Episode 52: Upcoming Disney Movies

Welcome back to Beyond the Berm! Has it really been a month since our last episode? Yes it has – did you miss us? Well then, you are in store for a treat, because here is Episode 52!

For starters, we discuss many of the Disney movies being released over the next several months, because it looks to be a busy year for the various movie divisions of Disney. We pay particular attention this time to Cinderella, which Matt just saw and gives his review. We also talk a bit about Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant Man, and then we focus some on the now-in-production live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.

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We also discuss some of the upcoming changes at Walt Disney World. Did you know they are adding an extra track to Toy Story Mania and and extra screen to Soarin’? Are these wise uses of the money involved, or would it be better to spend that money on something completely new? Let us know your thoughts!

In addition to all of that, we talk about the new restaurant coming to Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom, some non-Disney vacation options that we have considered, and what we might want from a Disney vacation in the future. It never hurts to dream, right? Oh yeah, and our “interesting” count for this episode probably goes well over 100, if you forgot to keep count.

All that and even more in Beyond the Berm Episode 52!

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Episode 51: Occasional Disney Fans

Beyond the Berm returns today with Episode 51! Check out all the interestingness of our latest episode.

Matt begins by mentioning something he saw in Steve’s Twitter bio, “occasional Disney fan.” Steve clarifies that a bit to be “occasional Disney parks fan,” and the most recent contributor to that occasionalness is the ticket price increase that went into effect on both coasts this week. Is Disney pushing away some of its biggest fans by some of their recent actions in the last few years? Listen in and see if you agree.

Steve then brings up the recent announcement of a new DuckTales series coming to DisneyXD in 2017. Will it be good, or will they take too many liberties with it? Here’s hoping that they leave most of the original DuckTalesness intact.

From there, we move into a discussion of the season finale of Agent Carter, followed by our thoughts about the second half of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season which starts next week. We had some mixed but overall positive feelings about Agent Carter, and we have high hopes for Agent Coulson and his crew. And all of that leads into a discussion of the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron, too. Will the Marvelness continue to build?

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So how many times have we added -ness to a word to make a new word? That’s interesting! Be sure to listen in to our adventures of Episode 51!

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Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

If you listen to our podcast regularly, you know we often talk about the Marvel movies and television shows. Last night at around 10:30 our time, which would have been 11:30 PM on the east coast, Marvel dropped some major news (which you can read in its entirety here).

The first part of that news was that Spider-Man, one of Marvel’s most popular characters, would be appearing in one of the upcoming films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although in which movie Spider-Man would appear wasn’t stated, it is widely assumed that his appearance would be in the next Captain America movie, since it has already been announced that the movie would follow the events in the Civil War storyline, which features an important appearance by Spider-Man in the comic books.

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That news had been rumored for some time, so it wasn’t exactly a surprise. However, the next part of the announcement was even bigger, more surprising news, at least to me. As part of the press release, it was also announced that after Spider-Man’s appearance in a Marvel Studios movie, the next Spider-Man movie would be produced by Kevin Feige and the Marvel Studios team, along with Amy Pascal, for Sony Pictures. There has been talk for some time that Sony was planning to once again reboot the Spider-Man franchise, so that wasn’t surprising. But having Marvel Studios essentially make the movie for Sony to distribute is a really big deal.

After all, Marvel Studios, under the leadership of Kevin Feige, has a great track record with the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, including the movies featuring Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy, and the Avengers. They seem to have the golden touch these days. And who would know better how to make a Marvel movie than the people at Marvel?

If you aren’t aware, long before Disney bought Marvel, and even long before Marvel decided to make their own movies, they gave Sony the rights to the Spider-Man movies. So while Spider-Man and the Avengers characters, along with all of the other Marvel characters, regularly interact in the comic books, they have always been in two separate worlds in the movies. But now, their worlds are coming together, which is a pretty historic moment, considering that the movies are being released by two different companies. Of course, Disney still comes out ahead with its ownership of Marvel. Not as much ahead as if they were releasing the Spider-Man movie themselves, but they pass some of the risk off to others while still reaping some of the expected financial rewards. Also, the press release states that they are exploring ways to use some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe characters in the upcoming Spider-Man movies as well.

The timing of the announcement was interesting for a couple of reasons. First off, why make a major announcement like that when many people have already gone to bed? I have no idea, but I’m sure they had a good reason.

The second interesting timing tidbit is thanks to the inclusion of Amy Pascal as one of the producers. As you may know, it was announced last week that she is stepping down as the chairwoman of Sony Pictures, a move that is largely seen as a response to the recent data breach at Sony. And interestingly, she helped to bring the first Spider-Man movie to Sony Pictures back in 1999, so she and Spider-Man go way back. Plus, she has a nice place to land when leaving her current job. Spider-Man is good for everyone, it seems.

So this is an interesting turn of events for Spider-Man and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Are you looking forward to it? I know I am. Please let us know how you feel, too!

Episode 50: Interesting Observations

Beyond the Berm returns with its milestone 50th episode! Unfortunately, we don’t have golden cake and ice cream for everyone, but we do have an entertaining episode to share!

For starters, we discuss the news that Tom Staggs has been promoted to the number 2 position at Disney, that of Chief Operating Officer, which most see as an indication that he is next in line to run the company when Bob Iger retires. Is this a good move? Listen in to hear what we think about it.

Next, we talk about the upcoming Star Wars movie, The Force Awakens, as well as wondering about what plans there are for Star Wars in the Disney parks. We discuss some of the rumors that we have heard while we wait for an official announcement.

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Matt then brings up the 60th Anniversary celebration coming to Disneyland this summer and the plans that have been announced for it. Did they leave you feeling underwhelmed, overwhelmed, or just whelmed?

We then close out the show with a brief discussion about Marvel’s Agent Carter, which we are both enjoying watching while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes a brief break. Have you seen the show? What are your thoughts? We would like to know.

Oh yeah, and we say the word “interesting” at least a few times. All of that and more in Episode 50 of Beyond the Berm!

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Episode 48: Best and Worst of 2014

Welcome to the Beyond the Berm Christmas Extravaganza! Also known as Episode 48.

Christmas is almost here, and the year is winding down to a close, in case you haven’t noticed. So for this episode, we discuss some of the Best and Worst of 2014 in several different categories, some of them Disney related, and others of them more general. Listen in to see if you agree! And share some better ideas if you have them!

Matt also gives an update on his two upcoming runs, the Walt Disney World Marathon and the Disneyland Half Marathon, which are just a week apart from each other. Be sure to send him some encouragement, too!

Steve also mentions the first block of Disney programming on TCM, which is this Sunday, December 21. Be sure to set your DVR!

All this and more in Episode 48 of Beyond the Berm!

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Episode 47: This, That, and Some More

Welcome back to Beyond the Berm for Episode 47!

What did we talk about in this episode? Perhaps the better question would be what did we not talk about in this episode! We covered lots of ground, moving from topic to topic with some pretty interesting transitions. The new Star Wars trailer, Big Hero 6, the live-action Cinderella movie, Into the Woods, Frozen and its amazing year, Frozen stuff at the Disney parks, new life for The Great Movie Ride, Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. updates, Marvel  and Moana movie casting news, and so much more!

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And we even threw in some history bits about Memphis Wrestling, too. Who is this Flex Kavana guy, and what does he have to do with Disney?

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Find out in this episode! And that rumor about the Matterhorn replacing Harold the Abominable Snowman with a Wampa and the bobsled vehicles being changed to gutted out Tauntauns? Pretty safe bet that you won’t hear that anywhere else!

All that and even more is in Episode 47 of Beyond the Berm!

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Episode 46: More Marvel, Influences, and Disney Or Not?

Welcome back to Beyond the Berm! Won’t you join us for Episode 46 of our podcast?

To start with this time around, we talk about some of the latest developments on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is one of the few scripted shows that we both watch. This season is striving to be even more exciting than the first, although we both enjoyed the first season as well. Have you watched it? What do you think? Also, Matt tells about catching up on movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that he hadn’t previously seen, and gives his thoughts on those.

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Next, Matt asks and Steve answers about how he first became interested in Disney, and we talk about some of our earlier influences before Disney, including and especially Star Wars. How did you start to get interested in Disney? We would love to know!

After that, Steve tells of the dilemma he sometimes has for his website posts. He wants to post a wide range of things, but the Disney-related posts consistently get more views. Should he post what he likes, or post what guarantees visitors? What are your thoughts?

All this and lots more! And if you listen closely, at some points there is even some background music courtesy of Jaylin and his piano practice for the night.

Be sure to join us for Beyond the Berm Episode 46!

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Episode 45: It’s Marvel-ous!

Happy Halloween from Beyond the Berm! Not that our new episode really has anything to do with Halloween, except that it is being posted on October 31. Scary!

Anyway, Episode 45 starts off with lots of talk about the upcoming movies from Marvel Studios. First up is Avengers: Age of Ultron. Have you seen the trailer yet? If not, or if you want to see it again, here it is:

We talk about the trailer, and then we talk about all the Marvel movies that were announced this past week, revealing what is coming up all the way to 2019! Some familiar names like Captain America, Thor, and Guardians of the Galaxy, along with some new names like Black Panther, Captain Marvel, and the Inhumans. It all sounds pretty cool!

Next up, Matt talks about having some of his photos used in various places, including the surprise of seeing one of his photos at the Grand Californian Hotel at the Disneyland Resort. Hear all the story in the podcast!

After that, Steve reports on the recently confirmed news of the removal of the Sorcerer Hat from Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2015. Are they just removing the hat, or are there other changes coming to the area, too? Stay tuned!

Matt then brings up Big Hero 6, because his family is attending an advance showing of the movie this weekend. Are you looking forward to that one? That leads to a discussion of a long rumored but recently officially announced animated movie, Moana, from directors John Musker and Ron Clements. Aside from a piece of concept art and a rough outline, not much is known about this one yet. But Ron and John have a pretty good track record, so we are hopeful for another great movie from them.

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See, no ghosts or ghouls this time around, just some good clean fun! Be sure to join us for Episode 45!

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Episode 44: Movie Marketing, FastPass+ Tests, Seasons, and More!

Beyond the Berm returns with Episode 44!

To start off our podcast, we discuss movie marketing, looking at three new or upcoming Disney movies: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Big Hero 6; and Tomorrowland. In particular, we talk about whether the trailers make us want to see these movies. Which of these are you looking forward to seeing the most?

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Next, we talk about the recent test at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, where you had to have a FastPass+ to ride Toy Story Mania. No standby lines or any other options were available. Is this a sign of the times? Do you think it is a good thing?

We also talked about our favorite seasons to visit the Disney parks. It is hard to pick just one favorite, however, because each one has its good points. Do you have a favorite?

Also, we take a quick look the recently announced extension of Bob Iger’s time at Disney and what that may mean for the company.

All that, plus all of our usual zaniness and such, in Beyond the Berm Episode 44!

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Episode 42: It’s a Hullabaloo!

Beyond the Berm is back with Episode 42! And in this episode, we go through several topics fast and furious. And hey, in our new graphic above, we kind of look like the guys from the Fast and Furious movies, don’t we? No? Well then, moving on…

To start off, Steve gives some background about the new header graphic, including a bit about the tools that he used to make it happen and how he might have done things differently.

Next up, Matt brings up two hand-drawn animation projects. The first is a short film called Duet, which was created by renowned former Disney animator Glen Keane. The second is Hullabaloo, an effort to make a 2D hand-drawn short in the hopes of expanding it to a full-length feature. It is nice to see that some people out there still like hand-drawn animation when so many of the big studios have gone to computer animation.

Steve then tells about the new series of Figment comic books from Marvel comics. These comic books tell something of a back story about Dreamfinder and Figment, and they have been pretty popular, selling out the first printing of the first issue completely. Have you read them? What do you think?

Matt then gives a brief recap of his family’s recent participation in the runDisney event at Disneyland. They had participants in the kids’ race, the 10K, and the half marathon. Come hear about their experiences.

And yes, even though it isn’t necessarily the primary focus of this episode, “Hullabaloo” was chosen as the title here just because it is fun to say. Be sure to join the Hullabaloo with us!

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