The Art of Random Willy-Nillyness: October 2017
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Monday, October 30, 2017

The man behind Thor Ragnarok - Inteview with director Taika Waiti! #thorragnarokevent

Disclosure: I attended the #ThorRagnarokevent and my expenses: flight, accommodations, transportation and some meals were be covered by Disney. All opinions, however, are always 100% mine.

Like the movie, the interview with Thor Ragnarok director, Taika Waititi, was out there. But out there in a good way. Taika is is funny and crazy and I totally see his mark on Thor Ragnarok. From the moment he came into the room, we were mesmerized by the whirlwind that is Taika. When I wrote this post, it was so hard to get parts of the interview to use. It was really a stream of consciousness sort of thing.

I tried my best to give you a taste of Taika and how he came to direct Thor Ragnarok. I also want to say that the movie so encapsulates his own personality: funny, frenetic and entertaining. It's a little choppy but that's Taika. Enjoy this interview because I know I did.

Photo Credit: Allison Waken / 

On directing Thor Ragnarok:

It was harrowing and exciting. My experience was making very independent films, low budget, 25-day shoots and my first reaction really was I guess Marvel Company lost their mind or they’re just asking anyone to do anything. I was really unsure if I really wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I was already getting too comfortable and I wanted to start learning stuff.

I started feeling I was kind of threading water a little bit and I wanted to just keep upping the game and learning and then we did the pitch with Marvel and they’re really amazing people and the thing with [the] pitch is that a lot of people think it’s been about pitching stories. I just think it’s just about assessing each other out, figuring out if you want to hang out for two years. So, we went and hung out in Marvel offices and they were really great in those trailers and I haven’t had any regrets.

Photo Credit: Allison Waken / 

On playing Korg:

I'm a self-saboteur. Any chance I get to, you know, to put my career at risk I’ll just do it. I will [put]  myself up in any film I do. But with so many eclectic characters and crazy elements in this film you often need something grounding for the audience. I feel really good at playing mum characters. Korg is very much the mother of the prison and looks after everyone. I think audiences appreciate having someone that’s just down to earth and gentle because you need that.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

Improvisation in the movie:

A lot of the scenes in this film were ad libbed and there’s a lot of stuff in the film that’s ad libbed.

We used the script on the film. I used the script as a kind of template, as a sort of suggestion for where we can go. We’ll do a version of it and then we’ll play around, spend another hour or so just making stuff up because I mean you write dialogue six months before you shoot, you think it’s amazing at the time but, you don’t even know what will change or it might be a bore so yeah, so it changes on the day.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

Fun on set:

I ruined most of the takes by even being in the scene laughing off camera and because the way I do it is I'm closest to the actors and just stand there say this, say this, say this. Poke them in the shoulder and that’s a real god complex problem. You know you can just like manipulate people. I can’t believe I'm making Anthony Hopkins whatever I want.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

On Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song:

When I went in for my pitch I was a massive fan [of Zeppelin]. Ever since I was a kid I listened to all the LPs and all my mom’s records. I went to the pitch and I made this sizzle reel which is like I basically ripped tiny clips from multiple movies to show my idea for what the tone of the film would be and it was from [clips] to Sixteen Candles, Big Trouble in Little China, and the entire thing was to Immigrant Song and so yes playing this whole clip and at the end I talked to Kevin about it.

I went and talked about it a couple of times and that was one of the strong points about [my] pitch. It was either him or another one of the execs said wow, that’s cool. I was like okay. Because of that it became the song and we were able to use it somehow in the film and I mean I couldn’t be happier that it’s in. I mean it’s the perfect song for the movie about Thor.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

On the actors’ performances:

I knew Jeff would be that good but my favorite performance is Chris’s performance because just knowing how fun he is and how funny and he’s charming and he often is the kind of makes you feel like oh, man if you actually were Thor I would totally come and be with you. I just love having the opportunity to give him free range to just be himself and to be charming and to like be the favorite character and, in particular, him and Mark I think together when they’re bouncing off each other I love that.

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios

On Loki:

I think people, if you come to expect it too much you know, the thing about Marvel, the decisions they make, the stories also and directors [they choose]. It’s like the most unexpected choice was me to direct this film; even for me. I think if it gets predictable you come into the movies and [think] Loki’s doing the same thing. I don’t think it’s as satisfying as seeing that character come through the other end of it through a true story. It’s satisfying seeing how finally two brothers can get over the crap.

I loved that. You know, that was something that I thought yeah because that’s actually what life is about. It sometimes does take 15 years to decide if you like someone or not.

 Photo Credit: Allison Waken / 

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THOR: RAGNAROK opens in theaters everywhere November 3rd! 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok Giveaway! #ThorRagnarok #THBGiveaway

Okay guys. You all know that I was out in Los Angeles and saw the world premiere of Thor Ragnarok. It is an amazing movie and so much fun. You can read my review here.

The best part is that a bunch of us bloggers got together and we are bringing you a great giveaway! You can win several items that are so much fun. This giveaway comes right in time for the holidays. SO enter!

The latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to hit theaters in the U.S. and is already at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. Thor: Ragnarok is packed with a stellar cast and lots of laughs! In order to help celebrate, The Hopping Bloggers have come together to give one lucky winner a HUGE Thor: Ragnarok prize pack worth $250!

The Thor: Ragnarok Prize Includes:

Products subject to change based upon availability.

About Thor: Ragnarok

In Marvel Studios’ THOR: RAGNAROK, Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok—the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization—at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladiatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger—the Incredible Hulk! THOR: RAGNAROK is directed by Taika Waititi and returns Chris Hemsworth starring as Thor and Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki. They are joined by Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson and Karl Urban, with Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Hopkins.

See Thor: Ragnarok in Theaters 11/3!

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Enter to win this Thor: Ragnarok Prize Pack using the form below. GOOD LUCK!

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

Interview with Chris Nee, Executive Producer, of Vampirina! #vampirina

Disclosure: I attended the #ThorRagnarokevent and my expenses: flight, accommodations, transportation and some meals were be covered by Disney. All opinions, however, are always 100% mine.

Vampirina is the new girl in town! Join Vampirina “Vee” Hauntley and her new human friends as she brings spook-tacular fun from Transylvania to Pennsylvania! Whether making their own “Spine-Chiller” music videos or planning parties for friendly Transylvanian guests, Vee and her friends always figure out how to have fang-tastic adventures!

We were fortunate enough to meet and interview Chris Nee, executive producer, of the new Disney Junior show, Vampirina. She was great! We also saw one of the current episodes. Vampirina is a cute show that is perfect for kids of all ages. I also think adults will love it as well.

Vee and her family are different but that's okay. I think that the lesson of the show that different is okay. My favorite character was Gregoria, played by Wanda Sykes. I think it's because I love Wanda Sykes. But all the characters are great. I think the idea that Vee is a vampire and her friends accept her is very cool.

Here are some highlights from our interview with Chris Nee! And a featurette with the Ghoul Girls!

Her secret to writing shows that appeal to both children and adults.

I think it’s incredibly important because what I really want to do is bring families together to watch shows. I think those shows that so actively alienate the parents really create the separation in the enjoyment. For me, for whatever reason, I have a great ability to remember what it felt like to be a kid and that’s obviously what I’ve tapped into for twenty years working in kids TV.

I’m writing for myself. I’m trying to make myself laugh and I’m trying to work out my own stuff and remember my own childhood and remember those feelings and write the world that I hope we can live in, but I’m really writing for myself. I’m also a mom so, I certainly know what it’s like to want your kid to watch shows that the music is something you can stand because you’re going to watch it a lot.

Photo Credit: Allison Waken /


I will say I really love Gregoria. Gregoria and Demi I added to the cast because, obviously the books are such a huge inspiration, but there’s a lot that’s not there in terms of building out a world that you can tell X amount of stories every week. I really wanted the comic relief and I really like intense specificity of character and you can see that on Doc [McStuffins] where everyone’s really solidly who they are.

I wrote Gregoria for Wanda [Sykes] having no idea she would say yes. That character was the biggest leap of faith because she’s a very cantankerous character for a preschool show. There were moments where I had to say, ‘I promise you it works in my head, it works in my head.’ It’s going to be her with this voice and Wanda's voice is Wanda's voice. And there’s no missing that.

Photo Credit: Allison Waken /

On how Vee can go outside during the day.

It is a very intense sunblock and we do talk about it in the episodes. Obviously you have to find a way to get past that piece. There had originally been a line in the pilot, which would have stopped a lot of Twitter chatter that addressed it and it just got lost for time because there was so much we wanted to do emotionally in that episode. But, it will come up later on and there will be episodes where if she goes outside it'll be very clear. There’s an episode where they go to the beach during the day.

There definitely are references to it. But, look, there were certain things where you have to get past it to be able to do this show and that was one we thought a lot about. And that seemed like the best way to do it.

The Girl Power Theme

I think we have had a lot of boy lead characters and it’s definitely something. When Doc [McStuffins] came around, Doc could have been either [a boy or girl], and I felt really strongly. I mean the story with Doc is that I created it for my son but I made her an African American girl. I really believed that was the representation that mattered. And we didn’t need another boy lead character and I was still making it for my son and I believed that he would still care about the character.

I could do both things and that it was more important to shine a light and bring representation that we know is sorely lacking on the screen. So, it’s definitely something that I feel passionately about and that will always be the case. I mean will there be a next character that’s a boy? It certainly could be a boy. It’s just these two, I enjoy being able to bring out what I know girl character’s can be, which is anything and everything.

Photo Credit: Allison Waken /

Importance of Vampirina’s identity:

One of the things that was interesting in tackling this was the idea that it is a fine line because obviously so much of the fun is about her keeping her identity secret. But, I also didn’t want that to be the focus. I think in 2017 it was not okay for someone to want, that her driving goal would be to hide who she was inherently as a character. And I actually went in to Disney and I almost didn’t make the show because I said, we have to be able to figure it out, this piece. For me to want to do it, that can’t be the story that I’m telling.

First of all, we really wanted to make sure that anyone who ever found out that she was a vampire, loved her anyway. That she was clearly okay with telling people who she was. I hope that we are you know, that we’re telling the story which is what we’re trying to tell which is, ‘this is not a family who’s ashamed of who they are in any way shape or form, they are worried that they’re going to scare other characters and that there’s going to be too much attention on them.’

Photo Credit: Allison Waken /

On the importance of being different:

It is a show where we say, ‘she is different and sometimes that’s hard to be friends with.’ We’re not saying that she isn’t different, we aren’t saying that everybody’s exactly the same and there’s never stuff isn’t being conveyed as a conflict because we’re coming from different perspectives. In fact, we’re saying that’s exactly what this is and yet you can still be friends, it’s important to be friends, it’s important to see each other from your perspective.

We have a huge country that’s really different. And maybe the only way that we’re going to get someplace is to say, ‘you’re different from me but let’s hear each other and I still want to be your friend through it. We can still find common ground, and I think for me, that’s what this show is about.
Different is acceptable.

On issues to be tackled in future shows:

I think fear is actually the greatest emotion that controls our lives, honestly. And I think for little kids, there’s so much that’s new for them and so you know, it’s easy to talk about the show from the perspective of, ‘she’s really different and her friends have to figure her out.’ But, she’s also in this world and she’s the new kid and she’s the kid who also knows she doesn’t quite belong.

We’re going to see a lot of that play out. Of [Vee] trying to understand what her identity is. Is she Pennsylvanian now? Is she Transylvanian? Is she allowed to be both at the same time? And how do you own that? And there’s some beautiful stuff coming up with Nanpire, which is the grandmother played by Patti [LuPone]. It is about what it's like to come in to a new place and how much do you take on, how much do you hold on to yourself?

I try to create worlds where you could have characters say, ‘I love you,’ and you don’t go, ‘yuck,’ that doesn’t feeling like he earned it. Right? And we’re gonna see a lot of that stuff play out.

There’s an episode where Gregoria accidentally gets given away with a bunch of antiques. And believes that after all these years, she has been thrown away, that she’s too old. That stuff is fantastic. It’s such a rich world for us to play in and lots of good stuff coming up.

VAMPIRINA  airs Mondays and Fridays on Disney Junior.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Marvel's Grandmaster an interview with Kevin Feige! #thorragnarokevent

Disclosure: I attended the #ThorRagnarokevent and my expenses: flight, accommodations, transportation and some meals were be covered by Disney. All opinions, however, are always 100% mine.

When you think of the Marvel Universe, you always think of the characters and actors who bring it to life. But to create such an amazing universe, you need someone to coordinate, control and put that vision forward. That person is Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios.

Kevin makes sure that everything in Marvel Universe goes well and that we, as an audience and fans, get the best there is. It's a tough job because you are juggling the all the Marvel Universe characters. And all the movies have to make sense and follow somehow fit together.

Kevin was super nice and interesting. It's pretty amazing what he does. Here is a snippet of our interview with Kevin! If you are a Marvel fan, you need to read this. It's pretty informative!

Photo Credit: Allison Waken /

Q: How are you feeling having Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor coming out in the same year?

KF: It’s pretty awesome and I love that little Peter Parker in high school is in the middle of all that. It’s pretty cool and it indicates what I’ve always wanted people to understand that just because something is based on a comic doesn’t mean they’re all the same. [It] doesn’t mean they all inhabit the same exact tone. [The same] tonal world and that those were, these were our three movies this year. I always knew and was hoping would be pretty exciting.

Q: Will Guardians of the Galaxy meet Thor in the future?

KF: Yes, and it comes out in May of next year.

Q: Is it going to be a major set up or a cameo?

KF: No, Infinity War is a pretty major. A major meeting of those minds and Thor, in particular, with the Guardians. We’ve already shot some very fun scenes between them. The cosmic adventurers spend a lot of time together in that movie.

Q: When is Infinity Wars trailer dropping? (Something we all want to know!!)

KF: Someday. Someday. Yeah.

Photo Credit: Allison Waken / 

Q: Why does this Thor has such a different look and feel?

KF: That was our idea perfected and improved by Taika [Waititi - Thor Ragnarok director]. We wanted to, as we always do in our movies, go to a new place, go to an unexpected place. Look at what we did with Shane Black’s Iron Man 3, the third Captain American film, with Civil War and we always look at a third film, Infinity War in the case of Avengers coming up, as an opportunity to, to take what the fans like, that they’re willing to go with us and take them to a totally unexpected fun place.

If you talk to him [Chris Hensworth], he’ll say, Captain America has Iron Man in his movie, has got Black Widow in his movie, who am I getting? I think he’s right. The fun thing about Thor is he’s got amazing characters in his own comics, so Hela and Valkyrie from his books, from the mythology.

We knew we wanted to bring in [them] there, but thinking about who else we could bring in from the universe and very quickly we realized Hulk would be that guy. Seeing Thor and Hulk battle it out together is great. Seeing Banner and Thor being fish out of water is even better. Suddenly, you have this great dynamic between them, so we decided well.

Photo Credit: Allison Waken / 

Q: What was behind pulling the Planet Hulk storyline into this movie?

KF: [In] Planet Hulk, Hulk finds himself forced into these gladiatorial games. That image of Hulk with these big battle weapons and that big helmet, we loved. We never really thought we would be able to do it in large part because Banner is not a part of those comics. He’s Hulk the whole time and we love Mark Ruffalo.

And wouldn’t want to do a movie without Mark Ruffalo in it. I always sort of thought there wouldn’t really be that opportunity. As we were putting Thor: Raganrak together, we realized this is where we could do it. This is not the Planet Hulk story, but it’s certainly the inspiration of, of getting to see that and even characters like Korg and Meek who, as performed by Taika, steal the whole movie.

Photo Credit: Allison Waken / 

Q: Are there plans for any other stand alone Hulk movies?

KF: In terms of stand-alone Hulk movies, there are various contracts with studios that have to be worked out. I’m just so happy that we have the ability to include Hulk in these ensembles and what we already have planned, the arc that we started with Ragnarok, that you saw. An enhanced push and pull between Hulk and Bruce Banner for their body continues in the next Avengers film.

Q: Is there going to be a film where we see more of what happened to Hulk on Sakar between the time he left the Avengers and became a warrior?

KF: That would be pretty cool. I don’t know. I think that would probably fall under the solo Hulk area and stuff we’d have to figure out before we’d be able to do that, but you wouldn’t have to twist my arm to see more of that or more of Jeff Goldblum as the GrandMaster.

Q: Are you looking towards an all female movie? (YES!! WE NEED THIS!!)

KF: I think we certainly have enough powerful characters to do that. When and how, I don’t know, but I recently found myself in an undisclosed location. Somebody tapped on my shoulder and I turned around and there was Scarlet Johansson, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Tessa Thompson, Pom Klementieff all saying when are we going to do a movie. That was pretty overwhelming. Zoe Saldana was also standing there.

Q: Can you comment on the “bloggers aren’t real journalists” line [in Spiderman: Homecoming]?

KF: That was an ad lib. A comedic ad lib from Mr. Downey. Just one of the many things he just says. Moments before that, he says something about a human dog hybrid and puppies and who knows what he’s talking about? It’s just funny and it just sort of went past me and we cut it together and only in the early screenings I went, I’m gonna hear about this.

Q: Who is your favorite Avenger?

KF: I really don’t have a favorite and, and I love that we’ve been so lucky that with each release, another one rises to the top and I read comments that now Thor is going to become people’s favorite Avenger after this movie. The truth is I don’t have a favorite.

But I think in the looking as we approach our ten year anniversary, it’s impossible not to look back on Iron Man one and, and what Favreau did and what Downey did and continues to do that really is the foundation for everything we’ve done. That experience of Iron Man one was our first so, in many ways, is the one I look back at quite fondly, but I don’t have, I don’t have favorites.

Photo Credit: Allison Waken / 

Q: How do you balance all the films you have coming out?

KF: You hire Taika Waititi, you hire James Gunn, you hire John Anthony Russo and we have an incredible team at Marvel Studios. Each film has a single embedded Executive Producer on it who sees it, Brad Winterbaum on this movie, executive Producer on that poster over there has lived with Taika for the past two and a half years. He moved his family to Australia for months and months. They’re on it the whole time, so I’m always a text or a phone call away of knowing exactly what’s happening anywhere at any given time.

It’s a great privilege to have this team in place. Most of us have been together for almost the entire ten years at the studio which is very unusual in Hollywood. It’s great.

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THOR: RAGNAROK opens in theaters everywhere November 3rd! 

Stock photos courtesy of Marvel Studios.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Halloween Time at Disneyland and celebration of CARS 3 release! #halloweentime #cars3bluray

Disclosure: I attended the #ThorRagnarokevent and my expenses: flight, accommodations, transportation and some meals were be covered by Disney. All opinions, however, are always 100% mine.

A few years ago, I was fortunate to be at Disneyland during Halloween. I was fortunate enough again to go back this year. Disneyland and Disney California Adventure during Halloween are so much fun. They are decorated with ghouls, spooks, and creepy fun. Although, it's not really that creepy and it is always well done.

As part of the Thor Ragnorok event, we headed to Disney California Adventure to visit Cars Land and have dinner there. We also had a little time to do rides and then head over to Disneyland to ride Space Mountain and, of course, the Haunted Mansion. It was grand.

The best part of the trip is we had our own personal guide, Stephen, who took us on all the rides without waiting in line. Stephen was great! I never ever want to visit a Disney park without a guide!! But that will probably not happen anytime soon but there is always MaxPass. MaxPass is a new digital tool helps you maximize your day’s experience with unlimited Disney PhotoPass downloads and the convenience of mobile Disney FASTPASS through the Disneyland App. Let me tell you that you need this app when the parks are full. It makes your Disney experience so much better. Get more info on this app here.

Cars Land is all decked out in Haul-O-Ween fun. See what they did there? Halloween - Haul-O-Ween.  It is pretty amazing. There are spiders and scary cones and ghouls all around. We had dinner a Flo's V8 Cafe. It was delicious. If you haven't eaten at Flo's you need to. They have diner food. Burgers, sandwiches, and salads. I had roast chicken and mashed potatoes with veggies. They also have some special Haul-O-Ween treats like candy corn pie and Car-achnid Pot Pie. YUM!

This car in front of Ramone's House of Body Art is so cute. I love that Cars Land has the Day of the Dead theme. I like the inclusivity. I also like that the Day of the Dead is a great theme for Halloween. If you are planning a party, you can make Mexican treats, decorate with papel picado and celebrate. 

After dinner, we headed off and rode Radiator Springs Racers (Best Ride Ever). We also rode Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween and Mater's Graveyard JamBOOree. It was so much fun. I love that cones were used all around blending the Cars and Halloween theme all around.

I hope some of these pictures give you ideas on how you can host your own Haul-O-Ween CARS 3 in-home party. How much fun would that be? I would definitely go with the Day of the Dead theme but there are so many fun things you can do.

There are so many cool ideas like using ice cream cones painted orange and serving kettle corn or candy in them. You could play pin the tire on Vampire Mater. And have kids paint pumpkins like their favorite CARS 3 character!

After Cars Land, we headed over to the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride. I did not go on it because, scary! But all around Disney California Adventure they have Halloween decorations. It's pretty amazing.

Lastly, we headed over to Disneyland to ride Space Mountain which has been made over to be Ghost Galaxy. I don't normally do roller coasters but peer pressure pushed me into going on the ride. It was intense. It was also cool because it is all in the dark and every so often, that host would pop out and scare us.

Then we headed over to the Haunted Mansion which is decked out with a Nightmare Before Christmas motif. It is amazing.

A post shared by Carolyn Gonzalez (@carogonza1) on

We had so much fun celebrating the in-home release of Cars3 and Halloween Time at Disney. If you have never been to any Disney Park during Halloween, check it out. And remember Cars 3 will be available on Digital HD on 10/24 and on Bluray/DV on 11/7!!

Because I am not crafty, here are some great ideas for your Cars 3 party from fellow bloggers!! These are amazing. If you need ideas, head over to their blogs.

Disney Cars Land Spoke-y Cone Halloween Krispie Treats
Cars Land Haul-o-ween shirt
Halloween: Disneyland Cars Land Inspired Candy Corn Cream Pie
Cars 3 Party Popcorn Inspired By Disneyland Haul-O-Ween
Poppin Tires Cars Snack for Cars 3
Cars Land Haul-O-Ween Cookies
Trunk or Treat Cars Land Haul-O-Ween shirt

CARS 3 (on Digital HD 10/24 and Blu-ray & DVD 11/7)