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Monthly Archives: February 2015

February 28

February 28, 2014 – The Tinker Bell Animated Film The Pirate Fairy Premieres at the El Capitan Theater

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“Let me be absolutely clear, Zarina: Dust Keepers are forbidden to tamper with pixie dust.”

On February 28, 2014, the sixth film in the Tinker Bell franchise, The Pirate Fairy, premiered with a special limited-time engagement at the El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, California. It was later released on Blu-ray and DVD on April 1 of the same year. The film was written by Jeffrey M. Howard and Kate Kondell, and directed by Peggy Holmes. It starred Mae Whitman as Tinker Bell, Christina Hendricks as Zarina, Tom Hiddleston as James Hook, Lucy Liu as Silvermist, Raven-Symone as Iridessa, Megan Hilty as Rosetta, Pamela Adlon as Vidia, and Angela Bartys as Fawn.

It’s a busy day in Pixie Hollow, and a fairy named Zarina is walking to her job, making the other fairies think she is out of pixie dust. The other fairies are curious as to how she keeps running low, as she is a dust keeper Fairy. She heads to work wrapping the packages of dust for the other fairies, but the other fairies are confused at Zarina’s questions about how pixie dust works. Zarina is placed on Blue Dust duty, much to the worry of the other fairies, as Zarina has gotten into a bit of trouble with dust before. Once again, Fairy Gary is vexed at how inquisitive Zarina is, comparing her to Tinker Bell. Zarina is curious about creating other colors of dust, but Fairy Gary tells her they can’t tamper with pixie dust, as it’s too powerful. What he doesn’t know, however, is that Zarina is conducting her own pixie duet experiments at her home. She accidentally takes home a speck of blue dust, and uses that to create her experiments again, and finally finds success. She rushes over to Tinker Bell’s house to tell her the news, and takes her back to her lab to show her what she’s found. Tinker Bell is shocked when Zarina is able to create purple pixie dust. Tinker Bell is surprised, but warns her that she seems to be going too fast. Things get worse when Zarina spills her pink pixie dust, creating a giant beanstalk that sweeps through Pixie Hollow. Gary finds the pink pixie dust on the stalk, and knows that Zarina has been experimenting. He then tells her that she’s no longer a dust keeper fairy, as it’s just too dangerous. Dismayed, Zarina packs up her belongings and leaves Pixie Hollow.

Zarina admires her handiwork as she puts all of the fairies to sleep after using her pink fairy dust

Zarina admires her handiwork as she puts all of the fairies to sleep after using her pink fairy dust

A year later at the Four Seasons Festival, Tinker Bell and her friends are preparing for their act at the show. The winter fairies begin with a special ice skating routine, and Tinker Bell is excited that Perriwinkle is there. While everyone enjoys the show, a mysterious fairy hides in the shadows, before using pink pixie dust to grow flowers around the edge of the arena. The fairies watch in amazement as the flowers are set off like fireworks, and Rosetta warns her friends to hide, as the flowers Zarina created are poppies, which put all the other fairies to sleep. While the fairies are sleeping, Zarina sneaks into the depot and steals the blue dust. Tinker Bell and her friends are worried about the lack of pixie dust, and they decide to set off after Zarina. As they follow the trail, they are shocked to find that Zarina has ended up with a band of pirates. Thinking she might have been kidnapped, they head over to rescue her; unfortunately, they find that Zarina is actually the Pirate Captain. The fairies fight the pirates and retrieve the blue dust from Zarina, but Zarina follows them to get it back. She offers them mercy if they give back the dust, but after they refuse, she throws a multicolored stream of pixie dust at the group, sending them flying to the ground and leaving her the blue dust.

The next morning, the fairies wake up to find their clothes multicolored, affected by the dust. They soon realize that they’ve all had their powers switched thanks to the dust, and have a very difficult time adjusting. Silvermist, now a fast flying fairy is able to find the ship, and Vidia, now a tinker fairy, creates a ship for the group to sail on with Silvermist pulling the way. The fairies are able to land inside a cannon on the ship, but quickly escape being shot out. They watch as the pirate crew toasts to the captain, thanks to the cabin boy, who can understand her. One year prior, Zarina saved the pirates, becoming their captain and promising that she will make their ship fly. They arrive at their hideout at Skull Rock, and the fairies are terrified, especially when they see that Zarina recreated the Pixie Hollow tree, which will allow her to create pixie dust. As the fairies try to enter Zarina’s cabin when the cabin boy opens the door, only Tink, Silvermist, and Vidia manage to make it inside. The cabin boy helps Zarina in her pixie dust experiments, while the three fairies work on retrieving the dust. Unfortunately, they are unable to retrieve it once again, but do discover her plans of taking it to the tree to create more dust.

The fairies watch as the pirates prepare the pixie dust tree according to Zarina's instructions

The fairies watch as the pirates prepare the pixie dust tree according to Zarina’s instructions

The fairies head over to the tree, and formulate a plan to get the dust when Zarina leaves. Unfortunately, their plans are interrupted when Iridessa’s new garden fairy powers cause a tree branch to grow right toward Zarina, bringing the fairies with it. She has the fairies captured, and when Tinker Bell tells her to go back home, Zarina refuses to go. The cabin boy tells them that they treasure Zarina’s powers, and the fairies are taken away. Zarina releases the blue dust, and it successfully creates pixie dust. As the cabin boy asks Zarina questions about flying, she decides to teach him, making him able to fly using the pixie dust. Unfortunately, after being given all the secrets, cabin boy James reveals his true colors, and locks Zarina away in a lantern, having no more use for her. It is also revealed that James is the Captain, not the cabin boy. Meanwhile, the fairies are arguing amongst themselves, but are rescued when a baby crocodile that is attached to Rosetta appears and sets them free. Vidia comes up with some camouflage for the group, as they dress up like a pirate and sneak off the ship. They manage to steal back the blue dust, but are caught by James, who threatens to kill Zarina unless they return the dust. The dust is then used to make the ship fly, and the pirates celebrate. As James boards the ship, he throws Zarina into the ocean, but the fairies manage to save her just in time. She tearfully apologizes, but warns them that the pirates are on the way to the Second Star, and the blue dust will be gone forever, and the entire team sets off.

The pirates sail off through the clouds, and Zarina orders the fairies to turn the ship around while she gets the blue dust back. A battle ensues between the pirates and the fairies, with Zarina taking on James personally. The fairies manage to use their new gifts to take on the pirates and pull them away from the Second Star. However, James manages to stop them and get the ship back on course, trapping Zarina by a sword and the rest in a bag. Zarina frees herself and manages to take back the dust and turn the ship around once again, sending the pirates falling into the ocean. James manages to save himself using pixie dust, and he and Zarina fight over the blue dust. As it looks like James has won, Zarina manages to get one speck of blue dust, which reacts badly to the dust covering James, sending him flying out of control. The fairies retrieve the dust, and Zarina gives it to Tinker Bell to take back to Pixie Hollow. Tinker Bell tells her that they came to take her home too, and Zarina agrees to head back, using the flying ship. Using Zarina’s pixie dust collections, she manages to wake the fairies, and everyone is amazed to see the ship in the sky. Gary is relieved to see Zarina again, and accepts her skill of pixie dust alchemy. Tinker Bell and the other fairies convince Gary to let Zarina perform her alchemy, which also returns the fairies back to their original skills to put on the best finale ever.

February 27

February 27, 2007 – Muppet Mobile Lab Has its Test Run in Disney’s California Adventure

Mobile Muppet Lab

“Would you like to help run a battery of tests on all these people?”

On February 27, 2007, the audio-animatronic attraction Muppet Mobile Lab had its first test in front of the public at Disney’s California Adventure. Similar to Push the Talking Trash Can, the audio-animatronic “mobile lab” featuring Muppet characters Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker travel around the park, interacting with guests with the use of special features. Muppet performer Dave Goelz, who created the character of Bunsen, was brought to Glendale to assist with the project, making sure that the Imagineers portrayed the characters correctly. The figure was also tested in Walt Disney World and Hong Kong Disneyland.

February 26

February 26, 1998 – The All Star Café Opens at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex

All Star Cafe

On February 26, 1998, the All Star Café opened at Walt Disney World’s Wide World of Sports Complex, almost a year after the complex opened. It was part of a chain of restaurants developed by Planet Hollywood International and invested in by sports legends, including Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, and Wayne Gretzky. Disney acquired the lease to the Wide World of Sports Complex restaurant in 2000. The franchise itself was not successful, and Disney closed the café in September, 2007. In November of that year, it opened again as the What’s Next Café, before becoming the ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill in 2010.

February 25

February 25, 2014 – The Digital Streaming Service Disney Movies Anywhere Launches

Disney Movie Rewards

“Enjoy your Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies anywhere you go.”

On February 25, 2014, the digital streaming service Disney Movies Anywhere launched on the Apple platform, working with iTunes and running on Apple products; it has since been updated to work with Google Play and VUDU. The service works with Disney Movie Rewards, where fans enter special codes within their Blu-Ray purchases that include a digital copy of the film, giving them a separate digital copy that can be played on mobile devices at any time through this film repository. The service also provides parents with parental controls, and directs users as to where they may purchase any Disney movies they do not currently have.

February 24

February 24, 1950 – The Goofy Short Film How to Ride a Horse is Released to Theaters

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“The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.”

On February 24, 1950, the Goofy short film, How to Ride a Horse was released to theaters. It was originally released as a segment within the 1941 film The Reluctant Dragon. Along with the other cartoon segments in the original film, it was directed by Hamilton Luske.

The short begins with the narrator introducing the basics of riding, including the benefits of the exercise. Goofy then introduces the proper riding attire, complete with conservative hat, comfortable boots, and a nice riding coat costing $4.98. The horse is then presented, and listens to the narrator’s praise with glee – that is, until the narrator calls him a dumb animal. Goofy then approaches the horse for his ride, but the horse quickly takes the lead of the situation, tripping Goofy and sending him flying into the dirt. Goofy tries to bribe the horse with carrots, and nearly gets his arm bitten off. The horse manages to steal all of Goofy’s carrots, and his long underwear to boot. Next, Goofy tries to mount the horse, but the horse would rather trip and trick Goofy than agree to be mounted. When the narrator tries to explain mounting the horse via the stirrups, both Goofy and the horse are bored to sleep. In the long run, Goofy is able to mount his horse. The narrator then moves to the mechanics of riding, starting with the trot, brought down to slow motion to show the “majesty” of the movement. Afterwards, when it comes to jumping, the horse refuses to go. When Goofy tries to use his spurs, the horse jumps away, leaving Goofy to use the spurs accidentally on himself. The horse then gallops around happily, jumping on top of Goofy. In the end, Goofy and horse are one riding around the countryside, although they are forced to try again when the jump fails. At the end of the day, the two drag themselves back from their ride, but the horse heads in excitedly when he finds out that they’re heading straight for the stable, and crashes Goofy into the door.

February 23

February 23, 1939 – Walt Disney is Awarded a Special Academy Award for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

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“Aren’t you proud of it, Mr. Disney?” “Why, I’m so proud I think I’ll bust.”

On February 23, 1939, the 11th Academy Awards were held at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California. That night, Walt Disney was awarded an Academy Honorary Award for the full-length animated feature film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A special statue was created for this honor, featuring one regular size Oscar along with seven miniature statuettes on a step platform. This award was presented to Walt by actress Shirley Temple.

February 22

February 22, 1971 – Actress, Singer, and Disney Legend Lea Salonga is Born

LeaSalonga

“I’ve been listening to Disney music my whole life…the whole Disney experience has been great fun.”

On February 22, 1971, Maria Lea Carmen Imutan Salonga was born in Manila, in the Philippines. In 1978, at the age of seven, Salonga had her professional stage debut in a performance of The King and I. Her first album, Small Voice, was released at age 10, and would go on to be certified gold. She continued her theater career with parts in Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Sound of Music. Through the GMA Network, Salonga was a teen idol, hosting her own music show called Love, Lea, and winning several awards for her performances in other family-oriented entertainment shows, including Ninja Kids and Pik Pak Boom. In 1982, her international breakthrough came when she was cast in the West End’s Miss Saigon as Kim; Salonga would win the Olivier Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical. The accolades continued when Miss Saigon transferred to Broadway, and she won the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Theater World Award. In 1992, Disney asked her to perform as the singing voice for the character Jasmine in the film Aladdin, performing alongside Brad Kane’s Aladdin. The song would go on to be nominated for (and would win) the Academy Award for Best Song; Salonga and Kane were asked to perform the song on the telecast of the awards. She was asked back to the studio to sing the song “Reflection” for the titular character in the 1998 film Mulan; she has continued to sing for both Jasmine and Mulan in several other projects featuring the characters. In 2011, Salonga was honored as a Disney Legend, and continues to tour all over the world through her solo career and with several productions.