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Meeting Ralph and Vanellope at Epcot
DisneyDan  Friday, May 3, 2019 12:26:41 PM
Hello everyone,

Wreck-It-Ralph and Ralph Breaks the Internet stars Ralph and Vanellope can currently be met by stepping into The Link at Epcot's Imagination pavilion. I thought it would be fun to share with you some of my photos from when we met them there recently.

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My thoughts on PIXAR's 'Inside Out', and what it can do for Epcot
DisneyDan  Monday, June 15, 2015 10:16:25 PM
Editor's Note: I originally posted this article five days ago, but for matters outside of my control, I had to remove it until today. Below is the original article in its unedited format (I mention we saw the films "last night", when in fact now it was five days ago) - Dan.

Hello everyone,

I don't usually write posts like this, but something struck a chord with me last night that I just have to share. Last night Jon and I were very fortunate to be given the opportunity to watch Disney-PIXAR's latest movie, 'Inside Out'. The movie doesn't come out for general release for another eight days yet, so seeing it nine days early was a real privilege.

The film had its first premiere in Cannes on 18th May this year, and this week had its US debut. Many of you probably saw the photos floating around social media of the characters Sadness and Joy, who appeared at the US premiere.


(C) Disney/PIXAR. Taken from their Facebook page.

Initially character fans were really excited to see Sadness and Joy appear, giving us a glimpse of, hopefully, what to expect at the parks. A short while later, the rumour mill started, and various inside sources on Twitter, including the usually accurate @DCharacternews, implied that this will be pretty much the only time they'll appear. To send characters back to their own worlds before a movie has even had its general release is a real blow to fans who are excited for the movie and for the characters. The characters at the parks are a way of fans connecting with their heroes and step into some of the movie magic with them. How could Disney be considering not having them out?!

So, then we come to last night, when we saw the movie ourselves for the first time. The short story at the start, 'Lava', was cute, and probably one of the better ones I've seen in recent years. It involved a lonely island volcano who pined for a female companion. I won't give it away, but it seemingly has a twist at first.

Now we come to the main feature. 'Inside Out' follows the five core emotions inside Riley Anderson's head. Riley is a twelve year old girl whose family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco. There are a variety of hiccups along the way, including a delayed delivery van, that all contribute to Riley feeling rather down. With good intentions, the emotions inside her head plan to keep her happy.

We meet five core emotions; Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. All of these emotions have their own distinct characteristics, but all also contribute to the overall wellbeing of Riley. As we discover, sometimes everyone needs to be sad, or angry, or whatever else, in order to function as a human being - and that really gets you thinking. With that in mind, the movie can be quite deep and emotional, but at the same time, it has a lot of comedy moments, which I must admit are more adult than I was expecting for a Disney-PIXAR film, and it definitely has one of the saddest moments of any PIXAR film I have seen in a long time.

The message of the movie, to me, was that it's ok for you to be sad sometimes, and that is a good thing. Sadness brings out a quality in us that can only simply be described as 'human'. It probably won't connect with young children as well as adults, but you know what? This movie proves to us that PIXAR still have what it takes to be the best at what they do. Please, no more sequels. Let's have this kind of quality again.

So how does this all fit with the title of this article, I hear you ask?

For the longest time now, the Imagination pavilion at Walt Disney World's Epcot has really lacked something. This is a company that built itself on the ideas and dreams of its founder, with the vision that there is always something else to be done, so long as we have imagination. So why has the Imagination pavilion sat all-but-abandoned for the past fifteen years or more? That only Disney can answer, but what I do know is that with 'Inside Out', they have the perfect opportunity to start over again.

As much as I love Figment as the next person, nobody I think disagrees that the current incarnation is nothing more than an insult to its former self. It would be better for it to disappear with some dignity left, than carry on for another twenty years, floundering along. Cue 'Inside Out'. A movie that has entire scenes set inside a little girl's imagination, abstract thought, and dream studio (you have to see it to understand), not to mention featuring her awesome imaginary friend, Bing Bong, is perfect for an Imagination revamp. Let's take the Train of Thought (again, wait until you see the film), and ride through a real imaginary place (well, isn't that an oxymoron?), filled with imaginary friends like Bing Bong and all the cast of the dream studio. I know it's probably just a pipe dream, but I really hope that this was the kind of movie Disney was waiting for in order to revitalize Imagination. Let's have the characters walking around; let us meet all five of the core emotions. Let's breathe
life back into Imagination once again.

Let me know your thoughts by clicking here and going to our forum to discuss this article.

Dan.

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