Episode 56: D23 Expo in Review and More

Welcome back for another exciting episode of Beyond the Berm! What could possibly top our last 55 episodes? Well, we aren’t sure, but here we go anyway.

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For starters, we take a look back at last week’s D23 Expo, which neither of us attended, by the way. Specifically, we look back at the announcements about new things coming to Disneyland and Walt Disney World to see how our predictions from our previous episode matched up with what was announced. And we share some thoughts about the new lands and attractions that were announced, too. We also talked about some of the other stuff from the Expo, such as movie announcements, crowds, and other stuff that we heard about. How do you feel about all of the upcoming things? Let us know!

Next, we talk some about different Disney collectibles, as Matt tells about trying to find some of the new Tsum Tsum characters. That leads us to a discussion of mini bean bag plush, pins, Vinylmation, Funko Pop, and whatever else they might come up with to separate us from our money. Do you collect any of these things? Or something else?

We also talk about some of the recent Disney Channel movies and shows, such as Descendants, Teen Beach 2, and Girl Meets World, among others. And don’t get us started on Dog With a Blog. Which ones do we like more than the others? You may or may not be surprised.

And we talk about some other little things here and there in among all of those major things, and end with a bit of silliness, too. So you will just have to listen in for all of that.

Find it all in Beyond the Berm Episode 56!

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Episode 55: Changes Ahead for the Disney Parks?

Welcome back to another episode of Beyond the Berm! It didn’t even take us 3 months to get out another one as it did the last time!

Maybe you have heard rumblings about changes coming to the Disney Parks, both at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts. Disneyland has committed to expanding the resort in some form in exchange for a tax break from the city of Anaheim. And Walt Disney World keeps closing things at Disney’s Hollywood Studios without announcing something new on the horizon. What does all of this mean? Listen to us as we comment on some of the speculations, and as we do some speculating ourselves.

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In keeping with the Disney Parks theme, Matt tells about his recent visit to Disneyland to see some of the new additions and extravaganzas that were added for the 60th anniversary celebration. Listen in as he talks about parades, fireworks, and crowds!

Also, following up on our conversation about summer movies in Episode 54, we give our reviews of the latest Disney/Marvel movie, Ant-Man. Did it live up to our expectations?

All this and more goodness in Episode 55 of Beyond the Berm!

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Episode 54: Differently Different In the Same Kind of Way

Just when you had given up on us completely, Beyond the Berm returns with Episode 54!

Why were we gone for so long? We talk about that to start off the podcast. We had some scheduling issues and things like that at times, but it was mainly Steve’s fault as he was off on the Burnsland World Tour. He tells some about his visit to Bangkok, Thailand, as well as his family’s recent Disney cruise. After the cruise, they also spent a week in Florida, seeing such Disney things as Typhoon Lagoon and the Magic Kingdom. Hear all about his first experiences with MyMagic+, and lots more about his travels.

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After that, we give our opinions about all of the Disney summer movies that have been released so far starting with Cinderella (which was actually a spring movie), and also including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tomorrowland, and Inside Out. Which ones did we like? And which ones didn’t quite work for us? Listen in to find out. And we also talk about the upcoming Marvel movie Ant Man, too.

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And what is the meaning of the title of this episode? You will just have to listen to find out!

Be sure and join us for all this and more in Episode 54! And hopefully, you won’t have to wait quite as long again for Episode 55. Maybe.

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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!

Disney on Turner Classic Movies

Last night, December 21, 2014, saw the premier of the Disney programming block on Turner Classic Movies (also known as TCM). Included in last night’s programming were some short cartoons; two episodes of the Disney television show; The Reluctant Dragon; Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier; The Vanishing Prairie; and Third Man on the Mountain. There was also a good bit of discussion about each of the shows with host Ben Mankiewicz and Disney film historian Leonard Maltin.

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Due to the programming starting while we were at a church activity and running well into the night, I didn’t see the start or the end of it all. But that’s okay, because that is why DVRs were created. Actually, I didn’t set the DVR to record The Reluctant Dragon, because I have that on Blu-Ray now. But after watching what I did watch, I almost wished that I had recorded that one, too, just to make sure I didn’t miss any of Leonard Maltin’s comments about it.

The main thing that I did watch live last night was the end of Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier and the beginning of The Vanishing Prairie. Davy Crockett has always been a favorite of mine, and I like to tell people sometimes that the area where we live in Tennesseewas once represented by Davy Crockett in congress. Although obviously I wasn’t around to vote for him at the time. It was great to see his adventures in high definition. It is amazing how those old movies can still look so good all these years later.

I didn’t stick with The Vanishing Prairie all that long, because it started just before midnight for our local time, but I had forgotten how interesting those old nature documentaries actually were. I’ll have to watch the full show sometime in the near future.

Also, I thought it was interesting that The Disneyland Story, the first of the television episodes shown last night, included the Laughing Place scene from Song of the South. Later on after Davy Crockett, Ben and Leonard explained the context for some of the Native American stereotypes found in that movie. Could this new programming, complete with contextual explanations, mean that Song of the South could be shown in one of the future blocks? That is probably just a dream, but it would certainly be nice.

I am glad that they included Leonard Maltin in this, too. He is obviously a Disney fan as well as a historian, and his comments help the understanding of the casual viewer who may not be as familiar with Disney as some of us are.

TCM hasn’t yet said when the next Disney movies and shows will air or what they will be, but I am already looking forward to seeing what else they have in store for us. It is great to be able to see some of this classic Disney content once again!

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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