Disney’s The Little Mermaid
- playing at Olney Theatre Centre (Olney, MD)
- dates: now through December 28, 2014
- directed by Mark Waldrop
- Roar Score: 4/5
Can you believe Disney’s The Little Mermaid is having its 25th anniversary this year? Hard to believe, I know. Ariel is all grown up.
Timed to coincide with this anniversary and capitalize on the perennial appeal of that red-headed mermaid, Olney Theatre Center in Olney, MD (about 45 minutes from both DC and Baltimore) recently launched its performance of the stage version.
Is it ok to use the word splashtastic? Probably not, but I will anyway. This production is very, very good.
Yeah, I’m gonna do it: Frozen is still hot.
The newest Disney on Ice show from Feld Entertainment is themed entirely around the gang from Arendelle. The Academy Award winning tale will be told live for the first time in this production, and it will of course include Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven, and Olaf.
And yes, all the songs are also included, so you can go home humming “Let It Go” all over again.
The show isn’t a straight-up retelling of the movie, though. It’s hosted by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, with special guest appearances by some of the Disney Princesses and characters from Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and The Lion King.
“Hey, I tell you what is. Big city, hmm? Live, work, huh? But not city only. Only peoples. Peoples is peoples. No is buildings. Is tomatoes, huh? Is peoples, is dancing, is music, is potatoes. So, peoples is peoples.”
This review is part of the 1984-a-thon, a collaborative multi-blog effort to review one of the best years of film: 1984.
Let’s begin by saying that it’s impossible to top The Muppet Movie. There just aren’t enough adjectives to do it justice. It’s one of the most enduring children’s movies of all time. Hyperbole? Not if you’ve seen it. It’s so close to perfection that the difference is negligible.
It may be impossible to top, but that doesn’t stop the machine. Indeed, there have been seven subsequent theatrical films. Some were good; some not so much. For my money, though, only The Muppets Take Manhattan comes close to being truly great.
The Muppets Take Manhattan closes out the original Muppets trilogy and marks the last feature film with Jim Henson’s direct involvement. It’s his swan song with the characters he created, and it’s the last Muppets film that should be required viewing.
The Roarbots blog is relatively new. It’s really less than four months old, so it came as a bit of a surprise when I was invited to attend the DisneySMMoms mini-conference for mommy bloggers last week. It was even more of a surprise since I’m a dad!
Disney Social Media Moms is run by the Disney Parks PR and Marketing teams as a sort of “brand awareness” outreach for the Disney resorts, as if they needed any help. They have a big, multiday conference in the spring, and during the summer they have a series of small, half-day conferences spread out around the country. They call these their “On-the-Road” events. This year, the events were held in Chicago, Philadelphia, and Phoenix. I spent the day in lovely suburban Plymouth Meeting, PA, for the Philly event.
I’m a sucker for films projected with live orchestral accompaniment. My first exposure to it was when Wolf Trap performed the entire score to Fellowship of the Ring in 2008 (followed by Two Towers in 2009, Return of the King in 2010, and then Fellowship again last year)…God bless Wolf Trap, really. They’re doing the geeky lord’s business.
When we saw that Wolf Trap had only one scheduled performance for Pixar in Concert, we jumped at the chance to get tickets. I mean, come on now, who doesn’t love Pixar?
Let me be clear. I have a 5-year-old daughter who has a “mixed” relationship with princesses, particularly of the Disney variety. She likes the characters (most of them, anyway) and tolerates their presence in her toybox, but—4 times out of 5—she patently refuses to watch the movies. Ariel? She loves the character. Sings the songs. Has the LEGO sets. We also have the Bluray, but it’s still in the shrinkwrap, months after she got it. She won’t watch it.
So it was with some hesitation that I forked over the cash to get tickets to the Beauty and the Beast musical when it came to town this past weekend. Of all the princess movies, Beauty and the Beast is probably her favorite. She’s seen it a few times and enjoys it. She really enjoys the music, and she really enjoys live theater, so I figured this was a gamble worth taking.
Here’s a giveaway you don’t want to miss. The touring performance of Beauty and the Beast: The Musical will be coming to the DC region June 6-8 at Wolf Trap in Vienna, VA.
I’m giving away 2 in-house tickets (not general admission lawn tickets) to the 8 p.m. performance on Sunday, June 8, 2014. Use the raffle widget below to enter.
Spread the word, and good luck! A huge thanks to Wolf Trap for making these tickets available to Roarbots followers and readers.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Since today is the day that registration opens up to the general public for the 2015 Walt Disney World marathon in January, I thought I’d take this opportunity to report on one of the best aspects of any runDisney event: the kids’ races.
Disney bills the 5k as a “family-friendly fun run,” but 3.1 miles is still a heckuva distance for the littlest ones among us. In response, they’ve set up the kids’ runs, which have a “race” for every member of the family–right down to babies crawling in the diaper dash.
We happened to be in Orlando and at Walt Disney World last October during the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Timed to coincide with that event is the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend. We couldn’t resist signing the kids up for a race and checking out what runDisney has to offer our youngest athletes.
Lego 41051: Merida’s Highland Games / Disney Princess
Another entry in the Disney Princess line. I had thought this was Zoey’s “least desired” in the line, but she came home from the store with it in hand the other day (after finding some cash on the ground!).
Specs: 145 pieces (11 extras, including a cute little cookie and a cool key); 2 bags (+ 8×16 green base); 1 sticker sheet; 57 steps over 55 pages (2 books); took the 5yo Roarbot about an hour to put everything together
The Magic Kingdom Storybook
- written and illustrated by Jason Grandt
- published by Disney Press
When I first heard about this book, I knew we had to have it. Written and illustrated by Walt Disney Imagineer Jason Grandt, who had a hand in the design of the stunning Princess Fairytale Hall at the Magic Kingdom, this book is absolutely stunning.
A few months ago, we made the pilgrimage to Walt Disney World in Florida and just did So. Much. Stuff. We were there for 2 weeks (not in a park every day, thank goodness), and the kids (then age 2 and 4) had a blast. I know a lot of people have taken kids this age and been horribly disappointed or upset that their kids “just weren’t ready” or were too young. We didn’t find this at all.
Zoey had already been to Disneyland in California and Tokyo Disneysea, so she knew the score. It was a first for Sam, but, at 2, I don’t think it could’ve been any better. So much of what he saw and did just thrilled him to the core.
Since the point of this blog isn’t to be the first out of the gate, I don’t feel bad about going back and revisiting some of the highlight and lowlights of our experiences.
Lego 41053: Cinderella’s Dream Carriage / Disney Princess
Zoey just turned 5, and this was one of her birthday presents. Last year, when I first saw the photos of the new Disney Princess Lego line, I knew it would be a pain in my wallet. I was right. Zoey started in on “real” Legos late last year, at about 4 1/2, which apparently is much younger than many of her friends who are still fumbling with Duplos, if at all.
We started in with the Lego Friends line, and she fell in love with the polybagged pets sets. We’ve gone through Series 1 and 2 of those (Series 3 is in the closet, waiting), some larger Friends sets, a Superhero set here and there, and now this. At 4, she was able to assemble most of the sets entirely by herself. Now, she’s a pro.