Author Archives: Marques Lyons

About Marques Lyons

We should all view today as another chance to better tomorrow. Microsoft Xbox MVP. Fitbit user. Wokeish. Music connoisseur. Disney enthusiast. UC Irvine alum.

5 Things to Know About Marques: Music Edition

So, I’ve said quite a bit, already, about Disney. Now let me talk about my second love: Music. Honestly, music is my first love, but this blog took off creatively, for me, when I put to digital paper the type of conversations, about Disney, that I have with friends and co-workers.

Rather than simply saying “Hey, I love music!” I wanted to make this particular post interesting, by telling you 5 things about me that you might find interesting. I’ve said a few of these things, to people, in the course of conversations. Some of these things may be completely new.

All are true.

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Can we geek out, for a moment, on nature documentaries?

Netflix. Apple TV Plus. Disney Plus.

They all have amazing content to watch. Great original programming, blockbuster films, etc.

What the three have in common, as far as having me as a subscriber is concerned, is that they somehow (lovingly) end up as services to mostly satisfy my craving, and love, for nature documentaries.

I don’t know when this started, but I’m such a sucker for swooping drone shots, over the cold floors of Antarctica. I get a great thrill watching a cheetah chase down its prey, for that day. It gives me kid-like giggles to watch the sun rise off the horizon, as animals graze and wander about, like a scene out of The Lion King.

Throw cold water on me. I’m getting warm here.

‘The Elephant Queen” is available on Apple TV Plus.

The first example of this was “The Elephant Queen” documentary on Apple TV Plus. This show was about a pack of elephants migrating across hot, sand in search of an oasis. Without giving too much away, there’s moments of great relief and moments of great sorrow. The whole time, I was greatly riveted.

The story of the elephants was also a conduit to talk about what other animals did during warm summer days (it always cracks me up to see what other animals do during their mating seasons – there’s some pretty interesting rituals out there).

This show looks amazing in 4k/HDR. Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor does a wonderful job with narration. If you have Apple TV Plus, I highly recommend checking out this documentary.

“Hostile Planet” is available on Disney Plus.

The second documentary, that has captured my attention, is “Hostile Planet.” This is a multi-part show, on Disney Plus, presented by National Geographic.

The show focuses, of course, on different animals and wildlife, but it also presents how wildlife manages to survive and make it through extreme climates and situations. From mountains and oceans, to jungles and wild lands, Hostile Planet offers an amazing look at how wildlife survives in the face of great environments.

Presented in stunning HD, Bear Grylls narrates the story. If you have Disney Plus, give the first episode “Mountains” a look, and see if you don’t want to press play on the next episode.

“Continent 7: Antartica” is available on Disney Plus.

Finally, also on Disney Plus, is “Continent 7: Antarctica”. This show follows a group of scientists, as they embark on a mission to study the -100 degree F environments of Antarctica. Of course, it isn’t easy, but it’s amazing to watch.

When you watch shows, such as this, you really do feel the sense of danger that comes with what these scientists are trying to study. This show, like “Hostile Planet” is also available on Disney Plus.

Can you tell I really love this kind of stuff? I could geek out on this all day, but I won’t take up too much more of your time. If you want to tell me about your favorite nature documentaries, or have a conversation about the ones I’ve mentioned, feel free to leave a comment here, or continue the discussion on Twitter.

Music Spotlight: DCapella

I’m a trombonist, and I always love being part of a group. They say that the trombone is meant to have the brilliance of a trumpet, and the mellow tones of a french horn. I can go along with that. It’s great. However, there’s something to be said about the human voice. The power of an instrument that we all carry, with us, every single day.

Think back to groups like Boyz II Men or Rockapella. These were highly talented groups, who were able to take acapella singing, and turn it into an artform. I have favorite songs, from both groups, and they continue to be on my permanent rotation, today.

Now there’s another group, to add to the list: DCapella. Yes, they are an acapella ensemble, that’s built to bring Disney songs to life. I was first introduced to them through a playlist of modern Disney music, that I found on Apple Music. My introduction to them was “Friend LIke Me,” the song from Aladdin. I’ve embedded the video of them performing that song, below, so you can check it out, too.

While “Friend Like Me” is fantastic, the song that really solidified their spot in my rotation is “Immortals” Yes, the same song by Fall Out Boy from the Disney movie “Big Hero 6.” They managed to take the grooving, driven essence of the song and power it, with just their voice.

So, tell you what: Take a listen to the group, and let me know what you think. We can discuss in the comments, below, or on Twitter.

This is one talented group of people, right here!

Being thrown for a wonderful loop, by “Loop”…

The short film “Loop” is a charming, wonderful 10 minutes. It’s part of the Pixar “SparkShorts” series, on Disney Plus.

I just wanted to take a minute, and recommend that everyone watch the Pixar “SparkShorts” series. If the first film I watched, “Loop,” is any indication, this is going to be a wonderful series.

“Loop” tells an 10 minute story about two kids sharing a canoe, together. One of those kids is non-verbal autistic, only able to communicate through sounds, and the sound played via her phone.

The film is a touching story of emphathy, and understanding the world through someone else’s lens. There’s a power in empathy, and being able to see just how beautiful the world can be, when you really stop and take a look.

I would highly recommend this to anyone, who has Disney Plus. It’s well worth the time.

By the way, stay after the credits. The scene that follows is very touching.