Now let's see if I can get us out of Disneyland. Not that we really want to get out of Disneyland--Disneyland's awesome--but if we don't, we can't tell everybody about everything else we did. But now that I've started, I realize I need to get my cheat sheet.
And I'm back! I bet it was like I wasn't even gone!
So there we are, finally sitting in the audience to see One Man's Dream II. It started out with Mickey all black and white, dancin' around and stuff, and Minnie comes out, and they kiss. Incidentally, I feel like Mickey and Minnie kiss a lot more in Japan than they do in America. Maybe I'm imagining it, or maybe I haven't seen enough House of Mouse or rewatched any Mickey cartoons in too long. But it's true that the only show in our Disneyland with Mickey doesn't let Minnie get near him. Maybe they kiss sometimes in the Christmas parade, 'cause they're skating around being a cute couple and all.
Another thing about Mickey Mouse in Japan is that they don't seem to have all these hangups about not having him in two places at once. Why can't Mickey be at his house greeting people in Toon Town, putting on a puppet show in Super Duper Jumpin' Time, and dancing around in One Man's Dream all at once? He's Mickey Mouse! He's trained under one of the best sorcerers in the land! (I assume Yen Sid is among the best, anyway.) And yet in America he's not really allowed to do that, so I feel a little Mickey-deprived. But in Japan, that's not a problem! Yay! (Athena suggests that maybe he's a ninja, too. That would be so awesome.)
Anyway, Mickey and Minnie kiss, and then he pulls out a bouquet all magic-style (see? Mickey is magic!), and it's red! And everything goes all colorful and the dancers come out wearing bright colors, and there's a rainbow, and Goofy and Pluto and Donald and Chip and Dale and probably Daisy, too, since they seem to like matchmaking more in Japan. (Seriously, Thumper's girlfriend is super popular there.)
Next, Terk from Tarzan comes out and starts singing Trashin' the Camp with all her dancers. And then King Louie from The Jungle Book comes out and starts singing I Wanna Be Like You with all his dancers. It's funny because Terk has a male harem and Louie has a female harem. Only they're probably not really a harem, but it's funny anyway. And they're only singing the scat parts, and then they have like a scat-off type thing which is Awesome.
And then the ants come out from A Bug's Life, and Flik announces that the circus is in town and they have a little circus show. This made us very very happy, because so far they'd already brought out two of our favorite and underrated Disney movies. Not that A Bug's Life is underrated, but somehow it seems to be the least recognized of the Pixar films. They had one person dressed as Tuck and Roll who did a bunch of acrobatics. It was really neat.
The bugs were followed by the pirates--a group that looked like they'd come straight off of the Black Pearl, including Captain Jack Sparrow. They sang the pirate recruitment song from Peter Pan all in Japanese (Awesome) and were harassing Wendy, and then were joined by Captain Hook. Peter came to Wendy's rescue, and after he chased all the pirates away, Peter and Wendy had a very sweet ballet duet, and then they flew away.
Now it was time for the Wicked Queen from Snow White to make her entrance. I don't know why she always goes to the trouble of transforming into a hag, because nothing in the movie indicates that that enhances her powers in any way, but it looks cool, we guess, so they always have her do it anyway. I can imagine her in rehearsals, "I have to transform again!? Why don't I just turn you into a toad?" I don't know how they would convince her, since she's so obviously obsessed with beauty (she literally wanted to cut Snow White's heart out and put it in a box just because she was prettier than her). Athena suggests maybe they told her beauty is more appreciated when it's rarer.
Anyway, she transformed, and then they start the big musical number. There were guys dressed as spiders, that were really freaky looking. Athena says spiders don't usually scare her, but they didn't look like people in spider costumes at first, so when they started moving, she was like, "Whoa! Spiders!" And suddenly the queen was surrounded by those guys in cloaks that torment Frollo in the Hellfire song in Hunchback of Notre Dame (which for some reason we're having a very difficult time downloading from Amazon right now; we have almost the whole soundtrack but that), and Frollo shows up! And the guy they have playing Frollo looked Exactly like him, only younger and obviously wearing a wig. And he had the sneer down perfectly! It was amazing! And that was when we decided (again) that Japan is awesome for remembering all the movies we really like that nobody else will seem to watch. Seriously, even Stephen Schwartz fans seem to overlook Hunchback. Why? Whyyyyyyyy!?
Composing myself. Of course Maleficent had to make her appearance, and the three of them sang a song that was Amaaaazing. We would have bought the soundtrack for that song alone. We were very happy to see it on sale afterwards♥ (In fact, it's what I'm using as my cheat sheet to help me remember what order everything happened in. But it's still shrinkwrapped. We have the hardest time with the CDs and DVDs we bought. We can't just... watch them!)
And then they had the princess number, which started out with Prince Phillip waking up Princess Aurora, and it was beautiful--they recreated the scene from the movie perfectly, with her dress falling off the bed and everything. Soooo pretty. And Snow White had a new dress that was very cute. I hope there's pictures in the CD book so we can show Sarah. (Not only did we have a policy of not taking pictures during shows because it distracts us from actually enjoying the shows, but I think they asked for no flash photography.)
Then they cut to a film studio thing which was kind of strange. They were filming Donald Duck in a cartoon that kept changing its setting, and Goofy was the cameraman, and... stuff... And then they had a big Hollywood premiere, and everyone was wearing gold, including Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket and everyone that was there! And they had these showgirls that were wearing the cutest costumes, but were rather immodest.
And last they had a finale about Mickey Mouse, and how great he is, and last last they had another finale which I think probably means "curtain call." And it was Awesome.
After the show, it was time to find a place to sit and watch the Electrical Parade. Let me give a brief history of our experience with the Electrical Parade. It started, of course, at our Disneyland, back in the 70s, and it was Awesome. It was called the Main Street Electrical Parade, and we loved it to bits. But not enough bits, because we'd usually skip it because it was an ideal time to go on rides. One such time (as our skipping the Electrical Parade), we went on the Sky Way four times in a row without even having to get out of our bucket because there was No One in line. The Sky Way is gone now, too, sadly.
The Electrical Parade went away after 24 years, which made us very very sad. I have two theories as to why it went away, neither of which has been confirmed to me. The first is that they were developing another show, which would make a lot of sense, but I don't remember when it started or if it was soon enough after the Electrical Parade's retirement that that would be the reason. The second is that it was back in the nineties, when it was starting to get politically incorrect to be too proud of your country, and the Electrical Parade had a big patriotic finale. They took the parade away around the same time they changed the fireworks show, which also had a patriotic finale, to Believe, which did not.
Incidentally, the new show/parade thingie that started after the Electrical Parade never actually started, because they had a big sneak preview for like annual pass holders or something, and the audience hated it. A lot. We hear it got booed. But we never got to see it, so we don't know much more than that.
After California Adventure had been open a while, we figure they needed something to draw more guests (I know if I had a choice between California Adventure and the Magic Kingdom, the Magic Kingdom would win (almost) every time), and they opened the Electrical Parade over there. This was very exciting, but somehow, when we watched it there, it wasn't as good as it was in the Magic Kingdom. This could just be another instance of remembering something being more awesome because you loved it so much as a child, and then you grew up and realized it was kinda lame, but we heard someone else, who seemed to be older enough than us to have known the difference, express similar dissatisfaction with the California Adventure version. Maybe one of these days, we'll watch the DCA version and compare it to the commemorative video we got when the parade first retired.
Aaaaanyway, that brings us to Japan. Their Electrical Parade kicks our Electrical Parade's butt. Like I've said before, they're very good with the sparklies in Japan. I wonder if it's all the shoujo manga *grin* It starts out with the Blue Fairy, like always, only she's fancier. Everything is fancier, but not too much fancier. They changed the Cinderella part so that she's standing on a float with her Fairy Godmother, and her dress changes magically as she moves down the parade route. And Alice is riding on a giant Cheshire Cat float instead of a mushroom, and Snow White has a pretty float with a tree on it, instead of just dancing around on the ground like she did before. And they had Beauty and the Beast stuff! But he was still a beast this time. And of course, if you look at the Tokyo Disneyland website, you'll know they have Pixar floats.
And that's about all I remember, but it was Awesome.
Our plan was to watch the fireworks after the parade and then do some shopping before heading back to the hotel, but the fireworks show was only like five minutes long. This was unexpected, because we expected an Asian country to put more stock in fireworks, but apparently that was ignorantly racist of us. And we apologize. But anyway, now we had some extra time, so we went on Winnie the Pooh's Hunny Hunt again, because the rule is if there's time to go on another ride, you go on Indiana Jones. But they didn't have Indiana Jones, so we skipped to the next rule, where if you still have time, you go on the ride you'd most regret not having been on one more time (and/or whatever's closest).
And then we bought CDs, decided not to try to decide on souvenirs for family members because we were tired and figured we could get stuff at Disneysea the next day, and made the trek back to our hotel. That's when we learned just how far the Yurakucho line stop at Nagatacho is from our hotel. It's far.
But we made it back, and even got to struggle to stay awake while we watched some of... Allison and... something... a new anime that we saw posters of all over Akihabara. But afterward it had a little thing with Yu Asakawa and... the guy she was with... I think I even know who he is, I just forgot. I was very very tired. They talked about how he brings his own earphones to recordings.
And now I have finally finished reporting about our first full day in Japan. I suppose it would go faster if I'd cut it out with the random tangents, but that's what makes them fun.
Today I'm thankful for sparkly lights, One Man's Dream, the Hercules soundtrack and our now owning it again (our cassette copy that we bought way back when the movie first came out (wow eleven years ago...) got stepped on an crushed *sniffle* It still worked, but then it got lost), having the freedom to choose whether or not I want to go camping, and being surrounded by kitties.