Friday, August 5, 2011

Who Wants to Have a DATE Night With Me?

Yup. That's my living room.
Need a DVD? Cuz I probably have it.
So this is how it all began. In preparation for a trip to Walt Disney World with my family in March of 2010, I decided that it would be fun to watch all of the Disney animated classics in chronological order. I realized that I had been collecting most of them piece by piece over the years because I knew that I loved them, but I hadn't actually sat down and watched the films themselves- most of which I hadn't seen since childhood. I would watch the making of documentaries and other special features but not the actual movies. Don't even get me started on the fact that I am something of a hoarder when it comes to media, be it movies, music or books. Suffice it to say that I am just grateful that it's not trash or cats or I would have my own episode of a reality show.

I had to skip a few that I didn't have in my collection/couldn't get from the library and the process wasn't terribly well-structured. I would watch one here and there whenever I could, sometimes with months in between them. Sometimes I watched them alone and sometimes with friends. There are some that I loved and some not so much. I felt like some were overrated and some vastly underrated.

Pascal keeping watch over the 50 classics. Tom was trying
to watch A Single Man while I took this.
I dunno why he puts up with me, poor thing.
I noticed things I never would have as a kid since I was now watching with three decades old eyes. I was experiencing some of these films for the very first time and there were a few I wasn't able to get my hands on, so they still remain on my list of unseen Disney. Spending this time really digging into the canon was when I really turned the corner from Disney Fan Street onto Disney Freak Lane. I watched nearly all of them over the course of the last year and a half and then moved on to the Pixar films, finishing up with Toy Story 3 just this past week.

The experience was phenomenal. Seeing the progression gave me a real respect for the artists and creators who crafted these films. My mind was exploding like nighttime fireworks over Cinderella's castle and I felt compelled to share what I was discovering. I started status updating after every film that I watched and dubbed it "The Disney Project". People started really enjoying and looking forward to these updates. They would comment on the posts, relaying memories of the films and really getting involved in a discussion of them.  Some of them suggested that I put these reviews into blog form somehow.

Maybe I should have called my blog
"A Gay Whirl at Disneyland"!
When I was starting the blog, the first thing that I did was google "The Disney Project" to see if anybody had taken the name and, of course, somebody had. Then I googled "The Disney Film Project" and someone else had taken that one as well and had started a pretty fascinating blog where they are trying to watch every film, animated and live-action, short and full-length, that Disney has made. God speed, my good folks. I knew that I wasn't quite ready to compete with that. You should check them out, by the way. It's really good stuff.

Ultimately, I'm grateful that both of these were already taken because it encouraged me to broaden the scope of what I was going to do with my blog a bit. It spurred me on to come up with the name "Moved by the Mouse" (long live alliteration, lads and lasses), and start something that was more personal, exploring my emotional experiences and opinions about all things Disney. It allowed me to inject more of my personality into the writing and cover things such as news that tickled my fancy, the parks, which I would live in if I could, and music, along with whatever else flitted across the folds of my scattered brain. I was no longer locked into just reviewing the animated classics. It was a blessing in disguise, really.

Just the other day, I finally got my copy of The Rescuers Down Under in the mail. It was the last of the fifty animated classic available on DVD or Blu-ray that I didn't have. My collector's heart did a happy dance and it got me thinking that now would be a great time to relaunch the Disney Project that I had done informally on Facebook. I would be able to watch each film sequentially without missing one or having shift the order to accommodate for something not being available. It would be an opportunity to expand on my original thoughts and have some fun revisiting the classics again after I've had some time to let them marinate. Maybe those original reactions to them will have even changed. It could be a big ole stew of review, history, facts, videos, pictures, and whatever else really melted my butter. Now that I had wrapped up "The Pixar Project", it would be a perfect time to start at the top and do it all over again.

If you know the "Date Nite at Disneyland" song, it
is will now be stuck in your head all day.
You're welcome.
But I knew that I would have to change the name. Come up with something a little snappier. So, drumroll please! Ladies and gentlemen, I am extremely excited to announce DATE Nights with Moved by the Mouse! What does DATE stand for, you ask? Disney Animated classic Time-ordered Examination, of course! I know, I know. It's a bit of a stretch, but I think it's charming. Plus it's a throwback to Date Nite at Disneyland back in the day, which makes me want to slick what hair I still have left back and dance to Annette Funicello singing "Tall Paul," and that's always a good thing. It's also less clinical than referring to this whole endeavor as a project. It feels more relaxed and fun.

So here's how this is going to work for now. I have been updating the blog twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays. I will be shifting it to Tuesdays and Fridays. (That is the goal at least. I am human after all and there will be days once in a blue corn moon without entries. I know it will be hard for you to cope, but you will have to find some way to keep on living.) The Friday entry will continue on the same path as the rest have been on- Alt-Disney World, Disney Dreamboat, Odd Disney World or more personal stories, reviews and thoughts. Every weekend I will be watching one of the Disney animated classics in the order in which they were made and Tuesdays will be the DATE Night entry, starting this upcoming Tuesday with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

How much do you wanna bet that one of those adventures
was probably getting nookie on Adventure Thru Inner Space?
Part of my hope in starting this blog was to start to build a bit of a community of Disney fiends and encourage interactivity. I would love it if you would watch the films along with me and comment on the entry to let us know what your thoughts on the films are. (There is a great complete list of the fifty animated classics in order here at They even have a super convenient printable version here.) Was it the same as you remembered? Better or worse than expectations? Do you have any funny stories about your experience of the movie or awesome tales of how they affected your life? Let us know! As this grows, hopeful we can find more exciting ways of communication, but this will be a start.

Also, if you are in New York City and would like to join me in person for a particular film or two, just give me a shout on twitter @movedbythemouse, I would love to engage in witty banter about the film in real time and be social. You really should be following the blog's twats, anyhoo. Otherwise how would you have found out about the new Bjork video in which she is full on Madame Leota's disco dancing younger sister? It's an amazewich! Aw, heck. In case you missed it, here you go:

Uncanny, innit? I am very excited about where the blog is going and want to take a moment to thank everybody who's been reading along and sharing this journey with me. It sincerely does mean the world to me. If you have been enjoying what you've seen here, I would love it if you would help me spread the word. Tell people to visit! Link me up on your what-have-yous! Comment on the entries! I am still a novice in the blogosphere and any help I can get on directing people to Moved by the Mouse's direction is greatly appreciated. You guys are all fantastic and I look forward to whatever's just around the riverbend!

1 comment:

  1. Ahh! This is a great idea! My friend Steve and I are doing this too! But we added the element of food (we cook a related dish) so it's sort of like dinner and a movie. I have to read up on your entries and catch up to you! (I love the name you came up with!) -Chelle