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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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Unbirthday: A Twisted Tale

Liz Braswell's Twisted Tale series takes you to Wonderland in this novel. The question is posed, What if Wonderland was in peril and Alice was very, very late?

Alice is 18 years old now and a photography enthusiast. Her photos become signals that something is wrong in Wonderland. When she views several of them she sees her Wonderland friends and foes with signs of trouble. The Queen of Hearts is ruling Wonderland and racing toward the end of time. Alice returns to Wonderland to help her friends and lead the way to save Wonderland.

Release date: 2020-09-01

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The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky

The Disney Monorail – Imagineering a Highway in the Sky by Jeff Kurtti, Vanessa Hunt & Paul Wolski delivers a history lesson on monorails, incredible concept artwork and some great photos as it explores the evolution of monorails both in a historical and Disney context.    The Monorail has become a symbol of Disney Parks.  There are other monorails but when you say monorail to many people the Disney version jumps to mind.    This book explores the history of the transportation mode, Walt’s involvement and the growth of the system.

Release date: 2020-09-15

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Disney Maps – A Magical Atlas of the Movies We Know and Love

Disney Maps – A Magical Atlas of the Movies We Know and Love features maps of twenty four Disney & Pixar Animated Films spanning from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) through Coco (2017).   Each movie is represented with a two page map showing the locations visited in the film.  Then two additional pages of information.  On the first additional page there is a couple paragraph description of the film, four “Moments to Remember” and a list of some other information from the film.  A second page showcases the key characters with an image of each and their name.   The foreword is written by Pete Doctor who talks a little about locations in the film and uses two of his films, Up and Inside Out as examples.

Release date: 2020-08-11

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The 55ers – The Pioneers Who Settled Disneyland

The 55ers – The Pioneers Who Settled Disneyland by David Koenig takes us back to the first year of Disneyland and gives a detailed description of how the park was organized and operated, the people who brought it to life, plus some great pictures of the early years.

Release date: 2019-10-01

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Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge - Black Spire

Interested in learning more about the back story of Black Spire Outpost on Batuu? Curious about the history of the Resistance base? How about why Vi Moradi is there? This novel takes you on an adventure as Vi Moradi arrives on Batuu and sets up the Resistance base and recruits more to her cause. It details her initial encounters with the locals and First Order.

Release date: 2019-08-29

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Frozen II

Frozen II is available on home video in several formats ranging from DVD to 4K disc and digital versions. This adventure picks up shortly after the original film’s conclusion. Elsa, Anna, Kirstoff, Olaf and Sven embark on a new quest to discover what/whom is calling Elsa and why. They learn about the origins of Elsa’s power and more of their family’s history. The initial home video release includes a variety of bonus materials including several featurettes, deleted scenes, deleted songs, music videos and a sing along version.

Release date: 2020-02-25

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the ninth and final film in the Skywalker Saga. The home video release features a variety of formats spanning DVD, Blu-ray, 4K and various digital formats. Bonus material can vary by format and retailer. I had the opportunity to review the Blu-ray and DisneyMoviesAnywhere Digital version of the film.

Release date: 2020-03-31

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The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company

In Ride of a Lifetime Bob Iger shares recollections of his long career with ABC and Disney. Along the way imparting some insights and leadership philosophies. Plus a look behind the curtain at some of the biggest deals in the entertainment industry.

Release date: 2019-09-23

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Marc Davis In His Own Words: Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks

Marc Davis In His Own Word: Imagineering the Disney Theme Parks by Pete Docter & Christopher Merritt is a two volume nearly 750 page work chronicling the Disney Legend’s theme park projects.

Release date: 2019-09-03

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The Muppet Christmas Carol: The Illustrated Holiday Classic

The Muppet Christmas Carol: The Illustrated Holiday Classic combines the Charles Dickens story with the Muppet Christmas Carol film and presents it in an illustrated storybook format. The book follows the 1992 The Muppet Christmas Carol with the Great Gonzo portraying Charles Dickens and narrating the story with help from Rizzo the Rat. Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy are the Cratchits. The plot is the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge being visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve who show him the error of his ways and the importance of spreading love and kindness to others.

Release date: 2019-10-29

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Birnbaum's Walt Disney World - Official Guide

Last Reviewed 2020 Edition:

Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World – The Official Vacation Guide 2020 Edition is available now. This annually updated resource dates back to 1981 and has the goal of providing a comprehensive resource to help you plan your vacation to Walt Disney World (WDW). Over the years the book has continued to expand along with WDW. This year’s paperback checks in at over 350 pages divided into eleven chapters. These include general vacation planning information such as: Getting Ready to Go, Transportation & Accommodations. A chapter devoted to each of the four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom). As well as chapters on Sports & Recreation, Dining, and everything else in the World. Also included is the Disney Cruise Line (for several years this was a separate book but it is now in the WDW book. Lastly the book concludes with nine pages of coupons good at various locations around Walt Disney World.

Release date: 2019-09-17

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The Lion King (2019)

This initial home video release includes a documentary on the creation of the film, a closer look at several scenes, music videos as well as options to play the film with commentary, sing-a-long mode or to jump straight to the songs.  Plus a couple of music videos. 

Release date: 2019-10-22

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Birnbaum's Disneyland Resort - The Official Vacation Guide

Last Reviewed the 2020 Edition of this book: Birnbaum’s Disneyland Resort – The Official Vacation Guide 2020 edition is now available.  The first edition of this guide was published in the 80s (1988 I believe).  It has been several years since I last reviewed the guide so I was curious to see what they say about Galaxy’s Edge and other changes at the parks.    I always have a tough time evaluating Disneyland guidebooks because I do not visit the park like a typical tourist. I rarely stay in Anaheim and even when I visit with infrequent guests or first timers I tend to tailor the touring plan around their tastes.

Traditional guidebooks like this can still play a role in vacation planning for people.  Yes you can find almost everything in this book (and more up to date in several cases) online on various sites including ours or the official Disneyland.com site but having something printed out that you can mark up and flip through gives a different experience.  I also tend to look at these guides as time capsules to collect.  You can look back on a trip and see what the prices were, what was new, or what was coming soon.

Release date: 2019-09-17

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Birnbaum's Walt Disney World for Kids

Last reviewed 2020 Edition: Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World For Kids 2020 edition became available in September. This guide for kids (ages 7 to 14) featuring contributions from kids was first published in the mid 1990s (1996 I believe) and updated every year . The book is a guide for kids sharing an overview of Walt Disney World theme parks and attractions plus a glimpse at dining, recreation and resorts to help be part of the vacation planning experience.

Release date: 2019-09-17

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Toy Story 4

This initial home video offering features over an hour of bonus features plus a full length commentary on the film. The bonus features are a traditional assortment of short featurettes, deleted scenes and promotional material.

Release date: 2019-10-08

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The Art of Disney Costuming: Heroes, Villains, and Spaces Between

The Art of Disney Costuming: Heroes, Villains, and Spaces Between by Jeff Kurti and the staff of the Walt Disney Archives is a coffee table book featuring a detailed look at a selection of Disney movie costumes. Each costume is given at least a page, usually more, that includes an overview of the costume and some insight into the design usually from the costume designer as well as a director or actor involved too. There are call outs providing background information on the designers who’s work is featured throughout the book. There are a large number of images that feature two page spreads, full page layouts, detailed enlargements as well as a number of concept art and inspirational pieces too. The costumes are organized into four chapters – A Royal Ball, Dwelling in Darkness, Spaces Between and Living in the Light. Featured pieces date back to early Disney live action films and run up through the 2019 release of Aladdin. Thirty Disney films are highlighted with a focus on the more modern films, maybe from the 90s forward.

Release date: 2019-09-17

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Aladdin (Walt Disney Signature Collection)

The 1992 Disney Animated Aladdin returns to home video as a Walt Disney Signature Collection Release. The film is available digitally now and on disc September 10th. The last home video release was about four years ago as a multi format Diamond edition. This time around in addition to the Blu-ray, DVD and Digital is a 4K option. There are a handful of new bonus features and like previous Walt Disney Signature Collection releases there is a large assortment of classic bonus material included in the offering.

Release date: 2019-09-10

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Aladdin (2019 Live Action)

Disney’s Live-Action Aladdin is now available digitally and will be on disc September 10th. This film is a retelling of the animated classic from the 1990s. This re-imagined film features Will Smith as everyone’s favorite blue Genie with Mena Massoud playing Aladdin and Naomi Scott is Jasmine. The film stays true to the animated version and features your favorite songs and iconic scenes, but with a new twist many of them. Jasmine has an expanded role in this version including her own song, “Speechless”.

Release date: 2019-09-10

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Pencils, Pens & Brushes: A Great Girls' Guide to Disney Animation

Written by Mindy Johnson and Illustrated by Lorelay Bové this book shares the stories of 20 great girls of Walt Disney Animation. The motto of the book is all girls are great girls! It showcases the careers and achievements of these women who represent a fraction of the hundreds who worked at the Walt Disney Studios from the 20s through 50s. This book is targeted at reading levels of grades 3-7 and the women profiled are a subset of those in the larger/longer format Ink & Paint the Women of Walt Disney Animation.

Release date: 2019-08-13

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Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge A Crash of Fate

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge A Crash of Fate takes you on an adventure with a couple of childhood friends who grew up on Batuu. One leaves and returns years later to make a delivery to Black Spire Outpost and the two reunite. When the deliver goes wrong the friends find themselves on the run and fighting to stay alive.

Release date: 2019-08-06

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Travels with Figment on the Road in Search of Disney Dreams

Travels with Figment on the Road in Search of Disney Dreams by Marty Sklar is the final book by the Disney Legend.  Marty passed away in August 2017 with only the first draft of this book complete.  His wife and daughter worked with a team to finish the book.  It will be widely available starting November 5th.

Marty created this book in response to the number one question he was asked when discussing his previous two works – Dream It! Do It! My Half-Century Creating Disney’s Magic Kingdoms and One Little Spark! Mickey’s Ten Commandments and The Road to Imagineering, which was when can we read more of your stories.

Release date: 2019-11-05

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Magic Journey: My Fantastical Walt Disney Imagineering Career

Magic Journey: My Fantastical Walt Disney Imagineering Career by Kevin P. Rafferty is a compilation of stories and experiences from his over 40 year career with Disney starting at Disneyland and becoming an Imagineer. If you do not recognize his name you surely will recognize the projects he has been involved with over the years. These include Cars Land, Test Track, Mickey’s Philharmagic, Toy Story Midway Mania!, Tower of Terror, and Tough to Be a Bug! to name a few.

Release date: 2019-09-10

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The Art and Making of Disney the Lion King

The Art and Making of Disney the Lion King by Michael Goldman takes an in depth look at the creation of the 2019 adaptation of the Lion King. It showcases a large collection of concept art plus stills and other photos from the production of the film. The bulk of the narrative focuses on the locations & characters depicted in the recent movie.

Release date: 2019-07-16

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Dumbo (Live Action)

Dumbo is now available on various formats of home video.   This Tim Burton remimagined film explores the notion of family.  Starting with Dumbo and Mrs. Jumbo.  Then extended to the Farrier family dealing with the loss of their mother and return of their father from the war.   As well as the  Medici Brothers' Circus family as they lean on each other to survive.   This version of the film pays homage to the original in several ways through visuals, scenes, and music but carves out its own identity through story and tone. 

Release date: 2019-06-25

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Cinderella

Walt Disney’s Classic Cinderella turns 70 in February and has recently been added to the National Film Registry. To celebrate these two milestones a Walt Disney Signature Collection edition is now available digitally and on disc Tuesday. Being added to the National Film Registry is an honor only about 750 other films can claim. There are several other Disney films on this prestigious list including - Steamboat Willie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, and Fantasia.

Release date: 2019-06-25

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