The Books You Always Find Yourself Recommending Open Thread (updated)

Happy Jolly, everybody! Fabby’s back and wow, do I have a Santa’s bag o’ fun stuff to show you instead of the usual bits of news from around my fun, Fabulous world. I’ve missed you all terribly, even the ones who give me guff. You know who you are. Tuesdays have seemed a little lonely around here lately. How about some Fab News every week to make this little corner warm and cozy…when there isn’t a MiceAge update blazing up the comments section, that is!

Oh, there is one thing:

GUMBALL RALLY EVERYBODEEEEEE!!!!!

Cut to the chase HERE!

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To quote the lovely, brilliant, and extremely hard-working MaMa Michele:

‘Twas brilling in the slithy tove,

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe

All Mimsy where the borogroves

And the mome wraths outgrabe

The White Rabbit has been quite busy readying Wonderland for the 2018 Gumbally Rally. This year’s event will be a single park, Disneyland only Rally. Please join us as we celebrate Alice in Wonderland’s 50th anniversary as well as MiceChat’s 13th Anniversary.

Unlike the Mad Tea Party, we have made sure there is more than enough room for everyone who wishes to join us.

If Leia can wear a bikini, then Kylo can go shirtless

That’s my only question re: spoilers, and I’ll find out day after tomorrow. Thursday night, I’m taking my dad to see Star Wars: I Told You Kylo Was a Badass The Last Jedi. Expect another two years of Kylo Kylo Kylo Kylo Kylo from me. I do not apologize. But I do so with love.

Fabulous Gifts for the Fan in All of Us

  1. The Art of Disney

Last weekend, one of our favorite artists, Dave Avanzino, had a very special showing at the Disneyana Shop on Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland Park. Dave took orders for his beautiful personalized ticket books, which everyone who is a true Disneyland fan should really own.

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Photo by Dave Avanzino

He also had other gorgeous works including his “Eight Lands of Disneyland” (all still available at Disneyland; you do NOT have to buy them elsewhere for more, contrary to popular rumor!

Eight Lands – at Disneyland
The Artist with some of his works in the Disneyana Shop
Still available as of publishing time…but some are quite limited.

Coming up next weekend is another holiday shopping treat – From 9 to 11 AM, the Disneyana Shop will welcome artists Craig Fraser:

Ungh! Right in the rails! I mean feels!
I think this picture speaks to exactly how I feel about it, entirely without words.
Si, si; oui, oui, ooh la la and alooooha!

Francisco Herrera:

A mix of nostalgic character imagery with fancifully-lettered quotes from the Great Man himself.

And last but definitely not least, the beautiful and talented Kurt Raymond:

A catfight! And Bruno and “Rucifee” are fighting too!

And this, which I want to buy for a loved one:

I’m waiting for that ultra-secret Dark Ride art you have up your sleeve, my pretty!

2. Curl up away from the electronics books:

The Art of Aardman

>The Art of Aardman is a bit different from most “Art of…” books I’ve read in that it doesn’t have an author. The foreword is by Aardman’s two founders, Peter Lord and David Sproxton, but the rest of the book is by…Aardman. Nevertheless, it’s an honest, fun look at the history of the stop-motion giant (you’ll find yourself saying out loud “I didn’t know they made THAT!”) and when it’s over, you’ll want to fire up your DVDs and make some cracking toast with cheese to watch some of these treasures. The book is a keeper, one to be read and referenced repeatedly without going out of date. List price $24.99. Way less everywhere. Click here to buy it on Amazon and they’ll give me a percentage of a percentage of a percentage!

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They Drew As They Pleased, Vol 3

The Hidden Art of Disney’s Late Golden Age: the 1940s- Part Two

By Didier Ghez, Foreword by Andreas Deja

I’ve been waiting for this book since I interviewed Didier Ghez pre-Volume 1 about a hundred-and-sixty years ago, for this very site. Mr. Ghez is being honored this year with an Annie by the Animation Guild because of his painstaking and backbreaking work uncovering what you see in this final product, this series of books and his other works. I’ve known him on a friendly basis since the late 80s and he’s been passionate about protecting and learning about the greatest works of animation and passing that knowledge to others without caring very much about what it would gain him. I was especially touched to see that Andreas Deja wrote the foreword. Marc and Alice Davis considered him their son…they told me this on more than one occasion. He teaches the Marc Davis series of animation lectures. If there is anyone whose stamp of approval in this century you would want when writing about the time period in which Ghez is writing, it’s Deja’s. If you want to know about great animation, buy this book. You don’t have to have the rest of the series (you should, if you can); it stands alone. If you want a gorgeous Disney art book, buy this book. If the world is terrible and you think there’s no such thing as beauty, buy this book.

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The Art of Coco

This is also a slightly different art book from the usual “Art of” books in that it doesn’t have any finished renderings/pictures in it of the characters, just work-in-progress and reference work. It also contains SPOILERS for the big twist in the film, so if you haven’t seen the movie yet, see the movie, then look at the pretty, pretty book. I haven’t yet, because my husband has a problem with how it presents his culture.  We might, eventually. We’ll see. Should we? The book’s great and you can buy it here.

 >The Color of Pixar

This remarkable tome looks at Pixar almost solely through color imagery. It starts out white, then goes through the color story, presenting images that tell the story and zoom you right back into the films from which they came. It’s a chunky, smallish book, not a coffee-table one, big enough for the art student of the house to carry around in her bag so that it took a couple days of threatening and cajoling before I could get a decent thread on it. What’s nice is, there’s not a real narrative, just the luscious imagery, so you can just pick it up and put it right back…hang on just a sec…I know, I’ll be right there, I’m looking at something… Get it here.

Beyond the Wisdom of Walt: Life Lessons from the Most Magical Place on Earth

>I’m biased because I read the first book to shreds while I was recovering from surgery year before last. It was practically my secondary Bible. Jeff Barnes takes his personal story, adds Walt’s story, Disney Theme Parks’ stories, and a large dash of just-past-business-school savvy to make this smarter-than-a-self-help-book a meaty, enjoyable read. The Disney hook is great not only for us (you know…US), but could probably give the casual Disney fan or even a neutral person some painless, but extremely useful, advice and growth skills, whether it be personal or business. Or a theme park. Get it here.

Canto Bight

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It takes place right before The Last Jedi, has four “pieces of life” stories, and I promised Saladin Ahmed I’d give him a shout-out. Because I’m sure no one’s going to notice this book at all. I wouldn’t worry, Saladin. Plenty of people will buy it.

3. Disneyland Adventures & Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure

Way back in October, Alice and I were invited to try out two fantastic new games for the XBox One. First, let me talk about Rush: A Disney Pixar Adventure.

>““Rush: A DisneyžPixar Adventure,” includes characters from “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up,” “Cars”, “Toy Story”, and “Finding Dory” and is remastered in 4K Ultra HD and HDR.

You get to be a fish.

You create your character, who can be any color and have any style or shade of hair, and send him or her (they’re working on it, says Jorg Neumann, Head of Production, Microsoft Studios) to Pixar Park, where other kids meet them to play different Pixar-themed pretend play, which draws the player into the action via the children’s imagination.

You get to be a rat.

You get to be a Wilderness Scout.

But there’s not just the different worlds – for example, in CARS, there’s not just Radiator Springs. There’s also the World Grand Prix and Tokyo. Oh, and they got in just after the strike ended, so all of the original character voices are there! Michael Caine was shouting at me! In a video game!

You get to be a car.

You get to be an Incredible.

You get to be a toy.

This is an extremely violent game in places, therefore I highly recommend it for small children. There is no blood, but lots of explosions. A helicopter is straight-up murdered right in front of you, a chef throws knives at you, there’s an incredibly stupid toy hedghog running around in traffic, good examples for the kiddies abound. I love this crazy game! Actually, it’s no more violent nor scary than the movies themselves. It encourages imaginative play, has stunning visuals and solid gameplay and a fantastic variety of types of gameplay. This isn’t a game you or your kid will play through in a day and toss aside. It also encourages cooperative play and is portable between Windows and Xbox devices, and supports Kinect avatar scanning. Order it here.

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I’ve been playing Disneyland-themed computer and video games since the early 1980s, and while they’ve been good, they haven’t been great. This team went out and took hundreds of thousands of images of Disneyland from every angle imaginable and created this game. Some attractions are missing because the ink hadn’t quite dried on the Lucasfilm deal. Here’s hoping for an update in the future, because this is a sweet, sweet visit to Disneyland. Walt Disney World peeps, this game is going to make you start yelling for a version of your own!

One thing I really love is the character interaction: the characters look more like they come from the Disney Studio model sheets than from the Zoo, and they behave accordingly. You can also get them to interact with you, get an autograph, kisses, swordfights, and other fun little Easter Eggs, depending upon the character.

For the attractions, (18! 18 attractions!) you don’t go in and ride. You enter the story. For example, in Peter Pan, the game’s creators got hold of the original artwork and designs from the film and worked with that to create a flying game that can be played with one or two players. It’s just gorgeous. For the Haunted Mansion, it’s…I can’t get through it because I’m always laughing too hard and messing up. But it’s definitely unique and a creative and loving homage to the attraction! Keep your eyes open!

Get it here.

Disclaimer: For trying the games out, we got to keep them, as well as a few other games and an XBox One console on which to play them and a controller. My opinion of the games remain my own. If you know me, you know I’m a complete sucker for Disney RPG/sim games. I play the mobile games quite a bit as well. Anybody else out there? Give me your info so I can Friend you!

4. A Night Out

I’m not blowing my own horn.

I’m bowing my husband’s cello:

A note from Noe:

“You are all invited to the LBCC Symphony Holiday Concert. It is next Friday night, December 15, at Rogers Middle School in Long Beach. It’s a great show for the family!

“You can get $4 tickets if you use promo code: orch1215

https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/10223392

“Hope to see you there!”

 

I will not be there, as I will be taking Alice to the airport to visit family back East for the holidays. Won’t you be my proxy?

Looking for something a little more ribald? Noe’s company party at Teatro Martini in Buena Park, at the Pirates Dinner Theater, was pretty wild. We had a good time, the drinks were good (chocolate martini and Ritz of New York) the food dinner theater decent and the show had incredible singers and a stunning aerialist, with jokes that made the Hanging at Knott’s Scary Farm Halloween Haunt look subtly tasteful in comparison.

Magician Naathan Pham, from Penn & Teller’s Fool Me

TeatroMartini.com

5. A Night In

Time to watch some shows and movies at home!

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Marvel’s LUKE CAGE: THE COMPLEGE FIRST SEASON is out on Blu-ray TODAY!

The critically and fan-ically acclaimed Netflix series finally hits home disc form so you can watch it even if you have no space left and are in a dead zone. Luke Cage has colossal strength and unbreakable skin. He escapes from jail after being framed for a crime he didn’t commit and tries to live quietly underground. But when a crime syndicate led by the ruthless Cornell “Cottonmouth” Stokes turns his beloved Harlem into his killing grounds, bringing carnage to his home and chaos to his life, Luke is forced to emerge from the shadows and embrace his gift – or curse – and the ultimate destiny that comes with it in this tempestuous, gripping drama that just happens to be about a superhuman hero.

There’s also a bonus roundtable with the cast and creators called “Offstage at Harlem’s Paradise”.

Cast: 

Mike Colter as Luke Cage,

Simone MIssick as Misty Knight,

Theo Rossi as Hernan ‘Shades’ Alvarez,

Alfre Woodard as Mariah Dillard,

Jaiden Kaine as Zip,

Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple

Get it here

Tangled – Queen For a Day

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This hour-long episode is actually pretty dark and heavy for Y7, so you might not want to dump the kids in front of the TV and walk away for this one. You know your kids better than I do, but if mine were still that age, I wouldn’t. YMMV. That said…you could do a lot worse than sitting down to watch and talk it over with them.

This sets up a bitter, vengeful villain, deals with Disney Death, real death, near death, injury, scary storms, avalanches, falls, creepy growing black things, magic backfiring, just – a lot of really bad stuff. It’s about hubris, and it teaches a pretty good lesson about it. It teaches a really good lesson about the power of forgiveness, as those the king forgave in the past (spoiler) turn out to save him when he needs it now. But it is kind of a downer mixed in with the usual sparkling hilarity and princessness. It’s not depressing. It’s just that the end isn’t tied up in a neat little bow where everybody wins and the bad guy gets caught in a fishing net and gets his mask torn off. It ends with suffering, loss and learning. Bring your kleenex, especially if you like lizards. Get it here.

DUCKTALES WOO-OO

We are a DuckTales family, but more of a classic DuckTales family, because the new series kind of disappointed us. Gyro is cool. Gizmoduck is cool. But there’s a lot of heart missing that was in the old series.

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However, if you take out the comparison, the current series is a lot of fun, and if you like the new series, don’t watch the original DuckTales until the current series has concluded, because watching the original series will probably ruin the current series for you, if you’re a fan of things like The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, etc.

With that out of the way, you’ll fall in love with the four adventurous ducklings, Uncles Donald and Scrooge, and even learn about the boys’ missing adventuress of a mother, Della. There are actually layers of story here, real mystery and history, monsters, curses, dusty old magical objects, treasure hunts, secret compartments with dusty old chests – and this is just the hour-long pilot! Get it here.

6. Star Wars Toys!

SH Figuarts Kylo Ren The Last Jedi Figure

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Order this exquisite masterpiece here.

Funko Galactic Plush Porg

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Available here. (Among other places)

LEGO First Order Heavy Assault Walker

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To HAV and to hold…

Last but most definitely NOT least:

7.Tickets to New Year’s Eve with MiceChat!

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What are you doing for New Year’s Eve this year? MiceChat is offering another amazing event to ring in the new year. This time around it features Mrs. Knott’s Famous Fried Chicken and a full buffet of delectables. There will also be a Knott’s history presentation from Knott’s Preserved co-author Eric Lynxwiler, VIP seating for the ice show and fireworks at midnight! Plus rides, shows and attractions! It’s a great way to spend an evening, especially since most of the Disneyland passes are blocked out that day.

>More info HERE

Eric forgot more about Knott’s Berry Farm than Walter Knott ever knew. You’ll have a

“berry” good time if you go!

Well, that’s my list so far. What do you think? What do you want? Include a link to your Amazon.com Wish List. Maybe Santa Claus will see it!

See you next week!

Source : http://micechat.com/180210-shellys-back-years-fabulous-things/

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