Disney gets goofy over selling junk to kids

It seems like the whole nation is now at war against junk food. Not us, of course. Sedentary people are sedentary readers.

First, New York mayor and pint-sized terror, Michael Bloomberg, proposed a ban on all sugary drinks served in 16-ounce or larger cups in the city’s restaurants. Now, Walt Disney Co plans to cut back on the number of junk food advertisements aired during children’s programming, including their Disney channels, ABC, ABC Family and ESPN Pop Warner. (Ask your cable provider.)

Disney must have realized that children built like John Candy are less likely to live long enough to buy Oliver & Company when it’s finally re-released from “the vault” in 10 years.

Movies I’ve Sneen: ‘John Carter’

Our resident movie reviewer, Chugs, is out this week, presumably getting bombarded with gamma radiation to prepare for the upcoming release of Marvel’s The Avengers in May. In the meantime, I’m filling in with a review of John Carter from my own site. You can read this review and others at Rick-Snee.com.

I had to take a couple of extra days to decide what I thought of Disney’s John Carter. On the one hand, I’m such a big fan of the books that scrounging up my nerd love for a couple of No-Prizes shouldn’t be tough. On the other, there’s the culprit that doomed this movie right there in the title: Disney’s.

Unlike the possessive title of “Tyler Perry’s,” Disney-branding isn’t necessarily a death sentence. But, how does anybody in the mouse-shaped office think that they could give “Conan on Mars” its best shake in a PG-13 environment?

The answer they settled upon in this office I’ve just invented was to take elements from Edgar Rice Burrough’s novels, put them on tiles, and mix ’em up Scrabble-style until they fit all the double word score boxes. Or, to put it more simply: as formulaically as possible to hit all the summer family blockbuster buttons.

That’s not to say John Carter is bad, just … disappointing. Continue reading Movies I’ve Sneen: ‘John Carter’

Get ready for the Hall of Evil Presidents

If you conspiracy theorists out there are looking for proof that Disney has stumbled onto a transdimensional portal to an evil, parallel universe and plans to secretly exploit this at their theme parks, then we suppose this works: Disney park workers can now grow beards and goatees.

Disney unsure whether to sue

Anyone that’s been to Disneyworld has seen the “It’s a Small World” ride, where a boat on a track takes the riders around while creepy animatronic dolls dressed as children from around the world incessantly sing the same song alllllllllll throughout the entire ride. It’s fun enough when you’re a kid, boring as an adult and possibly nightmare inducing no matter what age you are, but nevertheless, they’re just dolls, right?

But what if they were real?

Beer so good you’ll need 7 cigarettes

An Australian beer advertisement has reportedly ticked off Disney because it features a Snow White lookalike lying in bed blowing smoke rings with seven undressed dwarves. Who would have guessed that? The ad campaign for Jamieson Brewery’s Raspberry Ale was created by the Australian advertising agency The Foundry to promote the beer as “anything but sweet” with a maiden they call “Ho White” and seven dwarves.

The Walt Disney Co., who licenses the usually wholesome character, quickly noticed The Foundry’s online and print marketing, the Daily Telegraph reports. The Foundry said it had “a little bit of contact” with Disney over this adults-only version of Snow White.

The official Web site, anythingbutsweet.com.au, can no longer be accessed. The Foundry’s Web site reportedly featured pictures of “Ho White” earlier this week but no longer does. Now, mind you, the tale of Snow White has been circulating around Europe for centuries in many different cultures. Grimm’s fairy tales written in the 1850’s. The story is not copyright-able or owned by Disney. The look of the characters may be a Disney copyright, but the story has long since passed into the public domain.

Of course, some of them definitely have that Disney-esque look to them …

Welcome to the most deathiest place on Earth

What’s the latest trend in the world? Death. In the past few months, we’ve seen more celebrities and quasi-celebrities bite the bullet than we ever knew existed. So, with our country’s ridiculous obsession over fame, it’s time for more people to give up the ghost, and what better place than at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, “The Happiest Place on URK!”

Recently, a Disney employee died while doing a tumble roll during the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, making it the third death in under two months. Earlier in August, an employee was hurt during a pirate show and died, and in July, a monorail driver was killed in a collision. Spoooooooky.

On my list of ways in which I’d be alright with dying, “doing a somersault on the ground” is somewhere near the bottom, right above being eaten by the rock monkeys of Gibraltar and dying by LARP-er gang assault.

You Missed It: Just stopping by to say hello edition

Some believe in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), the medical theory that if one does not get enough sunlight, particularly for long periods of time like in the winter, you get depressed and/or irritable. Here we are at the end of February and you know what? I say screw you, SAD, I don’t believe in you! If you were busy winning an Academy Award this week, odds are you missed it.

And the Dow responded with a huge drop
On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama, addressed a joint meeting of Congress. It wasn’t a State of the Union address, the new president just hates Scrubs and everyone who watches it. In any case, during his speech, Obama laid out his plan for economic recovery, which includes not raising taxes for the vast majority of the country, and increased federal funding for projects. Also announced: federally mandated casual Fridays in offices across the U.S.

Brady earns another ring
New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady got married this week. (Sorry, Schools!) Brady and Brazilian model Gisele Bunchen were married in a small ceremony in California. Bunchen’s dogs were present for the ceremony, however, Brady’s kid was not. According to reports, Brady, seeing no passing lanes, sprinted down the aisle and slid before contact could be made.

It’s like Nick is coming right at me!
Have you been eagerly anticipating the Jonas Brothers’ movie? I know Chugs has. Jonas Brothers: 3D Concert Experience is now out in theaters today. According to reviews, it’s, well, the Jonas Brothers, in concert, and in 3D. So yeah, Disney did a good job naming this one. However, there is one big hole, you can get a 3D Jonas Brothers concert experience by going to one of their concerts.

The McBournie Minute: Bowl to the future

Over the weekend I attended a 7-year-old’s birthday party and was surprisingly devoid of alcohol. It had been a while for me since I had gone to any birthday parties that did not involve someone falling asleep on the bathroom floor, so this was a shock to me. Happily, I found that the birthday parties of the younger ones have not really changed since I was that age.

There were still heavily caffeinated sodas for the children, along with snacks and cake. There were presents and balloons. It was at a bowling alley, and there were pop music videos playing on projection screens. During the experience I realized two things:

  1. Kids listen to pop music brought to you by Disney, featuring teen singers/ role models so modestly dressed you can’t even see their 20% of their skin, thus making me feel creepy for the slightest glance.
  2. Federal funding for bowling alleys ran out in 1981.

Continue reading The McBournie Minute: Bowl to the future

Tastes like chicken

Everyone has seen Jaws, I’m assuming. The tale (pun intended) of a blood-thirsty shark willing to kill Richard Dreyfus at any cost. But then again, isn’t that in theory all of us? I know I never forgave him for Mr. Holland’s Opus. Anyways, from this film (Jaws, not Opus, keep up) we learned what science and The Discovery Channel had yet to inform us of: sharks are deadly and they eat people. Don’t let A Shark’s Tale or Finding Nemo fool you, we have a conspiracy theory that Disney may in fact be working with the animals, see: Mickey, Goofy, Donald and some rabid chipmunks named after male strippers.

However, the shark from this story in Hawaii has a refined palate apparently too good for us. After a taste of Todd Murashige, the shark decided he would go on his merry way for a tastier snack than the local surfer.