Thankful for Disney Friends

Note: During the months of November and December, I will be posting something I am thankful for within the spectrum of Disney. With so much negativity in the world, I encourage everyone to be thankful and count their blessings.

We all have those special friends who “get” us, and in the Disney community, we’re thankful for that.

Say “Mickey Mouse” or “Disneyland” to people, and generally, you’ll get a positive reaction. However, say you’re going on your fourth trip to Disneyland in a year, and you may get, “Again? Don’t you ever get tired of that place?” from many. However, there are the friends who go, “Awesome! I Can’t wait for my next trip!” Those are the Disney friends. The ones who just get it. They’re the people I talk about when I post articles like “DisNerds, and Proud Of It.”

There are certain people in my life, consisting of friends and family that I can sit and talk to Disney for a long period of time to. Now, we’re not just discussing how much we love the mouse. Instead, we’re going in depth about new projects in film, stage, or theme park. We’re discussing the latest book, the newest Disney Legend inductees, what Disney Imagineering got right on the latest in park attraction, what needs work, what we’d like to see next. Others may look at us and shake their heads. We’re not exclusionary, just kindred spirits. Throughout my life, I’ve met quite a few who I feel I can talk to and share this Disneyfied feeling with. Some true friendships have developed from this that go beyond Disney as well. I feel blessed to be married to a kindred spirit in this sense (and many others), and seem to be raising one as well!

disney again

Of course, we should be thankful for all of our friends, even if we don’t understand why they don’t appreciate Disney the way we do.

As I’ve hit on in other posts, while I write on Disney, I believe we all have passions or fandoms that we embrace. When we find others we can share that with, we have reason to be thankful indeed.

Thankful For Winnie the Pooh

Note: During the months of November and December, I will be posting something I am thankful for within the spectrum of Disney. With so much negativity in the world, I encourage everyone to be thankful and count their blessings.

Sometimes, it’s nice to remember the simpler things in life; to be grateful for a little bit of fluff ‘n stuff.

Oh, Bother. On July 15th, 2011, theatergoers rushed to the theaters to see a literary character and beloved favorite brought to life one more time for the big screen. They packed theaters, waiting in lines for hours to see….Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. However, for parents of the younger set, as well as fans of hand drawn animation, there was another opening that weekend: Winnie the Pooh. Silly Old Bear never stood a chance at the box office. Yet, for those of us who did make the trek to see the bear of very little brain and his Hundred Acre friends, we were treated to one of the best animated movies of recent years.

I’m still sad this didn’t get nominated for an Oscar.

Winnie the Pooh was a movie that was made to “transcend generations,”  according to John Lasseter. And, in my opinion, it did just that. Parents and kids, grandparents and grandchildren, we were all laughing and smiling at the antics of Pooh Bear and his friends as they searched for Christopher Robin. Were they too late to save him from the Backson? What was a Backson? Whatever a Backson was, they would hopefully have Christopher back soo…er, wait a minute….

There really is something timeless and ageless about the Winnie the Pooh stories. The childlike innocence of the animals as well as their somewhat extreme temperaments of the characters – it makes for such an enjoyable experience. In addition, to be able to sit in the theater with a three and a half year old and laugh at the same jokes that send her into fits of giggles is something rare in movie theaters nowadays.

I still giggle at this!

So thank you, Disney, for releasing this gem into theaters a few years back. This dad and kid at heart is very thankful for such a wonderful return to innocence. Although you were up against a powerful wizzard that opening weekend, many of us know where the true magic was found.

Thankful For Mickey Mouse Disco

Note: During the months of November and December, I will be posting something I am thankful for within the spectrum of Disney. With so much negativity in the world, I encourage everyone to be thankful and count their blessings.

Sometimes, we are thankful for the spirit of youth, no matter how silly the thing that takes us back may be.

I have to say I don’t remember much about the 70’s. I guess the fact that by the time 1980 hit, I was just turning five, I have a valid excuse. However, there is one thing I remember vividly. Mickey Mouse Disco. Not that we owned the vinyl (now I do!), but I remember neighbors owning it, and I loved it. Released in 1979, it was at the tail end of the disco era, but still managed to peak at #35 on the Billboard Pop Album Charts. Not bad for a novelty kids record!

The sights.. the sounds…the seventies.

Years later, when working for the Disney Store, we happened to get a few retro-release CD’s into stock. They didn’t last long, and sadly, I never managed to grab myself a copy of Splashdance (another great era-inspired Disney release – this one from the 80’s), but I did snag the last copy of Mickey Mouse Disco. After listening to it, there was one song that brought back some great childhood memories of a friend’s dad, who could talk like Donald with the best of them. What song, you ask? Why, the one, the only….

All these years later, hearing that song still puts a smile on my face. As an adult, I feel like a kid again. And perhaps, thanks to one cheesy novelty album from the late 70’s, disco isn’t completely dead. It reminds me to be thankful for the silly things in life, even ones that may have others shaking their heads.

Feel free to admit it. You’re hitting replay on Macho Duck, aren’t you?

Thankful For Charles B. Mintz

Note: During the months of November and December, I will be posting something I am thankful for within the spectrum of Disney. With so much negativity in the world, I encourage everyone to be thankful and count their blessings.

Sometimes, its through the lowest points at life that inspiration strikes. Sometime those that appear to hurt us drive us more, and we ultimately grow, even thankful for the experience.

I thought I’d kick off this “Thankful For” series with a twist and touch of Disney history. For those unfamiliar with the name Charles B. Mintz, he was a film producer, distributor and husband of Margaret Winkler, who produced and distributed the Alice Comedies for Walt Disney. When Mintz married Winkler, he took assumed of her business. At his urging, Walt Disney and his animators created a new character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, who became quite a hit with moviegoers back in the day.  Most of you know the story from this point: Walt went to New York to negotiate a new contract with Mintz, was informed he’d be making less, that Oswald was not even his property to keep, and all animators save Ub Iwerks had been hired away to continue work on the Oswald shorts for Mintz and Universal. Due to this turn of events, Walt left New York determined to create a new character – one that would be his. Never again would he sign away the rights to any of his properties. Details on the creation of Mickey Mouse and that fateful train ride back to California vary (Disney historian Jim Korkis has a great new article on this exact subject worth checking out!), but one thing is certain: if Walt was determined and driven before this incident, his drive only increased at this point.

I'd like to add, I'm overjoyed Oswald made his way home to the Disney fold. The old Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts are quite entertaining, and hope to see more of him in the future!

I’d like to add, I’m overjoyed Oswald made his way home to the Disney fold. The old Oswald the Lucky Rabbit shorts are quite entertaining, and hope to see more of him in the future!

I truly believe the Walt Disney company would certainly look a lot different were it not for Walt losing the rights to a Lucky Rabbit, and we have Mr. Mintz to thank for this. While in Disney legend and lore it’s easy to vilify someone, truth is, Mr. Mintz was a businessman. He saw it as good business to cut costs on what essentially was company property. But in doing so, he fanned a flame. One that grew brighter with Mickey Mouse and only got stronger as the years past.

So, thank you, Charles B. Mintz for your role (albeit unintentional) in inspiring Walt to work harder, create more, and take control of his company. I know this Disney fan is grateful.

Thankful For Disney

Greetings, dear readers and fellow DisNerds!

Last year, I took up a “15 Day Disneyland Challenge.” To this day, it remains one of the most read categories on Confessions. I’ve been wanting to do a new challenge for a while now, and found one to do, revolving around the wonderful world of Disney movies. However, upon a couple extra days of reflection and planning, I’ve decided to delay that challenge to the beginning of next year in exchange for a different kind of challenge – one that I don’t find all that challenging, but am extremely excited to share.

One thing that I’ve always tried to pride myself on is keeping Confessions of a DisNerd positive and original. There are so many Disney bloggers out there with a negative slant – not that I have any arguments with criticism (it’s necessary to help improve and inform), but one can only read so much “watchdog” material before either joining in or getting in a fighting mood themselves. Confessions is about the positive side of Disney, and there is plenty to be positive and thankful for!

Donald may just be thankful he's not a turkey!

Donald may just be thankful he’s not a turkey!

This got me to thinking about the month of November and the holiday of Thanksgiving. During the month, many friends post daily on Facebook what they are thankful for: friends, family, circumstances and opportunities… whatever may strike them as a reason to be thankful. And there really are so many reasons to be thankful in life, aren’t there? If you’re online and reading this blog post, you’re doing better than many. I realize by being able to share this with all of my readers how blessed I am as well. So much to be thankful for!

But I digress.

Likewise, as stated above, there is so much within the Disney universe to be thankful for. Therefore, over the month of November, I will take up the task of posting each day one thing I am grateful for within the world of Disney. Be it movies, theme parks, people who have worked for the company or the man itself, I will share not only what I’m thankful for, but why. I’ve asked Confessions contributor Hayden to share a post or two as well along the way and can’t wait to see what he shares as well! I hope you’ll check back with me on this journey that starts November 1st. I’m looking forward to sharing my thankfulness with all of you, as well as finding out what you all are thankful for. I also hope this encourages you to count your blessings and remember what you are thankful for, Disney-wise and beyond!