Disneyland 60, on ABC
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So... Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955 (twenty years and a couple months before I was born). Sadly, I've never had the chance to go to any Disney theme parks, and I find it hard to imagine I ever will. But anyway, I guess they started celebrating their 60th anniversary sometime in 2015, and apparently the celebration is lasting a year or so. But all I really know of it is this 2-hour special that aired on February 21, 2016. It's technically an installment of "The Wonderful World of Disney," though that isn't really a series anymore (the last regular incarnation ended in 2005), but there are occasional things that air under its title. I think this is the first such thing that I've seen, and I was a bit disappointed that there was no opening theme for the show, it just launched immediately into the special itself. And um... oh, I wanted to say that I'm sure back when the show was a regular thing, in my youth (the 1980s), I saw at least one installment that was some kind of anniversary celebration, though whether it was an anniversary of Disneyland, or Disney World, or the TV show itself, or... whatever... I have no idea. (The only thing I can say is I think it was hosted by Michael Eisner.) Of course, this special has something older anniversary specials couldn't, which is social media and interactive phone apps. I don't do Twitter or Instagram or anything like that, I'm afraid, and I don't have a smart phone. I did post a few thoughts on facebook as I watched it, but I don't think any of my friends watched the special (or care about it at all), so I'll delete those posts after I've looked at them to remind myself of things to say here.
Okay, I didn't say this on facebook, but I believe the special began with a parade, and Pentatonix singing "Be Our Guest." That was neat. The first thing I mentioned on facebook was that Helen Mirren made an appearance, and I enjoyed the fact that she was wearing a Mickey Mouse hat. I also mentioned a trailer for the upcoming live-action remake of "Pete's Dragon," which I said "looks more like the Jungle Book or something." And later I said "Decent feminism segment." And later "Suddenly wondering if everyone in the star wars galaxy has to choose which side they're on based on which part of the score they like best. If that were the case... I couldn't fault any sith or storm troopers for liking the Imperial March." (For the record, that's probably not my favorite part, though I do like it... I like pretty much all Star Wars music.)
And... that's all I said on facebook, but there was lots of other stuff in the special. Josh Gad (the voice of Olaf from Frozen) gave a little tour of a couple of aspects of Disneyland. The cast of Modern Family talked about their favorite parts of the park. Idina Menzel (Elsa from "Frozen") sang "Let It Go." Fall Out Boy sang "I Wanna Be Like You" and Ne-Yo sang "Friend Like Me" (both of those are from the recently released album We Love Disney. A couple of other singers from that album also did songs in this special, but not the ones they did on the album.) And there were various other musical performances, including two songs by Elton John ("Circle of Life" and a new one called "Wonderful Crazy Night"). And there was a medley of music from Star Wars. Also, Harrison Ford introduced a video promoting the new Star Wars lands that will soon be opening at Disneyland. And there was music from "Fantasia," and from Mary Poppins (with a guest appearance by Dick Van Dyke). And... you know, lots of other celebrity guests. And promotions of upcoming things, like "Zootopia," which was introduced by Ginnifer Goodwin and Jason Bateman. (The clip they showed was a spoof of The Godfather, and funnier than anything I've seen yet about the movie.) And... I'm sure I'm already forgetting lots of stuff.
When I think about it, there was really relatively little in the special that was specifically about Disneyland. But it was a reasonably fun celebration of Disney in general, and I really did not mind the plugs for upcoming stuff, because... it's still cool. And it's nice to know Disney is still being innovative (even when they rehash old things... seriously the new "Pete's Dragon" doesn't look like it's going to be anything like the original). And... man, I wish I'd kept notes while watching the special. (You know, better notes than a few random posts on facebook.) Because I hate forgetting details. Oh! Priyanka Chopra (from "Quantico," a show I haven't seen) talked about the upcoming opening of the newest Disney Park, in Shanghai. And, okay, if I think of anything else I'll add it later, but for now... I'm gonna shut up.