Anna from FROZEN Disney Infinity Figure

The Disney Infinity gaming system is no more but merchandise from the line is still lingering on store shelves. Drastic price reductions makes filling out your 1.0/2.0/3.0 play pieces easier on the pocket book, restricted only by the remaining stock. I just picked up the last Anna 1.0 figure (from FROZEN) at my local Toys-R-Us.

Anna Figure Front

Ready for Action!

I am on record for really hating the Disney movie, FROZEN. It failed on so many levels, but the one shining light that broke through the disappointment was the character of Anna! Rather than making a fuss over The Snow Queen, Elsa, I believe Anna to be the one true hero of the movie and the one that should be looked to as a role model.

Anna Figure Package FrontAnna Figure Package Back

Packaging

Elsa may have the cool powers, but it’s Anna who has the responsible, loving, go-getting attitude that should be admired.

Anna Figure Side left

Rope at the Ready

Actually, Anna does have a ‘power’ in the Disney Infinity universe. Her climbing hook conquers heights and helps her swing past danger.

Anna Figure Back

Practical Hair Braid

I love the detail of Anna’s costume. The little flowers around her skirt are beautiful!

Anna Figure Side right

What’s in the Bag?

Nice detailing on the boots, too! Each Disney Infinity play piece is mounted on a base, usually specific to the character. Here, Anna is standing on a snow flake.

Each figure comes with a card with a code to unlock on-line extras:

Anna Figure Card

Code on Back

I haven’t checked, but one may assume that such codes are useless now that Disney has abandoned the franchise.

So are/were you a Disney Infinity fan? How do you feel about Disney’s decision to discontinue the gaming system after only three years?

For more gaming figures, see Yoda and Han Solo, Darth Vader and Baloo, and my picks for Disney’s Top 5 Worst Decisions, which includes ending the Disney Infinity gaming system.

Disney’s FROZEN Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

So who’s up for more jelly bean goodness? Everyone? Excellent! But if you’re on a diet, you’ll have to ‘let it go’ as you stuff your cheeks with tasty Jelly Belly beans, with a Frozen twist:

Frozen Store Display

Icicle Mix

These tasty little beans come in a variety of flavors but only three package designs. Let’s have a look at each in turn:

Frozen Elsa

Elsa

Does The Snow Queen love jelly beans? Yes, they’re the one thing she won’t ‘let go’ of!

Frozen Anna

Anna

Think you can get Anna to share her 28 grams of tasty perfection? Only if you play the sister card!

Frozen Olaf

Olaf

Yeah, just give him a warm hug and they’re all yours!

The store I found these in were selling each package for $2.00 a pop, which I thought was a tad high for 1 ounce of jelly beans!

Frozen Description

Flavors and Nutritional Information

The good thing about Jelly Belly, which may account for the higher pricing, is the attention to allergy needs. These are fat free, gluten-free, and peanut free. And basically low in calories, even if you eat the whole bag at once!

For more Jelly Belly posts, see some Classic Disney characters here, Star Wars characters here, and Finding Dory here.

Happiness is a handful of Jelly Belly jelly beans!

Why Disney's LET IT GO Is a Bad Song

A Disney song has always been there to move the story along. It can define a character or delve into their motivation, or further the plot. Of course, it’s also designed to stick in your head so that you will love the movie and rush out to buy the soundtrack!

Fair enough.

But I also happen to feel that any song that plays in a children’s movie should be socially responsible. The content of the lyrics should promote good behavior, sound principles, and motivate the listener to be better in some way. I speak of songs sung by the protagonist, or hero, and not the villain. A song sung by a villain is designed to explain their reasons for being nasty and the bad ideas within the lyrics are shown to be wrong when the villain gets his or her comeuppance in the end!

elsa-singing

So why do I say that the song Let It Go from the movie Frozen is bad? I know I’m going to be in a minority on this but I feel if people actually read the lyrics instead of just singing along with the tune, they just might begin to see some problems.  So let’s begin.

Let It Go was written by Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Emanuel Kiriakou and is  Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Walt Disney Music Company. I obtained the lyrics from Google Play Music and trust that they are accurate. I will show the lyrics one stanza at a time, analyze, then move on to the next stanza:

The snow glows white on the mountain tonight
Not a footprint to be seen.
A kingdom of isolation,
and it looks like I’m the Queen
The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside
Couldn’t keep it in;
Heaven knows I’ve tried

Things start off well with Elsa simply surveying her new surroundings and comparing them to her inner turmoil. Which is admittedly great and understandably so!

Don’t let them in,
don’t let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don’t feel,
don’t let them know
Well now they know

Again, Elsa is honestly expressing her feelings about her treatment at the hands of her parents. Being told not to use her powers and then hiding her away from the world because of one accident was a knee-jerk reaction taken to an extreme level! Bad parenting doesn’t begin to cover this situation.

We begin to see a hint of the problem when Elsa callously flips off the line ‘Well now they know’. Yes they, her subjects, do, as their entire land is frozen, live stock and crops are dead, businesses are ruined, and if this was the real world, many are likely to die due to being completely unprepared for such a drastic change in the climate.

Let it go, let it go
Can’t hold it back anymore

This signature line from the chorus is the one sung heartily by everyone, even little children. But what are these lyrics actually saying? The idea is that when you can no longer handle a bad situation, let go (or lose control as Elsa does) no matter what the consequences are to yourself or others.

Let it go, let it go
Turn away and slam the door
I don’t care
what they’re going to say
Let the storm rage on.
The cold never bothered me anyway

And this is perhaps the worst part of this song! Slamming the door in the face of the problem is not going to solve anything. Not caring while being aware of the bad situation caused by one’s decisions and cruelly saying ‘let it go on’ because ‘it doesn’t bother me’ is again not a lesson to teach small children!

It’s funny how some distance
Makes everything seem small
And the fears that once controlled me
Can’t get to me at all

Here Elsa has run away from her problems far enough to make them seem small and trivial, when in fact they are big and impactful. She is happy to be safe while everyone else is still in great danger.

It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me,
I’m free!

So now that her powers are ‘outed’ she chooses to see just how much damage she can do with them instead of seeing if she can fix things and prove everyone wrong about her. We need to know and accept what is right and wrong and adhere to certain rules to have a safe and working society. Someone who feels ‘free’ from these concepts inevitably hurts others.

Let it go, let it go
I am one with the wind and sky
Let it go, let it go
You’ll never see me cry
Here I stand
And here I’ll stay
Let the storm rage on

Now Elsa decides not to face her issues but bury them deep inside her and simply let the world go on without her. She is also okay with the world having to deal with the mess she left behind, just letting ‘the storm rage on.’

My power flurries through the air into the ground
My soul is spiraling in frozen fractals all around
And one thought crystallizes like an icy blast
I’m never going back, the past is in the past

The past is never ‘in the past’ until there is a resolution to whatever the problem is. That is why we have coined the term ‘closure’. People spend serious time and money on trying to deal with traumatic events in their past so that they can have a better future. Elsa is in effect ceasing to live.

Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone
Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on

The cold never bothered me anyway!

Elsa should never have been made to feel that she had to be perfect, nor that the way to achieve this was to hide who and what she was. But to decide to be, in effect, a bad girl, is not a healthy alternative!

Lastly, this final line is perhaps the most damaging lesson this song teaches. That if something doesn’t bother you, who cares about anyone else? Loving, caring, and well-adjusted people care about others, even if those people have made mistakes that hurt them or don’t seem at first to appreciate the effort.

This song seems to say that if you are treated poorly, become as bad as the abusers. Whereas I think we can all agree that the better path is to take the high road and rise above the crowd.

elsas-attitude

Does this look like a good attitude?

Conclusion: It should be noted that Elsa endured horrible treatment by the two people who should have loved and protected her, her parents. The damage that this would do to a young child is incalculable! So perhaps we can understand her position. But I put forth that her song is that of a villain explaining the reasons for doing what she does, and certainly not a song of empowerment. Remember that the Ice Queen in the original book was a villain and I don’t think Disney intended Elsa to be viewed as well as she has been, but has just run with it for merchandising dollars.

Why this song is held in such a high regard is that somehow Elsa has been cast as a suppressed victim who has every right to act as she does. And she doesn’t act well! In fact, she accidentally freezes Anna’s heart, and instead of trying to help, creates an Ice Monster to remove her from her presence. This monster then goes on to immediately try to kill Anna. I guess that didn’t bother Elsa either?

Also, many fixate on the ‘sisterly love’ angle of the movie, but again, I contend that there is no sisterly love, just one sister’s love (Anna’s) for her sibling (Elsa), which is not returned.

Now that we have analyzed the lyrics stanza by stanza, I would like to recommend that you consider Anna as the true hero of Frozen and consider looking to her as a role model for your little girl or boy, and not Elsa, even if she does have a catchy song.

FUN FACT: Note the shape of the balusters in the railing in the above picture. Does the repeating shape remind you of anything? It resembles the chest insignia of Wonder Woman, the ultimate symbol of female empowerment. Coincidence, or subliminal message?

Disney Movie Club's New Ad Package

Once on a Disney mailing list, always on a Disney mailing list! The Disney Movie Club isn’t giving up on my business even though I have never shown even a hint of interest. With my extensive movie collection it would be pointless to join a movie club with the purpose of obtaining even more movies. They have little in stock that I don’t already have!

I won’t get into the finer details of the pitch here as it may appeal to you and actually fit your circumstances better than it does mine. But I thought it would be interesting to share the latest attempt to hook me in, as they have a new advertising package now.

First, the envelope:

Disney Movie Club Ad 1

Actually, it was fun to receive this!

The main thing I truly enjoy about receiving this offer is the sticker sheet that comes in each envelope they send:

Disney Movie Club Ad 2

Finally, a new set of images

I have about a dozen of the old sticker sheets! I’m good for sealing my correspondence for years to come.

This promotional pitch centers around inviting the prospective client to a party:

Disney Movie Club Ad 3

A party given… by me!

Saying they will send me ‘everything I need’ actually means ‘some movies’. Apparently I’m providing the venue and the snacks.

Each envelope comes with a sheet of movie stickers from which you choose your discounted introductory releases. I counted up and found that I have almost 50 of the 60 available movies and no desire to own the other ten:

Disney Movie Club Ad 4

Got it! Got it! Got it! Don’t want it. Got it!

But wait! That’s not all! Order now and you will get this beautiful Frozen character blanket for ‘free’ with your paid membership:

Disney Movie Club Ad 5

At 3′ x 4′ it is a bit small to keep me ‘warm and cozy’

So again, reading the full details is necessary to see if The Disney Movie Club is right for you. If it is, let’s have the party at your house. I’ll bring the popcorn!

Haven’t received your promotional package in the mail? Check out the official website.

Monday Topics: Best of Disney

W E E K     T H R E E

BEST OF DISNEY

Our friends over at Love Our Crazy Life have asked some of their blogging friends (like me) to participate in a Blogging Challenge. So for four weeks in April, on every Monday morning, I will be covering a different Disney-related topic. You can click the link above to find all of the other participants and their entries. Enjoy!

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Top Five Best Disney Characters

A good thing about Disney movies is that they are populated with great characters. You can cheer them on and delight in their life journeys. Some even touch your heart and stay with you for a lifetime! But who are the best of the best?

Please check out my Top Five List of the best Disney characters, and my reasons why:

Number Five – Mickey Mouse (The Little Guy)

Mickey Mouse

Photo Credit: Disney’s PhotoPass CD

The underdog has always been an endearing character in history. Charlie Chaplin certainly took his Tramp persona to unprecedented levels in the silent era of film, and in so doing spawned a long line of imitators–of which Mickey Mouse is certainly one of the best!

Mickey led the world out of the Depression. He taught our children how to be nice. And he showed us all that good guys don’t always finish last. He was the little guy who never gave up.

What really endears this mouse to my heart is that he never puts himself first. In a world where selfishness and Me-ism seems to be the norm, even celebrated, Mickey just keeps on showing that when you put others first, that’s when you gain real happiness!

Number Four – Uncle Remus (Song of the South)

Uncle Remus with Children

Photo Credit: Copyright 1958 Walt Disney Productions

At a time in history when there were many justifiable reasons for hatred and resentment, one African-American man decided to show unprecedented love. No matter the skin color of the child in need, he was there with a story to make everything better again!

Song of the South is presently ‘banned’ from release due to alleged racism in its content, but I see a very different story within this important film. I see an older man of color respected and relied on by his former owners, a leader amongst his own people, and a person who shows just how big the human heart can be. Uncle Remus is a man everyone in this present world needs to meet and learn from!

James Bassett deserves better than to be robbed of his due for his portrayal of such a pivotal character in the Disney canon.

Number Three – Anna (Frozen)

Anna from Frozen

Mention the Disney movie Frozen and everyone will immediately think of Elsa, the Ice Queen, who finally learns to ‘let it go’ and be her true self. Sounds good on the surface, but have they actually seen this movie? We have a person who damages her own Kingdom, runs away instead of staying and trying to fix things, abandons her duty and her sister, almost kills her sister (twice!), and basically adopts the attitude that it’s not her problem anyway. And this is a woman for little girls to look up to?

Anna, on the other hand, has no negative qualities. From childhood, she desperately tries to make a connection with her sister. Even though she is alone and rejected for years, her love never cools. When the Kingdom is in trouble, she steps up. She tries again and again to save her sister. And in the end, she is willing to die for someone who has done nothing to deserve such a sacrifice. This is a woman for everyone to look up to!

Just because a character has a hit song doesn’t mean they are one of the best Disney characters. Billions at the box office doesn’t do it either. Anna is one of the best Disney characters because she exhibits qualities that we all should strive to emulate!

Number Two – Baymax (Big Hero 6)

Baymax

“Hello. I am Baymax, your personal healthcare companion.” Those who dedicate their lives to serve others, like nurses, are to be commended and respected. And although Baymax is a robot who was programmed to serve, we learn as his story unfolds, that there is more to him than computer code!

Two things emerge about Baymax during the film Big Hero 6. He will bend over backwards to do what he is asked by a ‘patient’ up to the point that it would harm them. Then he refuses to comply and explains why. Secondly, at the end of the film, we see that he is willing to lay down his own life, or terminate his program, to save others. Again, self-sacrifice is a big part of why Baymax is on this list!

“On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate this character?”

Number One – Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins)

Mary Poppins

Practically Perfect in Every Way. Using the word ‘practically’ means that there are a few things, or at least one, about this Nanny that could be better. I guess she is a bit full of herself, but in a prim and proper way! So why is this lady number one on my list of the best Disney characters?

First, she is selfless. She has given up a life of her own to serve and protect the children of the world. We find hints that she loves Bert and could pursue a relationship with him, but not without compromising her mission. So she goes on alone.

Secondly, her love of children is strong, but she can never have any of her own. In the final scenes of the movie, we see her shed a tear as she has to leave yet another set of children whom she has come to love as her own. Imagine going through that pain each and every time you accept a posting, knowing that you will have to leave!

Thirdly, even though she is a bit of a bossy flossy, she usually lets her hair down and joins in the fun.

Oh, and Supercalifrajalistic makes her expialidocious. And who else can you say that about?

Bonus Character – Herbie (The Love Bug)

Herbie 53

Just look at that face! Adorable and plucky, this little VW Beetle probably has one of the most endearing personalities of any Disney character. Whether it’s bringing two people together, winning a race, foiling a plot, or falling in love himself, Herbie does it all with a ‘Meep Meep’ and a ‘Vroom Vroom’!

Perhaps no other character better personifies the no-quit spirit. He has been sabotaged, stolen, ripped in half, and heart-broken, but never has he been beaten! Sometimes it’s the smallest amongst us that have the biggest hearts.

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Be sure to check out all four of my posts in this series of Monday Topics:

Topic One – Disney Essentials

Topic Two – Disney Tutorial

Topic Three – Best Of Disney (You are here)

Topic Four – Looking Back at Disney

Disney’s Frozen Zanai Chocolate Eggs

If you watched the movie Frozen closely, you may have gotten the hint that Elsa and Anna love chocolate. So I guess it’s appropriate that Zanai has released a set of miniature figurines in their signature chocolate eggs:

Scrncap1     Scrncap2

They’re smiling because… they love chocolate!

But as we all know, it’s what’s inside that really counts, so:

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Does one of the Love Experts love chocolate too?

This set contains every main character from the movie, and in the case of the Princesses, two costume variations each to make things interesting. Or… to make you buy more chocolate eggs to get the complete set!

Scrncap5

Three almost identical Rock Trolls? Really?

Scrncap4     Scrncap8

Slighty different makes all the difference. Right. And my wife married a fixer upper. Wait…

Of course, the main character that everyone is ga-ga over is Elsa, and I got her in her Ice Dress costume:

Scrncap6

Lastly, from the four eggs I bought for the purpose of this post, I got what might arguably be everyone’s favorite character from the movie Frozen:

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OLAF

Although funny at times, this character I just didn’t get. It’s never explained why Elsa had the power to unknowingly create life from snow, and why Olaf ended up one of the by-products of Elsa’s snowy tantrum. Also, he seems to have the memories of the girls earlier playtime when he states that he loves ‘warm hugs’.

For me, Olaf is just one of the many plot holes in the movie Frozen. But fortunately I like chocolate, so buying these Zanai eggs was no hardship! Although I wish I had gotten Marshmallow the Snow Monster instead of two Rock Trolls.

I have to admit, I am one of the (hopefully many) who just didn’t like this film. I can’t ratify any of the decisions the parents made, or Elsa’s decision to continue to honor those decisions, or her actions after her Coronation (trying to kill her sister using an ice monster, anyone?) Oh well, in the end, I guess I’ll just have to ‘let it go!’

Messing With Disney Icons

The Tronorail at Walt Disney World. World of Cars-themed monorails at Disneyland. And now Frozen is poised to take over Maelstrom? These are just a few of the many incursions Disney has made into our favorite Icons.

Disney Last Days 006

Now that’s how I like to see my Icons!

Messing with Icons is never a safe bet. Puritans will hate it no matter what you do. Armchair Imagineers will think that they could have come up with a better idea. And those that don’t mind will probably stay quiet during the whole controversy.

And so Disney takes a hit. But kudos for trying! If Disney doesn’t take a shot at upping the Magic in the Parks, then we complain about the lack of creativity and innovation. And the odds are that in trying, Disney will fail from time to time.

Case in point: Spaceship Earth’s Millennium makeover.

The addition of the number 2000 and the wand didn’t thrill anyone! And here, Disney didn’t make the mistake in trying something new, but in sticking with it too long. Once the Millennium was over, so should the addition have been. But it didn’t go away. It changed to EPCOT and a wand. And it stayed for years!

Disney fans will tolerate an adjustment to an Icon short-term, but not long-term.

Another case in point: Birthday Cake Castle in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Now, again, I thought this was an interesting idea. I can’t imagine how much work it must have been to transform Cinderella Castle into a cake! But Disney fans hated it and it still draws criticism today.

But Disney knew when to quit back then, and the Birthday Cake Castle only lasted a year. I wish I could have seen it in person.

In the world of Rides and Attractions, Disney has tried new things with iconic favorites. Like adding Disney characters to It’s a Small World. Putting the Tiki Room under New Management. And adding a funny queue alternative to The Haunted Mansion.

Many Disney fans freaked, or are freaking, about these changes.

But I think Disney is learning. And maybe listening to the fans. For the Tiki Room has finally returned to the classic variation. And you can bypass the new queue area at the Haunted Mansion.

But in fear I must ask: What Icon will be affected next?

Will Koda join The Country Bear Jamboree? Will we see Tom Hanks and Tim Allen animatronics along the shores of the Jungle Cruise? Only time, and the Disney Marketing Department, will tell.

Book Reviews: Disney Frozen

Disney Frozen Read-Along Storybook and CD
Frozen books 004
Narrator: Nolan North
Binding: Soft Cover w/CD
Pages: 32 Hi-gloss
ISBN: 978-14231-7064-8
Publisher: Disney Press
Price: $6.99 US / $7.99 CAN
Review: I’ve always enjoyed these read-along books! As is the norm, this edition has both voices and sound effects to really engage your pre-school children. The story is a very condensed version of the movie but manages to hit the highlights. The illustrations are gorgeous and accredited to the Disney Storybook Artists.
Mr. Nolan does a fine job of keeping the narration light and fun. This will make a nice companion to the movie which you can revisit time and again with your children.
Rating: I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars. The only reason I don’t rate this title higher is that it doesn’t contain original material.
Disney Frozen A Tale of Two Sisters
Step into Reading – Step 2
Frozen books 002
Author: Melissa Lagonegro
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 32 Flat-matt
ISBN: 978-0-7364-3120-0
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Price: $3.99 US / $4.99 CAN
Review: This book is aimed at pre-school and Grade 1 children with a basic vocabulary who read short sentences and simple stories. These children recognize familiar words and sound out new words with help. As an example of the writing, page 18 says: They meet Olaf. He is a nice snowman. He leads them to Elsa.
The artwork is very similar to the previous book reviewed in this post but looks less vibrant due to the matt finish of the pages.
Rating: I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars. Again, I don’t rate this title higher because it doesn’t contain original material. But it is ideal for encouraging children to read for themselves.
Disney Frozen
The Junior Novelization
Frozen books 001
Adapted by: Sarah Nathan and Sela Roman
Binding: Soft Cover
Pages: 123
ISBN: 978-0-7364-3118-7
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Price: $4.99 US / $5.99 CAN
Review: Lastly we have a book for your Tween. This is a surprisingly thorough coverage of the movie written in a style that adults can also enjoy. I really enjoyed reading it even though I’m well past the Tween stage of life! It also includes 8 pages of full-color artwork/screen captures from the movie.
Rating: Because this book really invoked the spirit, fun, and heart of the movie, I’m giving it 4.5 stars out of 5.
So if you’re a big fan of Disney’s blockbuster movie Frozen (and not many people aren’t) than any of these publications will delight you. And it’s nice to see a version for every age group.
I’d like to thank Disney Worldwide Publishing for providing these review copies