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 The Geek's Library:

The Geek's library contains information and reviews of various Disney books, Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs that I have read/watched over the years.

Visit the Geek's Blog for recent press releases and other reviews on dvd/blu-ray/Disney Movies Anywhere releases, Books, and music.


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Avengers: Infinity War

I thought the bonus material on the whole was average. The featurettes did not really seem to delve into the topics they covered to any real depth and some of the material was repeated between them. They fall short of the high bar Lucasfilm set with the recent Star Wars releases featuring full length making of documentaries.

Release date: 2018-08-14

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Peter Pan (Walt Disney Signature Collection)

Walt Disney’s Classic Animated Feature Peter Pan returns to home video as a Walt Disney Signature Collection Release to mark the 65th Anniversary of the release of the film. There are four new bonus features as well as a large assortment of classic bonus features included.

Release date: 2018-06-05

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Black Panther

The Black Panther was released in theaters in February and has been in the top 10 every week since, even this past weekend after nearly 90 days on the big screen. Now you can bring the Black Panther home with the digital HD and Blu-ray release.

This installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes you to Wakanda and shares the story of Prince T’Challa’s (The Black Panther’s) ascension to the throne and struggles he faced after the tragic death of his father forced him into the leadership role.

Release date: 2018-05-15

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Travels With Walt Disney – A Photographic Voyage Around the World

Travels with Walt Disney – A Photographic Voyage Around the World was an interesting journey back in time. The book chronicles the trips Walt Disney took throughout his life spanning from his early days on the railroad to filming location visits and scouting locations for Walt Disney World. In between were several leisure and work related trips. Walt utilized many modes of transportation including railroads, cruise ships, airplanes and automobiles. A point of consideration when thinking about Walt Disney and travel is the time period Walt lived in. Walt was born in 1901 in the Midwest. Travel in the early to mid 1900s was much less affordable, efficient and common than that of today. Many people from that time period did not travel far from their place of birth or travel that frequently compared to modern times. To put this in perspective, as was noted in the book, there were only a few cars in town as Walt was growing up and he was born before the first airplane flew. Travel evolved a lot over his lifetime. Walt passed away in 1966, when jet air travel was just becoming mainstream.

Release date: 2018-04-03

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The home video release includes several hours of bonus material. This material varies by the format you choose, so check with the disc specs if you are interested in a particular feature:

  • The Director and the Jedi – This is the highlight of the bonus features. It clocks in at just over an hour and a half and features an extended look at the creation of the film. This documentary explores some of the challenges the film makers encountered with the large production ranging from budget to scheduling to set creation to the actors themselves. It spends a good amount of time on Mark Hamill and his reservations for his character in the film. For a couple of clips of the documentary here is the announcement – The Director and the Jedi
  • Balance of the Force – This 10 minute feature looks at some of the mythology of the force. I did not find it that engaging of a piece.
  • Scene Breakdowns – The scenes are explored in detail in this 30 minute piece. They are Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle, Snoke and Mirrors, Showdown on Crait. Each one looks at a different challenge the team encountered. For the first it was how to capture the space battle, the second motion capture and the Snoke character and the third what Crait would be and how to create the climactic battle.
  • Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only) – Two sequences from the film showing Andy Serkis on set performances of Snoke that were captured. It is interesting looking at how the motion capture/CG creation utilizes these performances in the final product.
  • Deleted Scenes – There are 14 deleted scenes included in the bonus material. You have two options for each, one to just watch the scene and a second to feature the director’s commentary and some explanation of the scene and why it did not make it into the final film.
  • Audio Commentary & Score Only – There are two alternative audio tracks. One is a full length commentary by Rain Johnson and the second is a score only version available exclusively on Movies Anywhere


Release date: 2018-03-27

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Riding the Black Ship Japan and Tokyo Disneyland

This book takes an academic look at Tokyo Disneyland and its relationship with Japan society. The book explores how the park came to be and thrive. There are four main sections. The introduction, Onstage, Backstage and Offstage. The introduction includes the history and how the park came to be. The Onstage section includes a case study of three attractions, the Jungle Cruise, Castle Mystery Tour and Meet the World. The focus of the backstage portion is the cast member experience both for Part-time employees and regular employees. It looks at the hiring process, training and organization. The final section Offstage looks at theme parks as a whole in Japan and the various demographics that visit Tokyo Disneyland.

Release date: 1999-05-01

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Thor: Ragnarok

Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok is now on home video in various formats (DVD/Blu-Ray/4K/Digital HD/Movies Anywhere). In this third Thor film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Thor is in a race to return to Asgard to save his home world from destruction at the hands of Hela (his sister and the Goddess of Death).

Release date: 2018-03-06

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Coco

Disney-Pixar’s Coco is now available on several home video formats. The film takes you on a journey with Miguel to the land of the dead where he learns the history of his family’s stories and traditions. The musical adventure celebrates family and remembering your ancestors.

There is a wealth of bonus material available on this first home video release. The sum is over 2 hours and the features have a heavy focus on how the film is inspired by and reflects the Mexican/Latino Culture and Traditions. Several pieces highlight the creative team’s trip to Mexico where they were immersed in the culture and families. The bonus features explore several components of the film including the characters, music, fashion/clothing, Dante, and the Guitar. There are seven deleted scenes with introductions/descriptions in this release. Plus several trailers, a couple how to featurettes, full length commentary, a music video and more. For a complete listing with descriptions of what is included on this home video release of Coco visit the initial press release.

Release date: 2018-02-27

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Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp returns to home video with a Walt Disney Signature Collection Release. This time available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital (moviesanywhere).

Release date: 2018-02-27

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Yesterday’s Tomorrow Disney’s Magical Mid-Century

Yesterday’s Tomorrow Disney’s Magical Mid-Century is a look at a unique time in American and Disney History as both hit high points and turned to looking at the future. The war was over, the baby boom on and the American way of life was evolving quickly into the 50s and 60s. For Walt Disney this was when he was broadened his creative ventures from animation into many other forms of entertainment including live action film, music, theme parks, special events, and television.

Release date: 2017-11-14

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The Lion King (Celebrating The Lion King's 20th Anniversary on Broadway): Twenty Years on Broadway and Around the World

The Lion King – Twenty Years on Broadway and Around the World is a comprehensive look at one of the most successful entertainment creations ever. To give a sense of the impact of this show over 90 million people have seen the Lion King on stage to date. The show has earned over $7 billion and it is still running and touring throughout the world so this total grows daily. To give that number some perspective.. that is more than all the Star Wars films grossed combined when the book was published.

Release date: 2017-11-07

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My Pride Mastering Life's Daily Performance

My Pride Mastering Life’s Daily Performance by Alton Fitzgerald White is an autobiography of this accomplished Broadway performer. The book explores how hard work, dedication, and motivation took him from his childhood in the projects of Cincinnati to major roles in Broadway productions. One of his major accomplishments was playing Mufasa in the Lion King for over 4,000 performances. Alton shares his recollections and life choices as he found his way through life. He discusses some of the choices he made and how those impacted his life. He shares stories of his education both formal and informal and how he took advantage of opportunities he earned.

Release date: 2017-11-07

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The Lion King: Pride Rock on Broadway

The Lion King Pride Rock on BroadwayThe Lion King Pride Rock on Broadway is an update to the original book of the same title that was released in 1998, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Broadway show. The book is written by Julie Taymor who is the director of the play and won the Tony for best director and costume design for the Lion King. Julie takes you on a journey from the initial concept through all phases of development for the costumes, sets, music, cast, and production. She shares some of the challenges and hurdles her team encountered and how they found solutions. The update includes a new design featuring new photos as well as retrospective essays by Julie Taymor and Thomas Schumacher.

Release date: 2017-11-07

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Ink & Paint: The Women of Walt Disney's Animation

Ink & Paint the Women of Walt Disney’s Animation by Mindy Johnson is much more than the title says. This hefty hardcover book weighs in at over 6lbs and measures 10.4x13.4. Within the 380+ pages Mindy shines a light on the many women who have played a role in bringing the films we all enjoy to life. She takes the reader on a detailed trip through time looking at the evolution of women in the American Workplace as well as a look at how the Disney animation process grew and changed over the years. She discusses the new advances in technique and process and the ebb and flow of the studio workforce and culture. This is shown in context with how the American culture changed over the decades too.

Release date: 2017-09-05

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Cars 3

Cars 3 rolls onto Home Video on November 7th in various formats/sets and is currently available on Digital HD/Movies Anywhere. If you missed the film in theaters this time around Lightning McQueen is faced with the reality of getting older and his racing days are numbered as a new generation of racers are taking over. He deals with the internal struggle over what his identity is and the next phase of his life. This film includes most of the cast from the original film and introduces several new characters. Cruz Ramirez is one of the new cars featured. She is a trainer who has been held back from being a racer and goes on the training adventure with Lightning.

Release date: 2017-11-07

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Eat Like Walt: The Wonderful World of Disney Food

Eat Like Walt - The Wonderful World of Disney FoodEat Like Walt - Cover explores Disney Dining during Walt’s time as well as Walt’s personal tastes. This includes detailed discussions of Walt at Home, Walt at the Studio and Walt's Disneyland. For the Studios & Disneyland each location has its own entry with dates of operation, history of the location and in many cases connections to Walt or small stories that include Walt. In addition to the detailed narrative there are a number of images from the archives, many showcased at full page size, featuring a dining location and/or Walt. Other media included are a selection of artist renderings, menus, and advertisements. One of the last sections of the books features several signature recipes from locations discussed in the book if you wanted to try your hand at creating a favorite.

Release date: 2017-09-19

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Beyond the Castle – A Guide to Discovering Your Happily Ever After

In Beyond the Castle – A Guide to Discovering Your Happily Ever After, Jody Jean Dreyer shares her insights, business & life lessons using stories from a 30 year career with the Walt Disney Company. Like many she was a Disney fan growing up and visited Walt Disney World as soon as she could, which happened to be during its first year. She went on to work for the company. During her career Jody worked her way through twenty-two different positions starting with the Walt Disney World College Program and working her way up the ranks to a senior vice president. Her career included time as a WDW Ambassador, member of the Disneyland Paris Opening team, head of corporate synergy and special projects as well as Senior Vice President for Disney Worldwide Outreach.

Release date: 2017-09-05

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Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney Cartoons

Oswald the Lucky Rabbit: The Search for the Lost Disney CartoonsOswald the Lucky Rabbit The Search for the Lost Cartoons by David Bossert is a great reference book for anyone interested in learning about Oswald’s Disney Years & Releases and the modern day quest to find all the original Disney shorts.

Release date: 2017-08-29

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Disneyland for Vampires, Zombies, and Others with Very Special Needs

Have you ever thought about what a vampire, zombie, gargoyle, or other creature would need to know to visit a Disney Park? Dominick Cancilla has and he wrote two guide books this year, one for Walt Disney World and one for Disneyland, exploring the subject in depth. Both books follow the same format of starting off like a traditional Disney guidebook for the first chapter with an introduction covering the basics, vocabulary, how to get there, where to stay, when to travel, how to blend in, etc… but with creatures in mind. Then instead of being a traditional guide that would delve into each park and attraction he takes a different turn and the remainder of the book is an alphabetical listing of over 150 creature entries such as Medusae, Zombie, Robots & Androids, Heat Avoiders, Headless Individuals, and so on. Each creature entry gives some information that would be helpful for it to visit one of the Disney parks. Topics include Items of Interest, Misleading Labels, Trigger Warnings, Things to Try, and Possible Offensive Stereotypes. Sprinkled throughout are also comments from those who have written in to share their experiences too.

Release date: 2017-09-06

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Walt Disney World for Vampires, Zombies, and Others with VERY Special

Have you ever thought about what a vampire, zombie, gargoyle, or other creature would need to know to visit a Disney Park? Dominick Cancilla has and he wrote two guide books this year, one for Walt Disney World and one for Disneyland, exploring the subject in depth. Both books follow the same format of starting off like a traditional Disney guidebook for the first chapter with an introduction covering the basics, vocabulary, how to get there, where to stay, when to travel, how to blend in, etc… but with creatures in mind. Then instead of being a traditional guide that would delve into each park and attraction he takes a different turn and the remainder of the book is an alphabetical listing of over 150 creature entries such as Medusae, Zombie, Robots & Androids, Heat Avoiders, Headless Individuals, and so on. Each creature entry gives some information that would be helpful for it to visit one of the Disney parks. Topics include Items of Interest, Misleading Labels, Trigger Warnings, Things to Try, and Possible Offensive Stereotypes. Sprinkled throughout are also comments from those who have written in to share their experiences too.

Release date: 2017-05-10

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dean Men Tell No Tales is now on Digital HD/4K and will be on Blu-ray/DVD October 3, 2017. This is the fifth big screen adventure of Captain Jack Sparrow and crew. For those who have not seen it yet this film features a mix of new and returning characters as well as story lines. The main quest in this film is for the Trident of Poseidon. As always along the way there are double crosses, plot twists and daring escapes by Captain Jack Sparrow. We learn a little more about the backstories of the main characters such as where/how Jack Sparrow received his name. This film also comes full circle and concludes several story lines that have spanned the previous movies. If you enjoy the original films you will feel right at home with this one. The movie follows the same format and feel of the others.

Release date: 2017-10-03

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Lion King: Walt Disney Signature Collection

The Lion King is now available as a Walt Disney Signature Release Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD. This release features the classic 1994 film that we all know and enjoy, a handful of new bonus features and many bonus features from the previous two DVD releases. I am sure you all know the story of the Lion King and have seen it numerous times so no plot summary is needed. It is always fun to revisit an “old friend” and watch the film again.

There are a handful of new bonus features on this release. I would have liked to have seen more as I felt these were on the short side and add only slightly to the release.

Release date: 2017-08-29

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Disneynature Born in China

Disneynature released Born in China on Earth Day 2017 and the film is now available on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD. In this film you are taken to remote regions of China and follow a giant panda mother and her offspring, a golden snub-nosed monkey troop, and a snow leopard family. Plus a look at the red-crown crane family. For each family the film spans a year and shares their lives, struggles, and routines. As with all Disneynature films the settings are unique and inspiring. Freezing the picture for each to admire the view/background is incredible. As you would expect the giant pandas are interesting but I found the monkeys and snow leopards stories more compelling and interesting to watch. The pandas just sit around or climb and eat. The others tend to do more interesting behaviors.

Release date: 2017-08-29

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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

For those who did not catch it in theaters this movie picks up soon after the first one ends and delves deeper into the characters back stories this time around. The Guardians now are becoming more of a family and struggling with that dynamic as they are thrust into saving the galaxy again. The movie features Vol. 2 of the mix tape and again a great classic soundtrack that is woven into the film.

Release date: 2017-08-22

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Building Magic – Disney’s Overseas Theme Parks

Building Magic – Disney’s Overseas Theme Parks takes a look at the history at the Disney projects in Tokyo, Paris, Hong Kong and Shanghai. For each it presents the history of how the park came to be, how the land was acquired/created and why the location chosen. It then flows into the construction of the park. A detailed accounting of what the park was like on opening day is next. Then a look at changes over the year and subsequent parks and expansions. The epilogue contains a brief section on many of the rumored international expansions over the years that span the globe.

Release date: 2016-07-15

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