Hello Dear Readers! It’s the busiest time of the year, shopping to do, cookies to bake, and Candlelight to see at Disneyland this weekend, amongst many other things … so thank you for taking a moment out of your busy holiday schedule to check out this week’s Pressing Matters. Here’s what we’ll be discussing today:
• The Lady With The Pink Hair
• Tintin & Dog Chow? • A CARnival & A Whole Lot Of Cars
• Trains … and while we’re at it, throw in the Muppets too • Vantastix
• Unsung • Victorian Fair • December at the Walt Disney Family Museum
I’m looking forward to the Candlelight celebration that will take place at Disneyland this weekend. The park will be crazy busy as a result, but if you come with lots of patience, it’s definitely worth the trouble to see it. The procession of carolers walking down Main Street is something special and it just gets better from there.
The whole setting of the choir and orchestra in front of Main Street Train Station is beautiful, and then the music starts, and the Christmas story, told by the guest narrator (this year it’s Gary Sinise) begins. It’s making me tear up just thinking about it and I haven’t even talked about the trumpeters (who are simply awesome).
But if you don’t want to deal with the crowds (usually huge), there’s another event going on at the Disneyland Resort. It’s small, commercial, and not going to compare with the majesty of Candlelight, but the season is about shopping too and this event’s all about that — maybe you need a gift for that Tarina Tarantino fan on your Christmas list — Ms Tarantino, in all her pink-haired-glory, will be stopping by Disney Vault 28 to show off her latest collection and there’s a little freebee thrown in too (while supplies last, of course):
We invite you to enter the sparkling world of Tarina Tarantino, where she conjures up her inspiring collections for her fearless fans to follow their sparkling dreams. The fuchsia-tressed designer's iconic cameo stone has been updated with the image of Princess Tarina. Each piece in the collection was designed to be worn separately, or layered together, and features everything from statement necklaces to stackable bracelets featuring Swarovski crystals, fire polished two-tone glass beads, and "Tarina Pink" Lucite beads, hearts and charms.
Tarina Tarantino will be on hand for her special appearance and signing at Disney Vault 28 in Downtown Disney Anaheim on Saturday, December 3rd, 2011, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Now, here’s the freebee — with the purchase of any Tarina Tarantino product on December 3rd, 2011 at Disney Vault 28, you’ll receive a special holiday ring from Tarina’s “Hey Santa!” collection. For more information, visit this link.
I have to admit, I don’t know a whole lot about Tintin except that he’s popular in Europe and he’s got kind of a cute quirky hairdo and he’s an adventurer. With my lack of Tintin knowledge I really couldn’t connect the dots between Tintin and dog food, so when I received the following press release it was kind of a “huh?’ moment:
Purina Dog Chow Brand Dog Food has teamed up with Paramount Pictures' upcoming animated 3D film, The Adventures of Tintin, from Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg and Oscar-winning producer Peter Jackson. Based on the internationally beloved series of books and characters created by Herge, the film chronicles the unquenchably curious young reporter Tintin and his fiercely loyal dog Snowy on an epic, globe-hopping quest.
Ah, okay so ... Tintin has a dog and dogs have to eat. But still ...
Snowy's one-of-a-kind, lovable personality helps Tintin navigate the exciting ventures they embark on together. To help celebrate Tintin's "right-hand pup," Purina Dog Chow Brand Dog Food is launching its Facebook page for audiences around the world to help the brand contribute to real-life canine heroes with a donation of up to $150,000 to a variety of service and therapy dog organizations.
Now, it starts to make sense …
Heather Gettys, Purina Dog Chow Senior Brand Manager, says, "We encourage dog lovers to come together and join forces via our Facebook page to help us make a meaningful impact in the dog community this holiday season."
For every consumer who visits the Dog Chow Facebook page and clicks “Like” on the page, Purina Dog Chow Brand Dog Food will donate $1, up to $150,000, to be split equally between three service and therapy dog organizations. Cool, huh? You can help out just by taking a moment of time to “like” a Facebook page. For all the info, including the names of the three featured service and therapy dog organizations, visit this link: www.facebook.com/dogchow “Like” the page, won’t you?
The Adventures of Tintin will open nationwide on Wednesday, December 21, 2011 and is directed by Steven Spielberg from a screenplay by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who) and Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) & Joe Cornish (Hot Fuzz). Starring Jamie Bell ("Billy Elliot") as Tintin, the young reporter whose relentless pursuit of a good story thrusts him into a world of high adventure, and Daniel Craig ("Quantum of Solace”) as the nefarious Red Rackham. For more information about The Tintin movie, visit www.us.movie.tintin.com/
Our next pressing matter is about a museum that I drive by all the time on my way to the Los Angeles County Museum or Farmer’s Market, but I’ve never once stopped in to check out the Petersen Automotive Museum. I need to change that.
This Saturday, December 3rd, from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, the Petersen Automotive Museum will host their annual CARnival, a family fun day full of arts and crafts, face painting, games, prizes and museum exploration. But even better, while you’re there, check out their Hollywood Gallery, the museum has something special in store for all you Cars fans. It’s there that you’ll find From Silver Screen to Die-Cast: Disney-Pixar Cars Imagined by Mattel:
Since the launch of the first Cars film in June 2006, Mattel has produced more than 200 million die-cast Cars vehicles featuring more than 500 unique designs that represent the many beloved characters from the films. This special exhibit includes a comprehensive collection of the Disney-Pixar Cars die-cast vehicles and gives Cars fans and collectors an entertaining and informative glimpse into the history of Mattel’s blockbuster toy line. Exhibit highlights include:
• Diorama Movie Scene Recreations Featuring Cars Vehicles: Hundreds of die-cast vehicles representing the many beloved characters from Cars and Cars 2 – from the popular Lightning McQueen and Mater to the big-wheeled Haulers and their corresponding racers. Each display showcases the character’s distinct automobile model and design bringing their personalities and story-lines to life.
• Rare and Never-Before-Seen Cars Vehicles: Highlights of some of the most exclusive and never released Cars die-cast vehicles such as the elusive “Apple Car” from the Speedway of the South set, to special collections never released to the general public including Trev Diesel and others. Each display also features the behind-the-scenes stories that make these collectibles so rare.
• Evolution of Cars Die-cast Packaging: Display features the evolution of the Mattel product packaging from the original Cars design introducing fans to Radiator Springs in 2006, to how the franchise’s unique merchandising revolutionized the die-cast packaging category.
• Cars Super Chase Die-cast Collection: For the die-hard collector, a first look at Mattel’s ultra-exclusive 2012 line of die-cast cars that will feature one-time only, limited-run vehicles of very special Cars 2 characters. Display will include first Super Chase vehicle to launch – Flash – inspired by the real-life race car driver exclusively featured in the Swedish version of Cars 2.
The exhibit runs at the Petersen Automotive Museum for six months. Operating hours are open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Tuesday through Sunday and is located at 6060 Wilshire Blvd. In Los Angeles. Admission ranges from $3.00 to $10.00 (free to members and children 4 and under). For more information, visit this link.
Now, let’s talk about a completely different mode of transportation … trains. If you haven’t seen the great exhibit in Disneyland’s Disney Gallery, you need to make plans to see it soon. But did you know there’s another terrific train display near Disneyland? Ignore the former president’s politics and head on over to the Richard Nixon Library in Yorba Linda for a nifty exhibit taking place now through Monday, January 2, 2012 — the Festival of Trains at the Nixon Library:
The playful holiday exhibit at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library will take visitors on a magical journey of miniature trains, chugging through breathtaking landscapes including snow covered mountain passes, Santa’s Village, the Roaring 20’s, a Wild West mining town, and New York City. The inspiration of the exhibit reflects Richard Nixon’s long love of trains stretching from his childhood in Yorba Linda. Highlights of the Holiday Festival of Trains include:
• A colorful collection of vintage tinplate engines and cars including the Stephen Girard train and the B&O passenger set.
• A sensational LEGO train metropolis, built with over one million blocks.
• Modern miniatures including the Polar Express and Thomas the Tank Engine, and Christmas classics including the Holiday Express, the Santa Clause Express, and the Christmas Express.
• Traditional favorites including the Durango Silverton passenger train, the Western Frontier, the Denver Rio Grande passenger train, and the Copper and Silver Mine train.
• Big City rail cars including the New York Central Broadway Limited, two MTA subway sets, and the Pennsylvania GG1 Electric Engine Congressional Car based on that actual train that ran from New York City to Washington, D.C.
The Richard Nixon Library is located at 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd., in Yorba Linda, California and is open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Sundays from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM — Closed Christmas and New Year’s Day. (And if you’re a D23 member, don’t forget you get a two-for-one discount on admission at the Richard Nixon LIbrary through December 31st.) For more information on the Festival of Trains, visit this link.
Speaking of D23, have you seen the winter 2011 issue of Disney twenty-three magazine? If you haven’t, take a few minutes to peruse the pages. I think this is the best issue of the magazine D23 has ever produced. Usually, I leaf through the magazine when it arrives, look at all the pretty pictures, lay it aside, and then promptly forget about it. This time though, it’s different, the Winter 2011 issue is chock full of interesting stuff that I actually want to read - I won't be tossing this issue aside in the forget-about-it pile.
Besides interviews and behind-the-scenes details on the making of the new Muppets film (which everyone tells me is a must-see — I need to see it!) and lots of other Muppets goodies, there’s a ton of other swell stuff just waiting for readers to explore:
• A special feature that celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Pixar, which was established in 1986. Pixar artists discuss the 25 most important lessons they've learned during Pixar's first quarter century, and detail scenes that were cut from such classic films as Wall•E, A Bug's Life and Toy Story 3
• The making of Walt Disney's classic animated film Dumbo, now celebrating its 70th anniversary, with rare concept art and development sketches recently discovered by the Walt Disney Archives and published for the first time in Disney twenty-three magazine
• Discoveries made by author Timothy S. Susanin as he investigated Walt Disney's ''missing decade'' -- the years leading up to the creation of Mickey Mouse -- for his new book, Walt Before Mickey: Disney's Early Years 1919-1928
• A colorful recollection of Disney's involvement in the fabled Rose Parade
• Exclusive interviews with Sarah Chalke and Chris Parnell, stars of the upcoming ABC holiday special Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice
For more information about Disney twenty-three magazine, visit this link.
At last summer’s D23 Expo, you may have been one of the lucky ones who got to see Dick Van Dyke. But if you were like me and were turned away from the woefully small venue in which D23 placed Mr. Van Dyke, good news! There’s another chance to see Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastix perform:
This brand-new show is the result of a chance meeting a decade ago that led Dick to team up with fellow music-lovers Eric Bradley, Bryan Chadima, and Mike Mendyke to form The Vantastix – a tight-harmony quartet that get together for the sheer joy of making music. In this intimate evening, Van Dyke shares the songs of a lifetime spent on stage, on film, and on television – with his trade-mark humor and new friends. And mostly, with music from his storied career and library of favorites.
Dick Van Dyke and the Vantastix will be performing at the Haugh Performing Arts Center at Citrus College on Saturday, December 10th, at 8:00 PM, tickets range from $40s-$60s and are still available as of this writing. The Haugh Performing Arts Center at Citrus College is located at 1000 W. Foothill Blvd., in Glendora, CA. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit this link.
Another musical event I think worth mentioning takes place this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If you’ve ever listened to any of Bruce Kimmel’s albums, then you know you’re in for an evening of great entertainment:
The Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy presents Lost and Unsung, An Evening of Cut Songs from Great Musicals and Great Songs from Flops directed and narrated by Bruce Kimmel with music direction by José Simbulan. Based on the series of albums, Lost In Boston and Unsung Musicals, the show features the songs you never heard from such classic musicals as Chicago, Sweet Charity, Company, Annie Get Your Gun, Gypsy and many others, along with unsung gems from such legendary flops as Smile, We Take The Town, Drat! The Cat!, Sherry!, and more.
Performances will take place in The Caminito Theatre at Los Angeles City College, located at 855 N. Vermont Ave. In Los Angeles on December 1 – Two shows: 3:00 PM and 7:15 PM, December 2 – 8:00 PM, and December 3 – Two shows: 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Tickets range in price from $12-15. For more information or to purchase tickets visit this link.
It feels like I mention this nifty museum a lot but I can’t help myself, I really like this place and Muzeo has another upcoming event that sounds perfectly Christmasy, a Victorian Fair — where you might even find a most unique Christmas gift for that hard-to-shop-for person on your gift list:
Holiday booths in ‘Great Exhibition style’ will fill MUZEO’s courtyard featuring one of a kind art pieces from some of southern California’s favorite artists. Hot chocolate and tea tastings, popcorn and chestnuts will delight your palette. English country dance demonstrations, holiday caroling and readings from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol are all part of the activities.
When you go to the Victorian Fair you should also save some time to visit Muzeo’s current exhibition which I mentioned in a previous column, The Queen’s Gallery and Steampunk: History Beyond Imagination. The Victorian Fair takes place on December 10th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission to the Victorian Fair is free to the public but there is a charge for The Queen’s Gallery and Steampunk: History Beyond Imagination exhibit, should you want to include that in your day.
Muzeo is located just north of Disneyland at 241 S. Anaheim Blvd., in Anaheim, CA. Parking is available in the structure on the corner of Center Street Promenade and South Lemon Street. For more information, visit this link.
I’ll wind up today’s Pressing Matters with a list of some of the December activities at the Walt Disney Family Museum:
• All month long, through December 31st, the museum will be screening Christmas with Walt at 1:00 PM and 4:00 PM daily except Tuesday, December 3rd and 10th in the Theater.
• From December 1st through December 31st the museum will be screening Walt: The Man Behind The Myth daily, except December 3rd and December 10th, from 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM in the Theater.
• On Saturday, December 3rd the museum presents Fabulous Females in Film with Jan Wahl at 11:00 AM in the Theater: Join San Francisco's favorite movie reviewer and film historian, Jan Wahl for a fantastic presentation on fabulous females in film. From Mae West to Meryl Streep, Jan will discuss women's roles in Hollywood history.
• On Saturday, December 10th the museum presents Walt Disney: Entertainment Icon and Visionary at 3:00 PM in the Theater: An up close look at how Walt Disney's passion for and dedication to animation changed the American Entertainment Industry. Hear from Pete Docter, Andreas Deja, and Jonas Rivera, a few of today's creative innovators, on how Walt Disney's vision and creativity successfully impacted our culture and their own work.
• This month’s Look Closer explores Holiday Greetings from the Animators and takes place on Friday, December 16th, Saturday, December 17th, and Sunday, December 18th at 1:00 & 3:00 PM in the Theater Lobby
• On Sunday December 4th, the museum presents Sunday Story Time From 3:00 - 3:45 PM in the Theater Lobby: Join us for some holiday cheer as we revisit classic Disney Christmas stories. This special program is designed for families with children between the ages of 5 and 9. The story will be followed by an activity.
• On Saturday, December 10th and Sunday, December 18th Disney Discoveries take place from 1:00 — 3:00 PM in the Learning Center Art Studio: Celebrate the season with us at December's Disney Discoveries! Make a personalized snow globe filled with holiday cheer!
• And finally, on Saturday, December 31st take part in the museum’s Noon Year's Eve Celebration: Beginning at 10:00 AM, Countdown to Midday - who wants to stay up all night when you can celebrate at noon? Join us for our very first Noon Year's Eve Celebration. We will have indoor & outdoor activities including a beach ball bounce. There is a special showing of The Love Bug in the Theater and you can visit Herbie & friends in front of the Museum. Enter to win a special screening in our Theater for you and your 50 closest friends! Make your day complete by pre-ordering a "picnic" lunch served in our Special Exhibition Hall at 12:30pm.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is located at 104 Montgomery Street in The Presidio of San Francisco. For more information, including hours and admission prices, visit this link.
Okay, we’re all through here for today. If you want to know what I’m up to, you need to follow Pressing Matters on Twitter. You never know what you’ll find there — food, museums, shopping, Disneyland! Follow along as I search for the all the latest Pressing Matters & tweet about what I find: