Monday, October 31, 2011

"Phineas and Ferb" The Movie

Looks like the extremely-popular "Phineas and Ferb" will not only be getting a theatrical release, but also a big-time screen writer to go along with it.

Disney is hiring Michael Arndt to write a draft of the script, said a person familiar with the movie who was not authorized to talk about it publicly.  Arndt brings some heat--he's of course the writer of "Toy Story 3," for which he was nominated for an Oscar, and also won an Academy Award for writing "Little Miss Sunshine" back in 2007.

The initial "Phineas and Ferb" script has been written by show creators Swampy Marsh and Dan Povenmire, who have spent recent months working on that script and continue to work on the show. Unlike "Toy Story"--and the cable series itself--the "Phineas and Ferb" movie will be a mix of live action and animation. A Disney spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Looks like July 2013 will be the release period for the movie. By then, I'm sure Perry the Platypus will be so popular in his own right, he will have his own spin-off! :)

Zz.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Halloween from the Hitchhiking Ghosts

Looks like the Hitchhiking Ghosts are following you... with their heads.


Happy Halloween!



Zz.

"This Is Halloween" Light Show

Thanks to Wally for finding this for me.

It looks like Halloween decorations are slowly approaching the scale of Christmas decorations. This Halloween decoration and entertainment has gone way over the top, but it is utterly entertaining. Since they used "This is Halloween" from Nightmare Before Christmas, I consider that to be a valid Disney tie! :)




Zz.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Not All Disney Princesses Are Created Equal

I had a good chuckle after reading this article. This mother is describing how her daughter actually will not just buy into all the merchandise with Disney princesses - she (the daughter) actually has some exact standards!

After pressing questions on multiple occasions, I’ve come to the conclusion that my daughter doesn’t prefer Cinderella’s blonde up-do. She prefers princesses with flowing locks. The same thing happens when Aurora is featured wearing the blue not pink version of her long gown on the packaging.
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.
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As we browsed the shelves of lavender boxes featuring Rapunzel dolls, games and puzzles, my daughter would grade each item based on the pose of Rapunzel. If her green eyes were drawn too big and her smile was a smirk rather than a happy grin, my daughter backed away. Right about the moment I was going to feel frustrated with her narrow parameters, she found the perfect present in the perfect packaging and dropped it in the cart — with no incident, no fit, just careful choosing.
I'd say, good for her! She knows what she likes, and she's only going to buy those and nothing else.

Someone at Disney who is marketing towards these kids should read this.

Zz.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Where in Walt Disney World?

This might be an easy one, if you've been there.

Where in Walt Disney World can you find this? Be as specific as you can.

Zz.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What Would Disney Princesses Look Like If They Were Real?

This is a rather fascinating concept. What would those animated Disney princesses look like if they were actually real people, or at least, drawn as if they were real people? That is the question explored by a graphic design student at the Arts University College at Bournemouth in the UK.

Väätäinen said his interpretations of eight Disney princesses and one villain were created by combining elements from different photos of women who resemble the characters. He then creates composite images through digital painting and then puts them together using Photoshop. The results are stunning and completely entertaining.
They certainly are stunning and entertaining, especially for Ursula! She could be a number of people that I've seen on TV, especially from What Not To Wear and Say Yes To The Dress! :) And Ariel looks way too much like a young Sally Field from The Flying Nun!

{I think I've just dated myself with that last one.}

Zz.

Random WDW Picture

The slow ferry ride to the Magic Kingdom.

Zz.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Disney And Pixar Are Back With The Annies

After withdrawing from the Annies Award and animation organization ASIFA, it looks like both Disney and Pixar are now back in the fold after a meeting with its current president.

"We met with all the studios, but most especially with Disney and Pixar, who had walked away from us for various reasons, mostly to do with the Annies," said Frank Gladstone, president of ASIFA-Hollywood. "I told the executives at Disney that we would do our best to fix that. We did. They wanted to come back, and most of the other executives we talked to also wanted them to come back. Not only Disney, but Disney TV, Disney Toons, Pixar. They're all back. And they're all submitting entries for the awards."
Not having Disney in an animation organization such as this will be a glaring absence. So it is good news for everyone that this problem has been resolved.

Zz.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Where In Walt Disney World?

OK, you guys got that last "dark" ride in no time flat! So here's another "dark" photo for you to guess where in Walt Disney World this was taken. Bonus point for anyone who can even say which exactly you are, or what you're about to experience in that photo! :)
Zz.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Kids Would Rather Go To Chattanooga Than WDW!

This is just plain, hysterically funny.

Remember all those warm and fuzzy videos of parents surprising their kids that they are going to Walt Disney World, and then the kids jumping up and down with joy? Well, this is one video that you'll never see Disney displaying in its promotion! The kids didn't want to go to Walt Disney World, but would rather go to .... get this .... Chattanooga, TN! :)

I KNOW!

Zeller said the kids warmed up to the idea of a Disney vacation pretty quickly and had a great time. But the video of the vacation “reveal” was so funny that Zeller wanted to share it with friends and the children’s grandparents. “Not everyone has a Facebook account, so I put it on YouTube. And I sent it to the Chattanooga visitors bureau because I thought they’d get a kick out of it,” said Zeller.


Here's the YouTube video:



Zz.

Friday, October 21, 2011

How To Draw Winnie The Pooh

This is not as easy to follow as when you go into the Art of Animation studio class, but you get the idea on how to draw the lovable Winnie the Pooh.



Zz.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"Peter Pan" Prequel Heading To Broadway

Disney Theatrical Production will bring "Peter and the Starcatcher" to Broadway in 2012.

Developed by Disney Theatrical Productions from Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s popular children’s novel of 2004, “Peter and the Starcatcher” had a critically acclaimed run at New York Theater Workshop last spring, starring Christian Borle (“Legally Blonde”) as the pirate Black Stache (who will go on to become Captain Hook) and Adam Chanler-Berat (now starring in the Off Broadway revival of “Rent”) as Peter.
There seems to be a coincidence on prequels. Besides this, there's a movie being made by Disney which will be the prequel to the Wizard of Oz "The Great Powerful". And of course, there is the Pixar's production of the prequel to Monsters Inc. "Monsters University".

Zz.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Madame Leota

OK, this is an almost impossible photo to snap well. I know I've tried a few times. It is a shot of the levitated Madame Leota in the seance room during the Haunted Mansion ride.

First of all, you cannot use flash photography. Not only is it against the rule of the ride, but it will also destroy the look of the scene. None of the scenes along the Haunted Mansion attraction are meant to be seen in bright lights, so that flash will destroy everything.

Secondly, if you snap a photo without the flash, then everything will be a blur. This is because not only are you moving since you are in the Doom buggy, but the subject is also moving, in this case, the levitated head of Madame Leota in the glass globe. So both are against you in snapping a reasonable shot..... Until now!

What happened was that during this ride, the Doom buggy stopped momentarily while we were in the seance room. I quickly pulled my camera out of my pocket (I have a point-and-shoot camera), turned it on to AUTO mode, turned off the flash, and as steady and I could get my hands, snapped a few shots. Although I can see the outcome on the LCD screen, I of course have no idea if the shot came out OK will I downloaded it to my PC and see it on the screen. And I must say, it turned out better than I expected. But I'll let you be the judge for yourself.



Zz.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Random WDW Picture

On this attraction, you not only get to see the back side of water, but also the back side of an elephant!

Zz.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tribute To Mary Blair

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will focus on the work of Mary Blair during the 17th Marc Davis Celebration of Animation lecture Thursday evening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Giamio said that Disney had incredible artists and amazing craftsman, "but where Mary Blair was unique was that the work that she did here at the studio was not only beautiful work, what she did went beyond the project into a pure art form. It became art. It became a statement unto itself."

Her work, he added, transports you to another world. "Her most distinctive factor is that she is kind of showing us her soul. It is not just slick commercial art, it is the combination of commercial and the personal in the artistic sense. She puts herself into her art work and it transcends the greatest of the Disney movies."
Most of us, I think, are familiar with her work due to the "It's A Small World" attraction. Her style is certainly distinct, and that what makes it so loved and so unique.

Zz.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Where in Walt DisneyWorld

I don't think this is difficult at all, if you look at the clues in the photo very carefully. So where in Walt Disney World was this taken from?


Zz.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Up" House Boosts Tourism In Utah's City

Remember that "Up" replica house that was built in a small town in Utah? With all the publicity surrounding that news, the small suburb of Herriman, Utah saw an increase in the number of visitors coming to look at the house in question.

The suburban Salt Lake County city of 22,000 has seen a huge increase in publicity -- and business -- that officials credit to the "Up" house, a replica of the home featured in the popular Disney/Pixar animated movie of the same name. City leaders are so thrilled with the house and the spotlight it has turned on the town that council members planned to memorialize its impact with a resolution at their Thursday meeting. "It's a visual symbol of what we feel like our community is, and the direction we hope it will continue to take," said city spokesperson Nicole Martin, who characterized Herriman as a family town for people who want a quiet lifestyle with the convenience of a large city nearby.
Well, other than the fact that it is in Utah, with tough liquor laws, and they also probably don't want anyone with "alternative" lifestyle, it isn't a bad place to want to live in! :)

I wonder if other cities might want have have some builder build something similar. Hey, what about building a pub that looks like Gaston's joint? :)

Zz.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Muppets Official Trailer 2

Disney has released the 2nd trailer for the upcoming Muppets movie.




And yes, I'll be in line to see this one!

Zz.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Room for 1 More - 2 Weeks Later

After having fully recovered from our last trip to WDW two weeks ago to attend, among other things, the MK's Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary event "Room for 1 More", I now feel that I have enough sensibilities in me to make a comment of the event.

First of all, you need to understand that there was a random drawing to be able to register for this event, since the number of participants is limited. Secondly, the registration fee was $285.

What did we get for the money?

  1. Dinner/banquet with entertainment
  2. Mr. Toad statue parting gift
  3. First chance to buy merchandise from the event, and some WDW 40th Anniversary merchandise (but no pins)
  4. Artists signing
  5. Silent auction
  6. Commemorative photo shoot, with one complimentary print, and the option to have 5 additional photo shoots for $39.
  7. Admission to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party that evening.
Was it worth it? Yes, and no. How's that for being wishy washy?

It was certainly a good time, and for those who are big Haunted Mansion fans and collectors, this was the place to be. However, I am very disappointed that not enough events were being planned for the attendees. For example, if you did you early registration and merchandise pick-up on Thursday, you have nothing, NOTHING worthwhile to do on Friday, the day of the event till 3:00 pm, other than the photo shoot and viewing the merchandise for the silent auction, the latter should take no more than 10 minutes at most! In other words, for most of us, we were just lounging around, chatting with other people, and simply be bored to death at nothing to do.

Even at 3:00 pm, when the viewing, artists signing, and silent auction commenced, these are activities that have very narrow appeal. most of the attendees either don't want to spend that much money to bid for these items (which ran into thousand of dollars), or don't want to spend time in line to get artists signatures. So again, most of us just wondered around with no place to go and nothing to do. In fact, what it boils down to is that, on the day of the event itself, the ONLY thing that everyone participated in was the banquet, and that started at 7:00 pm! So for many of us, there was almost nothing to do on the day of the event till the banquet!

Now, it is at the banquet where you see where most of your registration money was spent. They did make an effort to decorate the banquet hall to match the theme of the event. But this is also where they cramped everything in. During the banquet, we had the artist Noah making his one-of-a-kind painting, we had the organist, we had two different kinds of musical entertainment, and we had a presentation of the Imagineers on the Haunted Mansion attraction. Consequently, the banquet ran long, and it cut short our time at MNSSHP that evening (we walked out of the banquet just as HalloWishes fireworks was ending!).

Now, the most natural question that came out of this is that, why didn't they have some of the stuff they had during the banquet presented during the day when most of us had nothing to do? The presentation by the Imagineers themselves could have been a session on its own and that could have occupied an hour easily. The presentation that was given during the banquet was heavy on the Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, and short on the one that we were there to celebrate - the MK's Haunted Mansion - because they were then running long and had to skip over a lot of viewgraphs. Most of us would have liked to hear more on this, but were deprived of it.

And oh, another thing. A lot of people who attended the event are also pin traders. They released several pins at this event, including a mystery set that I'm sure a lot of people were trying to a complete set off. Having a room for pin trading/vinylmation trading not only would have given people a chance to do just that, but also a place people can meet and congregate and talk about the things they are there for.

At the end of the day, I was happy, but left with an unsatisfied feeling. It's like having a meal with a tasty dish, but you still feel hungry because the portions were just too small to be satisfying.

Zz.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"The Lone Ranger" Might Be Back In The Saddle

It seems that Disney is close to green-lighting "The Lone Ranger" once again after halting the production due to budge concerns.

It took some doing. In order to cut costs -- there was talk the movie would cost more than $250 million -- the script, which apparently contained supernatural elements, had to be reworked. Some of the principals also had to cut their fees.

Even with the cuts, it's an expensive film. TheWrap has learned its budget is still above $200 million.
We will eventually see if this was worthwhile.

Zz.

Random WDW Picture

Shot taken from the elevated section of Cinderella Castle.

Zz.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

The big news from last week was the announcement that Bob Iger will step down as Disney CEO in 2015. An interesting Wall Street Journal news article looks at the possible successor to run Disney after Iger. It listed to internal candidates: Tom Stagg and Jay Rasulo.

The move sets up a contest to succeed Mr. Iger, known for his smooth, diplomatic demeanor. A lead contender is Thomas Staggs, who runs the company's theme-park division. Gregarious, and with a dry sense of humor, Mr. Staggs has been in his current role since 2009, after several years as Disney's chief financial officer.

Mr. Staggs swapped jobs with Jay Rasulo, now tipped as another potential successor to Mr. Iger. The job swap was intended to broaden both executives' experience and to vet them for strengths and weaknesses.
In any case, I consider Bob Iger's tenure as Disney CEO as being highly successful, and in many ways, he has strengthened the Disney brand without sacrificing the vision the Walt had for the company. I think for any Disney CEO, that would be best evaluation and compliment that one could have.

Still, I feel a bit of an apprehension on what the new CEO will do, and his/her vision for the company. I'm just hoping that it isn't someone who only cares about the bottom line without understanding that this company has tons of loyal followers that they simply cannot afford to alienate.

Zz.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Disney Nightlights

Disney Christmas nightlights, set of 3 on sale at Costco for $15.

Steve Jobs And The Walt Disney Company

This LA Times article analyzes the profound impact that Steve Jobs has had on the Disney brand. One can almost count the ways from this article:

1. Disney Stores
2. Digital media
3. Pixar
4. Technology
5. Keeping Disney Cruise Line (I can't believe the Disney Board actually thought of selling it off!)

While this loss isn't as traumatic for the Walt Disney Company as it was when Walt died, it will still be a major impact. It will be interesting to see how Bob Iger deals with this.

Zz.

Random WDW Picture

I don't think I need to describe where this is, do I? :)

 Zz.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Bob Iger's Statement On Steve Jobs

The most profound statement that I've heard about the loss of Steve Jobs is the comparison made with Walt Disney. Steve Jobs' passing to Apple is like Walt Disney's passing to the Walt Disney Company. I think those who were around the Disney company when Walt passed away and sympathize those at Apple at this moment.

This is Bob Iger's statement on Steve Jobs:

Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor.  His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined.


Steve was such an ‘original,’ with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started.

With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time.
Zz.

Would You Sell Your Baby For Money To Go To Disney World?

Obviously, some people would!

A woman has been arrested for attempting to sell, get this, her newborn son for $15,000, for a trip to Walt Disney World.

"Bridget was trying to sell her child because she did not want the child and wanted to go to Disney World," according to a police affidavit that quoted her relatives.

Really, people!

Zz.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Disney Announces 3D Releases of 4 More Movies

You kinda know this is coming after the success of The Lion King in 3D.

Disney has announced that they will produce theatrical releases of 4 more animated classics in 3D. The movies will be The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo.

The four films will unspool over the next two years, beginning in January with “Beauty and the Beast,” the 1991 hit that became the first animated film to be nominated for an Oscar for best picture. “Finding Nemo,” first released in 2003 and the fourth-highest-grossing animated movie of all time, will follow in 3-D in September 2012. “Monsters Inc.” (2001) will premiere in 3-D in January 2013, six months ahead of its own prequel, “Monsters University,” a new Pixar film due in June of that year. Finally, “The Little Mermaid” will debut in September 2013.
More than just seeing these movies in 3D, it is the opportunity for kids, especially those who missed them the first time around, to see these in movie theaters in its full glory.

Zz.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Where in Walt Disney World

Where in Walt Disney World can you find this? Try to be as specific as possible.

Zz.

Monday, October 03, 2011

WDW Turned 40, Where Were You, Disney Executives?

Did the Walt Disney Company, as a whole, forgot about WDW's 40th Anniversary? It appeared so. The "celebration" as it were, were done as if it was an after thought. And get this. For some odd reason, many of the prominent Disney Executives somehow have scheduled a ceremony to welcome Rapunzel as the 10th Disney Princess at the same time, in London! So most of them were there on Oct. 1st, 2011!

Did they forget that WDW's Magic Kingdom is the most visited theme park in the world? And yet, they treat it like an ugly step sister!

I was very disappointed in the lack of more elaborate celebration to commemorate this event. The amount of merchandise that was available was so disappointing, that I simply refused to stand in line for hours just so I could get my hands on some pins, etc. It is unbelievable that here are so many people who would pay good money to purchase commemorative items to mark the occasion, and they made it excruciatingly difficult for people to do that.

As one of my friends told me while we were having lunch on that day at MK, they are able to make money in spite of themselves.

Zz.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Leaving

We are heading out of Epcot and heading to the airport. Our trip is over.

Back at Argentina

We went back to Argentina booth to have the beef and the empanadas again. Hands down, these are the best stuff we had at F&W.

Rest

Having light refreshments at Sunshine Seasons. We plan on heading back to World Showcase and Food and Wine festival after this.

Not A Cloud In The Sky

A perfect day at Epcot. We are on our way to do Soarin.

F and W picking up

Crowds are picking up at F&W right now. The weather is pleasant so the crowds are going to be huge.

France

Escargot was good. It was buttery and served in a convenient mini bread bowl. I wish there was more of the snail flavor rather than the sauce overpowering it.

New Zealand

Scalops and lamb sliders are uneventful. Scalops was simply grilled. Good for someone who don't like a lot of spice.

Singapore

Food was uneven. Shrimp cake is good but skip the rendang. It is too strong with the wrong spices. It is also brown like ordinary beef stew when it should be a bit yellowish with tumeric.

F and W

We are eating our way thru World Showcase. The Korean Boolgogi was OK. Meat was dry. Winner so far is argentina beef skewer and empanada.

At Epcot

We are at Epcot.

Last Day

At Carriage house to print our boarding pass. We fly out late today.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

On bus

We are on bus back to SSR. I made it out of MK alive. Bus is packed of course.

Houston, We have a problem

Huge amount of crowds still trying to exit MK 15 mins after end of Wishes. So what do they do? Dim the lights and start another showing of Magic Memories and You! Not only that in half our parade will start!

Pandomonium

Crowd movement is almost impossible. They are letting crowds to go into the backstage area to get to Town Square to exit the park.

We are just standing around doing nothing until we can actually make reasonable progress.

MK at night

Holy cow. MK is packed! Just finished Wishes. They added an overlay to it with extra fireworks around the perimeter but nothing else.

At MK

We are at MK for the evening shows. Park is reasonably crowded but not out of the ordinary.

Commemorative items

They gave out 2 things at the park for the 40th Anniversary today: park map and button. By 3 pm, no more buttons.

Leaving MK

Leaving MK to rest up a bit for the evening. We will be back for the evening fireworks.

At buzz

Even the fastpass line is slow. Park is quite busy.

Monsters Inc Laugh floor

In line for Monsters Inc Laugh Floor.

Snow White

In line for snow white. 20 mins.

Jungle Cruise

On jungle cruise.

Splash

I'm wet!!

Splash

ZERO wait on Slash as well!!

Big thunder mountain

ZERO wait at thunder mountain right now.

Big crowds at castle

But almost no one at the back of frontierland.

Huge Crowd

Huge mass of people trying to get in. This is going to be packed.

On bus

On bus to MK for 40th anniversary. Perfect morning weather.