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  • Jim Hill

    How Universal Orlando sets the stage for Halloween Horror Nights 25 in just 60 minutes

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    One hour. 60 measly minutes. That's all the time that Show Director Lora Wallace and her team are given to transform the streets of Universal Studios Florida . Change these highly themed but family-friendly thoroughfares into a setting better suited for the hundreds of scareactors who work the nation's premier Halloween event, Universal Orlando 's Halloween Horror Nights 25 . Copyright 2015 Universal Studios. All rights reserved So how exactly does Universal Studios Florida pull off this...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney plans "Descendants" sequel for 2017, will hold fan event at the Disneyland Resort this Saturday

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    It's one of those hard-and-fast rules of the Disney Universe. That -- Flora (i.e., The leader of the good fairies in "Sleeping Beauty" put it) once put it -- " ... evil die and good endure!" So how then to explain the success of Disney's "Descendants." This Disney Channel Original Movie -- which was built around the teenage sons and daughters of Disney's most infamous villains -- debuted back on July 31st and wound up being cable television's fifth highest...
  • Jim Hill

    How Eric Goldberg created the Genie Outtakes for Disney's Diamond Edition of "Aladdin"

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    Here's an interesting tidbit for all of your animation fans out there: An excerpt from the screenplay for Disney's " Aladdin ." To be specific, the scene where the Genie makes his dramatic entrance in this motion picture: Aladdin rubs the lamp with his sleeve. It glows slightly -- and then, POOF! Colorful smoke spews out of the spout. It eddies and swirls, filling the cave, taking shape and solid form -- Towering above Aladdin is the gigantic GENIE of the lamp. He is a hip, hyper...
  • Jim Hill

    Ariel Winter looks ahead, prepares for life after "Modern Family" and "Sofia the First"

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    Between recording dialogue for "Sofia the First: The Secret Library" and getting ready to take her College Boards in real life, Ariel Winter has really been hitting the books lately. Copyright American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved "I just took the SAT yesterday," Ariel admitted during a recent phone interview. "Which -- I have to admit -- kind of freaked me out." But given that Alex Dunphy (i.e., the character that Alex plays on ABC 's "...
  • Jim Hill

    How Universal Studios Hollywood uses Krusty Burger to keep theme park guests from peeking at Harry Potter

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    Tomorrow night, "The Simpsons" kicks off its 27th season on Fox with an episode entitled "Every Man's Dream." Coincidentally, West Coast-based fans of this animated Fox animated comedy have been dreaming for decades now about getting the chance to visit Springfield (i.e., that hyper-detailed burg that Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Marge & Homer call home). Maybe do a little shopping at the Kwik-E-Mart. Grab a Ribwich at Krusty Burger. Or -- better yet -- drop by Lard Lad and treat...
  • Shelly Valladolid

    "They Drew As They Pleased" is sure to please Disney history buffs & animation fans alike

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    Do you want to learn about what REALLY happened back in the day at Disney Studios? Sorry, but you probably won't get the complete picture from watching a certain four-hour television special . And Tom Sito is busy with his day job at USC's animation department . He tells the most balanced history of The Strike I've ever heard. Tom Sito & his excellent animation history book, "Drawing the Line: The Untold Story of the Animation Union from Bosko to Bart Simpson." No, in order...
  • Jim Hill

    Don't wear Green & Gold to Universal Orlando's Jurassic Park unless you want the raptors there to see red

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    Just a bit of advice to all your Green Bay Packers fans out there: On the heels of yesterday's season opener (when the Packers traveled to Chicago's historic Soldier Field (and then beat the Bears 31 to 23), you're probably feeling pretty proud right about now. Which is why -- most likely -- you're wearing Green & Gold today. Well, if that's really the case and you're currently on vacation in Central Florida, you may want to steer clear of the Jurassic Park section of...
  • Press Releases

    Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK- New Trailer (Video)

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    Disney's "The Jungle Book" Directed by Jon Favreau ("Iron Man"), based on Rudyard Kipling's timeless stories and inspired by Disney's classic animated film, "The Jungle Book" is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who's been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate...
  • Jim Hill

    There's something fishy about Asher Blinkoff's voicework in "Hotel Transylvania 2"

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    When you're 6 & a 1/2, almost 7 years-old, you view the movie-making process differently than -- say -- your typical SAG-AFTRA member. Take -- for example -- Asher Blinkoff. The talented tot who's providing the voice of Dracula's grandson Dennis in Sony Pictures Animation 's " Hotel Transylvania 2 ." Copyright Sony Pictures Animation. All rights reserved What excites Asher most about making movies? Is it walking the red carpet with his fellow "HT2" cast members...
  • Jim Hill

    "Ant-Man" director Peyton Reed recalls working with Disney Legend Dean Jones

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    As the director of Marvel's most recent summer blockbuster, Peyton Reed has a lot to be thankful for these days. " 'Ant-Man' was a fantastic experience. The cast was amazing," Reed admitted during a recent phone call. "I'm really pleased with the way the finished film turned out. And I'm hoping that we get to do a follow-up." Peyton Reed (L) confers with Paul Rudd on the "Ant-Man" set. Copyright Marvel / Disney. All rights reserved Mind you, 20 year...
  • Jim Hill

    From beach house to the White House: How "Aladdin" 's Courtney Reed spent her summer vacation

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    After spending the last year & a half soaring high above the stage floor of the New Amsterdam Theatre aboard a magic carpet, Courtney Reed (who plays Princess Jasmine in the Broadway production of Disney's "Aladdin" ) was ready for some more down-to-earth activities. Courtney Reed & Adam Jacobs in the Broadway production of Disney's "Aladdin." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved "I was looking forward to spending some time on the Outer Banks...
  • Jim Hill

    Macy's Parade Studio gets some major Buzz (Lightyear) going at D23 EXPO 2015

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    Can you believe it? This November (November 19th, to be precise) marks the 20th anniversary of the release of " Toy Story ." Copyright Disney / Pixar. All rights reserved D23 -- the Official Disney Fan Club -- wanted to do something special to commemorate this occasion. So they arranged for John Lasseter , Pete Docter , Andrew Stanton , Lee Unkrich and other Pixar Animation Studios veterans to come on down to Anaheim. Where -- as part of D23 EXPO 2015 (which officially gets underway today...
  • Press Releases

    Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort Announces Room Expansion

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    400 new rooms coming to Universal Orlando's incredibly popular retro-themed hotel in 2017 ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 31, 2015) - Universal Orlando Resort and Loews Hotels & Resorts are excited to announce an expansion of Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort. Four-hundred new rooms will be added to the retro-themed hotel due to its tremendous success and positive guest response since opening in March 2014. Opening in 2017, the expansion will consist of two additional towers that will be located...
  • Press Releases

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens Exclusive Look Using Instagram's New Landscape Orientation

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    BURBANK, CALIF. (August 27, 2015) - Today, Instagram announced that - in addition to square posts - you can now share photos and videos in both portrait and landscape orientation on their platform. With this update, Instagram users can upload widescreen video which will be more cinematic than ever. This morning, @StarWars released an exclusive look at their upcoming film, The Force Awakens, using Instagram's new landscape orientation. As part of this collaboration, Star Wars: The Force Awakens...
  • Jim Hill

    Star Wars and star power -- plus Marvel, Pixar, and plenty of Disney -- at this year's D23 EXPO

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    When D23 -- Disney's official fan club -- launched the D23 EXPO back in 2009, all the "wonderful worlds" of Disney was pretty much just Disney. And -- of course -- Pixar , a Disney acquisition in 2006. And ABC , which Disney purchased over a decade before that. But now Disney's "world" has come to include a "universe" and a "galaxy" (albeit one far, far away). So how does Disney bring all of these seemingly disparate brands together for its biennial...
  • Jim Hill

    Get ready for Lord Dominator, "Wander Over Yonder" 's new extreme bad guy who happens to be a gal

    • 1 Comments
    It was Rudyard Kipling who said it best ( in rhyming couplets , no less): "The female of the species is more deadly than the male." And if you want animated proof of this proposition, then I suggest that you tune in to " Wander Over Yonder " tonight. Which is when Lord Dominator -- a brand-new female fiend -- makes her debut on Disney XD at 9 p.m. ET / PT as this Annie Award-winning series kicks off its second season. "And why is 'Wander' adding a new villain to its...
  • Press Releases

    Fall Issue of Disney twenty-three Magazine Devoted To D23 Expo 2015

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    DISNEY TWENTY-THREE TAKES GUESTS ON A JOURNEY THROUGH SHANGHAI DISNEY RESORT AND TOY STORY 'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY IN AN ISSUE DEVOTED TO D23 EXPO 2015, DISNEY'S OFFICIAL FAN CLUB ALSO SHARES ARCHIVAL DISNEYLAND TREASURES, EXPLORES DISNEY AND MARVEL'S COMIC BOOK COLLABORATION, AND PROFILES THE NEW DISNEY LEGENDS. BURBANK, Calif. - AUGUST 10, 2015 - In celebration of D23 EXPO 2015, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club is devoting its Fall publication of Disney twenty-three to some of the remarkable...
  • Press Releases

    Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company Issues Statement on Disney Legend, Frank Gifford

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    Pro Football Hall of Famer and veteran sports journalist Frank Gifford has died in Connecticut, his family announced on Sunday. He was 84. Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company has issued the following statement. President of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger (L) and TV commentator Frank Gifford attend the 2008 Disney Legends Ceremony at the Walt Disney Studios on October 13, 2008 in Burbank, California. Source: Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images North America "Frank Gifford was an...
  • Press Releases

    AMC's "The Walking Dead" Returns to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights 2015

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    AMC's "The Walking Dead" Returns to "Halloween Horror Nights" at Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, Unleashing the Terror of Season 5 Upon the Country's Most Extreme and Highly-Anticipated Halloween Events Universal City, Ca., Orlando, Fla., July 30, 2015 - The nation's insatiable appetite for AMC's "The Walking Dead" will continue to terrify Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort when the most intense moments...
  • Jim Hill

    Could we see a king-sized character in Disney "Descendants 2" ?

    • 1 Comments
    Look, I really don't want to be that guy . Especially since I just wrote an article for HuffPost that talked about how Kenny Ortega and his creative team got the Disney-related details right on " Descendants ." But then I was told to take a closer look at the map of the United States of Auradon that makes a brief appearance at the very start of this Disney Channel Original Movie. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Given that there's a Bald Mountain stashed in...
  • Jim Hill

    Will "Descendants" become the Disney Channel's next big franchise? Director / choreographer Kenny Ortega sure hopes that it does

    • 3 Comments
    Given that Kenny Ortega made a fortune for the Mouse a decade ago when he directed " High School Musical " (i.e., that 2006 Disney Channel Original Movie which eventually launched a best-selling album, a sold-out ice show, a super-popular concert tour as well as stage productions around the globe) ... Well, it only makes sense that -- as a reward -- Mickey would offer Kenny the Magic Kingdom's crown jewels. As is: Give Ortega the opportunity to build a brand-new Disney Channel Original...
  • Jim Hill

    "Jessie" co-star Cameron Boyce graduates to the big leagues with Disney XD's "Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything"

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    You're familiar with the concept of a farm team, right? That place where would-be professional ballplayers go to get the training & experience that they need before these talented young athletes are then ready to move on up to "The Big Show" ? Well, the Disney Channel has a similar sort of system in place. And there's no better example of someone who's steadily climbed the ladder, worked his way up through the ranks at the Mouse House -- going from a guest appearance on...
  • Press Releases

    Cooper Hewitt to Present Exhibition "PIXAR: The Design of Story" This Fall

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    Pixar: The Design of Story Examining the collaborative design process behind Pixar Animation Studios, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum presents "Pixar: The Design of Story," from Oct. 8, 2015 through Aug. 7, 2016. Featuring original artwork, including rarely seen hand-drawn sketches, paintings and sculptures, the exhibition reveals how Pixar develops popular characters, fosters emotional connection to its films and, ultimately, how the design process is at the studio's core...
  • Press Releases

    Mickey Mouse Himself Kicks Off Disney’s TeamMickey All-Star Baseball Tour at the St. Louis Cardinals vs Atlanta Braves Game.

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    'Take Me Out to the Ball Game" -- Mickey dons his baseball uniform to lead the crowd in some fun! #TeamMickey All-Star Baseball Tour, launched in St. Louis on Sunday 7/26. The #TeamMickey All-Star Baseball Tour kicked off last weekend, allowing fans of all ages to celebrate two beloved All-American icons: baseball and Mickey Mouse. Mickey and local members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America celebrate Baseball and kick-off #TeamMickey All-Star Baseball Tour, in St. Louis on Sunday 7/26...
  • Press Releases

    Disney Store to Unveil All-new Product Collections at D23 EXPO 2015

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    Glendale, Calif. - July 23, 2015 - Disney Store today announced the all-new collections and Limited Editions set to launch at this year's D23 EXPO 2015, Disney's ultimate fan event held at the Anaheim Convention Center August 14-16. Located within the Disney Consumer Products Pavilion at D23 EXPO, the Disney Store shop will feature new and exclusive products showcased throughout more than 3,000 sq. ft. of retail space. New items celebrating everyone's favorite characters will be unveiled...
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