Paperman

If you saw Wreck-it Ralph, I hope you also got there early enough to see the Disney animated short Paperman. Actually, hold up. If you haven’t seen Wreck-it Ralph, find a way to see it immediately. I don’t care if the closest theater playing it is 150 miles away. I promise it will be worth it.

But if you’d still like to wait until it’s released for purchase, you can breathe easy knowing you can watch Paperman on the interwebz for free. It has incredibly beautiful animation and an equally charming story. Disney has been putting out top-notch work the last few years and I can’t get enough.

An Unexpected Journey

After several years of waiting, I finally saw the first installment of The Hobbit. Even with all the anticipation and the anxiety about the story being broken up into three films, it was truly excellent. The magic and fun of the story are easily captured and the epic scale of the original trilogy is well maintained.

Especially wonderful is the opening scene, showing an interaction between Bilbo and Frodo just moments before The Fellowship of the Ring begins. It’s a perfect nod to the trilogy we all love and shows how this new series of films will fit right in. And the very best part is the magnificent Martin Freeman, portraying the simple, yet courageous Bilbo as we always imagined.

You’re a Wizard, Harry

I haven’t posted in a while because I’ve been busy completing another item on my 30 Before 30 list, #8: Visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Clay and I took a week trip to Orlando to visit Walt Disney World and Universal Studios. We were both so excited to see the Harry Potter themed attractions, and I’m happy to say they did not disappoint. Tucked away in Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park is the cozy village of Hogsmeade. Take your picture by the Hogwarts Express, delight in the treats at Honeydukes, and experience the wand selection process at Ollivander’s. It really does transport you.

We took some time to rest at the Three Broomsticks pub and had a couple butterbeers. While it was incredibly fun, I didn’t love the flavor: a little too sweet for me!

After riding a hippogriff and taking the Dragon Challenge twice, we came upon the real highlight of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogwarts. It’s incredible to look at and even more exciting to walk through. It’s the kind of line you want to wait in, just to take in everything. See the talking paintings, visit Dumbledore in his office, help Harry, Ron, and Hermione in the classroom, and chat with the famous sorting hat. Oh, and the actual ride is awesome too.

Every fan of the movies and/or books should definitely see it. Even non-fans will find the rides exciting and well done. It was really a magical place and I can’t wait to visit again.