You Can Have A Fun Holiday Tradition On The Road With Racetrac Every Year! We do!

You Can Have A Fun Holiday Tradition On The Road With Racetrac Every Year! We do!

This is a sponsored post on behalf of RaceTrac.  All opinions are 100% my own.

I don’t know what your holiday tradition is, but we have a few!  One of our traditions has become stopping by Racetrac on our way from Lafayette, Louisiana, to Memphis, Tennessee.

There are tons of locations and they all have a unique feel of the area where they’re located.  We make our way through each store.  The kids usually go straight for Swirl World Frozen yogurt and ice cream.  My husband and I love make our way over to the roller grill.  One of our newest Racetrac locations has a watermelon ice cream in Swirl World.  Sometimes I make the extra trip just for the ice cream!  They just opened a new Racetrac in the same parking lot where my son gets his hair cut and we cannot wait to go inside and see what they have!  We’re going to make it over there in the next couple of weeks and I’ll be sure to report back on what we find.   Will they have the watermelon soft serve ice cream we love?  I’ll let you know soon!

We are heading out this week for our 7 hour trek to Memphis and Racetrac will be on the menu as we are travelling.  One of our favorite locations is in Mississippi.  That Racetrac has some of the best pizza around.  My youngest daughter always asks if we’re going to stop for “Racetrac pizza” before we even get in the car!  My husband, of course, loves that, when we stop at Racetrac, we get the lowest price on gas to fill up our truck.  He never looks across the street and sees a lower price for gas and, what can I say, that would make almost any man happy 😀  Give my hubby great coffee and low gas prices and he’ll drive us anywhere!

It is easy to see that Racetrac has become part of our holiday tradition as travelling is part of our holiday tradition.  With travel being such a big part of so many holidays, Racetrac  is definitely the number 1 choice for quality, convenience,  and price!  Racetrac is always a bright spot in our roadtrip fun.  We have never been disappointed, no matter which location we stop and that, my friends, makes this mama  happy.

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King!  Hey y’all, guess what?!  Remember when I went to San Francisco a couple of weeks ago to visit Pixar Studios and The Walt Disney Family Museum?

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

Well, now I’m finally going to start sharing my amazing experience with all of you!  I cannot even begin to tell you what an amazing time I had during the trip.  If I had to choose my favorite part of the trip, I would have to make you a list.  It seemed like every place we went was checking off another “to do” from my bucket list.

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

About Walt Disney:

Down on his luck with only $40 in his pocket, Walt set off from Missouri for Hollywood. With success came setbacks. Walt lost the rights to his first animated star, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Determined not to give up, he started sketching an idea that would later become the beloved Mickey Mouse. ~Walt Disney Family Museum

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

I’m starting with the end.  Visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum was at the end of our trip, but WOW!  Talk about surreal; walking through the life of Walt Disney definitely takes the cake when it comes to getting a nostalgic feel for all things Disney.  I’m not sure why, but what struck me the most about Walt Disney was his love for family.  I knew that Walt Disney loved his family, but I could really feel the love of family when I walked into the museum.  I think the love Walt Disney poured into everything he did gets overlooked far too often.

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

About his stories: 

From animated shorts to live-action features and all things in between, the breadth of Walt’s cinematic achievements will likely never be surpassed. A man of many titles—innovator, storyteller, entertainer—Walt was one of the most prolific filmmakers in history. ~Walt Disney Family Museum

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

As I walked through the museum and listened to our guide talk about all of the hardships Walt Disney overcame as a creator, I couldn’t help but get a little emotional thinking about what a huge impact his story has on young people today.  Animation and film making is such a highly sought after field to go into and it is difficult to get a “big break” that listening to Walt Disney’s story can and will inspire any aspiring cartoonist.  The story and struggle that was real in Walt Disney’s life will prove to anyone that hard work and following your passion will pay off as long as your persevere.

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

About Deja View: 

Explore the dynamic work of one of the most accomplished and versatile character animators of our time: Andreas Deja. This unique exhibition showcases original works on paper and maquettes of Deja’s most iconic Disney characters, from menacing villains Scar and Jafar and larger-than-life muscle men Gaston and Hercules, to the much beloved Mama Odie and Lilo Pelekai. In addition to his work for The Walt Disney Animation Studios, Deja is known for independent projects, including his upcoming film Mushka. The film—featuring a young girl and her tiger in “a story of love and sacrifice set in Russia”—is animated in a colored pencil style. Deja View showcases Deja’s prolific and wide-ranging career, bridging the rich tradition of classic hand-drawn animation with animation’s innovative future. ~Walt Disney Family Museum

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

One of my favorite pieces in the exhibit of Andreas Deja was this wire sculpture of Merlin.  Wire sculptures are magical and Andreas Deja truly captures the magic of Merlin with this sculpture.  There are other wire sculptures in the exhibit and each is magical.  As I walked around each sculpture, they seemed to come to life in a different way from each perspective.

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

It is always amazing to see how animated films are created.  Taking a stroll through the mind and thoughts of the most creative and talented artists in the world is always magical.  When we were walking through the Andreas Deja exhibit, I could feel his sense of wonder and magic that surrounded each and every piece of art on display.

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

I think the best part was that I never felt like I was in a “museum”.  I felt like I was getting to witness something that so many people never get to see.  I had a feeling of awe when I was looking at pieces from the creation of The Lion King.  The Lion King, y’all!  I raised my kids on The Lion King and now I was able to see how the characters came to life.  It was truly a life-changing experience.

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

When I’m sitting and enjoying a Disney film with my family, no one gives much thought to how it was created and the hours that go into years of creating each character.  Once you see how much work and heart goes into the creation of every character, yes even the snake in The Princess and The Frog, you get such an appreciation for the art of animation and not just the final film that you get to enjoy.

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

The Walt Disney Family Museum is definitely something that should be on everyone’s Disney Bucket List.  Not only is it a magical place to visit, but it is situated in San Francisco with a beautiful view of the bay.  I only spent a few hours there, but could have spent the day and, probably, another day.  There was so much to see and hear.  I would love to have the opportunity to go back one day and just sit down and absorb all of the magic from each piece of art and animation.

Get Social With The Walt Disney Family Museum:  Facebook     Twitter     Youtube     Instagram

Walk With Me Through The Walt Disney Family Museum And The Creation Of The Lion King #Waltagram

The Lion King is now available on digital and Disney Movies Anywhere and will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on August 29!

 

If you liked this post, be sure to check out these other great posts:

Are You Ready For Mary Poppins Returns New Teaser Trailer and Poster? #MaryPoppinsReturns

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Slate 2018! #Disney

I Just Watched The New Christopher Robin Teaser Trailer. You Should Too! #ChristopherRobin

 

Follow Acadiana’s Thrifty Mom To San Francisco To Explore Disney/Pixar & COCO #PixarCOCOEvent

Follow Acadiana’s Thrifty Mom To San Francisco To Explore Disney/Pixar and COCO #PixarCOCOEvent

*I received an all expenses paid trip to San Francisco for the coverage of this press event for Disney/Pixar.   All opinions are 100% my own and I only recommend events and shows that are a great fit for my readers.

Photo Credit: Disney/Pixar
Photo Credit: Disney/Pixar

I am so excited to fill you in on my next adventure!  I have been invited to a very special Disney & Pixar press event, Wednesday, August 2nd through Friday, August 4th for the release of Disney/Pixar’s COCO at Pixar Animation Studios!   This event is exclusively for 25 of their top Bloggers from across the country.  We will complete our to San Francisco with a tour of The Walt Disney Family Museum.  I was a little too excited to get this invitation, because it will be my first trip to San Francisco and Pixar Studios.  I am also super excited about the release of Disney/Pixar’s COCO.  It is going to be such a colorful and amazing film.

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Family Museum
Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Family Museum

Here’s a little bit of what our schedule will look like while we’re there:

  • Wednesday, August 2nd, we will arrive into San Francisco and attend a reception in the evening at Pixar Animation Studios with footage from COCO (opening in theatres on 11/22
  • Thursday, August 3rd, we will head back to Pixar and attend a press day for COCO including interviews with Director Lee Unkrich, Writer and Co-Director Adrian Molina, Producer Darla K. Anderson and various animators! 
  • Friday, August 4th, we will tour The Walt Disney Family Museum then head back home.
Photo Credit: Hilton Garden
Photo Credit: Hilton Garden

Our amazing trip will include 2 nights of hotel accommodations at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel.  The Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco/Oakland Bay bridge is located near Bay Street shopping and Dining, Berkeley Art Museum, and Jack London Square.

Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Family Museum
Photo Credit: The Walt Disney Family Museum

About The Walt Disney Family Museum:

Find animation, innovation, and inspiration in the remarkable life story of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to an art, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a distinctly American legacy that transformed the entertainment world. Located in the scenic Presidio of San Francisco, the museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that features contemporary, interactive galleries with state-of-the-art exhibits narrated in Walt’s own voice alongside early drawings, cartoons, films, music, a spectacular model of Disneyland, and more.

Photo credit: Disney/Pixar
Photo credit: Disney/Pixar

About Disney/Pixar COCO:

Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz (voice of Benjamin Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal), and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history. Directed by Lee Unkrich (“Toy Story 3”), co-directed by Adrian Molina (story artist “Monsters University”) and produced by Darla K. Anderson (“Toy Story 3”), Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” opens in U.S. theaters on Nov. 22, 2017.

Get social with Disney/Pixar’s COCO:  Facebook     Twitter     Instagram

 

 

Director Brian Fee And Producer Kevin Reher Tell Us What Really Went On Behind The Scenes Of Cars 3 #Cars3

Director Brian Fee And Producer Kevin Reher Tell Us What Really Went On Behind The Scenes Of Cars 3 #Cars3

Director Brian Fee And Producer Kevin Reher Tell Us What Really Went On Behind The Scenes Of Cars 3 #Cars3

I had such an amazing time in Anaheim and Disneyland last weekend and part of that was getting to go behind the scenes of Cars 3 with director Brian Fee and producer Kevin Reher.  This is such a fun part of any film.  You really cannot appreciate how much work goes into a film until you hear the passion and stories from the people who create and develop it.  Listening to the creators talking about the passion and personal touches that helped bring Cars 3 alive for all of us really brings the film to life and creates a real human connection with the characters.  In fact, they become more than characters, they truly come to life and have that human quality that connects us with a film.

The first question was asked:   I’d like to kick things off with a question about the animation, there’s a scene where they’re coming down the hill and reach the sign, that seems so real. It looks like Max really drove, the grass you can touch. Can you talk about that scene?

Brian Fee: Just the graphics themselves. We have a new renderer, I don’t know if that means anything to you but we can do things that we couldn’t do on the first film. We can go wholeheartedly into a sense of realism.  We try not to say photo realism because I think photo realism, that would actually be kind of boring, we almost want like a hyper-realism. We want to be able to control how you feel but we want you to feel like you can smell the air.

I remember sitting with the production designer and that was one of the main things I kept saying because he’d be how about this how about this I want to make sure you can smell the air. I mean we can’t smell anything, but make me think I can. So we went for a lot of atmosphere.  You’ll see a lot of fog and things that are at a distance are so faded- just like the atmosphere between you and the thing that’s miles away, we just kind of dove into those things and we can now, because we can do these things.

Our movie, being a Cars film, more than maybe other Pixar movies lends itself to that, you kind of have to be careful with other movies, because they’re cartoon characters, and we have talking cars. I don’t know if you can get any more cartoon character than that (laughing) but we want them to look real, we want the car to look like it’s four thousand pounds. We want it to look, because everyone sees cars every day, everybody knows in your brain you know there’s reflections on cars.

You don’t necessarily look at these things when you’re on the road but you expect to see it, and we wanted to just lean into what we can take advantage of, and really go for it.

CARS 3 (Pictured) - Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson). ©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Kevin Reher: We sent the two production designers on a really wintery week, in a convertible Camaro, because they insisted on a convertible.  I’m like ‘hey you’re going to freeze your a**es off’ (laughing) all the way from Daytona up through the Carolinas, and so that it wasn’t just internet research.  They really drove it. We also went to two tracks that are no longer operable, one which was legendary at the beginnings of stock car and then one, which was very influential in terms of the grass.

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 10: Producer Kevin Reher at the World Premiere of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 3" at the Anaheim Convention Center on June 10, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Kevin Reher
Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney

Question:  Do you ever have to pull it back the animators if they go too far or it gets too real?

Kevin Reher: The animators get a little jumpy. They only have eyes and mouths to animate, I mean in terms of getting an emotion across. And so sometimes they get a little bouncy on the suspension you go okay we’re not watching the sh*t in this car bounce around.

Brian Fee: Yeah we did because we knew how this was going to look when it was all done, we did go back in at times if things initially had been over animated, which was not uncommon, the animators were just coming off of a show where they were doing fish, very expressive fish.

Or emotions that are at their heart extremely ‘cartoony’ characters. And with everybody I think coming onto this show, there’s a learning curve to the tone of this movie

Kevin Reher: Sort of the rules of Cars animation.

Brian Fee: And so knowing that these things are going to look real, we need to tone down certain things because you can’t have the cars jumping around and doing this [he bounced one of the diecast cars around the table].

Kevin Reher: They are steel, so you have to remember that they’re steel and four thousand pounds and they’re not a rubbery character that can do all that kind of movement.

Brian Fee: And less was always more.

Director Brian Fee And Producer Kevin Reher Tell Us What Really Went On Behind The Scenes Of Cars 3 #Cars3

Question:  What do you want families to walk away with?  There are so many messages in the film.

Brian Fee: For me, it still is the most important part for me personally as a parent, my mother passed away, my father is getting older and I looked at McQueen’s and Doc’s relationship as a father and son relationship. You could see it as a mentor-mentee, however, people plug into it in their own personal lives. And I have that moment- middle of my life my mom’s passing away and you kind of feel that safety net that you’ve always had.

That moment where you get just a little scared that everything you’ve ever known is kind of dropping. But, I have two daughters and I realized I’m their safety net, they look up to me.  I’m playing that role for them and it kind of erased the fear I had of losing my parents.  Not that I want to see them go, but it gave me new strength that a sense of purpose in life. So to me I look at McQueen’s on that same transition and that you may think you’re losing something, but the best thing is still in front of you- have yet to come.

I also tell the story- you try to do an art lesson. I went to art school and have an illustration degree and my daughter has been drawing these little sketches with her crayons and stuff like that, but you know, their patience is short, to say the least.  They would look at professional illustrations in books and stuff and I wanted to demystify that. I wanted them to [know] that’s just a person, a person just did that.  The only difference between those and their little doodles is that they took longer to do it.

CARS 3 - (Pictured) Lightning McQueen. ©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
©2016 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

They went to school and learned how to do it and they spent more time on it. So I set up one of their American Girl dolls and I was going to paint it, I’m going to paint this girl’s portrait and I want you to see all that goes into it and it takes a while, you’ve got to put some time in. I don’t know after about twenty minutes, they’re gone. And I was going to stick it out, I’m going to stick it out, and I’m going to show them that a little perseverance and a little time so I spent hours on a Saturday on that (laughing) spent hours doing this, I didn’t get quite done but I got almost done.

And I showed them and they just went, yeah that’s cool (laughing) and I had this moment where I just thought oh if I was going to paint something on a something afternoon- I didn’t think it would be an American Girl doll. There’s a lot of things I could do, I mean I don’t have a lot of personal time anymore. I kind of walked away and that was a failure it didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, but a week later, I come in on my older daughter Lucia I go in her room.

And she’s eleven now so this would have been several years ago and she had these papers on the floor and they were her stuffed animals and she had set them up, sorry I can’t tell the story without getting emotional.  She set them up and she was drawing their portrait and it was- sorry- pull it together (laughing) and in that moment, I felt like that might just have been one of the most important paintings I’d ever done. And well more important than anything I would have done for myself.

So, that was the kind of thing I was trying to communicate, I wanted McQueen to feel that- when he spends most of the film trying to do service to his own career, the thing that he thinks he’s most passionate about. And terrified of losing actually, actually terrified of losing the one thing that brings him the most joy. And then I wanted him to see that there’s helping someone else do it is actually not only just as powerful but can be more powerful.  Personally, I have to say he completely conveys that message. It’s a beautiful story and I think this may actually be my favorite of the franchise.

Kevin Reher: For me, it was the Doc Hudson McQueen relationship and my dad died and I was the car kid, my brother was the sports kid. And he never got to see even Cars One, and so the whole McQueen Doc stuff just slays me.

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Question:  Speaking of Doc he had such a presence in the film and of course Paul Newman is no longer with us so I’m curious about the process. You used old recordings, how did that come together?

Kevin Reher: The Newman Foundation was very generous with us and we let them know that this wasn’t just a marketing trick that this was really integral to the story, and we had all these recordings of open mic kind of thing that John [Lasseter] had recorded when he was doing Cars One. So we had a transcript of all this and tried to fashion the story- what line could help us serve the story.  It’s pretty emotional when you hear it- and then we used the old Doc line, ‘you think I quit – they quit on me’, which mirrored what had happened to McQueen.

Brian Fee: Yeah, we originally tried a sound-alike because you kind of want to write whatever you want to write, right? It just wasn’t working. It just had no magic it just- and then we decided all right, we have to find the lines, cross our fingers that we’ve got the right lines to help us tell the story. It was just spending a lot of time and finding when we can give Doc something to say.

Kevin Reher: We also did the same thing with Tom Magliozzi with Click and Clack and we actually went back to the producer of- strangely randomly his producer lives in Berkeley. And so he helped us go back to the original Car Talk tapes and….

Brian Fee: ‘Don’t drive like my brother. Don’t…’

Kevin Reher: …actually came from those Click and Clack tapes that we were allowed to use.

Director Brian Fee And Producer Kevin Reher Tell Us What Really Went On Behind The Scenes Of Cars 3 #Cars3

Question:  That was part of the story, how McQueen got to where he was and it took a village, so did that motivate you when you were making the film? Did you think about that in the process?

Brian Fee: I don’t know if we thought about it.

Kevin Reher: We just have an amazing group of people.  When the story is small, art is small, editorial is small, but then the whole animation and T D world there are huge numbers.  Our crew got to be over two hundred fifty people, and so that sort of enterprise that they can make the movie but it’s up to him what story are we telling. And we knew we had a terrific writer who set us up very well with structure.

So, we knew something was going to happen in all these things. We didn’t know what they were going to say or when they were going to say it, but we knew and because the team could just tell us what you want, we’ll build it, even in mud, which was hard.

Brian Fee: And we were able to rely on the fact that the team is so good that we continued to change things throughout the process. So whenever the story is locked, and they’re going to now make that part of the story, you’re going to shoot it and you’re going to start animating it, we would continue to evolve. Because we’d get input from that group or their experts.

We’d just kind of keep an open mind every step of the process even in recording actors. Any opportunity to get a sense of improvisation in the film, which the acting studio is the only place you can do that in animation, to get lines off the cuff that- I remember workshopping stuff with Owen where he would, I don’t know if he’d really say it like that, do you think he’d say it like that [Laughing] and we’d talk about the purpose of the scene.

Okay, let me try something, mind if I try something. And whenever an actor says can I try something, the answer is always yes, it may not work, but or it may just be the best thing. And those surprises when stuff got better than I would have ever expected. So we try to look for those opportunities from everybody on the crew.

Director Brian Fee And Producer Kevin Reher Tell Us What Really Went On Behind The Scenes Of Cars 3 #Cars3

Kevin Reher: We joke about that the movies never get finished, they just come out and a good example of this is our writer Mike Rich is such a deep thinker and a wonderful super- he did Secretariat he did The Rookie Miracles.

He was the king of the sports comeback story, so I called him about this and are you up to doing it and he said, sure, and he said, can I see the reel, so we sent him a copy of the reel…

He’d been off the movie for a year. The whole mentorship and the flip of Cruz and everything was different and he said, I have a note and I’m like oh no- so I said what’s the note and he- that wonderful moment at the end of the race, where Cruz looks at McQueen and McQueen looks at Cruz.

And there’s no dialogue, it’s just acting, that sort of recognition of thank you for what you did, thank you for what you achieved, that was his note. And so we went back into Animation and said, we’ve got another shot, and okay no problem and that shot actually is- because then the craziness starts with Sterling and all the other stuff, so it was exactly the right moment that we needed in the movie and he added it.

Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Question:  How do you guys go about casting the characters?

Brian Fee: After we have a pretty good idea of the character, we know what we’re looking for, we just we start casting-

Kevin Reher: Natalie [Lyon] and I, – I got two credits on this one I love that. So, Natalie Lyon and I worked together and so we needed a really smart actress that- you know, one of the things about the side characters also is you have to get it right away. So when Natalie, when Kerry Washington opens her mouth as Natalie Certain, you have to get that she’s smart, accomplished, knows what she’s talking about and no bullsh*t.

You have to get that because you don’t have the time or the screen time to do a backstory for her or how she got there and all kinds of things. And Armie Hammer who is the nicest man in the world could channel his inner jerk and he’s so terrific at being sarcastic and everything else and yet if you talk to him in person, besides being very handsome, he’s super charming and really nice and they immediately got what that character was going to be based on a character description that we were given.

And we come up, we usually come up with probably three actors that we like, you have to kind of be okay with Plan B or Plan C and then we go to John Lasseter who still approves all casting and we take a picture of the character, who he’s going to be talking to. So Jackson Storm talking to McQueen and we do kind of nonsensical theater. And we have lines from the Lone Ranger or lines from Social Network talking to McQueen, talking to Owen and see how it’s going to play off so that you don’t end up with voices that are too similar.

Part of it is there is the aspect of you just want the quality of the voice to match the image, wouldn’t Jackson have a strong voice deeper than a thin voice, we wanted him to be a powerful car, so there needed to be broadness to his vocal range. Other times I think for Miss Fritter we only put one voice in the crowd. We had one other one but Lea- I’m a big Lea fan I have all of her albums.

©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.
©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Brian Fee: We could not find the clips for her for whatever reason because we were-

Kevin Reher:  We couldn’t have obscenities (laughing). It’s really funny when you see animation swearing.

Brian Fee: We were so excited about her and then we pulled the clips and we would listen to it from Orange Is the New Black and then put her on and it just wasn’t – it wasn’t who Fritter needed to be. But she’s actually when you think about taking her visual off and you just listen to the voice, which is another thing we do, we don’t listen- we don’t try to watch their facial acting, a lot of actors get a lot of it out of their being and their facial expressions.

We’re looking for the actors that do it with just their voice, or at least it jumps out. For whatever reasons, she’s really mild, her vocal performance in Orange Is the New Black is milder than you would think when you take her face and her presence out of it, so they weren’t going to work and we knew if we put this in front of John, he was going to say no.

Kevin Reher: But some of her standup [would work] so we pulled up some of her standup.

Brian Fee: Her standup is great, so she did her own audition, because we didn’t want to let it go, we wanted her to be in the movie.

So we sent her some script pages, she read the script pages at home in her iPhone and did her own audition and so that’s what we used.

Kevin Reher: And she’s actually on the sound track during Riding on the Freeway of Love with horns and backup singers because she’s a singer and then again Easter eggs and little eggs, she is Boo in Orange is the New Black so her first moment is when she goes Boo [in the film] and then when she says You’re going to feel the wrath of the Belleville Unified School District.

She actually went to Belleville High school and even then we get crazy, even license plates – like the license plate on Natalie Certain is Kerry Washington’s birthday and New York where she was born and we have production babies and we have Kerry Washington’s son and Armie Hammer’s son in the production babies at the end.

Brian Fee: And Cristela actually informed how we wrote that character, so one of the things we looked for when we cast Cruz was we spent a lot of time. Cruz might have been the hardest character.

Because we wanted to get it right, spent a lot of time on her for casting too but Cristela had that voice, you know, it’s kind of like you line up a bunch of people in a room that are going to audition and they’re all wearing gray sweaters, Cristela was the one who’s voice was like the bright red sweater and we went to her standup act and we were already in love with her humor and her liveliness and her she’s just this infectious laugh and she just she starts talking and you want to hang out with her.

And there’s a part of her comedy act where she gets, she stops telling jokes and she gets really serious and she talks about her mother, very touching stuff for her.

Kevin Reher:  …who passed away…

Brian Fee: And there’s such a soul in her voice when she stops telling jokes, and that’s when we knew oh this is, she’s got to be the right one. And then we ended up rewriting the character because Cristela had a story about growing up wanting to be a comedian in a border town in Texas and her mother told her, we don’t do that, we clean houses, we don’t-

And she was trying to protect her, but just the fact that she had to break through that barrier after we cast her we went back and- because we’re always tweaking and evolving characters as much as we can and we rewrote Cruz’s backstory with that in mind.

Kevin Reher: We also have to make sure that the voice, you’re sending ostensibly a young Latina on a road trip with McQueen.  You really got that they were mentor mentee or that they were going on this journey together but it wasn’t about love or romance or any of that stuff.

Cars 3 poster

About Cars 3:

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage! Directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), “Cars 3” in theaters NOW.

Like CARS on Facebook

Follow CARS on Twitter

Follow CARS on Instagram

Subscribe to the Disney/Pixar YouTube channel here

Visit the official CARS 3 website here

CARS 3 is in theaters everywhere NOW!

 

I Survived Disneyland’s Summer of Heroes And Now I’m Going To Tell You All About It #SummerOfHeroes

I Survived Disneyland’s Summer of Heroes And Now I’m Going To Tell You All About It #SummerOfHeroes

*I received an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for the coverage of several press events for Disney. All opinions are 100% my own and I only recommend events and shows that are a great fit for my readers.

I Survived Disneyland's Summer of Heroes And Now I'm Going To Tell You All About It #SummerOfHeroes

Okay, so I’m going to tell y’all something about me you may not have already figured out; I’m a sucker for fun!  If something fun is happening, you can bet I’m going to do my best to get there.  Last week I was given just that chance with a super fun trip to Disneyland to “try out” the new Summer of Heroes themed EVERYTHING!?!  I mean, who gets to do this for their job, right?  Well, I was more than happy to oblige, since it was Disney asking me to go and all.  I made the sacrifice for all of you and set out on an adventure to find fun in Disneyland (that’s a tough one, right?!).

I Survived Disneyland's Summer of Heroes And Now I'm Going To Tell You All About It #SummerOfHeroes

My mission was to find all of the fun I could find and report back to all of you about it.  The first thing I noticed, when walking into Disneyland, was all of the “Summer of Heroes” banners lining the outside and inside of the entrance to Disneyland California Adventure.  As soon as we went into Disneyland California Adventure, we headed to the new Guardians of The Galaxy:  MISSION BREAKOUT ride.  I had been anticipating this ride the MOST as it was one of my favorites when it was Tower of Terror.

WE ARE GROOT -- (May 25, 2017) Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment, Joe Rohde, Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Vice President Creative, Bob Chapek, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Kevin Feige, President of Marvel Studios, and Michael Colglazier, President of the Disneyland Resort. at the grand opening of the new Guardians of the GalaxyÐMission: BREAKOUT! attraction at Disney California Adventure park, in Anaheim, Calif., on Thursday. The epic new adventure blasts guests straight into the ÒGuardians of the GalaxyÓ story for the first time, alongside characters from the blockbuster films and comics. (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)
Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment),  Joe Rohde (Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Vice President Creative), Bob Chapek (Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts), Kevin Feige (President of Marvel Studios), and Michael Colglazier (President of the Disneyland Resort). at the grand opening of the new Guardians of the GalaxyÐMission: BREAKOUT! (Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort)

I Survived Disneyland's Summer of Heroes And Now I'm Going To Tell You All About It #SummerOfHeroes

When we walked up to Guardians of the Galaxy:  MISSION BREAKOUT, the butterflies started doing cartwheels in my stomach.  I know, I know, I said that Tower of Terror was one of my favorite rides, but being a favorite of mine didn’t mean that it didn’t scare the bejeezus out of me.  I heard though the grapevine that it was so much better than Tower of Terror in its design, story, and the ride itself.  The ride, supposedly had more drops and higher drops than it did when it was Tower of Terror.  Then, one of my friends shared the video below with me:

That video TOTALLY cracked me up and scared the heck out of me.  As I told my friends, when we were entering the ride; I scream embarrassingly loud on scary rides LOL
gotg break out
So, as you can see, Super Heroes and the Guardians of the Galaxy have arrived at Disney California Adventure Park!  Not only was this awesome ride part of the fun, but there were other rides, characters, dancing, and FOOD!  SO. MUCH. FOOD.

 I was able to sample some of the Summer of Heroes food and can tell you, it is amazing!  The taste, the colors, the fun keepsake cups are all just another great way for Disneyland to show us how to have fun this summer.

Guests will find hero-inspired food and beverage at Disney California Adventure Park for the Summer of Heroes from May 27 to Sept. 10. (Disneyland Resort)
Guests will find hero-inspired food and beverage at Disney California Adventure Park for the Summer of Heroes from May 27 to Sept. 10. (Disneyland Resort)
SPIDER BITE – Guests will find hero-inspired food and beverage at Disney California Adventure Park for the Summer of Heroes from May 27 to Sept. 10. (Disneyland Resort)
SPIDER BITE * Guests will find hero-inspired food and beverage at Disney California Adventure Park for the Summer of Heroes from May 27 to Sept. 10. (Disneyland Resort)

My kids may have been fighting a bit over the baby Groot cup, but Hannah, ultimately, won that battle.

summer of heroes Image

Along with Summer of Heroes and the new “Disney Junior Dance Party!” Like all Super Heroes, you need the right fuel and training to make it through the day. Power up with Groot-shaped bread, available in sourdough and jalapeno-cheddar flavors, or with The Most Dangerous Tacos in the Galaxy. Train and perfect your skills with Black Widow and Hawkeye at the Avengers Training Initiative, one of 10 epic moments you’ll experience this summer! Then, celebrate your training at the “Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Dance Off” with Peter Quill and Gamora. ~ Disneyland

Get social with Disneyland:  Facebook     Twitter     Instagram     Youtube  

 

The Cars 3 Interview With Larry the Cable Guy, Nathan Fillion, Isiah Whitlock, Jr., and Lea DeLaria Kept Us Laughing #Cars3

The Cars 3 Interview With Larry the Cable Guy, Nathan Fillion, Isiah Whitlock, Jr., and Lea DeLaria Kept Us Laughing #Cars3

*I received an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for the coverage of several press events for Disney. All opinions are 100% my own and I only recommend events and shows that are a great fit for my readers.

Thanks for the great photo, MomStart.com
Thanks for the great photo, MomStart.com

Here we go, y’all!  One of my all-time favorite interviews happened last weekend while I was in Los Angeles when I had the amazing opportunity to sit down with Larry the Cable Guy (voice of “Mater”), Nathan Fillion (voice of “Sterling”),  Isiah Whitlock Jr. (voice of “River Scott”), and Lea DeLaria (voice of “Miss Fritter”) for a chat!  I have been a long-time fan of Larry The Cable Guy and loved Nathan Fillion as Castle.  I am a fan of Isiah Whitlock Jr. in The Wire and probably a little too fond of his “signature line”.  Then there is Lea DeLaria, who I adore in OITNB and all of her activism on social media!  Oh, how I wish I could watch OITNB more….if only it was kid friendly OR I was still young enough to stay up past 10 p.m. LOL  Any way you slice it; this was going to be an EPIC interview!

Photo credit: Disney
Photo credit: Disney

The first questions began to be asked: We heard that Larry the Cable Guy does a lot of improv with his Mater character, but we wanted to know if anyone else did any improv while they were recording.

Larry The Cable Guy: Well, I always do improv, from when we did the first one (Cars film). I remember when I first did it, my opening line that I ever did in Cars was “my name’s Mater, like Tomato, without the To”.  Of course, I remember, going, “Hey. My name’s Mater, just like To-mato, without the To!” And he was laughing. And I go, “Well, can I do it another way?” No, he goes, “No, do whatever you want, as long as you’re staying close to the script” and so that’s when all of the “dadgum” and “gee!” — that’s when all of that stuff coming about.

I haven’t, obviously, seen it (Cars 3). So, there was a few parts where Mater was supposed to be doing something, but he was supposed to be singing a song, and we had a couple of things, but we didn’t know if he liked it. And they said, “Look, need to come up with something else. Just come up with something else, and next time we tape, we’ll do those,” so I went home and I wrote a bunch of limericks. And so that’s when I actually went home, and actually wrote something. But for the most part, generally, when I’m doing my lines all free from them, I’ll do it just like the line, a couple, or three times, and then I’ll do it “hey, let me try this one.”  And that’s generally the one where they go, “Oh, that’s good. ”

Photo credit: Disney
Photo credit: Disney

Nathan Fillion: It’s so weird. Because when I improv, they always go, “That’s great, stick to the lines.”  In the booth, you know? “That’s great. Stick to the line?”

Isiah Whitlock Jr.: I always say, look, I’m just gonna start talking, cut me off when you’re ready to cut me off. Just tell me. Just tell me to stop, okay?

Question: How did it feel to do something different than The Wire [Isiah]?

Isiah Whitlock Jr.: Great. I always jump at the chance to do something different. Different characters. And this opportunity came along and I was just thrilled about it. It was totally different. I was in the booth by myself with my own imagination, and I found it quite liberating. Just laying down the voice, and everything like that. But to me, that’s kind of what keeps you going, is that you’re not always playing the same thing, over and over and over again.

And even when I’m doing that, I can always find something about the character that’s gonna be kind of interesting. So that’s what I try to do.

Photo credit: Disney
Photo credit: Disney

Question: Nathan, I read something in a different interview where you’d described Sterling as “charming.” He kind of felt a little slimy to me, so what part…?

Nathan Fillion (laughing):  That’s fair, that’s fair. I always find that charming, I think, is one of the more misleading directions when you’re reading a screenplay, or a script. People see “charming” and they go skeevy, and they go a little weird. Charming people are not so much interesting as they are interested. They’re saying, “Hey. You are great. You are wonderful. You are the best.” But, in this case, as a businessman first, I think he puts Lightning McQueen into a “you are the best, you are the greatest, but I do have an ulterior motive.”

So I think that’s where it gets a little skeevy.

The Cars 3 Interview With Larry the Cable Guy, Nathan Fillion, Isiah Whitlock, Jr., and Lea DeLaria Kept Us Laughing #Cars3
Question: Nathan, you’ve played some memorable characters on TV [Mal on Firefly, Castle, etc.]. And you’ve also voiced some characters [Johnny in Monsters University, The Green Lantern on Robot Chicken]. What do you think your favorite part about Sterling is? What called you to this?

Nathan Fillion: What called me to this is an opportunity to work with Pixar. I’m not going to lie to you guys. I’ve been to the Pixar facility twice. I’ve seen every Pixar movie. I’ve seen the Pixar documentary four times. I am into Pixar. Nothing happens in a Pixar movie by accident. They tell the story, one pixel at a time. It’s very, very careful filmmaking, and it’s very methodically planned out, and to be a part of it, you know you’re going to be a part of a story well told, and it’s going to be beautiful, and it’s going to last.

It’s going to be a story that lasts. So, over and above anything else, I will do anything for Pixar. And, point of fact, I actually did some janitorial work for them two weeks ago. I’m not picky.

Larry The Cable Guy: And he was charming while he did it.

Isiah Whitlock Jr.: And skeevy.

Nathan Fillion: And skeevy.

The Cars 3 Interview With Larry the Cable Guy, Nathan Fillion, Isiah Whitlock, Jr., and Lea DeLaria Kept Us Laughing #Cars3
Question: Do you have a favorite part, either your character, or anything in the film, that is your favorite?

Nathan Fillion: Listen; when you do a Pixar movie, right before you do the PR stuff, and all of this publicity stuff, they put you in a beautiful room to watch the movie. There’s a big party. Some people get dressed up as their characters. It’s really, really wonderful. There’s lots of food and drinks. At least, I imagine that’s what happens. I had to work that day, so I missed it.

Isiah Whitlock Jr.: I take that back. I did.

Nathan Fillion: You did see the movie?

Isiah Whitlock Jr.: Yes. Yes. I did see it.

Nathan Fillion: Is it good?

Isiah Whitlock Jr.: Yes. Yes.

Nathan Fillion: I knew it. I knew it.

Isiah Whitlock Jr.: I found it very emotional. I found myself tearing up a little bit, you know, and kept saying, “Okay. Think about something else. Think about something else.” Don’t start crying, but when they deal with change and aging and things like that and moving on, you know…(fake crying). “That’s like my career!”

I was glad I brought my sunglasses with me, so I could put those on, and pretend like I was just sitting cool in the movie theater. But I did see it, and I found it just extremely emotional. I think the story’s going to be powerful.

Photo Credit: Disney
Photo Credit: Disney

Question: There is a mentor, mentee relationship theme in the movie. Who are some of your mentors, either professionally or personally?

Nathan Fillion: Bob Woods, who played my uncle on One Life to Live. I wouldn’t have moved to Los Angeles without his sage advice.

Larry The Cable Guy: You know what’s crazy? That’s my mine too (laughing)!

Nathan Fillion: So odd (laughing).

Isiah Whitlock Jr.: I had a mentor in college, and he had seen me in a play in college, and he was kind of like this nutty, crazy professor that everybody kind of stayed away from, but this guy said, he pulled me aside and he says, “look, you know, I saw you in a play last night.”

And he says, “I thought you were great. You got to get out of Minnesota, man. You got to go to New York, and you got to start knocking on doors.” And I thought, knocking on doors? What? Just going around to people’s apartments? Just knocking on doors? I took him literally. But then he said, “look at all of these monitors.” He said, “Someday we’re going to be able to talk to people and do our banking and — ” and I said “This guy is really nuts.” — and that all came true.

But the one thing he told me, he says, “If you really want to be a great actor, you’ve got to start studying psychology. You’ve got to know the human condition. You’ve got to know how people tick, and how you can figure out all of these characters,” and so I thought, Okay, I’m gonna try that. And I studied psychology for about two years. And I just play a bunch of characters who’ve got problems. (laughing) But it was some of the best advice I had ever gotten. And when people talk about mentorship, I always think about this one, this guy, because it’s — I really did sort of learn about the human condition, and how — what makes people do what they do, and how they believe that, you know, they’re right in what they do.  So, that was some of the best advice I’d ever gotten in my life.

Photo Credit: Disney
Photo Credit: Disney

Question: How has social media changed what you do? Another blogger had been talking to you and Larry on Twitter today.

Larry The Cable Guy: Well. You know. Social media it’s a good way to talk to your fans.  As a comedian, we’ve got Facebook, but my Facebook has over five million people on it, and I always keep that updated. I always keep stuff funny on it. You want people to come to your Facebook. It’s become your new website, you know. I have a website, Larrythecableguy dot com. I don’t really keep it up, but not as much as I do that, because everybody is going to Facebook.

Everything on Twitter I love, because Twitter is not as many people, and you can communicate with everybody. So, I mean I have almost 500,000 on Twitter. But, you know, if you check it like I do all the time, I mean, when the kids go to bed, when my wife goes to bed, that’s when I pretty much just hang out on Twitter and talk to people. It’s fun, you know. So, it’s manageable, and you can talk — like, I got your message. I can generally talk to most people. Now, if I’m on there after something and you do something and, say, after my History Channel show, whenever that would air, there’d be 500 messages.

You can’t get to those. But, generally, if you check it once every hour and a half, you’re going to have 17, 18 messages. You can pretty much answer everybody. I think it’s awesome. I think it’s really cool that you can actually get responded to by a celebrity. I mean, if back in the day, when I was coming up if I could actually go online, and my favorite baseball players or my favorite actors would actually send me a response, I would be a fan for life.  And I think that’s the cool thing about social media, and I always try to stay engaged, as much as I can.

Nathan Fillion: I’m gonna completely agree. Engagement is a fantastic word. Because it’s a way to engage with your fan base, that doesn’t revolve around work or any publicity. It’s stuff that you’re entirely in control of, so you can personalize it as you wish. You can share, you can be personal with it, you can share your private things, you’re entirely in control. But it is one-on-one. There’s nothing in between you and the fandom at that point, so you can engage with your fans, one-on-one, or just kind of get a general idea of what everybody is about, but I love that word.  Engagement. You can engage with people. And I couldn’t do that when I was a kid.

Larry The Cable Guy:  No.

Nathan Fillion: I would’ve been like, “William Shatner (laughing)?!”

Larry The Cable Guy: It’s awesome.

Nathan Fillion: Because, I do that, as an adult, and I get to meet him and hang out with him.

Photo credit: Disney
Photo credit: Disney

Question: Can you share how you became involved in the project?

Lea DeLaria: They called me.

Question: And why you wanted to do it?

Lea DeLaria: Why would I want to be Miss Fritter? Have we seen her? She’s awesome. I mean, come on. Her stop sign is a buzz saw. She’s terrific. Also, I grew up where they do stock cars. I grew up where demo derby was a big deal. I grew up in a really small town on the very tip of Illinois that’s right by Kentucky. So that was like, a Friday night entertainment for me. So the idea of being the queen of the demolition derby? Awesome. And they let me say the high school that I went to.

A shoutout to that. That’s the side of the bus is the high school that I went to. Which is, I mean, the people of Belleville, Illinois, which is a tiny little town, they’re gonna go nuts when they see that. It’s kind of awesome. And so when they came at me and said “do you want to do this?” I was like, “Yeah. I have a really good idea of how to play her.” And they were all in and, as was I, so, it was awesome.

Photo Credit: Momstart.com
Photo Credit: Momstart.com

Question: You have a lot of interaction with your fans on Twitter. How do you fit that in between all the other things you do?

Lea DeLaria: I feel the same way these guys feel about engagement with my fans. I mean, I’m a little — but I’m not 110 years old, so I’m more over at Instagram. That was a shot. I go on Twitter more as an afterthought, and it is — it totally is, I mean, you can go on social media, and see how it tears down. My fan base, because of Cars and Orange is now a much younger base than I used to have.

I’m a lot older than people realize, so they’re on Instagram. So I reach out a lot on Instagram, I post every day, I try to respond. Especially, they direct-message you, so only you can read it and no one else on Instagram. So, for that, I mean, just in terms, politically for me, as an openly gay activist, I get a lot of people that direct, that DM me, about problems, you know. Which I take very seriously. And I’m the same way.

I try to keep up on it. I can’t do it every hour, every half hour. I actually have someone now who helps me with my social media, because it’s just gotten a little out of hand. But I think that it’s the best way to reach people, and also, it’s a great way — Twitter is a great way to keep up with the president (laughing).

About Cars 3:

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage! Directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), “Cars 3” in theaters NOW.

Like CARS on Facebook

Follow CARS on Twitter

Follow CARS on Instagram

Subscribe to the Disney/Pixar YouTube channel here

Visit the official CARS 3 website here

CARS 3 is in theaters everywhere NOW!

My Whirlwind Adventure Through The Cars 3 Red Carpet #Cars3

My Whirlwind Adventure Through The Cars 3 Red Carpet #Cars3

*I received an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for the coverage of several press events for Disney.   All opinions are 100% my own and I only recommend events and shows that are a great fit for my readers.

I had such an amaing time in my whilwind adventure through the Cars 3 red carpet!  I can hardly believe it, but the Cars 3 red carpet was my fifth red carpet event for Disney!  This red carpet was so much fun and I am excited to get to share it with all of you.  The carpet was filled with Cars 3 games, photo opps, characters, and all of the celebrities you can handle.  I will definitely remember the Disney/Pixar Cars 3 red carpet as one of the most fun experiences I have had as a blogger.

2017-06-10_16-56-58

The night started just inside the entrance of the Anaheim Convention center.  As we walked the carpet, we were greeted by jugglers, men walking on stilts, jugglers, a woman balancing on a ball and a couple of balloon animal people.  The bottom line was that we were walking with a star-studded, car-filled, circus and it was AMAZING!

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 10: (L-R top) Actors Larry the Cable Guy, Armie Hammer and Isiah Whitlock Jr. (L-R bottom) Actors John Ratzenberger, Jenifer Lewis, Lea DeLaria, executive producer John Lasseter, actors Cristela Alonzo, Owen Wilson, Kerry Washington and Nathan Fillion at the World Premiere of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 3" at the Anaheim Convention Center on June 10, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Larry the Cable Guy;Armie Hammer;Isiah Whitlock Jr.;John Ratzenberger;Jenifer Lewis;Lea DeLaria;John Lasseter;Cristela Alonzo;Owen Wilson;Kerry Washington;Nathan Fillion
(L-R top) Actors Larry the Cable Guy, Armie Hammer and Isiah Whitlock Jr. (L-R bottom) Actors John Ratzenberger, Jenifer Lewis, Lea DeLaria, executive producer John Lasseter, actors Cristela Alonzo, Owen Wilson, Kerry Washington and Nathan Fillion (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

My Whirlwind Adventure Through The Cars 3 Red Carpet #Cars3

Along with all of the fun temporary tattoos and super fun green screen photo and video ops, there were celebrities; lots and lots of celebrities!  Unlike other red carpet events I have attended, the celebrities at this red carpet were much more available to their fans.  They were walking along with the press and greeting their fans on every side.  The entire atmosphere was very relaxed and just had a fun and playful vibe to it!

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 10: Harper Hammer (L) and actor Armie Hammer pose at the World Premiere of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 3" at the Anaheim Convention Center on June 10, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Armie Hammer;Harper Hammer
Harper Hammer (L) and actor Armie Hammer (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Disney)

My Whirlwind Adventure Through The Cars 3 Red Carpet #Cars3

I just adore seeing celebrities with their families, especially their children.  A red carpet like Cars 3 definitely lends itself to having more celebrity families attend.  I love this photo of Armie Hammer holding the hand of his daughter while they were walking along the carpet.  There were several other photos of celebrities’ children and even a few of the Disney Channel celebrity children having fun on the Cars 3 red carpet.  Some of the celebrities I passed along the way were Larry the Cable Guy, Armie Hammer, Nathan Fillion, Isiah Whitlock Jr., John Ratzenberger, Jenifer Lewis, Lea DeLaria, executive producer John Lasseter, Cristela Alonzo, Owen Wilson, and Kerry Washington!  We interviewed many of the actors that I passed on the red carpet, earlier that day, which made it even that much more special 😀

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 10: Actor Lea DeLaria poses at the World Premiere of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 3" at the Anaheim Convention Center on June 10, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Lea DeLaria
Actor Lea DeLaria (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

     Obviously (you like that Guardians of the Galaxy reference 🙂 , I was like a kid in a candy store with all of the fun photos I could take to share with all of you, but alas, it was time to go see the movie we were all waiting for!  About the movie…..You’re going to have to wait for that LOL  I have another post coming out very soon, to tell you all about Cars 3.  I will tell you this, though, it is my favorite of the three Cars movies!  It has an amazing message and HUGE twists.  I will not tell you what those twists are, you’ll just have to see the movie on June 16 to find out.

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 10: Actor Armie Hammer poses at the World Premiere of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 3" at the Anaheim Convention Center on June 10, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Armie Hammer
Actor Armie Hammer (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 10:  Actor Isiah Whitlock Jr. poses at the World Premiere of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 3" at the Anaheim Convention Center on June 10, 2017 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Actor Isiah Whitlock Jr. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

My Whirlwind Adventure Through The Cars 3 Red Carpet #Cars3

As we headed out of the movie Anaheim Convention Center, over to the after- party, there were Disneyland trams ready to take us straight to Carsland in Disneyland to enjoy all of the Cars 3 fun.  The cool thing that struck me about this after-party was that, even many of the celebrities chose to ride the tram with all of us “regular folk”.  It is so much fun to see celebrities just being “normal” people.  It is a side of Hollywood we don’t always get to see and appreciate.  The people side of Hollywood where the tabloids aren’t involved and everyone is just being human <3

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 10: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been shot in black and white. Color version not available.) Actor Owen Wilson poses at the World Premiere of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 3" at the Anaheim Convention Center on June 10, 2017 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Owen Wilson
Actor Owen Wilson (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)

Now it was time for the after- party!  Let the FUN get STARTED!!!!!!  WOO-HOO!  It was time to ride the rides ’til our hearts content and eat all of the Cars 3 goodies we could handle.  There was no line at the Radiator Springs Racers, so of course, I rode it three times!  The last time I went to Disneyland, there was quite a line to ride it because it is a favorite ride of so many people at the park.  We rode Luigi’s ride, ate lots of good food, danced a little (I’m not telling y’all where that video is LOL), then watched all of the celebrities and their families having fun, for just a little while, as “regular people”.

My Whirlwind Adventure Through The Cars 3 Red Carpet #Cars3

The photo below of Jimmy Kimmel really struck me as a great moment with him.  I love Jimmy Kimmel and it seems like he gets “caught” in sweet moments a lot, which says so much about the kind of person he is.  It is easy for us to get caught up in what tabloids say about our celebrities and we forget that they are people, with feelings and who love and hurt just like we do.  If I do nothing else, I hope I can help people make that connection.

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 10: TV personality Jimmy Kimmel (R, seated) takes a picture of guests at the after party for the World Premiere of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 3” at Cars Land at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, CA. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Jimmy Kimmel
TV personality Jimmy Kimmel (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 10:  Actor Kerry Washington (back C) and guests pose at the after party for the World Premiere of Disney/Pixar’s “Cars 3” at Cars Land at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim, CA.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Kerry Washington
Actor Kerry Washington (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

Be sure to catch Cars 3 when it comes out in theaters everywhere June 16.  Take your whole family; you’ll be happy you did!

About Cars 3:

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage! Directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), “Cars 3” cruises into theaters on June 16, 2017.

Like CARS on Facebook

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Subscribe to the Disney/Pixar YouTube channel here

Visit the official CARS 3 website here

CARS 3 races into theatres everywhere on June 16th!

Great Summer Family Fun For Under $5 In Acadiana 2017

Great Summer Family Fun For Under $5 In Acadiana 2017

Great Summer Family Fun For Under $5 In Acadiana 2017

We live in south Louisiana; home of big families and big fun!  When you have a big family, though, having fun can be a real strain on your budget.  I am always looking for ways to have a ton of fun with my three kiddos and not break the bank.  I have compiled a list of some great ways to keep your young people busy and happy all summer long.  Most of these programs are even FREE!  So, get out and explore south Louisiana.  There is so much here to see and do.  Be sure to share your adventures with us.  Let me know if you find something really cool and fun and I’ll add it to the list 😀  Just email me at [email protected].

  • Acadiana Cinemas summer movies ($1.50) ~ Box office opens 30 minutes prior to showtime.  Movies starts at 10 a.m.
    • Check out the Eunice location HERE
    • Check out the Opelousas location HERE
  • Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program (FREE) ~ The Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program marks its twenty-first year celebrating the power of books to expand children’s horizons. Once again, we’re partnering with educators like you to inspire readers in first through sixth grades to have a summer filled with reading adventures – and earn a FREE book!
  • Books A Million Summer Reading Challenge (FREE) ~ Read any 4 books from their summer challenge selection in-store and online and receive a free Maze Runner series water bottle.
  • Chick-fil-A Kids Night (FREE) ~  Chick-fil-A Ambassador Caffery location has kids night every Tuesday night from 5:30-7:30.  Kids can make a craft while they enjoy their meal!
  • Chuck E Cheese (FREE) ~ Read for 2 weeks and get 10 free tokens!
  • Folklife demonstration (FREE) ~ Discover the Cajun way of music, dancing, cooking, and more, every Saturday. Quilting demonstration noon-3:00pm. Cajun music and dancing begins at 2:45pm. Cooking demonstration begins at 4:00pm.  When: Every Saturday 3:00 p.m.
  • Free Little Library (FREE) ~ There are tons of Free Little Libraries all around Acadiana.  It would be a great outing to take a tour of the libraries and see what literary treasures you can find!  Be sure to take a book to leave at one of them 🙂
  • H‑E‑Buddy Summer Reading Club (FREE) ~ H‑E‑Buddy is ready for summer fun and summer jamming, so it’s time to kick off our H‑E‑Buddy Summer Reading Club
  • Home Depot Kids Workshops (FREE) ~ Kids workshops provide a lively environment mixing skill-building, creativity, and safety for future DIYers ages 5-12.  These workshops are available monthly at Home Depot stores across Acadiana.
  • Kids Bowl FREE (FREE) ~ Registered Kids receive 2 FREE games every day all summer long valued at over $500 per child! Acadiana Lanes on Ambassador Caffery is participating this summer.
  • Kids Skate Free (Skate Zone) (FREE) ~ Passes valid for children 12 years old and younger. Skate rental is $3.00 Can not be combined with any other offer. Can not be used towards group rates or birthday parties. only one coupon per child per week. Valid weekdays only during school holiday breaks and summer.
  • Lafayette Public Library (FREE)~ Build a Better World! Children up to 12 years old can join our Children’s Summer Reading Program beginning Monday, May 15 at any Lafayette Public Library location or online. There will be loads of free programs like storytelling, crafts, music, puppetry, and more.
  • Lafayette Science Museum ~ The Lafayette Science Museum has special pricing for many groups across Lafayette!
    • Seniors (62+): $3.21, Children (4 – 17): $2.14, 3 and Under: FREE
    • Special Admission Prices for Schools and Youth Organizations:
      • Lafayette Public School Students and Teachers: FREE
      • Private/Out of Parish Schools: $1.07 per student/teacher, $2.14 per chaperone
  • Louisiana State Parks ($2) ~ This is a GREAT way to spend a day with your family and admission is only $2 per person!
  • Movies in the Parc ($3) ~ Downtown Lafayette’s LUS Fiber Movies in the Parc offers family- friendly, movie events featuring crowd favorites under the stars! Gates open at 200 Garfield Street at 6pm and the movies start at dusk.
  • NEWSELA Summer Reading Challenge (FREE) ~ Newsela’s Summer Reading Clubs are an easy way to encourage students in grades 2-12 to read online during the summer, keeping their reading skills sharp and exploring topics that interest them. Students who join a Summer Reading Club will receive ten assigned articles about the club topic, along with Write Prompts asking them to freewrite about the topic.
  • Pizza Hut Book It Summer Reading Challenge (FREE) ~ To help increase reading time during the summer months, we partnered with Candlewick Press to bring your kids summer reading activities.
  • Sans Souci Fountain (FREE) ~ The Parc Sans Souci fountain is open seven days a week from 10am-10pm.
  • Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge (FREE) ~ Join the Scholastic Summer Reading Challenge by grabbing your favorite books, logging your reading minutes, and most importantly, having fun all summer long!
  • Summer Kids Flicks at The Grand Theatre ($4) ~ Movies only $4 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10 a.m. Includes FREE box of popcorn and kid’s soda.
  • Sylvan Book Adventure (FREE) ~ Book Adventure is a fun, free way to motivate your child to read! Kids in grades K-8 can search for books, read  them offline, come back to quiz on what they’ve read, and earn prizes for their reading success.
  • Thursday nights at the movies (FREE) ~ Join us for films at the South Regional Library, every Thursday night.  Open to teens and adults. All movies start at 6:00 pm.
  • Wetlands Walk (FREE) ~ Jean Lefitte National Historic Park and Preserve.  Explore wild Louisiana on a ranger-guided walk through swamp and marsh every Wednesday – Sunday at 10:00 a.m.

Follow Acadiana’s Thrifty Mom To Disneyland and The Red Carpet Premier of Disney/Pixar Cars 3 #Cars3Event

Follow Acadiana’s Thrifty Mom To Disneyland and The Red Carpet Premier of Disney/Pixar Cars 3 #Cars3Event

*I received an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for the coverage of several press events for Disney.   All opinions are 100% my own and I only recommend events and shows that are a great fit for my readers.

Follow Acadiana's Thrifty Mom To Disneyland and The Red Carpet Premier of Disney/Pixar Cars 3 #Cars3Event

Y’all!  I’m going to Disneyland!  I am so stinkin’ excited to share with you all that Acadiana’s Thrifty Mom has been invited to a very special Disney/Pixar hosted event for CARS 3 June 9 – 11!  I was invited, along with 24 of Disney’s top Bloggers to Anaheim, CA, to walk the red carpet at the CARS 3 (opening in theatres on 6/16) premiere.  While I am in town, I will also attend the press junket where I will interview talent from the film.  I will also be spending all three days at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure park to experience the “Summer of Heroes!”

About Cars 3:

Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo), with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s biggest stage! Directed by Brian Fee (storyboard artist “Cars,” “Cars 2“) and produced by Kevin Reher (“A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” short), “Cars 3” cruises into theaters on June 16, 2017.

Follow Acadiana's Thrifty Mom To Disneyland and The Red Carpet Premier of Disney/Pixar Cars 3 #Cars3Event

Disney California Adventure park will soon be the destination for adventure, intrigue and triumph as recruits from around the world – like you – join forces with legendary Super Heroes in an ever-expanding universe of stories that will grow even bigger over time including the thrilling, rocking attraction, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

Photo credit: http://disneylandnews.com
Photo credit: http://disneylandnews.com

“Beginning May 27, guests will interact with cosmic heroes Star-Lord, Gamora and Groot in “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!” at Disney California Adventure Park. The new entertainment experience invites guests to encounter these Guardians of the Galaxy, fresh off their appearance in the latest blockbuster film, “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2.” Guests will find excitement throughout Hollywood Land during Summer of Heroes with the Avengers Training Initiative featuring Black Widow and Hawkeye, and heroic encounters with Black Widow, Captain America and Spider-Man.” (Disneyland Resort)

“The glimmering exterior of The Collector’s imposing Fortress looms over the skyline at Disney California Adventure Park. The all-new attraction Guardians of the Galaxy, Mission: BREAKOUT! debuts May 27, 2017 at Disney California Adventure. Guardians of the Galaxy,Mission: BREAKOUT! will take guests through the fortress of The Collector, who is keeping his newest acquisitions, the Guardians of the Galaxy, as prisoners. Guests will board a gantry lift which launches them into a daring adventure as they join Rocket in an attempt to set free his fellow Guardians. The epic new adventure blasts guests straight into the “Guardians of the Galaxy” story for the first time, alongside characters from the blockbuster films and comics. As guests join Rocket in his attempt to bust his pals out of The Collector’s Fortress, they will experience randomized ride experiences complete with new visual and audio effects and music inspired by the popular film soundtracks.” (Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort)

Photo credit: http://disneylandnews.com
Photo credit: http://disneylandnews.com

During the event we will also screen the new Pixar Animation Studios’ short film LOU which debuts in theatres in front of CARS 3!  I don’t know about you, but I am a huge fan of Disney short films.  These are always packed with cuteness and creativity.  I cannot wait to see what Disney/Pixar has in store for us this time.  Getting to share it with all of you is just icing on the cake!  Be sure to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram June 9 – 11 as 24 bloggers from around the country and I embark on this epic adventure!
Follow Acadiana's Thrifty Mom To Disneyland and The Red Carpet Premier of Disney/Pixar Cars 3 #Cars3Event

Like CARS on Facebook

Follow CARS 3 on Twitter

Follow CARS 3 on Instagram

Subscribe to the Disney/Pixar YouTube channel here

Visit the official CARS 3 website here

CARS 3 opens in theatres everywhere on June 16th!

Meet Opetaia Foa’i, The Musical Inspiration Behind Disney’s Moana #Moana

Meet Opetaia Foa’i, The Musical Inspiration Behind Disney’s Moana #Moana

Meet Opetaia Foa'i, The Musical Inspiration Behind Disney's Moana #Moana

I am so excited to finally tell y’all about meeting Opetaia Foa’i while I was in Los Angeles last month!  I did a little research about him before my trip because, to be honest, I wasn’t sure who he was and how he fit into Disney’s Moana.  Stick with me here and I will explain 😀  One thing that never ceases to amaze me with Disney is the immense amount of thought, preparation, and research that goes into every single film they create.  Everything down to the few minutes long short films that play before many Disney films.  Every little detail is planned and studied before creation even begins.  Moana was created with such great care and attention given to the Polynesian people and you can read that in the words of Opetaia Foa’i and you will see it in action on the screen when you see Disney’s Moana.  What an amazing journey Opetaia Foa’i has had in life and what a beautiful story to share with us all!

HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 14: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been shot in black and white. Color version not available.) Songwriter Opetaia Foa'i attends The World Premiere of Disney’s "MOANA" at the El Capitan Theatre on Monday, November 14, 2016 in Hollywood, CA. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Opetaia Foa'i
Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney

How much time did you spend working and collaborating with Lin Manuel to create some of the songs together?

Opetaia Foa’i:  Before I became famous, wicked famous, it was awesome because we had a lot of time so when we got together, he works very fast and I work very fast too.  It was quite an amazing combination cause you’ve got Mark who, of course, is very experienced along that line and you’ve got Lin who’s very good with lyrics and directing. And there’s me who, I don’t read music but I do write from emotion.  I can grab a scene and I can get emotion out of it very quickly, so we found that that combination worked really well. I’m very childish in the Studio, and luckily so was Lin, so we had a lot of fun together.

How did you decide how to mix some of the culture and give it a more modern feel? How did you balance it, you know, wanting to make up to date songs that have that traditional sound, lyrics?

Opetaia:  I sort of trusted Mark and Chris Montan and Tom.  I trusted that they would make those decisions, and I didn’t compromise from my cultural background either.  I’ve got many things that didn’t get onto the Movie and a lot of things, they would say, ‘Oh David that was good but, we don’t want to scare the children’. So after a while, I got the message, because I’m very, very passionate about the chance of the olden pre-Missionary Pacific,  who didn’t have melodies but, just charts and beats.  I love that.

Meet Opetaia Foa'i, The Musical Inspiration Behind Disney's Moana #Moana

What was your favorite part in the process?

Opetaia: Well, I was just saying, you know, um, I was born in Yan Samoa in a thatched hut.  We’re talking about just the thatched hut with no walls, so to find myself here is an incredible journey.  It’s just, my jaws been open for quite some time, when they restrained me.  I couldn’t believe, I call it a aesthetic Heaven, that people can be around the table and they can talk about anything they like and there’s no one running anybody down, it’s incredible. So all that’s new to me.  In my culture, music is like breathing air. I can never understand why I was always trying to write songs or do something musically, so it was a hard journey for me to go get a real job.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Musicians Opetaia Foa'i (L) and Olivia Foa'i of Te Vaka attend The World Premiere of Disney’s "MOANA" at the El Capitan Theatre on Monday, November 14, 2016 in Hollywood, CA. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Opetaia Foa'i; Olivia Foa'i
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

You listened to that voice inside. What’s next on the horizon for you?

Opetaia: You know, I’m happy where I am now. Just to get here. I was trying to explain to you my journey, it was really to promote my culture and I’ve traveled the world and people got sick of me talking about these people that are the best Navigators, best Sailors in the world, everywhere.  To be honest, I thought I’d reached the end of my run, unless the opportunity came up. So it’s just extended it a little bit more.

Have you seen the film?

Opetaia: Yes I have, yes.

What were your thoughts when you saw it put together with the Music and the story?

Opetaia: Beautiful.  The animation, the story, everything was just incredible.

What about capturing the culture? Is it right on?

Opetaia: Well I could say this, daringly. My ancestors would be proud of this Movie.

Aw that’s fantastic! What song had the most meaning to you that made it on the Soundtrack?

Opetaia: Well, the first track that I wrote was “We Know the Way” and I wrote that when Jon and Ron explaining what they wanted and of course voyaging is my thing, you know.  He was so excited that I wrote and then we got together in Carmel with Lin and Mark and we were pacing up and down that side and getting all the lyrics together. Smoke coming out of us. And they come out with those beautiful lyrics and just slaughtered it.  Then we knew something was special about this.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 14: Musician Opetaia Foa'i performs onstage at The World Premiere of Disney’s "MOANA" at the El Capitan Theatre on Monday, November 14, 2016 in Hollywood, CA. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney) *** Local Caption *** Opetaia Foa'i
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

The Moana soundtrack is on constant replay in our car.  You are going to fall in love with it too, I just know it!  You can buy it at the Disney Store online.  It is also available at Amazon, Walmart, and tons of other retailers.

moana-soundtrack

About Disney’s Moana:

Three thousand years ago, the greatest sailors in the world voyaged across the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, for a millennium, their voyages stopped – and no one knows why.

From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who sails out on a daring mission to save her people. During her journey, Moana (voice of Auli’i Cravalho) meets the once-mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson), who guides her in her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together, they sail across the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills the ancient quest of her ancestors and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”) and produced by Osnat Shurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), “Moana” is opened now in theaters everywhere!

Follow Moana on Facebook

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Visit the official Moana website

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moana-new-poster