CHICAGO – When faced with adversity, the best way around it is to somehow break into song. That is the feeling behind the Brown Paper Box Co.’s “Positively Present: An Uplifting Cabaret,” running April 7th and 8th at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. The event features company member Kristi Szczepanek as host, and presents song stylings by other company members, including Anna Schutz, plus some special guests. For details and ticket information, click here.
Blu-ray Review: Holiday Classics Come Home Featuring Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh
CHICAGO – It’s that time of year. Studios pull Christmas classics from the vault, given them the HD polish, and hope to re-sell them to families who probably already own them on scratched DVD or even beat-up VHS. Two such releases feature better HD remasters than your average title in that they’ve been given the Disney Blu-ray treatment, resulting in picture quality that tops any version you’ve probably seen them in before. The latest holiday pair hoping for Santa’s wish list includes a 30th anniversary edition of “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” and “Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year.” Disney fans will have a Merry Christmas.
While it looks amazing, better than ever, I forgot how much “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” BLAZES through the classic story, wrapping it up in just over 20 minutes. It was released theatrically with “The Rescuers” in 1983 but most people have probably seen it on battered VHS. It looks so good here and, despite its short running time, it’s a fun introduction for kids to the basic beats of the story. It helps that Disney has supplemented the release with a lot of other holiday-themed short films masquerading as bonus material, including the AWESOME “Yodelberg,” a new short from the series of brief “Mickey Mouse” cartoons that the network has been airing this year that are truly brilliant. It’s really a collection of Disney holiday shorts, headlined by “Christmas Carol.” (Although you really must see “Yodelberg.”)
“A Very Merry Pooh Year” may be much longer than “Carol” but this 2002 direct-to-video release is definitely the lesser of the two. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still cute and sweet but I prefer the recent “Winnie the Pooh” reboot over this incarnation and, believe it or not, find this one a bit too long. Fans of Christopher Robin and the world of Winnie the Pooh will likely disagree and adore it. Everyone else, go with the Mickey Mouse one.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 5, 2013
Photo credit: Disney
“Mickey’s Christmas Carol”
Ring in the holidays with a new 30th Anniversary Special Edition of Mickey’s Christmas Carol. Disney’s timeless tale sparkles like never before on Blu-ray and Digital Copy, with fully restored classic holiday shorts, plus all-new bonus features!
Make the season merry as Mickey, Goofy, Donald and all their pals star in a heartwarming retelling of Dickens’ unforgettable holiday tale. Ebenezer Scrooge (Scrooge McDuck) is far too greedy to understand that Christmas is a time for kindness and generosity. But with the guidance of some wise ghosts (Goofy and Jiminy Cricket) and a bunch of new-found friends, Scrooge learns to embrace the spirit of the season. Share this wonderful holiday treat with the whole family!
o “The Hockey Champ”
o “Pluto’s Christmas Tree”
o “The Art of Skiing”
o “Corn Chips”
o Disney Intermission: Mickey Invites Viewers To Sing Christmas Carols With All His Pals
o Digital Copy Included
Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year was released on Blu-ray and DVD on November 5, 2013
Photo credit: Disney
“Winnie the Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year”
Get ready to ring in the season with a full-length adventure straight from the heart of the Hundred Acre Wood! Join Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Roo and the whole gang in the holiday classic Winnie The Pooh: A Very Merry Pooh Year - now on Blu-ray and Digital Copy for the first time. Newly remastered in digital high definition, this sparkling holiday classic is an inspiring celebration of friendship.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but Rabbit will only discover the true spirit of the season after his pals make misguided New Year’s resolutions to change - with hilarious and heartfelt results! Featuring beloved characters, delightful songs and sweet surprises, this inspiring celebration of friendship is sure to become a shared family tradition for generations to come!
oDisney Intermission: Pause The Movie And Discover Fun Family Games And Activities
o Sing Along With The Movie
o Disney’s Song Selection
o Enchanted Environment
o Digital Copy Included