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  • 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

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    "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

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    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?

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    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

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    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...
  • Jim Hill

    Never mind Spider-Man battling the Sinister Six. You should see the fights that go behind-the-scenes on at Marvel's story summits

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    As any Spider-Man fan can tell you, "With great power must also come great responsibility." But what comes with great ratings? A surprise renewal. That was the very-good-problem-to-have that Cort Lane (Vice President of Animation Development & Partnerships at Marvel) and Stephen Wacker (Vice President of Current Animation at Marvel) suddenly found themselves dealing with back in the Spring of 2015. Back when Disney XD decided to order up another season of " Marvel's Ultimate...
  • Jim Hill

    "The Good Dinosaur" 's production design presented many challenges to Harley Jessup and his team at Pixar

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    Once upon a time, Harley Jessup worked on "Twice Upon a Time." And while this John Korty film would eventually go on to achieve cult status, when George Lucas' first attempt at creating a full length animated feature went into limited release back in August of 1983 and then quickly faded from view, this then-29 year-old character designer decided that he was swearing off animation. "Don't get me wrong. I have great memories of working on 'Twice Upon a Time. It's just...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney XD's "Gravity Falls" comes to a close tonight (or does it?) with "Weirdmageddon 3: Take Back the Falls"

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    Presidents Day is when we commemorate the people who have led this country. And buy mattresses (or so says Forbes ). So before you focus all of your attention on one of life's truly big decisions (i.e., Do you go with innerspring or memory foam?), let's remember that there were other Commanders-in-Chief besides General George & Honest Abe. Unsung, truly courageous men like Martin Van Buren , William Henry Harrison and Lord Quentin Trembley III. What's that? You've never heard...
  • Jim Hill

    How the Grinch gave Universal Studios Hollywood a Christmas to call its own

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    So now that the ball has dropped in Times Square and all those flower-covered floats have rolled through downtown Pasadena, that then means we can officially put the 2015 holiday season behind us ... right? Not according to the folks who run the Disney and Universal theme parks. Where Christmas will continue to be celebrated through January 3rd. Now before some baby boomer out there decides to play their " ... it wasn't like this when I was growing up" card, let me point out here that...
  • Jim Hill

    What would Walt have thought of "Two More Eggs," Disney XD's deliberately anarchic series of animated shorts?

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    It's a really interesting time to be a Disney fan. After all, in a year where " Star Wars: The Force Awakens ," " Avengers: Age of Ultron " and " Inside Out " helped Walt Disney Studios blow past the $5 billion box office barrier for the very first time in the Company's history, the Mouse Factory honestly doesn't look all that much like the outfit that the Disney Brothers started back in 1923. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Which is...
  • Jim Hill

    Winchester Mystery House puts a paranormal twist on the holidays with its "Spirit of Christmas" event

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    Are you looking for something a little different to do this holiday season? If so ... Well, given that one of the more popular tales to tell this time of year (i.e., Charles Dickens ' "A Christmas Carol" ) is just loaded with ghosts, maybe you'd be up for a visit to one of America's most haunted homes? To be specific, the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California. Which -- earlier this month -- kicked off a brand-new "Spirit of Christmas" event that allows people...
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