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What the Plus
50 minutes | Jun 18, 2021
Lou Barlow on The Cat from Outer Space
Have you ever been listening to Sebadoh and thought to yourself "wow, this song is great, I really want to know what the guy singing it thinks about the 1978 Disney live action movie The Cat from Outer Space"? Indie rock legend Lou Barlow, of Dinosaur Jr, Sebadoh, the Folk Implosion, and more, joins Garrett Martin to talk about that movie and its similarities to E.T., as well as '70s Disney in general, the viewing habits of modern kids, and the two new records he released this spring: Dinosaur Jr.'s Sweep It Into Space, and his own solo album Reason to Live.
35 minutes | Jun 7, 2021
Avengers Campus: Katherine Long and Garrett Martin Discuss Disney's New Marvel Theme Park Land
Avengers Campus, Disney's first American theme park land based on Marvel's superheroes, is now open at Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. Katherine Long, a writer and intern at Paste Magazine, attended the media event last week, and joins Garrett Martin to talk about her experiences there and what people can expect from the new land.
63 minutes | May 28, 2021
Brian "Box" Brown on Dinosaurs' Anti-Drug Episode
In 1992 the family sitcom Dinosaurs aired a "very special episode" that was a very thinly veiled allegory for marijuana. The show ultimately tries to play it off like a parody of "very special episodes," but before it gets to that point it repeats some of the same decades-old stereotypes that had long been used to stigmatize cannabis. Brian "Box" Brown, the Eisner Award-winning cartoonist who has documented the lives of Andre the Giant and Andy Kaufman, and who detailed the roots of the War on Drugs in Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America, joins Garrett Martin to discuss "A New Leaf" and how it embraces the racist history of anti-cannabis propaganda.
13 minutes | May 21, 2021
Garrett Martin on Disney World During the Late Pandemic
This week host Garrett Martin talks about a recent trip to Disney World and how its pandemic precautions have changed since last fall. Did he feel safe? Did he have a good time? Did he hit up as many bars as he could during his four days there? You definitely already know the answer to that one. Check out his Disney World report from May, 2021.
45 minutes | May 14, 2021
Allison Keene on Gargoyles
By the mid '90s weekday afternoon cartoons had gotten serious. Case in point: Gargoyles, the cult favorite show that was unusually mature for the Disney Afternoon. Paste Magazine's TV critic Allison Keene joins Garrett Martin to talk about the series, which was a high fantasy adventure cartoon set in the modern day and with a fair amount of lore.
62 minutes | May 6, 2021
Dia Lacina on Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty wasn't a hit when it came out in 1959. It's not as popular or critically acclaimed as movies like Snow White or Cinderella. It's probably best remembered today for its villain more than anything else. That's a bit of a shame, as it's actually perhaps the most gorgeous animated feature from Disney's classic age. Writer and critic Dia Lacina joins Garrett Martin to talk about Sleeping Beauty, what it says about the era it was made, and the beauty of its art style.
58 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
Todd Martens on The Pre-Opening Report from Disneyland
Disneyland reopens for the first time in over a year tomorrow, so Los Angeles Times writer and theme park expert Todd Martens joins Garrett Martin to discuss The Pre-Opening Report from Disneyland, a 1955 TV special that looked at the final preparations before Disneyland's grand opening. What has changed in the park since it first opened? How has the way Disney views theme parks changed in that time? Listen to find out.
2 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
What the Plus Season 2 Trailer
What the Plus returns soon with episodes on Sleeping Beauty, Gargoyles, the Pre-opening Report of Disneyland, and more. Here's Garrett Martin on season two, which starts later this week.
48 minutes | Feb 11, 2021
Brett Davis on Dinosaurs
Comedian, writer and actor Brett Davis (Our Cartoon President, The Special Without Brett Davis) joins Garrett Martin to talk about Dinosaurs, the early '90s Jim Henson Productions sitcom about a family of walking, talking dinosaurs. Does it forge its own identity outside of Flintstones references, or is it just a TGIF show in a latex suit? Listen to What the Plus to find out.
45 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
Maddy Myers on One Hundred and One Dalmations
One Hundred and One Dalmations first came out 60 years ago this week, and in a complete coincidence it's also the movie Maddy Myers, the Senior Games Editor at Polygon.com, wanted to talk about on What the Plus. Join Garrett Martin and Maddy as they break down this Disney classic and what it says about yesterday and today.
38 minutes | Jan 23, 2021
Brock Wilbur on Forky Asks a Question
If there's ever a time to ask the big questions, this is it, when the world is as confusing and bewildering as it's been in decades. Brock Wilbur--writer, comedian, editor of Kansas City's alt-weekly The Pitch, and the man who blew the lid off of the NXIVM sex cult--joins Garrett Martin to dig into Forky Asks a Question, the Pixar shorts starring the inquisitive spork creature from Toy Story 4. Ponder the universe, people.
12 minutes | Jan 15, 2021
Garrett Martin on His Favorite Disney+ Originals of 2020
Garrett Martin looks back on 2020 and picks out his five favorite new Disney+ exclusives--whether they're new, like Earth to Ned and Muppets Now, or an old curiosity being dredged up from the absolute bottom of the Disney Vault. (Yes, we're talking about that 1977 Mousketeers special again.)
26 minutes | Dec 12, 2020
Garrett Martin on the Disney Investor Day and Disney+ Slate
Garrett Martin goes it alone to talk about that Disney shareholders event and the massive amount of movies and shows announced at it--and also how weird it is that everybody wants to talk about and fixate on what is traditionally a private event for stockholders. When hype and nostalgia dominate everything, how hyped can you get about yet more nostalgia?
55 minutes | Dec 4, 2020
Drew Taylor on Oliver & Company
We've finally done it: here's an episode about a legit Disney animated feature. Maybe not a good one, but still. Drew Taylor, who's an editor and writer at Collider, the author of The Art of Onward, the co-host of the Mission Impossible podcast Light the Fuse, and an all-around Disney expert, joins Garrett Martin to talk about the 1988 film Oliver & Company, the first animated feature fully produced during the Eisner/Katzenberg era of Disney, and a significant--if not particularly good--part of the Disney canon.
45 minutes | Nov 20, 2020
Samantha Allen on Free Solo
Award-winning journalist and author Samantha Allen joins Garrett Martin to discuss Free Solo, the National Geographic documentary about Alex Honnold and his amazing free solo climb of El Capitan. What drives somebody to push themselves to the furthest edges of human achievement? And what are the ethics of encouraging somebody to climb a 3000 foot high rock with no tools whatsoever? Samantha and Garrett talk it over in this episode of What the Plus.
64 minutes | Nov 13, 2020
Henry Gilbert on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends
30 years before Disney bought Marvel, and almost 30 years before Iron Man launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the comic book company tried to launch an animation empire off the back of a Saturday morning cartoon starring Spider-Man and his, uh, pretty alright friends. Henry Gilbert, co-host of the Talking Simpsons podcast, stops by to discuss Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and the twisted history of Marvel's film and TV ambitions.
18 minutes | Nov 6, 2020
Election Special: Garrett Martin on Disney World During the Pandemic
This week we present a brief digression from our regularly scheduled program. Garrett Martin went down to Disney World last week, during a pandemic, and here's his report on what he found. How comfortable did he feel? How much did he enjoy theme parks with all of the COVID precautions? Why is he writing about himself in the third person? Find out the answers to at least two of those questions in this bite-sized special episode.
50 minutes | Oct 29, 2020
Josh Spiegel on The Rocketeer
Film critic and Disney expert Josh Spiegel joins Garrett Martin to expound on why The Rocketeer should be an iconic classic beloved by all movie fans. It's got Nazis, a James Bond with a mustache, patriotic mobsters, Character Actress Margo Martindale, and oh, a jetpack--how wasn't this thing a massive hit? Oh, right, Josh and Garrett try to explain that very thing in this episode.
46 minutes | Oct 22, 2020
Hana Michels on Lady and the Tramp (2019)
Comedian and writer Hana Michels talks with Garrett Martin about the 2019 live action remake of Lady and the Tramp. What does this dog-centric romcom have to say about gender roles and the way we treat animals? Is it wrong to fall in love with a CGI dog, even if it's voiced by Justin Theroux? And what does it do with that one infamously racist scene? Join Hana and Garrett as they crack into the lowest profile Disney live action remake, but also probably the cutest.
54 minutes | Oct 15, 2020
Carlye Wisel on The Mousketeers at Walt Disney World
Theme park journalist Carlye Wisel joins Garrett Martin to talk about one of the weirdest things you'll see on Disney+: a 1977 TV special about a now-forgotten group of Mousketeers going to Disney World and then treating each other terribly for almost an hour. The Mousketeers at Walt Disney World is a deeply '70s, and completely ridiculous, special. Join Carlye and Garrett as they dissect it in detail, and also discuss how Disney World has changed since 1977.
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