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Do you still have the Fantasia sheets you used as a kid? Got a Cinderella complex ( i.e., have you seen the 1950 feature more than ten times)? Did you, or do, you plan to get married at a Disney property (4,000 couples per year do, by the way)?
Do you know that:
Disneyland uses a patented 'Smellitzer' scent-generator at certain attractions that circulates “flavored” air—vanilla outside the Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor or sea salt in Pirates of the Caribbean—to enhance visitors’ experience?
Wayne Anthony Allwine, the voice of Mickey Mouse, and Russi Taylor, who played Minnie, were married in 1991 and stayed so until Wayne squeaked his last squeak in 2009?
The Lion King was originally called King of the Jungle until an astute staffer pointed out that lions don’t generally live in jungles?
Walt Disney’s enigmatic (and still unexplained) last words were “Kurt Russell”?
Disneyland staff enjoy the use of a basketball court secreted inside The Matterhorn roller coaster?
If you answered affirmatively to all (or even a few) of the above questions, you might be a Disney Obsessive. We’re happy to report that yours is a permanent condition; there is no cure. We’re even happier to report that with the premiere of Disney+, you now have a place to indulge your passion to your heart’s content, any time of day, any day of the week.
More to the point, though: Among the thousands of movies, specials, and television series from Walt’s vault, Disney+ offers a slew of deeper dives—spinoffs, remakes, sequels, re-imaginings, and behind-the-scenes docs—into old, new, and newly acquired Disney products sure to be of interest to the DO-afflicted. To wit:
Sometimes life’s Big Questions are best explored by an anthropomorphic faux kitchen utensil made of pipe cleaners. In this Pixar animated series, the Toy Story 4 character (voiced by the national treasure that is Tony Hale) Forky will explore the meaning of time, love and what in the world cheese actually is.
Pixar meets independent filmmaking meets reality television when a selection of aspiring in-house artists are given six months, and access to the studio’s state-of-the-art filmmaking and animation technology, to craft a personalized low-budget work of art, along the way educating viewers, and themselves, about the magic of cinematic storytelling.
It’s fair to say that if you’re still on the HSM bus after three feature films (with a fourth on the way) and three seasons of the spinoff TV series, you’ve got it bad. This go-round chronicles the angst, hope, heartache, and the ha-has as a group of students attempt to mount a production of High School Musical. How meta!
Your appetite for teenaged song-and-dancedom still not satisfied? This new reality series, hosted and executive-produced by The Good Place’s Kristen Bell, mounts a Big Chill-y reunion of long-ago cast-mates of a high school musical to see if they can make the magic happen one more time.
Ever wanted to get inside the guts of Disney’s theme parks, rides, and attractions? This docu-series, part history and part engineering and science tutorial, tells the story of Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development. Founded in 1952, its white coats and hard hats make the magic happen at Disney properties from Times Square to Anaheim.
Get the spaghetti boiling and settle in for this CGI-and-live-action remake of the 1955 animated classic. Tessa Thompson (Westworld) and Justin Theroux (The Leftovers) give voice to the title characters with help from a supporting cast that includes Sam Elliott, Janelle Monáe, and Ashley Jensen.
Taking a page from Impractical Jokers, this prank show finds out what happens when unsuspecting people find themselves confronted with real-life versions of some of Pixar’s most storied characters. Keep that defibrillator charged!
Even the most voracious Disney binger will find plenty to keep themselves engorged for the foreseeable future with the ginormous catalog currently available on Disney+. Still, some of you lunatics are probably already asking: What else? What’s next??? Herewith, a sampling of coming attractions in DP’s Year One:
A sequel of sorts to the 2001 smash Monsters, Inc., this tells the story of one Tylor Tuskmon (Superstore’s Ben Feldman), a go-getting mechanic at the titular company with dreams of making it to the Laugh Floor. Billy Crystal, John Goodman, John Ratzenberger, and Jennifer Tilly reprise their roles from the original.
Did you know that it takes over 1,000 veterinarians, biologists, and animal-care experts to keep the things on the good foot at Animal Kingdom and operating swimmingly at Epcot’s SeaBase Aquarium? (Sorry. Just…sorry.) As that guy at the beginning of Law & Order would say: These are their stories.
Disney goes “behind the music” with this documentary about Howard Ashman. Who? He’s the genius lyricist who worked on everything from Little Shop of Horrors to the Academy Awards telecast to The Tonight Show before etching his place in history with his contribution to the timeless tunes of The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast.
There’s really nothing left to say except: If you, dear Obsessive, have made your way through Disney+ and are still not satisfied, it might be time to seek professional help.
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