Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Update: Disney DVD Collection

Okay, this is getting a little ridiculous. My collection has almost doubled since the last time I posted about it (althou
gh that was probably half a year ago...).

"New" Additions (in order of most recent acquisition):

Enchanted - Widescreen Edition (I was expecting a 2-Disk Special Edition for this one...)

101 Dalmations - Platinum Edition

The Aristocats - Special Edition

Alice in Wonderland - Masterpiece Edition (won a new copy with slipcover on eBay for $20)

Robin Hood - Most Wanted Edition (a friend got me this for my birthday =D)

Cinderella - Platinum Edition (picked it up before it was vaulted this past January)

The Incredibles - 2-Disk Special Edition (my absolute, and only, favorite Pixar movie)

Hercules - Gold Collection (I FINALLY picked his one up =3)

The Jungle Book
- [40th Anniversary] Platinum Edition

Atlantis: The Lost Empire - Standard Edition (Kida is one of my favorite Disney "princesses")

The Great Mouse Detective
- Does this even HAVE an edition name?

The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- No edition name. I'll call them "Generic editions" from now on.

Lol I think that's it.

Enchanted, 101 Dalmations, Robin Hood and The Incredibles have all had near burn-out status in my DVD player because I watch them so often. On repeat. Oo-de-lally!

Hunchback is still in it's plastic wrap. I haven't gotten a chance to watch it yet.... =(

And to prepare for future releases...

Upcoming DVDs
(are you paying attention, Sheena? =P):

April 29 - Classic Caballeros Collection (Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros)

May 20 -
National Treasure: Book of Secrets

June 17 - The Sword in the Stone - 45th Anniversary Edition

August 26 -
The Little Mermaid: Ariels' Beginning

October 7 - Sleeping Beauty - [50th Anniversary] Platinum Edition

October 28 -
Tinker Bell

(I had a bunch of cover art images posted but I deleted them to try and fix the super-small text... and I'm too lazy to put them all back.)

I will DEFINITELY be getting the Sleeping Beauty Platinum Edition and National Treasure. Sleeping Beauty has turned into one of my favorite Disney movies. Dammit, Sheena! Look at what you've done! =P

As a random note, is there a reason why all DVDs nowadays have the title art in the middle of the cover art? I think Lady and the Tramp is the only Platinum Edition that has it's title logo on the top of the case, not the center.
As a fan of asymmetry, it's getting a bit annoying and I'd like a little variation every now and then... but that's just me.

Until next time!.... when I'll probably have half a dozen more DVDs... <_<

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Disney Dresses

Over the past couple of months a couple of dresses have been acquired (don't ask me how) and put on display throughout the store, and thankfully I've managed to get pictures of all of them to share with you guys!

Beauty and the Beast

A couple of days after Beauty and the Beast performed it's last Broadway show on July 29th (after a 13 year run), these dresses mysteriously appeared in the gallery. According to the little signs that were put up, each Belle dress has been different with every actress who played her, although the color scheme has always been the same. These 2 particular dresses were worn by Toni Braxton when she played Belle. The ballroom dress weighs over 50 pounds.

Even though it's pretty much common courtesy and common sense (especially since there are signs saying that these are authentic and signs that used to say "DO NOT TOUCH"), a lot of guests at the store go over the velvet ropes and touch the dresses, take pictures with them, and go behind them and put their heads on top of the manikins. That's why the ballroom dress is a little messed up. It irritates me like crazy. Thankfully these are no longer on display (everyone kept saying that by next year the dresses would have probably been destroyed from all of the rough handling). Good thing I got pictures when I did, because I had no idea that in the place of these would come...


Enchanted!!!! Sunday was host to the holiday overnight so when I went into work in the morning, I spotted these in the front display windows! I seriously did a double-take. I have absolutely no idea how we managed to get all of the key costumes. And I say all of them, I mean all of them. 5 costumes. Five.

I heard way back in the summer that the store was going to have a huge campaign for the release of Enchanted, but I had no idea we would actually get our hands on the original costumes. Thank god these are behind glass =P. I took these pictures this morning right before I went in for work. Sorry if the photos aren't so great; it was raining and because the store is on 5th avenue, you can see the traffic reflected in the glass.

Here are some really bad shots of the storefront so you have an idea on what the windows look like to the average pedestrian:

Gahhhhhh!! Stupid traffic. Hopefully the weather will be nicer later this week so I'll actually make an effort to get good pictures. From the right to left windows the costumes are: Prince Edward and Giselle, Giselle wedding, Giselle ballroom and Robert ballroom.

Oh yeah, Giselle's wedding dress also weighs over 50 pounds. It just doesn't look that ENORMOUS in the trailers, ya know? I can't imagine trying to get through Times Square night traffic in THAT.
I wonder how often it got dirty from being dragged all over the streets....

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Disney Autographs

It's been a while, hasn't it? Sorry for my lack of updates!

Anyway, this post is about my Disney-related autographs. No, I don't mean the characters at the parks... for some reason I never really got excited about those, even when I was little. I mean real people involved in the film's creation. Woot woot!

The first one that I got was from Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel. The Little Mermaid dominated close to myentire childhood so I had to basically pick my jaw off of the floor when I saw that she would be doing an autograph signing to promote the movie's Platinum Edition DVD release last year. I bought a lithograph the day before so I wouldn't have to waste time buying it the day of. Unfortunately I had a physics exam so I couldn't skip to go to the signing (all though if I knew I would wind up failing physics then I might have.. even though I did really well on that exam), so I wound up getting to the signing an hour after it had started (it was advertised to be from 12 to 2, and I got there at 1). To make a very long story short, after a LOT of begging with the store Cast Members and their manager, I got onto the line after they had cut it off.

This is absolutely one of my most prized possessions. I especially love it because she was writing "God bless! -Jodi Benson, Ariel" for everyone (that's what she wrote on my DVD cover). When it was my turn to go up to her I just stood there and said, "I just want to thank you so much for all of the work that you've done." She told me "Thank you so much, that means a lot to me." and on my lithograph wrote, "With love + God bless! -Jodi Benson, Ariel." To me that "With love" makes all the difference in the world.

Next story!

2 weeks ago in the gallery both of my managers and a whole bunch of other managers called us all over to the entrance of the Friendship Room (where the character meet and greets are) saying that they wanted to talk to us. We're standing there for at least half an hour and at first I was like "what did we do wrong?" and they were all laughing and having a grand ol' time doing nothing. After more waiting they decided to send me on my break, then as soon as I got my Swedish Fish out of the machine one guy from gallery comes and gets me and is like "they want you back now." So we all go in the Friendship Room and there's this elderly woman in a knitted hat talking friendly to the managers (and Snow White, who was there even though there was no meet and greet that day) and the 3 of us from gallery are just standing around like "okay..." It turns out that the elderly woman in the knitted hat was Marge Champion, the live action model for Snow White.

At first I was like "no way!" because Snow White is from 1937. Marge Champion filmed for the movie when she
was 14 (makes sense, since Snow White is 14 in the film), making her 84 years old. I found out that she was at the store to sign some artwork for an event not related to us, but the managers thought that it would be nice to have an autograph signing session for a small group and figured, "well how about the gallery people?" because there are only 2 or 3 of us working at a time every day. So all of the managers and the 3 of us who just happened to be in the gallery at the time all got autographs from her (they even gave us lithos that normally cost $15). The rest of the store didn't even know that she was there! Talk about lucky.

Since working there I've found out that a lot of other people who I would have KILLED to meet were at the store in the past. Ming-Na Wen (speaking voice of Mulan) I would have camped out on the street to meet. And within the past year Kathryn Beaumont (voice of Wendy and Alice) and Margaret Kerry (live model for Tinkerbell) came together. Oh, and the actors for all 4 Pevensie children came for an autograph session to promote The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe's premier a couple of years ago.

If I'm ever lucky enough to stumble onto more events then I'll be sure to let you know!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Walt Disney Classics Collection

Whenever I work the gallery floor ("Cinderella's Balcony") at work, I get to look at pretty much every type of Disney collectible in existence. Jim Shore, Lennox, Armani, Giclees, that one Lion King sericel that so one buys, that $10,000 original Tiki Room painting that has been in the store forever, petite prints, posters, postcards, Precious Moments, the new Art on Demand machine that no Guest ever really goes nuts over but at least 70% of the Cast Members already have something picked out (including myself). Yeah, that's the gallery. And out of all of the different collections we have up there, my hands-down favorite is the Walt Disney Classics Collection (WDCC).

The WDCC is really special, to me, because every color used to paint the figures are the exact same colors that were used in the original film. Not to mention that th
e WDCC figures are replicated to match the films as much as possible, as opposed to those Ariel Armani figures with the stylized distorted faces or the Starlight Originals that are totally awesome in design but are absolutely hideous close-up (Maleficent dragon is totally bad ass, but Maleficent herself has a face that only a mother could love.... if she's lucky).

Right now I don't have any WDCC figures, but I'm starting to really get into them. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I won't buy any figure that looks distorted no matter how much I love the character (remember my Ariel snowglobe? So far she's the height of sculpted perfection in my opinion, and I haven't bought any Ariel figure after her since). There was a really great limited edition Mulan WDCC figure released a couple of years ago, titled "Triumphant", but on the colored version, Mulan's face didn't look quite right. Anyway, the following are the WDCCs that I've found that really get me hyped up and excited about the whole figure line and pumps my collector's adrenaline to the max.

The One With My Name On It
Title: "Perfectly Poised"
Character: Mulan, Mulan (1998)
MSRP: $150
Size: 8 1/4"
Release Date: September 18, 2007

So far out of all of the Mulan figures and dolls that I have tracked down, this is "the one". "Triumphant" depicted Mulan riding Khan while wearing the
Crest of the Emperor and equipped with Shan-Yu's sword. Although that outfit is my favorite (and Khan looked awesome to boot), the facial sculpt for this one is just so much better (and settling for my second favorite outfit isn't so bad =P).

The One I'm Keeping an Eye On
Title: "Hop Low"
Character: Hop Low, Fantasia (1940)
MSRP: $45
Size: 2 3/4"
Release Date: Some time in 1998, I think

This one I managed to find on eBay and I'm not letting it slip past me, considering how old it is (the au
ction has 3 days left on it). From the first Fantasia film, my favorite segments have always been "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and "The Nutcracker Suite: The Chinese Dance". Pretty much everything else puts me to sleep. When I saw the little mushrooms at the Fantasia Gardens mini-golf course at MGM studios 8 years ago, I flipped out. Hop Low is so freakin' adorable, I don't know how anyone can not love him.

The One I Can't Afford... Right Now
Title: "A Dress A Princess Can Be Proud Of"
Character: Princess Aurora's Dress, Sleeping Beauty (1959)
MSRP: $545
Size: 9 3/4"
Release Date: March 19, 1999

Out of all of the Princess dresses, this one is my favorite. And it has to be pink. I was watching this one on eBay, where it's goi
ng for around $150 (which is really good considering that it's from '99 and it's a limited edition piece of 5,000 units), but I'm keeping away for now even though I technically can afford it. I think the aesthetics and sculpt of this one is absolutely amazing. AND it comes with a removable glass encasing! =O

The One I Have No Spac
e For
Title: "A Tea Party In Wonderland"
Character: Alice, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, Tea Party garden, Alice in Wonderland (1951)
MSRP: $395
Size: 5 1/2"... wait a minute. I do have space for it. o_O
Release Date: Some time in 1998

Okay. I'm stupid. I do have space for this. Anyway! The
Mad Tea Party is my absolute favorite part of Alice in Wonderland. I'm also quite obsessed with the theme park ride. This is from the WDCC's "Enchanted Places" line and is a limited edition of 4,500 pieces (there's also one of the White Rabbit's house). I found it on eBay and is currently going for $50 (WHUT.). The auction still has 3 days left on it, so we'll see how much it goes up by.

The One I'll Get If I Have a Wad of Cash to Spare
Title: "Royal Fanfare"
Character: The White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland (1951)
MSRP: $75
Size: 3 1/2"
Release Date: January 2004


Title: "Come On, Lucky..."
Character: Lucky, 101 Dalmations (1961)
MSRP: $150
Size: Lucky - 2 1/2", TV - 8"
Release Date: 1996 (was in production until 1999)

It's a toss-up between these 2. Both are on eBay, although Lucky costs a bit more... Oh the agony!

So there you have it! My current WDCC "wishlist". This is a great website if you want to look at what has been immortalized in figure form so far. Oh yeah, and there's also a Walt Disney Collector's Society. It costs $50 to join, and your membership includes an exclusive figure for that year (last year was Ariel and this year is Cinderella) and a pin of that figure. There are also WDCC figures that only Collector's Society member's can buy. I may join next year if the figure is any good (there's a great "Members Only" Steamboat Willie Mickey figure at work).

Until then!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Re: Disney DVD Collection

This one's for you, Sheena!

When I was growing up, I never owned any legitimate copies of movies until I was probably around 8 or 9. Back then VHS tapes didn't have any security devices in them and were easily duplicated. I think the only bootleg Disney tapes that have survived the last decade are The Little Mermaid and 101 Dalmations... After my aunt sent me a genuine copy of Fantasia for Christmas when I was 7 or 8, I gradually started stocking up on real videos... that and security devices were added to VHS tapes so my parents had no choice.

After a while, my Disney fandom was more or less replaced by anime fandom until, for who knows what reason, last summer 2 friends and I threw a MONSTROU
S overnight Disney animated movie marathon. Ever since I've been more or less completely obsessed with Disney, far enough that now I'm a Walt Disney World Orlando Cast Member. Anyway, here is the story of my Disney DVD collection (and yes, I do know the original theatrical release years by heart).

A majority of my favorite Disney animated classics fall under the Platinum Edition line of DVDs, which are only in print for a couple of years then go back into the Disney Vault for another 7-10 years. Because I've only recently become re-obsessed with these films, a lot of them are no longer around so I had to get them second-hand on eBay. Serves me right for not getting them while they came out, though. Luckily it seems that the other half of my favorites are still in print and are much easier to get... even though I still haven't gotten them all yet.

I also love the Platinum Editions for another reason: they're loaded with bonus features. I am a complete sucker for anything behind-the-scenes or making-of. Every DVD that I get has to be the 2-disk version if there is one available (I'm still waiting for Lilo and Stitch to be re-released on 2 disks). So far my favorites as far as making-of content have to be The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire which isn't Disney so I'll just move right along.

Here's a list of the Disney films that I do have:
1. Aladdin (1992)
2. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005) [w/Walden Media]
4. The Emperor's New Groove (2000)
5. Lilo and Stitch (2002)

6. The Lion King (1994)
7. The Little Mermaid (1989)
8. Mulan (1998)
9. National Treasure (2004)
10. The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) [w/Touchstone Pictures
11. Peter Pan (1953)
12. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
13. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
14. Pocahontas (1995)
15. Tarzan (1999)

You may notice that I didn't list Mulan II and The Lion King 1.5 and that is for this reason: I am not a fan of sequels. In the case of Pirates of the Caribbean and The Chronicles of Narnia I'm perfectly fine because they are all coherently linked for the most part, and because they're live action and the rifts between the film quality isn't blatantly obvious. I think that the sequels to the animated classics ruin the spirit of the originals.
I am absolutely horrified that Disney is giving Tinker Bell a voice in the upcoming CGI fairy movie. I haven't seen all of the sequels, but the one that I enjoyed the most was The Lion King 1.5. It gave me a really great laugh so I went out and got it on eBay for cheap. I have seen around half a dozen sequels, but I don't have the patience to reminisce through them all.

This time, here's a list of the movies that I plan on buying:
1. Hercules (1997) [I'm angry at myself for not having it yet...]
2. Brother Bear (2003)
101 Dalmations (1961)
4. Robin Hood (1973)
Sleeping Beauty (1959)
6. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
7. Monsters, Inc. (2001) [The one Pixar film that I really enjoyed...]
8. Alice in Wonderland (1951)

I've been re-watching a lot of the old films lately so I'll probably be adding a lot more later on. Is Oliver and Company even available on DVD? And I have to re-watch both Rescuers movies... I saw Bambi, Lady and the Tramp and Cinderella a couple of days ago, but I didn't enjoy them enough to track down their Platinum Editions on eBay for $40+
a piece (hm.. sound familiar?).

To conclude, here's a chart, from UltimateDisney.com, of the tentative Platinum Edition DVD release schedule and a timeline of the ones that have already been released.

Enjoy, Sheena!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Review: "Part of Your World" Snowglobe

When The Little Mermaid came out in 1989, I was 2. Yep, I'm old. Anyway, the movie pretty much completely dominated my entire childhood and even though now I hesitate to call it my favorite Disney movie, I do have an attachment and appreciation to it (did you know that it was the last cel animated Disney film?) that I don't have to any other movie.

This past January (during my summer birthday shopping) I ran across a Little Mermaid snowglobe on Disneyshopping.com that I absolutely had to get for my best friend. And since I'm not a fool, I bought one for myself, too. Thus marking the start of my very own snowglobe collection. Needless to say, my bank account has not been happy with me since.

Ariel is depicted inside of her grotto, with Flounder and Sebastian looking on just as they had in the movie. Above the "surface" Scuttle is preoccupied with a telescope (I wonder what he calls them...). There is an automatic blower inside of the dome (inside are tiny bits of sparkly and white plastic "confetti"), since it's too big and too heavy to manually shake, and when wound plays "Part of Your World."

In all of the Little Mermaid snowglobes that I've seen in the past, Ariel is usually attached to the base outside of the globe (or presented in her human form if inside of it) because of her fins. For this snowglobe, Ariel is suspended inside of the sphere by relatively thin metal bar connecting the wall of the grotto to her back. The metal is completely invisible if you're looking at Ariel head-on. It can be seen if you're viewing Ariel from the side, but it isn't very obstructive. Honestly, I hadn't noticed the metal at all for the first 10 minutes of looking at the snowglobe (or maybe I was just slow to notice it).

Ariel's sculpt also coincides with the underwater effect. Her hair is "wafting" as everyone's hair usually does underwater. And her fins are curled back, making them look much more delicate as opposed to the generic fin "pose" that makes them look rather stiff. With these details Ariel is extremely faithful to how she is animated in the film, and is what merited itself a purchase for myself.

Speaking of details, the diorama portion of the snowglobe is littered with little details from the film, which is a pleasant surprise. On top of Ariel's grotto is Scuttle and his little "island of stuff." I even double checked, and his crows nest chair is exactly how it is in the film. Scuttle is even hanging off of the edge and looking through his telescope (I wonder what he calls them...) the same way as he does in the movie.

Towards the base portion of the snowglobe, underneath the dome of water, is Sebastian and Flounder. On the left, Sebastian is looking at Ariel with a disapproving expression. Near him is also the pair of glasses that Sebastian looks through, and the pitcher that he backs himself into, during the film's "Part of Your World" sequence. In the photo you can also see the painting that Ariel references in the song ("What's a fire and why does it, what's the word, burn?").

On the right side Flounder is watching Ariel happily. He is also attached to they base by a spring, so he wobbles back and forth when touched. This was probably done in accordance to the underwater effect. At a small distance (and depending on the angle) Flounder looks as though he is not attached to the base at all, but suspended in mid-"air" just like Ariel.

Just a bit behind Flounder are the wind-up crank and the blower switch. There are also more details hidden towards the side and back of the snowglobe. On the right side of the switch is the seahorse who most people remember from the beginning of the movie (who announced the introductions during King Triton's "celebration"). Unfortunately he's discolored; in the film he's orange with (if I remember correctly) a turquoise collar thing (sorry, I don't know the proper name for it...).

If you move from the seahorse (does he even have a name?), there is a school of fish that travel from one side of the [back of the] diorama to the other. The giant mast (or whatever part of a ship that is) sticks up all the way to the top and right into Scuttle's crow's nest hangout. Both of these bring the eye across the entire perimeter and also direct the eye from the "ocean" portion of the diorama to the "surface" portion. It brings continuity to all of different elements and little details (there are more scattered objects all around the resin portion and inside of the dome, truly depicting Ariel's collection of "human stuff") of the snowglobe and interweaves them together.

On a side note, the snowglobe also had the option to come with a limited edition pin of Ariel showing a book to Flounder (from "Part of Your World"). Since I casually collect pins I decided to get it, but it really isn't worth it because pretty much every aspect of Ariel (particularly her face) looks extremely distorted. It would probably only remotely interest pin collectors because of it's edition size of 500. For fans of The Little Mermaid, pretty much every other pin available looks better than this one (See? It didn't even merit a photo).

As for the technical specs, the size of the snowglobe is approximately 10" tall and 8.5" wide and deep. It runs on 2 AA batteries (for the blower), which are included. And in case you're interested, the retail price is $99.95 USD (although I bought it on sale for approximately $75).

Although currently unavailable from Disneyshopping.com, if you happen to run across this snowglobe on eBay or any other website and are on the fence about buying it or not, buy it. This is hands down one of, if not the, best Little Mermaid snowglobe I have ever come across. The only real flaw that I've noticed is the coloring of the seahorse, but even so, he's located on the back so you can't see him when the snowglobe is on display. The details and homages to the film are so impressive that it long overcasts whatever other flaws you may possibly find.

Just be sure to turn on the blower occasionally so the confetti doesn't stick!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Review: Kingdom Hearts -Another Report-

Kingdom Hearts, for those of you who don't already know, is a popular video game franchise developed by Square-Enix (formerly Squaresoft) and Disney. The main concept is that it is an RPG that combines the worlds and characters of classic Disney films (Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, etc.) and the characters from Square's widely popular Final Fantasy series (mainly Final Fantasy VII, VIII and X, though there are others).

On March 29, 2007, the director's cut version of the third game installment: Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix+, was released in Japan. Those who pre-ordered the game through a Japanese retailer also received the book entitled Kingdom Hearts -Another Report-.

There wasn't a lot of information as to what the content of Another Report was going to be before the game was released. It was expected to have new interviews, artwork, a new manga installment by Amano Shiro, and insider information on the series. Not to mention the fact that it was not to be sold separately after the game's release. The book was also one of the main reasons why I had pre-ordered/bought the game in the first place, so I was expecting a lot from it. When I finally got it, I was slightly disappointed.

The book is on the small side, being the same size as the game box itself (same as a standard DVD case). However the hardcover is made of a smooth matted material with the cover illustration and text made with a shiny metal, slightly embossed look. It looks pretty impressive. The first page has a brand new image of Sora and Roxas eating a sea-salt ice cream bar, presumably in Twilight Town. This is also the only illustration to get full-page treatment, and is also the only Nomura Tetsuya (Kingdom Hearts' director and character designer) illustration to be featured in the entire book (there are very small images of concept sketches and some color call-out sheets later on in the book).

The next part of Another Report is very similar to the Kingdom Hearts Characters
Report books that are available. Image-wise it's a very condensed version of the Character Reports, showing only the main characters for each world (ie. under Destiny Islands only Sora, Riku and Kairi are shown. Tidus, Selphie and Wakka are nowhere to be found.). One thing that bothers me is that Deep Jungle (Disney's Tarzan) is the only world without a proper page. There are only a couple of screenshots, no world title logo, and there are no character renders for Tarzan, Jane, Clayton, etc. In fact, the screens that are shown don't have any of Tarzan's characters in them. I would assume that this has something to do with the licensing issues that Disney has over Tarzan (like how Deep Jungle wasn't allowed to be featured in the second game installment, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories). To some this is probably a minor setback, but Deep Jungle was one of my favorite worlds and I think it also tampers with Another Report's continuity.

After the story digest section (there's only material on the first Kingdom Hearts game), there's a page devoted to the "Another Side, Another Story -deep dive-" secret movie. This page looks almost exactly like something out of the Character Reports layout-wise. Across the page are the quotes, in English and Japanese, that are featured in the short movie. There are also a couple of screenshots of Roxas and Riku in The World That Never Was (plus one of Sora at the crossroads), although they're pretty much all from before their "fight" scene. I think this is also one of the only pages that doesn't have a ton of text. The images also work well with the metallic layout of the page's background, and it all looks pretty nifty. As much as I wish there was more than one page (I loved this secret movie), it's pretty sufficient.

Then starts the "Prototype Report." This section has a lot of text, but there are also some interesting pictures. The first page shows the planning sheet for the second series installment for Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, which apparently was originally named "Kingdom Hearts: Lost Memories." The next page features planning sheets and some concept art for Kingdom Hearts II. The text is, for me, too small to read so I couldn't find out who the boy is (I would assume that it was the original concept for Roxas), and what world the shown setting is supposed to be. The images are interesting none the less. The next two pages are images of the Presentation Sheet that Nomura Tetsuya presented to Disney in order to pitch the idea for the original game.

Next comes a new interview with Nomura, containing 13 topics. There were actually some interesting bits that I didn't know before. For example, Castle Oblivion had existed way before Organization XIII had used it as their base in Chain of Memories. This interview spans 7 pages of nothing but text. After the interview are 2 chapters from the Kingdom Hearts manga, adapted by Amano Shiro. The first chapter is Sora's first visit to the Hundred Acre Wood from Disney's The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. The second chapter takes place at the very beginning of Chain of Memories, before Sora, Donald and Goofy enter Castle Oblivion. It shows the story from the point of view of those who were left behind at Disney Castle (Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse, specifically), while Donald, Goofy and King Mickey have been gone on the game's main adventure.

Following a page of advertisements and ending the book is the short novel "Roxas -Somewhere in Time," which is about Roxas and Axel during the time that Roxas was a member of Organization XIII. The text is entirely in Japanese, although there are translations out on the internet if you're interested in reading it (as well as translations of the previous Nomura interview).

Another Report has a lot of text in it and if you're interested in this book and you can't speak Japanese then it may turn into a bit of a problem. If you're a big fan of the Kingdom Hearts series and planning on buying Final Mix+ regardless (if you haven't imported it already), then the book may not be a bad of an investment if you're a collector. If you're looking for more of a picture book, then you're probably better off buying the Kingdom Hearts Characters Report volumes, which are packed with renders and screenshots from characters from each world (including Deep Jungle) from all three games and have hardly any text aside from in-game quotes that are in Japanese and in English. For original artwork, there is the Kingdom Hearts Visual Arts illustration book that was released a couple of years ago (which I highly recommend, by the way), and the Kingdom Hearts Complete Visual Arts book that's headed our way some time this year.

Besides that, Another Report will probably only really satisfy those who can read Japanese and/or all of those avid Kingdom Hearts fans out there who have a hunger for anything marked as a limited edition.