Andi Mack’s LGBTQ Storyline Is Revealed

Thursday the news broke that Andi Mack would be receiving the first coming-out storyline in the history of Disney Channel (or any live-action American kids show, for that matter). I saw the headline and knew that it had to be Cyrus.

If you’ve watched the show at all (which you really must, as it’s fantastic), you probably guessed Cyrus would be receiving the storyline as well. I was hoping it would happen as I watched Season 1, as all signs pointed to it. Joshua Rush, the actor who plays Cyrus, was adding quirks here and there that I absolutely related to every time I caught them. The excitement of having a girlfriend, even when you knew it wasn’t in a attraction way. Feeling super awkward around the cute popular guys. Never understand “bro” stuff. Feeling super self-conscious being called girly. He played every one of those situations with great finesse, but also with an underlying understanding that there was more to Cyrus than what was being said aloud.

Friday night Andi Mack returned for a 2nd season with an hour-long premiere. The moment occurred about 20 minutes in and once Buffy sat across from Cyrus at The Spoon, I knew it was coming. The music stopped. The emotions were high. Take a look:

I didn’t expect to cry, but I did. A lot. I don’t think a tear has rolled down my cheek in at least 3 years. It was a combination of so many things. It was knowing that so many kids will watch this and it will help them realize something about themselves. It was being proud that Disney was the one to break this ground for a children’s program. It was relating to that moment. It was seeing that strong support system from Buffy (the fab Sofia Wylie) was in place. It was hearing “You’re No Different.”

The cast of the show has been using social media to express support for the storyline and understand the weight of this monumental scene. They’ve been using #YoureNoDifferent and that is such a strong message within this context for the network.

I was stunned at how much weight the moment had within the episode and how it was handled. Joshua’s answer to “Do you like Andi?” was so powerful that it hit me like a brick wall. It had so much behind it. That feeling of knowing that the truth is about to come out, and the reaction from the person could go very wrong very fast, but not being able to say anything in response. It was fantastic. He couldn’t even get the word “no” out of his mouth, as he didn’t want to say anything that could insinuate anything to Buffy.

Buffy’s comforting, yet forceful “You’ll be okay. I promise,” made the tears flow even faster. He has a strong support system in place which will make this personal journey for him so much easier.

Later in the episode, they touched on some topics that excite me for the rest of the season. They touched on competing for the same boy (in a light hearted way). Cyrus brought up having a “cover-up” girlfriend, or rather, just getting a girlfriend when he’s coming to terms with his own sexuality. Buffy realized, very quickly, that the coming out process isn’t a one-and-done situation and he’ll have to be patient with Cyrus as he comes to terms with himself more and more. It was all superbly done.

I know that if I saw this as a tween, I don’t think I would’ve been as combative. I wouldn’t have felt the need to suppress the word for years, even though I knew, deep down, it was true. I would’ve found my own Buffy, gone to her, and helped be my true self.

I didn’t expect to feel so proud of a character or so emotional. I am not one to cry over things, but I’ve cried three times over the scene. THREE.

I hate saying the word proud in these cases, as I have no relation to these cast members or “ownership” of the show, however I can’t find a better word to describe my feelings. I am so proud of the cast and crew of Andi Mack for tackling this storyline. I’m proud of Terri Minsky for making sure this aired on Disney Channel. I’m proud of Disney for airing it and bringing in GLAAD and other LGBTQ representation groups to work on getting the plot just right. I’m proud of Joshua Rush and Sofia Wylie for being at the forefront of this storyline and being incredible at revealing all the emotions surrounding it time and time again. I’m just proud.

I’m looking forward to the conversations this will bring up. I’m looking forward to see how this plotline continues. I’m looking forward to crying more.

 

 

 

 

Disney Springs Playlists: Fall 2k17

Over on LaughingPlace.com, I created “On-Ride Playlists” for a while. Based on a tweet I read from Aaron Wallace (This has become Six Degrees of Separation and I’m sorry), I would pick music in different genres and pair them with a ride where the mood and tone would fit perfectly. I did a few, but then got stressed out, as I kept wanting to pair different songs with the same ride. (Y’all, a LOT works of Expedition: Everest)

Sometimes you just want to listen to your own music, I get it. So now, I present you with Disney Springs Seasonal Playlists! Every season, we’ll bring you around a dozen songs that will make your shopping and dining experience at the Springs perfect. They won’t necessarily be new tunes, but they will accompany the season and the shopping perfectly. We’ll attach links to the playlists on Apple Music and Spotify every month, so you can stream them easily at the Springs. It’s time for your first Fall playlist!

(The Spotify playlist will show up, in full, every time. If you want to access the Apple Music version, which has the same exact songs, just hit the link below.)

Apple Music Playlist

Tweet us pictures/videos of yourself jamming out at the Springs @disneyBOP and we’ll share our favorites!

Preserving the Heart of the Tahitian Language with “Moana”

I am so grateful and thrilled to introduce this fantastic post by Dr. Natalie Keefer, my former AP Human Geography teacher! She got really got me into linguistics, so I had to ask her to write about this. Enjoy! 

Thousands of years ago, small groups of humans sailed towards far away lands in the Pacific with a keen sense of how to navigate through the Pacific Sea on small sailboats. Over time, the language spoken by these peoples would morph into what is known as the Polynesian language family – a cluster of languages widely spoken on the Pacific Islands. From these languages were born the cultures that inspired the creation of Disney’s movie Moana. Since language is the heartbeat of culture, transmitting its myths, beliefs, and customs, the upcoming Tahitian language version of Moana is an important decision on the part of Disney to honor and preserve the Polynesian cultures that are represented in the film.

Disney wisely assembled a group of experts in Polynesian culture, known as the Oceanic Trust, to serve as culture, language, music, and dance advisors during the creation of the movie. The Oceanic Trust was comprised of a team of anthropologists, historians, linguists, and cultural experts on Polynesian culture who lent their expertise in assuring as much cultural authenticity as possible in the creation of Disney’s Moana. However, the movie Moana was still subject to scrutiny. One of the complaints from Polynesian community concerned the depiction of the revered Polynesian God Maui who is portrayed in Polynesian folklore as a trim and powerful youth. Why was he stereotypically depicted as an obese Samoan surfer-dude? Also, the use of coconuts to portray the Kakamora, short-statured people from the Solomon Islands, as pirates appropriates from a cringe worthy cultural slur of Polynesians as “coconut people”.1 Lastly, Polynesian culture is diverse; there are numerous differences in ritual, language, and beliefs across the vast expanse of the Pacific. However, in Moana the mix of Polynesian culture and language was depicted as uniform. Despite these concerns, the Oceanic Trust’s advice was instrumental in creating a film that included many accurate representations of Polynesian dance, song, and culture. The Oceanic Trust was also influential is securing from Disney an agreement to produce the much-anticipated Tahitian version of the movie as homage to the Tahitian culture and language.

In the English version of Moana, Polynesian language is interspersed throughout the film, mostly included in the Tokelauan lyrics of the song We Know the Way. This is prehistorically accurate if Moana is Samoan, hailing from the birthplace of Polynesian culture before the reawakening of island exploration.2 Today only a few thousand speakers of the Tokelauan language remain. Most speakers of Tokelauan live on islands that belong to American Samoa where the predominant language is English. This leaves the Tokelauan language at risk of becoming extinct, and with the extinction of the language comes the extinction of the culture, including its folklore, beliefs, and the secrets of the way of life of its speakers. It is for this reason that the retelling of Moana in another Polynesian language, Tahitian, is important for the preservation of Polynesian culture and language.

Fewer than 125,000 people speak the Tahitian language in French Polynesia. Its closest relatives are languages spoken in the Pacific such as Hawaiian and Rarotongan, a Maori dialect spoken on the Cook Islands.3 In order to preserve Polynesian culture the use of Polynesian languages in schools, in the community, and in the media is essential. In the South Pacific, English and French are widely represented in the media and spoken for business purposes. The dominance of English and French in the South Pacific has led to the near extinction of thousands of local languages such as Tokelauan and Hawaiian. On the Hawaiian Islands, for example, there are fewer than 2,000 native speakers. Tahitian is not in as precarious of a situation as Tokelauan or Hawaiian because it is still used in the media. Tahitian enjoys limited use in schools, allowing children to be socialized and educated in the language, yet another example of how Tahitian has fared better than its linguistic counterparts on other Polynesian islands. This may be why Disney selected Tahitian for the Polynesian language version of Moana. There are enough Tahitian speakers today that creating a version of Moana in this language can have an impact on the preservation of Polynesian culture and language. Polynesian language use in movies such as Moana, and Disney’s pledge to produce a Tahitian language version of the film is an important step on the road to preserve and instill pride in Polynesian culture for future generations.

Casting for the Tahitian language version of Moana began in October, 2016 with the assistance of Oceanic Trust member Hinano Murphy. Ms. Murphy can select the cast of Moana from a relatively large population of Tahitian speakers. Tahitian is the most widely spoken of the indigenous languages in French Polynesia, with 24% of all inhabitants speaking Tahitian at home. Hinano Murphy hopes that the Tahitian version of Moana will serve as an educational tool that will inspire the Tahitian community to maintain their pride and use of the Tahitian language. Ms. Murphy’s sentiment is key because children’s films such as Moana target the youth population that is vital for language revitalization projects. Teachers and parents will be able to use Moana as an educational resource for teaching children the Tahitian language in its spoken form. Successful language revitalization programs target youth, especially when indigenous languages, like Tahitian, were replaced by European languages for communication and business. In these cases, generational language loss often occurred because parents and members of the community believed that the indigenous language was not valuable for their children in the job market. However, a Tahitian language version of Disney’s Moana may inspire hope for many people who are interested in the revival of indigenous Polynesian languages.4 Disney’s popularity among children and parents has the capacity to reinforce pride in Polynesian culture, and the Tahitian version of the Moana will serve as an effective educational resource for Polynesian culture and the Tahitian language.

 

References

1.      Herman, Doug. “How the Story of “Moana” and Maui Holds Up Against Cultural Truths”. The Smithsonian. December 2, 2016. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-story-moana-and-maui-holds-against-cultural-truths-180961258/

2.      de Ferrière, Jacques Franc. “The True Origins of Disney Princess Moana”. Tahiti Infos. July 9, 2017. http://www.tahiti-infos.com/The-true-origins-of-Disney-princess-Moana_a142314.html#

3.      “Tahitian”. Omniglot. July 9, 2017. http://www.omniglot.com/writing/tahitian.htm

4.      “Disney Offers Tahitian Translation of Moana”. ABC News: Pacific Beat. November 11, 2016. http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2016-11-11/disney-offers-tahitian-translation-of-moana/8019132

 

 

Natalie Keefer is an Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education with a background in educational anthropology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

 

“Big Hero 6 The Series” Premieres November 20th

After a solid year of previews, clips, and hints at what’s to come. However, we officially have a premiere date! Monday, November 20th at 8pm on Disney Channel and Disney XD will be the premiere of Big Hero 6 The Series: Baymax Returns.

The one-hour premiere will focus on Hiro’s recreation of Baymax using the chip he finds at the end of the film. (Sorry if that spoiled anything, but you’ve had 3 years to watch. I have no sympathy for you.)

Here’s the official description of the premiere from Disney:

“Set in the fictional city of San Fransokyo, “Baymax Returns” explores the moment in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-winning feature film after Hiro believes that his compassionate, cutting-edge robot Baymax is lost in the portal forever and discovers the chip his brother Tadashi designed to create Baymax. 14-year-old tech genius Hiro begins school as the new prodigy at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology and sets off to rebuild Baymax, but his overconfidence and penchant for taking shortcuts leads him and the newly minted Big Hero 6 team – Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Go Go and Fred – into trouble.”

Well, that sounds like a fun start! After the one hour premiere, we’ll have to wait a few months before actual episodes start premiering. Early 2018 will see weekly episodes released on Disney XD, but the Disney Now app will have two episodes premiere immediately following the one-hour episode.

All I know is that I’m excited. The clips we’ve seen are great and the intro song has been stuck in my head for months. Be sure to check out the premiere on November 20th!

Club Mickey Mouse Kicks It Old School & Inspirational

To quickly get the recap out of the way: I love Club Mickey Mouse arguably too much, their music is all I’ve listened to for weeks now, and they recently released two new songs!

“Generation M” is a 90s style R&B bop that I’ve been jamming to hard since it’s release. Regan gets her time to shine with a killer rap, then Brianna comes out and slays like chorus with some smooth riffs. The video, weirdly, doesn’t cover the entire song and I’m not entirely sure why, but it’s fun none the less. Those yellow overalls are my new aesthetic.

“Be Ok” was released this past Thursday to celebrate National Bullying Prevention Month. It’s a fun and inspirational pop tune about being there for each other when someone’s down. Ky gets his turn to solo (and does a great job!), along with Leanne, Regan, and Brianna. Check out the infectiously bubbly beach music video below.

I’ve seen mixed things across their social media, but this might be the final week of Club Mickey Mouse and I’m actually devastated. I hope this turns into something more, like a weekly variety show like the other incarnations. (Looking at you, Disney Channel) Here’s hoping, as these past 5 weeks have been great. Keep on Mousin’!

Club Mickey Mouse at Disney World: Marshal Freaks

As we know, I love Club Mickey Mouse. Like, to an obsessive degree. Seeing this crop of mouseketeers on Instagram and Facebook everyday has brought me so much joy. It brightens my day and makes me want to roll around in a mountain of plush Mickeys. I love it so much!

The music has been on repeat on my phone and in my head, I am adamantly trying to copy the mouseketeers aesthetics, and I’m trying to pitch Oh My Disney through social media to let me interview/meet/party with them. (Side Note: It hasn’t worked yet)

So, to my surprise, I ended up having a Disney day planned for the Magic Kingdom the same day the Mouseketeers would be at the parks. This past Saturday, September 30th, I made my way to the parks with one goal in mind: To see the Mouseketeers.

Now, I had seen on Instagram the night before that they’d be the Grand Marshals for the parade, but I wanted to see them just roaming around the park. I had Boomerangs planned if I had the opportunity to ask for a picture. I was NOT playing around.

I eventually saw that the Mouseketeers were at different parks and I was all kinds of bummed. I wanted to do the Mickey Mouse Club March choreo with them! I decided to suck it up and get a prime spot for the parade.

They came down the parade route in the Grand Marshal car as the Mickey Mouse Club March blasted down Main Street and I was STOKED. The pink banner leading the way (above) is something I’d gladly hang on my wall. Y’all don’t even know. I was singing and jamming and my friend was over it almost immediately. BUT IT’S SO GOOD!

As the Mouseketeers went by, they pointed and shouted at me as I was jamming. I was the only one along my area of the parade route showing ANY emotion, so they seemed to appreciate that. I was THRILLED to be their biggest stan.

So, I had an Instagram Story detailing the day’s events and my various freakouts over seeing them, but I went and accidentally deleted it and I am devastated. It went from an all-time high to an all-time low mighty quickly.

Overall, I freaked and loved seeing the Mouseketeers live, I cannot wait to see more music from them, and Oh My Disney, in the words of Meredith Grey…

Image result for pick me choose me love me gif

Club Mickey Mouse is Made for You & Me!

There’s been a large break between posts lately and I a very sorry for that. School and work have gotten in the way (Public Speaking will be the death of me), so I haven’t been able to keep updating the site at the pace I’d like to be.

However, during these long breaks I have become totally obsessed with Club Mickey Mouse. Like, really obsessed.

If you aren’t aware, the Mickey Mouse Club brand has returned this year with a social-media-only series entitled Club Mickey Mouse. Instead of a televised 30-minute program with skits and music performances, we just get one music video a week. The production quality is fantastic, so I’m totally fine with it.

While we wait for the release of the song and video, we are treated to a large social media presence, with consistent Instagram Stories and posts on their Instagram and Facebook pages. The whole “season” is lasting 7 weeks and is sponsored by HP, but it doesn’t feel totally forced.

We’ve been treated to 3 music videos thus far. “The Mickey Mouse Club March” was the first, ’cause obvi, and it really took the song and turned it into its own thing. It has a modern feel (with the pastel colors used in the video and the emphasis on dance), while the song itself was rearranged into a late 90s R&B sound that I really dig. The rap at the beginning was a fun touch and the riffs from Mouseketeer Brianna Mazzola are something you would find on TLC’s CrazySexyCool. SO SMOOTH. This has been on repeat for 2 weeks now. It’s so fun.

The second video was the original “Something to Fight For,” an original written and choreographed by the Mouseketeers (which is a reoccurring theme, that the actual teens are doing the choreography, all of it being fantastic). It had an inspirational message with a moody EDM tone that took me a few listens to really get into, as it was not expected, but I’m digging it.

This week, we were treated to a cover of Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back”. I hate Jackson 5. Everyone has a song they can’t stand, and for me, it’s anything the group has released. However, what the Club did to the track by making it a duet with some R&B and modern pop flair has made it an instant hit. Sean and Brianna do a fantastic job with the vocals and the video is super fun.

Apparently they are heading to the Disney World this week (Hey Oh My Disney, you need someone to interview them? ‘Cause I am here. I AM AVAILABLE!), so I’m excited to see their upcoming videos from that.

Also, their wardrobe across the board is goals. I’m loving the personal styles they all have and I want all their clothes.

Overall, if you’re not following this modern and fantastic reboot of the pop culture institution…get into it! I need a 2nd season, so I’m going to fully blame you if they don’t return next year, mkay?

 

Book Club: “A Wrinkle In Time” Update

So, here’s the dealio book clubbers (if any of you actually exist),

I still want the book club to continue, but weekly just doesn’t make sense like I initially thought it would. We’re still a new site, so expecting a book club to work on a weekly basis is impossible.

I still want to read the book, so a month from today, September 30th, I’ll come back here to discuss the entire book and we’ll chat from there.

Cool?

Cool.

See you then.

The Official Unofficial Disney Slang Dictionary

I have a problem where I start to say something ironically, but it ends up becoming my normal language. Like, totes. I’ve decided I need to bring some new slang words into my personal dictionary and what better way than to support phrases made famous by Disney. When you think about it, we have been introduced to numerous words and phrases that originated in Disney films and television, so why not make them part of the lexicon? Here’s an alphabetical list of Disney slang that you should add to your own personal vocabulary. Be sure to tweet @disneyBOP some entries for words we’ve missed and we’ll add them to our dictionary.

 

Bitch BabyScandal: Definition – Wimp; “Stop being such a little bitch baby and suck it up”

Cetus-Lupeedus/Zetus-LapetusZenon: Definition – A feeling of exclamation, similar to OMG; “Cetus-Lupeedus, I can’t believe that rocket ship launched!”

CoconutsJake and the Neverland Pirates: Definition – Bummer; “I dropped my books. Ah, coconuts!”

Dance It OutGrey’s Anatomy: Definition – Relax and refocus, to ignore surroundings and move with a sense of joy; “You seem down. We need to dance it out.”

GrooveThe Emperor’s New Groove: Definition – Mood, current headspace; “Stop talking about the homework due tomorrow, you’re throwing off my groove.”

Hakuna MatataThe Lion King: Definition – No worries; “I’m late to the movie, but Hakuna Matata.”

Inky Zenon: Definition – Gross, Bad; “Ugh, this fish is so inky.”

Later DaysThe Weekenders: Definition – See you later; “Okay, I have to go now. Later days!”

My Life is TrashPepper Ann: Definition – To convey that something is going through a struggle; “I got an F on this test. My life is trash.”

Noodle PB&J Otter: Definition – Brain; “Use your noodle to make a decision.”

OodelayPB&J Otter: Definition – A greeting, similar to Aloha; “See you soon! Oodelay!”

So Not the DramaKim Possible: Definition – No worries, no big deal; “You can’t come tonight? So not the drama, we can reschedule!”

Sweet NibletsHannah Montana: Definition – Exclamatory phrase like ‘good lord,’ can be positive or negative; “He ate the last brownie? Sweet Niblets!”

Tinsel Prep & Landing: Definition – Positive word, like great or awesome; “Oh my goodness, that’s so tinsel!”

To the Tenth Power SquaredZenon: Definition – to further accentuate importance;
“That movie was incredible to the tenth power squared.”

What’s the Sitch?Kim Possible: Definition – What’s happening, what’s the plan; “Hey Wade, what’s the sitch?”

WhompsRecess: Definition – Sucks; “We have homework over the weekend?! This whomps.”

Ya Nasty – That’s So Raven: Definition – Someone is insulting or rude; “Can you stop looking at me like that, ya nasty?!”

Book Club: “A Wrinkle In Time” Chapters 1-2

It’s finally here! The first episode of our Book Club podcast! Full disclosure: This is me rambling about the first two chapters of A Wrinkle In Time for about 15 minutes. I promise I’ll sound less idiotic as these continue, but I’m going to give myself a pass for first time jitters and confusion. Remember, feel free to join in the conversation using #WrinkleBOP on Twitter or right here in the comments.

Now, currently the podcast is only available here. We are currently working on getting it on iTunes, and once that happens, I will post the episode(s) there and let everyone know that is an option.

Our next section will be Chapters 3 & 4 and should be read by a week from today, August 30th. See you then and Happy Reading!