04 July 2013

World News Roundtable - 4 July 2013

Roundtable Contributors: Estelle Hallick (This Happy Place Blog), Alan Mize, Blake Taylor (BlakeOnline.com), and yours truly. 

Extending Iger

Alan Mize 

I hope that everyone is prepared for a little bit more Bob Iger.  Previously set to step down in April of 2015, Disney announced this week that the current chairman and CEO of The Disney Company will hang around another year.  What this means for the company, and more importantly to this blogger the parks is anyone’s guess really.  While the company has seen a huge increase in value under Iger’s control, many would say that the Florida parks have grown stale and even fallen behind competitors in central Florida.  Recently, new leadership was installed for the Florida parks, and things seem to be slowly turning the corner so perhaps this is a sign that things are heading in the right direction for Walt Disney World.  Personally, I hope that is the case.

Like many Disney fans, I’m more of a Disney parks fan than a Disney fan.  Sure, I enjoy the Disney films, and I’ve been known to watch programming on Disney owned ABC (Once Upon a Time anyone?) and ESPN, but my true love is Walt Disney World.  That’s what I grew up on.  That’s what got me involved in the Disney blogosphere.  That’s the area of The Disney Company that I want to see truly excel.  But of course, Bob Iger doesn’t have his job to make me happy.  His job is to make the company bigger and better and make more money for the shareholders.  And you can’t argue that he hasn’t accomplished that, so it’s really no surprise that he’s sticking around a little bit longer.  The man is making a lot of money for the company, and I can’t blame them for wanting to keep him around just a little bit longer.

Blake Taylor (BlakeOnline.com)

Word let out this week that Magic Kingdom's former nighttime parade, SpectroMagic, is gone for good. The parade was put on a said-to-be temporary hiatus in June 2010 when the Main Street Electrical Parade made a return to Florida. MSEP was hauled from Disneyland to WDW for what was initially announced to be a three-month run. Three years later, it still performs nightly and SpectroMagic never came back. And we now know it never will. Disney confirmed that SpectroMagic is officially retired. There is no word on whether a new nighttime parade is in the works, or if MSEP is intended to continue its Florida stint for years to come. There is a new Magic Kingdom daytime parade, Festival of Fantasy, on the way and headed for a spring 2014 debut.

I like both SpectroMagic and the Main Street Electrical Parade, though I think each parade has a decidedly different tone: Spectro being more prestigious and MSEP feeling more fun. One prompts misty eyes while the other encourages hand-claps and waves. Both are great, and I really don't prefer one over the other as long as there's something there. Both have performed long enough to have generations of guests who have fond childhood memories of both parades. That's not to say I won't miss Spectro, though. It would have been nice to at least know it was going away for good. An official send-off would have been an excellent Limited Time Magic event (seriously, that would have been one for the history books). SpectroMagic will forever live on in the memories of those who enjoyed its splendor, spectacle, and sparkling sensation.

So long, from Jiminy Cricket in SpectroMagic! (Too soon?)

Does This Film Have Socially Redeeming Value?

Estelle Hallick (This Happy Place Blog)

Mark your calendars, Muppet fans! The Blu-ray of The Muppet Movie will be hitting shelves on August 23. (In case you weren't sure the cover art tells you it is THE original... sigh. It's sad that even has to be sad.) The extra Blu-Ray features were announced this week, and while they are not too earth-shattering, I'm excited to see Pepe interview Kermit. Except Pepe isn't even in The Muppet Movie so maybe I should change my mind on that.

I know it would cost more money and take some more time to get some authentically awesome Muppet features created that actually FIT with the movie that is being released. But, c'mon, we've waited this long for the release -- why not get it right?

I know I should just be satisfied The Muppet Movie is getting another opportunity to shine. It really IS the best Muppet film.

Ryan P. Wilson (Main Street Gazette)

The Lone Ranger rode onto film screens yesterday, and if the advanced reviews have anything to say about it, the film will be riding off into the sunset sooner rather than later. Everything from cluttering a good western with too many special effects to the dumbing down of the Ranger himself have been given as the causes for the film’s failing and almost certainly box of flopping.

I love a solid western, much to the chagrin of my wife, and while I have had hi-ho hopes for The Lone Ranger, I have also been terrified of its execution. It seems my greatest fear, which is that this film would fall flat in the same manner that John Carter did in 2012, has been realized. I will still be in theaters either today or at some other point this weekend, but all signs point to a head-shaking review as the credits roll.

Personally, I have been waiting for Disney to find a western franchise that they could bring to modern audiences, and I was hopeful that it might be The Lone Ranger. However, I’m afraid it may be time to circle the wagons and return to the drawing board. A western needs action, but it doesn’t need enough special effects to rival Transformers. Sometimes the simple ways of the west are the best ways to tell a story.

1 comment:

Rich T. said...

I'm really sad the writers and director decided to take this potentially fun concept down the path of cynicism, excess violence and mean-spiritedness. That was never what the original Lone Ranger series was ever about.