From Screen to Theme:
A Guide to Disney Animated Film References
Found Throughout the Walt Disney World Resort by Brent Dodge
Are you the type of person who searches for references to your favorite Disney films when you visit Walt Disney World? Do you wonder where you can find your favorite (and sometimes obscure) characters from those films (J. Worthington Foulfellow*, anyone?) for a Character Meet and Greet? Do you wonder if you can find Flick anywhere in the World other than in the “it's tough to be a bug” attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom?** If so, this may be the perfect book for you!
Author Brent Dodge's volume covering references to animated Disney films throughout Walt Disney World is fun to read, well-organized and very thorough. Dodge starts with a note about which films are and are not included in the book (only animated films, and only those films for which he believes that the references will be more than fleeting) and how to easily navigate the pages to find the references to your favorite films. The films are listed in date order; that is in order of the dates on which they were released in theatres. The index at the back of the book has listing for both the films and characters, so it is very easy to find all of the references for say “The Aristocats,” or for those specifically for Marie.
The section for each film includes the title of the film, the date of the film's release, an enlightening and concise description of “The Film in Three Paragraphs,” references in each park, references found in Downtown Disney, and references found in the resorts. References range from the more obvious (Peter Pan's Flight is, in fact, based on the movie “Peter Pan”) to the more difficult to spot (“If you enter Disney's Days of Christmas [in Downtown Disney] through the first door on your left hand side while coming from the Marketplace bus stop, you can find the fairies from “The Nutcracker Suite” [“Fantasia”] on the ceiling).
Dodge also includes a variety of “Fun Facts” for some of the films, including film references that can be found in other Disney parks around the world and other interesting tidbits. For instance, in the section on “The Three Caballeros,” which takes center stage in the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros in Epcot's Mexico Pavilion, Dodge notes that: “Even though the Three Caballeros attraction is in Mexico, Panchito is the only Mexican among the three. Jose [Carioca] is Brazilian and Donald [Duck] is American.” I did not know that!
The book also points to some areas where Disney had some rather confusing and/or mixed film references, but has since moved to make them more consistent. In Cinderella Castle: “Before 1997, Cinderella's Royal Table was actually called King Stefan's Banquet Hall. King Stefan is actually the father of Princess Aurora, or as most know her, Sleeping Beauty.”
Here are the things that I liked about the book:
• It was very well-organized. It is easy to find the references for particular films or characters.
• The directions for finding the references seem to be very easy to follow. [I have not actually had the chance to field test this book, however.]
• It appears that the references for each of the listed films are exhaustive. Dodge does ask readers to update him if they find references that he has either missed or that have been added since the publication of the book, and his website, www.fromscreentotheme.com, has a section for updates.
• The “Film in Three Paragraphs” inclusions are particularly useful for remembering the specifics of the films, and helping the reader to decide which of the films' characters they are most interested in finding.
• The “Fun Facts” add color and an additional level of interest to the entries.
This book is definitely for: Those who are looking for all of the references to their favorite animated films and their characters in Walt Disney World, and who like their guidebooks to be peppered with interesting factoids. I will definitely take this book with me on my next trip to the World so that I can make sure that I spot J. Worthington Foulfellow (now that I know what his name is!) as my family and I tour the parks.
This book may not be for: Those who are not interested in finding the more obscure references to Disney animated films in the parks.
Dodge has indicated that he is working on a similar book with references to Disney live-action films. I will definitely buy this one once it is available. Brent?
* J. Worthington Foulfellow is the sneaky fox, who with his cat friend, Gideon, leads Pinocchio astray by convincing him to join up with the evil Stromboli (“An Actor's Life for Me”) and later to venture to Pleasure Island, where Pinocchio and the other boys there are turned into donkeys by the equally evil Lampwick. I have to admit that I did not know this character's name before reading this book!
**Observant guests can catch references to Flick in several places in the Magic of Disney Imagination attraction in Disney's Hollywood Studios, or may catch him at a Character Meet and Greet on the Discovery Island Trails at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
DISCLOSURE: AllEars® received a complimentary review copy of the book. This did not influence the review in any way. Alice McNutt Miller is an independent reviewer and guest blogger for AllEars®.
Alice McNutt Miller is a lifelong Disney fan whose fondest childhood memories include “The Wonderful World of Disney” on Sunday nights and her first trip to Disneyland when she was ten years old. Alice and her family are Disney Vacation Club members, and have visited Disney parks all over the world. They live in Vienna, Virginia.
The previous post in this blog was Star Wars Weekends 2011.
The next post in this blog is Star Wars Weekends: James Arnold Taylor's One Man Show.