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My Review of Disney’s Maleficent

I also have this posted on Walt’s Basement at http://www.walts-basement.com (http://waltsbasement.yuku.com/topic/40808/master/1/. Join the Disney magic there every day!

Maleficent fan made poster Peter GilbertHaving waited what seems like an eternity for this film (as I have been a Maleficent fan long before it became cool), I approached my experience with as much of an open mind as I could muster. I am not a fan of Angelina Jolie (never have been), so I was not very enthusiastic when I heard they had cast her in the main role of my favorite villain of all time. In fact, I was quite upset. As the months went on and Disney released preview after preview, I began to come to terms with the casting and began to look forward to seeing the film more and more.

I went on opening day and saw the film in digital format (not in 3D) because I knew that if I saw it in the other formats there would be things that my eyes would likely miss due to the frame rate increase, and I wanted to see it ALL. I will go back and see it in other formats at a future date.

The Cast

In my opinion, Angelina nailed this role, although her acting does have limitations in one particular scene (you all will know which one I mean so I will not spoil it for you). That scene just felt underdone and a bit awkward, but in all seriousness she really did a good job with the rest of it. Her companion, Diaval (played by Sam Riley) was also done well. Sharlto Copley portrays Stefan with obsessive conviction and the efforts he displays in his scenes is almost palpable. Elle Fanning, our Aurora, does not quite measure up to the acting that Jolie displays when they share a scene together, but in other scenes (such as with the three fairies), she holds her own just fine. Other members of the cast simply do not compare to the lead characters, but it really does not matter thanks to the excellent storyline.

The Story

The twist on the classic Sleeping Beauty tale is something I would have written. After all, I have said for YEARS now that Maleficent is a hero and a villain and has been misunderstood. It is a great tale, indeed, and long overdue. This film is geared towards all ages, so adults may leave with the thought as I did that it would have been amazing if it had been even darker, but this way it will not frighten young viewers much if at all. I really would have made it darker so there would have been more contrast in the characters by the end of the film. It is sweet in parts, humorous in others, and very well crafted however.

The film is rated PG, however I would have no issue whatsoever taking my children, even young children (ages 6+) to the movie. There are only a couple of minimally frightening parts in the film and one bit of violence that you would need to discuss. It is comparable to PG with Marvel films or something on evening television, and good parenting opportunity always results from discussion, not sheltering. My children and all of the younger ones in the theater LOVED it!

The Sets, Cinematography, and Effects

The scenery and sets are fabulous. Seriously. The CG effects are amazing and all of the creatures are completely believeable. The exception to this, in my opinion, was the three fairies. They looked a bit too CG for my taste in more than one scene. I would not be surprised to see this film nominated for an Academy Award for some of it next year. I wanted to live in either kingdom by the end of the film.

The Music

The score by James Newton Howard is well done, but it is not so influential as to stand out on it’s own or able to overshadow the story, as in some films. It is comforting and relaxing in places and tense and strong in others. It fits, but it is not the high calibur of some past Disney films. I liked it because it did not take away from the focus of each scene. Great balance there.
The Costumes and Makeup

The costumes and the makeup are sensational throughout the film. Pay close attention to adult Stephan in particular! The transformations that were done are nothing short of amazing for all of the cast. Rick Baker will get most of the credit for makeup, but in reality there was a team of nearly fifty people working to get appearances right. Costumes were designed by Anna B. Sheppard and they are remarkable for Maleficent and other key characters.

I was glad that Disney treated my favorite villain with the respect and dignity that she deserves, and all women (men, you too) will be able to see the symbolism behind the story that translates to some of us in reality. There’s a reason she is my favorite, and this story is told to illustrate it.

My rating is 4.5 out of 5 stars. EVERY DISNEY FAN SHOULD GO SEE IT!

 

Reside in the Haunted Mansion?

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by Mztressofallevil

 

Everyone in my family (other than those that live in my house, that is) thinks I am a bit mad. I would LOVE to live in the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World.

Ever since I was a young girl I have been amused and fascinated by the 999 Happy Haunts and their not-so-humble abode. They always tell you that there is “room for one more” and ask for volunteers, so why not? I VOLUNTEER, DISNEY!

In all seriousness, the details of the mansion are something that scores of Disney fans adore and cherish. Just traveling through the mansion is a feast for the senses. You feel the chill of the breeze regardless of the weather outside, and you can sense the “spirits” all around you without fearing the “other side”. It is a grim grinning great time for all ages.

You begin in the all-time favorite, the Stretching Room, complete with the hilarious portraits and the introduction to our “Ghost Host”.

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Just a bit later, after you find your way out of the room with no windows and no doors, you can see much from the comfort of your Doombuggy. These images are intentionally out of order, however, for I don’t want to spoil it if you have not yet ventured into the mansion yourself.

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Lots of stairs. That could get confusing if one leaves a Doombuggy. I will wait for a better departure point.

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Definitely leaving this lid intact as long as possible.

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Ah, here we go! The Ballroom banquet. What’s for dinner?

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Of course, I don’t think I could party on the chandelier above the table. Heights are not my thing. But party on, chandelier dudes!

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The Singing Busts. I can carry a tune- oh they just have to let me join in.

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Madame Leota presiding over her seance.Lots of musical instruments in that room. Maybe she will let me play one?

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The Attic and a portrait of Constance with one of her unlucky husbands, all of whom met with an early demise courtesy of an axe.

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Constance! I am sure we would get on fabulously- after all, we could have lots of girl talk and I am not taking anything with sharp edges with me.

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Ezra, Gus, and Phineas. Now why are they always trying to hitch a ride away from the mansion? Ah, the grass really is always greener I suppose.

Which is YOUR favorite room in the Haunted Mansion?
Would YOU join the 999 Happy Haunts as I would? (Or is my family right- am I batty?)

Shall we plan a weekend?

Walt’s Basement: Seven Years Young

Seven years. Wow. Already?

My kids were tiny, and one of them wasn’t even in school yet when I started this site way back in 2006. Now one is in college and the youngest is in Middle School. I have told the story so many times, but I started this place as a haven for Disney fans who want something MORE– something extra special without fear of being ridiculed or made fun of, edited, or treated unfairly.

Walt’s Basement Disney Forum (www.walts-basement.com) is a site that truly cares about it’s staff and it’s members, on and offline. It matters not if you are active now or were active in 2007, you are part of our online family and we welcome you when you are able to spend time with us. We miss you when you go and celebrate when you stay. We send you pixie dust when things are not going so good for you, and we shout for joy when you share good news with us. EVERYONE, regardless of where they come from or what they do for a living, matters here- as we are all united by our love of all things Disney.

Recently, I was told that someone asked another party about our site and another person told them not to bother- that we took a lot of time to participate on our site- that they could just join the Facebook Groups or follow us or other Disney things through social media, and that we weren’t worth the effort that it takes. Now I think that people would expect me to be hurt by this, or even get angry, but you know what I did? I laughed. It is obvious to me that anyone who has ever been involved- really involved- with our site knows that it is WELL worth the effort. We have done so much good together. Our members, Mods and Board Members have joined forces to brighten so many faces with smiles by mailing packages and goodies. We have provided coats for children who could not afford them in the cold weather, and school supplies for an entire special education classroom. We have furnished families with toys for their children to unwrap on Christmas morning, and even meals for Thanksgiving dinners. Donations to food pantries in different communities have been given by Walt’s Basement, and I happen to recall many of our members bonding together to raise funds for a very special little girl to get a specially made therapy bike, too. There are so many things we have done…..and so many things we have yet to do. We care for our online family!

No, we are not just social media, thank goodness. We do take more than a couple of sentences to get involved and get to know one another, which is a pretty rare thing these days. And when we do take that precious time to get to know someone, we invest in them and accept them as part of our group here. Before too long, I bet they even get slipped a Mickey in their mailbox (and yes, that is a very good thing). Heck, they could even get Blitzed (again, a good thing!).

Many of us have been around since the pilot year of WB, and some have only been around for a few months, but we are all united in the mission that we are trying to accomplish and have set out to since day one- to spread as much Disney magic as possible. So thank you to all of you for sharing in the dream- my dream- for WB and our dream for Disney magic. I could not have done this without you and I am forever grateful to each of you that have stood by me (and my family) through the past seven years and the growth and development of this amazing site. I can not wait to see what the future holds.

– MZTRESSOFALLEVIL

When and how did Walt’s Basement first reach you or make an impact on you? Share your story with us, and if you haven’t joined us yet- sign up today so you can share your story with us on our next Anniversary, because I know you will have one before long.

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Date Announced: The Disney Collection by Vera Bradley coming to Walt Disney World!

What do you think?

Disneyways

HOORAY!! Disney has  announced a date for the big release of the Disney Collection by Vera Bradley. More great news: they are calling this the “initial” collection – which makes me think there will be more of these bags to come. Cathy Dawson, merchandiser for accessories at Disney Parks says, “We are thrilled to introduce Vera Bradley to our accessories assortment. In recent years, we’ve seen several guests in our parks and resorts sporting fun, colorful bags by Vera Bradley. Even our Disney Cruise Line team recently added some items by Vera Bradley to the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. We thought it would be wonderful to add a splash of Disney to these popular and colorful accessory items.”

Vera Bradley names all of her patterns and these are no exception. The black pattern is called “Midnight with Mickey,” while the pink pattern is named “Just Mousing Around.” These patterns…

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Disney D23 Expo: Ask For Something Weird

What are YOUR thoughts about D23? Are you going to attend? Wish you were attending?

For The Record

Preview image for this weekend’s big expo released by Marvel and Disney.

This weekend’s heavily anticipated Disney D23 Expo event is mostly anticipated for the potential of Star Wars: Episode VII news, but it would be foolish to ignore Marvel and Pixar, who no doubt have big things up their sleeves as well. It is the former who have released a promo image for the event, simply saying “Ask for something WEIRD”.

What this is alluding to is uncertain, but the official line says that if you ask you will “get your first look at an all-new project coming from Marvel and Disney!”

The most popular possibility would be a much sought after Doctor Strange announcement, with weird obviously a synonym for strange. Fans have been clamouring for a Strange film ever since Marvel Studios opened its doors, and it is heavily rumoured to be part of the Phase…

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History of Mickey Mouse — Infographic

What do you think?

NJBiblio

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E

I am not shy at all to admit that I am in love with a mouse.  I have always adored Mickey and millions of other around the world have as well — so much so that he has become instantly recognizable in every corner of the globe and a part of many cultures. But how did our hero rise from his humble beginnings as a replacement for Walt Disney’s lost character of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to the superstar he is now?  Today’s inforgraphic traces his history and evolution from his “birth” in 1928 to present. [VIA]

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World Secrets: Jellyrolls Dueling piano bar near Disney’s Boardwalk Resort

Disneyways

Our latest edition to our World Secrets Series is taking us to Jellyrolls! This adult-oriented facility provides a noisy – yet very FUN retreat for the 21 and up crowd.   Jellyrolls  is named after Jelly Roll Morton, a legendary jazz pianist, not a desssert. His real name was Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe – but that probably wouldn’t fit on the marquee quite as well.

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Depending on where you start out on Disney property,  you can get to Jellyrolls Piano Bar by boat, a bus, or even on foot. More on that later.

So what’s Jellyrolls like?  Well, it reminded me of Howl at the Moon, which is a similar piano bar located here in Orlando, and in 15 other locations across the country. What makes this different is it is at Disney, perhaps the only place in the world where you will hear a gritty-voiced piano man sing a song…

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