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  • Jim Hill

    Andreas Deja shares the lessons he learned from those animation masters, Disney's Nine Old Men

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    When Andreas Deja was a little boy growing up in Germany, he loved going to the movies. He especially enjoyed catching the theatrical re-releases of classic Disney animated features like "Lady & the Tramp" and "The Jungle Book." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved "And as I watching the credits for these films, I couldn't help but notice that the same names kept appearing over & over," Andreas recalled during a recent phone interview. "Given...
  • Jim Hill

    How a PR problem led to the creation of Disney's first Latina princess, "Elena of Avalor"

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    Back in October of 2012, the Internet temporarily lost its mind when Jamie Mitchell - the producer of the then-soon-to-launch "Sofia the First" television series - mistakenly identified this show's title character as Disney's first Latina princess. Princess Sofia and her mother, Queen Miranda. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Within a day or so, The Mouse House was walking back Mitchell's off-the-cuff comment. But where everyone else saw an embarrassing...
  • Jim Hill

    Women in Animation panels prove that there's more to San Diego Comic-Con than just promotion of pop culture

    • 1 Comments
    Thanks to Comic-Con International , now through Sunday, San Diego is the white-hot center of the pop culture universe. Photo by Jim Hill Mind you, there's more to this four day-long event than those high-profile presentations in Hall H. Which is where various movie studios will be parading celebrities & showing exclusive clips. All with the hope that those 6000 early adopters who have (some of them, anyway) been camped out in this cavernous convention center for hours ahead of time will then...
  • Jim Hill

    How Eric Stonestreet almost missed out on voicing Duke the Dog for "The Secret Life of Pets"

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    Given that Eric Stonestreet has spent the past seven years working on " Modern Family ," this two-time Emmy Award-winner thought he knew how things worked in Hollywood. (L to R) Jesse Tyler Ferguson & Eric Stonestreet on ABC's "Modern Family." Copyright 20th Century Fox / American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved "Your manager will periodically send you out to do a meet-n-greet with someone. This is one of those go-through-the-motions business things...
  • Andrea Monti

    "Mickey and the Magician" show opens at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris

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    Thanks to a talented team of artists from California, the UK and Paris, Mickey made some magic at Disneyland Paris this past Saturday. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Katy Harris - the Show director for Creative Entertainment at Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Paris - and her team collaborated with Michael Jung - the Vice President of Theatrical Development at Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment - to give European theme park fans a brand-new stage show to enjoy...
  • Press Releases

    Disney Announcement - "Wreck-it Ralph" Returns to Wreck the Internet March 9, 2018 (Video)

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    (Disney)
  • Jim Hill

    "Let It Go" gets the LEGO treatment as a whole new Disney "Frozen" story unfolds across books, TV & digital with "Frozen Northern Lights"

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    What with " Frozen - Live at the Hyperion " opening in late May at Disney California Adventure Park and Epcot 's " Frozen Ever After " attraction opening its doors later this morning, Anna & Elsa have had a very busy month. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved So what will these Scandinavian sisters be doing for an encore? Would you believe joining forces with the LEGO Group? Anna & Elsa - along with Kristoff, Olaf & Sven - will be starring in...
  • Press Releases

    Universal Orlando Resort's Volcano Bay Water Theme Park to Open in 2017

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    Volcano Bay to Become Universal Orlando’s Third Theme Park, International Tickets On Sale Soon for Travel Dates Beginning June 1, 2017 A One-of-A-Kind Paradise Filled with Adventure-Drenched Thrills, Relaxing Indulgence and Rejuvenation Universal’s Volcano Bay is a radically-innovative water theme park opening next year at Universal Orlando Resort. Spanning 28 fully immersive acres, Universal Orlando’s third theme park will be an entirely new kind of water theme park experience...
  • Jim Hill

    Before he voiced Dory's Dad in Pixar's "Finding Nemo" sequel, Eugene Levy made a big splash in Disney's first-ever Touchstone release, "Splash"

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    "I've played some Dads in my day." Anyone familiar with Eugene Levy 's filmography knows that the above statement is true. After all, this Canadian comedy legend played Jim Levenstein's Dad in all eight installments of the " American Pie " sex comedy series. Not to mention that hyper-competitive papa in " Cheaper by the Dozen 2 ." And let's not forget that Eugene is currently appearing alongside his own children - Daniel & Sarah Levy -- in Pop's...
  • Jim Hill

    Walt Disney Animation Studios' newest short, "Inner Workings," explores the importance of mixing work with pleasure

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    It's Friday. The end of the work week for a lot of folks. Which means that they're finally able to get away from jobs that they don't necessarily enjoy. But what if there was a way to take an unpleasant employment situation like that and then transform that chore into a joy? And not by physically transforming one's workplace. But - rather - by changing the way that you view said workplace. That's the creative conceit behind "Inner Workings," the delightful new short...
  • Noe Valladolid

    As DC fans will now tell you, it's always darkest before the "Dawn of Justice"

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    Superheroes aren't the feel-good characters they used to be. Copyright Warner Bros. All rights reserved In recent years, many of the superhero films have taken a dark and somber turn. Blame it on the success of the "Dark Knight" trilogy but the truth is rooted in comic book tradition. Long-time comic book fans know that there have been graphic novels featuring characters from both Marvel and DC that have dealt with serious issues for decades. Racism, cancer, addiction, suicide and even...
  • Alice Hill

    "Yo-Kai Wib Wob" mobile game initially charming, but quickly gets repetitive

    • 11 Comments
    "Yo-Kai Watch" is a series that I worried would never catch on in America. The series rocked Japan, with over 1.33 million units of the first game sold over there, over ten games (including apps and spin-offs), and Yo-Kai tokens featuring characters from the series that had people lining up for hours to get. The character designs in this adorable, fun, ghost-driven game were irresistible, adorable, and sometimes completely repulsive in the most fantastic way. But luckily enough, "Yo...
  • Noe Valladolid

    Ghostbusters enter a new dimension with Madame Tussauds virtual reality experience & LEGO expansion pack

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    The Ghostbusters has been a prime piece of pop culture real estate for over 30 years. In the video game landscape there have been a few memorable and many forgettable titles. In 1987 Data East released an arcade version called the Real Ghostbusters, named after the popular animated series. The game was tedious and difficult. It never saw a sequel but that didn't stop audiences from wanting to try another Ghostbusters game. It also did not stop various studios from trying to get another Ghostbusters...
  • Alice Hill

    "Finding Dory: Just Keep Swimming" app features beautiful design, challenging gameplay

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    The long-awaited sequel to "Finding Nemo" arrives in theaters in little more than a week. To help raise awareness of this highly-anticipated Pixar Animation Studios production, Disney Digital Books and Seven2 have released the "Finding Dory: Just Keep Swimming" app. Which is a fun, interesting storytelling experience geared towards kids that's jaw-droppingly gorgeous. Copyright Disney Pixar. All rights reserved Using your finger, the player guides the world's most famous...
  • Noe Valladolid

    Universal plans a Potter-sized Nintendo Land at its theme park in Osaka

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    Mickey and the House of Mouse better watch out. Mario is moving into the castle ! Nintendo and Universal plan to have the first Nintendo park ready in a few years. The target date is by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics . It won't really be a self-contained theme park, but rather an expansion to the existing Universal Studios Japan which is located in Osaka. Universal is betting big on this project and plans to invest 400 billion Yen or over $350 million US into its development, which was more than was...
  • Alice Hill

    "Yo-kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls" coming to America

    • 1 Comments
    If you've been watching Disney XD lately OR If you've been in a Target , a Walmart , a Hot Topic OR anywhere that sells video games ... Heck, if you've been around a group of kids lately, chances are you've heard of Yo-Kai Watch . Initially released in Japan by Level-5 in 2013, just last year the first of Yo-Kai Watch games were translated and brought over for American audiences. In Japan, the game was a huge, bombastic hit. And why not? The creatures within the game were based on...
  • Jim Hill

    Jason Bateman & Ginnifer Goodwin talk about voicing Nick Wilde & Officer Judy Hopps for Disney's "Zootopia"

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    " Will Arnett put you up to this, didn't he?" That's what Jason Bateman said to his agent four years ago when this " Arrested Development " star learned that Walt Disney Animation Studios wanted him to come voice one of the leads for " Zootopia ." "Ever since ' Toy Story ' -- or was it ' Shrek ' ? - film actors were being invited to voice these really great characters in animated films. And that was something that I really, really wanted...
  • Jim Hill

    Josh Gad looks back at "Angry Birds," ahead to live-action "Beauty and the Beast" & "Frozen 2"

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    Never mistake an actor for a role that they've played and/or a character that they've voiced. That's an especially smart thing to remember when talking with Josh Gad . Sure, he originated the role of insecure, incorrigible Elder Cunningham in the Tony Award-winning " Book of Mormon ." Not to mention voicing sweet, naïve Olaf in Disney's animated smash, " Frozen ." But just because Gad has a gift for playing these child-like characters doesn't then automatically...
  • Jim Hill

    Two beloved brits celebrate their 90th birthdays with style in "Winnie-the-Pooh and the Royal Birthday"

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    Anyone familiar with the writings of A.A. Milne knows that the author of Winnie-the-Pooh had a real fondness for the Royal Family . Mind you, the royals who appear in "When We Were Very Young," Milne's best-selling book of poetry from 1924, weren't always on their best behavior. Take - for example - the monarch who fusses & pouts in "The King's Breakfast." Literally sobbing as he hurries back to bed, all because his servants have forgotten a little butter for his...
  • Jim Hill

    Craig Gillespie worked hard to make sure that CG waves didn't swamp "The Finest Hours" real-life story

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    Take a look at the photo below. See that boat tied up at a marina in Orleans, MA ? (And I'm not talking about the fishing charter to the right. But - rather - the modest vessel to the left). Photo by Jim Hill Doesn't look like all that much, does it? When you take a closer look at the thing, it seems like there's barely enough room for the four brave Coast Guardsmen who manned this particular motor lifeboat back in February of 1952. Photo by Jim Hill But then you notice the plaque .....
  • Nancy Stadler

    It's Jim Hill in the Restaurant with the Book - The Jungle Book - and You Can Join Him June 5th

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    It’s a Jungle (Book) Out There For more than 50 years, The Walt Disney Company has been reimagining the writings of Rudyard Kipling–taking his tales of Mowgli the man-cub and his animal friends and then turning them into hugely popular films and television series. Let Jim Hill take you from Bill Peet’s far-too-dark take on this tale (which Walt Disney just hated) to Jon Favreau’s photo-realistic box office smash (for which the Studio is already developing a sequel). You’re...
  • Jim Hill

    How "Jungle Book" director Jon Favreau coaxed such a great performance out of acting novice Neel Sethi

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    So who exactly is Neel Sethi , the 12 year-old cinematic newcomer who's the only live-on-screen human performer in Disney's "The Jungle Book" ? Which -- after spending its second weekend at the top of the domestic box office -- has now gone on to sell over $500 million worth of tickets worldwide. More importantly, why -- out of the hundreds of child actors who auditioned for the role of Mowgli in Jon Favreau 's live-action reimagining of Disney's 1967 animated classic -...
  • Jim Hill

    So how are Toy Story Land & the Star Wars Experience supposed to link up at Disney's Hollywood Studios?

    • 15 Comments
    So I -- like a lot of you, no doubt -- have spent the last day or so sifting through all of the info that came out of this week's "Awaken Summer" media event down at the Walt Disney World Resort . And there was something that caught my eye about this new piece of The Star Wars Experience concept art. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Take a close look at the right-hand side of the above image. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Does that look...
  • Jim Hill

    Universal Creative tweaked the magical formula it used to create Hollywood's Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    • 2 Comments
    Given that there are already Wizarding Worlds in Orlando & Osaka, why should Harry Potter fans now travel to Hollywood to experience the third theme park incarnation of that magical realm which J.K. Rowling dreamed up? Because -- as Professor Flitwick (who teaches the Charms class at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry) might say -- the third time's the charm. Universal Creative took all of the lessons that they learned while creating the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter for...
  • Jim Hill

    Hollywood's El Capitan Theatre gets ready to celebrate its 90th anniversary

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    Tonight, all eyes are on the Dolby Theatre and the 88th Academy Awards . But tomorrow morning -- after that 500 foot-long red carpet (which gets rolled out along Hollywood Boulevard every year so that the stars then have something grand to stand upon) has been packed away -- where can one then go to experience some of the glitz & glamour of today's Tinseltown? Well, some people might stroll up the block to the TCL Chinese Theatre . This cinematic temple originally opened back in May of 1927...
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