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  • Jim Hill

    Matthew Youngberg & Francisco Angones raise the stakes for Scrooge McDuck's family with their DuckTales reboot for Disney XD

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    Back in the early summer of 2015, when Matthew Youngberg & Francisco Angones first met to discuss how they were going to try and reboot DuckTales for Disney XD , the big question that really dogged them was ... Which version of this much-beloved IP were these two actually going to revive? "Both Matt and I have an intense love for the original animated series. But we also understood that the DuckTales characters meant different things to different people," Angones - the co-producer ...
  • Jim Hill

    How one man's attempt to keep his wife happy led to the production of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"

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    If you were to ask Star Trek fans which was the best film to be based on that much-beloved 1960s television series, "Wrath of Khan" would undoubtedly be their answer. And as to who should get the lion's share of the credit for this 1982 Paramount Pictures release actually being exciting & entertaining (which then made "Star Trek II" a decided improvement over that studio's initial attempt to transfer Kirk & Co. to the big screen, 1979's "Star Trek: The...
  • Jim Hill

    Remembering X Atencio and the weird career path that took him from being an assistant animator to becoming a Disney Legend

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    "Playful spooks have interrupted our tour. Please remain seated in your ... Doom Buggy." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.All rights reserved If you've ever been on The Haunted Mansion and heard this message as your ride vehicle temporarily came to a halt, those were the reassuring tones of Disney Legend X Atencio that you were listening to. Who just passed away this past Sunday at the ripe old age of 98. And believe you me, X knew a lot about interrupted journeys. The weird little...
  • Jim Hill

    "My Golden Ticket" allows Willy Wonka fans to go on a personalized tour of that fabled chocolate factory

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    Ever since "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" was first published back in 1964, people have dreamed of visiting the Wonka Works. Make their way past those fabled gates and then ... Well, go for a sail down the chocolate river aboard the Wonkatania. Copyright Wonderbly. All rights reserved Or - better yet - visit some of the rooms at that factory that Roald Dahl mentioned in his text but which readers then never got to explore. I mean, what sort of machinery is actually inside of the Juicing...
  • Jim Hill

    The Property Brothers take Jonathan and Drew's House Party on the road to promote their new memoir

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    The long Labor Day weekend is traditionally when Americans kick back for a bit. Catch a three day-long breather before these same people then plunge into all of the projects work that they've got planned for the Fall. Drew Scott and Emma Slater, his professional dancing partner for the upcoming season of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Photo by Craig Sjodin. Copyright A merican Broadcasting Co mpanies, Inc. All rights reserved Well, Drew Scott clearly never got the take-Labor-Day...
  • Jim Hill

    "SAW" maze at Universal's Halloween Horror Nights will help promote "Jigsaw," the eighth film in this Lionsgate series

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    When it comes to successfully marketing your motion picture, it helps to know where your target audience actually is / will be. Which is why - when Warner Bros. wanted to get comic book fans excited about " Wonder Woman " earlier this year - it worked with over 2,000 comic retailers, bookstores, and libraries around the world to spread the word about this Patty Jenkins film. Likewise when Marvel Studios wanted to make sure that " Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 " would become a...
  • Jim Hill

    Remembering Marty Sklar, the Disney Legend who specialized in making other people's dreams come true

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    If you look around the Web today, you'll see that there are lots of Disney fans who are expressing sorrow at Marty Sklar's untimely passing . But I wonder how many of these folks would ever admit that they were among those who - just two weeks ago today - actually booed this Disney Legend. All because Marty - at the "Disney Pirates of the Caribbean: 50 Years of Swashbuckling Adventures in Disney Parks" panel at this year's D23 EXPO - dared to defend Imagineering's recent...
  • Jim Hill

    The Official Star Trek Convention goes boldly where few cons dare to go by offering its attendees assigned seating

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    Through his various " Star Trek " productions, Gene Roddenberry shared his dream for a far more hopeful future. One where humanity eventually rose above all of its petty squabbling and began to travel to the stars. Gary Berman & Adam Malin had a dream too. An admittedly far more earth-bound one. One where they'd take your typical trip to a comic book convention (which was - and still is, in certain corners of fandom - infamous for its long lines and rough treatment of attendees...
  • Jim Hill

    Want to know the secret of President Trump’s distinctive ‘do? Madame Tussauds says that it takes lots & lots & lots of product

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    Everyone has a bad hair day every now and then. Well, imagine what Ashley Priselac - the studio manager for Madame Tussauds Orlando - has to deal with. Especially on those mornings when she arrives at this I-Drive attraction to do her usual 6:30 a.m. walk-thru and then discovers that a good percentage of the 75 - 80 wax figures that are on display here now have disheveled 'dos. "Sometimes - just by looking at the figures during morning walk-thru - it's easy to tell that we'd had...
  • Jim Hill

    Don't have a badge for this year's Comic-Con? There's still all sorts of cinematic fun to be found by wandering the streets of San Diego

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    I know, I know. You don't have tickets for Comic-Con this year. Which means that you can't partake in all of the cool, pop cultural stuff that's going on down in San Diego right now. And that's making you blue, right? Copyright Disney Pixar. All rights reserved Well ... What if I were to tell that that's not entirely true? Copyright Disney Pixar. All rights reserved I mean, sure. If you want to do something like meet Michael Giacchino (i.e., the guy who won an Academy Award for...
  • Jim Hill

    Advance planning & strategic camping are the keys to having a satisfying experience at San Diego Comic-Con

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    What with the introduction of the Toucan Tracker wristband system back in 2014 (which can virtually hold one's place in line outside of Hall H. Which means that most Comic-Con attendees can now go back to their hotel rooms & get a good night's sleep -- more importantly, bathe - prior to seeing one of those super-popular film panels inside of this 6500-seat venue), there just isn't as much camping out in Plaza Park as there used to be. Mind you, inside the San Diego Convention Center...
  • Jim Hill

    "Ralph Wrecks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2" to feature brutally funny send-up of the Disney Princesses

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    Back when he was promoting "Zootopia" 's theatrical release, screenwriter Phil Johnston shared this great behind-the-scenes story about one of the more memorable / infamous moments from that 2016 Walt Disney Animation Studios production. You know the scene that I'm talking about. The one where Chief Bogo (i.e., the gruff old water buffalo character who was voiced by Idris Elba) tries to persuade office Judy Hopps (i.e., the naïve new hire voiced by "Once Upon a Time"...
  • Jim Hill

    Star Wars Land model unveiled at D23 EXPO reveals Disney's ambitious plans for this immersive theme park addition

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    For the better part of a year now, theme park fans have been closely watching as all sorts of steel has been rising up in the northwestern corner of Disneyland Park . Photo by Jim Hill Mind you, it's common knowledge that this construction was being done for Star Wars Land, which is supposed to open in Anaheim & at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the Spring of 2019. But what isn't as well known is what this 14-acre addition to those two theme parks would actually entail. Well, all that...
  • Jim Hill

    What does Kenny Ortega enjoy more: Making TV movies like "Descendants 2" or the positive messages that these Disney Channel Originals put across?

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    Two years ago, just prior to when the original "Descendants" premiered on Disney Channel, director Kenny Ortega told me he wished this musical fantasy would do extremely well in the ratings. That way, he and the cast (not to mention the creative team behind this Disney Channel Original) might then get the chance to make a sequel to this particular TV production. "The Descendants world really is a wonderful place to play in. I think - were you to ask the cast and the crew - they'd...
  • Jim Hill

    Knott's Berry Farm offers two takes on its historic Ghost Town for the Summer of 2017

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    How do you like your Ghost Town? Virtual or extra-lively? Because - this summer -- Knott's Berry Farm actually gives you options. You can either experience a VR version of this theme park's historic Old West section (where you'll then get to battle robots in an immersive 360 shooter). Or you can explore Ghost Town Alive! where the streets of Calico are filled with dozens of performers dressed in authentic western garb. Who then - with the help of Guests who are visiting the farm for the...
  • Jim Hill

    Jens Dahlmann of LongHorn Steakhouse has lots of great tips when it comes to grilling

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    Sure, for some folks, the Fourth of July is all about fireworks. But for the 75% of all Americans who own a grill or a smoker, the Fourth is our Nation's No. 1 holiday when it comes to grilling. Which is why 3 out of 4 of those folks will spend some time outside today working over a fire. But here's the thing: Though 14 million Americans can cook a steak with confidence because they actually grill something every week, the rest of us - because we use our grill or smoker so infrequently ....
  • Jim Hill

    Dealing with those last-episode-of-the-season "Doctor Who" blues? BritBox and its amazing collection of British TV shows can help

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    There are TV programs where you can watch any one randomly-selected episode and then immediately know everything that you need to know about that particular set of characters & the world that they live in. And then there are shows like " Doctor Who ." Copyright BBC. All rights reserved I bring this up because ... This past weekend, BBC America aired " World Enough and Time ," the first part of "Doctor Who" 's Season 10 finale. And I have to admit that I kind...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney insiders debunk Hall of Presidents controversy, describe Imagineers’ relationship with Trump White House as professional & cordial

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    The Hall of Presidents at WDW's Magic Kingdom is renown for a lot of reasons: Its earnest, respectful and almost painfully balanced look back at our nation's history. Not to mention being a technological marvel that - thanks to the magic of Audio Animatronics - manages to create the illusion that all of this country's Commander-in-Chiefs have somehow gathered together onstage at one point in time. Where they then all interact with one another with great dignity & restraint. But you...
  • Jim Hill

    Lauren Graham & James Van Der Beek make their Disney Junior debuts with "Vampirina" animated series

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    Is the world really ready for Lauren Graham to go from being a "Gilmore Girl" to a "Gilmore Ghoul?" Well, we'll have an answer to that question later this year when "Vampirina" premieres on Disney Channel , Disney Junior and the new Disney NOW app . This new animated series (which is based on " Vampirina Ballerina ," that popular children's book series from Disney Publishing) chronicles the adventures of a young vampire girl who struggles to fit in...
  • 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...
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