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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.

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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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Cinderella (Live Action)

This live action retelling of the classic story is as entertaining on home video as it was in theaters. Here is my original post from April with my first impressions and overview of the film. On a second viewing I second my 1st impressions. To sum up my initial reaction I thought the film was faithful to the Disney animated version while carving out some themes of its own and bringing extra depth to some of the characters. If you are expecting a lot of singing and talking animals you will be disappointed, but if you are looking for a solid version of the film that references the original in many ways and is entertaining and can stand on its own you will enjoy it.

I took a look at the Blu-ray for the film and then used DisneyMoviesAnywhere for the extras. The reason for this is there are several deleted scenes that are only available on DisneyMoviesAnywhere.

All versions of the release include the Disney Animation Studios short, Frozen Fever. So if you did not pick up the Shorts Release a few weeks ago and want the short this is another way to add it to your library. No bonus material dealt with the short.

Release date: 2015-09-05

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The Vault of Walt: Volume 2: Unofficial, Unauthorized, Uncensored Disney Stories Never Told

This is the second in an ongoing series from Disney Historian Jim Korkis. The book is in the same format as the first volume. It is a collection of short stories on various Disney subjects. The stories are divided into chapters based on Walt, Films, Theme Park, and then everything else. The book contains 28 stories spanning its 200+ pages.

Release date: 2013-09-13

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Beauty and the Beast (Live Action)

The live action Beauty and the Beast comes to home video on June 6 in various formats (Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD). If you missed the film in theaters, this film carries on the recent trend of re-telling classic Disney animated films in live action. The film holds true to the original story with some additional exploration into the back story and motivation of several characters. The music we all know is there plus a couple of new pieces written for this version.

Release date: 2017-06-06

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Tony Baxter: First of the Second Generation of Walt Disney Imagineers (Legends & Legacies Series)

All disneygeeks know the name Tony Baxter. Those of you non geeks but Disney Fans that do not recognize the name will definitely know his work. Tony worked for Walt Disney Imagineering from 1970 to 2013 creating many of the attractions and worlds we enjoy at Disney Parks around the world. These include Big Thunder, Splash Mountain, Star Tours, Indiana Jones Adventure, he was creative lead for Disneyland Paris, he was also a lead on Disneyland’s new Fantasyland, as well as Journey Into Imagination and many more. This biography chronicles Tony’s life and accomplishments. Including his first visits to Disneyland, his jobs at Disneyland and his long career at Imagineering.

Release date: 2015-10-30

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Bambi

Walt Disney’s 1942 classic Bambi celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. To mark the occasion a new signature collection release is available on Digital HD/Disney Movies Anywhere and will be on Blu-ray and DVD on June 6th. This release features a half dozen new bonus features as well as a slew of classic ones from previous releases. These include two new deleted scenes, Bambi’s Ice and Snow plus The Grasshopper in addition to several from previous releases. Out of the new material I found the Studio Stories featurette to be the most interesting. I always enjoy glimpses into the creation process of the films and learning what Walt and his team thought about. There is a nice featurette on Tyrus Wong who created background concept art for this film, Tyrus passed away in 2016 at age 106. Continuing the recent trend there is an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit short, “Africa Before Dark” included in addition to the re-release of “The Old Mill” short. The classic material includes an in depth (over an hour) exploration of the creation of the film in “The Making of Bambi: A Prince Is Born”. This making of documentary includes interviews with several legendary animators who are no longer with us so having that record and listening to them talk about the film was a treat to revisit.

Release date: 2017-06-06

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Disney Pirates: The Definitive Collector's Anthology

Disney Pirates - The Definitive Collector’s Anthology explores the history of Disney Pirates over the decades and across all media. It covers a wide range of topics to varying degrees. The central focus is Pirates of the Caribbean with a large portion of the book devoted to the first four films as well as the fifth film Dead Men Tell No Tales that opens May 26, 2017. The book opens with a look at Disney Pirates in film and TV dating back to Walt’s films and up through current Disney offerings. The next section looks at the Pirates of the Caribbean attractions and other Pirates based attractions in the parks with the exception of Shanghai Disneyland, it has its own chapter at the end of the book. The last major section that spans nearly half the book does a deep dive into the five films.

Release date: 2017-04-11

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Disney A to Z (Fifth Edition): The Official Encyclopedia

The 5th Edition of Disney A to Z - The Official Encyclopedia by Dave Smith was published last November. The first edition was released back in 1996 and since then the book has grown from 5,200 entries to 7,600. This edition includes entries through summer of 2016.

Release date: 2016-11-15

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Tale as Old as Time The Art and Making of Disney Beauty and the Beast (Updated Edition)

The 2010 book, “Tale As Old as Time - The Art and Making of Disney Beauty and the Beast" has been updated and released this year to include the new Live-Action film and Walt Disney World theme park additions. If you are not familiar with the title, the book takes a comprehensive look at the history of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast featuring stories of those involved. Starting with the origins of the story and the many starts and stops the process took to bring the original film to the big screen. Along the way you learn about the hurdles that were overcome and are introduced to many members of the team that brought the classic to life including the animators, music team, production team and more. You learn the many ground breaking aspects of the film including the computer system that was used for the film. The transition from film to live theater is documented. Other chapters focus on the re-releases including the IMAX and 3D Versions and what it took to update the film for those.

Release date: 2017-01-31

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Moana

Moana has arrived on home video (Blu-ray, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, DVD) with a wide assortment of bonus material. The film takes you on an adventure with Moana who sets sail to save her people. She enlists the help of the demigod Maui and along with Hei Hei, a not so bright chicken) they sail across the ocean to return the heart of Te Fiti. The film is as enjoyable on home video as it was the big screen.

In addition to the “Inner Workings” short that preceded the film in theaters is another short called “Maui Mini-Movie: Gone Fishing”, and just as the title says it features a fishing experience for Maui. This home video release includes a large selection of bonus material totaling around 2 hours (not including the commentary). The material includes behind the scenes, deleted scenes, music featurettes and a full audio commentary by John Musker and Ron Clements the film’s directors.

Release date: 2017-03-07

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