Disney Nouns Changes & Moves to COOL NOUNS

Contemporary Lee

www.coolnouns.com

It all started for me with a little blog called Disleelandia in 2007. This blog was entirely created to feature my growing disneyana collection. Then in 2014 I expanded the scope of the blog to include all-things Disney, so I re-branded as Disney Nouns.

But my interests have always been wide and varied and so I started to find other topics outside of Disney creeping into the blog. So in 2017 and beyond, it is time to embrace all of my creative sides with a new focus and to re-brand once more as:

C O O L      N O U N S

Creative People, Places, and Things

I will still cover all-things Disney, but also have posts about photography, art, special events and attractions, movie and book reviews, and interviews. Virtually anything that relates to creativity will be fair game! And of course, I will still be writing with the Magical Blogorail.

I want to thank everyone who has followed Disney Nouns and invite you to follow me over to Cool Nouns. Although this change is effective immediately, we are still putting the finishing touches on the new site so please bear with us as we finish the construction!

Again, the new link is:

www.coolnouns.com

I look forward to seeing you on the blog and on social media and thanks again for following along with me on my creative journey!

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Donald Duck OUT OF SCALE Sketchbook Ornament

Donald Duck starred in the 1951 theatrical Short entitled Out of Scale. In this film Donald has built a little town in his backyard complete with a model steam locomotive no less. But pesky Chip and Dale move in and the war is on! You see, the tree the little chipmunks live in is just not the right scale.

Well, a new Sketchbook Ornament released by The Disney Store commemorates this great Short, and here it is:

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Choo-Choo!

When I purchased this ornament the Cast Member commented that I must like the classics. Do I? You bet!

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The train will be on time!

It’s no secret that Walt Disney loved steam locomotives and I guess I’ve been bitten by the same bug.

Have you seen the Short yourself? If not, why not enjoy it now:

Now did that video star Donald Duck or Walt Disney in disguise? I can almost imagine Walt fusing over his backyard layout to the same degree! But I doubt Lillian would have let him cut down any real trees just for scale.

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I’m glad The Disney Store is keeping these old Shorts alive with these great ornaments! To see more of my Disney Store ornament collection, check out Scooter Mickey from the new Short Croissant de Triomphe. I also have one depicting Basil of Baker Street from The Great Mouse Detective. Enjoy!

Posted in Decorations, Disney Store, Figurines, Ornaments, Shorts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Dory Easter Egg: Dory & Hank Swim with Herbie

Disney/Pixar animators love to add little inside jokes to all of their theatrical releases and Finding Dory is no exception.

So somewhere near the beginning of the movie and in the end credits of Finding Dory we see a little white Volkswagen who could be no other than the famous Herbie the Love Bug himself. First, we see him with Dory just while she is trying to find someone to help her:

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And then we see Herbie being test driven by Hank:

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But how did Herbie get there? If you remember the film Herbie Goes Bananas you’ll recall that Herbie is punished by the Captain of The Sun Princess cruise ship by being made to ‘walk the plank’, or in reality, by being tipped overboard. Re-live the sad moment by watching the video below:

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FUN FACT: The car that “walks the plank” in the movie was never recovered from the sea. It was tossed overboard from the SS Cozumel ferry ship. The car is somewhere between La Paz and Baja California. The car thrown overboard was not a proper car and had many wooden parts.

But for the purpose of this Easter Egg, we’re saying it is actually Herbie himself chillin’ at the bottom of The Big Blue. And although his trademark stripes and number 54 are worn off by years under the sea, he looks like he is still ready for one last drive with Hank:

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So is the initial pass in the night with Dory and this chance meeting between Hank the septapus and Herbie the Love Bug really possible? Would they end up in the same part of the Ocean? Well, consider the following map:

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In Finding Dory, she, along with Marlin and Nemo, once again leave the Great Barrier Reef and would again need to use the East Australian Current (EAC, dude) as a highway. This time they would need to travel across the entire Pacific Ocean to a point just off the North-West tip of Africa where the EAC completes its circle and heads back to Australia. From there, they would have to swim up to California where the Marine Life Institute is located, in a picturesque Bay.

Now in the film, it is claimed that they simply use the California Current to make the entire trip, but this current doesn’t start over near Australia. And… it also flows South, so it would be going the wrong way to carry our characters up to California. But hey, it’s a movie, so lighten up!

As mentioned earlier, the cruise ship The Sun Princess dumped Herbie somewhere between La Paz and Baja California. So Hank and Herbie could definitely end up in the same part of the Pacific Ocean, just off the coast of California.

Hypothesis: Proven! At least in my mind.

Be sure to read my full review of Finding Dory along with the Blu-ray release from Best Buy which came with a great 69-page Activity Book!

Posted in Humor, Movies, Pixar | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Rocketeer Bend-Em Figure from JusToys

The Rocketeer is a 1991 American period superhero film from Walt Disney Pictures. It starred Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, and Timothy Dalton. The film is based upon the character of the same name created by comic book artist and writer Dave Stevens. Don’t be ashamed if you’re a Disney fan but don’t remember it! It was good but didn’t rock the world at the time of its release.

Set in 1938 Los Angeles, California, The Rocketeer tells the story of stunt pilot Cliff Secord who discovers a rocket-powered jet pack that enables him to fly without an aircraft. His heroic deeds soon attract the attention of Howard Hughes and the FBI, who are hunting for the missing jet pack, as well as Nazi operatives. I was hooked at ‘jet pack’!

So naturally I’ve tried to collect whatever memorabilia I can depicting this great character. And I’ve just recently added another piece to my collection:

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Thank you Just Toys!

This is another rescue from an Antique Mall in Michigan. It is complete in its original packaging and has only a little bit of damage caused by the price tag.

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Dynamic Packaging

I will be leaving this little guy in his package prison because I think it makes for a better display that way.

For more on the Rocketeer, check out my post on the Rocketeer Comic Book, and to see what else I own, please read the earlier post entitled Rocketeer Tin Sign. Wonder what the movie was like? Read my review!

Posted in Collectibles, Comic Books, Figurines, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disney’s Animal Kingdom ‘Big Dig’ Clock

With the invention of the SmartPhone, who uses clocks or watches anymore? Well, I do, for one! And if they come molded into a piece of sculpture, even better:

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Mickey’s uncovered a timepiece

This is a wonderful little figurine that comes from Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in Walt Disney World, Florida.

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A good view from all sides!

I have another example of this clock-in-sculpture style of merchandise in the post entitled Waiting With Mickey Mouse. It comes from Disneyland Paris. Be sure to check it out!

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Timepiece is removable

I recently rescued this from a lonely shelf at an Antique Market in Michigan, so obviously the timepiece needs a battery.

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 “Big Dig in the Boneyard”

You can visit this area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom yourself. It’s an open air play space designed to look like a dinosaur dig site where kids can explore and have fun. Smack in the middle of DinoLand U.S.A., you just can’t miss it. After all, even the bones the dinosaurs left behind are BIG!

I wonder if dinosaurs could tell time?

Posted in Collectibles, Figurines, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Movie Review: FINDING DORY Blu-ray ‘Best Buy’ Release

Before we can get into a brief review of the movie itself, and further, a detailed review of the Blu-ray Limited Edition release from Best Buy… we need a snack! And what better candy to nibble on when reviewing Finding Dory than:

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A Fin-tastic Mix!

Well, if you’re all settled in with Jelly Belly Beans in hand, let’s start with a brief review of the movie, Finding Dory, itself:

I’ve made no bones about the fact that I don’t like sequels. And I was very upset to see Pixar follow Disney into Sequel Hell soon after the merger of the two companies. But I’ve recently learned that Pixar was already planning sequels before the merger in an attempt to remain lucrative, which from a business standpoint, makes sense.

So I went into this movie with reservations (mainly because I wasn’t impressed with the premise) but determined to give it a fair chance. I’m glad I did because although I don’t think it was better than the original, which some claim, it was a fun swim through a familiar ocean.

Synopsis: Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The one thing she can remember is that she somehow became separated from her parents as a child. With help from her friends Nemo and Marlin, Dory embarks on an epic adventure to find them. Her journey brings her to the Marine Life Institute, a conservatory that houses diverse ocean species. Dory now knows that her family reunion will only happen if she can save mom and dad from captivity.

There were many holes in this movie but both Hank the septapus and Gerald the sea-lion made it worthwhile. I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

And with that, let’s move on to the Blu-ray release:

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MAIN DISC: BLU-RAY

Movie w/Commentary – On the main Blu-ray disc you get the movie with an optional commentary with three people, one of whom is Director Andrew Stanton. The commentary is informative. Listen for hints about Easter Eggs, who constitute ‘Jerk Fish’, and which Finding Dory character was voiced by original Nemo voice actor Alexander Gould. Hint: it ain’t Nemo! Oh, and we are told to watch for a shoplifter in the scene where Marlin and Nemo end up in a display tank just outside of a souvenir shop. Happy hunting!

Theatrical Short – Piper

Previews – There are two previews of upcoming theatrical releases; Moana (already No.1 in theaters at the time of this writing) and the live-action Beauty and the Beast.

Extras –

  • Marine Life Interviews – Animated characters talk about Dory.
  • The Octopus That Nearly Broke Pixar – Learn how Hank vexed the animators.
  • What Were We Talking About? – Dory’s short-term memory loss is discussed.
  • Casual Carpool – Andrew Stanton picks up the voice actors to make sure they get to work on time!
  • Animation and Acting – The staff talk about making the movie sincere and real.
  • Deep in the Kelp – Jenna Ortega hosts a look at the research trips taken while making the movie.
  • Creature Features – The voice actors describe their characters.

Most of these extras were short and to the point and offered nothing overly new about the movie-making process. But Casual Carpool was hilarious! It reminded me of the fun and innovative ways Pixar used to present their extras.

Sneak Peeks – A look at the Disney Store and Disney on Ice, along with miscellaneous advertising.

EXTRAS DISC: BLU-RAY

Behind the Scenes

  • Skating and Sketching – Jason Deamer explains the simple shapes used to create each character.
  • Dory’s Theme – Discussion about the music between Andrew Stanton and others.
  • Rough Day on the Reef – A goof reel containing rendering mistakes by the computers.
  • Finding Nemo – A Short depicting the first movie as told by Disney Emoji.
  • Fish Schticks – A collection of short animated gags starring the characters.

Living Aquariums – Four screen savers lifted from scenes in the movie.

  • Sea Grass – A tad boring.
  • Open Ocean – Very detailed.
  • Stingrays – Beautiful but just a clip of the stingray migration from the film.
  • Swim to the Surface – The closing scene behind the end credits.

These weren’t as well done as the aquariums you got with the Finding Nemo DVD. So in the words of Bloat from the original film: “Pity.”

Deleted Scenes – With Andrew Stanton. A collection of scenes that weren’t ‘asked back’.

Trailers – See how the film was marketed in four different countries.

  • United States
  • Japan
  • Spain
  • Russia

And that was it for Extras. I would give the extras with this release 4 out of 5 Stars. I will never give any higher marks to extras until they once again equal what we used to get with the 2-disc DVD Platinum releases!

Lastly, we come to the special feature of this Blu-ray release. If you purchase it from Best Buy, you also get a 69-page activity book:

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Contents –

  • Fun Movie Scenes – Stills from the movie.
  • Scene Development – Concept Art.

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  • Family & Friends Kelp (or Family Tree).
  • Weekly Calendar
  • Find Hank – Find the septapus in 5 different scenes from the movie.
  • Sea Search – Find 11 characters from the movie in a picture.

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  • Favorite Quotes
  • Character Development – Early concept drawings.
  • Marlin’s Maze
  • Coloring Page(s)
  • Spot the Differences
  • Dory’s Word Search
  • Crossword Puzzle
  • List Your Favorite Memories
  • Things to Remember – Birthdays; Special Events; Chores; Other Stuff.
  • To Do List
  • Connect the Dots
  • Trace Bailey
  • Rescue Hank – Maze.
  • Which Character Are You Most Like? – Quiz.
  • Who’s Who Game – Match the character to their name.
  • Note Pages
  • Memory Card Game – Cut out square tiles with character images for matching fun.
  • Two-Sided Nameplate – Hank and Destiny.

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  • Two-Sided Door Hanger – “Come On In!” and “Go Away!”
  • Sticker Sheet

I would give this Activity Book 5 out of 5 Stars easily! Although the extra price tag when buying this edition of the movie may make it a bit expensive.

If you’re still with me after all of that then you probably feel about as perky as Marlin after his second trip across The Big Blue! So as a consolation prize, gaze one last time on the jelly bean goodness of Jelly Belly:

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More please!

And I say ‘more please’ because I ate all of these soon after I purchased them and days before I got around to writing this post. So seriously, someone, GET ME MORE!

While you’re working on that, why not check out an Easter Egg from the movie that they don’t mention with the other extras on the Blu-ray release! It has to do with Dory, Hank, and Herbie the Love Bug. Did you catch it when you watched the movie?

Posted in Food, Limited Edition, Movies, Pixar, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors: Robot Mouse

Chicago Toy & Game Fair: Navy Pier – November 19th, 2016

Children are definitely tech savvy these days! But can we do more to make learning about all-things electronic at the earliest ages more fun? Yes, we can:

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The Code & Go Robot Mouse from Learning Resources is just about to explode onto the toy market for the 5+ market. But my wife and I had a chance to play with it at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair and enjoyed it even though we are a tad older than the target market!

So what is it? And what is it intended to do for your child? Here is what the official website has to say: “The race is on to build hands-on coding skills! Build your maze, and then use the coding cards to create a step-by-step path for Colby, the Programmable Robot Mouse. Program the sequence of steps, and then watch Colby race to find the cheese!”

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Don’t tell him the cheese is behind him!

This deluxe set includes 30 double-sided coding cards, 10 double-sided activity cards, cheese wedge, and Activity Guide to provide the perfect hands-on introduction to coding concepts. Create your path with 16 maze grids to create a 20″ x 20″ maze board, 22 maze walls, and 3 tunnels for endless possibilities.

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See? The cheese is behind him!

Colby lights-up, makes sounds, and features 2 speeds along with colorful buttons to match coding cards for easy programming and sequencing. Add multiple players with Jack, the Programmable Robot Mouse, sold separately (and he’s purple).

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Please enjoy the following video for instructions on how to make the most of the Code & Go Robot Mouse Activity Set:

I was not compensated for this review. Not even a piece of cheese!

Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors

Baby Paper

Berg Pedal Karts

Star Wars 501st Legion

Developmental Media Lab

Radio Flyer – Tesla Model S

Wonder Crew

Code & Go Robot Mouse

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Chicago Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors: Wonder Crew

Chicago Toy & Game Fair: Navy Pier – November 19th, 2016

Dolls for boys. This is a statement that might cause some (men) to wonder. After all, aren’t dolls for girls? Well, consider this: has your son ever borrowed his sister’s dolls to play out some action scenario or other? Probably. But every ‘doll’ made for boys is called an ‘action figure’ and comes in smaller sizes, usually under 12″ tall.

But why can’t boys have bigger ‘action figures’ to play with? Now they can with the Wonder Crew, Adventure Through Friendship! line of toys:

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This is a brand new line of dolls that will soon be available in Target stores throughout the U.S. with plans for a Toys-R-Us launch later on, perhaps in Canada as well.

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Unmasked!

This line comes in four different ethnicities: Caucasian; African-American; Oriental; and East Indian (or perhaps Latino, I can’t quite remember). They only had the two versions shown above at the Toy Fair.

Crewmates combine the adventure of an action figure with the emotional connection of the favorite stuffed animal.

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Striking a heroic pose!

Studies show that strong relationships and the ability to connect emotionally are key to happiness, health and even career success. Yet toys that encourage friendship and empathy are largely marketed to girls – sending the message to many boys that this kind of play is not for them.

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Suit up!

Included with each Crewmate is a child-sized matching piece of adventure gear. When children suit up alongside their Crewmate, this not only adds to the crew-like vibe, but also deepens the imaginative play experience.

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Nice packaging and detailing

We only saw examples of the superhero crew members, but eventually boys (and girls too) will be able to choose other adventure buddies, such as a rock star, a builder, a dinosaur guy, and a dreamer.

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Crewmates are for the kind, cool and creative child – that’s what it takes to live the company’s motto: “Go anywhere. Be anything”. If you’d like to go somewhere and do something, why not click on over to their official website for more information and a few videos, as well as a further link to their blog.

I wasn’t given a Wonder Crew buddy for this review. My wife says I’m too old to play with dolls.

Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors

Baby Paper

Berg Pedal Karts

Star Wars 501st Legion

Developmental Media Lab

Radio Flyer – Tesla Model S

Wonder Crew

Code & Go Robot Mouse

Posted in Dolls, Reviews, Special Events, Toys | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors: Radio Flyer

Chicago Toy & Game Fair: Navy Pier – November 19th, 2016

So who had a little red wagon when they were a kid? You know the one, the icon, the Radio Flyer! Well, although kids don’t seem to get as excited about wagons as we did, they will definitely get excited with what Radio Flyer is producing today:

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Battery powered fun!

So would you like me to go on and on about this awesome ride for children? Or shall I just show you some more pictures? I know, dumb questions! Pictures it is:

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OK, more pictures later, but I have to say something! This is the Tesla Model S for Kids by Radio Flyer. It is designed for children between the ages of 3 and 8 up to 81 pounds.

It features working headlights, forward and reverse movement, a front trunk, a working horn, and a speaker for your little one’s MP3 player. Hey, ya gotta have the tunes when ya cruise! And you can customize your ride:

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The Tesla Model S for kids comes in some pretty cool colors:

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But let’s not forget where all of this awesomeness began:

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Nostalgic Goodness!

You can check out all the details on the official website. So put the pedal to the metal and click on over!

I received the Miniature Classic Wagon above to rekindle my childhood

Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors

Baby Paper

Berg Pedal Karts

Star Wars 501st Legion

Developmental Media Lab

Radio Flyer – Tesla Model S

Wonder Crew

Code & Go Robot Mouse

Posted in Reviews, Special Events, Toys | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Chicago Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors: Developmental Media Lab

Chicago Toy & Game Fair: Navy Pier – November 19th, 2016

Not all of the exhibitors at the Chicago Toy & Game Fair were promoting hard products for the consumer market. At least one, the Developmental Media Lab, was trying to connect with parents to explain their interdisciplinary, community-focused approach to researching and developing media for young children. I know, that’s a mouthful!

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And they were handing out cute little plush bears!

Parents were offered a chance to contribute to the lab’s studies by taking a verbal survey about how their children interact with electronic media. The above plush was the tangible reward!

You can visit the official website for more information. It is there that I found this interesting quote:

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” – Mr. Rogers.

And what is the full mission of the Developmental Media Lab? Read on:

Children use media. They watch television, read and are read books, play games on tablets, and pull up kitten videos on phones. While media technologies are part of daily life for most children, not enough is known about how media use affects children or what and how children learn from media. We conduct rigorous research into children’s media and the surrounding culture to ensure that parents, educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders have the best understanding possible of how and what children learn from their increasingly media-rich environments. We want to go beyond blanket recommendations to help provide specific understanding.”

It was interesting to find a booth dedicated to researching the effects of electronic gadgets on children amongst so many other booths that were trying to sell said electronic gadgets. I hope many parents stopped and took the time to learn about the Developmental Media Lab!

Do you think it is important to monitor the effects of media on children? How can you get involved? The Developmental Media Lab answers: “We are currently welcoming qualified undergraduate and graduate-level researchers to our lab. If you are a parent or early childhood educator, consider participating in one of our ongoing studies or feel free to get in touch if you would like to know more about our past findings or current projects.”

You can click this link to volunteer.

I received a plush teddy to cuddle with while doing this media review

Toy & Game Fair Exhibitors

Baby Paper

Berg Pedal Karts

Star Wars 501st Legion

Developmental Media Lab

Radio Flyer – Tesla Model S

Wonder Crew

Code & Go Robot Mouse

Posted in Education, Plush, Reviews, Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments