inside Out is another outstanding addition to the Pixar library of modern animated classics.
Box office: $857,427,711
A girl named Riley Andersen (Kaitlyn Dias) is born in Minnesota and within her brain, five personifications of her basic emotions—Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Anger (Lewis Black)—gradually come to life and influence her actions via a console in her mind's Headquarters. As she grows up, her experiences become memories, stored in colored orbs, which are sent into long-term memory each night. Her five most important "core memories" (all of which are happy ones) are housed in a hub that power "islands," each reflecting an aspect of her personality. In Headquarters, Joy acts as a de facto leader to maintain Riley's cheerful childhood, but as she and the other emotions do not understand Sadness' purpose (not even Sadness herself), she frequently tries to keep Sadness away from the console.
At the age of eleven, Riley and her parents move to San Francisco for her father's (Kyle MacLachian) new business. Riley has poor first experiences: the new house is cramped and old, the moving van with all their belongings was misdirected, her father is under stress from his business, and a poor encounter at a pizza restaurant leaves her disheartened. When Sadness begins touching Riley's happy memories, turning them sad, Joy tries to guard them. On Riley's first day at her new school, Sadness accidentally causes Riley to cry in front of her class, creating a sad core memory. Joy, panicking, tries to dispose of it, but accidentally knocks the other core memories loose during a struggle with Sadness, deactivating the personality islands. Joy, Sadness, and the core memories are sucked out of Headquarters, and taken to the maze-like storage area of long-term memory.
Anger, Fear, and Disgust try to maintain Riley's emotional state in Joy's absence with disastrous results, distancing her from her parents, friends and hobbies, resulting in her personality islands gradually beginning to crumble and fall, one by one, into the "Memory Dump," an abyss where memories are forgotten. In desperation, Anger inserts an idea into the console prompting Riley to run away, believing that her return to Minnesota will enable her to make new happy core memories.
Joy and Sadness encounter Bing Bong (Richard Kind), Riley's childhood imaginary friend, who suggests riding the train of thought back to Headquarters. The three eventually catch the train, but it is derailed when the "Honesty Island" collapses (when Riley steals her mother's (Diane Lane) credit card and begins to run away). In desperation, Joy abandons Sadness and tries to ride a "recall tube" back to Headquarters, but the last personality island collapses, breaking the tube, plunging Joy and Bing Bong into the Memory Dump. At the bottom, Joy begins to lose hope, but discovers a sad memory of a hockey game that becomes happy when Riley's parents and friends comfort her. Joy realizes that Sadness serves an important purpose: to create empathy in others when Riley is emotionally overwhelmed and needs help.
Joy and Bing Bong try to use Bing Bong's old wagon rocket to escape the Memory Dump, but after several tries, Bing Bong realizes their combined weight is too much and jumps out, sacrificing himself to allow Joy to escape. Joy reunites with a despondent Sadness and manage to get them to Headquarters, only to discover that Anger's idea, of running away, has disabled the console, rendering Riley numb and apathetic. To the surprise of the others, Joy has Sadness take charge. Sadness unplugs the idea, reactivating the console, prompting Riley to return home.
As Sadness reinstalls the (now sad) core memories, Riley arrives home to her parents and bursts into tears, confessing that she misses her old life. As her parents comfort her, Joy and Sadness work the console together, creating a new core memory that combines their emotions; an island forms representing Riley's acceptance of her new life. A year later, Riley has adapted to her new home, made new friends, returned to her old hobbies, and adopted a few new ones (fueled by new, more nuanced core memories from combinations of her emotions). Inside Headquarters, her emotions all work together on a new expanded console with room for them all, enabling Riley to lead a more emotionally complex life.
On June 22nd, 2015, James Horner (Titanic, Field of Dreams, Apollo 13) died at the age of 61 when his S312 Tucano turboprop aircraft crashed into the Los Padres National Forest near Ventucopa, California.
Minions (July 10, 2015 – December 8, 2015)
MPAA Rating: PG (for action and rude humor)
Critic Score: 56%.
Average Rating: 5.8/10
Critics Consensus: The Minions' brightly colored brand of gibberish-fueled insanity stretches to feature length in their self-titled Despicable Me spinoff, with uneven but often hilarious results.
Box office: $1,159,398,397
Minions are small, yellow creatures who have existed since the beginning of time, evolving from single-celled organisms into beings who exist only to serve history's most despicable masters. After serving a great deal of masters over the centuries (though they accidentally kill their masters most of the time), they find they enjoy serving humans the most. However, after a disastrous end to their service to Napoleon, the Minions are driven into isolation and decide to start a new life in a massive cave in Antarctica. All goes well at first, but after many years, the Minions become depressed, restless and unmotivated without a master to serve. To regain their dignity and sense of purpose, Kevin (Pierre Coffin), one fearless Minion, decides to set out to find a new master and asks for help. Stuart (Pierre Coffin), a musically inclined Minion who is blissfully unaware of what he has been chosen for, becomes a volunteer, and so does Bob (Pierre Coffin), a young and inexperienced but infectious Minion who tends to befriend anyone he meets and is the only one who knows what Kevin is doing.
The trio journey to New York where the year is 1968. After spending the day attempting to blend in, the Minions end up in a department store for the night, where, after stacking a lot of random objects atop the TV, they see a hidden commercial broadcast for villains advertising Villain-Con; a convention for villains and supervillains in Orlando. The trio manage to hitchhike a ride with a family of villains called the Nelsons and impress them with their accidental villainy. Once at the convention, they see Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), the first female supervillain, and they impress her enough for her to hire them. As Scarlet takes the Minions to her home in England, Kevin contacts the other Minions, who later find new boss, but accidentally kill him and are chased out of their cave. They make their way to England to find Kevin, Bob, and Stuart.
At her home, Scarlet explains the plan to steal St. Edward's Crown from Queen Elizabeth II (Jennifer Saunders) of England and promises to reward the Minions if they successfully steal it, but later shows through a bedtime story that she would kill them if they don't. Her husband Herb (Jon Hamm) supplies them with inventions to aid in the heist, but they are nearly caught when they break into the Tower of London, which leads to a highly publicized chase that ends with Bob crashing into the Sword in the Stone and pulling it free, removing Elizabeth II from the throne and becoming King of England. Enraged by this, Scarlet confronts the Minions, who claim that their intention was to give her the crown; Bob changes the law to allow him to pass it to her. Undeterred because she feels betrayed, Scarlet imprisons the three in a dungeon to be tortured by Herb before her coronation, but afterwards, they are left alone and escape with the intention to apologize to Scarlet.
Making their way to Westminster Abbey, the three of them interrupt the coronation by accidentally sending a chandelier down on Scarlet, who immediately orders their execution. Dozens of villains chase them and Bob and Stuart are caught while Kevin finds his way into a pub. He sees Scarlet on a television, promising that she will kill Stuart and Bob if Kevin doesn't show up by dawn. Kevin sneaks into Scarlet's home to steal weapons, but inadvertently triggers an untested machine Herb was building and grows over one hundred feet in height. He tramples through London, rescuing his friends just as the other Minions reunite with them. Scarlet tries to eradicate them, but Kevin defends them, swallowing a massive missile while being pulled through the air by Scarlet's rocket-powered dress. The missile detonates, apparently killing Kevin and the Overkills. After the Minions briefly mourn him, Kevin reappears, having returned to his normal size.
Queen Elizabeth receives her place on the throne and crown back and rewards Bob with a tiny crown for his teddy bear and Stuart an electric guitar that he calls a "Mega Ukulele", and she knights Kevin for his heroism. She suddenly realizes that her crown is missing, and Kevin leads a chase after Scarlet and Herb, who are revealed to be alive and are fleeing through the crowd with the bejeweled crown until they are suddenly frozen in place by a young Gru (Steve Carell), who steals the crown from them and takes off in a rocket-powered motorbike while the Minions stare in awe. Bob gives his crown to the frozen Scarlet, who accepts the gift with joy, as the Minions see Gru as their new potential master and give chase to follow him home.
Roger Rees (Cheers, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, The West Wing) died of brain cancer at age 71 at his home in New York on July 10th, 2015.
Alex Rocco (The Godfather, The George Carlin Show, The Facts of Life) died on July 18th, 2015 from pancreatic cancer in Studio City, Los Angeles, at the age of 79.
Shaun the Sheep Movie (August 7, 2015 – November 24, 2015)
Awards: Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominee
MPAA Rating: PG (for rude humor)
Critic Score: 99% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critics Consensus: Warm, funny, and brilliantly animated, Shaun the Sheep is yet another stop-motion jewel in Aardman's family-friendly.
Shaun (Justin Fletcher), a mischievous sheep living with his flock at Mossy Bottom Farm, is bored with the routine of life on the farm. One day, he concocts a plan to have a day away, by tricking the farmer (John Sparkes) into going back to sleep by counting his sheep repeatedly. However, the caravan in which they put the farmer to bed accidentally rolls away, taking him the entire way into the city. Bitzer (John Sparkes), the farmer's dog, goes after him, ordering the sheep to stay on the farm until he returns.
The farmer receives a blow to the head and is hospitalized, where he is diagnosed with amnesia, and leaves the hospital. He wanders into a hair salon, where he cuts a celebrity's hair as if he was shearing a sheep. The celebrity loves it, which leads the farmer to be known as the mysterious hair stylist "Mr. X".
Meanwhile, the sheep find life impossible without the farmer, so Shaun sneaks on a bus to the city; the rest of the flock follow him on another bus. He manages to disguise them as people and they begin looking for the farmer, but Shaun is captured by Trumper (Omid Djalili), an over-zealous animal-control worker. Shaun is reunited with Bitzer in the animal lock-up, and with the help of a homeless dog named Slip, they escape. They find the farmer, but he does not recognize Shaun, who is heartbroken by his owner's hostility.
Shaun learns about the farmer's memory loss, and he and the flock devise a plan, which involves putting the farmer and everyone else to sleep with the sheep-counting trick, returning him to the trailer on a pantomime horse (really the sheep in an elaborate disguise), and hooking the trailer up to a bus returning to Mossy Bottom. The plan is initially successful, but they are pursued by Trumper who becomes insane and intent on killing them outright.
At the farm, the group hide in a shed, which Trumper tries to push into a nearby rock quarry. Fortunately, the farmer wakes up, regains his memory, and through teamwork, Trumper is defeated. The farmer and the animals have a renewed appreciation for each other, and the next day, the farmer cancels the day's routine activities. Slip leaves, but is adopted by a bus driver who finds her on the road. The animal-control service is turned into animal-protection centre, and Trumper, no longer welcome there, finds work wearing a chicken suit to promote a restaurant.
In a mid-credits scene, the farmer witnesses the events caused by his oblivious self and the animals on the news, as the animals watch in horror.
Susan Sheridan (The Black Cauldron, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Noddy's Toyland Adventures) died on August 9th, 2015, from breast cancer, aged 68.
D23 Expo (2015)
The fourth D23 Expo was held on August 14th-16th, 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios presented first looks of The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory, Zootopia, The Never Animals of Zootropolis, Moana, Toy Story 4, and Coco. Marvel Studios presented footage from Captain America: Civil War and stills from Doctor Strange, while Lucasfilm presented a look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Walt Disney Pictures showcased Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Pete's Dragon, The Finest Hours, and The Queen of Katwe. In addition, the logos for The Incredibles II and Cars 3 were revealed. Disney Interactive held presentation on several video games, namely Star Wars: Battlefront, Disney Infinity 3.0, and Kingdom Hearts III. The presentations featured new in-game footage, trailers, and reveals. The presentations also included surprise announcements and special guests. At the conclusion of the Walt Disney Studios presentation, Iger made a surprise announcement that Disney was developing a new Star Wars themed land for both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios.
At August 19th, 2015 (the month of the D23 Expo), I departed from the new-moved apartment and head on to visit Melissa's new apartment at Eugene with my mom. We went to visit Hirxons gift shop and visit the University of Oregon. I brought a portable DVD player and a few DVDs (Home, the Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Film Collection (Frozen Fever, Feast, Get a Horse! with Mickey, Paperman, Tangled Ever After, The Ballad of Nessie, and How to Hook a Movie Theater with Goofy) (in honor of its upcoming projects announced in the D23 Expo, Zootopia and Moana), The Black Cauldron (in honor of its 30th anniversary and the honor of Princess Eilonwy's Susan Sheridan's death in August 9th)). We went to the mall and see Minions.
Hotel Transylvania 2 (September 25, 2015 – January 12, 2016)
MPAA Rating: PG (for some scary images, action and rude humor)
Critic Score: 54%.
Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critics Consensus: Hotel Transylvania 2 is marginally better than the original, which may not be enough of a recommendation to watch 89 mintues of corny, colorfully animated gags from Adam Sandler and company.
Box office: $473,226,958
Some time after the first film, Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her new fiancé Johnny (Andy Samberg) are finally married, with the approval of her father Dracula (Adam Sandler), and the world becomes aware of (and unfazed by) the existence of monsters. Mavis later reveals to Drac that she is pregnant and a year later, she gives birth to a baby boy named Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), who later befriends Wayne's daughter Winnie (Sadie Sandler). Nearing his fifth birthday, Dennis has yet to grow his fangs and Drac worries that his grandson might not gain vampire powers. Noticing the dangers of Transylvania, Mavis starts to consider raising Dennis where Johnny grew up, much to Drac's disapproval.
Drac tells Johnny (who doesn't want to leave the hotel either) to bring Mavis to California to visit the in-laws, Mike (Nick Offerman) and Linda (Megan Mullally), but to make sure to keep her distracted so that she will not move, leaving Drac to babysit Dennis. Drac enlists his friends, Frank (Kevin James), Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade), Murray the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key) and Blobby the Blob (Jonny Solomon) to help train Dennis to become a monster, to no avail. Drac takes Dennis to his childhood summer camp, Camp Winnepacaca, where he learned to hone his vampire abilities, and discovers that the camp is safer than it was when he went there. Drac stubbornly believes Dennis is a "late fanger", so he hurls Dennis from a tall, unstable tower to pressure the boy's transformation into a bat. Dennis does not transform, and Drac has to fly and rescue him at the last second. The stunt is filmed by the campers and uploaded to the internet, which eventually reaches Mavis and Johnny. Mavis transforms into a bat to fly her and Johnny back to Transylvania. Drac and his friends reach the hotel a couple of seconds after Mavis. She confronts her father for putting Dennis in grave danger and his inability to accept that he is human. She states she will move out of the hotel after Dennis' fifth birthday the following Wednesday.
Mavis invites Vlad (Mel Brooks), her grandfather and Drac's father, to Dennis' birthday party. As Vlad is much worse than he was when it comes to humans, Drac tells Johnny to have the human party-goers disguise themselves as monsters. Vlad receives the invitation and arrives with his monstrous bat-like servant Bela (Rob Riggle) to meet his great-grandson for the first time. Meeting him, he believes that fear will cause Dennis’ fangs to sprout and possesses a stage performer dressed as Dennis's favorite television monster, "Kakie the Cake Monster," to scare Dennis, but Drac shields his grandson at the last moment and exposes the deception to Vlad, who is outraged that Drac has accepted humans as guests in his hotel. Drac confronts his father about how humans are different now.
Mavis becomes upset with her grandfather's behavior (regretting inviting him to Dennis's birthday party) and while the family argues, Dennis sadly flees the hotel (followed by Bela) and enters the forest with Winnie in tow, hiding in her treehouse, but they are attacked by Bela, who mistakes Dennis for a human. When Bela injures Winnie and threatens to destroy the hotel, Dennis' anger causes him to instantly grow his fangs and his vampire abilities manifest. He begins to fight Bela, who calls his giant-bat minions. Drac, Mavis, Dennis, Johnny, the rest of the monsters and (some of) Johnny's family team up to defeat his minions. A livid Bela then attempts to kill Johnny himself with a stake, but Vlad appears, having been won over by what Drac had said to him, and shrinks him to a harmless size and allows the Werewolf Kids to lick him nonstop.
With Dennis having vampire abilities, Mavis and Johnny continue to raise him in Transylvania, and they resume the party with his friends.
Diagnosed with colorectal cancer, Kevin Corcoran (Old Yeller, Pete's Dragon, Sons of Anarchy) died of the illness aged 66 in October 6th, 2015.
On October 24th, 2015, Maureen O'Hara (How Green Was My Valley, Miracle on 34th Street, The Quiet Man) died in her sleep at her home in Boise, Idaho from natural causes. She was 95 years old.
The Peanuts Movie (November 6, 2015 – March 8, 2016)
MPAA Rating: G
Critic Score: 87% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critics Consensus: The Peanuts Movie offers a colorful gateway into the world of its classic characters and a sweetly nostalgic – if relatively unambitious – treat for the adults who grew up with them.
When the Little Red-Haired Girl (Francesca Capaldi) moves into his neighborhood, Charlie Brown (Noah Schnapp) becomes infatuated with her, though worries his long-running streak of failures will prevent her from noticing him. After Lucy (Hadley Belle Miller) tells him he should try being more confident, Charlie Brown decides to embark upon a series of new activities in hope of finding one that will get the Little Red-Haired Girl to notice him. His first attempt is to participate in the school's talent show with a magic act and Snoopy (Bill Melendez) helps as well as Woodstock (Bill Melendez). However, when Sally's (Mariel Sheets) act goes wrong, Charlie Brown sacrifices his time for her, then rescues his sister from being humiliated, although he humiliates himself in return. Charlie Brown subsequently decides to impress the Little Red-Haired Girl with dance skills, so he signs up for the school dance and gets Snoopy to teach him all his best moves. At the dance, Charlie Brown starts to attract praise for his skills, but then he slips and sets off the sprinkler system, causing the dance to be cut short and all the other students to look down upon him once more.
Later, Charlie Brown is partnered with the Little Red-Haired Girl to write a book report. At first, he is excited to have a chance to be with her, but she is called away for a week to deal with a family illness, leaving Charlie Brown to write the report all by himself. Hoping to impress both the Little Red-Haired Girl and his teacher, Charlie Brown writes his report on the collegiate-level novel War and Peace. At the same time, Charlie Brown finds he is the only student to get a perfect score on a standardized test. His friends and the other students congratulate him, and his popularity begins to climb. When he goes to accept a medal at a school assembly, however, he learns the test papers are accidentally mixed up and the perfect score actually belongs to Peppermint Patty (Venus Omega Schultheis); Charlie Brown declines the medal, losing all his new-found popularity. His book report is later destroyed by a Red Baron model plane, and he admits to the Little Red-Haired Girl he has caused them to both fail the assignment.
Before leaving school for the summer, Charlie Brown is surprised when the Little Red-Haired Girl chooses him for a pen pal. Linus (Alex Garfin) convinces Charlie Brown he needs to tell the Little Red-Haired Girl how he feels about her before she leaves for the summer. Racing to her house, he discovers she is about to leave on a bus for summer camp. He tries to chase the bus, but is prevented from reaching it. Just as he is about to give up, thinking the whole world is against him, Charlie Brown sees a kite fall from the Kite-Eating Tree, and the string becomes entangled around his waist and sails away with him. Amazed to see Charlie Brown flying a kite, his friends follow.
Upon reaching the bus, Charlie Brown finally asks the Little Red-Haired Girl why she has chosen him in spite of his failures. The Little Red-Haired Girl explains she admires his selflessness and his determination and praises him as an honest, caring, and compassionate person. The two promise to write to one another; Charlie Brown's friends catch up to him and crowd around to congratulate him before picking him up on their shoulders and carrying him away at the end of the film, finally accepting him as a true friend.
In a side story, Snoopy decides to write a novel about the World War I Flying Ace, trying to save Fifi (Kristin Chenoweth) from the Red Baron with Woodstock and his friends' help. The story parallels Charlie Brown's mishaps, as Snoopy runs into problems with Fifi along the way. He ends up acting out his adventure, coming across Charlie Brown and the gang several times along the way. He defeats the Red Baron and rescues Fifi from an airplane. Lucy narrates the story and when the story finishes, she throws the papers behind her and calls it the dumbest story she ever read just because it is about a flying dog, so Snoopy throws the typewriter at her as payback for insulting his story.
Disneyland Resort, Anaheim: The Holidays (2015)
The mission for hard work had been accomplished with our best teamwork ever and my dreams of going to Disneyland for the diamond 60th anniversary had finally came true! Waiting for the iPad to return since separation in March 2015, I reunited and got it back.
On November 16th, 2015 (just three days after the holiday season in Disneyland kicks off this season), I left Emily's apartment with her and we went to the Portland International Airport. As completed tee-am work, Emily and I joined Natalie board the plane heading for Santa Ana in southern California. We finally arrived at Disneyland Resort (now celebrating its 60th anniversary) in Anaheim and stayed in the Fantasy Tower in the Disneyland Hotel. I brought a few DVDs (Inside Out, Toy Story That Time Forget, Aladdin, Tangled & Muppets & Fairies Ever After (in honor of its 5th anniversary) and the downloaded Intrada Records soundtrack of Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (in honor of its 6th birthday), Frozen & Frozen Fever, Never Fairies & Muppets & A Never Pirate, Finding Nemo (in honor of the sequel next year), the Toy Story trilogy (Toy Story, Toy Story 2, and Toy Story 3) (in honor of the first film's 20th anniversary in November 22nd and the 5th anniversary of the third film), Up, Fantasia & Fantasia 2000 (in honor of the classical's 75th anniversary), and Frosty the Snowman (in honor of its 45th anniversary)).
Since The Good Dinosaur (the new Pixar film about dinosaurs that never become extinct) is coming out in Thanksgiving, we watch the exclusive sneak peek at Disney's California Adventure and the shops in Disneyland had just released its merchandise and I collected the soundtrack and some stuff (including Arlo the young Apatosaurus, the caveboy named Spot, the Tyrannosaurus rex Butch, Thunderclap the pterodactyl, Forrest Woodbush the Styracosaurus, and Bubbha the Velociraptor), plus the Frozen mega figure playset (Anna, Coronation Anna, Elsa, Coronation Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, Sven, Hans, the Duke of Weselton, Grand Pabbie, Oaken, Marshmallow, Bulda, Young Anna, Young Elsa, King Agnarr, Queen Iduna, Young Kristoff, and Young Sven). Around Downtown Disney AMC Theatre, we see The Peanuts Movie (in honor of its comic's 65th anniversary and A Charlie Brown Christmas's 50th anniversary) and Pinocchio in 3D (in honor of the masterpiece's 75th anniversary). To honor its anniversary, I collect some extras, including Figaro, Jiminy, the Blue Fairy, and Cleo. In honor of its final Diamond Edition release and the starting of the Walt Disney Signature Collection, I collect Snow White and stuff from Aladdin (Jasmine, Aladdin, Genie, Jafar, Abu, Iago, Rajah, and Elephant Abu). To honor the Disney Fairies film series, I will have the downloaded soundtracks of Legend of the NeverBeast and The Pirate Fairy and the very rare Disney Tinker Bell Never Land Music Jewelry Box (that plays "You Can Fly") from eBay.
The first day started and we went to Disneyland Park and went on Indiana Jones Adventure, Tarzan's Treehouse, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion Holiday, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain, the King Arthur Carrousel, Peter Pan's Flight, Pinocchio's Darling Journey, Alice in Wonderland, It's a Small World Holiday (in honor of 18 years), Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, Space Mountain, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (to honor its sequel next year), and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and went shopping at It's a Small World Toy Shop and the Emporium at Main Street USA. The next day starts and we went to Disney's California Adventure Park and went on Toy Story Midway Mania!, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, Soarin' Over California, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, Muppet*Vision 3D, Frozen Fun (even Wandering Oaken's Trading Post), Disney Animation, and Radiator Springs Racers at Cars Land and we went shopping in the World of Disney at Downtown Disney. It's beautifully amazing that make me feel more joyful and I finally found peace!
At November 20th, 2015 (before five days until The Good Dinosaur is released and six days until Thanksgiving), I and Emily departed Anaheim and flew back to Portland.
The Good Dinosaur (November 25, 2015 – February 23, 2016)
MPAA Rating: PG (for peril, action and thematic elements)
Critic Score: 77% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critics Consensus: The Good Dinosaur delivers thrillingly beautiful animation in service of a worthy story that, even if it doesn't quite live up to the lofty standards set by Pixar, still adds up to charming, family-friendly entertainment.
In an alternate timeline, the asteroid that would have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago passes safely over Earth.
Millions of years later, two Apatosaurus named Henry (Jeffrey Wright) and Ida (Frances McDormand), who are farmers, watch as their three eggs hatch into children: Libby (Maleah Padilla), Buck (Marcus Scribner), and the runt Arlo (Raymond Ochoa). Unlike his siblings, Arlo has trouble adjusting to farm life; while the others are successful and allowed to "make their mark" (a mud-print on the family's corn silo), Arlo's timid nature makes even his simple tasks difficult for him, so Henry attempts to give Arlo a sense of purpose by putting him in charge of guarding their silo from critters, and helps him set up a trap. The trap manages to capture a feral caveboy (Jack Bright), but Arlo doesn't have the heart to kill him, and sets him free. Disappointed, Henry takes Arlo to track the caveboy, leading them into a ravine where it begins to rain. Arlo injures himself, and Henry decides to turn back, but a massive flash flood occurs, and Henry only manages to save Arlo before being swept away and killed.
Without his father, Arlo must shoulder more of the workload. He spots the same caveboy inside the silo and, blaming him for his father's death, chases him until both of them fall into a river. Arlo cannot swim, and is quickly swept downstream where he hits his head on a rock and is knocked unconscious. Waking up, he is dismayed to find himself far from home and tries to survive on his own with minimal success, becoming trapped when a boulder pins down his leg. Arlo awakes to find his leg has been freed, and the caveboy appears with food for him to eat. The caveboy then leads Arlo to a berry tree, where the caveboy fends off a large snake, amazing Arlo, and also impressing a nearby Styracosaurus (Peter Sohn), who wants to keep the boy. The eccentric older dinosaur forces Arlo to compete with him to give the boy a name he will respond to, which Arlo finally wins when he calls him "Spot", and the Styracosaurus relents. Arlo and Spot bond, as Arlo laments his lost family, and Spot reveals that his own parents are dead. When a thunderstorm strikes, though, Arlo runs away in fear, and loses the riverbank he has been following home.
The next morning, Arlo wakes up to find Spot at his side. They are noticed by a band of pterodactyls, consisting of their leader, Thunderclap (Steve Zahn), who appear to be conducting a rescue operation but turn out to be savagely carnivorous. When the pterodactyls try to take Spot, Arlo and Spot flee, happening upon a pair of Tyrannosaurus named Nash (A.J. Buckley) and Ramsey (Anna Paquin), who ward off the pterodactyls. Nash, Ramsey, and their father Butch (Sam Elliott) have lost their herd of longhorns, so Arlo offers Spot's help in sniffing them out. They locate the herd, but Butch recognizes the work of cattle rustlers, and uses Arlo as a lure. Arlo and Spot attract the attention of the rustlers – a pack of Velociraptors – allowing Butch and his family to attack. During the fight, Arlo musters his courage and fends off two raptors who have overwhelmed Butch, helping to turn the fight in their favor. Having gained their respect, Arlo joins the T. Rexes in driving the cattle south when he sees the familiar mountain peaks of his homeland in the distance, and leaves with Spot to return home. Along the way, Arlo and Spot encounter an adult feral caveman in the distance, and though Spot shows interest, Arlo dissuades him and they continue on.
As another storm approaches, the pterodactyls return and attack, this time managing to carry Spot away. Arlo becomes entangled in some vines, where he has a vision of Henry leading him back home. Arlo instead resolves to save Spot, making the vision of his father proud before he fades away. Arlo wakes up filled with determination, and finds and attacks the pterodactyls, who have cornered Spot at the river. Arlo and Spot manage to overpower the pterodactyls, plunging them one after another into the water where they are swept helplessly downstream. Another flash flood occurs, triggering a massive torrent to approach. Despite his fear, Arlo leaps into the water to rescue Spot as the two are swept away toward a waterfall. Arlo protects Spot as the two fall, and carries him to shore.
As they approach Arlo's home, the two again hear the unknown caveman call, and are approached by an entire caveman family. With great reluctance, Arlo pushes Spot to join his kind, and the two of them share a tearful goodbye. Arlo finally arrives back home to his mother and siblings, and makes his mark on the silo between those of his mother and father.
Robert Loggia (Jagged Edge, Scarface, Big) died on December 4th, 2015, of complications from Alzheimer's disease, at his home in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, aged 85.
Nicholas Smith (Are You Being Served?, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Doctor Who) died on December 6th, 2015 following seven weeks of hospitalization for a head injury from a fall at his home in Sutton, London.
Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (December 18, 2015 – April 5, 2016)
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for sci-fi action violence)
Critic Score: 92% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critics Consensus: Packed with action and populated by both familiar faces and fresh blood, The Force Awakens successfully recalls the series' former glory while injecting it with renewed energy.
Box office: $2,068,178,225
Approximately 30 years after the destruction of the second Death Star, the last remaining Jedi, Luke Skywalker, has disappeared. The First Order has risen from the fallen Galactic Empire and seeks to eliminate the New Republic. The Resistance, backed by the Republic and led by Luke's twin sister, General Leia Organa, opposes them while searching for Luke to enlist his aid.
Resistance pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Issac) meets village elder Lor San Tekka (Max von Sydow) on the planet Jakku to obtain a map to Luke's location. Stormtroopers commanded by Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) destroy the village and capture Poe. Poe's droid BB-8 (Bill Hader and Ben Schwartz) escapes with the map, and encounters the scavenger Rey (Daisy Ridley) near a junkyard settlement. Ren tortures Poe using the Force, and learns of BB-8. Stormtrooper FN-2187, unable to bring himself to kill for the First Order, frees Poe, and they escape in a stolen TIE fighter; Poe dubs FN-2187 "Finn" (John Boyega). They crash on Jakku, and Finn survives, but is unable to determine if Poe did as well. He encounters Rey and BB-8, but the First Order tracks them and launches an airstrike. Finn, Rey, and BB-8 flee the planet in the Millennium Falcon, which they steal from a junkyard.
The Falcon breaks down and is captured by a larger ship piloted by Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), looking to reclaim their former vessel. Two rival gangs, seeking to settle debts with Han, board and attack, but Han and company manage to escape in the Falcon. The gangs inform the First Order of the events. At the First Order's Starkiller Base – a planet converted into a superweapon that harnesses energy from stars – Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) orders General Hux (Donhnall Gleeson) to use the weapon for the first time. Snoke questions Ren's ability to deal with emotions relating to his father, Han Solo; Ren replies that Solo means nothing to him.
The Falcon crew views BB-8's map and determines it is incomplete. Han explains that Luke attempted to rebuild the Jedi Order, but exiled himself when an apprentice turned to the dark side. The crew travels to the planet Takodana and meet with cantina owner Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong'o), who offers assistance in getting BB-8 to the Resistance. Rey is drawn to a vault on the lower level and finds the lightsaber that once belonged to Luke and his father Anakin Skywalker. She experiences disturbing visions and flees into the woods. Maz gives Finn the lightsaber for safekeeping.
Starkiller Base fires and destroys the Republic capital and fleet. The First Order attacks Takodana in search of BB-8. Han, Chewbacca, and Finn are saved by Resistance X-wing fighters led by Poe, revealing that he survived the earlier crash. Leia (Carrie Fisher) arrives at Takodana with C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) and reunites with Han and Chewbacca. Meanwhile, Ren captures Rey and takes her to Starkiller Base, but when he interrogates her about the map, she is able to resist his mind-reading attempts. Discovering she can use the Force, she escapes using a Jedi mind trick on a nearby guard.
At the Resistance base on D'Qar, BB-8 finds R2-D2, who has been inactive since Luke's disappearance. As Starkiller Base prepares to fire on D'Qar, the Resistance devises a plan to destroy the superweapon by attacking a critical facility. Leia urges Han to return their son alive. Using the Falcon, Han, Chewbacca, and Finn infiltrate the facility and plant explosives. Han confronts Ren, calling him by his birth name, Ben, and implores him to abandon the dark side. Ren kills Han, enraging Chewbacca, who fires and hits Ren. He sets off the explosives, allowing the Resistance to attack and destroy Starkiller Base.
The injured Ren pursues Finn and Rey to the surface. A lightsaber battle between Ren and Finn ensues, leaving Finn badly wounded. Rey takes the lightsaber and uses the Force to defeat Ren, before they are separated by a fissure as the planet begins to disintegrate. Snoke orders Hux to evacuate and bring Ren to him. Rey and Chewbacca escape with Finn in the Falcon. On D'Qar, the Resistance celebrates while Leia, Chewbacca, and Rey mourn Han's death. R2-D2 (Kenny Baker) awakens and reveals the rest of the map, which Rey follows with R2-D2 and Chewbacca to a distant planet. She finds Luke (Mark Hamill) and presents him with the lightsaber.
On December 23rd, 2015, Michael Earl (Sesame Street, Dinosaurs, Team America: World Police) died at the age of 56 from colon cancer, which he had for three years.
Redlands, California (2015)
I struggled after Melissa and Brian marries illegally on December 8th, and after Han Solo is killed by Kylo Ren when I saw The Force Awakens. I choose to go to Eugene to spend Christmas with her instead of spending with my family in Redlands.
At December 22nd, 2015, before three days until Christmas, I left 3705 NW Columbia Ave with my dad and went to Portland International Airport where I board the airplane heading for San Bernardino. I brought a few of DVDs (Inside Out, Minions, Spy (another R-rated film), Cars, The Three Caballeros (in honor of its 70th anniversary), A Charlie Brown Christmas (in honor of its 50th anniversary), The Little Drummer Boy, Kung Fu Panda and Kung Fu Panda 2 (in honor of its sequel in January), and the Star Wars saga (The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, in honor of its seventh episode, The Force Awakens)). I stay with my grandma Joan, my aunt Amy, my uncle Jaime, and Isabella at 972 Lolita Ave. We visited Joshua Tree National Park and see Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.
At December 27th, 2015, the trip ends and we head back to Portland.
The next day, I departed on the train and head to Eugene and visit Melissa. I brought a few DVDs (Inside Out, WALL-E, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends, and Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town (in honor of its 45th anniversary). We celebrate our late Christmas party and early New Year's Eve. We went to visit Hirxons gift shop and the mall and see The Good Dinosaur and went late gift shopping for the Precious Moments and Peanuts books and a music box and some of the Jedi workout gear from the Star Wars saga.
At December 30th, 2015, I took the bus back to Portland.
2016 (of the Purple Age)
The Most Toughest But More Excited Time of the Year
Since the release of Legend of the NeverBeast in spring 2015, Disney has announced the closure of the Tinker Bell film series (October 28, 2008 – March 3, 2015) due to declining DVD sales, disappointing merchandise sales, and story problems. This year, after the incident of Melissa and Brian's illegal marriage and the death of the legendary Han Solo character (incident by Kylo Ren) in The Force Awakens, I will learn to let the Fairies trilogy being locked into the vault and deal with the other things (including The Three Caballeros, Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio).
At this point, most people, myself included, probably no longer care about this Ice Age franchise. It started out fine, but with each entry it became worse and worse and people, besides small children, simply no longer care. Blue Sky Studios just came out of a creative home run with The Peanuts Movie. This film introduced us to a completely new way to use computer animation and told a simple yet classic story that people of all ages could enjoy, so it's sad to see the studio return to the Ice Age franchise with a film, Ice Age: Collision Course, that looks even worse than anything it has made before that will cause me to become so powerful like what I almost did since Han Solo's death in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The film, the Star Wars-inspired event, will be released on July 22nd, 2016.
Richard Libertini (Fletch, All of Me, Popeye) died at the age of 82 in Venice, California on January 7th, 2016, from cancer, which was diagnosed two years prior.
On January 10th, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday and the release of the album Blackstar, David Bowie (Labyrinth, The Prestige) died from liver cancer in his New York City apartment.
Brian Bedford (Robin Hood, Nixon, Much Ado About Nothing) died from cancer on January 13th, 2016 in Santa Barbara, California, at the age of 80.
On January 14th, 2016, Alan Rickman (Harry Potter, Die Hard, Love Actually) died in a London hospital, after suffering a minor stroke, which led to the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
The Most Toughest But More Excited Time of the Year (cont.)
However, on January 14th, 2016, I confirmed the idea on how to find more peace and make the Disney Fairies film series survive and escape criticism and the extinction by Ice Age: Collision Course and wanting the Secret of the Wings Intrada Records soundtrack to come (due for 2017) and wanting the Frozen sequel to have the release date. I decided to make another vacation since my sister's decision during my second visit to Eugene last year: the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, to commentate the 45th anniversary of Roy O. Disney's (1893-1971) theme park and celebrate the opening of a new flume attraction based on Disney's newest masterpiece, Frozen and its new short, Frozen Fever – Frozen Ever After in Epcot's Norway pavilion.
I kept patience until next month with Kung Fu Panda 3, the first animated film we will get this year, but it's also one of the biggest animated releases of the year. The film originally prevent competition with The Force Awakens, which probably was the best thing DreamWorks could have done for this property. Kung Fu Panda is one of DreamWorks' biggest and most successful franchises at the moment and, after that Kung Fu Panda 2 cliffhanger, we're eager to see what new adventures Po and the Furious Five have in store for us. The film will include an awesome new villain, Po's long lost family, and lots and lots of awesomeness; Bring it on!
Kung Fu Panda 3 (January 29, 2016 – June 28, 2016)
MPAA Rating: PG (for martial arts action and some mild rude humor)
Critic Score: 86% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critics Consensus: Kung Fu Panda 3 boasts the requisite visual splendor, but like its rotund protagonist, this sequel's narrative is also surprisingly nimble, adding up to animated fun for the whole family.
Box office: $519,881,355
In the Chinese Spirit Realm, Master Oogway (Randall Duk Kim) fights against an adversary named Kai (J.K. Simmons), who has defeated other kung fu masters in the realm and taken their chi, turning them into small jade charms. Oogway willingly gives in and also has his chi stolen, but not before warning Kai that the Dragon Warrior, Po (Jack Black), will stop him. Kai takes this as a challenge to steal the chi from the Dragon Warrior and returns to the mortal world using the masters' chi. Meanwhile, Master Shifu (Dustin Hoffman) announces his retirement from teaching to begin his 30 years training to master chi and passes the role of teacher to Po. Po is excited at first, but discovers that teaching kung fu is not as easy as he expected, as the Furious Five members Tigress (Angelina Jolie), Crane (David Cross), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), and Monkey (Jackie Chan) are injured as a result. Po is demoralized as a teacher, which makes him question who he really is and whether he is the Dragon Warrior. In response, Shifu advises Po that instead of trying to be a teacher, he should try to be himself.
Po heads home to his adoptive father, Mr. Ping (James Hong), at his noodle shop, where a panda named Li Shan (Bryan Cranston) breaks Po's dumpling-eating record. They both soon learn that Li is Po's biological father and they bond with each other, much to Ping's jealousy. After introducing Li to Shifu and his friends, the valley is suddenly attacked by jade statues controlled by Kai. Po notices that some of the statues resemble past Kung Fu masters, several of whom had been dead for hundreds of years. The team then learns through research that Kai was Oogway's old friend who fought with him as brothers-in-arms long ago. When Oogway was injured, Kai carried him until they reached a secret village of pandas, who healed Oogway using their chi. The pandas taught Oogway how to give chi, but when the power-hungry Kai decided to drain it from them to increase his power, Oogway defeated him and banished to the spirit realm. To defeat Kai, Po must learn to channel chi himself, which Li offers to teach him by going to a secret panda village. Po and Li, along with Mr. Ping, travel to the village while Shifu and the Furious Five stay behind. Although Po is eager to learn chi, he first learns the relaxed life of a panda in the village, which he feels grateful to be a part of.
After learning that many Kung Fu masters are missing, Shifu sends Crane and Mantis, along with Master Bear (Fred Tatasciore), Master Croc (Jean-Claude Van Damme) and Master Chicken (Stephen Kearin), to find Kai but they all have their chi stolen by Kai. Kai then arrives at the Jade Palace and destroys it, but not before capturing Monkey, Viper and Shifu, while Tigress escapes to warn Po. Afraid, Li and the pandas prepare to run away. When Po demands that Li teach him how to use chi, he confesses that he does not know how, and that he lied so he would not lose his son again. Hurt over his father's misdirection, Po isolates himself and trains vigorously to confront Kai. Mr. Ping admits to Li that he was initially worried Po would be taken away from him, but realized that Li being a part of Po's life simply added to his happiness, and that they must stay by his side. Master Tigress confronts Po and tells him that he cannot defeat Kai without continuing to discover the secret of chi, during which Po confesses that the experience has him once more doubting his potential. Li and the villagers, having decided to stay, ask Po to train them so they can fight back. Po agrees and teaches them using their everyday activities as their assets and begins their plan to save their village.
Kai arrives and confronts Po, who had been waiting for him. Kai sends his jade statue minions to capture Po, but they are held off by the pandas and Tigress, distracting Kai. The plan works in holding off the army, but when Po tries to use the Wuxi finger hold on Kai to send him back to the Spirit Realm, he reveals that it can only work on mortals, not a spirit warrior. Kai gains the upper hand in their fight, but Po uses the Wuxi finger hold again on himself while gripping Kai, transporting them both. They fight again, with Kai regaining the advantage to subdue, and he begins petrifying Po. Using what they learned from Po and about who they are, Li, Tigress, Mr. Ping and the pandas are able to use their chi to save him. Po is able to use his chi to create a giant dragon figure which he uses to overload Kai, destroying him.
In an ethereal golden pond, Grand Master Oogway appears to Po, and informs him his journey has come full circle, revealing his role by selecting Po as Dragon Warrior because of his descent from the ancient pandas, and his embodiment of the yin-yang. He also reveals his role in alerting Li to Po's survival, and declares Po his true successor. By choice, Po wields a mystic green yin-yang staff bestowed by Oogway to return to the mortal world. He and his extended family all return to the Valley, where they continue practicing their chi, as Po proudly gazes upon his legacy in the spot where his journey began.
Joe Alaskey (Looney Tunes, Rugrats, Casper) died in Green Island, New York, from cancer on February 3rd, 2016, aged 63.
Daniel Gerson (Monsters, Inc., Monsters University, Big Hero 6, Chicken Little) died in Los Angeles at the age of 49 on February 6th, 2016 due to brain cancer. At the time of his death, it was reported that he would be a co-writer of the upcoming Cars 3, again with Baird.
The Most Toughest But More Excited Time of the Year (cont.)
In February 2016, Melissa and Karen delivered great news: For The First Time In Forever, Benjamin Walker Is Joining Walt Disney World! That made me feel tearfully joyful. The event was officially announced for June. Thanks to my idea!
After Zootopia (the new Walt Disney Animation Studios film and a CGI buddy-comedy film set in a modern world inhabited by anthropomorphic animals) is successful enough, I will deliver the Disney Fairies characters (if it's not the end of the era) to the film-themed project like the recent Disney Revival-themed projects, The Never Animals of Zootropolis (the final film of the Disney Revival starring Tinker Bell and the Disney Fairies); which will feature characters from Dr. Seuss' classic book Horton Hears a Who! (since the success of the G-rated The Peanuts Movie).
During that time in February, I collected the stuff from the film (Fawn, Judy Hopps the rabbit officer, Gruff the NeverBeast, Nick Wilde the fox con artist, Horton the elephant, Mayor Ned of Who-ville, Clawhauser the cheetah officer, Nyx the scout fairy, the Sour Kangaroo, Bellwether the sheep, Morton the blue mouse, Yax the laid-back yak, Mayor Lionheart the lion, Vlad Vladikoff the vulture, Tommy the tiger, JoJo the Mayor's son, Flash the sloth, Mr. Big the shrew, and Finnick the fennec fox)
Alethea McGrath (Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Prisoner, Knowing) died in Australia on February 9th, 2016, aged 95.
George Kennedy (Cool Hand Luke, The Naked Gun, Airport) died on the morning of Sunday, February 28th, 2016 of a heart ailment at an assisted living facility in Middleton, Idaho, at the age of 91. He had a history of heart disease.
Zootopia & The Never Animals of Zootropolis (March 4, 2016 – June 7, 2016)
MPAA Rating: PG (for some thematic elements, rude humor and action)
Critic Score: 98% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critics Consensus: Brilliantly well-rounded and more sharp as the previous films, The Never Animals of Zootropolis is whimsical, heartwarming and uproariously powerful enough to welcome the state-of-the-art animation canon's saga to the rich and timely animal kingdom urban – while remaining fast and funny enough to keep younger viewers entertained.
Box office: $1,023,061,245
In a world populated by anthropomorphic mammals, Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin), a rabbit from rural Bunnyburrow, fulfills her dream of becoming the first rabbit officer in the police department of nearby city Zootopia. A dust speck is dislodged from its obscure place and sent adrift through the Jungle of Nool. After graduating valedictorian upon being presented as the new Zootopia Police Department member by Mayor Lionheart (J.K. Simmons), an African lion; she is assigned parking duty by Chief Bogo (Idris Elba), an African buffalo, who doubts her potential due to her diminutive size. Fawn (Ginnifer Goodwin) runs into Tinker Bell (Mae Whitman) while taking Hannah, a baby hawk, to the forest. Fairies are not allowed to keep hawks as pets, for hawks eat fairies. So, Fawn uses blueberries to cover the cart and conceal Hannah.
At the same time, Horton (Jim Carrey) the elephant, the jungle's eccentric nature teacher, takes a dip in the pool. The dust speck floats past Horton in the air, and he hears a tiny yelp coming from it. Believing that an entire society of microscopic creatures are living on that speck, he places it atop a clover. Horton finds out the speck harbors the city of Who-ville and its inhabitants, the Whos, led by Mayor Ned McDodd (Steve Carell). He has a wife, Sally (Amy Poehler), 96 daughters (whose names all begin with the letter H), and one teenage son named JoJo. Despite being the oldest and next in line for the mayoral position, JoJo doesn't want to be mayor, and because he's so scared of disappointing his father, never speaks.
During one of Judy's shifts, she meets Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman), a con artist fox, and his fennec fox partner Finnick (Tom Lister), who disguises himself as an elephant. As Fawn and Tinker Bell pass by the animal nursery, they meet Rosetta (Megan Hilty), Iridessa (Raven-Symoné), Silvermist (Lucy Liu) and Vidia (Pamela Adlon) who question why they are taking berries to the forest, as berries usually come from the forest. Rosetta attempts to help by sprinkling pixie dust on the berries to make them fly, but Hannah is revealed. She chirps, frightening off all the animals and fairies in the area. Three other hawks hear her and start to chase the fairies and animals. Fortunately, the hawks are dispelled by Nyx (Rosario Dawson) and the scout fairies, who then capture Hannah. Queen Clarion (Anjelica Huston) shows up and advises Fawn to listen with her head as well as her heart, which Fawn promises to do just before releasing Hannah.
The next day, Fawn becomes more conservative while training rabbits to hop. Suddenly, she hears a great roar. Choosing to listen with her heart, she follows the animal's tracks to a cave, where she encounters the NeverBeast. Fawn attempts to pull a thorn out of the NeverBeast's paw and accidentally awakens him. He scares Fawn out of the cave with a roar that all of Pixie Hollow hears. Nyx becomes convinced that Fawn caused the mysterious beast to roar. Once Horton begins carrying the speck with him, the city starts experiencing strange phenomena (earthquakes and changes in the weather), and the Mayor finds his attempts to caution Who-ville challenged by the Town Council, led by the opportunistic yet condescending Chairman (Dan Fogler).
As Fawn observes the NeverBeast, she successfully removes the thorn from his paw by making him rear up so she can reach it. She continues to observe him, but is discovered by Nyx. Nyx firmly tells Fawn to report the animal that made the roar if she finds it. If Nyx finds it, she will do her job. Fawn continues to do her job as she forms a bond with the NeverBeast. After Horton makes contact with Ned, The Mayor finds out from Dr. Mary Lou Larue (Isla Fisher) that Who-ville will be destroyed if Horton does not find a "safer, more stable home." Horton resolves to place the speck atop Mt. Nool, the safest place in the jungle.
Fawn wakes up and sees that the NeverBeast has built a tower of rocks. She repeatedly asks him why he has built it, but he is gruff in his response, inspiring Fawn to name him Gruff. Fawn and Gruff build another tower with help from Fawn's pixie dust. Unfortunately, Gruff sends some of the rocks flying into Sunflower Meadow and destroying it. Nyx and the scout fairies follow Gruff's tracks until they see him. They chase him, but Fawn hides Gruff in the roots of trees on the beach, turning Nyx away. The head of the jungle, the Sour Kangaroo (Carol Burnett), disbelieving Horton's beliefs, and resenting him for overshadowing her authority attempts several times to demand that Horton give up the speck, but Horton ignores her demands. Also taking force toward Horton are the Wickersham Brothers, a group of monkeys who love making misery.
Judy abandons her shift to arrest a thief named Duke Weaselton (Alan Tudyk) who stole what appear only to be onion bulbs. She is reprimanded by Bogo and nearly fired until Mrs. Otterton (Octavia Spencer), an otter; arrives pleading for help locating her missing husband – one of many animals recently missing in Zootopia. Assistant Mayor Bellwether (Jenny Slate), a sheep; informs Lionheart of the news. To Bogo's dismay, Judy volunteers and agrees to resign if she cannot solve the case within 48 hours. She sees Nick in the last known photo of Mr. Otterton and tracks him down, coercing him into to assisting her with the investigation by covertly recording his confession to tax evasion. After acquiring Mr. Otterton's license plate number from Yax (Tommy Chong) the yak at Mystic Oasis Springs, Judy and Nick track the vehicle from Flash (Raymond S. Persi) the sloth in the Department of Mammal Vehicles to Mr. Big (Maurice LaMarche), an Arctic shrew crime boss in Tundratown. Initially, he orders them "iced," but his daughter spares them. Nyx later visits Scribble (Thomas Lennon) the library and finds a piece of a pictogram with the NeverBeast.
Fawn introduces Gruff to Rosetta, Iridessa, Silvermist, Vidia and Tinker Bell. The girls become wary of Gruff, and Fawn informs them of her plan to introduce Gruff to Clarion. Fawn goes to see Clarion and Nyx in the Pixie Dust Tree. Nyx has gathered all the pieces of the pictogram and deciphered them. Each time the green comet passes, it awakens the NeverBeast. Once it comes out of hibernation, it builds four rock towers, one in each season of Pixie Hollow. Green clouds will fill the sky and the NeverBeast will transform, causing a lightning storm so powerful that it consumes all of Pixie Hollow. While distracting Nyx and Clarion from the disturbances caused by Gruff, Tinker Bell and the rest of the friends take Gruff back to the forest. Clarion trusts Nyx to do the right thing, which means that the scout fairies will go after the NeverBeast at dawn. Once Fawn catches up to her friends, she informs them on the "hairbrained legend" that Nyx learned. She bids them goodnight and spends the rest of the night stargazing with Gruff, reminding him that she does not see a monster in him.
Eventually, the Sour Kangaroo enlists a vulture named Vlad Vladikoff (Will Arnett) to get rid of the speck by force. Mr. Big informs Judy and Nick that his florist Mr. Otterton had gone savage and attacked his chauffeur Manchas (Jesse Corti), a black jaguar. Judy and Nick locate Manchas at his home in the Rainforest District, who mentions "night howlers" were responsible for attacking him before he goes savage and chases the pair out of his home. When Bogo and his reinforcements arrive, Manchas disappears. Bogo demands Judy resign, but Nick takes a stand, insisting they have 10 more hours to solve the case. As the pair leaves on the Gondola lifts, Judy learns from Nick that he was bullied by prey animals as a pup and became a criminal, believing he would be stereotyped as one no matter what due to being a fox. Nick realizes that the city's traffic camera system may have captured Manchas's disappearance. Vlad manages to steal the clover away from Horton and drops it into a massive field of identical pink clovers, causing an apocalyptic tremor in Who-ville. The ominous green clouds mentioned in the legend appear on the horizon.
The next morning, all of Pixie Hollow notices the green clouds as Nyx and the scout fairies gear up and hunt for the NeverBeast. The pair consults Bellwether, who is told to clear Lionheart's afternoon. They identify the captors as wolves, hence "night howlers". Fawn fails to find Gruff. Tink finds her and warns her that the legend is coming true. Gruff has two more towers to build: one in Autumn and one in Winter. Tinker Bell takes Winter, and Fawn thanks her for defending Gruff, who is building the towers faster than before. Fawn sees that Gruff has just built the Autumn tower, and so do the scouts. Judy and Nick locate the missing mammals (including Mr. Otterton) at Cliffside Asylum. All are predators, and all have gone savage like Manchas. The two discover Lionheart, consulting with Dr. Honey Badger (Katie Lowes) about the predators' condition and Judy records their conversation on her phone. The two pair escape with the evidence. Meanwhile, Tinker Bell looks in Winter for Gruff and is almost struck by lightning. Just then, she finds Gruff, who charges toward her. She warns him that the scouts are coming to get him, but he knocks her unconscious. Fawn finds Tink just as Gruff grows horns and runs off. He is confronted by Nyx, who also sees Fawn and an unconscious Tink. Nyx chooses to help Fawn and Tink rather than chase Gruff. Tinker Bell is hospitalized and Fawn feels ashamed. Judy and Nick delivered the evidence to Bogo and the police swarm the area, arresting Lionheart and Dr. Badger. Bellwether is sworn in as the new Mayor.
Having developed a friendship with Nick throughout the case, Judy requests that he joins the Zootopia Police Department and become her partner, which Nick happily considers. However, during a press conference, Judy mentions that the savage animals are predators and argues they have gone back to their "natural state," hurting Nick, who angrily walks out. Fawn finds Gruff and is relieved to know he is still kind to her. Nyx and the scout fairies suddenly capture Gruff, knock him out with nightshade powder, and move him out as Fawn bursts into tears. Fear and discrimination against predators spreads across Zootopia (including a caribou is being put in the ambulance after being injured by a polar bear) and a guilt-ridden Judy resigns. During this time, pop singer Gazelle (Shakira) holds a peaceful protest and publicly asks for the harmonious Zootopia she loves to be restored.
After unsuccessfully picking nearly 3,000,000 clovers, Horton eventually recovers the clover (exactly the 3,000,000th clover). Back in Bunnyburrow, Judy learns from her former childhood bully Gideon Grey (Phil Johnston) that "night howlers" are flowers that have a severe psychotropic effect on mammals. Judy returns to Zootopia and tearfully apologizes and reconciles with Nick after being told where he is by Finnick. The Sour Kangaroo eventually finds out that Horton still has the speck, and decides to rally the jungle community into fighting Horton, saying that Horton's goal will lead to anarchy. All of the fairies and animals in Pixie Hollow take cover from the approaching storm. Despite Gruff being immobilized, the storm has not stopped. A pinecone watchtower is hit by lightning and falls, and Nyx tells its occupants to take cover as lightning hits all four of the towers in Pixie Hollow simultaneously. Fawn soon finds Tink and admits that Nyx was right: Gruff is a monster. However, Tinker Bell says that Gruff was her hero. He was acting strange when she found him in Winter, but he saved her from a falling tree by knocking her aside with his tail. Convinced that Gruff is truly good, Fawn goes to help Gruff escape.
Judy and Nick locate Weaselton and catch him. With help from Mr. Big, Judy learns that Weaselton has been collecting night howlers for a ram named Doug (Rich Moore) for a secret laboratory hidden in the abandoned subway station. Upon cornering Horton, the Sour Kangaroo offers Horton an escape from punishment by renouncing Who-ville's existence. The pair discover the lab and find ram scientists creating a night howler serum which has been injected into predators via dart guns. When Horton refuses, in spite of his heartfelt speech, she orders the animals to rope and cage him, and to have the speck and the Whos destroyed in a pot of boiling Beezlenut oil. Soon after being freed, Gruff grows wings and completely transforms into the mythical monster described by Nyx. Just then, Fawn realizes that Nyx got the story backwards: Gruff will not destroy Pixie Hollow. He built the towers to draw in the lightning so he can collect it.
Following both her head and her heart, Fawn decides they are going to the towers. Using the subway car, Judy and Nick race to the ZPD with the evidence, but the rams pursue them. The Mayor enlists all of his people to make noise by shouting "We are here!", as well as playing a variety of instruments, so the animals may hear them, assisted by Jojo's "Symphonophone", an invention which creates a huge musical contribution, but still fails to penetrate the surface of the speck. Gruff, whose vision is blurry due to remaining effects of the nightshade, follows Fawn's glow to the towers, collecting lightning between his horns. As Horton lies beaten and captured, the Sour Kangaroo easily takes the clover. But before Gruff can reach the final one, he is shot down by Nyx. Nyx realizes the error of her ways as she sees trees being struck by lightning and causing a fire. She is almost hit by a bolt of lightning, but Gruff catches it and saves her. Now she realizes that Gruff has good intentions. The fire is spreading fast, so Nyx goes to save the rest of the fairies. Just short of the ZPD, the pair encounters Bellwether at the Natural History Museum who tries to take the evidence. Realizing Bellwether is the mastermind of a species-supremacist conspiracy, Judy and Nick try to flee, but are knocked into a pit by her ram henchmen after Nick refuses to abandon Judy when she is injured. Bellwether shoots a dart at Nick and calls the ZPD for help. Nick becomes savage and corners Judy, but it turns out the pair were acting and had swapped out Bellwether's darts for blueberries.
Seeking an end to the storm, Gruff follows Fawn into the eye of the storm. Gruff's horns catch all the lightning that threatens to strike Pixie Hollow. He flies straight through the eye of the storm and successfully ends it. Meanwhile, after the Sour Kangaroo released the clover, JoJo (Jesse McCartney) grabs the horn used to project Horton's voice, runs up the highest tower and screams "YOPP!", breaking through the sound barrier just seconds before the speck hits the oil. With Bellwether's confession recorded on Judy's carrot pen, the two have enough evidence to unravel the conspiracy. The Sour Kangaroo's son, Rudy (Josh Flitter) grabs the clover and returns it to Horton. The animals finally hear the Who's and realize the truth and isolate the Sour Kangaroo for tricking them. Fawn and Gruff fall from the sky, but they are saved by a great many fairies. Tinker Bell and friends gather around Fawn, believing she is dead. Fortunately, Gruff revives Fawn with his electricity. All of Pixie Hollow is overjoyed to know that Fawn is still alive. Bellwether is then arrested for her crimes alongside her accomplices. When informed and interviewed on the matter, Lionheart explains that he had no knowledge of Bellwether's plot, but fully confesses his crime of illegally imprisoning the savaged predators during his confidential mission by stating that it was done for the "right reasons."
Some months later, Judy is reinstated into the ZPD. The savaged mammals, including Mr. Otterton and Manchas, are cured by an antidote. Gruff is considered a hero to Pixie Hollow. While being praised for his integrity by his neighbors, Horton even forgives the devastated Sour Kangaroo, and she befriends him with a makeshift umbrella for Who-ville. As he helps its denizens, Fawn learns that it is time for Gruff to go back into hibernation for a thousand years. A long ceremonial procession leads him back to his cave, at the end of which Tinker Bell, Rosetta, Silvermist, Iridessa, Vidia, Fawn and even Nyx all pay their final respects. Fawn will always be there for Gruff when he needs her. Here, the people of Who-ville and the animals of Nool gather in song and recite the chorus from "Can't Fight This Feeling". The film ends with the narrator (Charles Osgood) revealing that the Jungle of Nool, or rather Earth, is just one speck, like Who-ville, among numerous others, floating in outer space. Inspired by his friend's faith in him, Nick joins the ZPD as the first fox police officer and Judy's new partner, where they catch Flash street racing.
During the credits, all of Zootopia, Pixie Hollow, and the Jungle of Nool enjoys a performance by Gazelle while Bellwether angrily watches the live streaming from prison.
David Smyrl (Sesame Street, The Preacher's Wife, The Cosby Show) died from lung cancer at Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, on March 22nd, 2016 at the age of 80.
On March 24th, 2016, Garry Shandling (The Larry Sanders Show, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Over the Hedge) suddenly collapsed in his home in Los Angeles, California and was rushed to a hospital, suffering from an apparent medical emergency. He later died in the hospital at age 66.
The Most Toughest But More Excited Time of the Year (cont.)
My most important and bittersweet thing to do is pass the test in PCC and decided to take spring and summer off since the incidents happened last year so I can focus on task for my adventures in Walt Disney World and Florida (imagining Melissa and Brian's honeymoon).
Erik Bauersfeld (Star Wars, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Crimson Peak) died at his home in Berkeley, California, on April 3rd, 2016 at the age of 93.
The Most Toughest But More Excited Time of the Year (cont.)
In April, I wrote a note about the criticism (Planes, Rio 2, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Minions, and Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (Han Solo's death)). I had a huge meltdown about the return of the Ice Age franchise and the upcoming doomsday of the asteroid about to hit my life on July 22nd. If the film looks bad like the other installments, I wanted more vacations to make myself feel better and to go to Hollywood and get the Disney Fairies franchise back on track. However, my mother told me I was never in trouble if films are poor. She believes that I hold myself back with my fear of whether a movie is good or not. She will not discuss any vacations other than Walt Disney World in June.
To prevent myself from being concerned about the impending release of the upcoming Ice Age sequel and to make the best of Walt Disney World, the most thing I had to do is enjoy the hilarious antics in the slapstick comedies Cats & Dogs (celebrating its 15th anniversary) and MouseHunt as my mind medicines to help me feel better and move on.
The Jungle Book (April 15, 2016 – August 30, 2016)
MPAA Rating: PG (for some sequences of scary action and peril)
Critic Score: 94% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critics Consensus: As lovely to behold as it is engrossing to watch, The Jungle Book is the rare remake that actually improves upon its predecessors – all while setting a new standard for CGI.
Mowgli (Neel Sethi) is a "man cub" raised by the Indian wolf Raksha (Lupita Nyong'o) and her pack, led by Akela (Giancario Esposito), ever since he was brought to them as a baby by the black panther Bagheera (Ben Kingsley). Bagheera trains Mowgli to learn the ways of the wolves, but the boy faces certain challenges and falls behind his wolf siblings, and Akela berates him for using human tricks like building tools instead of learning the ways of the pack.
One day, during the dry season, the jungle animals gather to drink water that remains as part of a truce called during a drought that enables the jungle's wildlife to drink without fear of being eaten by larger, more predatory beasts. The truce is disrupted, however, when a vicious scarred Bengal tiger, Shere Khan (Idris Elba), arrives, detecting Mowgli's scent in the crowd. Resentful against man for scarring him, he issues a warning that he will kill Mowgli at the end of the drought. As the wolf pack debates whether they should keep Mowgli or not, Mowgli voluntarily decides to leave the jungle for the safety of his pack. Bagheera agrees with the decision and volunteers to guide him to the nearby man village.
En route, Shere Khan ambushes them and injures Bagheera, but Mowgli manages to escape thanks to a herd of water buffalo. Shere Khan later confronts the pack and learns from Akela that Mowgli has left the pack and that the two no longer have a quarrel between each other, as Shere Khan begins to leave, he pounces on Akela and throws him off a cliff killing him. He then takes temporary control over the wolf pack until Mowgli returns. While waiting for Bagheera, Mowgli meets Kaa (Scarlett Johansson), an enormous Indian python, who hypnotizes him. While under Kaa's hypnosis, Mowgli sees a vision of his father protecting him from Shere Khan, who kills him. The vision also warns of the destructive power of the "red flower". Kaa attempts to devour Mowgli, but he is rescued by a sloth bear named Baloo (Bill Murray). Baloo asks Mowgli to grab him some honey as payment for saving his life, but Baloo is impressed with the complex machines Mowgli can make, and criticises the wolves' banning these tricks. Together, they form a close bond after realizing their teamwork allows them to get honey easily, and Mowgli agrees to stay with Baloo until the winter season arrives.
Bagheera eventually finds them, and is angered by Mowgli's usage of tricks to get Baloo his honey. A debate flares between Mowgli and Bagheera, but Baloo calms them down and persuades both of them to sleep on it. During the night, Mowgli finds a herd of elephants, who are considered to be the sacred creators of the jungle, and uses his vines to save a baby elephant from a tar pit. Although Baloo and Bagheera are both impressed, Baloo realizes he cannot guarantee Mowgli's safety after Bagheera tells him that Shere Khan is hunting for Mowgli. Baloo agrees to push Mowgli away in an effort to get him to continue onward to the man village.
However, Mowgli is kidnapped by a gang of monkeys known as the Bandar Log, who present him to their leader, King Louie (Christopher Walken), Gigantopithecus. Louie, assuming that all humans can summon the red flower, offers Mowgli food, treasure, and guarantees him protection from Shere Khan, in exchange for the red flower. Baloo distracts Louie while Bagheera tries to sneak out with Mowgli, but their plan is discovered by one of Louie's henchmen. As Louie chases Mowgli though his temple, he informs Mowgli of Akela's death. His rampage eventually causes his temple to crumble on top of him, which causes the Bandar Log to search for their king. Furious that Baloo and Bagheera never told him about Akela's death, Mowgli goes to confront Shere Khan alone.
Finding the man village, Mowgli steals a lit torch to use as a weapon and heads back to the jungle, accidentally starting a wildfire in the process. He confronts Shere Khan, who states that Mowgli has made himself the enemy of the jungle by causing the wildfire. Mowgli throws the torch into the water, giving Shere Khan the advantage. Baloo, Bagheera and the wolf pack hold Shere Khan off, giving Mowgli enough time to set a trap. He lures Shere Khan up a dying tree and onto a fragile branch. Shere Khan leaps to the end of the branch which breaks under the tiger's weight, and the tiger falls to his death into the fire below. The elephants, who respect Mowgli for saving the baby, use an irrigation system to put out the wildfire.
In the aftermath, Raksha becomes the new alpha of the wolf pack. Mowgli decides to utilize his equipment and tricks for his own use, having found his true home and calling with his wolf family, Baloo, and Bagheera.
Doris Roberts (Everybody Loves Raymond, Remington Steele, Christmas Vacation) died in Los Angeles, California, on April 17th, 2016 at age 90 in her sleep, due to natural causes.
The Most Toughest But More Excited Time of the Year (cont.)
Luckily, the schedule changed in May; the actual dates of the trip to Walt Disney World was confirmed for July. I'm so excited with relief that I'm leaving on a day before Ice Age: Collision Course comes out and I should thank Blue Sky Studios for trying.
Alan Young (Mister Ed, The Time Machine, DuckTales) lived in Woodland Hills, California at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital, a retirement community, where he died on May 19th, 2016 at the age of 96 of natural causes.
Roswell, New Mexico
On May 19th, 2016 (a day before the release of The Angry Birds Movie), I departed the apartment and flew down to Roswell, New Mexico with my family. I stayed at the Residence Inn Marriot hotel. I brought a few of the DVDs (The Good Dinosaur, Finding Nemo (in honor of the sequel next month), Cats & Dogs (in honor of its 15th anniversary), MouseHunt, and Back to the Future).
I had visits to the Roswell locations; The UFO Alien Museum! I watched our cousin Walker graduate. Melissa graduated in 2011, I graduated in 2013, and Isabella graduated in 2015.
At May 23rd, 2016, we flew back to Portland.
The Angry Birds Movie (May 20, 2016 – August 16, 2016)
MPAA Rating: PG (for rude humor and action)
Critic Score: 43%.
Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critics Consensus: The Angry Birds Movie is substantially more entertaining than any film adapted from an app has any right to be – which may or may not be much of an endorsement.
Box office: $345.7 million
On an island inhabited by flightless birds, Red (Jason Sudeikis) begins telling a group of fledglings a story. The story flashes back into the past, where Red was revealed to be a reclusive, cruel violent but grumpy red bird outcast prone to hissy fits. He is a clown whose job is to entertain newly hatched birds. After bombing his latest client because of his temper, he is sent to bird court, where the honorable Judge Peckinpah (Keegan-Michael Key), who stands on another bird named Cyrus (Tony Hale) and covers him with a robe, sentences Red to anger management class, much to his reluctance. The class is taught by Matilda (Maya Rudolph), who was an angry bird herself. Among the birds in the class are Chuck (Josh Gad), a fast yellow bird who caused problems with a bird cop, Bomb (Danny McBride), a gentle black bird who literally explodes whenever he gets upset, and Terence (Sean Penn), a giant red bird who only growls. The class fails to improve Red's attitude and he attacks a sign made by Chuck.
One day, while taking the class, Red and the other birds on the island discover a boat coming to the island. The anchor of the boat crashes on Red's house and soon, the boat door opens up and reveals a giant, fat, bearded pig named Leonard (Bill Hader) and his tiny assistant, Ross (Tony Hale). Leonard claims to be peaceful and brings offerings of friendship. They are immediately accepted on the island and later that night, they put on a show and eventually, more pigs are revealed to be on the island with them, which contradicts Leonard's earlier claim that it was only him and Ross. The pigs introduce a giant slingshot to the birds and uses Red as a subject for it, to which he lands on the beach. Red, who is upset at the pigs for wrecking his house and becomes suspicious of the pigs, decides to search their boat for something odd and Chuck and Bomb join him. They eventually find lots of pigs on the ship. Thinking he's got something on them, he reveals the additional pack to the birds, but Peckinpah is more concerned that he snuck on-board their boat and Leonard claims that he wanted to surprise the birds with a cowboy show with his "cousins". Red, now even more of a misfit, sulks off to his house.
After Red discovers that even more pigs have shown up, Peckinpah tells him to steer clear of them, refusing to believe his bad vibes about the pigs. Undeterred, he recruits Chuck and Bomb to help him find Mighty Eagle (Peter Dinklage), a giant eagle who is said to be the protector of the island. They find him in his cave, but he is seemingly revealed to be a lazy guy who can't even fly. Angered over the Eagle, Red and his friends leave and they discover that Red's suspicion of the pigs was correct as they are stealing the eggs of the birds while the residents are distracted by a party. Red and Bomb fail to retrieve the eggs from the pigs when they leave in their boat and Chuck alerts the birds of the theft. When they arrive on the beach, Peckinpah apologizes to Red for not listening to him and asks him on what to do. Seeing the depressed birds, Red rallies them to be angry and set sail for the pigs' island in order to steal back the eggs. The birds make a boat, set sail and eventually land on the pigs' island. The pigs' island. The pigs' island reveals to be slightly messy as they live in unstable houses and spend their days goofing off. They discover a giant castle in the center and estimate that the eggs are there.
Using the slingshot from earlier, the birds attack the pigs when they are shot at them, but fail to reach the castle. Red, Chuck, and Bomb make it to the castle and eventually find the eggs in a boiler room but before they can save them, they are picked up in a giant net. Red makes it onto the net and climbs to the egg pile. Leonard, who is dressed as a king (hence his leadership to the pigs), decides to boil him too. However, Mighty Eagle shows up and tries to carry the eggs out, but Leonard holds Red's leg when he's hanging onto the net. It starts to tear and a blue egg falls out. Deciding to risk his life, Red lets go of the nest to save the egg from Leonard and eventually floods the castle with the boiling liquid the pigs were using to heat up the eggs. Red outsmarts Leonard and takes back the egg, leaving the head pig blew up by TNT that the pigs used during their heist. After the explosion, the birds mourn the loss of the seemingly dead Red, but he emerges with the egg and is hailed a hero. When approached by Mighty Eagle, the giant bird states that by losing faith in him, Red gained faith in himself.
The birds give Mighty Eagle all the credit for the egg rescue, but Red humbly takes it in stride. He discovers that the birds have rebuilt his house as a sign of gratitude and Red decides that it would be better in life to be part of a community. We cut back to the present day where Red bids farewell to the hatchling and goes back to his house and watches the sunset on the beach, where he swats a fly when it disturbs him, but Red accepts the fact that he is still an angry bird.
Janet Waldo (The Jetsons, The Flintstones, Wacky Races) died on June 12th, 2016 at her home in Eucino, Los Angeles after suffering from a brain tumor, aged 96.
Finding Dory (June 17, 2016 – November 15, 2016)
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild thematic elements)
Critic Score: 95% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critics Consensus: Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dory delivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor's classic story.
Box office: $944,021,069
The film begins with Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) a Pacific regal blue tang, as a young fry, whose mother Jenny (Diane Keaton) and father Charlie (Eugene Levy) try to teach her to cope with her short-term memory loss. One day, she finds herself lost in the ocean, and spends the rest of her life looking for her parents despite the refusal of help from other fish until she crosses path with Marlin (Albert Brooks) the clownfish, and helps him look for his son, Nemo (Hayden Rolence).
One year has passed since then, and Dory has been living with Marlin and Nemo in the same coral reef, though has not been able to fully blend in with Marlin and Nemo's friends. While on a field trip with Nemo's school to watch a sting-ray migration, a memory of Dory's is triggered upon hearing the word "undertow" (which Dory's parent had told her to beware of as a child). Dory remembers her parents and a location known only as "the jewel of Morro Bay, California" and convinces Marlin and Nemo to help her find them. They make it there quickly after traveling with Crush (Andrew Stanton), the sea turtle on an ocean current, and upon leaving it, Dory searches through a sunken cargo ship remembering looking for her parents there. Dory's commotion leads to the three being attacked by a predatory giant squid, nearly getting Nemo eaten and causing Dory to get caught in six pack rings. As a result, Marlin angrily sends Dory away, and she looks for her parents alone. After following the voice of Sigourney Weaver (Sigourney Weaver) from the intercom of the nearby Monterey Marine Life Institute, a rehabilitation center and aquarium, she is suddenly scooped up by two employees, and Marlin and Nemo horrifyingly watch on.
Upon entering the facility and being tagged for quarantine, she comes into the acquaintance of Hank (Ed O'Neill), an ill-tempered, seven-legged octopus who wishes to be placed in quarantine so that he may be sent to an aquarium in Cleveland to live a more comfortable life. He agrees to help Dory find the exhibit where her parents might be in exchange for her quarantine tag. Their escape is foiled when Dory sends herself into a bucket marked "Destiny," and she, along with the dead feed inside, are carried and tossed into a pool where a severely near-sighted whale shark and long-lost friend of Dory's, Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), resides. In the adjacent pool is Bailey (Ty Burrell), a beluga whale who is deficient with echolocation.
Hank follows her in and tries to convince her to take the pipes connecting the park to the Ocean Life exhibit, but Dory, afraid she won't remember the way, convinces Hank to carry her there in a vacant baby's carriage, with Destiny and Bailey assisting. However, due to another triggered memory, Dory and Hank wind up inside the facility's "touch pool" where the children there attempt to grab and fondle the terrified Dory and traumatized Hank. However, Hank realizes that the Ocean Life exhibit is only feet away, and with his help, she enters, immediately looking for her parents. Meanwhile, outside, Marlin and Nemo, with the help to two sea lions, Fluke (Idris Elba) and Rudder (Dominic West), and a loon, Becky (Torbin Xan Bullock) they are flown into the park. They are shortly after stranded by Becky, but they manage to make it into a tide pool, inspired by Dory's characteristically sudden determination.
Dory manages to find her old home, but is dismayed to learn that both her parents are gone. However, she suddenly remembers how she was separated from her parents: upon swimming close towards one of the pipes, she was carried by its current and is swept into the ocean. With the help of two nearby crabs (John Ratzenberger), who says their parents are in quarantine and are soon to be shipped to Cleveland, she heads there, guided by Destiny and Bailey, who suddenly learns echolocation, reuniting with Marlin and Nemo along the way. After making their way into the tank of tangs with added help by Hank, the other fish are gladdened by Dory's return, but sadly relay that Jenny and Charlie have long since left. Dory, dazed in her crestfallen state, is scooped out of the tank in a glass by Hank, who accidentally leaves Marlin and Dory behind and get himself caught, causing him to drop Dory, where she slips into a drain and finds herself back in the ocean.
Dory desperately tries to find help, her panic making her forget her friends and leaving no nearby fish able to assist her. She calmly retraces her steps, finding a line of sea-shells (with Jenny had trained her to follow if she was ever lost) on the sand. Following them, she finds a web of seashell lines, and soon after, Charlie and Jenny return, resulting in a joyous reunion, which is cut short when she remembers Marlin and Nemo. With the truck for Cleveland departing the Institude, Dory and her parents set off to find them, with Destiny and Bailey jumping from their enclosures to assist. Through the help of some nearby sea otters, they manage to stop the truck on the freeway, allowing Marlin to call Becky, who carries Dory into the truck and Marlin and Nemo out. After convincing Hank, who managed to stow away inside, to live in the ocean with her, the truck drivers shoo the otters away and close the truck back up, continuing their drive. Hank manages to climb out of the truck and frightens the drivers out, allowing him to drive it and nearly cause countless accidents, alerting the police, who set up a blockade. Dory directs Hank to drive the truck off the road and off a cliff, hijacking it and sending it, along with every fish inside (and Becky as well) into the sea, where everyone reunites safely.
Returning home, Dory lives a far more comfortable and confident life with her friends and family, Hank, Destiny, and Bailey teach in Nemo's school, and with the pieces of their lives back together, Dory and Marlin calmly observe the view beyond the drop of their coral reef.
In an after credits scene, Nemo's Tank Gang from the first film (still trapped in their now algae-covered bags) arrive outside the Morro Bay Marine Life Institute and are promptly picked up by two employees while Fluke and Rudder relax nearby.
Early in the morning of June 19th, 2016, Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Alpha Dog, Fright Night) was found by friends pinned between his Jeep Grand Cherokee and a brick pillar outside his home in Studio City, California, in what was described as a "freak accident." He was pronounced dead later that day at the age of 27.
On June 24th, 2016, I departed the apartment and flew down to Rosa, Arizona with my parents. I stayed at the apartment where I had a couch bed. I brought a few of the apps (Zootopia & The Never Animals of Zootropolis, The Good Dinosaur, Cars & Cars 2 (in honor of its 10th and 5th anniversaries and next year's third entry, Cars 3), Finding Nemo (in honor of Finding Dory), the Ice Age trilogy (Ice Age, The Meltdown, Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Continental Drift) (to honor the franchise's return with Collision Course), Cats & Dogs (in honor of its 15th anniversary), MouseHunt, Back to the Future).
I had a visit to a house with a pool where the grandparents moved from Salt Lake City, Utah. I went to see Finding Dory (a Pixar film and long awaited sequel to Finding Nemo, which was released 13 years ago) and had visits to the Rosa Mall (where I collect its extras (Dory, Marlin, Nemo, Hank the octopus, Destiny the whale shark, Bailey the beluga whale, Jenny and Charlie, Dory's Regal Tang parents, Fluke and Rudder, two sea lions, and Gerald the sea lion with a bucket on his head)).
At June 27th, 2016, we flew back to Portland.
The Secret Life of Pets (July 8, 2016 – December 6, 2016)
MPAA Rating: PG (for action and some rude humor)
Critic Score: 75% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critics Consensus: Fast-paced, funny, and blessed with a talented voice cast, The Secret Life of Pets offers a beautifully animated, cheerfully undemanding family-friendly diversion.
Box office: $762,611,015
Inside of a Manhattan apartment building, a terrier named Max (Louis C.K.) lives a spoiled life with his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) and hangs out with other pets like Chloe (Lake Bell), Mel (Bobby Moynihan), Buddy (Hannibal Buress), and Sweet Pea (Tara Strong). One day, Katie adopts a giant dog called Duke (Eric Stonestreet) who is very sloppy and careless. Max becomes upset about how Duke is treating him. One day when they are being walked by a caretaker while Katie is away, Duke tricks Max into being dragged far into the city. They are attacked by a gang of cats including Ozone (Steve Coogan), but are both caught by Animal Control and are being brought to the pound. Duke reveals to Max that Katie adopted him from the pound and will now be put down. However, they are rescued by a white rabbit called Snowball (Kevin Hart) who tells them to work for him.
He brings Max and Duke down into the sewers where they meet his cult of abandoned pets called "The Flushed Pets" who despise humans. They believe Max and Duke hate humans and try to make them join through the initiation which involves being bitten by a poisonous snake. When Max and Duke kill the snake and Snowball finds out they're domesticated, the Flushed Pets chase them out and Max and Duke escape to Brooklyn. Snowball vows to find them and kill them.
Gidget (Jenny Slate), a white Pomeranian that has a crush on Max, finds out that he went missing. She recruits a hawk called Tiberius (Albert Brooks) and they find out that Max and Duke are being brought to the sewer. Gidget, Mel, Buddy, Chloe, Norman (Chris Renaud), Sweet Pea and Tiberius team up to find Max and Duke. They also find a paralyzed elderly dog called Pops (Dana Carvey) to help them through the city. They find Snowball and learn his plan to kill Max and Duke, in which they are discovered but escape and continue to try and find them. However, Pops's hamster friend, Myron, accidentally makes his way back into their lair and is captured.
After raiding a sausage factory, Duke reveals to Max that he once had an owner who adopted him back when he was a puppy. One day, Duke chased a butterfly and was taken by Animal Control to the pound and his owner never returned. Max decides that Duke should reunite with his owner. Once they get to the old house, a cat tells them that Duke's owner had died. A depressed Duke accuses Max of trying to get rid of him and starts barking at the new house owners. However, Duke is once again caught by Animal Control.
Max is chased down by Snowball and some of his minions. When those minions are also take by Animal Control, Max and Snowball decide to join forces. They chase down the Animal Control Van using a bus, but Snowball's other minions appear and try to kill Max on the Brooklyn Bridge. Snowball also breaks out his minions that were captured. When Max seems doomed, Gidget and the other pets show up and fight the Flushed Pets. The destroyed Animal Control Van falls off the Brooklyn Bridge into the river with Duke still trapped inside and Max hanging onto it. Max tries to break out Duke with the keys, but they float away. Snowball decides to save Duke by jumping into the water and bringing the keys to Max. He breaks Duke out as he's about to die and they get back to the surface.
Using a taxi, all the pets go back to the apartment block. Snowball and the other Flushed Pets return to their plans. The pets return to their owners and Max and Duke finally reunite with Katie, sparking a new friendship.
On July 19th, 2016, Garry Marshall (Happy Days, Pretty Woman, Murphy Brown) died at a hospital in Burbank, California at the age of 81 due to complications of pneumonia after suffering a stroke.
Marni Nixon (The Sound of Music) died on July 24th, 2016 in Manhattan, New York from the effects of breast cancer, aged 86.
Ice Age: Collision Course (July 22, 2016 – October 11, 2016)
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild rude humor and some action/peril)
Critic Score: 12%.
Average Rating: 3.9/10
Critics Consensus: Unoriginal and unfunny, Ice Age: Collision Course offers further proof that not even the healthiest box office receipts can keep a franchise from slouching toward creative extinction.
Box office: $390.0 million
While trying to bury his acorn, Scrat (Chris Wedge) accidentally activates an abandoned alien ship that takes him into deep space, where he unwillingly sends several asteroids en route of collision with Earth.
Meanwhile, Manny (Ray Romano) is worried about the imminent marriage between Peaches (Keke Palmer) and her fiancé, Julian (Adam DeVine), while Diego (Denis Leary) and his wife Shira (Jennifer Lopez) want to start a family but their fierce appearance tend to scare kids, and Sid (John Leguizamo) is dumped by his girlfriend, Francine (Melissa Rauch), just as he is about to propose to her. To make matters worse, during Manny's wedding anniversary party, some of the asteroids strike the place and the herd barely escape with their lives. Meanwhile at the underground, Buck (Simon Pegg) fights a trio of Dromaeosaurs named Gavin (Nick Offerman), Gertie (Stephanie Beatriz), and Roger (Max Greenfield) to return a dinosaur egg to its mother and later discovers an ancient stone monument, which he takes to the surface, where he meets Manny and the others.
Buck explains that the asteroids were responsible for several extinctions in the past and upon seeing that there is still a massive one incoming, he claims that the only place they can find a clue to stop it is in the impact point of the previous ones, which according to the stone monument, are in the same place. However, the three Dromaeosaurs, having listened their conversation, decide to stop them, believing that they could be safe from the impact, as they can fly, thus not ony getting their revenge on Buck, but also destroying all mammals and securing Earth for their species.
As the herd travels to the crash site, Buck discovers that the asteroids have magnetic properies, thus the main asteroid could be stopped if a huge quantity of smaller asteroids were gathered and launched into orbit in order to change its trajectory. After facing several obstacles and the interference of the Dromaeosaurs, the herd arrives at "Geotopia", a community of animals formed inside one of the asteroids that have fallen long ago, where Sid meets Brooke (Jessie J), a ground sloth who falls in love with him. However, Shangri Llama (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), the leader of Geotopia, refuses to cooperate with Buck's plan to send the city's crystals into space in order to diverge the incoming asteroid, as they are the key to the residents' outstanding longevity until Sid accidentally destroys the entire city when he attempts to remove one of the stones to present Brooke with, making all the Geotopians grow old, including Brooke herself.
One Brooke convinces the Geotopians that preventing the asteroid's fall is more important then their lost youth, they and the herd help with Buck's plan, which is to throw all the crystals they find into a geyser so that the pressure throws into space and attract the asteroid away. But the Dromaeosaurs attempt to intervene until one of them, realizing that they will not survive as well if the asteroid falls, convinces the others to also help. The plan works, and the asteroid is sent back into space. The herd then departs back home, including Sid, who parts ways from Brooke, but just after they leave, an asteroid piece falls inside a hot spring, giving it rejuvenating properties, helping the Geotopians and Sid's granny (Wanda Sykes), who stayed behind with them to regain their lost youth. After the herd returns, Peaches and Julian celebrate their wedding, and a rejuvenated Brooke appears during the ceremony to reunite with Sid.
Meanwhile, Scrat keeps struggling to take control of the alien ship and accidentally crashes on Mars, destroying all life there.
In a mid-credits, Scrat find his acorn and get beaten by some doors.
Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando (2016)
The most surprising and even more thrilling event of the summer was finally here! The 22-year wait was over and my dreams of going to, for the first time in forever, Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, are finally coming true!
On July 21st, 2016 (a day just before Ice Age: Collision Course is released and since Frozen Ever After is kicked off in Epcot last month), I left the apartment with Melissa and Brian and we went to the Portland International Airport where our mother-in-law Karen was waiting. Overjoyed with tears, I and my team, Melissa, Brian, and Karen board the plane heading for Florida in the south. We finally arrived at the Vacation Village in Parkway, which is miles from Walt Disney World Resort (celebrating its 45th anniversary), SeaWorld, and Universal Studios in Orlando and stayed in this deluxe room. I brought a few DVDs (Inside Out, Zootopia & The Never Animals of Zootropolis, Beauty and the Beast (in honor of its 25th anniversary), Winnie the Pooh & The Pixie Fairies Summer Rescue (in honor of its 5th anniversary) and the downloaded Intrada Records soundtrack of Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue (in honor of its 6th birthday), Frozen & Frozen Fever (in honor of its new attraction in Epcot), Never Fairies & Muppets & A Never Pirate (in honor of its new attraction in Epcot), Finding Nemo, The Lion King, The Emperor's New Groove, Lilo & Stitch, and WALL-E). Vacation Village at Parkway offers the best of Florida in one great location. Minutes from Orlando's theme parks like Disney's Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios and SeaWorld, the resort offers lovely spacious accommodations. Perfect for couples and families alike the 2,516 guest rooms are surrounded by six pools, along with hot tubs, barbecue grills, and a children's playground. All within short driving distance you can explore historic St. Augustine, Kennedy Space Center, Busch Gardens, and Silver Springs. Or you may find you'll never want to leave the resort after seeing the fully staffed activities center with weekly planned activities that enhance our guest's vacation experience.
Around Downtown Disney AMC Theatre, we see Finding Dory, plus more shopping for more birthday gifts (including the order of the vintage Cinderella music box since childhood (the plays "Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo" beautifully) at eBay, some of the Norwegian artwork and choir albums, Young Anna and Young Elsa in their nightgowns and the troll from Frozen, promoting the Frozen Ever After attraction in the Norway pavilion at Epcot. In Frozen Ever After at Epcot, riders arrive in Arendelle during its summer season, when the residents celebrate the Winter Festival. After passing Wandering Oaken's (Chris Williams) Trading Post, riders board their boats and encounter Olaf (Josh Gad) and Sven as they prepare for the festival. Grand Pabbie (Ciarán Hinds) tells the story of how Anna and Kristoff met, then the boats ascend to find Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), Sven and Olaf together and enjoying the winter weather. Riders next see Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) in her ice palace, then Marshmallow (Paul Briggs) and his mini-snowman friends that were first seen in Frozen Fever. Riders return to Arendelle through a cloud of mist and experience a fireworks finale and a send-off from Elsa, Anna and their friends.
The property covers 27,258 acres (11,031 ha; 43 sq mi), housing twenty-seven themed resort hotels, nine non–Disney hotels, four theme parks; Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios, two water parks; Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, four golf courses, one nine-hole walking golf course for young golfers (no electric carts allowed), two themed miniature golf courses, one camping resort, a downtown-like shopping district; Disney Springs (being renamed in 2015), and other entertainment venues. Magic Kingdom was the first and original theme park to open in the complex followed by Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom, which opened later throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
At the Magic Kingdom: Cinderella Castle, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Jungle Cruise, the Swiss Family Treehouse, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain (to honor the 70th anniversary of Song of the South, featuring Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear), the Haunted Mansion, the Liberty Belle Riverboat, It's a Small World, Peter Pan's Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Mickey's PhilharMagic, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid (as well as attractions themed to Beauty and the Beast and Tangled), Space Mountain, Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress, Astro Orbiter, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and the Tomorrowland Speedway, Stitch's Great Escape!, Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, and Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor.
At Epcot: Spaceship Earth, Universe of Energy, Mission: Space, Test Track, Innoventions East and West, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, The Land, Imagination!, and the World Showcase is a large area reminiscent of a permanent world's fair containing 11 pavilions, each themed and dedicated to represent a specific country. The pavilions surround the World Showcase Lagoon, a large manmade lake located in the center of World Showcase with a perimeter of 1.2 miles (1.9 km). In clockwise order, the 11 pavilions are: Mexico (Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros), Norway (Frozen Ever After), China (Reflections of China), Germany, Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, Canada).
At Animal Kingdom: The Oasis, Discovery Island, Africa, Rafiki's Planet Watch, Asia, Maharajah Jungle Trek, Kali River Rapids, Expedition Everest, Finding Nemo – The Musical, Dinosaur in DinoLand.
At Hollywood Studios: The Great Movie Ride, Star Tours – The Adventures Continue, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, Jedi Training, Muppet*Vision 3D, Toy Story Midway Mania!, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
At July 28th, 2016, we departed Florida and flew back to Portland.
The Most Toughest But More Excited Time of the Year (cont.)
On August 5th, 2016 (eight days after my adventures in Florida), I went to the Naturalpathic Doctor named Renee Schwartz to have my blood tested to need any vitamin or mineral. Getting the right mix is important for my body. It will help with your anxiety. Make me calmer naturally. Doing this vitamin treatment has helped my mother so much in managing her mood and anxiety. She feels very strongly about you getting the tests, because we share these same genes. Genes live in the blood, and that's another reason they need to test my blood. To see if I share the anxiety gene. Schwartz will test my urine and blood. These test will tell Schwartz where my blood is at. My family has funny tummies. Our guts need a little extra care. What we put into our bodies matters. Our bodies get vitamins and minerals from the food we eat. When the food we put into our bodies don't have the vitamins or minerals, our body and brain get crabby. It starts to get hard for the brain to think clearly. We get inattention and anxious. Because our brain relies on the gut to feed it. If the gut can't (for whatever reason, another topic for another day) get the vitamins and minerals from the food, the body and brain don't work as well. That's why we go to Schwartz to find out how well our bodies function. Like a baseline goal. Then we add the vitamins and minerals your body needs from the tests we will run from your urine and blood. And the shot hurts a little. Won't lie. It is part of the new goal for my Disney vacation for my Disney Fairies collection. To deal with taking charge of your health in a mature, adult way.
Sausage Party (August 12, 2016 – November 8, 2016)
MPAA Rating: R (for strong crude sexual content, pervasive language, and drug use)
Critic Score: 83% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 7/10
Critics Consensus: Sausage Party is definitely offensive, but backs up its enthusiastic profanity with an impressively high gag-to-laugh ratio -- and a surprisingly thought-provoking storyline.
In a supermarket called "Shopwell's", the foods and other grocery items who live there worship the humans as gods who take them to the "Great Beyond" when they are purchased. Among the groceries in the store is a sausage named Frank (Seth Rogen), who has dreams of living with his hot dog bun girlfriend, Brenda (Kristen Wiig), in the Great Beyond, where they can finally consummate their relationship. Frank lives in a package with his best friends Barry (Michael Cera) and Carl (Jonah Hill), who also look forward to life in the Great Beyond.
Frank and Brenda's package are chosen by a woman named Camille Toh (Lauren Miller) to leave Shopwell's, but their celebrations are cut short when a returned jar of Honey Mustard (Danny McBride), who has also been chosen, claims to other groceries in the shopping cart that the Great Beyond is not what they were led to believe. Before committing suicide, Honey Mustard tells Frank to visit a bottle of liquor named Firewater (Bill Hader), who is purportedly knowledgeable about the Great Beyond, so he can can learn the truth. His death causes an accidental collision during their trip to the registers which causes several groceries, including Frank, Brenda, a lavash named Kareem (David Krumholtz), a bagel named Sammy (Edward Norton), and an aggressive Douche (Nick Kroll), to fall out of Camille's shopping cart. Douche's nozzle is badly damaged and he blames Frank for it. When he is discarded by a store employee named Darren (Paul Rudd), he escapes from the store's backroom dumpster and swears revenge after he discovered a wounded juice box (Vincent Tong) and consumed its contents, giving him strength.
With the rest of the groceries purchased, Frank, in an attempt to verify Honey Mustard's warning, leads them to the liquor aisle under the guise of taking a shortcut to their aisles, with Douche secretly in pursuit. While the others meet a tequila bottle (Bill Hader) and a lesbian taco named Teresa (Salma Hayek), who expresses a lustful passion for Brenda, Frank learns from Firewater and the 'Non-Perishables'; Mr. Grits (Craig Robinson) and Twink (Scott Underwood) about how foods are eaten after being purchased, and Firewater reveals that he invented the story of the Great Beyond to assuage the fears of past groceries who once knew their fate when being purchased. Frank is encouraged to visit the store's freezer section to find proof.
Meanwhile, Barry, Carl, and the rest of the groceries who were purchased by Camille are horrified to watch many of them being killed, cooked, and eaten. Barry and Carl attempt to escape, but Carl is killed, leaving Barry to escape and wander into the outside world alone. He stumbles across a human junkie (James Franco) with a Shopwell's bag. In hope of returning to Shopwell's, Barry stows away and is taken to the junkie's house. After injecting himself with bath salts, the junkie becomes intoxicated and finds himself able to see and communicate with Barry and his other groceries, and descends into a panic. After sobering up, the druggie believes this experience to have been a dream. He opens the bag of chips (Scott Underwood) and attempts to toss Barry into a pot of boiling water but misses, leading to an accident which results in his decapitation. Barry and the rest of the groceries escape, taking the junkie's head with them.
Back at the store, Frank reunites with his friends and tells them he intends to travel to the freezer to learn more about the humans and the Great Beyond. Brenda disapproves of his skepticism and heads back to her aisle without him, while rejecting Teresa's advances due to the gods' "rules" that require her to only be with a sausage. After reading a cookbook behind the freezer section, Frank discovers the truth. He reveals the cookbook to the rest of Shopwell's and they initially panic, but choose not to believe him, fearing they will lose their sense of purpose. Frank is reunited with Barry who has returned to Shopwell's with his new friends. Barry reveals, by showing Frank the druggie's severed head, that the humans can be killed and that they can be communicated with when they are high on bath salts.
The foods devise a plan to shoot the human shoppers with toothpicks laced with bath salts so the humans will be able to see the foods for what they are. When the drugged humans began to panic and kill off foods, Frank gives an inspiring speech to the store and apologizes for not respecting their beliefs, giving them a sense of hope. A store-wide battle ensures. Douche arrives and attacks Darren, taking control of him by inserting his nozzle into Darren's anus. The foods overpower and kill him along with the rest of the humans. Finally free, all the foods in the store partake in a massive orgy in celebration.
Later, they are informed by Firewater and Gum (Scott Underwood), a Stephen Hawking–esque wad of chewing gum, that they have discovered that they do not exist and are merely cartoon characters, manipulated by human animators and voiced by celebraties in another dimension. Gum reveals a portal that he made that will allow them to travel to this dimension and the foods decide to go there to meet their creators.
Kenny Baker (Star Wars, Time Bandits, Flash Gordon) died on August 13th, 2016, eleven days before his 82nd birthday, following a long illness. He had been invited to attend the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Los Angeles in December 2015, but was too ill to travel to the US.
Jack Riley (The Bob Newhart Show, Rugrats, Spaceballs) died on August 19th, 2016, aged 80 in Los Angeles, due to pneumonia.
Kubo and the Two Strings (August 19, 2016 – November 23, 2016)
MPAA Rating: PG (for thematic elements, scary images, action and peril)
Critic Score: 96% Certified Fresh
Average Rating: 8.3/10
Critics Consensus: Kubo and the Two Strings matches its incredible animation with an absorbing -- and bravely melancholy -- story that has something to offer audiences of all ages.
Box office: $4.1 million
In ancient Japan, Kubo (Art Parkinson) is a young boy who lives with his ill mother (Charlize Theron) in a cave on top of a mountain. Every day he goes out to a nearby village to tell stories using pieces of paper that form into origami that moves under music played from Kubo's shamisen. He tells tales of great warriors seeking revenge while battling monsters, primarily of a samurai warrior named Hanzo (Matthew McConaughey) who is Kubo's missing father. Every day he quickly returns to his mother when the town bell chimes signaling sunset, as she instructs him not to stay outside after dark or her sisters (Rooney Mara) (his aunts) and his grandfather, the Moon King (Ralph Fiennes), will come to take his remaining eye, as he took one of his eyes as a baby.
The next day Kubo arrives to a cemetery where late loved ones are honored and spoken to from family members, but he leaves in anger when his father does not respond to him. Because he has stayed outside after the sun sets, his mother's Sisters find him and try to take Kubo's eye. After they destroy the village, his mother arrives to fend off her sisters. His mother sends Kubo away by touching a beetle crest on his robe which gives him wings, forcing him to fly away from his mother. She tells him to find his father's armor in order to protect Kubo from his grandfather's evil spirits. He takes a piece of her hair before she is seemingly killed by her sisters.
Kubo wakes up in a snowy blizzard, and meets Monkey (Charlize Theron), who had been a little wooden monkey charm for Kubo before she was brought to life by his mother's magic. Monkey tells Kubo that she is going to help him find his armor. Kubo and Monkey are greeted by "Little Hanzo", one of Kubo's origami that is modeled after his father. The origami shows Kubo and Monkey the way to his father's armor, where they are greeted by Beetle (Matthew McConaughey), a samurai who claims to have been an apprentice of Kubo's father. Beetle was cursed to take the body form of a beetle-like man, despite not having any memories of his past. He discovers that Kubo is the son of his master and vows to help him in his quest.
The origami shows them the way to an underground cave where they can find Hanzo's sword. They are soon attacked by a humongous skeleton as they try to reclaim the sword buried on the top of his skull. They do so, and the skeleton collapses to the ground where Beetle flies them out of the cave. They arrive at a beach where Kubo uses his magic to create a boat out of fallen leaves, and they set sail. The trio arrive above the next peice of Hanzo's armor, the breastplate lies below the sea in the Garden of Eyes, where intruders are entranced and paralyzed before they are eaten by a toothed monster. Beetle and Kubo dive in to retrieve the breastplate. Kubo recovers the breastplace, but is immediately entranced. In his entranced state, Kubo has a revelation: Monkey is in fact his mother, reincarnated into physical form. Beetle rescues Kubo before he is eaten, as Monkey encounters one of the Sisters who destroys Kubo's boat. Monkey kills the Sister but is badly wounded in the process.
After arriving ashore on a nearby island, the trio rest in a cave as Monkey tells a story to Kubo with his shamisen and origami. She explains that before she met Kubo's father, she and her Sisters were sent to kill Hanzo. Instead, she fell in love with him, and they gave birth to Kubo. He Sisters and Kubo's grandfather felt betrayed and have since branded her as an enemy. After Kubo is sent to sleep by Monkey, she tells Beetle that she will be gone soon and feels that Kubo will be alone when she leaves, but Beetle promises that he will protect him. Kubo has a dream in which he is greeted by a ghost who shows Kubo the last piece remaining of his father's armor, which is his samurai helmet.
Kubo tells Monkey and Beetle of his dream and they head to his father's damaged fortress to reclaim the armor. However, it is a trap and the trio is greeted by the remaining Sister who reveals that Beetle is Kubo's father, Hanzo. The Sister destroys the origami and attacks Kubo's mother and father. Beetle is killed, and Monkey sacrifices her life to allow Kubo to obtain his shamisen and kill the remaining sister with it. Kubo emerges from hiding and mourns the loss of his mother and father. Using the beetle crest, he flies away to his village to retrieve the helmet, the final armor piece.
At the village, he is able to reclaim the helmet and puts it on. He is greeted by Raiden (), the ghost that appeared to Kubo in his dream. Raiden is revealed to be his grandfather, the Moon King. The Moon King tells Kubo that he needs his eye to raid Kubo of all of his powers and memories. Kubo refuses and the Moon King in anger transforms into a monster and fights Kubo. Kubo is defeated and tossed into the cemetery where the Moon King corners him as well as the surviving villagers. Kubo retaliates by taking off the armor and using his shamisen to recruit the spirits of the villagers' deceased, showing that memories are the strongest form of magic and can never be destroyed. The Moon King is defeated and becomes mortal, and in his human form has no recollection of who or what he was. The villagers make him believe that he is a good man. After the villagers set their lanterns near a lake, Kubo is able to speak with his parents and make peace with them, saying that he is happy he was able to go on a journey with them. They then appear beside him in the form of spirits.
Charmian Carr (The Sound of Music) died in Los Angeles on September 17th, 2016 from complications related to dementia.
Storks (September 23, 2016 –)
MPAA Rating: PG (for mild action and some thematic elements)
Critic Score: 62%.
Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critics Consensus: Colorful animation and a charming cast help Storks achieve a limited liftoff, but scattershot gags and a confused, hyperactively unspooled plot keep it from truly soaring.
Box office: $82.4 million
Cornerstore is a place known for delivering babies and its employees are storks, along with other birds. The current CEO of Cornerstore, a stork named Hunter (Kelsey Grammer), discontinues the baby delivering business, seeing more profit by converting the company to a postal service. However, the last baby that was made before the baby production shut down is taken in by the company and they name her Tulip (Katie Crown).
Eighteen years later, Tulip, now a teenager, is working to promote new ideas for Cornerstore, but they always backfire. Meanwhile, Junior (Andy Samberg), Cornerstore's top delivery stork, is about to be given his much coveted position as boss of Cornerstore while Hunter is about to be promoted as Chairman. In order to be promoted, Hunter demands that Junior discharge Tulip from the company, due to her antics causing Cornerstore to suffer losses. Despite wanting his promotion very badly, Junior cannot find the heart to fire Tulip due to her kindness and hard work, therefore distracting her into believing that she is being transferred to the mail room as a kind of promotion, and ordering her to never leave it, to which she hesitantly obeys.
Meanwhile on Earth, a young boy named Nate Gardner (Anton Starkman) feels lonely because his parents, Henry (Ty Burrell) and Sarah (Jennifer Aniston), are too busy to spend time with him, and yearns for a younger brother. When his parents scoff at the idea, and he learns from an old brochure about Cornerstore and their former baby-making reputation, he writes a letter asking for a baby brother and sends it to Cornerstore. The letter makes its way to Tulip, who got so bored of waiting, disobeys Junior's orders and puts the letter in a slot just outside the room, which is revealed to be the shut down baby factory (as she was supposed to put it in a containment of letters right next to her). Junior tries to intervene and stop the machine, but dislocates his wing in the process, and to their surprise, a baby girl is created inside a metal container, whom they later name Diamond Destiny.
Knowing that Hunter will cease his future position of becoming boss for creating an unauthorized infant and for not firing Tulip as he was supposed to do, Junior agrees to secretly help deliver Diamond Destiny. As Junior's wing is broken, they use Tulip's flying machine for transportation. When Tulip taunts Junior why he wants to become boss, he sees red, making Tulip become concerned for the safety of Diamond Destiny, and they crash into a frozen tundra. After a brief argument, Junior takes Diamond Destiny in the hopes of getting back to Cornerstore but is ambushed by two wolf leaders named Alpha (Keegan-Michael Key) and Beta (Jordan Peele) and their pack and taken to their cave, where Tulip was also captured. The two manage to save Diamond Destiny, whom the wolves have fallen in love with, and escape.
Back at Cornerstore, an employee named Pigeon Toady (Stephen Kramer Glickman) learns of Diamond Destiny's existence. He goes after Junior and Tulip to get Diamond Destiny, in the hope that Hunter will fire Junior and he will get the promotion instead. Upon returning back to Hunter, Toady and Hunter scramble the coordinates Junior and Tulip have been following to mislead them to a different location. After another brief encounter with the wolves, Junior and Tulip run into Jasper (Danny Trejo), an old stork that was ultimately responsible for Tulip being orphaned and the shut down of baby delivery after he broke her address beacon and wanted to keep her to himself. Jasper reveals that he had searched all of Tulip's lifetime attempting to fix the beacon that would show Tulip's home and that he needed the final piece which Tulip had on her the whole time. At this point, Junior reveals that he was supposed to fire Tulip, leaving her in tears. But, now knowing where her family is, Jasper decides to take her to be reunited with them while Junior sadly continues to deliver Diamond Destiny by himself.
Junior is captured and tied up by Hunter and his cronies at the false location and they kidnap Diamond Destiny. Tulip comes to rescue Junior without having met her family and the two resend themselves back to Cornerstore. After fighting an army of penguins, Junior and Tulip are chased into the abandoned baby making room and start up the machine as a distraction. As thousands of babies are being made, Hunter angrily comes at Junior and Tulip with a large body armor, but with the playful help of Diamond Destiny, Junior and Tulip cause the Cornerstore package factory to fall, taking Hunter with it and seemingly killing him.
Junior rallies the storks, as well as the other birds, to help deliver the babies to the families who wanted them including the Gardners, and upon delivering Diamond Destiny, Junior sees through a vision of what the infant will become to be: a woman that will love her family, take ninja class, and get married. At first, Nate is disappointed that he didn't receive a brother, but when he goes to feed Diamond Destiny, she flings the bottle across the street, therefore changing Nate's mind. The storks and former employees of Cornerstore reunite Tulip with her family, and she and Junior continue their job of delivering babies as co-bosses of Stork Mountain. In the end, every family now knows that storks deliver babies once again.
Gary Dubin (The AristoCats) died in Burbank, California on October 8th, 2016 from bone cancer, a sibling of his revealed.
2017 (of the Fuchsia Age)
D23 Expo (2017)
The fifth D23 Expo will be held on July 14th-16th, 2017 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.