Today, Akemi was surprised to learn that E.T. and Yoda are not related.  “But they look so much alike!”she insisted.

1Separated at birth?

She was further shocked to learn that Yoda was much, much – about 800 years? – older than E.T. “But E.T. moves so slow,”she protested, “and Yoda is so quick!”

“True,”I admitted, “but Yoda was in much better shape.  He was a Jedi Knight and E.T. was just some gangly alien.  It’s like comparing a slim old guy who works out a lot and a young, overweight guy who’s out of shape.”

She wasn’t buying it.  “But Yoda is all – cha-ping! Cha-ping! Cha-ping!” Jumping around, miming a light saber duel.  “And E.T. is all – ” Hunched over, index finger pointing, voice shaking: “A-ke-mi…”


Apparently, on a trip to Universal Studios Japan, she’d visited the E.T. ride – a bike and basket holding the loveable alien.  After entering her name into a computer, she pedaled away and E.T. spoke to her.  “But I don’t recommend Universal Studios Japan,”she said. “Shrek is always – ”  And here, she bounded over, doing a fair approximation of the rotund green monster bouncing on the heels of his feet. “Ho ho ho!”

“What’s wrong wrong with that?”

“Shrek is disgusting!  I told everyone I didn’t like Shrek and then he came to my side and tried to hug me!”    Then added: “And Elmo always running away.”

“Running away?  Why?”

“I don’t know.  Maybe he is tired of getting his picture taken.”  Beat. “Did you hear he was arrested?”

“I heard.  Do you think that was why he was running away?  Because he knew the police were on to him?”

“I don’t know but I remember trying to catch Elmo and Shrek chasing me.”

“Why was Shrek chasing you?”

“Not very many customers so dying for attention.  Also maybe he understood what I said in Japanese and was angry with me.”

“And what happened?  Did he catch you?”

“Yes,”she said, reflecting back on the unpleasant experience. “And I had to take a picture with him.”

It reminds me of Carl Binder’s story of his visit to Disneyland shortly after he’d written Pocahontas for the studio.  He was there with his young daughter and wanted to take a photo with Meeko, Pocahontas’s racoon friend in the movie – only to be informed by Meeko that he was on lunch break.  “I created you!”Carl informed the bewildered park worker.  “Get over here.”   Meeko complied and Carl got his photo.

And then there was the time his birthday party/trip to Disneyland was canceled when “the hippies took over Tom Sawyer Island”.  But you’ll have to ask him the details on that one.

← The Day The Hippies Took Tom Sawyer Island

Oh, and since we’re on the topic of Disney…

Top 10 Worst Disney Films –

On The Country Bears: “Anyway, the plot is that Beary, a young bear, is raised by humans. Talking bears and humans are friends in this reality, and he meets a broken-up rock band called the Country Bears. He helps them reunite, and I really can’t continue because a part of my brain just died.”

The 7 Most Terrifying Disney Movie Deaths |

On Shan-Yu in Mulan: “So basically, it’s the ludicrously violent death from Naked Gun, only instead of being played for laughs, it’s the climax of a kids movie. Burning chunks of Mongolian fall from the sky, always kept barely off-camera or behind an explosion, as everyone below celebrates. Happy days, indeed.”

7 Classic Disney Movies That Taught Us Terrible Lessons | Cracked …

The Hunchback of Notre Dame: The Ugly Guy Never Gets the Girl.

6 True Stories About Disneyland They Don’t Want … –

On Disneyland’s former underwear policy: “Up until 2001, Disneyland workers weren’t allowed to bring their own underwear when they were in character, because normal underwear tended to bunch up and become visible under the costume. Kind of like how some models don’t wear panties on the runway, except less “exotic and sexy” and more “destructive of your innocence and everything the concept of childhood represents.  Instead, cast members were issued company jock straps, cycling shorts or tights, which they had to hand in at the end of every day to be washed with their costumes.”

27 thoughts on “December 1, 2012: Akemi on E.T., Shrek, Elmo and Yoda! Carl’s Disney experiences! Oh, and while we’re on the subject of Disney…

  1. Personally I love how Disney in general is something that appeals to all ages, it doesn’t matter how old you are, or what gender you are, there’s something to love in almost every movie. I loved Disneys Tangled, Brave, and Toy Story 3(Speaking of recent titles), and am looking forward to Toy Story 4, there’s something well special in these titles that is quite rare in movies these days. This is one thing I admire most about Disney, they put a lot of love into what they do movie wise.

    Anyway speaking of Yoda, I wonder if this is the last we’ve seen of him? I would imagine Disney trying to find a way for him to appear in Star Wars Episodes 7, 8, 9, even if its just in 2 of the 3 movies lol
    (I was happy they announced more Star Wars, these francise doesn’t deserve to rot away).

  2. So when my parents thought I was being educated and edified, Disney movies were really destroying my innocence? … That actually makes a lot of sense. *shifty eyes* Erm…

    And <3 for Akemi! I don't like Shrek either, and reading her story just gave me a new complex. (I have a few, okay?!)

  3. First, let me say that Carl is awesome for writing Pocahontas. (Although I suppose Carl being awesome goes without saying.) I never knew that he did that either. And I had to laugh at the whole photo op episode with Meeko. Great story.

    I loved Yoda’s character in the original trilogy, when he was older, but I never like him in the later three movies, when he was supposedly younger (but not by much obviously). Of course, I rather disliked all three of those movies so I guess that not surprising. How old was Luke’s character in the original series? 20 or so? That means that Yoda really went downhill in 20 years. Too much gnawing on the gimer stick, I suppose.

  4. Thanks for sharing you Akemi story, so cute and funny, and I would tell you to write them down, but duh, you already are. They make me look at these things in an entirely new perspective, and thats good. Thanks Akemi.

  5. You’re reading Apartment 16. Sounds spooky and haunting. My kind of book. Do you like it?

  6. Having once worked for the Mouse, I will attest to the fact that the underwear thing didn’t surprise me in the least. I was just glad to be there AFTER the fact. Instead I just got to wear black jeans that didn’t fit right and long sleeved red shirts in July… in Florida (so yeah, not Disneyland…). They did give us a really nicely bound little book full with color pictures that told us what we could wear right down to number of rings, and color of nail polish. I worked with a guy who had a ton of piercings and he had to take them all out before he started his shift. Nice guy. Lots of holes.

    My college roomie worked on Flash Mountain at WDW. Yes, people flashed the camera all the time – it was more annoying than anything. We always wondered why people thought it was fun. Did they think their photo would actually make it through? Did they want the tired, overworked cast member in back to get some jollies off of it (assuming the person at the desk wanted to see bare breasts)? I worked a roller coaster in another park and people thought it was awesome to flip the bird to the camera and then were bewildered as to why their photo ‘magically disappeared’. My task for at least 30-45 minutes of my shift was doing nothing but watching ride photos and censoring them if they were not ‘family friendly’. I liked it. I got to sit down away from people for that length of time.

    Now, obviously I’m talking WDW and not Disneyland. WDW has the crocodiles, not cats. Those are great. Warn the guests “No, those crocodiles aren’t an attraction, they’re real, please don’t throw your… oh. Good idea sir, please, throw them food. It’s… *facepalm*” Oh and the dive bombing birds. They want your popcorn and they will get it…

  7. I’m sorry. WDW has *alligators* (in my head, I want to stay away from both). *sigh* I’ve lived in the midwest now for eight years. I’ve forgotten all this stuff LOL.

  8. E.T. is slow, because REESES-PIECES are fattening! And, probably made of some high-density material…

    YODA is all over the map, because You would be too if You started out with SOME-GUY’S-HAND *up* your PUPPET!!


    Please, SOMEONE, make the Movie where VERNE and DUMAS come back from the Dead and switch-OFF UNCLE-WALT’s Freezer!! — ELVIS can do the Score…

  9. Disneyland, CA is where, last September, I got to see my son propose to his beautiful girlfriend…it took us months to organise the surprise and it worked out so well that not only did they get seats in the VIP section for the fireworks display, he got to get down on one knee at the end of the display, in front of the Castle & about 300 other people (which they even held back so the 2 of them were completely on their own) & do the deed without her getting one whiff of the idea …plus the pro Disney photographer captured every frame on camera…truly a magical place..:)

    She said yes btw…now if only they get married there too… 🙂

  10. “The ugly guy never gets the girl.”

    Problem is, when it does show a beautiful girl falling for an ugly guy with a nice personality, the message to girls is, “You have to be beautiful to get a man, but you’ll have to settle for either a jerk or a guy who repulses you, and if you’re not beautiful you’d better just be happy with whatever you can get.” Where are the stories where it’s the *guy* who learns not to focus on external appearance.

  11. @ Akemi – Yoda and ET do look similar – they have the same ‘old lady lips’ and the same wrinkled noses. My guess is that they are distant cousins, much like how a pug is related to a bullmastiff. Also – don’t listen to Joe – you are not alone in thinking they are related:

    There are many other sites out there that discuss the same E.T./Yoda relation topic.

    In blog-related news, my first trip to Disney World was when I was 20, and THIS (here with my sis) was the best day of my life:


    (I look nothing like that now. 😛 )


  12. So the Disney workers didn’t get to wear their own undies?! What if they’d gone commando! I really wonder about people who make dumb rules like that.

    As for the ugly guy not getting the girl. I think that depends on how much power/influence the guy has. Money has a way of making guys like that very attractive!

  13. Interesting perspectives on WDW and Disney in general.

    @Akemi: yep, there is definitely a resemblance between Yoda and E.T, especially the nose and mouth. Good observation.

    @das: Aw, you two were so cute posing with Tigger. Actually both of you look gorgeous in that shot. Tigger is just cute. I have very few pictures at WDW as I was always the camera person. If there were pictures, I would just look like a harried mom exhausted from herding a 5 year old and a toddler and trying to keep said toddler from drowning in 18 inches of water (true story) and putting interesting things in her mouth in the gift shop requiring calls to poison control (same visit).

  14. @Das and Sparrow_hawk:

    My first visit to WDW was when I was fourteen. We had two days; one day spent in the park, and the second day at the hospital when my 6-year-old brother split his head open by jumping up and down on the hotel room bed, bouncing off and hitting the wall where a picture frame caught him in the back of the head. Seven stitches. Since we had done nothing but kiddie rides (teacups!) the day before, and my dad and I were going to do the “adult” rides that day, I was pretty ticked at the turn of events. After being released from the hospital, my brother was jumping on the hotel room bedin that night! 🙄

    @Carl Binder:


  15. Wait a minute. The ugly guy gets the beautiful girl all the time. The ugly girl NEVER gets the beautiful guy. NEVER. If I’m wrong…prove it. Who? Girls are kind and generous, can see a guy’s inner heart, personality, and attributes, (and bank account). Guys see whats on the outside only.

    @ das – you two sisters are absolutely beautiful in that picture!

  16. It is interesting to see the way Akemi’s mind works. She gives a whole new perspective to things I’ve completely forgotten. Thanks for sharing her with us.

    Carl Binder: You sound like my dad.

  17. Yep, somewhat panty-less Disney characters that I hugged as I child = childhood innocence definitely shot to hell…although I bet there’s some pornographic leaning minds that are overjoyed at the thought of Cinderella or any of the other Princesses or Princes walking around commando-style.

  18. Tokyo Disney land is a hoot. I made it to opening day, 5th year anniversary and 10th anniversary. Thank you US Navy and discount military tickets.

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