TANGLED Before Ever After Movie Review

Before we get started, this is a SPOILER FREE review of Disney’s Tangled Before Ever After animated television film.

Tangled Before Ever After Case

Back of DVD Sleeve

Let’s start with the positive. The animation is well done for a television release. It captures the original charm and energy of the original film while using the more limited animation of a video budget.

The original characters are all present and accounted for with a few new faces added, most notably Rapunzel’s friend and the villain. The banter between Rapunzel and Eugene is present as well.

Now on to the negative. This is a very generic princess story with the female lead unhappy with her place in life. The male characters are, as usual, unreasonable and ineffectual which is often done in modern Disney Princess movies to promote the girl empowerment message.

The pendulum has definitely swung to the other side and I for one can’t wait until we have a more balanced view of male/female relationships and interaction. Especially between parents, which I feel is completely missing in this movie!

So if you want a nice bit of fluff with some laughs for your younger child viewer, this could be it. For the rest of us, I’m afraid Tangled Before Ever After offers only more of the same obvious stuff.

COOL FACTOR: 2.5/5

One nice thing that comes with the DVD release of this movie is a Rapunzel Diary:

Tangled Before Ever After Diary

Tangled Before Ever After Diary Size

For Scale

This has some nice scenes from the movie (careful, these may contain spoilers!)

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The last several pages of the diary are blank so your little Princess can record her adventures as she chases her ‘destiny’!

For more of Rapunzel, check out our previous post featuring the 16″ Disney Store Deluxe Rapunzel doll.

ILLUSION OF LIFE Plugged on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life is a book by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two Disney Legends of animation counted among the famous group of Walt Disney’s  Nine Old Men. The book topped the list of “best animation books of all time” in a poll at AWN, and is still used as a reference for inspiration on character animation.

Illusion of Life Cover

I have this book and can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone who wants to better understand the animation process. After reading it, my own drawing skills improved noticeably!

In 1980, they appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to plug the book and chat about animation. Here they are on stage:

Illusion of Life On Stage

During the interview, Carson mentions that they are almost unknown, despite the fact that they had worked on some of the most famous animated films of all time. They replied that they liked it that way!

Illusion of Life Frank

Frank Thomas

They mentioned that when they would sit in a theatre to watch their films with children, they would almost die. Why? Because children could be so cruel! No wonder they preferred to hide back in the studio.

Illusion of Life Ollie

Ollie Johnston

Carson asked about the rumors that Walt Disney was a cold man and hard to work for, among other things. Both men answered that he was all of those things. However, they clarified that it was also a great pleasure to work for Walt because he was so inspiring, albeit awfully tough! Perfection was expected at all times.

Carson next marvels at how animators are able to give life to even inanimate objects, so Frank and Ollie pulled out the following drawings to illustrate the point:

Illusion of Life Sad SackIllusion of Life Happy SackIllusion of Life Nosey SackIllusion of Life Tickled Sack

And last but not least:

Illusion of Life Tired Sack

Who Wouldn’t Be?

It was great to see these Disney Legends chat about their passion for animation. But it almost wasn’t to be! Frank wanted to be a landscape artist and Ollie was heading towards a career in magazine illustration. But Disney put out a casting call and both answered, arriving at the studio to become lowly In-betweeners before rising in the ranks to full-fledged animators.

Illusion of Life Wrap Up

The Interview Ends

Look to the left in the above picture and you’ll notice another Disney Alumni, Suzanne Pleshette (January 31, 1937 – January 19, 2008). You may remember her for her roles in The Ugly Dachshund, Blackbeard’s Ghost, and The Shaggy D.A.

Also, if you look to the far right in the above picture, you can see Carson holding up the book in question (blurry though it is).

For the full interview (5:54), please take a listen. It’s well worth it:

Frank and Ollie on Carson

To learn more about these two animation greats, and the rest of Disney’s Nine Old Men, check out my review of the book Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men.

Mission Marvel Perry the Platypus Plush

Being a grown and reasonably mature male in mid-life I don’t get the chance to watch a lot of Saturday morning cartoons. Not as many as I’d like anyway! And Phineas and Ferb wouldn’t really catch my interest except for the character that I am featuring here, in plush:

plush MM Perry frontplush MM Perry back

Perry the Platypus

Phineas and Ferb is an American animated musical comedy television series that officially premiered on February 1, 2008 on Disney Channel.  Every day, the boys embark on some grand new project, which annoys their controlling sister, Candace, who frequently tries to reveal their shenanigans to her mother. The series follows a standard plot system; running gags occur every episode, but the b-plot is where my attention is always focused!

plush Agent P

Perry the Platypus works as a spy (“Agent P”) for OWCA (the Organization Without a Cool Acronym), to defeat the latest scheme of Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, a mad scientist driven largely by a need to assert his evilness. Wuh-ha-hah!

Phineas and Ferb: Mission Marvel was a cross-over episode that featured characters from Marvel Entertainment, specifically in their incarnations from the Marvel Universe shows on Disney XD. It aired on August 16, 2013, on Disney Channel and on August 25, 2013, on Disney XD. The special was released on DVD on October 1, 2013.

And it’s from that show that we got Superhero P, here in the plush, with a new costume and gadgets:

plush Superhero belt

Rocket belt? Yes please!

I collected comic books as a kid and my favorite brand was Marvel. So anytime I see something Disney with a Marvel twist, it’s doubly good and a must-add for my collection!

But perhaps you’re not too familiar with Marvel Comics? If this describes you, then perhaps a review of Stan Lee’s marvelous memoir might be just what you need! You can also read my list of top Marvel artists and superhero costumes to round out your comic book education.

Mickey Mouse Club Song Hits LP Record

As Disney fans we are all Mouseketeers at heart! Even though most of us were not around in the early 1950’s to see The Mickey Mouse Club in its original broadcast run, we might remember seeing episodes in syndication or on DVD collections.

And then there’s the merchandise that helps us to relive the fun and music of this iconic program! Merchandise like this:

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Disneyland Records LP – 1975

Released some 20 years after the original program this is a very nice keepsake for any MMC fan. As you can see, it contains songs along with a personal Mouseketeer cast photo album. A list of the songs can be seen below:

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Unfortunately, I didn’t realize until I got this item home that it contained the wrong record inside. The LP that it has is still featuring the Mouseketeers but singing about the Mousekedances that were performed on the show. You can read the playlist by enlarging the album labels below:

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A very nice selection of music!

The real feature of this LP is the 16-page cast photo album. They contain stills from the show along with some pretty terrible copy along with some sketch artwork of Disney characters.

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The album cover is in pretty bad shape with a name written on the cover and the record is a bit scratchy. With it also containing the wrong record I normally wouldn’t have bought it. But on the strength of the 16-page cast photo album alone I relented and paid too much!

I also had to go down into a dank and stinky basement and risk disease to obtain it, so I hope you appreciate what I went through to bring this vintage item to you today! I think I should get a medal. Or a free tetanus shot. At this point, I think I’d like the shot!

Mr. Bean Tells Time with Mickey

I recently purchased a DVD set of the complete Mr. Bean shorts. You’ll recognize this name as the mime-like character created by Rowan Atkinson. And of course I noticed immediately that there was a Disney tie-in!

In the very first episode, where Mr. Bean has to take a math test, he begins to empty his briefcase, bringing out three funny objects. One is (perhaps) an English Bobby, the second thing is a bendable Pink Panther figure, and the third is:

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Well, hello Mickey!

Yes, even Mr. Bean is a Disney fan! He brings out a vintage Mickey Mouse alarm clock to time his test. Of course he messes up the whole affair but the alarm clock does go off right on time!

For another Mickey Mouse alarm clock sighting, please check out my earlier post entitled Mickey Visits the Partridge Family over at My Dreams of Disney.

The Windsor Star Weekend Magazine

This large format 28-page magazine supplement was quite an impressive publication in its day! The two copies that I have were inserted into the weekend edition of The Windsor Star newspaper in the late 1970’s. It had both black and white and color pages.

Weekend Magazine Covers 001

September 17th and November 5th, 1977

I found these at a yard sale just outside of Windsor, ON. I paid $2.00 a piece for them which is funny when you consider that they were given away free with a newspaper almost 40 years ago!

But I think you can guess why I bought them?

Weekend Magazine 008     Weekend Magazine 009

10 1/2″ x 12″

Obviously Mickey and Minnie caught my eye and so buying that issue was a no-brainer. I also love vintage television programs so the other issue also became a must-have.

So let’s take a look at the content of the article entitled 50 Years of Mickey Mouse:

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Weekend Magazine 011

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This was a fun but brief article which you are welcome to read by enlarging the pictures above. I especially enjoyed page 11 as I have some of the merchandise pictured there!

Apart from the cover story in the second issue of this set, I found another Disney reference inside. Disney placed an advertisement on pages 14 and 15:

Weekend Magazine 002

Who wants some cookies?

The contest would award 40 vacation trips to Walt Disney World, 100 authentic Mickey Mouse watches, and 200 Fantasia soundtracks. All you had to do was state how many cookies you could see in the jar. Disney even made it easier by giving the possible answers in the form of multiple choice on the entry form.

Weekend Magazine 003          Weekend Magazine 004

Enlarge and read those rules!

Unfortunately we are all 39 years too late to enter. Just our luck, eh! But it is still fun to see these old promotions and product tie-ins.

So just how many cookies were in the jar? Was it 9, 14, 21, 35, or 49? Who cares, just give me one! Hey, stale or not, I love me some cookies!

Dopey on Match Game 78

Disney celebrities show up in the strangest places. In 1978, Dopey hadn’t had a movie gig in over 50 years and was looking to promote himself. It was common in the 70’s to do the game show circuit to maintain or resurrect a career, so:

Match Game 78 Logo

The “all-new, star-studded, big-money” Match Game 73 returned to TV on CBS, with Gene Rayburn returning as host. The year in the title was updated on the New Year’s Eve broadcast for the next six years. This run of the game ended in 1979. The game play for this version had two solo contestants attempting to match the answers given by a six-celebrity panel.

Of course, Dopey can’t talk, so he needed an interpreter:

Match Game 78

They made a great team

Unfortunately, this appearance didn’t do much for Dopey’s career but it is a nice addition to his body of work!

Mouseketeer Bobby on Lawrence Welk

And here we have yet another Disney reference popping up on television. We all remember the Merry Marching Mouseketeers with everyone’s favorite female performer, Annette. But who was your favorite male performer?

Perhaps it was Robert Wilkie “Bobby” Burgess (born May 19, 1941), who was one of only nine Mouseketeers who stayed for the entire run of the show:

Bobby Burgess

Later he would continue his dancing career on the long-running Lawrence Welk Show. Here he is as he appeared in a LW clip show some time after the original run was completed:

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And here he is with his full-time dance partner on the original LW show:

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With so many of the original Mouseketeers ending their careers after the Club disbanded, and others falling into trouble, it is so nice to know that some were able to go on to continued success, both as people, and performers!

For more on all of your favorite Mouseketeers, check out my reviews of both the Mickey Mouse Club Scrapbook and the Mickey Mouse Club Scrapbook Special Souvenir Edition.

Mickey Mouse Visits Laugh-In

Well, I’ve found some obscure and freaky Disney references in old television shows before, but this one has an extra dimension of creepy! And this installment comes from

Laugh in Title Card

Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in was a comedy sketch show that ran for 140 episodes from January 22, 1968 to March 12, 1973 on the NBC television network. It was hosted by comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin:

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If featured many later-to-be famous stars (like Goldie Hawn and Lilly Tomlin) and hosted many already-minted stars, like, er… Mickey Mouse.

WARNING: Please put the children to bed and the horses in the barn, as the following images are likely to scare both parties!

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Mickey Mouse?

Nothing gets my attention faster than a man in a Mickey Mouse costume talking about toxic waste, in rhyme yet!

Mickey & RM 4     Mickey & RM 5

Mickey & RM 6     Mickey & RM 7

Creepy, ain’t he?

This strange Disney reference comes from Season Three of Laugh-In in case you want to troll YouTube and find it. That’s where I came across it.

For more television fun, please check out Mickey Mouse Meets Carol Burnett and Walt Disney Visits Studio 1 at NBC.

Mickey Mouse Meets Carol Burnett

Once again I have found a Disney reference in an unexpected place. My wife and I have been watching the lost episodes of The Carol Burnett Show:

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Episode #108 – November 4th, 1968

The above episode started with a Q&A session between Carol and the audience. For some reason, an audience member asked “Why is everyone wearing Mickey Mouse watches?” In answer, Carol extends her left arm and shows that she is indeed wearing a vintage Bradley MM watch:

Carol Mickey Mouse Watch 001

That is very hard (ne: impossible) to see, so here is an image of what a Bradley Mickey Mouse watch looks like:

Bradley MM Watch

She informs the audience that Soupy Sales had given it to her the year previous when he was a guest star on the show. For those unfamiliar with this man, Milton Supman (January 8, 1926 – October 22, 2009), was an American comedian, actor, radio/television personality, and jazz aficionado. But I digress…

She goes on to give a little history of the watch and some advice. We are told that an original Bradley MM watch sold for just $2.95 US but now (in 1968) could fetch a price between $150 and $175.00 US.

Her advice? If you had one at home: Keep it safe!

Today you can pick up a Bradley MM watch for between $40 and $75.00 US on eBay. The drop in price is due to the availability of merchandise from around the world on sites such as eBay, and also due to the fact that literally millions were made. So they aren’t as rare as one might suppose.

You can get a less-than-mint version without its original strap for under $10.00 US.