Friday, March 14, 2014

Disneyland Guests "Sing Let It Go"

Disney put out this video where they had guests at their California park sing the (now) Oscar Winning song from Frozen. I love this video because, not only is it a great song, it shows what Disney Parks do best and that's allowing people to let their guard down and just be a big kid!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

11 Favorite Films From 2013

Once again, for your interneting pleasure, a list of my favorite movies that I saw for the first time last year. Most of them are recent flicks, but there's a few oldies tucked in here too. And yes, there is more than one animated film on the list...
 
Argo (2012; dir. Ben Affleck)
Political thrillers aren't usually my thing, but this tight little flick had me gasping for air and on the edge of my seat. What's more is the playful undertone of the whole film about a government plot to rescue a handful of Americans during the 1980 Iran hostage crisis. Ben Affleck masterfully directs and stars along an all-star cast. The film won the Best Picture award at last year's Oscars.
 
Batman Begins (2005, dir. Christopher Nolan)
I'm going to go on record as saying that "Batman and Robin" is still my favorite Batman movie, but I was finally able to bring myself to watch this darker more adult reincarnation of the Caped Crusader and I really liked it. I plan on hitting up the other two in the Dark Knight trilogy very soon.
 

Blackfish (2013; dir. Gabriela Cowperthwaite)
Who knew CNN had a film releasing arm? Well, they do and they put out this utterly fascinating and deeply moving documentary which chronicles the horrible lives of the many killer whales who play Shamu at Sea World. I'm not really an animal person but after watching this jaw-dropping film I wanted to go out and hug a whale. I found the inhumane way animals are treated appalling and the behind the scenes look at amusement parks utterly enthralling. Blackfish was just added to Netflix Streaming.
 
Frozen (2013; dirs. Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee)
Frozen is, perhaps, Disney Animation's return to perfection in the art of animated film making. While 2009's The Princess and the Frog was beautifully hand animated, it lacked in the story department. And 2011's Tangled was wonderful but felt a little tinged by modern, sarcastic humor and computer animation. Now we come to Frozen which is computer animated but absolutely lovely to look at. The animation compliments a story that is full of twists and turns, great music and some solid laughs. This is the only film I saw in the theater this year that I wanted to go back and see again almost immediately.
 
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984; dir. Steven Spielberg)
Hard to believe I didn't see Indy 2 until almost 30 years after it came out. I probably don't need to tell you - it's great fun. At this point I should see Last Crusade in 2018.

Iron Man 2 (2010; dir. Jon Favreau)
This is the year that I really embraced the Super Hero movie, especially the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I've loved all the Marvel movies but this one especially struck a cord in me. Tony Stark's (Iron Man) father in this movie is an obvious homage to Walt Disney - done so well! 
 

The Noose Hangs High (1948; Charles Barton)
I've seen a ton of Abbott and Costello's films but this one stood out a really good outing for the boys. There's a ton of their top-notch routines hung on a pretty solid story about A&C getting mixed up with the mob.

Planes (2013; dir. Klay Hall)
Here's something of a rarity in today's movie marketplace - a low key animated film. Disney wasn't trying to make a huge blockbuster film with this Cars spin-off, in fact they were making a direct-to-DVD movie. Without the pressure to produce a mega blockbuster, Disney turned out an almost quiet and very charming little cartoon...and it still went on to make them a ton of money. (There's a sequel on the way this summer.)

Rock of Ages (2012; dir. Adam Shankman)
If you were around in the 80's then you can't help but at least tap your feet to this jukebox musical which takes at least a dozen and a half chart topping tunes from the Me Decade and weaves them into a rock and roll saga. Great cast, great fun!

Scooby-Doo! The Mask of the Blue Falcon (2012; dir. Michael Goguen)
These Scooby-Doo DVD movies keep getting better and better. In the gang's 19th animated flick, they find themselves wrapped up in mystery at Comic-Con. Not only are they so many neat references to the entire Hanna-Barbera stable of characters, the film also cleverly parodies comic book culture, modern adaptions of classic properties and the current state of internet users obsessing over every detail of a movie before it comes out. This cartoon is much more sophisticated than you'd think.

This Is The End (2013; dir. Seth Rogan & Evan Goldberg)
Probably the funniest movie of the year.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Superhero Memories

I've never really considered myself much of a Superhero fan. When I was little my cartoon and comic book tastes gravitated always towards the funny animals. I'd take Yogi Bear over Superman any day of the week. With the recent explosion of Superhero movies coming out of Hollywood, I had still kept some distance from most of the fare offered. I had seen some of the older Batman movies, and Superman Returns and even the first Spider-Man film, but I still didn't really pay much attention to the genre. Then came the 1-2 punch of Thor (2011) and The Avengers (2012). I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Thor only a year later to be completely blown out of the water by how awesome The Avengers was. With Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel this Summer, I found myself way more into the comic book movies than I ever was before. It got me thinking about the handful of Superhero stuff that I did like as a child...the few things that made an impression on me. And with the release of the new Thor movie this past weekend (It was awesome!) I thought it would be a good time to unveil this list of my Top 10 Childhood Superhero Memories...

Spider-Man (1967-1970)

 This was the first Spider-Man cartoon which I wasn't alive for the first time it came around but I remember catching it early in the morning and, for the first time, being drawn in by the storytelling instead of the slapstick and laughter. This is the show that gave us the classic "Spider-Man" theme song too! Growing up, the only time I saw this show was if I was able to wake up early enough on a Saturday morning. In Baltimore, Channel 2 ran reruns of Spidey at 6:30am, an hour and a half before the network cartoons started. It was always a treat if I could sneak out into the living room and watch Spider-Man sling his webs through New York with the TV sound turned down real low so I didn't wake my parents up.
 


Spidey Super Stories (1974-1977)
Spider-Man would also pop up on segments in The Electric Company, a show designed for graduates of Sesame Street. This show was awesome because it was presented like a comic book with the different scenes taking place inside panels of a comic book. The real-life comic book motif was played out more by having Spider-Man only speaking in word bubbles above his head. This Spidey was a web-slinger of very few words but the other people in the stories could read the bubbles above Spider-Man's head. In these stories, Spidey didn't fight Doc Oc or the Green Goblin, but instead dastardly villains like the Spider who sat down beside Ms. Muffet. There was also a print version of these stories in The Electric Company Magazine which I'm sure I read every issue at least 100 times!
 
Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981-1983)
 
I LOVED this show and never missed it on Saturday Mornings. Spider-Man joins forces with Firestar and Iceman to stop various Marvel Super Villains. Spider-Man would do his thing while cracking jokes and tossing off one-lines, while Firestar shot fire everywhere and Iceman would surf around on a path of ice he shot out of his hands. Apparently, Iceman is also a member of the X-Men, which I didn't even know the X-Men was a thing until those movies started coming out in 2000. I don't know if Iceman makes an appearance in any of the X-Men movies past or future...but if he does I would watch the crap out of that movie! I loves me some Iceman!
 
Superman: The Movie (1978)
Superman II (1980)
 
Back before HBO or VHS, if a Superman movie was on TV - you dropped what you were doing and watched it. You just did because it was Superman and we showed respect to our elders that way back then. I think these are still really the gold standard in Super Hero movies, funny and exciting and easily accessible to children. Later, when we had HBO, I easily caught these two movies a million times each. They are still great films and fun to watch. (I've still never seen Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, and I hear I'm not missing much.)
 
Fantastic Four (1967/1978)
 
I don't remember much about this show except that I loved it and thought the drawings were really cool. There were actually two versions of this show; a 1967 series from Hanna-Barbera and a 1978 version from DePatie-Freleng. I'm not sure which ones I saw, possibly both, but whenever I could catch it I was on board! This show is so ingrained into my memory that I was excited when the recent movies came out.
 

Batman (1966-1968)
 
 As with most people my age, this version of Batman was THE version of Batman and so much so that when the Michael Keaton movie came out in 1989 I was just like, "What is this crap? That wasn't funny at all!" Besides the cool costumes, crazy villains and bright colors...I loved how they put the action words on the screen during a fight scene. That was the best!
 
SuperFriends (1973-1986)
 
My #1 TV nerd memory of this show was that it was the first time a cartoon that I knew from Saturday mornings came to strip syndication after school. So, it was a nice change of pace from all the old Popeye and Casper cartoons we had for our viewing pleasure in the afternoons. Not pictured above, but the Wonder Twins would make the best Super Hero movie out of them all!
 
Wonder Woman (1975-1979)
Simply put: Wonder Woman's invisible jet remains the single most coolest prop ever built in the history of television.
 
Hostess Comic Book Ads (1977-1982)
 
My only exposure to (then) second-string Superheroes like Captain America, Flash, Green Lantern and Iron Man were in one page ads that ran in all the comic books...including the talking animal comics that I read. In each of these comics, a noted Superhero would use tasty Hostess Apple Pies, Twinkies or Cupcakes to overpower a super villain. Who needs all the gold in the world when you can have a bit of golden & delicious Hostess Cupcake? Even an 8 year old me knew this was a ridiculous concept...and I ate up every page of it!
 

Spider-Man for Atari 2600 (1982)
As with any Atari game that I owned, I played it one hundred million times in my youth. As it turns out, this one was the very first video game based on a Marvel Comics property. In it, you would sling webs and try to get your three pixels that represented Spider-Man up to the top of a skyscraper to defeat Green Goblin.  Did I say I played it a hundred million times, now that I'm looking at the picture I'm sure it was closer to 30 zillion billion times. What a great game!
 
 
Now's the part where I ask you to share some of your Super Hero memories in the comments section......







Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pebbles Flintstone Costume - The Real Deal

Yabba-Dabba-Goo!
I'm very anxious to dress my daughter up in every Disney Princess costume we can get our hands on, but for her first Halloween I thought it was the perfect opportunity to dress her as the infant daughter from my All-Time Favorite TV Show, Pebbles Flintstone. Not only is she the perfect age as Pebbles was in the original television series, but she would make an awesome compliment to my super awesome Fred costume that my mom and I made 20 years ago. (Yes, I still have it!)

Before we get into Pebbles, let me tell you about my Fred Flintstone costume. My mom and I made this back in 1993 for a costume contest when I was in college. Taking a cue from all the Star Wars, Star Trek and Superhero nerds out there, I wanted my costume to be as accurate as possible. So, in the days before the internet - my mom and I designed the costume with various shots of Fred on VHS, paused on the TV while we jotted down notes. I also had a few old books that stayed true to the original design that we used. So many costumes of Fred Flintstone put an animal print on the tie and put the spots all over the outfit, when in actuality he only had a few. The spots shapes and placement on my Fred costume are modeled after the appearance in several episodes. Also, Fred's tie is pure blue and was always drawn the same way, even though you can't see it in the above picture, the tie is cut to resemble Fred's own tie.

The major difference in my costume versus the 1960's cartoon Fred is that we added some small sleeves so that my fat, ugly arms weren't fully exposed. Hey, I was in school - people make fun of that kind of stuff! But we tried to make the sleeves as minimal as possible and added a smaller version of the jagged cut that is found at the bottom of Fred's outfit.

Anyhow...the costume (along with a friend as Wilma) went on to win First Prize at the Halloween Dance costume contest that year. I've held on to this work of art for many years...I've worn it for various other Halloween events as well as in parades and even at the opening night of The Flintstones live-action movie in 1994.

Now...let's move on to Fred's daughter, Pebbles...

When we first started looking at Pebbles costumes to buy they all came in one of two varieties: a green top or an animal print top. Neither of these felt right to me, yet every picture I found of Pebbles in a book had her in the green top. I popped in a DVD and went to the episode where Pebbles was born. (Still one of the most watched episodes in TV history.) In the first few episodes that Pebbles appears in, she's in a pink baby outfit but fast forward to the next season and she's always seen wearing a brownish/orangish top with diamond and crescent shapes all over...similar to her father's wardrobe.

This time I had the help of the internet for some visual reference. I found a color picture from an actual episode and this nice black & white sketch, which is a later drawing of Pebbles but the basic look of her outfit is the same.

Now, I have absolutely no sewing skills but I figured this outfit was simple enough that I could pull it off. I went to a craft store and found a shade of brown that I was happy with. I them bought enough fabric which was double the length of my 6 month old daughter. My plan was to have enough material that the entire outfit would be the same piece of fabric, avoiding the need to sew shoulders and sleeves. I also purchased a small amount of black material to make the spots. I could have colored them on with a permanent marker, but the actual spots made of fabric look so much better. Also at the craft store I picked up a bottle of Fabric Glue a.k.a. Liquid Stitch which will take the place of any sewing that needed to be done.

Ready to make the costume (a day before the Halloween party we were going to,) my first instinct was to just trace my daughters outline onto the cloth but then I got the idea to take a dress of hers and trace that instead. I used a dress that's a bit big on her, I also folded up the sleeves for the Bedrock fashionable sleeveless look. I actually traced the dress once onto a piece of fabric that was folder over to create a two-ply effect. I also did not trace or cut out a hole for the head just quite yet.

Since I free handed the area around the arm holes/sleeves, I folded the dress across from left to right and lined up the arm holes and trimmed both sides together so they came out evenly. I cut a small hole for a head, using the fold in the double-ply fabric as the shoulders of the outfit. I didn't want the head hole to be too big for my baby so I tried it on once and it was not going over her head. I cut a small slit in the neck line on the back of the dress to give a little leeway, and that did the trick. I was planning on using a safety pin to close up the slit, but it turned out the costume didn't need it.

I used the fabric glue down the sides of the dress from under the arm holes to the bottom of the dress. Unlike Fred, Wilma and Barney, Pebbles' outfit does not have the jagged zigzag cut at the bottom. Actually, her dress usually doesn't come all the way down past her tummy. My version is a little longer, I thought about cutting it but decided to just leave it long since it was cold outside at this point in time.

The shapes on her dress are a mixture of random patterns. I like the look of the shapes in the black and white sketch pictured at the top. They have a very 1960's Hanna-Barbera feel to them, but they were hard to cut out and look that good so I just cut random shapes from the black fabric. I went with 5 on the front and an additional 3 on the back.

London as Pebbles with her cousin Lucas in his Chewbacca costume

The bone in her hair is a bone hair clip that I found in the Caveman/Cavegirl section of the Halloween store. Since my daughter does not yet have enough hair to support a hair clip, we went with clipping the bone onto a headband of hers. I suppose an animal print headband or a brown one matching the costume would have been most appropriate but I used this pink one that we had, not only because the bow was small and the bone covered it nicely but I thought the pink added a slight touch of femininity to sell that she was a baby cavegirl. In the cartoon Pebbles always wore a black diaper cover with her dress. Since it was chilly out, we opted for black leggings and a long sleeve t-shirt underneath to keep her warm.

I'm pretty proud at the way it turned out considering I had no idea what I was doing with the materials I bought. The fabric cost $4.00, if that. The bone hair clips were $7.00 for a pack of two, fabric glue was $5.00, we had the shirt and I bought leggings (which she can wear with other things) at Target for $6.00.

Besides all the work put into the costume, it was really cool to get to add my daughter to my Fred costume and obsess over a 50 year old cartoon just a little bit more!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

New Halloween Special Worth Checking Out

 I don't really get Hoops & Yoyo, the stars of several Hallmark cards and other products, but my kids think they're hilarious. Hoops & Yoyo Ruin Christmas is a 2011 special that my kids watched so many times they almost burned a hole in my DVR if that was a thing you could do to DVR's. Last year, Hallmark Channel debuted Hoops & Yoyo's Haunted Halloween which I have to say was really good. In the show, Hoops & Yoyo get trapped in a mall overnight on Halloween and all sorts of spooky stuff happens to them. If you can get over the cheap computer animation, the show is filled with plenty of good gags, a little bit of satire on the state of shopping malls nowadays and a good dose of holiday fun that we just don't see on TV enough at Halloween time.

The half hour special bows on DVD this year. You can pick it up at Walmart and Target for $5.00, it's also available at many Hallmark Gold Crown stores. If you're a fan of Halloween specials - it's worth picking up. It will also probably air again on CBS and The Hallmark Channel. Keep an eye out in the listings as we get closer to the holiday itself!

Here's a promo for the show from last year. (Ignore the air date)


Monday, June 24, 2013

Busch Gardens Willamsburg Trip Report

My wife and I both figured that neither of us had been to Williamsburg, VA since we were about 12 years old so we figured that it would be a good spot to vacation for a few days. Of course, Busch Gardens played a key role in our plans for the trip. We were originally going to visit the theme park on a Monday but both the Monday and Tuesday were promising for heavy rains. We waited until Tuesday and had a beautiful day with not a cloud in site. The threat of rain also helped keep the crowds down, which is always nice.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg is a world class theme park with beautiful landscaping, excellent theming and million dollar attractions! Since we stayed at a hotel near the park, I was actually able to get the five of us through the park's gates before the official opening time of 10:00am.

My only real disappointment with the park came a few days before we arrived. I was looking forward to finally seeing the 4D Sesame Street film that plays at several of the Sea World/ Busch Gardens parks (as well as overseas Universal properties) but the film had been retired at the older Pirates 4D Adventure had returned in it's place. That movie was something I honestly wanted to experience the most but I got over it.

We did, however, start our day off in the park's newest section: Sesame Street Forest of Fun which is a kiddie section themed after the popular children's show. For the longest time, Sesame Place outside Philadelphia was the only park you could see the Sesame Street gang so it was neat to see this extension of the brand in another park.  They have a great little kiddie coaster called Grover's Alpine Express, similar to Sesame Place's Vapor Trail coaster. This was the first ride of the day, the kids dismissed it in line as a baby ride but then they loved it and ended up riding it an additional time. We didn't do any of the other rides in Sesame Street - they have a cute little boat ride, a drop tower and a rocking tug-style ride that looks like Oscar's friend Slimy the worm. There's also a Sesame Street gift shop...and believe it or not, this Muppet loving Dad didn't spend a single cent in the gift shop!


Escape From Pompeii

From there we made our way over to Italy where another star attraction on my list waited; Escape From Pompeii. I love dark rides and I love when a park has the means to provide a unique experience. Pompeii is a simple chute/flume ride with an elaborate lead-up to the drop. Guests ride through the ancient city of Pompeii as an earthquake hits causing fires and destruction along the way. After a giant statue comes crashing inches from your boat, you plummet down a huge hill into a gigantic splash. My 7 year old, Tanner, and I were drenched and he loved the ride - eventually awarding it his favorite ride of the day.

Next, I grabbed a solo ride on one of the park's signature coasters - Apollo's Chariot. This is the kind of coaster that I have come to love in my older years...tall, fast and not alot of twisting and turning that makes me sick. With an initial drop of 210 ft and speeds up to 72 MPH, this is an awesome ride! The same can't be said for Roman Rapids, the park's white water rafting ride. I have yet to see a park that can pull off this ride the way Kings Dominion does. Roman Rapids is brief, unimaginative and on this particular day they were running it very inefficiently making the load times almost unbearable.

In the area are some standard carnival type rides which are all nicely presented and preserved. The kids and my wife rode a handful of them while I sat out on baby duty, which was fine because I hate spinning rides.

We ate lunch at Das Festhaus, which is one of the few things I remember from my earlier childhood visits. It's a large German style pavilion with a live show throughout the day. The cafeteria style set-up of the food service was a little tricky to navigate with three kids and a stroller but we made it through and sat down to a hearty lunch of
German goodies including a huge slice of multi-layed cake that we all shared. We were also in time for the festive show which included a polka band and dancers.

Next up, I again left my wife sitting on a bench with all the kids and grabbed a quick ride on the park's newest roller coaster, Verbolten. Here, Busch Gardens tries to take a page out of the Disney playbook with a highly themed storytelling ride. This is a little more than a coaster. Riders board a German automobile for a trip into the Black Forest. While swerving through trees in the forest, the car suddenly blasts into a tunnel where the forest becomes very dark and there are a few major surprises along the way. It's a really well done ride, and certainly a big kick for someone who's never experienced the thrills of an Orlando attraction.


Elias' favorite ride
Another signature attraction I wanted to make sure I rode was Curse of DarKastle, which is located just up the hill from Verbolten. This is another very elaborate, highly themed ride that takes visitors into a haunted castle. It's a cool adventure that incorporates elements from dark rides, 3D movies and motion simulators. The only other ride I've seen like this is The Amazing Spider-Man ride at Islands of Adventure. My son Elias loved this ride and ended up going on it three times, while my younger son chickened out. My wife got to experience it with the help of a Parent Swap...

Busch Gardens makes no advertisements about a Parent Swap feature, but having used the ability at other parks we asked at the front of the DarKastle attraction, and the ride was built to allow some of a party to wait while the other half rides and then flip flop without having to wait in line a second time. While Elias and I rode, my wife and two other kids waited in a small room by the exit. When we got off, we were led to them and then Jen rode with Elias while I sat with Tanner and the baby. It's the only ride we needed to use Parent Swap on, but it's worth asking about at the front of any attraction if you need such a service.
At this point in our day, we wanted to make sure we made it to the other side of the park to catch some animal attractions that the kids were excited about seeing. We briskly moved through the park making our way through the various winding pathways and villages of German and France. In Germany there is a nice playground area called Land of the Dragons with the ol' netclimb attractions. The kids tore off into that...usually I enjoy doing those with them but I learned last year at another park that they don't work too well with adults in flip flops...so I sat out while they played and blew off some steam.


More Animal Shenanigans!
My kids LOVE animals - it's probably the only thing that ranks as high as video games on their interest scale. Busch Gardens has a handful of small animals  in cages in a section called Lorikeet Glen. As we were visiting, some of the animal handlers had a huge snake out in the grass for the kids to pet. That was pretty neat. And our timing was just perfect to catch a 3:30 performance of More Pet Shenanigans - a trained animal show that was high on our list of Must Do's.

The kids smiled and giggled through the entire More Pet Shenanigans show. A team of trained dogs, cats, mice, ducks and even a pig perform very simple tasks in a cute little show. Afterwards, the boys got to meet some of the four legged stars up close...and they were in heaven.

Wolves are currently near the top of the boys list of animal favorites so they were very excited to see Busch's pack of wolves up close in Wolf Valley. They also oohed-and ahhed their way through the show The Secret Life of Predators which featured wolves, foxes, rats, birds and owls. I hate owls! If you stand all the way down in front during the show, you'll come within inches of some giant (but actually cute) rats. If you stay in the back of the performance area...let's just say an owl might swoop by just as close. Luckily, we were in the front.

We spent alot of time with the animals of the park. Around the corner from all the wildlife is the Ireland section of the park, home to a Sesame Street character meal which I would have loved to attended but I was outvoted on. We all did ride, however, Europe In The Air - a flight simulator that gives you the sensation of flying over some of Europe's most beautiful landmarks. I was setting myself up for an experience similar to Disney's Soarin' Over California...but it didn't quite live up to the Disney attraction.

I had hoped to ride Loch Ness Monster, the park's signature double looping roller coaster. The coaster is celebrating it's 35th Anniversary this year. When I was a kid, it looked like just about the most terrifying thing in the world - I wanted to conquer it finally after all these years but the ride broke down when I was in line...about three trains away from riding. I decided not to spend the last hour of our day waiting for a ride that may or may not reopen so I exited the attraction...leaving Nessie for perhaps another trip.

Having made the full loop of the park, we slowed down to do some shopping and check out the stables of the park's Clydesdales. They aren't "The" Annheiser-Busch World Famous Clydesdales anymore...because the beer company does not own the park now - but it's nice that the current park owners (SeaWorld Parks a.k.a The Blackstone Group) decided to keep the large horses as an attraction like they've been since the park's opening.

The last half hour of our day found Elias and I taking the Skyride system to the back of the park to grab one more ride on DarKastle and getting back up front with just enough time to snap a picture with Elmo in Sesame Street.

Elias & Elmo
 
Even though the park closed at 7:00 on this day (I could have easily used at least another hour) we had a great time at Busch Gardens. The park is beautiful and well laid out. I appreciate atmospheric music from the different countries being played throughout and not just Bruno Mars or whatever is on the radio like so many other parks do. The park's refillable drink bottle is a good deal too...giving us plenty of 99 cents beverage refills through the day with an initial output of $8.

Also, Busch Gardens truly makes shopping an attraction. While so many other parks, including Disney, streamline all their gift shops to sell the exact same merchandise - Busch Gardens offered all sorts of different stores throughout the entire park. It's always nice to slow down and get out of the sun for a while and browse around a good gift shop...even if you're not in the market for a $500 German made Cukoo-Cukoo Clock.

My only complaint of the day was the park seemed a bit understaffed and not running some rides to their maximum capacity potential. I suppose this has to do with visiting so early in the season and not having all the college kids home and working quite yet. Oh, and also they don't have the Sesame Street 4D movie anymore and I didn't get to meet Cookie Monster.

Friday, May 31, 2013

A New Flintstones Movie Is Announced!

To me, this is bigger movie news than Star Wars Episode VII! Earlier this week, World Wrestling Entertainment and Warner Bros. announced that they are teaming up to bring a new Flintstones animated movie to screens in early 2014! While it's not quite the way I'd love to see The Flintstones return to the spotlight, it's still great news that Fred and the gang will star in their own Direct-to-Video movie. Scooby-Doo has been making new movies at a clip of one a year for the past 15 years, so perhaps this will be the beginning of a string of new Flintstones movies. In fact, Scooby-Doo's next movie due out next spring is the first co-production between WWE and WB. In that film, Scooby and the kids help solve a mystery at Wrestlemania. The film also celebrates the 30th anniversary of the iconic wrestling event.

Here's the press release for The Flintstones:

WWE and Warner Bros. Head to Bedrock STAMFORD, Conn. May 29, 2013 – Warner Bros. and WWE Studios (NYSE:WWE) today announced they are once again teaming up; this time to co-produce a Flintstones animated movie to be released in early 2015.

Fred, Barney and the whole Bedrock gang join up with Vince McMagma (Vince McMahon), and WWE Superstars and Divas including John Cenastone (John Cena®) and CM Punkrock (CM Punk®) as part of the very first WWE main event. “WWE is family-friendly entertainment, so partnering with Warner Bros. on a Flintstones/WWE project was a natural extension of our Scooby Doo deal,” said Michael Luisi, President, WWE Studios. “This new, animated feature allows us to showcase our brand with young fans and loyal Flintstones enthusiasts alike.”

“Warner Bros. is thrilled to continue our partnership with WWE Studios as we begin production of the latest Flintstones animated feature,” said Jeff Brown. “Our recent production collaborations have proven successful and we have the utmost confidence that the latest tag team between the WWE Superstars and The Flintstones will deliver the same results.”

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will handle worldwide distribution on Blu-ray, DVD, VOD and digital download. The film will be co-produced by Warner Bros. Animation and WWE Studios. WWE will utilize its extensive global reach through its television, digital media and print assets to market the release of the film."

I don't watch wrestling at all, but was very much into the WWF (WWE) when I was a kid. I'm excited about this movie just to get some new Flintstones material out there. There hasn't been anything new since a 2001 Cartoon Network special and the 2000 live-action feature "Viva Rock Vegas!"

The Scooby-Doo movies have been good. The last few I've seen have been really well done including this years "Scooby Doo and the Mask of the Blue Falcon" which not only tied in the old Hanna-Barbera series Blue Falcon, but also had references to The Flintstones.

You best believe whenever this film's release date is announced, I'll clear my schedule to check it out on release day!


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