Kasey reviews … The Science Behind Pixar

Hey everyone,

Long time without a post, so I’m excited to change that tonight. A few months ago I heard that the Boston Science Museum was going to be hosting a temporary exhibit on the science of Pixar so of course I immediately freaked out and knew that I would be going to see it. I was able to go a couple of weeks ago with a friend of mine and it was absolutely amazing. But before I go into that (and share a few pictures!), let me just give you some info from the Museum of Science website.

So the exhibit is at the MoS from now until the beginning of January 2016, so if you’re in the area or thinking of visiting, there is still plenty of time to go. You can get a ticket online that includes admission to the main exhibit halls for $29 if you aren’t a member, although I think if you just want to see the Pixar exhibit you can buy a ticket at the museum for closer to $10 (don’t quote me on an exact number!). Members can buy a separate admission ticket for just $5.

During the day there are admission times every 10 to 30 minutes from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm, so there are plenty of chances to go if you decide to buy a ticket at the museum the day of. The basic setup of the exhibit is that you first watch a short introductory movie before being admitted to the main exhibit. The movie is just a quick tour of all the different parts of the animating process and their departments at Pixar.

Once you get into the main exhibit hall, you can stay in as long as you want — the website recommends about 75 minutes and I think my friend and I probably took about 90. Throughout the room are different areas dedicated to all the different segments of animating. Each area has a video monitor where you can watch some really interesting interviews with people who work for Pixar, and then usually an interactive part where you can play around with some of these things yourself.

There were of course, also plenty of larger than life figures of different Pixar characters. So let’s take a look at some of the pictures I took!

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This is a banner hanging above the stairs to the exhibit hall.

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We were in the 3:00 group as you can see on the screen!

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Here are a few of the signs in the waiting area where you stand in line before they let you in to see the film.

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Do I look like Buzz? (I’m wearing an Inside Out Sadness shirt!)

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Kasey reviews … 2015 Disney Store Classic Dolls: Tangled & Aladdin

So I’m really excited for today’s post because I was finally able to get to the mail center and pick up my package from The Disney Store.

This is my first time owning any of the Disney Store Classic Dolls, but after seeing pictures of this year’s batch, I knew I needed to own the dolls from my two favorite Disney Princess movies, Tangled and Aladdin. Not only are Jasmine and Rapunzel my favorite princesses, but both of their dolls for this year really impressed me in the pictures I saw online. When I saw that the Disney store was running a promotion of the new dolls so that if you bought two or more you could get them for $10 each instead of $16.95, I went ahead and ordered both princesses and their princes (because who doesn’t love Aladdin and Eugene?)

I’ll start with some pictures of the dolls in their boxes and then get to the deboxed photos. I’ll also give you my thoughts on each of the dolls including what I love most and what I think could be better.

First up Jasmine!

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Jasmine has been my favorite princess ever seeing Aladdin as a kid. I loved that movie and I thought that she was beautiful and generally just awesome. I have been waiting for years for Aladdin to be released from the Disney vault and this is the year, so you can expect lots of Aladdin merchandise on this blog this year.

The princess / prince couples have matching boxes in the Disney classic set so here is Aladdin still in his box.

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Even though this is my first year owning any of the Disney classic dolls, I have looked at comparison pictures from past years, and one of the biggest upgrades this year are the new face molds being used for the princes. A few years ago Disney released Limited Edition Designer Couple dolls using face molds for the guys that were much better and movie accurate than the ones used in the classic dolls and this year they used those molds on these dolls, which I love. I think Aladdin looks great with this mold.

(Also, the Designer couples dolls for Aladdin and Tangled are my grail dolls. But since they are currently reselling on eBay between $250-400 for the Aladdin ones and ~$450-500 for the Tangled ones, they will have to wait unfortunately. At least in the meantime I can have dolls with the same face mold).

Here are Jasmine and Aladdin in their boxes side by side so you can see how they match: Untitled

And now on to Rapunzel and Eugene:

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As you can see, their color scheme is pink. Which works for Rapunzel but not so much for Eugene…

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Luckily I am a deboxer so these boxes will soon be in the recycling bin and all that will remain are my pictures. And here are the two together:

And one of all four dolls together:

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I like how Aladdin is looking towards Jasmine in this picture. Now for the part I like best — the dolls out of their boxes. Let’s start with Jasmine and Aladdin again. Here’s a full body shot:

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Kasey reviews … Broadway in Boston: Newsies!

While I thought my next post was going to be about the four Disney Classic 2015 dolls I recently ordered, because of the holiday weekend, I won’t be able to get my package with the dolls until Monday. So if you are looking for that post, check back probably on Tuesday.

Today however, I will be reviewing the touring production of Newsies that is currently in Boston until tomorrow! I’ve wanted to see Newsies since I was in 8th grade and the high school marching band was doing music from Newsies for their Marching show. This was the year before I was able to join the marching band myself and I was obsessed with the band’s show that year. I went to probably all of the football games just to see their halftime show. So when I realized that Newsies was going to be in Boston this summer for a short period, I got a ticket to go see it. I was able to buy a discounted ticket through bostix.org, which I think was discounted because it was a left side orchestra seat with a very slightly impaired view — although honestly it was the best view I have ever had at the Boston Opera House. I could actually see the faces of the actors, which was great!

If you are unfamiliar with the Broadway show of Newsies or the Disney movie that it is based off of, both the show and the movie are based on the true story of the 1899 strike of the New York Newsboys. Back then, newspapers were sold to newsboys, often young children and teens, who would then sell them all around the city. It was a hard life with very long days. When Joseph Pulitzer of The World and William Randolph Hearst of The New York World raised their prices from 50¢ per 100 newspaper bundle to 60¢ / 100 papers, the newsboys went on strike, causing the circulation of The World to drop dramatically over a few weeks.

Newsies tells this story (with of course, some catchy songs, a charismatic leader, and an obligatory Romeo & Juliet-esque romance).

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The Newsies banner outside of the Boston Opera House

Before I go into any specifics, I have to say that I ADORED this show. It had amazing and super catchy songs (check out my favorites — Carrying the Banner, The World Will Know, Seize the Day, Kings of New York, and my favorite of all, Once and For All). The choreography was incredible, which is unsurprising since Newsies won a Tony Award in 2012 for Best Choreography (and Best Original Score). A few of the really big cast numbers have some great choreography with large groups doing ballet moves, with some awesome spin things (can you tell I know nothing technical about dance?) and there were lots of backflips and other great acrobatic moves.UntitledImagine dancing much like this

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Kasey reviews … Inside Out! Part 2: Funko Pops and Mystery Minis

So in my last post I reviewed Inside Out the movie. In this post I will do a review of my small but hopefully growing Inside Out collection, starting with my collection of Funko Mystery Minis and Funko Pop (singular thus far since I only have Sadness).

For those of you unfamiliar with the Funko Mystery Mini series, they are series of miniature vinyl figures with a theme (Disney, Inside Out, Game of Thrones, Supernatural, etc) that come in blind boxes so that you won’t know which figure you’re going to get until you open the box. You can either buy individual boxes or buy a case in bulk, which is a good way to save money and hopefully avoid repeat figures. Some series such as Inside Out have cases of 12 where each figure can be found in a ration of 1/12 — that is, if you buy a case, you will get one of each different figure. Some other series have rarer figures that will only be found in every few cases so they are harder to find, and often get resold for a lot more money on eBay. There are also sometimes Hot Topic exclusive figures, which is also the case for Inside Out although I don’t yet have any of the HT exclusive mystery minis.

I decided to buy a case of Inside Out mystery minis so let’s take a look at a few pictures:

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Here’s the case with all 12 mystery mini boxes inside waiting to be opened! (Okay, I’ve actually already opened them, so this is just for display)

Here’s a close up of the characters on the top of the display case:

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Kasey reviews … Inside Out part 1: the movie

Hey everyone!

So today I’m going to be talking about one of my most recent obsessions — Disney Pixar’s newest film Inside Out. I saw the movie the night it opened in theaters so I will be giving my review on that, as well as doing a review of the Inside Out Funko Mystery Mini vinyl figures and the Sadness Funko Pop figure.

First things first though, the movie:

I, like a great many people, am a huge fan of all things Disney and especially all things Pixar. I even enjoyed Cars 2, which seems to be the most universally disliked of all the Pixar films. So of course I was really excited when I heard about Pixar’s newest film. I also just graduated with a degree in psychology, and even though I have no intentions of pursuing that field any further, my psychology nerd side of me was also super interested in the fact that this was going to be a movie about emotions and the inner workings of the brain. And last but not least, the feminist side of me (which is all of me) was very pleased to see that the two main emotions of the film, Joy and Sadness — the ones that get to have the main adventure — were both personified as female. Not to mention the fact that Riley, the 11-year-old whose brain we delve into, is also female.

A movie that I know I can expect to pass the Bechdel Test with ease is already a step up in my book. I went into this film having really high expectations and I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

In a way similar to the beginning of UP, Inside Out starts with a journey through time that catches us up to the present day — in this case, the journey of Riley’s early years from birth until age 11 — in particular, how the five main emotions in her brain (Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger, and Fear) came to be. There are some clever defining moments from which each emotion springs to life in Riley’s mind that made me laugh out loud. Very quickly however, as is Pixar’s style, the movie takes on a level of profoundness that feels deeper to an adult than it might to a child who has yet to experience the process of “growing up”.

The broad plot description (as spoiler-free as I can make it without saying nothing at all) is that Riley’s emotions and core sense of self gets thrown out of whack leaving Joy and Sadness to journey through her core memories in order to make things better, leaving only Disgust, Anger, and Fear to guide Riley in the meantime. The movie alternates between the POV of Riley, the three emotions left in control of Riley’s brain, and the journey of Joy and Sadness. As a graduate of a psychology program, I found many little moments in the movie to be hilarious and punny references to various things related to psychology, the mind, and brain.

In a movie where the personifications of the emotions Joy and Sadness are main characters, there was always a danger that Joy would be the hero and Sadness the villain or negative force to be conquered but Pixar avoids this trap, showing the importance of experiencing both emotions in moderation and in combination with one another. This is a movie about growing up and a movie that children in particular can grow up with, much like UP or Toy Story 3, or just about any other Pixar film for that matter, adults will see this movie through a more experienced lens but I think appreciate it just as highly or possibly even more. I’m already excited to see this film again to better appreciate all the little moments that flew by the first time.

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, do yourself a favor and check it out ASAP. And if my review wasn’t incentive enough, the short film before the movie begins is about Volcanoes that sing and fall in love and who wouldn’t want to see that?

Because I didn’t want to go see this film alone, I dragged my father along with me. He was pretty skeptical about the film before it started but by the end told me how much he enjoyed it and joked about thinking about his brain as the movie portrayed until the day he dies. Which I’m sure is an exaggeration, but still!

Stay tuned for part 2 of my Inside Out review where I will review the Inside Out merchandise I’ve collected so far!