Thursday, June 16, 2011

Disney Top 100: #94

A few years ago my cousin Stephen and I had a conversation about movies. Namely, Disney movies. We realized that we were lucky enough to grow up in a sort of Disney Renaissance. Quality films like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid were a daily part of my life in the early nineties. Nowadays kids are lucky if they know who actually killed Mufasa. Their little brains are clouded with Pixar sugar plums and Lightning McQueen (shudders).

And don't get me wrong...Pixar films are great. When I saw UP in theaters I cried like a baby. Monster's Inc. and The Incredibles are both really fun movies. Obviously, Toy Story 3 and its predecessors are high on my "must watch" list. But even though these movies have a lot of heart, they just don't pack the same punch that Robbie Benson, Paige O'Hara, and Angela Lansbury did. That kid who plays Shane on Weeds also starred as Nemo in Finding Nemo but he still doesn't hold a candle to JTT's performance in The Lion King.

And it's really frustrating to hear all of these rumors of Pixar infiltrating my beloved Magic Kingdom. I mean, I guess Buzz Lightyear and Mike Wazowski fit in well in Tomorrowland. But it doesn't make me feel any better.

So obviously when I'm feeling a little Pixared out, I rush into Fantasyland, pop on a pair of "Opry" glasses, and enjoy a stirring performance from Mickey's Philharmagic Orchestra. Why does this 3D experience deserve the #94 slot on our Disney Top 100 Countdown? Because it combines really great technology with Disney classics like Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Fantasia, and The Little Mermaid.

This show also features Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy, characters that kids may know but not really well. Grayson and I grew up watching old Disney shorts (and doing Mousercise). More parents should be like ours and let their kids watch Goofy trying to learn to ski instead of Rugrats or Justin Bieber or whatever it is that kids are watching these days.

Parents of young children, be forewarned. This show will make your babies cry (which can ruin the viewing experience for those of us who choose to be without babies). Let them take an extra spin on Dumbo instead. This rule should also stand for It's Tough to Be a Bug, Captain EO, Ellen's Energy Adventure, and any other ride/show that might make your child wail. Nobody likes a crying baby.

What are some other great things about Mickey's Philharmagic? Well it's air conditioned. If you've ever been in Orlando in the summer months, you know that's a plus. You also get to sit in really comfy chairs and sport cool opera glasses like these:

So the next time you find yourself pouring sweat and feeling nostalgic as your roam about the Magic Kingdom, pop in for a little visit with some Disney giants. Without them, Tow Mater would just be another redneck in the trailer park.

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