Disney Life, Disneyland

Days to Disneyland Movie Countdown


Obligatory Castle Shot” by Auntie Rain is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (Edits by Disney Adulting)

Days to Disney Movie Countdown

How do you countdown to Disney? It seems like everyone has their own special tradition or way of building up the excitement as you cross off months, weeks and days to your next visit to the most magical place on earth. My husband and I aren’t any different and have our own little sets of Disney traditions that get us coated in pixie dust and ready to fly off to adventure.

This time, we are doing a Days to Disney Movie Countdown and plan to watch a different Disney movie (or Disney subsidiary) every week until our trip and have selected some movies for a few unique reasons we’ve outlined below.

8 Weeks to Disneyland – The Brave Little Toaster

Disneyland-Countdown-Movie-8Granted, this isn’t an original Disney film, it has an amazing history of shaping some of the top talents in animation today. Walt Disney Studios originally purchased the rights to the original novel in 1982 and planned to make The Brave Little Toaster into an animated feature. However, it was later transferred to Hyperion Pictures and financed as an independent production by Disney with a smaller production budget. This film is unique in the sense that many of the cast and crew went on to have successful careers in the animation industry.Co-writer Joe Ranft became a script supervisor at Pixar, while animators Glen KeaneKirk Wise and Kevin Lima went on to animate and co-direct films of the Disney Renaissance, such as The Little MermaidBeauty and the BeastAladdinPocahontas and Tarzan. Keane would also go on to produce the 2010 animated film Tangled. Effects animator Mark Dindal directed Disney’s The Emperor’s New Groove and Chicken Little, as well as Warner Bros.‘ Cats Don’t Dance. Character designer Rob Minkoff directed The Lion KingStuart LittleStuart Little 2, and Mr. Peabody & Sherman. After directing a financially unsuccessful film The Marrying Man in 1991, Jerry Rees now directs Disney theme park films.[4] Voice actors Jon Lovitz and Phil Hartman wound their way onto animated series such as The Simpsons.

7 Weeks to Disneyland – Rogue One

It was original Star Wars fan and visual effects supervisor for the original Star Wars prequel trilogy, John Knoll, had originally pitched the idea for the film 10 years prior to the Disney announcement in May 2014 that the film was in the works. However, it wasn’t until March 2015, that the title, Rogue One was officially released to the public. Rogue One is the first film in the Star Wars Anthology series, a series of standalone spin-off films in the Star Wars series. These films, including Rogue One, are unique as they serve as standalone films would not cross over with the films of the sequel trilogy in the way that George Lucas originally intended the creative roadmap to extend. Peter Bradshaw, film critic of The Guardian says “Rogue One doesn’t really go rogue at any stage, and it isn’t a pop culture event like The Force Awakens, in whose slipstream this appears; part of its charm resides in the eerie, almost dreamlike effect of continually producing familiar elements, reshuffled and reconfigured, a reaching back to the past and hinting at a preordained future. There are some truly spectacular cameos from much-loved personae, involving next-level digital effects — almost creepily exact, so that watching feels at various stages like going into a time machine, back to the 80s and 70s”.

6 Weeks to Disneyland – Zootopia

Disneyland-Countdown-Movie-6As the 55th Disney animated feature film, Zootopia (known as Zootropolis in some territories) is a 3D computer-animated film that was released in  Disney Digital 3-DRealD 3D, and IMAX 3D, making it the first animated Disney film since Treasure Planet to be shown in domestic IMAX theatres. Research for the film’s animal cast took place in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as well as in Kenya, where animators studied various animals walk cycles as well as fur color. It also hold second place, trailing behind the original anthology Fantasia (1940), as the longest movie at a whopping 108 minutes long.





5 Weeks to Disneyland – Pirates of the Caribbean

Disneyland-Countdown-Movie-5Ah yes, and we reach this little treasure on our movie tour counting down days to Disneyland. Originally, Walt Disney Pictures had several scripts written for the film and it wasn’t until late March 2002, when  Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio suggested making the movie with a supernatural curse, as described in the opening narration of the ride in Disneyland, the film’s plot. However, the movie almost met its early termination. Even though Dick Cook had been a strong proponent of adapting Disney’s rides into films, the box office failure of The Country Bears (2002) made Michael Eisner attempt to shut down production of Pirates of the Caribbean. However, Gore Verbinski  told his concept artists to keep working on the picture, and when Eisner came to visit, the executive was astonished by what had been created.


4 Weeks to Disneyland – Moana

Disneyland-Countdown-Movie-4Moana was released in November 2016 to extremely positive reviews, with critics particularly admiring its animation, music, and voice cast. The film went on to gross over $642 million worldwide. Along with Zootopia, it marked the first time since 2002 that Walt Disney Animation Studios released two feature films in the same year. Over the five years, it took to develop and produce the film, co-Directors Ron Clements , and John Musker,  recruited experts from across the South Pacific to form an Oceanic Story Trust, who consulted on the film’s cultural accuracy and sensitivity as the story evolved through nine versions. The majority of the film’s cast members are of Polynesian descent: Auli’i Cravalho (Moana) and Nicole Scherzinger (Sina, Moana’s mother) were born in Hawaii and are of Native Hawaiian heritage; Dwayne Johnson (Maui), Oscar Kightley (Fisherman), and Troy Polamalu (Villager No. 1) are of Samoan heritage; and New Zealand–born Rachel House (Tala, Moana’s grandmother), Temuera Morrison (Tui, Moana’s father), and Jemaine Clement(Tamatoa) are of Māori heritage.

3 Weeks to Disneyland – Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Disneyland-Countdown-Movie-3Screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely started working on The Winter Soldier right around the time the first Captain America film was being released. hey always wanted to use the Winter Soldier story arc for the second film, but it took them 6 months to convince themselves they could. Ninety-eight percent of the movie takes place in the current time. The writers originally worked on a draft which heavily relied on flashbacks but found it didn’t work. The shooting script only has a couple flashbacks. Sebastian Stan didn’t know if they’d bring him back as Bucky Barnes/the Winter Soldier until a year after the first film was released, right before comic con last year. He learned the film’s title from a friend who called him from Comic Con, after Marvel had made the reveal. The day before filming a fight scene with Robert Downey Jr., Sebastian Stan sent him a video of himself doing intense bicep curls in front of the decapitated head of an Iron Man suit. He attached the message, ‘Looking forward to our scene tomorrow Robert.’

2 Weeks to Disneyland – Finding Dory

Disneyland-Countdown-Movie-2Finding Dory, the sequel to Finding Nemo, is a 2016 animated film release that was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film focuses on the amnesiac fish Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres who journeys to be reunited with her parents. Following a long campaign for a sequel on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, DeGeneres stated: “I have waited for this day for a long, long, long, long, long, long time. I’m not mad it took this long. I know the people at Pixar were busy creating Toy Story 16. But the time they took was worth it. The script is fantastic. And it has everything I loved about the first one: It’s got a lot of heart, it’s really funny, and the best part is—it’s got a lot more Dory.” Worldwide, it is the third highest-grossing film of 2016 (behind Civil War and Rogue One), the highest-grossing animated film of 2016, the second highest-grossing Pixar film ever (behind Toy Story 3), the fourth highest-grossing animated film of all time, and the 25th highest-grossing film of all time.

1 Week to Disneyland – The Nightmare Before Christmas

Disneyland-Countdown-Movie-1Our Disneyland movie countdown concludes with a fall favorite. The Nightmare Before Christmas (also known as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas) is a 1993 American stop-motion animated dark fantasy musical film directed by Henry Selick, and produced and conceived by Tim BurtonThe Nightmare Before Christmas originated in a poem written by Tim Burton in 1982, while he was working as an animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation. Over the years, Burton’s thoughts regularly returned to the project, and in 1990, he made a development deal with Disney. Production started in July 1991 in San Francisco; Disney released the film through its Touchstone Pictures banner because the studio believed the film would be “too dark and scary for kids.” The film took 20 individual stages, 109,440 frames and 227 puppets to complete.



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