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  • Jim Hill

    Five members of the Original Mouseketeers to take part in a Walt Disney Birthplace fundraise

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    So if you had wanted to see the Original Mouseketeers in person back in their heyday (1955 - 1958), what were your chances if you lived outside of Southern California? Slim & none. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved And why was that exactly? To be blunt, "The Mickey Mouse Club" didn't shoot in front of a live audience. More to the point, Cubby & Co. were just too busy rehearsing & then shooting this TV show to make all that many personal appearances when...
  • Jim Hill

    The road not taken on "Cars 3" : Settings & storylines that Pixar explored, then abandoned

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    " Cars 3 " got off to a solid start this past weekend, racking up over $53 million in ticket sales during its first three days in domestic release. Copyright Disney Pixar. All rights reserved And given that this Brian Fee film currently has a 66% freshness rating over at Rotten Tomatoes (which is a significant step up from the 39% freshness rating that " Cars 2 " received back in 2011. More to the point, it's within spitting distance of the 74% freshness rating that the original...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney XD pulls an "Iron Giant" with its "DuckTales" reboot, airing this new TV movie for 24 hours straight on August 12th

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    In a summer that's already jammed packed with reboots (i.e., Paramount's already beached movie version of "Baywatch," Universal Pictures' rapidly unraveling "Mummy," as well as Sony's still-eagerly-anticipated "Spider-Man: Homecoming"), how can Disney XD make its "DuckTales" reboot stand out from the crowd? By staging a programming event. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Mind you, given that the Disney Channel already had...
  • Noe Valladolid

    Injustice 2's very dark take on the DC Universe features some very violent gameplay

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    In a previous blog post , we looked at Marvel Contest of Champions . The mobile fighting game featuring the majority of the Marvel Universe. There also happens to be a DC Universe fighting game out right now as well. Injustice 2 was released May of this year. And is doing quite well on the sales charts. It was the sequel to Injustice: Gods Among Us , a NetherRealm Studios title from 2013. The game features a very dark take on the DC Universe. It is a bit darker than even the recent live-action Warner...
  • Jim Hill

    Mike & Patty Peraza are the featured attraction at Dayton Disneyana 2017

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    Greetings from the Holiday Inn Fairborn. Photo by Jim Hill I'm here in Fairborn, Ohio for Dayton Disneyana . Which is this terrific weekend-long event that's hosted by the "Plane Crazy" chapter of the Disneyana Fan Club. This year's event is particularly exciting, given that Mike & Patty Peraza are here. For those of you who don't know: Mike is an award-winning designer with over 35 years of experience creating magic for the Walt Disney Studios, Walt Disney Television...
  • Noe Valladolid

    Will new "Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite" game top "Marvel Contest of Champions" ?

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    Marvel has had tremendous success in the movie industry but moderate success in the video game arena. With the exception of a few titles, the Marvel gaming library has been lackluster on the home consoles. That is with the exception of one genre. Fighting games lend themselves very well to the various superhero franchises. The Marvel universe has been featured in popular fighting games since at least 1994, when the Japanese publisher Capcom released X-Men: Children of the Atom in the arcade. Capcom...
  • Alice Hill

    Pokemon Stream used to reveal several new projects that Nintendo now has in the works

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    Earlier this week, at 7 am Pacific, Nintendo held an abnormally short Nintendo Direct- a typically bi or tri-annual stream used to reveal new projects and updates on projects to fans. This direct was focused on Pokemon, and had plenty of anticipation building around it despite the announced run time of eight minutes. With leaks from information datamined (gained from hacking into the files for) the Pokemon Sun and Moon games, a 'Pokemon Stars' game was anticipated, some even speculating that...
  • Alice Hill

    Donut-themed "Scramble" event adds a hole ... er ... whole lot of fun to "Yokai Watch: Wibble Wobble"

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    If you have a child that watches cartoons, or you enjoy watching cartoons yourself, you're probably pretty aware of Yokai Watch . In fact, if you have any interest in entertainment in Japan, you probably have, at least, a vague idea of what Yokai Watch is- I've already covered the series multiple times, and have written about the game I'm about to cover, but here's the brief version of it: There are collectible monsters you have to use a watch to find. There are hundreds of the adorable...
  • Noe Valladolid

    Blocky take on favorite films & theme park attractions adds to fun of Disney Crossy Road

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    Game publishers are constantly looking for the next big thing but sometimes it's the little games that turn out to be the blockbusters. Take the game Crossy Road for example. You may have not heard of the mobile game but chances are that someone you know has a copy on their phone. The game was originally published in 2014 by a small studio called Hipster Whale. The game featured a chicken character trying to cross a never-ending road. The game was deceptively simple yet hard to put down. It was...
  • Alice Hill

    Death Comes to Pokemon: Finding usefulness in the series' most useless creature

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    Unless you've been living under a rock, or in space (or inside of a rock that's in space that isn't Our Rock In Space), you probably know what Pokemon is. If you don't ... wow! I'll keep it brief: Pokemon is about over 750 collectible little creatures. But an app that's been released earlier in May is focused on a very, very special Pokemon. The wonderfully useless Magikarp: A fish Pokemon that is known for being extremely weak and having the 'splash' attack, which...
  • Jim Hill

    Brattleboro's Strolling of the Heifers is a sincere if somewhat surreal way to spend a summer's day in Vermont

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    Some people travel halfway 'around the planet so that they can then experience the excitement of the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona . If you're more of a Slow Living enthusiast (as I am), then perhaps you should amble to Brattleboro, VT . Where - over the first weekend in June - you can then join a herd of cow enthusiasts at the annual Strolling of the Heifers . Now in its 16 th year, this three-day long event typically gets underway on Friday night in June with a combination block party...
  • Press Releases

    Marvel Fans: See Props, Costumes, New Games, Exclusive Content and More at Disney’s D23 EXPO 2017 in Anaheim

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    MARVEL ANNOUNCES EPIC EXPERIENCES FOR FANS AT DISNEY'S D23 EXPO 2017 IN ANAHEIM, JULY 14-16 BURBANK , Calif . ( June 1 , 2017) - Marvel will make its way to D23 Expo's show floor from July 14­-16 with an exciting look at its upcoming film titles in the Marvel Studios Pavilion, featuring an array of props and costumes from the Studios' upcoming slate, including Thor: Ragnarok , Black Panther , and more. In Marvel Studios' Thor: Ragnarok, in theaters November 2017, Thor is imprisoned...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney insiders say that updated edition of Hall of Presidents will seem very familiar to fans of this WDW show

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    As Walt Disney World gets ready to show off its latest addition - " Pandora - The World of Avatar ," that new 12-acre "land" at Disney's Animal Kingdom (which opens to the public on May 27th) - to the world press, those close to the Mouse House also want to clear up some confusion surrounding one of this Resort's oldest attractions. And that's The Hall of Presidents . This patriot pageant (which has been entertaining visitors to the Magic Kingdom since that theme park...
  • Jim Hill

    How Busch Gardens Williamsburg made InvadR, this theme park’s first-ever wooden roller coaster, seem like it had always been part of the terrain

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    It's sometimes been said that a person can't see the forest for the trees. Or the forest THROUGH the trees. But as Larry Giles - Busch Gardens' vice president of Engineering - looked out on the lush forest that still makes up much of the 383-acre site where this theme park was built back in the mid-1970s, Larry knew what he wanted to see traveling through those trees. And that was Williamsburg's very first-ever wooden roller coaster. Mind you, given that Busch Gardens Williamsburg...
  • Jim Hill

    With the help of ELLE Magazine & fashion designer Zac Posen, cartoon icon Betty Boop receives a modern-age makeover

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    According to the folks at Phrase Finder , when one is said to be " ... putting on the dog, " that then means that they are " ... dressing stylishly and flashily." Copyright King Features Syndicate, Inc. All rights reserved Well, Betty Boop certainly got to put on the dog earlier this year. Thanks to those two new dresses that Zac Posen designed for this classic cartoon character. Each of which were colored " Betty Boop Red ," that bold new hue Pantone just created to...
  • Jim Hill

    Did the original version of "Star Tours" predict how the Star Wars Saga would play out in "The Force Awakens" & "The Last Jedi" ?

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    The original version of Star Tours (which - because the initial iteration of this thrill ride opened at Disneyland Park back on January 9, 1987 - is celebrating its 30 th anniversary this year) was many things: Copyright Disney / Lucasfilm. All rights reserved A ground-breaking theme park attraction. A skillful mix of immersive storytelling & (for that time, anyway) cutting-edge technology. Such a densely-packed piece of entertainment that - no matter how many times you'd previously boarded...
  • Jim Hill

    Pixar's "Road to the Races" tour allows event attendees to get an up-close look at how "Cars 3" characters were designed

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    This past weekend, thousands of " Cars " fans made their way to Sylvester Baxter Riverfront Park in Somerville, MA. Eager to get a peek at Pixar Animation Studios ' upcoming release as the "Road to the Races" tour made its one & only pit stop in the New England area. And it wasn't just getting the chance to have their picture taken with a life-size look-alike of Lighting McQueen that brought out the crowds to Assembly Row. People also wanted to check the two new characters...
  • Jim Hill

    Broadway vet Eden Espinosa is living out her Disney dream by voicing Cassandra on "Tangled: The Series"

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    As Eden Espinosa recalls, it was early 2015 when Disney Television Animation initially reached out. Asking this Broadway star if she'd be interested in voicing a character for a new series that the Mouse was maybe going to produce. A show that - at that time, anyway - had a deliberately vague title: "Project T." "So they sent me the audition material," this 39 year-old performer recalled during a recent phone interview. "And as I read the breakdown on the character they...
  • Jim Hill

    Walt Disney Animation Studios Artist Showcase program encourages the creation of new children’s books

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    The creative legacies of Mary Blair & Bill Peet extend far beyond the time that these two spent at the Mouse House. And that is largely because – in addition to all the classic animated films & shorts that these Disney Legends contributed to – Mary & Bill also worked on children’s books. In Blair’s case … After Mary left Walt Disney Animation Studios in 1953 following the completion of production of “ Peter Pan ,” Simon & Shuster put her...
  • Jim Hill

    Knott's Berry Farm pays tribute to flavors from its past in fun new ways with its annual Boysenberry Festival

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    Visit any retailer this week and you'll discover the remnants of Easter. Half-priced Peeps and the like. But holidays that are already in the rear mirror don't interest Russ Knibbs. As the Vice President of Food & Beverage at Knott's Berry Farm , he's always more concerned with occasions that are still months away. Take - for example - how America's first theme park plans on celebrating Christmas in 2017. "We're already talking about Knott's Merry Farm , which...
  • Press Releases

    Shanghai To Host World Premiere Of Disney's “Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”

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    First-ever Mainland China Hollywood Movie World Premiere Will Take Place at Shanghai Disney Resort with an All-star Lineup of Special Guests on May 11 BURBANK, CALIF. (April 25, 2017)- Disney announced today that Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films' "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales" will have its World Premiere in Shanghai, China, at Shanghai Disney Resort on Thursday, May 11, marking the first time a Hollywood movie will premiere in Mainland China. Johnny Depp, Orlando...
  • Jim Hill

    "Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon" combines high speed tour of NYC with affectionate celebration of the history of NBC's "Tonight Show"

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    Ask baby boomers about Certs and their immediate response will be (thanks to having watched 'way too much television commercials in their youth) that " ... it's two (click) two (click) two mints in one." So why mention this breath mint (No, it's a candy mint) at the very start of an article about " Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon " ? Because this recent addition to Universal Studios Florida is kind of the Certs of attractions. In that it's not just...
  • Press Releases

    Disney Channel Original Movie "Descendants 2" To Premiere Simultaneously On Five Disney/ABC Television Networks, July 21

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    IN AN UNPRECEDENTED, FAR-REACHING PROGRAMMING EVENT, THE DISNEY CHANNEL ORIGINAL MOVIE "DESCENDANTS 2" WILL HAVE A SIMULTANEOUS PREMIERE ON FIVE TELEVISION NETWORKS WITHIN THE DISNEY|ABC TELEVISION GROUP, FRIDAY, JULY 21 (8:00 P.M., ET/PT), ON DISNEY CHANNEL, ABC , DISNEY XD, FREEFORM AND LIFETIME PLUS EACH NETWORK'S BRANDED DIGITAL PLATFORM A far-reaching, unprecedented and simultaneous premiere has been set for the Disney Channel Original Movie "Descendants 2" across five...
  • Jim Hill

    How Baby Moana went from being a test subject to a scene stealer in Walt Disney Animation Studio's latest hit

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    It's that moment in " Moana " where most audience members go from passively viewing this motion picture to being swept up in the magic & the wonder of this Walt Disney Animation Studios production. Which sequence am I talking about? It's right after the toddler version of this film's title character saves a baby sea turtle from some scavenging sea birds. Whereupon the ocean (who's a living, sentient being in this Ron Clements / John Musker movie) decides to reward Baby...
  • Press Releases

    Principal Casting Announced for Disney’s New Broadway Musical, "Frozen" Opening Spring 2018

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    Caissie Levy to Star as Elsa, Patti Murin to Star as Anna Jelani Alladin is Kristoff, Greg Hildreth is Olaf, John Riddle is Hans and Robert Creighton is Duke of Weselton Tony Award ® Winner Rob Ashford Joins Creative Team as Choreographer Disney Theatrical Production has announced the principal cast of the highly anticipated Broadway version of Walt Disney Animation's 2013 mega-hit "Frozen". Caissie Levy will star as Elsa and Patti Murin will star as Anna in Disney's new Broadway...
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