Comicon 2015

Today I had a fun new experience.  Since 2013 they have had one of the most successful local comicon’s here in Salt Lake and I’ve wanted to attend but since I don’t read comic books I wasn’t sure it would be worth it.  Well, this year it happened to fall on the week after my birthday so I thought why not? and I decided to go to Comicon.

It started today and it was a mixture of fun and not so much fun.  Luckily I think next time I will know what not to do and have more fun. When I arrived I didn’t know which part of the Salt Palace Convention Center the Con was on so I parked on the West Side.  Big mistake.  I wish the organizers had put a sign or something because I had to walk to the very most East side through 3 other convention halls.  I should have brought my cane but I figured I could rest.  Big mistake.

Anyway, I got to the festivities and I had a good time shopping for about an hour and a half.  I got some hair chalk, a necklace made of scrabble pieces and a t-shirt inked with a wood lithograph with a cool design of Elsa.

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I also got a picture taken with the delorean  from Back to the Future and got to donate to Parkinson’s research.  Win-win.

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I got my picture taken with R2D2 which was pretty cool
star wars

And a glitter tattoo

glitter tatoo

Then I headed over for my photo op with Carrie Fisher.  It was $70 and I had paid for an autograph.  The website had said to not arrive early. 15 minutes tops.  I got there at 23 minutes before the session and the line was a mile long.  It took me nearly 2 hours waiting. The whole thing was so disorganized and frustrating and then when I got there I had to take the photo on the floor with her dog.

2015-02-01 07.42.14I really don’t care that we were sitting on the floor or that her dog was there it was just the whole process was very frustrating.  Why not give groups of people 10 minute windows to get their photos or make them more expensive so there is less interest.  Anything rather than have me on my feet waiting in line for 2 hours.  With my feet and knee problems standing like that is the worst thing and it was very frustrating. I also never got my autograph because we had to wait in another line for that.  Forget it.

It was also incredibly hard to find any staff and just a general aura of confusion. I think there were only two small booths that were tough to find and I thought it was strange that nobody greeted me with a map and guide when I arrived.  For the prices they are charging and attendance they are getting they need to step it up for next time.

Anyway, next time I will just save my money and go to the celebrity row they had and no lines and were much cheaper.  I met lots of cool people including Ralph Macchio from Karate Kid.  He was very nice.

2015-01-31 14.42.19Next time I go I will bring a lunch  because the food concessions were small in number and long in lines.  I got some pecans to hold me over (and luckily had eaten a fairly big breakfast).

Well, then I did a little more shopping and got to say hi to Olaf and Elsa.

olaf elsaThen the highlight of the day was a panel with Jess Arnell, Jim Cummings and Rob Paulsen.  They are all amazing voice actors and they spent about an hour reading script from Harry Potter in tons of voices.  It was hilarious and brilliant and amazing.  It made the day! (Sorry it is shaky in spots).

I’m making it sound like I had a terrible time which isn’t true.  I really did have fun and if I go again I will have way more fun because I will know what to avoid.  As for the moment it’s late, my feet are killing and I am ready to zonk out. Happy Comicon!

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Movie 51: Winnie the Pooh

posterYou might be thinking. ‘wait a minute Rachel, you’ve already reviewed Winnie the Pooh’? And you would be right but I already reviewed Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh which was released in 1977 and is one of only 7 films I’ve given an A+ too.  Today we aren’t talking about that film but the 2011, Winnie the Pooh.  While not as strong as 1977, Winnie the Pooh has its own appeal and magic and I enjoy it.

As I mentioned in my Consider the Audience post one of the things that makes this Winnie the Pooh special is it is made for little kids.  Toddlers in fact, and any mother who has sat through Barney for the millionth time will tell you what a rarity quality for small children is.  The original is made for slightly older children, or at least the Heffalumps and Woozles is a little scary for the smallest of children.  It’s also a little bit longer and small children have a shorter attention span, which is why not many movies are made for the demographic, mostly just TV.

If the movie is not for you maybe you should ask yourself the question ‘maybe it just wasn’t made for me?’.  Most movies can’t be everything to everyone.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with a sweet, short, simple movie made to entertain toddlers.

Oh and did I mention I love the music by Zooey Deschanel and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the team behind Frozen!  I consider Winnie the Pooh to be one of the underrated, hidden gems of the Disney Canon.  Not as good as the first but still a lot to love considering it is for a different demographic.

The Production-

Wow there was nothing on this movie.  Very few production details anywhere I looked.  The few things I found is veterans Stephen Anderson and Don Hall directed. Burny Mattinson, a Pooh veteran, was a lead storyboard artist and they hired a new cast including Jim Cummings as Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Tom Kenny as Rabbit and Craig Ferguson as Owl.

Here is the trailer

For the music they had new songs except for the title Sherman Brother’s song which is sung by Zooey Deschanel.  I love the new intro.

Some critics didn’t like the length but again that’s actually its big selling point.  63 minutes is perfect for a little child.  Plus, the original was only 11 minutes longer, so is that really such a big deal?  Winnie the Pooh went in against a Harry Potter movie but it still did ok.  Made 44.7 mil in theater on budget of 30.

The animation is lovely and it is great to see 2D back again with Disney as much as I enjoy the computer generated movies.

The Story-

There are 2 stories, instead of 4 that make up Winnie the Pooh.  Our first story is helping Eeyore find his tail.   The writing is very sharp and I found myself laughing throughout.

The gain tries a number of different possibilities for Eeyore’s tail but nothing is working.  Finally they decide to ask Christopher Robin.

eeyoreChristopher’s eyes follow the anime big eye look we saw in Tangled and other films which bothers some but not me.

winnie 2011

They don’t have much luck finding a suitable tail when the day is done.  The next morning they find a note from Christopher

backson

The smart one of the group, Owl, determines Christopher has been taken by the Backson and is in trouble!  We get a charming song that isn’t too scary for little kids but still nostalgic for adults. I’ve sat with little kids watching this number and they just love it!

So the gang goes out to find the Backson

WINNIE THE POOH

There’s interactions with the narrator just as in the original and 4th wall jokes that are very dry and funny.  You also have characters behaving like little children such as when Piglet cuts up the rope to save the gang.

We also get a cute song where Pooh dreams of honey.

Eventually Christopher returns and explains the confusion and we get our gang back together again.  It’s as simple as that!

hug

Movie Review/Conclusion-

Let me again reiterate, this movie is not for everyone but I don’t think it is trying to be.  What it is trying to be, a simple movie for very young children, it does very well.  It’s sweet and Winnie the Pooh continues to mean childhood in 2011 as it did in 1977.

There are enough little jokes and play on words like when Owl says ‘issue’ and the gang thinks he’s say ‘achew’ and blessing him.  That’s clever and funny.  It’s a soft, simple, short movie that parents will enjoy and their little one’s will fall in love with.

The music is a great folksy take on Winnie the Pooh and the animation is bright and colorful.  I love that it doesn’t shout at your kids or use hip lingo or stories meant for older kids.  It gives simple stories and let’s their imaginations go wild.  I can’t imagine a little girl or boy that wouldn’t love Winnie the Pooh.  It’s bright and colorful and full of warmth and charm.

If I was going to fault it I’d say some of the new voices aren’t perfect but I don’t hate them either.  They are just ok. Also they could have made the Backson story a little shorter to fit in one more plot device.

But I really do love it and hope they make more feature films for Winnie and company.  Of course, I’ve liked all the Winnie the Pooh movies, Disney Canon or not (I had 3 siblings over 10 years younger than me so I got used to watching small children’s programming and understanding what was quality and engaging for them and what is not.  Winnie the Pooh is).

Curious George is another great choice for very small children if you are looking for suggestions.

Overall Grade- B