The Great Disney Movie Challenge: Movies 11-20

Every Disney Movie. Ever Made. Challenge Accepted.
(To see the complete list, head on over to the first blog post here.)

This post is part of a Disney Friends Blog Hop… after you read our post, head over to our friends posts about more things you can watch on Disney+.

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The first ten movies went quite well. There were a LOT of animated movies in that bunch, and obviously some big rocks like Snow White and Pinocchio. You can read about the first ten movies in our blog post The Disney Movie Challenge: The First Ten.

This post focuses on movies 11-20; from “Make Mine Music” in 1946 to “Alice in Wonderland” in 1951. This block includes animated favourites like Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland, but you can also see how the War had a significant impact on some of these films. Walt of course oversaw these films, which gives significance to them even when enjoyment might be lacking. Honestly, I feel emotional when I think about this time… there’s just something about these old-time movies, and the love and care that went into them.

Here are the movies covered in this blog post:
11. Make Mine Music (Apr 20,1946)
12. Song of the South (Nov 12,1946)
13. *Miracle on 34th Street (May 2,1947)
14. Fun and Fancy Free (Sep 27,1947)
15. Melody Time (May 27,1948)
16. So Dear to My Heart (Nov 29,1948)
17. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (Oct 5,1949)
18. Cinderella (Feb 22,1950)
19. Treasure Island (Jun 22,1950)
20. Alice in Wonderland (Jul 26,1951)

11. Make Mine Music
watched February 3rd, 2020

Release Date: April 20, 1946
Original Release: Theatrical Release
Run Time: 75 min
Where to Watch: YouTube, Google Play, Disney DVD/Blu-Ray
Awards: None
Jones Family Rating:
6 out of 10

Disney Parks Connection:
In a million years I wouldn’t have guessed this connection, until we watched the movie and went, “WAIT a minute!” In the section called “Casey at the Bat” we realized there is a popular quick service restaurant called “Casey’s Corner” on Main Street in Magic Kingdom! Check out the WDW menu here. (Note: Casey’s Corner is also in Disneyland Paris.)

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Picture by Cassy

About:
Make Mine Music is an anthology film, and another film that was greatly impacted by World War 2 as there were a lot of “unfinished” story ideas lying around Walt Disney Studios at the time. This is one of the “package films” released during this time, which is made up of unrelated segments of story and then set to music. Here are the ten segments that make up the film:

– The Martins and the Coys: A Hatfields & McCoys-style feud with shades of Romeo & Juliet, as two young people from each side fall in love.
– Blue Bayou: Originally meant for Fantastia and set to the musical composition “Clair de Lune,” the music was changed to “Blue Bayou” for this film and features two egrets flying in the moonlight.
– All the Cats Join In: Teens in the 1940’s enjoy popular music in the most racy animated film the WE’VE ever seen.
– Without You: A ballad of lost love.
– Casey at the Bat: An overconfident ballplayer whose arrogance proves to be his undoing. You can also find a sequel to this short called “Casey Bats Again.”
– Two Silhouettes: Ballet dancers moving in silhouette.
– Peter and the Wolf: Probably the most well known of all these segments (you can often find this on DVD at the library or in second-hand stores), this classic story features Peter going into the forest to hunt.
– After You’ve Gone: Six anthropomorphized instruments (based on Benny Goodman and the Goodman Quartet) make their way through a musical playground.
– Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet: The romantic story of two hats falling in love.
– The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met: The finale of the film, in which a whale has the grand dream of performing in an opera.

Our Impressions:
This isn’t on Disney+ (yet?), and we weren’t sure what it was even about to be totally honest. I figured it would be music and animation. It was very similar to Fantasia. There were some segments we really loved, some that were kind of on the boring side, and one that was SUPER racy (All the Cats Join In). In fact, it was apparently even MORE so in that there was actual nudity in the original version and this one was censored! That was really surprising. We really liked Peter and the Wolf, and Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet. The Whale Who Wanted to Sing had us laughing and asking, “What is even going on?” The one that was the most interesting, however, was Casey at the Bat… which is based off of a poem from 1888, and has the WDW connection. We recommend looking up this one if you are heading there.

Suggested Special Activities:
If you don’t take this opportunity to make a gourmet hot dog or some corn dogs, that’s a lost opportunity in our books. The menu at Casey’s Corner in WDW consists of bacon mac and cheese dogs, so that would be a great choice! We made a Banh Mi Dog because it’s one of our favourites and we had all of the ingredients. Don’t regret that! Our other favourite hot dog is the Pineapple Chutney Dog from Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival. It’s homemade pineapple chutney, a spicy hot dog, crushed plantains and cilantro. YUM!

 

12. Song of the South
watched February 4th, 2020

Release Date: November 12, 1946
Original Release: Theatrical Release
Run Time: 94 min
Where to Watch: Disney VHS (international markets only)
Awards: Won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1948, and James Baskett received an Academy Honorary Award for his performance as Uncle Remus
Jones Family Rating: We loved the songs and connections to Splash Mountain

Disney Parks Connection:
By now we are sure that you’ve heard the news of the total change coming to Splash Mountain at both of the North American Parks. The theme of the ride will now be based on “The Princess and the Frog” movie. No news yet on when this will happen, but the change is coming! To experience the “original” Splash Mountain after the changes, you will have to head to Tokyo Disney Resort.
– Disneyland: Splash Mountain and Critter Country
– Walt Disney World: Splash Mountain and the children’s play area located nearby

– Disneyland Paris: None (A version of Splash Mountain was conceptualized but ultimately scrapped due to the cold climate and budget considerations)
– Hong Kong Disneyland: None
– Shanghai Disneyland: None
– Tokyo Disney Resort: Splash Mountain (Fun Fact: height restriction is 35″ in Tokyo!)

About:
Certainly the most controversial of all Disney films, this is the only film you will find to be officially “out of print”. Bob Iger and Michael Eisner have both gone on record to say that as long as they are “in charge” of Disney, this movie will not come out of the vault due to the racist nature of the film. There are some celebrities advocating for this film to be released again. Included on this list is Whoopi Goldberg, who was “crowned” a Disney legend at D23 in 2017. She is quoted as saying that Disney should stop hiding history and release this controversial film.

The film takes place in the Reconstruction Era, after the end of the American Civil War and the abolishment of slavery. It is live action mixed with animation, and features the songs we know and love from Splash Mountain. The story is about a 7 year old boy (Johnny) who, along with his mother, moves to his grandmother’s house at a plantation in the South. Once there he befriends a poor neighbour girl and a young black boy. Uncle Remus is the star of the show, and tells stories that are animated and are the reason we have Splash Mountain today! There’s a pretty intense scene at the end involving the boy and a bull that we weren’t expecting as well.

Our Impressions:
We do not condone the racism that is prevalent in the film. We recognize this is a painful past, and represents a dark time in history that has still not been resolved. I am grateful we were able to watch this as a family, as we have been able to have many lengthy conversations with our kids about the time period portrayed in the film, race relations in our country and America, and even more recently the Black Lives Matter movement. The animated sequences with the three songs that are featured on the ride (Everybody’s Got A Laughing Place, Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, and How Do You Do?) may be worth watching, as they are the main connection to the ride. (These segments have been released as special features on a variety of Disney VHS/DVD over the years.)

 

13. Miracle on 34th Street
watched March 16th, 2020

Release Date: May 2, 1947
Original Release: Theatrical Release
Run Time: 96 min
Where to Watch: Disney+, Fox DVD & Blu-Ray, YouTube, Google Play
Awards: Won 3 (!) Academy Awards (Best Actor in a Supporting Role; Best Writing, Original Story; and Best Writing, Screenplay). It was also nominated for Best Picture.
Jones Family Rating: 8 out of 10 (would’ve been higher if it had been in colour)

Disney Parks Connection: None

About:
This is another movie that has been “grandfathered in”, and was not originally released by Walt Disney Pictures… but it is a GEM, and I’m so thankful it’s available on Disney+!

It’s the classic “I don’t believe in Santa Clause!” story, turned into “I do believe!” with lots of Christmas cheer. The movie opens with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and it’s refreshing to see that a woman (imagine that!) is the event director. This woman, Doris Walker, is also one of our main characters, and she is much to practical to tell her daughter that Santa is real… much to the dismay of their neighbour, Attorney Fred Gailey. Of course Kris Kringle soon arrives on the scene and he ends up being hired by Doris play Santa at Macy’s flagship store in New York, and now we have a movie!

Our Impressions:
It surprised all of us that the movie was in black and white, as it has been presented in colour over the years. For whatever reason, it is a bit harder for the girls to pay attention to movies that are in black and white. All five of us absolutely enjoyed it, and we would definitely add it to our list of “must watch” Christmas movies! We LOVED doing “Christmas in March”, and I think we will do that again, as holiday movies may not always be viewed at the correct time of year in the chronological release order of the movie challenge. Unlike other Santa movies, it was very interesting that there wasn’t really any magic… Santa was quite practical! We also found it very interesting that Santa acknowledged that parents give the gifts, Santa just aids the parents (loved that!). Over all, “official” Disney movie or not, it’s a great film and a must see for all!

Suggested Special Activities:
We went all out on this one! We made Holiday Stew (an apple cider based stew with cinnamon and apples and pork; it’s a huge family favourite… email Erica@enchanted-vacations.ca for the recipe) and caramel apple cider. We pulled out the last of the frozen Christmas baking. We went into our Christmas storage bins and pulled out some decor to make the night real special. It was March, so this just made it extremely memorable and fun. I would highly recommend this. Whatever time of year it is, throw some Christmas music on and do anything you can do make the night “Christmasy”!

 

14. Fun and Fancy Free
watched February 22nd, 2020

Release Date: September 27, 1947
Original Release: Theatrical Release
Run Time: 73 min
Where to Watch: Disney+, YouTube, Google Play, Disney DVD/Blu-Ray
Awards: None
Jones Family Rating: 7 out of 10

Disney Parks Connection:
The only Park connection I could find specifically (besides Mickey, Goofy and Donald of course) is at the very end (and a bit of an “Easter Egg” of sorts). The Giant puts on the restaurant “Brown Derby” as a hat and the Hollywood lights are blinking in the background. The Hollywood Brown Derby just so happens to be a restaurant in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World!

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About:
This film is comprised of two short stories; Bongo, and Mickey and the Beanstalk. There is a live-action sequence in the middle to piece the two stories together. Originally it was planned for these to be two separate short films, but after Pearl Harbor the United States military took control of Walt Disney Studios and commissioned the production of war propaganda films.

Bongo – Bongo is narrated by the one and only Jiminy Cricket. It is about a circus bear that longs for life outside of captivity. He manages to escape the circus life and fall in love with another bear; having to prove himself in order to earn her love. Bongo makes several cameo appearances in other films, including Mickey’s Christmas Carol, The Return of Jafar and The Muppets at Walt Disney World.  He also had his own comic book run for a short while.

Mickey and the Beanstalk – A retelling of the fairy tale “Jack and the Beanstalk” that features Mickey, Goofy and Donald as peasants. Fun Fact: This is the last time that you will hear Walt himself as the voice of Mickey. He was getting so busy with other projects that he passed the torch to sound effects artist Jimmy MacDonald.

The two films by themselves are lovely. I don’t think that the live sequence in the middle stands the test of time… to us it felt disjointed and almost annoying. I much prefer the “shorter” version of the film with the narration of Ludwig Van Drake, a family favourite. Edgar Bergen and Dinah Shore are in the original that you will find on Disney+, which was apparently to “appeal to a greater audience”. As mentioned, this segment (and the ventriloquism) just seems out of place, at least to us. 


Our Impressions:
The girls were a bit weary because of some of the previous films, but settled in well, especially for the two animated segments. We found Bongo to be a bit weird, but still certainly enjoyed it. When Mickey and the Beanstalk came on they all exclaimed loudly and excitedly that it was Mickey and the gang, a fact they didn’t realize going in so they were totally delighted when the familiar characters appeared on screen! 

Suggested Special Activities:
For Bongo; because he’s a circus bear there are lots of ideas related to the Circus. Another option is to just do a bear-themed craft, snack, or activity. We have LOTS of bear ideas here
 on this Pinterest board.

For Mickey and the Beanstalk; we suggest just keeping it super simple and doing something Mickey related. I found this huge, family size box of Rice Krispies cereal for just 94 cents a box (!), so we made a recipe I’ve wanted to try forever, which is “lemonade” Rice Krispies Squares (where you crush up the Girl Guide “lemonade” cookies). I found the recipe on Food Network here. Honestly, just do any treat in a Mickey shape and you’re good to go! Remember, you can order a Mickey Mouse shape cutter on Amazon!

 

15. Melody Time
watched February 24th 2020

Release Date: May 27, 1948
Original Release: Theatrical Release
Run Time: 75 min
Where to Watch: Disney+, Disney DVD
Awards: Venice Film Festival Winner (International Film – Animated)
Jones Family Rating: 5 out of 10

Disney Parks Connection:
– Disneyland: Mickey’s PhilharMagic (DCA)
– Walt Disney World: Mickey’s PhilharMagic (Magic Kingdom) and Pecos Bill Tall Tale  Inn & Cafe (our family’s FAVOURITE quick service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom). Also, the Gran Fiesta Tour in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot, for the sequence “Blame it on the Samba”.
– Disneyland Paris: Mickey’s PhilharMagic
– Hong Kong Disneyland: Mickey’s PhilharMagic
– Shanghai Disneyland: None
– Tokyo Disney Resort: Mickey’s PhilharMagic

About:
This is another compilation animated film, consisting of seven segments set to music. It falls into the “forgettable” category for most Disney fans, and yet it does have several tie-ins to Disney Parks. Disney places this film in the same category with Fantasia and Make Mine Music; it is a celebration of music and animation, with “something for everyone”.

The seven musical segments are:
– Once Upon a Wintertime: The title song is performed by a popular singer at the time, Frances Langford, and the story focuses on two young lovers, Jenny and Joe.
– Bumble Boogie: Jazz music abounds, with a swing-jazz version of the classic “Flight of the Bumble Bee.” It should come as no surprise that the story focuses on a bumble bee.
– The Legend of Johnny Appleseed: A retelling of the story of John Chapman who planted apple trees in Mid-Western America (and thereby got his nickname).
– Little Toot: Based on a children’s book of the same name, this segments is about a tug boat named “Little Toot” who can’t stay out of trouble. Super cute!
– Trees: Featuring a recitation of the poem from 1913 and music performed by Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. The animation in this one has a very distinct look because the artists used frosted cels and rendered the pastel images right onto the cel; resulting in a stunning sequence.
– Blame It On the Samba: Featuring Donald Duck and Jose Carioca! They meet an Aracuan Bird who teaches them the Samba.
– Pecos Bill: The final sequence follows a Texan hero known as “Pecos Bill”. He was raised by coyotes (getting Jungle Book vibes), and becomes the best cowboy to ever live. It features his horse Widowmaker and tells of his romance with a beautiful cow girl named Slue Foot Sue. This is the longest of the seven segments.

Our Impressions:
It’s very strange to have seven totally different and unique trains of thought in one film. It’s good in the sense of keeping the viewer’s attention, because if you don’t like one segment, just wait 10 min and something totally different will come on. As a music teacher, I can’t deny that animation set to music is wonderful. It’s a great way to build music appreciation in kids, and I do enjoy that.
We enjoyed “Johnny Appleseed” the most, mostly because our Mennonite family has a tradition of starting big family meals with singing either The Doxology, or this song, as a prayer. I ignorantly had no idea that the origin of this “prayer” was a song from an animated Disney Movie. I was delighted to discover this and immediately had nostalgic connections to this part of the film.
We love Christmas, and enjoyed “Once Upon a Wintertime,” but found it to be strange when watching with the other sequences. Thankfully it’s on Disney+ and can be easily added to the “Christmas must watch list”!
Because the seven segments each have a specific tone and no real connection to one another, an idea might be to watch each segment one at a time… use them as the animated short before the feature presentation on your movie nights!

Suggested Special Activities:
I mean if you don’t make Mexican food for this movie that’s a missed opportunity. Sheet pan loaded nachos are super fast and easy and delicious. If you want to be real extra, do something different for each sequence:

– Once Upon a Wintertime: Winter snowflakes for the window
– Bumble Boogie: A bee-themed treat, or honey based snack
– The Legend of Johnny Appleseed: Apples and peanut butter
– Little Toot: Water activity in the bath or outside, walk to a creek and race boats, or simply make boats at home
– Trees: Draw or paint the four seasons
– Blame It On the Samba: Learn the samba! (Tutorial videos available on YouTube)
– Pecos Bill: All of the Mexican food for dinner 

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16. So Dear to My Heart
watched February 26th, 2020

Release Date: November 29, 1948
Original Release: Theatrical Release
Run Time: 82 min
Where to Watch: Disney+, YouTube, Google Play, Disney DVD/Blu-Ray
Awards: Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song for Burl Ives’s version of “Lavender Blue” (lost to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” from Neptune’s Daughter). Bobby Driscoll also received a special Juvenile Award from the Academy for “the outstanding juvenile actor of 1949”).
Jones Family Rating: 5.5 out of 10

Disney Parks Connection:
None… other than multiple scenes that feature a railroad, which the Parks celebrate of course!

About:
Jeremiah (played by Bobby Driscoll) is a little boy who wants to raise a stubborn black lamb named “Danny”. It is set in Indiana in the year 1903. He daydreams about taking the lamb to the county fair and the lamb winning a blue ribbon! It combines live action with animation and is a charming, down-home film. It is based on a book called “Midnight and Jeremiah”. Jeremiah faces obstacles and an ornery grandmother. He also has a delightful blacksmith uncle, who is played by Burl Ives (also known as the narrator of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and later stars in Summer Magic). Disney smartly released “Lavender Blue” before the film hit theatres, and the folk tune is Burl Ives first hit single. It is now known and celebrated as a Disney standard.

This film is full of nostalgia and is certainly a lovely movie; an underrated gem to be sure. One of our favourite parts is when Jeremiah tries to find honey to sell and the hilarity that ensues. I read that this is one of Walt’s favourite films, which makes it one of the films we were more excited to see.

Our Impressions:
Coming off Song of the South quite recently we were sensitive to some pieces that weren’t culturally appropriate, and we wonder if that’s the reason why it’s not available on Disney+. For the most part though, the story is cute and there are really fun parts with the lamb. We loved the animated sequences, and we knew the song “Lavender Blue” from an old Disney CD that we own, so it was lovely to hear it in context.
We also noticed some Bible references; a nativity scene, David and Goliath, plus Joshua and the walls of Jericho were all represented. Also, Bobby Driscoll, who stars in this movie, Song of the South, and Treasure Island, just so happens to be the voice of Peter Pan!

Suggested Special Activities:
For food, anything to do with a county fair would work! Pie eating contest, bobbing for apples, or corn on the cob. If you go with pie eating, we love to do the contest with no hands allowed… eating only with your face! Heads up, it’s messy, so you may want to do this outside! Another idea would be to make some honey taffy since
a section of the film focused on Jeremiah’s hunt for honey. We had a blast pulling it and making it into a sweet treat, and it came together quite quickly! You just boil honey to 285 degrees, let it cool, and then pull it until it’s lighter in colour. Let cool again, break into pieces, and wrap in parchment paper. Voila! Honey taffy ready to go.

 

17. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
watched March 8th, 2020

Release Date: October 5, 1949
Original Release: Theatrical Release
Run Time: 68 min
Where to Watch: Disney+, YouTube, Google Play, Disney DVD/Blu-Ray
Awards: Won a Golden Globe for Best Cinematography Colour
Jones Family Rating: 6 out of 10 (Mr. Toad); 5 out of 10 (Ichabod)

Disney Parks Connection:
– Disneyland: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in Fantasyland. It was one of the original attractions at opening in 1955, and got a complete refurb in 1983. Also, during Halloween season you can see a Headless Horseman statue in DCA.
– Walt Disney World: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was an opening day attraction at the Magic Kingdom in 1971, but got the ax in 1998 and was replaced by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. It had two tracks: right and left, with two different experiences. Currently the sole connection to this film at WDW is the Sleepy Hollow quick service in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom.
– Disneyland Paris: Toad Hall restaurant in Fantasyland, complete with “artifacts” from this film.
– Hong Kong Disneyland: None
– Shanghai Disneyland: None
– Tokyo Disney Resort: None

About:
This movie is an animated package film, split into two parts. It was originally released together, later released separately on television, and have been marketed separately on DVD since then. Both of the animated sequences are based on classic literature, and are introduced in live-action sequences set in a library.

The Wind in the Willows – Narrated by Basil Rathbone, the story is set in London, England in 1907/1908. Mr. Toad is known as an “incurable adventurer” and is reckless in his pursuit. Toad’s adventures lead to bankruptcy, so he involves his book keeper in his shenanigans. Toad enlists his friends Ratty (a water rat) and Moley (a mole) in an adventure involving a motorcar, and they put him on house arrest. Toad escapes and is then put on actual trial for theft. He’s arrested and then later escapes in disguise as a grandmother; with great effort he manages to exonerate himself of all charges. Seriously weird, right?

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Narrated by Bing Crosby (fun, right?) the film is set in 1790 and follows the story of Ichabod Crane. Ichabod is an awkward man, albeit charming. He arrives in Sleepy Hollow, known for it’s ghostly hauntings, to be the new school master. He wins the heart of a woman and the children at the school, but soon finds a rival in the town bully. The whole town is invited to a Halloween party, and the tale of the Headless Horseman is sung, causing Ichabod to be filled with fear.

Our Impressions:
Since watching this film, I have read that many people consider Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in Disneyland to closely depict the events of the film, and we just don’t agree! It was neat to see the manor that you drive through, and the courtroom scene where he is convicted, but other than that, and the fact that you drive in a car (Mr. Toad is obsessed with automobiles), the ride is a whole lot of nonsense and we were really confused as to how the ride reflects the film. ESPECIALLY the ending of the ride; like where the heck did that even come from, because it wasn’t part of the movie! (If you know, you know.)

The second part of the movie is even worse with the Headless Horseman. Thankfully we’d just recently watched Jurassic Park with the girls (not Disney), so our bar for scary was set by that. (It’s okay Addie, Jurassic Park was waaaayyyyy worse). Maybe we would’ve understood it more if we’d read the book? We definitely feel this one is more of a “one-off” than a Disney treasure for certain. Watching it around Halloween would be appropriate, as the Headless Horseman and the Halloween party are featured prominently. Fun Fact: We noticed a lot of characters in this film are also in Mickey’s Christmas Carol!

Favourite Quote: “Merrily on our way to nowhere in particular.”

Suggested Special Activities:
For Mr. Toad, since he loves automobiles, a cardboard box car race is a fun idea! Get the kids to use a sheet of cardboard to make a car, and then race around the neighbourhood.
For Ichabod, since it’s Halloween-themed, a simple Headless Horseman craft or snack is great. We did chocolate pudding with “dirt” from Oreo cookies and then a pumpkin head made out of orange jujubes and an edible marker. Quick and easy!

 

18. Cinderella
watched March 8th, 2020

Release Date: February 15, 1950
Original Release: Theatrical Release
Run Time: 76 min
Where to Watch: Disney+, YouTube, Google Play, Disney DVD/Blu-Ray
Awards: Received three Academy Award nominations for Best Sound, Best Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture), and Best Music (Original Song) for “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo.” They did not win in any of the categories.
Jones Family Rating: 10 out of 10

Disney Parks Connection:
– Disneyland: Cinderella has a heavy park presence; she is featured in the parades, and you can meet her as well. Be sure to look for her in “it’s a small world,” and of course we can’t forget the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique!
– Walt Disney World: Cinderella’s Castle is the main feature of Magic Kingdom. You can even eat inside the Castle at the much sought after Character Dining experience, Cinderella’s Royal Table, and if you’re lucky enough, you can stay in Cinderella’s Royal Suite! Additionally, you can meet Cinderella, see her in the parades, visit the Cinderella fountain, and stop by Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. Finally, at the Grand Floridian Resort head over to 1900 Park Fare (a buffet-style eatery) where you can meet the stepsisters.
– Disneyland Paris: You can eat at Auberge de Cendrillon, where you will enjoy French cuisine with the Disney Princes and Princesses inside Cinderella’s Banquet Hall.
– Hong Kong Disneyland:
Cinderella Carousel in Fantasyland and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
– Shanghai Disney:
Enchanted Storybook Castle is the only Disney Castle to highlight and celebrate all of the Disney Princesses, including Cinderella. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is also available at this park.
– Tokyo Disney Resort:
Cinderella’s Castle is also a feature in this park. You can go into Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall and see the throne room and her glass slipper. This park also has a Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
– Disney Cruise Lines:
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is available on all four ships.

About:
An absolute classic; Cinderella is a well known story. You’ve got Ella, the daughter of a good man who marries a wicked woman. When Ella’s dad passes away, she is left with her “wicked stepmother and stepsisters” and their cat, Lucifer. She is kindhearted and taken advantage of by her step-family, but at the height of her disappointment she is visited by a Fairy Godmother who gives her until midnight to go to a wonderful ball. She falls in love with the Prince, but then she flees and leaves behind one of her glass slippers. The Prince sets out to find the women who fits the slipper and vows to marry her. After some obstacles, love prevails.

Our Impressions:
While this is a simplistic version of the classic story, a classic it remains. The first of the “Princess” collection, it stands the test of time. It’s enchanting through and through, and there are so many lovely songs and memorable moments. The stepsisters while mean, are laughable, and it’s fun to see the animals interact in the film. 

Suggested Special Activities:
We kept it ultra simple and just did a blue Cinderella punch. If you wanted to, this is a film where you can go all out. Make Cinderella’s carriage out of oranges, make sandwiches shaped like crowns. Mice with Hershey’s Kisses. Shoe-shaped cookies. Not to mention that if it’s pumpkin season, you can make pumpkin waffles or pancakes and have breakfast for dinner. Endless ideas!



19. Treasure Island
watched March 13th, 2020

Release Date: June 22, 1950
Original Release: Theatrical Release
Run Time: 96 min
Where to Watch: Disney+, YouTube, Google Play, Disney DVD/Blu-Ray
Awards: None
Jones Family Rating: 1 out of 10

Disney Parks Connection:
Certainly there is a love for pirates that is shown throughout the Disney Parks. A lot of people attribute Pirates of the Caribbean to Treasure Island. There aren’t direct parallels, per se, but certainly it seems to be significantly influenced by this film. You can find Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney Resort, Disneyland Paris and Shanghai Disneyland. You can also do five different interactive Pirate Treasure Hunts at WDW, and you can get dressed up as a Mermaid or a Pirate! Check out the Walt Disney World website for more info.

About:
Based on the novel of the same name, this movie is set in 1765 on the West Coast of England. It is Disney’s first live action feature film. A voyage to Treasure Island is the goal, where there are 100,000 pounds of gold hidden by the late pirate Captain Flint. Betrayals and mutiny occur of course, and Long John Silver, a one legged pirate, is in the middle of it all. Interestingly, it is the oldest Disney film to be rated “PG” (retroactively) when it was released on VHS. The reasons being pirate battles, plus smoking and alcohol consumption. It also has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes (although the audience rating is only 68%). The Mouse For Less Blog says, “Delving into a new format for the first time, Disney struck gold with Treasure Island. The effort is well paced, engaging, and fun.” Did we watch the same movie?

Our Impressions:
As you’ve likely gathered by now, we just didn’t get this movie. We went in really excited, based on the reviews. But it just was THE WORST. It was boring, and poorly paced. We love Pirates of the Caribbean, and had very high expectations from what we read in advance. They just weren’t met. In fact, at 100 movies in, we still hold Treasure Island as the bar for the worst movie we’ve watched. We gave it a 1/10 in case there’s something worse, and more deserving of a 0, but I highly doubt there will be!
We did notice some similarities, that perhaps influenced Pirates of the Caribbean (the ride and movie franchise). They love the rum. The black spot plays an important part, which is classic pirate lore. But what we found most interesting was how much they highlighted apples, which Barbossa loves in the Pirates movies. 

Favourite Quote: “Oh, for 10 toes!”

Suggested Special Activities:
Ideas for anything pirate-themed are readily available on Pinterest. I really wanted to keep the bigger pirate ideas for when we get to Pirates of the Caribbean so we kept it ULTRA simple with apple “boats”. The girls had fun making the sails, and then ate the apples. You can obviously add some peanut butter and chocolate chips or raisins on the apples to make it a more complete snack.

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20. Alice in Wonderland
watched March 14th, 2020

Release Date: July 26, 1951
Original Release: Theatrical Release 
Run Time: 75 min
Where to Watch: Disney+, YouTube, Google Play, Disney DVD/Blu-Ray
Awards: Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture)
Jones Family Rating: 10 out of 10

Disney Parks Connection:
– Disneyland: Not one, but TWO main attractions for Alice at Disneyland: Mad Tea Party (uncovered) and Alice in Wonderland, a “dark ride,” and my personal favourite family ride in Fantasyland. You can find Alice in “it’s a small world” as well. And there is also The Mad Hatter store and the Queen of Hearts bathroom area, which is super cute!

– Walt Disney World: The Mad Tea Party is in Fantasyland at WDW as well, but it’s a covered space. Also, you can meet Alice in the United Kingdom pavilion at Epcot.
– Disneyland Paris: Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups and Alice’s Curious Labyrinth
– Hong Kong Disneyland:
Mad Hatter Tea Cups

– Shanghai Disneyland: Alice in Wonderland Maze 
– Tokyo Disney Resort: Alice’s Tea Party and Alice in Wonderland themed rooms at the Tokyo Disneyland Hotel

About:
This movie is based on the Alice books by Lewis Carroll. It wasn’t an immediate success, but did better once released on the Disneyland TV show, particularly during the psychedelic era (no surprise there).

Some things I learned about this film: The actress that plays Alice (Kathryn Beaumont) also plays Wendy in Peter Pan. Ed Wynn, who voices the Mad Hatter, is featured in a number of other Disney movies including Mary Poppins. Fun fact, the character of the Mad Hatter in the film was based off of him as a person! They filmed live action sequences for some of the scenes to make it easier for the animators. And unlike many of the films based on books (Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Pinocchio, etc.), Alice doesn’t start with the opening of a storybook.

What Alice in Wonderland lacks in plot, it more than makes up in charm. Alice is being taught a history lesson outside (who can focus in a field of beautiful flowers?) and soon drifts off to sleep where we follow along in her delightful, albeit strange, dream that takes her down the rabbit hole. There are plenty of memorable sequences, including the Caterpillar who is smoking something questionable, a wonderful singing flower song, a run in with Tweedledee and Tweedledum, a grinning cat, a slightly disturbing morality story involving clams, the White Rabbit, a Mad Tea Party, and a garden party with the Queen of Hearts.

It’s short and sweet, and quickly moves from one part to another. I love it because it keeps the attention of young kids, has plenty of nostalgia for any Disney fan, and contains lots of interesting pieces for older kids and adults.

Our Impressions:
We have always loved Alice in Wonderland, ever since the girls were really little. Every time we watch it, they seem to see something different. They always think it’s weird, but enchanting. The oyster part is certainly sad. The Queen of Hearts is such a fun villain! We recommend this movie to have on repeat in any Disney home.

Suggested Special Activities:
We decided to go with a Mad Tea Party, so we grabbed some things from around the house that worked with the theme! The girls dressed up and got really into it. We served cookies and tea, and played music from the film.
Another idea would be to play croquet if you have a set, since they play in the climax of the movie. An “Unbirthday Party” would be SO fun too! Who wouldn’t like that? Another movie with lots of ideas!


That’s it for now! Lots of highs with this movie set (Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, Miracle on 34th Street), and some low lows (I’m talking to you, Treasure Island). To check out the next post, click on the arrow!

Intro next blog

Blog Hop #12
Roll call for the Blog Hop:
1. www.stressfreemickey.com/the-great-disney-movie-challenge-movies-11-20
2. www.mouseandthemagic.com/blog/disney-for-history-lovers
3. www.skywaytowonderland.com/zenimation

Stay tuned for the next set of movies!
Erica

10 thoughts on “The Great Disney Movie Challenge: Movies 11-20

Add yours

  1. Oh my goodness, you really have gone all-out with these movies! I especially liked your Christmas in March night for watching Miracle on 34th street and your Mad Tea Party idea to go with Alice.

  2. Ok. Can I just talk about how extra Tokyo’s Splash Mountain is for a second? The logs are on rollers so there is no actual splash on the big drop. The spray comes from misters above so they can essentially control the amount of water that hits the guests! Also, Cast Members squeegee the water off the seats of the logs in between guests! I love it!

    1. That’s the best!!! My personal pet peeve is when people STAND on the seat for splash mountain you have to sit on!

  3. I think Mickey and the Beanstalk is the reason that there is the beanstalk growing out of the store behind Cinderella’s castle in Fantasyland.

    1. 😱😱😱 I didn’t think about that but it makes a lot of sense!!! Thinking and going through each park for park references of the movies has actually been my favourite part of this challenge before. The parks are so intentional about what they do, it’s no wonder there are so many hidden connections or subtle ones!!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad we added the park tie-ins because there’s so much that connects that we don’t think about!

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