Mousertainment Music: Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1, Vol. 2, and the Mission: BREAKOUT! Soundtracks

I’m not going to see the new Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 movie until tomorrow, but I know that one major thing I’m looking forward to is seeing how the soundtrack will integrate into the story. And I have complete faith in director James Gunn and Marvel to make musical and cinematic magic once again!

I think it’s safe to say that the original “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” soundtrack was at least half the reason that the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie was such a hit. Baby Groot dancing may have been the other half of its success – which is no doubt why he seems to be front and center in the advertising for the sequel!

Taking a look back to the first soundtrack, I can scan this list and off the top of my head sing or hum most of them:

            Awesome Mix Vol. 1:

  1. “Hooked on a Feeling” by Blue Swede
  2. “Go All the Way” by The Raspberries
  3. “Spirit in the Sky” by Norman Greenbaum
  4. “Moonage Daydream” by David Bowie
  5. “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” by Elvin Bishop
  6. “I’m Not in Love” by 10cc
  7. “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5
  8. “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone
  9. “Cherry Bomb” by The Runaways
  10. “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” by Rupert Holmes
  11. “O-O-H Child” by The Five Stairsteps
  12. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

The second soundtrack isn’t quite as obvious for me – although there are several songs on there I do love. However, I expect to recognize most of them when I hear them playing during the movie: Continue reading

T-Time Marches On

A year ago this week, the Diamond Mad T Party iteration of the Mad T Party at Disney California Adventure closed. So for the past several days, much of the T fandom has been in a reflective mood – some leaning towards mourning again, others towards nostalgia. Still others expressed gratitude for what we had and how the community has continued in the wake of the end of a show that touched so many lives for its four years of existence.

Closing T-ime – March 30, 2016.

Yesterday I wandered over to T’s former home in the Hollywood Backlot area – currently mostly filled with Food & Wine Festival décor like a food booth, a soundstage with merchandise, and a culinary demonstration set up on the former T dance stage. I also saw what looked like a temporary new stage set up to accommodate the visiting performing school bands while the dance stage is currently occupied. (Although some have theorized that perhaps this could be the new location for the upcoming entertainment for the Summer of Heroes.)

Temporary performing stage in the Hollywood Backlot.

You’ll notice next to that stage the remnants of the House of Cards bar still stands, a lone reminder of what used to be here.

Also from Hollywood Land (and really from just about everywhere in the Disneyland Resort), you can see the rising/evolving Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT overlay engulfing the former Tower of Terror. Another stark reminder that the Resort will always evolve – whether you like it or not. Continue reading

The Princess and The Super Hero – Limited Time Events at the Disneyland Resort in 2017

The Princess and the Super Hero are coming soon – no, I’m not talking about runDisney marathons!

I’d actually originally planned to write something Valentine-themed this week, however, such major news was released over the past few days for the Disneyland Resort that I had to switch gears and address it all!

The resort announced two major themed initiatives for spring and summer 2017 – one at Disneyland Park and one at Disney California Adventure.

First, let’s look at what’s coming to Disneyland Park very soon!

While no specific dates were announced for these opportunities, with the new live action Beauty and the Beast movie coming out in March, I think it’s safe to say most of these will be happening any day now!

First, the Village Haus counter service restaurant in Fantasyland will be getting a Beauty and the Beast French-inspired eatery overlay to temporarily transform into the Red Rose Taverne! I can’t wait to sample some of the new food offerings – including hopefully a West Coast version of “The Grey Stuff” cupcake! While this location won’t quite match Walt Disney World’s Be Our Guest restaurant, it will be something with presumably a few less antlers than Gaston’s Tavern at the Magic Kingdom. Then again… given the word that they will be theming the venue into different rooms, perhaps one may carry Gaston’s decorating touches after all!

This is good because… Gaston will return to the area as a roaming character! Most recently brought in to occasionally wander Fantasyland last year, he was still a pretty rare character to find. He never stopped to have a line for photos, you just had to be lucky and timely to ask for a quick pic as he walked around. Although if you flattered his ego, he might pause to pose for you!

Gaston strikes a pose in Fantasyland!

Gaston strikes a pose in Fantasyland!

I still prefer his dedicated Meet & Greet at the Magic Kingdom in Florida, but I’m happy to see Gaston wherever he is! Continue reading

Mousertainment Movies: What’s Worth Watching in 2017?

Today I look ahead to the films being released in 2017 and make my best guesses as to which ones will be worth watching in theaters (for me at least!), although a few may wait for home entertainment releases.

There are a good amount of big tentpole films that are must-see for me in the coming year, but there are also a few smaller films on my radar as well.

Here is my list in order of how much I’m anticipating seeing them!

10) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (May 5)

Reasons I want to see it:

  • Drax
  • Baby Groot
  • Kurt Russell as Ego
  • Chris Pratt as Star-Lord
  • Continuation of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) storyline

9) Cars 3 (Jun 16)

Reasons I want to see it:

  • Pixar
  • Another visit with the wonderful Cars characters
  • Really hoping it’s better than Cars 2

8) Stephen King’s It (Sep 8)

Reasons I want to see it:

  • Love the original source material
  • Love the original mini-series – it’s absolutely perfect and this will have a lot to live up to but I’m strangely rather optimistic about it.
  • Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise – nobody can compare to Tim Curry in his defining take on this role, but it looks like they’re going for a different style here and I am a big fan of all of the Skarsgards – Bill was terrific in the wonderful Netflix series Hemlock Grove. He can definitely do menacing and creepy.

7) Kong: Skull Island (Mar 10)

Reasons I want to see it:

  • Tom Hiddleston
  • I’ve yet to see a King Kong movie I really like but I am intrigued by the concept and origins of the character.
  • I miss the amazing banana-breath audio-animatronic version of King Kong at Universal Studios Hollywood.  Not sure anything digital will ever top anything practical, however.

6) Murder on the Orient Express (Nov 22)

Reasons I want to see it:

  • Director Kenneth Branagh
  • Agatha Christie stories are always fun
  • Stellar cast

Continue reading

Mousertainment Movies: What Was Worth Watching in 2016?

Today I will look back to my predictions at this time last year to see if I guessed correctly as to what films were worth watching and therefore brought me out to see them in theaters in 2016 (marked with an *) and which films I opted to wait to see as home entertainment releases.

Below were my picks in January 2016 in their original order of my interest in seeing them. At the end of the feature, I’ll put them in the order in which I actually liked them best!

Here was what I was looking forward to a year ago:

10) Finding Dory *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Pixar
  • Ellen Degeneres as Dory

Reasons to go see it:

  • Baby Dory
  • Otters and Sea Lions
  • Ellen Degeneres as Dory

9) Zootopia *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Disney animation
  • Ginnifer Goodwin as Judy Hopps
  • Humor looks cute

Reasons to go see it:

  • Flash
  • Probably the most entertaining story of the three Disney and Pixar releases this year
  • Appealing original world and characters

8) Gambit

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Continuation of X-Men Universe storyline
  • Channing Tatum reportedly really wanted the role – let’s see what he does with it!

Reasons I didn’t go see it:

  • A few weeks after this list was originally posted, this film was pushed back to a future production date. It has not yet been released.

7) X-Men: Apocalypse

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Continuation of X-Men Universe storyline
  • Finally getting to see a proper-looking Professor X in the prequel timeline!
  • Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy

Reasons I didn’t go see it:

  • Waiting for home entertainment release

6) Moana *

Reasons I wanted to see it:

  • Disney animation
  • Dwayne Johnson as Maui
  • But let’s not forget Lilo & Stitch did a Hawaiian-set film first!

Reasons to go see it:

  • Terrific soundtrack
  • Dwayne Johnson as Maui
  • But Lilo & Stitch is still a way better film 

Continue reading

5 Ideas for Disneyland Resort Themed Dance Parties

After yesterday’s article discussing what it means to have bands temporarily back at Tomorrowland Terrace as well as the impact of Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout on Disney California Adventure entertainment, I may seem a bit doom and gloom.

So today I’ll take an optimistic viewpoint in at least one area potentially being affected by entertainment changes in the Resort. I will hold out hope that at some point – preferably sooner rather than later – live music dance parties like The Mad T Party could return to the Disneyland Resort.

Now, I understand not everyone is a fan of these dance parties – but especially when they’re held in an otherwise underutilized portion of the park, it really isn’t a problem for those who wish to avoid them and it’s an added bonus for those of us who enjoy nighttime live entertainment at the parks.

Personally, I prefer having such nighttime themed musical entertainment at Disney California Adventure and leaving the regular cover bands at Tomorrowland Terrace at Disneyland Park. This way there are different options for different tastes – and one place for folks to party with adult beverage options and one for them to party without it!

However, with the idea that the cover bands are only back for a limited time, I’d still like to see live pop and rock music somewhere in the Resort, so Tomorrowland Terrace is also an option as a location for a nighttime dance party if the Hollywood Backlot winds up being used for other developments.

For me, as a fan of Wonderland, The Mad T Party was the ultimate dance party – and everything that worked there was just tops – from the band to the DJ to the dance crew. So I’d like to see all three of those elements return in any dance party hosted at the Resort. (Not JUST a DJ or an occasional dance routine. That never works – at least not at the Disneyland Resort.  Walt Disney World Resort may function better for family themed DJ parties given their different guest profile – mostly tourists rather than locals.)

So with those elements in mind – band, DJ, dance crew – here are five themes I would suggest for the next Disneyland Resort Dance Party: Continue reading

The Return of Live Music (Temporarily) to Tomorrowland Terrace and What Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! Means to the Future of Disney California Adventure Entertainment

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure.

In the past week or so, two significant announcements were made by the Disneyland Resort, which will impact live entertainment at both Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.

The obvious good news was that starting tonight and running for at least the next several weeks, live bands will return to performing on the weekends at Tomorrowland Terrace. Very happily this will include all of the favorite cover bands and tribute bands who most recently regularly played there such as the 80z All-Stars and TOMASINA.

And while I’m thrilled at this news and hope to attend several of these shows, the downside is the “limited” nature of this engagement.

Rumor has it that the bands will only be playing in August and September, ending October 1st. The speculation is that this is the end of the Walt Disney Company’s fiscal year and a new budget would have to be created to extend the bands beyond this point.

For me, it simply hasn’t felt like summer without live bands at the Disneyland Resort. I’ve gone a few times since the Diamond Mad T Party ended and found myself leaving the Resort each time before nightfall with nothing for a Mousertainment fan left to do having seen the Paint the Night parade and Disneyland Forever fireworks shows already (and these shows were also announced this week to be closing with the end of the Diamond anniversary!). Instead, I’ve been going more often to see live performances elsewhere. So the return of the bands to the park is absolutely a welcome one. But knowing this may only be for a few weeks makes it bittersweet.

Still, that good news from Disneyland Park was tempered by the big announcement of the Guardians of the Galaxy theme taking over the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure in 2017. This news made me extremely concerned for the future of that park – and not for the reasons you might think. Continue reading