Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tweet-Commentary of "Walking With Dinosaurs 3D"

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Who's up for live-Tweet-commentary? #SpiritCeratopsianOfTheSteppes #WalkingWithDinosaursMovie #WWD

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"A long, long time ago In a galaxy far, far away..." #ItWillAlwaysBeFunny

Alaska is flippin' beautiful.

Between this and "Boyhood", I need to visit Alaska some time. And also Texas.

I would be focusing on Austin (arty side) and Houston (Bakker's museum!) and probably nowhere else.

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Sweet! This is just what I always wanted in my dinosaur movies! Insufferable humans!

Major brownie points: the insufferable humans mention that birds are a kind of dinosaur like it's old news.

(Which, incidentally, it is. What's really going to bake your noodle is that whales are a kind of hoofed mammal.)

DISCLAIMER: I have already dipped into the wine in prep for this. Apologies in advance if autocorrect fails on me.

Brownie points docked a bit for Insufferable Boy being all Emo over having to go on a dinosaur dig.

I'm sure the kinds of kids who want to watch a very realistic dinosaur movie can relate to NOT wanting to be a paleontologist.

Major MAJOR brownie points for the little girl being way into dinosaurs/science/nature. This is a huge deal.

I am so happy about this, seriously. But…

I expect this movie to betray me as horribly as Rise of the Guardians as far as enthusiastic little girl characters go. >:/

"Well, Insufferable Emo Boy, since you hate dinosaurs, I will leave you in the Alaskan wilderness I guess.

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Where to begin?

"Hey, I flew all the way from Eurasia to bring you on a mystical journey, Emo Boy!”


"Hmm, there's a little girl who loves dinosaurs…

"...and a boy who could not give a pair of fetid dingo kidneys about dinosaurs!…"

"Well, jee, we better send the BOY on the mystical dinosaur journey!" #ThingsThatMakeMeDrink

It took five God damn minutes. FIVE.

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Shitty 90's Transformation Effects Go!!!

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On the one hand, SQUEEEEEEEE!!!

OTOH, I want to kick the narrators. Hard.

When I saw the ads, I joked about how similar the invasive narration was to Spirit Stallion of the Cimmaron.


Haven't heard any Brian Adams songs yet, so at least there's that.

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Brownie points for fully-feathered maniraptors, though.

Reminder that this shouldn't be as huge a deal as it is.

Still, this movie is worth watching with the sound off. The Animation is *pretty*.

Also, Pachyrhinosaur babies are CUUUTE!!!

And... our hero just got sh*t on. I will spare you the screenshot but this is a thing that happens in this movie.

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"I. I was standing. You were there. Two worlds collided..."

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THIS is what Land Before Time was missing all these years. A kid IDing the dinosaurs.

A kid INSUFFICIENTLY IDing the dinosaurs! :D

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This is why this movie is so tragic! The animation is gorgeous the dinosaurs look awesome! But that narration! That prologue!

I... was not expecting Barry White in this context.

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"A-playing rock-n-roll music through the hole in his head!"

No, really. This is a plot point.

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Still, accurate pterosaurs! Also should not be as big a deal as it is.


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I'm from the future. You Pachyrhinosaurs want no business with rivers.

At least the dinosaurs in this movie look awesome, where Jurassic World looks like a long, drawn-out wet fart.

And at the 35 minute mark, speaking of wet farts, we get the "Oops, I stepped in your 'fear'!" line.

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Sadly all the Pachyrhinosaurs drowned in the Rapids, as the fossil record shows us.

Even the little cute ones.

ESPECIALLY the little cute ones.

AHAHAHAHA, I am lying! There's at least another 45 minutes of this!

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TIL: hadrosaurs love them some Fleetwood Mac.

The One Pachy Who Is A Girl is injured in the Rapids and seriously this is Spirit: Horsies Are Pretty.

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OVIRAPTORS!!! #AllIsForgiven #MovieOfTheYearEveryYear

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"Sua-pa-yaaq su-na! Ka-niq-siq! Pak-is-I-gin!" #BetterAnimationSetInAlaska

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Reminder that as much as I make fun of this movie, it is still seriously PRETTY!

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Seriously this is the best-looking bad animated film since... well, since Spirit.

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"Gee, maybe there's more to life than stealing the whole show in Blue Sky sequels..."

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"Look at my sweet-ass unicorn horn."

And now this is Bambi. Or stereotypical herd animal behavior.

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Sadly, all the Pachyrhinosaurs drowned in the lake, as the fossil record shows us.

Honestly, that's a dark undercurrent to this whole movie.

Why do you think we know so much about Pachyrhinosaurs anyway?

And according to Zachary Miller, Pachyrhinosaur characters in this movie are based on individual fossil specimens. Huh.

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Reminder that this would look dumb while a pretend genetic mishmash is teh awesome.

We must give a shout-out to David Krentz, the main character designer here.

He also worked on #DisneyDinosaur. Oof.

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Our hero Pachie is trying to summon Gwahiir. Sadly, Eagles do no exist yet As Far As We Know.

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And now, herd animals defending one member from predators. Like in real life. Ever.

Though looking at this from another angle, at least they're depicting the “gentle herbivores” as ferocious.

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BTW, the Gorgosaurs look awesome. Again, mad props to Dave Krentz.

Pachie and The One Who Is A Girl have babbies formed and this is literally #DisneyAladar all over again.

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Oh, yeah, hey, there are insufferable humans in this movie, remember?

As the adult version of that little girl who loves dinosaurs but did not get to go on Dinosaur Adventure…

…I hope whoever wrote that prologue can hear me wall-banging from here because I am doing it as hard as I can. I mean, FFS.

Because this kind of thing is f*cking *INESCAPABLE* in media when you are a girl who happens to love not-girly things.

There's lots of things that ruined #WalkingWithDinosaursMovie for me, but I think, in the cold light of morning, this ruined it the hardest.

I mean, I was prepped for the last-minute-addition narration/prologue.

The "Silly girls, dinosaurs are for boys!" thing blindsided me.

This movie was released in 3D in American theaters. I'm glad to say they never resorted to cheap 3D tricks.

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"Did somebody say 'cheap 3D tricks?!?!?!?'"

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"Cause here's something I wanted to SPRING on you!!! Wocka wocka wocka!!!”

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Oh hey, Louis V. Rey!

I'd still give something ludicrous to have him design the dinosaurs for a not-executive-meddled-to-death animated film.

End credits are set to a reprise of Tusk. Y'all know what that means...

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Correction: this is not Tusk, it's a song by Matisyahu?!

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Oh, this is awkward. I want to hug all of you…


Sketch of the Day!

11.8.14 - Draw Dinovember

On that awkward note...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Long-delayed Thoughts on Recently Experienced Media

I know, I haven't written anything in over a month and it isn't like there hasn't been a ton to write about.  Let's ignore all of that.  What have I been watching/reading/etc.?


"Jurassic World" - There really isn't much I can say about this movie that hasn't been said before, except that it exists and it's in our world and it's somehow already one of the top five movies ever (???!!!???) and there's going to be a sequel and there's nothing we can do about it.

"Inside-Out" - It's so... beautiful... photo sobeautiful.png

I'm just so *happy* that this movie exists and is amazing and being *appreciated* for how amazing it is. This movie is going to be a formative experience for a lot of kids.  I know I'd probably be in a better headspace right now if there was a sad movie for sad girls reassuring us that there is nothing wrong with being sad back in the day.

"The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" - (Trish just makes a long, drawn-out raspberry.)

Okay, seriously.  There is no reason at all why this inch-thick children's book had to be three bloated movies long, Wyvern!Smaug looks dumb as hell from the neck down, I cared more about what Beorn was doing during the battle than the filmmakers thought I should (and I cared several orders of magnitude less about Bard's stupid kids than they thought I should).  I could go on, but I can't wait for the reasonably-lengthed single movie fan edit, and if anyone is checking in from the timeline where Guillermo DelToro made "The Hobbit", please tell me it wasn't any better than this.  Look right into my eyes and lie.

"Into the Woods" - And meanwhile, here's a movie that had every reason in the world to be split into two movies (covering acts one and two respectively) but wasn't.  What the hell?  It wasn't that bad, but boy did it ever feel rushed.

"Jupiter Ascending" - I really wish that this was another "John Carter" situation where I could say, "Hey, remember that crazy-looking fantasy space adventure that bombed spectacularly?  It's actually really good and even better, in some respects, than a similar, far more popular movie."  And I just cannot, in good conscience, do that.  It's not even fun-stupid (ladies, let's promise that if anyone wants to make us Queen of Earth where the other option is Normal Girl - especially if we can tell the villains to sod off and leave Earth alone in either case, let's all decide to be Queen of Earth).

I did like the part at the end where Channing Tatum transformed into the humanlike version of literally every unimaginative kid's DeviantArt Original Character.

"Chappie" - Now this movie was something else.  I liked it well enough, and the robot was adorable, but... well, Matt Singer said it best:

"Ex Machina" - Great, great movie.  I wouldn't dare spoil it, so watch it already.

"Predestination" - Another really good science fiction Indie.  Honestly, I'm just impressed that anyone managed to adapt "All You Zombies" into a film, and an excellent one at that.



"Bojack Horseman" - This might be the best kept secret in all of made-for-streaming television.  It's weird and hilarious and full of surprising pathos.  Lisa Hanawalt's character designs are incredible and that "Chicken for Days" episode is unreal.

"Sense8" - Get through that first episode.  Trust me, that isn't what this series is.  Like the best science fiction, it's focused more on how the fantastical element affects the characters in their everyday lives.  It's really good.

"Wet, Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp" - It doubles-down on the craziness of the movie, that's for sure.  Some folks will love that; some will hate it.  Personally, my opinion is a little mixed but I *died* during the third episode.

"Rick and Morty" - Do you miss "Futurama"?  Did you enjoy the more bonkers episodes of "Community"?  You might dig this.  It's dark, weird, and God damned awe-inspiring.

"Seigfried and Roy: Masters of the Unbelievable" - There was a rumor going around the Something Awful forums that the "We Hate Movies" podcast was going to do this as part of their Animation Damnation series.  I watched it only because I had extremely vague memories of seeing a commercial for it as a kid.  This show was either (a) a failed pilot, (b) the longest, weirdest early "Final Fantasy" cutscene ever, (c) an entire failed SERIES awkwardly mashed down to one 90 minute special, or (d) delirium tremens.  Anyway, I don't want to make the We Hate Movies crew watch the New Kids on the Block cartoon anymore.  You can watch the whole shebang here.


Sketch of the Day

I have also been watching many Let's Plays and doodling along.

"Pikmin" Sketch Montage

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Grab Your Mickey Bar and Hop Into Stormalong Bay, it's the Kill, Refurb, Marry Catchup!

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What?  I totally posted this in time instead of being too overwhelmed to write anything longer than a Tweet.  The publication date says so! XD

Resort Pools

Kill - Bay Lake Tower Pool

This one was tough because I don't really dislike any of the resort pools.  So this one gets the cut only because it lacks a certain imagination: it is a beautiful pool (especially at night) but it's pretty much just a pool.  M'eh.

Refurb - Water Country

Not officially a resort pool - yet- but there's that old persistent rumor that *someday* it'll be cut off from the lake, filled with water that isn't infested with waking Cronenburgian nightmare parasites, rebuilt, and made into Fort Wilderness' swimming area.  To which I say, do it already; it's just sitting there!

Marry - Stormalong Bay

I mean, duh.

Remember that bit in the Unofficial Guide where they asked young kids what their favorite part of their Disney vacation was and over half of them answered swimming in the pool?  I was one of those kids and this awesome place was the reason.  To this day I'll still take it over both water parks.


Frozen Treats (That Are Not Dole Whips/Citrus Swirls)

Kill - Pina Co-Lava

I'm not a big frozen treat person, to be honest.  So here, as with the pools, I'm judging this based on how unimaginative it is.  That, and the strawberry red ice floating in the white pineapple ice just looks gross.

Refurb Reinstate - The Original Mickey Bar

As seen in the beginning of this awesomely animated commercial that I can't find in better quality:

I still like the Nestle Mickey bars but they ain't got nothin' on the old Good Humor bars. There is a chance my memory is faulty and they never actually sold any of the Mickey's Parade bars in the parks but whatever.

Marry - World Showcase Treats

Someday, someday my cousins and I will finally do our Snacks Around the World adventure.  In the meantime, here's to Gelato, Kakigori, and the small paradise on Earth known as L'Artisan des Glaces.

Next Time - Walt Disney World Mountains!  Head to Mouse on the Mind for more entries in this series.


Sketch of the Day!

You know what I've never been able to find in World Showcase, though? Sea Salt Ice Cream.

"Kingdom Hearts 2" Sketch Montage

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The "Jurassic World" Challenge!

Believe it or else, a fourth "Jurassic Park" movie is a thing that is happening and will be among us very soon. A great deal of ink, sweat, spit, blood, and feathers have flown in the paleontological community about this upcoming film. Personally, I think it looks like either hot garbage or a complete and utter sh*tshow, and I can think of at least five other movies I'd rather see this summer but haven't gotten around to yet. (I would also rather kick myself in the head than watch "Jurassic 4: The Legend of Hammond's Gold" but whatever.)

But instead of getting angry about dinosaur movies, why don't we channel that energy into a force for good? Our buddy David Orr at Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs explains:

So here is an idea. It's pretty simple. I call it the Jurassic World Challenge. If you're buying a ticket for the movie, it's a fair bet that you also have that much money to give to the people who bring prehistory to life in the real world. Think of it as a matching fund, crowdsourced. See the movie, do some good. The official rules:

Donate the equivalent of your Jurassic World ticket price to paleontological research


Spend the equivalent of your ticket price on the wares of an independent paleoartist

Of course, you don't have to pick one or the other. Buy some art, give some money to a research effort, enjoy the movie.

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There is a handy list of charities over at Chasmosaurs and nearly every paleoartist I know has a DeviantArt, Red Bubble, or whatever shop.  And yes, I helped.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Time for Part Four of the Bookshelf Tour!

These next two shelves are... eclectic.  They've got nearly all my nonfiction after all.

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Predatory Dinosaurs of the World: A Complete Illustrated Guide, Gregory S. Paul - Still the most-referenced dinosaur anatomy guide I have. My copy is practically loved to death.

The Dinosaur Heresies, Robert T. Bakker - The classic.  Still a must-read.  She isn't shelved yet but I've got Raptor Red around here too.

The Reader's Digest North American Wildlife, The Editors of Reader's Digest - This kind of has a cute story behind it.  It was my grandparents' field guide and Grammy gave it to me before she passed.  Yes, it's outdated like crazy, but it's still not a bad reference and by golly it's staying in the family.

Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle, Thor Hanson - Gorgeous book that simplifies a surprisingly complex subject.

Picture books by Michel Gange, Tiffany Turrill, and Bill Peet - All are very nice.

Shel Silverstein's Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic - Not much to say here, I've loved these books since childhood.

Retro Hell: Life in the '70s and '80S, from Afros to Zotz, The Editors of Ben is Dead Magazine - I've seen a lot of "Oral history of the late 20'th Century" books but this is my favorite.

Future Evolution, Peter Ward and Alexis Rockman - Got this for the title expecting something akin to Dougal Dixon's books. It's very much not that, but it's worth a read for anyone interested in speculative biology. Speaking of...

The Snouters - Harald Stümpke and Leigh Chadwick - The classic tongue-in-cheek speculative biology.

All Yesterdays and Cryptozoologicon 1, Darren Naish, John Conway, and C.M. Kosemen - Spectacular speculative art of animals real and imagined.

Expedition - As I said before, Barlowe rules and his books are essential.  I've got his Guide to Extraterrestrials and Guide to Fantasy on another shelf.

A Field Guide to Mesozoic Birds and Other Winged Dinosaurs, Matthew P. Martyniuk - Beautiful guide and such a wonderful idea you wonder why it hasn't been done before.

The complete Field Guide to Little Known and Seldom Seen Birds of North America collection, Cathryn Sill and John Sill - I've been planning a long post about these books for a while. Maybe this year...?

The Noble Approach: Maurice Noble and the Zen of Animation Design, Tod Polson and Maurice Noble - Haven't had the chance to properly read this yet but it looks fabulous.  Looks like the focus is on design and layout, making this more valuable than just a collection of Noble's art, though that'd be enough.

Magic Color Flair: The World of Mary Blair, John Canemaker and Mary Blair - Outstanding, must-have collection of Mary Blair's art and design.

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Picture books by Chris Van Allsburg, David Wiesner, and Maurice Sendak - All are outstanding.

Hark! A Vagrant Collection, Kate Beaton -  If you're unfamiliar with this comic, it is adorable and hilarious.

A Creative Companion, SARK - OK, so SARK is a little "woo-woo" as the TetZoo crew would say, but I haven't found another "get that imagination going" book that worked for me as well as this.  Your mileage may vary.

Legendary Northwoods Animals: A Farcical Field Guide, Galen Winter and John Boettcher - Terrific woodcut-style illustrations highlight this guide to mythical North American animals.

Cartoon Animation, Preston Blair - A must-have. I'd even go so far as to say this is the one animation/cartooning instruction book you really need.

Puddles and Wings and Grapevine Swings, Imogene Forte and Marjorie Frank - Dated but excellent arts and crafts instruction book with tips on (to borrow a phrase) raising a Wild Child.

Crafts and Hobbies: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creative Skills, the Editors of Reader's Digest - Another book I "inherited" from my grandmother. It's a good all-around reference guide.

Tetrapod Zoology 1, Darren Naish - A fine collection of some of the earlier articles on Naish's terrific website.

My Year of Flops, Nathan Rabin - Print collection of the very funny former Onion AV Club feature.

Inside Disney, Eve Zibart - An essential for the Disney theme park geek's library.  Insightful and fascinating.

Dragons, Leonardo's Notebooks, and Peterson's Birds - A small selection of economical art books I've collected over the years.

And, of course, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Omnibus, Douglas Adams.  Happy belated Towel Day!

And right next to that, the most beautifullest thing in this world, space for more books!

I'll be taking a little break from the Blog, but I'll be back in July.


Sketch of the Day!

More original "Final Fantasy" weirdness

3.26.15 Let's Play Doodles

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Bookshelf Tour Part Three!

Art books, reference books, and picture books this time, as well as some books I already mentioned in previous posts.

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Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury - I love Jan Brett's art and this is a very nice omnibus of her charming Christmas-themed picture books.

Enchanted Drawings: The History of Animation, Charles Solomon - Outstanding, must-own art book and condensed history of (mostly American) animated shorts and features, with a few stops along the way to briefly discuss animated commercials, music videos, and special effects.  Starts with "Gertie the Dinosaur", ends with "Jurassic Park", and has a wealth of animation art throughout.

Your Favorite Seuss -Basic, but good, collection of art from Dr. Suess' classic picture books.

After Man and The New Dinosaurs, Dougal Dixon -The first of many speculative biology books!  I've reviewed both books before and while they are dated, they are essential for the science-fiction illustrator's collection.

The Alien Life of Wayne Barlowe - Criminy, I need to show more love to Barlowe on this here blog.  We'll run into his better known books later, but this is a very nice overview of his art and career.  It makes me long for a book showcasing all his creature designs for films, though.

Gnomes, Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet - Essential, gorgeous book.  I love the world-building so much.

Faeries by Brian Froud and Alan Lee and Good Faeries, Bad Faeries by Brian Froud - Faeries is yet another must-have for your illustrator's library.  It's gorgeous and inspiring.  Good Faeries, Bad Faeries is a fine companion.

Arthur Rackham, James Hamilton - Haven't had a chance to properly read this one yet, but it's a very nice collection of Rackham's illustrations.

Mythopoeikon, Patrick Woodroffe - A former library book I discovered at my college's book sale and it blew me away.  Great psychedelic art.

Since the World Began: Walt Disney World - The First 25 Years, Jeff Kurtti - An essential part of any Disney theme park nerd's library.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds: The Definitive Reference to Birds of the World,  Dr. Christopher M. (ed.) Perrins - Found this giant, beautifully illustrated book in Buck-A-Book and it's been in my library ever since.

The Encyclopedia of Animals: A Complete Visual Guide, Fred Cooke and Hugh Dingle - An illustrated animal encyclopedia is a must-have and this one's pretty good.

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And here's a pile of picture books, any one of which I'd recommend heartily.  We're almost finished with the tour!


Sketch of the Day

The first "Final Fantasy" continues to be strange.
3.26.15 Let's Play Doodles

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It Really Was Better When I Was Your Age. Deal With It. Let's Kill, Refurb, Marry Extinct Attractions!

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This is going to be an interesting one, because I'm not quite sure what the age-range of the bloggers who participate in Kill, Refurb, Marry is.  Bringing up extinct attractions will inevitably date many of us.  Let's get right into it.

Kill: "Honey, I Blew Your Eardrums Out Shrunk the Audience" - At first, I thought the "Kill" section here seems a little strange.  "Extinct attractions are already dead, by definition, and anyway MAH NOSTALGIA!  EVERYTHING WAS BETTER WHEN I WAS YOUR AGE!  FACT!"

Then I remembered that the attraction that turned me off the "Audience Abuse" subgenre of 4D shows forever, "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience", was a thing and thought, "Oh, no, nevermind.  That thing can go right straight to hell."

Refurb (more like "reinstate"): "The Magic of Disney Animation" But With Actual Animators Animating Things Again - In the original version of this attraction, you watched a short, very funny film that explained how animation is created and then got to walk above the heads of animators working on films.  I can't express how awesome this was.

In the current version, you stand in line to meet costumed versions of the characters standing in the very same places the animators used to work and get to watch the closest thing a real theme park has come to the "Mr. DNA" movie in "Jurassic Park". Also, I got yelled at for wanting to walk down a corridor that had actual animation concept art displayed on the walls.  Yeah.

Marry: "Horizons" - Was there any doubt?

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I'll be honest.  I'm still a little angry that I'm not currently living in an undersea building with a sea lion buddy.  I WAS PROMISED UNDERSEA BUILDINGS AND SEA LION BUDDIES!  ALSO, SPACE-HOTELS!

Then again, I am able to wish my relatives Happy Birthday instantly with time and space being no problem.  It's not as fun as Horizons made it look though.

Next Time: Resort Pools! The big surprise here would be if anyone chooses anything other than Stormalong Bay to marry.

Important Note: I was unaware that the date for this entry had been pushed forward to June.  Oh well, here it is early.


Sketch of the Day: Yi qi yi qi yi qi!!!

4.29 - Meet Yi qi!