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Angela Ragno Angela is the Walt Disney World shopping queen. 16
Flo Doyle 2
Floyd Norman 105
Jeff Lange 99
Nancy Stadler 28
  • Shelly Valladolid

    Sing Along with Mickey and Oswald in Epic Mickey 2: The Power of 2

    • 8 Comments
    Disney Interactive Media Group and game designer, master storyteller and huge Disney geek Warren Spector announced the sequel to last year's Wii game " Disney Epic Mickey ," with some changes that fans will love - or hate. The problems with the camera that plagued Epic Mickey will be a thing of the past, and Oswald will be a playable, speaking character. Traditionalists may argue that since Oswald never had a voice in his Disney shorts, he shouldn't talk now. However, the majority...
  • Floyd Norman

    Toon Tuesday: Making Magic in the Digital Age

    • 8 Comments
    Is it just me or has animated cartoon film making finally evolved into something else? With motion pictures like " Rango " and " The Adventures of Tintin " finding a home in the Academy Awards animated film category I can't help but wonder how these movies are all that different from their live action counterparts. In years past I remember audiences going to animated movies because they were NOT live-action and they weren't real. There was something fanciful and delightful...
  • Shelly Valladolid

    Stars & D23 members come out for the LA premiere of "John Carter"

    • 5 Comments
    Given that " John Carter " is mostly set on the red planet, it's only appropriate that the stars who attended Wednesday night's premiere of this Andrew Stanton film ... Photo by Shelly Valladolid ... walked down the red carpet at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live . Walt Disney Pictures really went all out for "John Carter" 's LA premiere. Persuading Academy Award-winners like Helen Mirren to come for this event ... Photo by Shelly Valladolid ... not to mention crafting a giant...
  • Floyd Norman

    Toon Tuesday: Taking a wild ride on the "Jungle Book" express

    • 7 Comments
    The other evening, a pal who works for an animation studio that shall remain nameless was telling me about the project he was developing. It was great news to hear he had garnered the attention of the studio bosses and was moving into development on his new movie. But I couldn't but think how things have changed in the cartoon business. People constantly tell me how much "The Jungle Book" impressed them. We thought it was okay. But this movie made a ton of movie back in 1967 and helped...
  • Angela Ragno

    Help a great cause and get your holiday shopping done early at WDW's United Way Benefit Sale

    • 0 Comments
    If you snooze, you lose. That turn-of-phrase is appropriate in a lot of situations. But none more so than on November 5 th . Where - if you decide to sleep in that morning and then miss out on this year's United Way Benefit Sale at the Downtown Disney Marketplace - you're not only going to miss out on your chance to help a really worthy cause, you're also going to miss out on all sorts of great bargains. "What sort of bargains?," you ask. Well, how about 25% off of select merchandise...
  • Floyd Norman

    Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, Jim Henson and the matter of time

    • 4 Comments
    The three men were engaged in a spirited conversation when I took a seat directly behind them. This was a screening room at the Walt Disney Studio and we were there to get a look at a new animated feature film being produced by Pixar Animation Studios . In front of me and to my right was the Vice Chairman, Roy Edward Disney and to my left was animation veteran and Disney Legend Joe Grant . Seated in between the two of them was the guy who owned the fledgling animation company. His name was Steve...
  • Flo Doyle

    Sitting in on a taping of Tim Allen's new ABC sitcom, "Last Man Standing"

    • 4 Comments
    So how did I almost wind up winning an autographed "Tim the Tool Man" Taylor toolkit while attending a taping of Tim Allen 's new ABC sitcom, " Last Man Standing " ? It's kind of a funny story. Tim Allen and Nancy Travis on the set of "Last Man Standing." Photo by Peter "Hopper" Stone. Copyright American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved To explain: I have always wanted to attend a TV taping just to see what one was like. But in all my...
  • Floyd Norman

    Toon Tuesday: Working without a Net

    • 7 Comments
    The new Mission Impossible trailer was screened last weekend and I couldn't help looking for the screen credit, "Directed by Brad Bird." I've always considered Brad to be a risk taker and I remember him saying that a creative person has to be willing to "leap off the cliff" if necessary. Brad Bird knows what it takes to make good movies In today's less-than-creative environment it's cool to hear such sentiments expressed so openly. When Bird journeyed to Pixar...
  • Shelly Valladolid

    Disney Vacation Club offered suite incentives to those who bought points in Aulani this past weekend

    • 4 Comments
    Though Southern California is over 2500 miles away from the island of Hawai'I, those who dropped by the Westin Pasadena this past weekend got a sample of that Aloha spirit ... Photo by Noe Valladolid ... by attending a DVC presentation about Aulani, that soon-to-open Disney Resort & Spa which is being built along a white-sand beach in Ko Olina. Photo by Noe Valladolid Guests arriving at the Westin Pasadena were initially directed to a function room ... Photo by Noe Valladolid ... where -...
  • Floyd Norman

    How an under-developed, over-cooked "Black Cauldron" led to better days at Disney Animation Studios

    • 7 Comments
    I didn't work on Disney's " The Black Cauldron ," so you'll gain no film-making insights from me this time around. Oddly enough, this was a very important film for The Walt Disney Company. And although it didn't exactly burn up the box office charts when it opened, "The Black Cauldron" served an even greater purpose. However, we'll get to that later. What I did find interesting back in the early 1980s was a change in attitude at Disney's animation department...
  • Shelly Valladolid

    Disney in-jokes make Goofy's Sky School great fun for animation history buffs

    • 6 Comments
    The redo of Disney California Adventure Park is really coming together nicely. As you can see from these shots that Noe took yesterday, its Pan-Pacific-Auditorium-inspired entrance is getting closer & closer to completion. Photo by Noe Valladolid How close? A quick peek over that Disney-characters-from-the-1930s construction wall reveals that they're just about to begin laying this theme park's new paving stones. Photo by Noe Valladolid Over at the Redwood Challenge Creek Trail , the...
  • Shelly Valladolid

    Apricot Lane is a fashionable new addition to the Downtown Disney District's West End

    • 3 Comments
    I have good news for the fly fisherman of Southern California. Maybe you've heard about this new trend among Hollywood fashionistas . Where they're taken the rooster feathers that are traditionally used in fly tying and then turned them into a fashion accessory? I know that this may sound like a silly, frivolous story. But to the guys who frequent places like Bob Marriot's fly fishing store in Fullerton, CA., this is serious business. What with all of the tween girls who have been coming...
  • Angela Ragno

    Guest-created characters will be the stars at Disney Fantasy's Animator's Palette restaurant

    • 0 Comments
    So what can we expect from the Disney Fantasy when the newest member of the DCL fleet sets sail in March of 2012? Well, as Jim Urry - Vice President, Entertainment & Port Adventures for the Disney Cruise Line - revealed last month during an informational presentation which was held in the Atlantic Dance Hall at Disney's Boardwalk - the Fantasy will still have all of the elegance of her sister ships (Check out this concept art for the Fantasy's lobby ... Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc...
  • Shelly Valladolid

    Trader Sam's adds Tiki-themed fun to the Disneyland Hotel

    • 1 Comments
    Though there's been no formal announcement yet, jungle drums quickly spread the news last night that Trader Sam's (i.e. the bar component of the Disneyland Hotel 's new Tangaroa Terrace complex ) was finally open for business. Photo by Shelly Valladolid Tiki fans stood in hour-long lines outside of this recently completed facility, hoping that Trader Sam's would actually deliver on the promise of that concept art which the Imagineers released earlier this year. Copyright Disney Enterprises...
  • Nancy Stadler

    Geoffrey Rush isn't rushing to exit Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise

    • 4 Comments
    On the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie , Captain Barbossa was an out-and-out villain. "Spat out from the mouth of Hell," is how one character describes Hector before he makes his grand entrance in "The Curse of the Black Pearl." But to hear Geoffrey Rush describe the character he has now portrayed in four installments of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series, it's kind of hard not to feel sorry for the "Black Pearl" version of Barbossa...
  • Floyd Norman

    As Walt Disney once said: "I think it's important to have a good, hard failure"

    • 2 Comments
    If you're a fan of Pixar Animation Studios (and I'll admit I am) you're probably familiar with the evolution of their first animated feature. A little film called " Toy Story ." You see, the motion picture concept the boys from up north showed Disney back in the 1990s was hardly greeted with warm enthusiasm. As a matter of fact, some Disney executives wanted the movie shut down. Confronted by this dire situation, the Pixar brain trust decided to regroup and rethink the entire...
  • Nancy Stadler

    Forget about being a man of the cloth. "On Stranger Tides" Sam Claflin wants to be a man of action in "Pirates 5"

    • 0 Comments
    When Sam Claflin 's agent told him that he had an audition for " Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ," this just-two-years-out-of-the- London-Academy-of-Music-and-Dramatic-Arts performer was not what you'd call optimistic. "I told him 'Oh, what's the point? This is never going to happen. It's impossible,' " Claflin laughed. "But at his insistence, I went to that audition and then flew off to South Africa to shoot another job." But clearly...
  • Nancy Stadler

    The mysterious tail ... er ... tale of "On Stranger Tides" mermaid, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey

    • 2 Comments
    Astrid Bergès-Frisbey wasn't quite sure what she was getting herself into when this Spanish-French actress first went in to audition for " Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides ." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved "I did that audition in Paris. And the only information I had to go on was this one short scene from the movie and the name of my character, Syrena," Astrid recalled. "But since the name 'Serena' means 'mermaid'...
  • Nancy Stadler

    Celebrities stroll down Disneyland's black carpet at the "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" world premiere

    • 0 Comments
    Typically when something special happens at Disneyland Park , they roll out the red carpet. But this past Saturday - in preparation for the world premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films ' " Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides " - Disneyland rolled out a black carpet. In fact, when Angela and I arrive at 2 p.m., while Main Street, U.S.A. was already decked out with all sorts of pirates-related finery, they were still in the process of laying that section...
  • Nancy Stadler

    Johnny Depp is having too much fun playing pirate to give up on Captain Jack Sparrow anytime soon

    • 0 Comments
    Are you actively looking for a way to tick off producer Jerry Bruckheimer ? Then suggest to him that the last two installments of Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" film franchise were too long. Or worse than that, criticize " Dead Man's Chest " & " At World's End " for being unfocused. For having storylines that were far too complicated & confusing. At a Beverly Hills press conference yesterday for " Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides...
  • Shelly Valladolid

    Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con served up San Diego-style fun without the crowds & the hassle

    • 0 Comments
    When people talk about how much fun San Diego Comic-Con used to be, you know what I picture? Wizard World Anaheim Comic Con . The aisles were pretty full this past Saturday at the Anaheim Convention Center. Photo by Shelly Valladolid Oh sure. Sometimes you might have to fight your way through a particularly crowded spot in the aisle ... Photo by Shelly Valladolid ... but the crowds that I encountered this past weekend while wandering around the Anaheim Convention Center weren't nearly at San...
  • Floyd Norman

    Toon Tuesday: Clothes Encounters of the Disney Studio Kind

    • 0 Comments
    You probably didn't know this, but Ward Kimball 's "science unit" on the second floor of Walt Disney's Animation Building had a pretty intriguing development slate back in the 1950s. You see, once Kimball finished with his science films about space travel and future highways , there were other fascinating topics Ward's creative unit was eager to tackle. Let me tell you about one of them, and why I consider it a fascinating subject. Ward (he's the one in black wearing...
  • Floyd Norman

    What's the connection between Roy E. Disney's camera and the 1965 Watts Riot?

    • 0 Comments
    Back in Disney's old days, life was simple. It was before corporate laid down dozens of rules, protocols and regulations that complicated the heck out of everything. When an employee wanted to sell something, he or she simply posted it on the company bulletin board. That meant any Disney employee could take advantage of the dozens or hundreds of potential buyers who walked the hallways each day. It was craigslist before there was a craigslist and eBay before there was an eBay. A slip of paper...
  • Floyd Norman

    Toon Tuesday: Undercover (Parking) at Disney Studio

    • 1 Comments
    Once upon a time there were no parking structures on the Walt Disney Studio lot. The under and above ground parking facilities we take for granted today were once non-existent. Disney staffers either parked in available space on the lot or sought street parking. Of course, there were fewer cars in those days so it really wasn't an issue. If you were a Disney big shot back in the day you had shed parking. And, what is that, you ask? Well, if you're as old as I am, you'll remember that...
  • Floyd Norman

    Why it's dangerous for animation studios to get fat & happy

    • 6 Comments
    Several years ago a group of young artists were griping about things at their studio. Their behavior amused and annoyed me. I scolded the kids and informed them that one day they would look back and remember this time as the good old days and wonder why they ever complained about anything. Every studio goes through this very special period. It's the beginning. It's the honeymoon. It's the start of a brave new adventure - and to be sure, it's always extremely exciting. I know - I've...
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