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Visiting a real life bear at the L.A. Zoo in honor of Disneynature Bears – in theaters April 18, 2014

 

DisneyNature Bears Poster

This Friday the newest film from Disneynature called Bears opens in theaters across the country. I was excited to have the opportunity to screen the film a few weeks ago. The film opens in theaters April 18, 2014.

I love bears. I think they are beautiful creatures. They look very cuddly. I just want to snuggle up with one. Of course I can’t really do that. I don’t think the bear would be too happy about it. LOL.

I love animals. I have been an animal lover all my life. Bears are one of my favorite animals (in the top 10).

We have a small zoo near where we live. They have a couple of bears that live there that are indigenous to our area. The zoo is located in Bear Mountain State Park (NY). This year to celebrate Earth Day (April 26th) they are inviting people to visit the park and make treats to give to the resident bears.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

One would think the park was named because of the area bears that call it home. The are was actually named Bear Mountain because the profile of the mountain resembles a bear lying down (so I’ve read). There are bears that live there and in our area. In fact my daughter and I saw a small bear strolling along side the road when we were leaving the bank – a 1/2 mile from our home. The bears like to feed in the dumpster at the nearby dumpster. Bear sightings are not uncommon around here since we live on the edge of the park land. My husband even saw a bear one day on his way to work.

I’ve also been an ambassador for the Bronx Zoo (NY) for the past few years. They have Polar Bears there too.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

When I was out in Los Angeles a few weeks ago we had the opportunity to screen the Disneynature film Bears. It’s the story of a mother bear named Sky and her two cubs, Scout and Amber.

In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s new True Life  Adventure Bears showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two  impressionable young cubs, Amber and Scout, are taught life’s most important  lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their  journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bear family emerges from  hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as  the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of  avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must  work hard to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run—while  staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present  wolf. Bears captures the fast-moving action and suspense of  life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses—Alaska!  Directed  by Alastair Fothergill (Earth, African Cats and  Chimpanzee) and Keith Scholey (African Cats), and narrated by  John C. Reilly.

After we screened the film we had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Los Angeles Zoo to check out a real bear. I love bears. I love animals. I love zoos. Needless to say I was thrilled.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located at 5333 Zoo Dr, Los Angeles, CA. It’s open Monday through Sunday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (they start to put the animals away for the night around 4:00 PM).

I’ve been to the Bronx Zoo here in NY many times. The animal enclosures are huge and sometimes it’s hard to see the animals. At the L.A. Zoo the animal enclosures are smaller which allows you to really get close to the animals (a safe distance of course). I liked being able to get close to the animals. Los Angeles Zoo

Here are some fun facts about the L.A. Zoo.

The  Los Angeles Zoo was the fourth zoo to serve the city.

The Los Angeles Zoo opened in November 28, 1966. Among the animals at the Zoo on opening  day was American alligator Methuselah, who passed away in 2010.

The world’s first gorilla baby delivered by Caesarian section was born at the Los Angeles Zoo in 1977. He weighed in at 5 pounds, 2 ounces and was named Caesar.

In 1981 the L.A. Zoo become a partner in the California Condor Recovery Program, helping to  bring this majestic bird back from the brink of extinction.

A donation from Alice C. Tyler funds a new Meerkat exhibit which would later provide inspiration for the animators of Disney’s The Lion King.

Our first stop on our zoo visit was the California Condor Rescue center. This special center not only provides visitors with the opportunity to learn more about these magnificent endangered birds but it is also a fun interactive play area for children.

Much work is being done by the zoo to help repopulate the California Condor. Many of these birds have died over the years due to garbage that people carelessly toss on the side of the road and in the woods. The birds will eat just about anything and have consumed things such as buttons, bottle caps and screws. Many of these items are poisonous or end up getting stuck on their insides, killing the birds.

California Condor

X-ray of a California Condor

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Look at all the garbage tossed aside by humans that get ingested by the Condors. I see bottle caps, screws and what looks like glass.

The California Condor is the largest bird in North America. It’s wing span can reach up to 9 feet!

At one point there are around 20 California Condors left. Thanks go conservation efforts there are now over 400 California Condors, 200+ are freely flying around California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico.

The zoo was kind enough to bring out one of their California Condors, Dolly, for us to meet in person. Isn’t she beautiful.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Dolly the California Condor

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the L.A. Zoo make sure to stop by the California Condor exhibit. The play area features places where kids can climb and crawl under things. It’s set up to mimic the Condor’s natural environment. There is also a medical area where children can examine and care for Condor’s (plush, stuffed animals), complete with medical scrubs, stethoscopes and X-rays.

Condor Rescue Zone

There are a lot of wonderful animals to be seen at the L.A. Zoo including Koalas, Giraffes, Chimpanzees, Okapi, Lemurs, a Rhino and more.

Here are just a few of the animals we had the opportunity to check out while at the zoo.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Masai Giraffe

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Happy Chimpanzee

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Baby Masai Giraffe

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Hippopotamus

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Giant Otter – They can grow to be five feet!

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimerly V. (She Scribes)

Flamingos. The gray ones are babies. Do you know how Flamingos get their pink color?

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Meerkat

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Alligator – I don’t want to get too close to him!

We also had the chance to meet Randa the Indian Rhinoceros. The zoo spell’s it Randa but it sounds like Rhonda.

Randa is the second oldest Rhino in captivity (she’s in her mid-40′s). The unique thing about Randa is that she had cancer. The cancer was located under her horn. The zoo had to remove her horn to get to the cancer that was underneath it. They successfully removed the cancer and after many weeks of chemotherapy Randa was cancer free (yeah!).

The zoo had to adapt a machine used on humans to work with Randa so she could get the treatment that she needed.

Her keeper told us that Rhinos like to rub their horns no things. Since Rando no longer had a horn, all she had left was a bit hole in her nose. They had to constantly put new bandages on it because she kept opening it up and it was getting infected. To combat the infection the zoo put MAGGOTS in her wound! Ewww!!! Maggots actually help to heal wounds a lot faster. Doctors around the world use maggot therapy to treat patients. Thank goodness my doctor doesn’t do that. Gross!

I’m glad that Randa is doing OK these days.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Randa the Rhino at the Los Angeles Zoo

The zoo also has a beautiful carousel that features many of the animals found at the zoo.

One odd carousel character that stands out is the Dung Beetle. The carousel has one along with a pile of dung (aka – poop!) that you can sit in and ride around in the carousel. LOL!

Dung Beetle Carousel Seat.

Dung Beetle Carousel Seat.

LA Zoo Carousel

BEAUTIFUL carousel creatures.

The zoo visit would not be complete without stopping by the Bear exhibit. The L.A. Zoo has a Black Bear on exhibit. His name is Ranger.

Here are some interesting facts about Black Bears.

American black bears are the smallest and most prevalent of the bears native to North America.

American black bears live in various   forests throughout North America and are found in 41 of the 50 United States.

Black Bears mostly occupy temperate forests but can also be found in swampy or mountainous forested areas.

Black Bears eat grasses, fruits, berries, nuts, insects, human foods, and occasionally small vertebrates.

They can weight from 150-600 pounds.

Male bears are 25% larger than female bears.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Black Bear at the L.A. Zoo – Doesn’t he look soft and cuddly?

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

So beautiful!

For more interesting information about bears you can download a FREE educational guide from the Disneynature website. The guide is 93 pages long! It’s not only great for educators but also parents and people who are interested in learning more about Bears.

You can find the guide at Nature.Disney.com. Scroll down about half way and you’ll see the guide along with several other guides you might be interested in.

Also on the Disneynature site you’ll find videos, photo gallery, information about Bears and other Disneynature films and more.

The bears featured in the Disneynature film Bears are brown bears, but the information found in the guide covers pretty much anything and everything you’d want to know about these beautiful creatures.

Disneynature Bears opens on Friday, April 18, 2014. If you see the film during opening week (April 18 – 24, 2014),  Disneynature, through the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fun, will make a  donation to the National Park  Foundation to help protect our national parks and the wildlife that calls them home. That means bears, like the beautiful black bear at the L.A. Zoo and bears like Sky, Amber and Scout (featured in the film) will be protected, as well as other wildlife.

If you would like to learn more about Disneynature and the film Bears you can check out their Facebook and Twitter pages. They can even be found on Pinterest. The official hashtags are #DisneynatureBears and #MeetTheCubs.

The Disney Store is also contributing to the National Park Foundation. For every plush from the DisneyNature Bear film that is purchased, $1.00 will be donated to the National Park Foundation (campaign ends May 11, 2014). You can find the plush bears here – Amber and Scout.

I have one of the plush toys (Amber). I took her to the L.A. Zoo with me. She “photo bombed” a few of my photos, as well as happily posed for others. Here are some fun photos from the day.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Amber rescued me from a Rattlesnake at the California Condor Rescue area. No worries… it’s not a REAL snake. I wouldn’t put Amber I danger.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Amber reading up on Vultures and Condors at the California Condor Rescue Center.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Amber “monkeying around” while I tried to take a picture of a Chimpanzee.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Whose the real bear in this picture?

DODOcase was kind enough give the bloggers on our trip lovely iPad Air, iPad Mini and iPhone 5/5S cases. These are limited edition cases that you an purchase from their site. They each feature a custom Bears design in honor of the film.

DODOcase is donating 20% of the sale of these cases to the National Parks Foundation. This is just one more way you can help save bears like Sky, Amber and Scout and many other wildlife creatures.

To learn more visit www.DODOcase.com.

DODOcase

To learn other ways you can help the Nation Park Foundation visit www.NationalParks.org.

For more information about the L.A. Zoo or to connect with them via social media, here are some helpful links for you.

Official website: www.LAZoo.org.

FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest. The official hashtag is #LAZoo.

PHOTO CREDIT: Kimberly V. (She Scribes)

Amber at the L.A. Zoo

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. My travel expenses were covered.

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The Muppets Most Wanted red carpet premiere at the El Capitan Theatre plus after party #MuppetsMostWantedEvent

 

Disney's Muppets Most Wanted in theaters March 21, 2014

Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted in theaters March 21, 2014

Last week I was out in Los Angeles doing some press junkets for Muppets Most Wanted, Captain America: The Winter Solider and DisneyNature Bears (among other amazing things). While I was there I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the red carpet premiere of Muppets Most Wanted.

I consider myself a very lucky and fortunate person that I have been able to attend a few red carpet events over the past few years. This is my third red carpet event at the beautiful El Capitan Theater on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. I have also attended the red carpet premiere of Gnomeo & Juliet there as well as the premier (on a white carpet) for Frankenweenie.

Before we headed to the theater the blogger group I was with stopped to have a group photo taken on the steps by the theater where the Oscars (Academy Awards) are held each year.

#MuppetsMostWanted Event Group Photo

Perhaps there are a few bloggers pictured here that you know?

Before heading over I took a few random photos of the event and there was even a surprise guest – the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. What was he doing there?

Stay Puff Marshmallow Man

Muppets Most Wanted

Muppets Most Wanted Red Carpet Premiere Event

Disney's Muppets Most Wanted

Normally at red carpet premieres the non-talent (bloggers, guests…) get whisk across the red carpet behind the talent who are having their photos taken and interviewed on the red carpet. This time around we were lucky enough to be able to stop and take plenty of pictures. :-)

Here is a photo of Tina Fey (Nadya) as she exited her car at the beginning of the red carpet.

Tina Fey Muppets Most Wanted #MuppetsMostWantedEvent

Doesn’t she look amazing?

Did you know she can sing? I didn’t know that until I saw the movie. She has a lovely singing voice – and she can sing with a accent.

I was also able to snap a not-so-great picture of Ty Burrell (Agent Napoleon) as he entered the red carpet. I got a much better picture of him later at the after party.

I was even able to snap a photo of singer Josh Groban who also appears in the film.

Josh Groban #MuppetsMostWanted Event red carpet

I am happy that I was able to stop and pose for a photo as well as take other random shots on the red carpet before having to head inside to watch the film. The weather was PERFECT that day too.

Here are a few random photos taken outside on the red carpet.

She Scribes Kimberly Vetrano Muppets Most Wanted #MuppetsMostWantedEvent

Me on the red carpet in front of the movie poster.

#MuppetsMostWantedEvent

Random shot. They had an old phone booth on the carpet too.

Random shot

Random shot

Terry Crews, Miss Piggy, Kermit and Constantine

Terry Crews, Miss Piggy, Kermit and Constantine

El Capitan Theater Muppets Most Wanted

Julie Bowen - Ty Burrell's on screen wife on Modern Family

Julie Bowen – Ty Burrell’s on screen wife on Modern Family

Once inside we took our seats and waited for the movie to begin. For our entertainment the organist played several songs on the organ, including many Disney tunes.

If you ever have the opportunity to visit the El Capitain Theater I would recommend it. They show regular movies there. The inside is BEAUTIFUL. We were not allowed to take pictures inside so you’ll have to take my word for it.

Just before the show began Statler and Waldorf (the two old guys) made an appearance and naturally they made fun of the Muppets and the movie. That was a fun surprise.

The audience watched the film. There were a lot of laughs and plenty of clapping at the end of the film.

Once the film was over we headed out across the street for the after party.

When we are outside waiting to head out across the street I saw Ricky Gervais (Dominic) and Josh Groban rush by. I tried to snap their photos but they were took quick.

Josh Groban Ricky Gervais

(L) Ricky Gervais (R) Josh Groban

Random night time shot

Random night time shot

Hollywood Boulevard was closed down for the event.

Hollywood Boulevard was closed down for the event.

I also noticed that right in front of the El Capitan Theater is a star for the Muppets on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. What a fun coincidence.

Muppets Star Hollywood Walk of Fame

The after party was just a short walk across the street.

The place was decorated with a lot of fun things from the film. I had taken a few photos but they all turned out too dark. I didn’t want to use the flash and bother people. I wish I had more fun photos to share.

After Party Muppets Most Wanted

Entrance to the after party

Car from the film. Ty Burrell drove around in this tiny car.

Car from the film. Ty Burrell drove around in this tiny car.

There was plenty of food and drink to be found. My favorite was the authentic Fish & Chips served wrapped in newspaper, the same way you would find it in the United Kingdom. Part of the film takes place in London.

I didn’t eat much (I wish I had – I was starving afterwards) because I was just too busy taking in my surroundings.

I will admit that I get star struck. I’m not one of those people who squeal loudly, cry and pounce on a favorite celebrity. No way! I just stay off in the background and watch them (I hope that doesn’t seem creepy?). I don’t have the nerve to approach celebrities, especially when they are chatting with industry people or enjoying a meal or conversation with their family and friends.

There was no getting near Ricky Gervais or Tina Fey. I tried but was unsuccessful in getting a good photo of either of them. This is the best photo I could get of Ricky Gervais (the quality is horrible too).

Ricky Gervais

I know there were plenty of Disney stars there, there usually are at these events for Disney. I did see Cameron Bryce (Jessie, Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2) race past me but I couldn’t track him down. The Disney kids are always happy to talk to us and take photos. I was hoping to get a few for my kids who are big fans of Disney shows (even if they are teens) as are me and my husband.

I saw Ray Liotta (he is also in Muppets Most Wanted). I have seen his film Goodfellas at least 50+ times. I can pretty much talk along with the movie at this point. I really wanted to meet him but he was always surrounded by people. By the time I had the nerve to get close enough to him he left. :-(

Josh Groban was someone I REALLY wanted to meet. I absolutely LOVE his voice. He’s amazing. He also seems like a really nice guy. I saw him a few times around the party but never had the nerve to approach him.

I did try and snap his picture a few times.

Josh

Finally I had the opportunity to meet Josh IN PERSON and chat with him for a bit thanks to my friend Vanessa (The Queen of SWAG) who introduced me to him. We talked a bit about music and how therapeutic it can be for children.

My son doesn’t really watch TV or movies. The ONLY movie he will watch from beginning to end whenever it’s on is The Polar Express and he loves the theme song which is sung by Josh Groban. I was able to get my photo taken with Josh to show my son. I cropped myself out of it (for my blog that is) because I hated how I looked in the photo.

You can see my dress on the left side of the picture.

You can see my dress on the left side of the picture.

I was THRILLED for this once in a lifetime opportunity. It totally made my night. :-)!

I also had the opportunity to meet and have my photo taken with Ty Burrell and Terry Crews (White Chicks, Everybody Hates Chris, Brooklyn Nine-Nine). I hate how I look in both pictures, plus they are not the best quality but at least I have them to remember the night.

Terry Crews Muppests Most Wanted

Ty Burrell

The whole night was a lot of fun and amazing. It’s something I will NEVER forget. I consider myself very blessed for amazing opportunities like these. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would attend red carpet events in Hollywood and meet my favorite celebrities I would have thought you were crazy. LOL!

Keep an eye out for my interviews with Miss Piggy, Kermit, Constantine and others from the Mupppets Most Wanted film, as well as the film’s review, later on this week. In the mean time you can check out the film and follow it on the various social media sites.

Facebook

Twitter #MuppetsMostWanted

Miss Piggy on Twitter

YouTube

Tumblr

You can also check out the official website, Disney.com/Muppets.

You can also read about the experiences of other bloggers who were on the trip with me using the hashtag #MuppetsMostWantedEvent.

Here is the film’s trailer for your entertainment.

 

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the enjoyment of my site readers. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

 

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One of my favorite places to be – Disney Animation Studios PLUS Fun Wreck-It Ralph Details

I have travelled to many places in my life time, and had the opportunity to experience a lot of things. I have a few favorites that stand out in my mind, like the White Cliffs of Dover (UK) as seen from a boat on the English Channel, exploring the Musée du Louvre in Paris (and seeing the Mona Lisa in person) and taking my children to Disney World (which I hope to be able to do again someday). There is one place that I’ve been I am very fond of, which might surprise people. It’s the Disney Animation Studios on the Disney lot in Burbank, California.

You might be wondering why I love being there. That is an easy question to answer – because I am totally fascinated by how animated films are created – from the conception to the theatrical release. Not only that, the people who work there are always so nice and friendly, the atmosphere is fun and carefree and I get a kick out of how people decorate their offices as well as the hallways. Every where you look you’ll find wonderful artwork and storyboards.

The original Animation building, also on the lot, is equally as wonderful. There might not be as many “bells & whistles” as there are in the new Animation building, but the old Animation building is filled with history. Some of the most beloved movies of all times were created there. The very first film created at that studio was Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was released in theater in 1938. Other movies created there include Bambi (1942), Song of the South (1946) and Cinderella (1950) to name a few. The hallways are lined with photos are artwork from all the classic films that were created there. It’s like walking through film history.

The entire Disney campus in Burbank is amazing. Everything from the courtyards to the cafeteria. My dream job would be to work at the studio. I don’t care if I was a file clerk. Just to be there on a regular basis would be a wonderful experience.

A couple of weeks ago I was able to return to the lot to learn more about Disney’s newest animation feature – Wreck-It Ralph. Wreck-It Ralph will be in theaters on November 2, 2012. While we were there we had the opportunity to speak with people who were involved in the film including with Director Rich Moore and Producer Clark Gregg. I will write about that interview, as well as the movie review, at a later date.

Wreck-It Ralph is the major film the studio is currently working on, so every where you look in the building you’ll find Wreck-It Ralph artwork and wall murals. There is even a giant Wreck-It Ralph figure right in the center of it all.

I won’t go into much details about the film (yet) but here are few of the cool Wreck-It Ralph artwork and other goodies that is found around the studio.

Because the film is not in theaters yet a lot of the areas were off limits when it came to photographs. I wish I could have shared with you some of the awesome storyboards that adorned the hallways.

At the time we were there the studio was working on two films – Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. Frozen is another animated feature length film that will not be in theaters until late 2013. We were fortunate to see a few storyboards for the movie and all I can say is WOW! I cannot wait for that movie to come out. It’s going to be amazing!

Something that I find especially interesting at the Animation Studio is that for each movie the studio creates “pods”. They are kind of like a central “hub” for the movie. When I was at the studio last year prior to the release of the Winnie the Pooh movie the hub entrance was decorated with a variety of Pooh and friends artwork and there was a recreation of Christopher Robbin’s bedroom in the back of the hub. Wreck-It Ralph is a story that happens within an arcade, so the pod/hub is decorated to look like an arcade. Not only does it resemble the arcade in te movie on the outside, but the inside is lined with working arcade games. How’s that for inspiration? LOL!

The above photo is a painting of Litwak’s arcade, which is the setting for the movie Wreck-It Ralph. Notice the resemblance to the pod/hub and Litwak’s? They created it to look just like the arcade in the movie.

While we were there they were just starting to create the pod/hub for the Frozen team. It’s going to have a Winter look to it. I wish I could see it when it was completed. I bet it’s going to look so cool (no pun intended…OK…maybe a little :-)).

Speaking of arcade games, Disney had a Wreck-It Ralph game created for it’s employees to enjoy. WOW! How many companies would go so far as to create an arcade game based on their work? I’m not sure if the game will ever find it’s way to an arcade near you, but just so you know the game works EXACTLY like it does in the movie. Seriously Disney… that is the coolest thing ever!

I found three of the arcade games while I was there. I’m not sure if there were more. They all worked too. I love how they have that well-loved/well-used look to them too.

One of the worlds in the film, Wreck-It Ralph is called Sugar Rush. It’s not only a world but also an arcade game found at Litwak’s Arcade. In case you haven’t already guessed it, the Sugar Rush world is made out of candy.

There were two huge display cases there in the studio that housed mini-Sugar Rush worlds. They were entirely made out of candy and cookies. Who ever made them did an amazing job. There was a lot of detail put into it, right down to the smiley faces on the popcorn.

In the movie, Sugar Rush is a race car arcade game. The cars are also made out of candy and cookies. The players in the game love to race each other, thus the reason for the grandstand in the Sugar Rush display.

While we were touring the studio and learning more about the movie we were given the opportunity to create our own race cars out of cookies and candy. That was a lot of fun! I must say that many of my fellow bloggers are really creative when it comes to stuff like this. I was impressed by their creativity.

Disney had several tables lined up with a ton of candy and cookies. I think I gained 10 pounds just LOOKING at all the goodies they had laid out for us.

They even had some of the people involved in the film pick out a winner. My car came in second place. :-)

Check out some of the cars that were created. Mine is the one with the marshmallow driver.

I had a lot of fun creating my car. I wish we had more time. I know I could have taken first place. LOL!

While we were at the studio we had the opportunity to speak with actual animators from the film, Head of Animation on Wreck-It Ralph – Renato dos Anjos and Animator Kira Lehtomaki. They showed us what is involved in animating a film.

Did you know that each animator only animates a brief clip in the film. It takes one animator to animate anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes worth of the film. It takes months, even years, just to animate a piece of the film that short in length. That means it takes dozens of animators to create just one film.

There is A LOT involved in animating a film and there are a lot of people each animation has to go through before it’s approved for use in the film. Silly me. I just thought people drew the animation, tweaked it on the computer and it was done. I didn’t realize that it took so long to animate just a few seconds of film.

We also learned from Kira that sometimes animators video tape themselves acting out the scene they are animating to help them figure out how to animate the mouth, eyes and the position of the body. Kira was kind enough to show us a video she made of herself acting out the part of the movie she was animating.

Renato also gave us a mini-lesson on how to draw Wreck-It Ralph’s massive hands as well as one of the stars of the film, Vanellope von Schweetz. Let’s just say I need to practice some more.

We were also fortunate to meet and talk to Art Director Mike Gabriel with Visual Development artist Lorelay Bove, both of whom worked on the film. They showed us some photos of their travels trying to come up with the perfect designs for the film, most especially Sugar Rush. Many of the buildings in Sugar Rush were inspired by the work of Antoni Gaudi, a Spanish architect who created some of the most unusual, yet beautiful buildings I have ever seen. His buildings are more like giant pieces of art then they are buildings. If you have never heard of him before I would recommend doing a Google search and checking out some of his work. Those same details are present in the Sugar Rush world.

Mike and Lorelay also told us how they found the candy that they used in the film. They traveled all the way to Japan to find the perfect candies.

Knowing what is involved in making an animated film – from the research and traveling to find the perfect inspiration, to the hundreds of hours required just to make a 30 second clip, it really gives you a better understand and appreciation for animated films. Knowing what I know now I will never look at an animated film the same way again. It was truly and eye opening experience.

One final super cool thing that we had a chance to see before we left the studio for the day. Hanging up on the wall were drawings of the main character in Wreck-It Ralph, Wreck-It Ralph himself. He was originally drawn like something that looked like he belonged in the movie The Lorax, then he looked more like a beaver. Some where along the way he started to look like a character from Monsters Inc, and even a white “Magilla Gorilla” (I’m showing my age right now). Check out Ralph’s transformation.

I think it’s pretty cool how the whole thought process works. Just look at how many Ralph’s were created just to get the perfect one for the film. Now imagine all the animated films you have ever seen and think about how many different drawings it took to come to the actual character used in the film.

This was just one of my fun-filled, exciting and adventurous days out in Hollywood. I hope you’ve enjoyed your virtual tour of Walt Disney Animation Studios in Burbank, California.

Keep an eye out for more Wreck-It Ralph posts including me in the recording studio doing a voice over for one of the scenes in the film. That was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I was a guest of Disney and I was not compensated for this post. The opinions expressed are entirely my own and are not influenced in any way.

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Meet the stars at Madame Tussaud’s in Hollywood

Imagine if you could a place where today’s celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, Sir Elton John, Robert Downey Jr. and Lady Gaga can hang out with the stars of yesterday such as Bing Crosby, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne and Fred Astair. I would love to be invited to that party!

If you find yourself in Hollywood I would recommend you checkout Madame Tussaud’s on Hollywood Blvd. You will be amazed by the lifelike wax figures they have there. Some of them are so true to life that you feel the need to poke them in the arm just to make sure they are truly made of wax.

Last week when I was out in Hollywood my blogger friends and I had the opportunity to check out Madame Tussaud’s. I’ve been to the wax mueseum in New York City and in London, but I’ve never been to the one in California.

Check out some of the celebrities that I met that night.

When you start your journey around Madame Tussaud’s you actually start from the top floor of the museum and work your way down. Each floor has different rooms where you’ll find actors and actresses from a similar genre. The top floor starts with current hit stars such as Daniel Craig, Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt & Angelina Jolie and Ryan Seacrest, to name a few. On a different floor you’ll a group of action heros dressed in their costumes, such as Chris Hemsworth as “Thor”, Arnold Schwarzenegger as the cyborg from Terminator and Huge Jackman as Wolverine. You’ll also find other action heros not dressed up like Bruce Willis, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and Jackie Chan.

One of my favorite rooms featured classic actors from years past including Bob Hope, Audrey Hepburn, George Burns, Peter O’Toole and Charlton Heston. The wax figures of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers was especially nice.

I found many of the figures to be incredibly life like. I was really impressed. Especially Steven Spielberg, Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman.

If you are in the Hollywood area, and finding it difficult to find real live celebrities, why not swing into Madame Tussaud’s wax museum where you are guarenteed to see stars, and plenty of them. :-)

Madame Tussaud’s is located at 6933 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. You can find more information at www.MadameTussauds.com/Hollywood. You can also check them out on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/MadameTussaudsHollywood, as well as on Twitter, @TussaudsLA.

After you enjoy spending some time hanging out with all the celebrities at Madame Tussaud’s I’m sure you will be hungry. The Hard Rock Cafe is located very close to the wax museum at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. If you’ve nevere been there before I would recommend the restaurant. Not only is the staff really nice but the food is totally delicious, plus it has a great atmosphere.

Kimberly

*I was not compensated for this post. I did receive a complimentary pass to the museum, and my meal was provided for by another source. All opinions expressed are entirly my own and are not influenced in any way.

 

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The Frankenweenie white carpet premiere and after party were electrifying! #Frankenweenie

If someone would have told me a few years ago that I would be attending a movie premiere for a Tim Burton movie I would have thought they were crazy. After all, Tim Burton is a world renown director, producer and writer. Tim Burton created such hit movies such as Edward Scissorhands, Beatlejuice, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas to name a few. If you check out Tim’s IMBD (International Movie Data Base) page you’d be shocked at just how many well known movies he’s been involved in. Just the mere thought of me attending one of his movie premieres, and even attending an after party with him, seemed as far fetched as bringing a beloved deceased pet back to life.

Imagine my shock and excitement when I learned that I would be attending the red carpet event for Tim Burton’s latest film, Frankenweenie, or in this case a WHITE carpet event. Instead of the typical red carpet the Frankenweenie event was held on a white carpet, after all, there is nothing typical about Tim Burton’s movies. The theme of the night was black and white in honor of the film being made in black and white. Frankenweenie is the first animated 3D film.

I was so excited for this event. I was literally counting the days! I had the perfect dress and accessories. I even applied temporary tattoos that looked like stitching which resembled the stitching that appears Sparky, one of the main characters in the film.

Prior to leaving for the theater we had a Q&A session with three of the film’s stars – Charlie Tahan (I am Legend, Charlie St. Cloud), Atticus Shaffer (“Brick” from the TV series The Middle) and Rob Capron (“Rawley” from the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies). Charlie is the voice of Victor Frankenstien, Atticus is the voice of Edgar E. Gore and Rob is the voice of Bob. They were all a delight to talk to. I hate to sound like a crazy fan but it was fun to meet Atticus and Rob because I am a huge fan of the show The Middle (watch it every week) and my family loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movies (who doesn’t like the adorable Rawley?).

I attended the event with several amazing bloggers. Before heading over to the event we stopped for a photo opp on the steps that lead up to the Kodak Theater where the Oscars are held.

Do you recognize any of the bloggers? I’m sure many people read their blogs. I’m honored to be among these amazing bloggers.

Earlier in the day I took a stroll over to the El Capitan Theater where the event was being held to check it out. They were setting up for the event early in the morning.

By the time we got to the event later on that night the whole area was invaded by paparazzi, news crews, fans and of course the event attendees.

Walking behind the celebrities on the red (or in this case white) carpet is an amazing experience. The only down side is that you can’t really stop and take photos. It’s important that people don’t linger behind the celebrities because the photographers want the background to be free of distractions when photographing the celebrities. I was able to capture a few photos of Winona Rider. She is the voice of Elsa Van Helsing in the film.

I did notice a few young Disney actors on the white carpet too including Peyton List from the series Jessi (she also played the character of Holly in the Wimpy Kid movies) and Ryan Ochoa from the Disney series Pair of Kings as well as the character “Chuck” from iCarly. I was able to snap a picture of them, but Peyton had turned her head (she’s the one with the blond hair on the left).

We couldn’t wait on the white carpet too long because the movie was about to begin.

MaximoTV.com took some video of Winona Rider on the white carpet. You can actually see me walking behind her at around the 55 second mark. Thank you MaximoTV.com for capturing me and my fellow bloggers on the white carpet.

 

If you are reading this via e-mail you can see the video here, http://bit.ly/SqoeAk.

The El Capitan Theater is BEAUTIFUL inside. It’s very ornate. They even have an organ on stage where someone sits and plays to entertain the audience before the film begins.

Once we were all inside and in our seats I looked around to see if I noticed anyone famous. I did see Catherine O’Hara walk in. She is the voice of THREE Frankenweenie characters – Mrs. Frankenstien, the weird girl and the gym teacher.

I will be posting my movie review shortly. In the mean time I guess I can leave you with this impression of the movie – WOW!

After the movie everyone headed across the street to the after party. Martin Landau, the voice of Mr. Rzykruski in the film, walked past me. By the time I positioned my camera his back was to me. Oh well…

I’ll be honest with you, it’s hard NOT to try and look for celebrities. After all, we’re only human. Most of us never get the opportunity to rub elbows with television and movie stars that we admire.

Almost as soon as I walked in I noticed my first celebrity – David Arquette and his daughter Coco. Sadly they were leaving just as I walked in.

As you can imagine it was next to impossible to get too close to Tim Burton. I came close a few times but something always got in my way before I could ask for a photo with him. That’s OK. At least we actually did rub elbows (literally!).

I saw actress Tia Carrere and I was able to snap a picture of Conchatta Ferrell, the voice of Bob’s mom (she plays Berta on Two and a Half Men) and actor John Savage. I’m sorry for the poor photo quality.

I was surprised to see Elvira (Cassandra Peterson) at the party too. Again, I’m sorry for the horrible picture. If any camera company is reading this post and would love someone to review a camera that takes quick shots in low light please feel free to reach out to me. Ha Ha. :-)

Some where at the after party were Kendra (Wilkinson) and Hank Basket with their son Hank, Jr., Martin Short (he is the voice of the characters Mr. Frankenstein, Mr. Burgemeister and Nassor in Frankenweenie), Jennie Garth, Marissa Jaret Winokur and  Marcia Gay Harden, none of which I was able to find.

One of the fun things about attending an after party is trying to identify actors and actresses. There were several people that looked familiar but I couldn’t remember their names.

I did meet the dog from Beverly Hill Chihuahua. That was fun!

A fun surprise was Jared from the Subway commercials. He took the time to chat with me for a bit. WOW! He’s really tall in real life. He had to bend down just to be in the picture with me (I’m “vertically challenged”).

A friend of mine kept telling me that “the Oompa Loompa” was there at the party. I wasn’t sure exactly who he meant. That is until I noticed Deep Roy who played the part of ALL the Oompa Loompa’s in Tim Burton’s film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, staring Johnny Depp.

The belt on my dress is down to low in this picture. I had to re-tie it. :-)

I tried to get a picture with Tim Burton but I knew that was impossible. He was the “man of the hour”, so to speak, and everyone wanted to be with him. That is OK. We rubbed elbows and I was able to get a few photos of him.

The grainy picture above is Tim Burton with Winona Rider. I just wish it came out better. :-(

Another person I had the opportunity to meet up with at the after party was Rob Capron, the voice of Bob (“Rawley” from the Wimpy Kid movies). What a sweet young man. He is very polite and well spoken. He even shook my hand twice. Awww… what a sweetheart he is! Rob chatted with me and told me about some upcoming projects he’s working on including Tarzan (Kellan Lutz plays Tarzan). Rob plays the part of Derek. He’s also in a movie with Steve Carell coming out next year called Way, Way Back. He plays the park of Kyle.

I have to admit as excited as I was to meet everyone, and how anxious I was for a chance to meet Tim Burton, there was one person I was really hoping would show up at the party – Tom Kenny. Most people don’t know him by name but you know his work. He’s the voice of SpongeBob Squarepants. He was also done voices on shows like Rock’s Modern Life, the Power Puff Girls, Johnny Bravo, the Justice League, Handy Manny, Adventure Time and even Disney’s Winnie the Pooh movie (Rabbit).

I was fortunate to interview Tom for a Popsicle campaign I was working on. It had to be one of the best interviews I’ve ever done. He is so personable and a joy to talk to. Sometimes when you talk to famous people it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and nervous. That was NOT the case with Tom. The moment he said “hello” to me I felt totally at ease. I could have talked to him all day.

I spent the whole night looking for him (not knowing if he was even going to be there). Alas, just before the party was almost over he appeared with his lovely wife and beautiful children. I FINALLY had a chance to meet him. Words cannot expressed how thrilled I was.

Not only did I get a chance to talk to Tom (I got a hug from him too!) but he also was incredibly kind to send a special birthday wish to my son. While I was out in LA my son turned 13. I felt totally guilty not being there on his special birthday, but I think the video Tom made for him more than made up for it. Check it out…

 

If you are reading this via e-mail you can see the video here, http://bit.ly/RpsvDd.

Tom was even kind enough to make one for my daughter so she didn’t feel left out. He wished her a belated birthday since her 15th birthday was this past May.

A special thank you to Cori at www.CorisCouponCorner.com for taking the video for me when my video recorder wasn’t working.

Talk about a FABULOUS way to end an AMAZING night.

I cannot wait to share more with you about my trip to Hollywood. I have so much interesting and exciting things to share with you.

Frankenweenie opens in theaters on October 5, 2012. You can learn more about the film at www.Disney.go.com/Frankenweenie. You can also find the film on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/Frankenweenie). You an also follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #Frankenweenie.

Below is the film’s trailer. You can also see the trailer here, http://bit.ly/VXt7Bc.

 

Kimberly

*I was invited to attend the press trip. Disney provided travel and accommodations. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.

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I’m off to Hollywood for a few days

By the time most people read this post I’ll either be on my way to the airport or on the plane heading out West for a few days. I’m off to Hollywood to attend the Red Carpet premiere of the new Tim Burton movie, Frankenweenie. I’ll also be attending the after party. I am so excited! I can’t wait.

From the time I land in La-La Land, until the time I step foot in my home, I’ll be on the go-go-go. I will have access to my e-mail via my iPhone and iPad. I might not be able to reply right away, but I certainly will the first chance I get.

I won’t be able to post while I’m gone. I CAN access my site from my iPad, but it’s not easy to write much. If you follow my blog on a regular basis you know that I tend to write A LOT. You can expect to see posts from me on Thursday, September 27th. After I get some sleep and get over my jet lag. I don’t get home until around 1:00 AM and I have to get up at 5:30 with my daughter to make sure she’s up for school. I’ll most likely take a REALLY long nap after everyone is off to work and school.

** PR – If you are expecting a post from me or need to reach me in regards to a post, please e-mail me at SheScribes “at” Optonline “dot” net. I TRIED to build up a collection of posts to schedule while I was gone but do to health reasons (It wasn’t a good week for me) I was unable to do so. EVERYTHING will be taken care of when I return. **

I will be posting updates on Facebook and Twitter. If you don’t already follow me my Facebook page is www.Facebook.com/SheScribes and my Twitter handle is @She_Scribes.

Here is the information on some of the films I’ll be seeing, including their hashtags. There are a lot of bloggers going on this trip so I’m sure there will be plenty of tweets going on telling everyone what we’re up to. Just search for the movie’s Twitter hashtag to check out the conversation.

Frankenweenie (in theaters on 10/5/12)

http://www.Facebook.com/Frankenweenie

www.Twitter.com/DisneyPictures (#Frankenweenie)

www.Disney.com/Frankenweenie

Secret of the Wings (on Blu-Ray & DVD 10/23/12)

http://www.Facebook.com/DisneyFairies

Twitter hashtag #DisneyFairies

http://Disney.Go.com/Fairies

Wreck-It Ralph (in theaters 11/2/12)

http://www.Facebook.com/WreckItRalph

www.Twitter.com/DisneyAnimation (#WreckItRalph)

www.Disney.Go.com/Wreck-It-Ralph

Monsters Inc. 3D (in theaters 12/19/12)

http://www.Facebook.com/PixarMonstersInc

www.Twitter.com/DisneyPixar (#MonstersInc3D)

http://www.Disney.Go.com/MonstersInc

I’ll have plenty to share with everyone when I get back including pictures, reviews, interviews and more!

Have a GREAT week!!!! :-)!!!

Kimberly

*I am participating in a press junket courtesy of Walt Disney Studios. There is no financial compensation and all opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.

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