Monday, August 25, 2008

The Little Mermaid Ariel's Beginning swims to Catalina Island

Last Saturday was an eventful day as I ventured to Catalina Island off the coast of California with my niece and nephew. It was quite a surprise when I first received the media alert that Disney was going to host the DVD Island Premiere of "The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Beginning" on the island about 45 miles away from the shores of Long Beach and San Pedro, CA.

Jodi Benson.

Living in Southern California, this was going to be my first time setting foot on the island along with Madison and Merle Jr (my niece and nephew respectively). Taking a quick 45 minute ride on the Catalina Express was a trip on its own as I was worried we would get seasick. Thank God that didn't materialize as we reached the shores of the town of Avalon on Catalina Island. It was a surreal feeling as we strolled down the streets of Avalon. The weirdest thing is that you either traveled by walking, golf carts or a shuttle on the island. From what I was told is that they limit the amount of cars on the island.

As we walked our way to the dvd launch event, we strolled through the various gift shops and stop to take a breather as we watched beach goers jump into the bay. What a picturesque walk it was. We finally made it to the historic Avalon Theater and Casino and were greeted by the publicity staff.

Noticing the carpet was blue, my niece says, "Uncle, you lied. You said we're going to a red carpet premiere, but the carpet is blue." I had to assure her that this was a red carpet premiere. However, at times they change the carpet color to match the theme of the movie which is the blue ocean. Whew! She forgave me.

After about a 45 minute wait, we were treated to the voice actors of the movie. Starting off the carpet was Samuel E. Wright, the man who gave life to Sebastian. He was joined along with his wife. Mr. Wright definitely could feel the heat as he was sweating bullets after he finished being photographed by the photogs.

Samuel E Wright

Jodi Benson was looking lovely in her aqua/blue dress. Young Parker Goris who voiced Flounder gave us a thumbs up as he waded through the carpet.

Parker Goris gives a thumbs up to the movie.

Celebrity guests and their family included, Casper Van Dien, Catherine Oxenberg, Brooke Smith, Cynthia Watros, Kevin James, Jennifer Stone and Jillian Clare.

Melora Hardin and family ready to watch the film.

Jennifer Stone leaves the "Witches of Waverly Place" to see the magic under the sea.

Still working on taking photos, my nephew made all the photographers and video crews laugh as he shouted, "Uncle, uncle. Aren't we going in yet. You're going to make us watch the movie." One photog colleague said, "Oh you're in trouble, you better take care of him before you make him miss the movie." That was my cue to bolt for the carpet for a quick minute and find my niece and nephew seats.

Before the movie began, we were treated to a number by Jodi Benson, voice of Ariel. It's funny to see that her voice is Ariel but you wouldn't think it'd be. Director Peggy Holmes also had a few words for the audience members. She thanked the cast and crew for giving some much for helping make the movie a potential success.

As the lights dimmed, the movie commenced with young Ariel playing with her father, mother, sisters and citizens of the sea. We watched as the jovial scene segued into what happened to Ariel's mother to her growing up into the inquisitive mermaid that seems to get into trouble.

With new songs interspersed into the film, it is a definite must have for families who love "The Little Mermaid."

The dvd will be released on August 26.


WOW Gold said...

This is such a beautiful place.

gourmet popcorn said...

Looks like a good way to start things.