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Jim Hill Jim's musings on the history of and rumors about movies, TV shows, books and theme parks including Disneyland, Walt Disney World. Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood. 2437
PODCASTS Transcriptions & Directory of Disney Dish podcasts with Jim Hill and Touring Plans' Len Testa 33
Press Releases Press releases received in our In Box 1003
  • Jim Hill

    Never mind about Christmas in July. Disney Television Animation started working on "Duck the Halls" back in August of 2015

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    Before you put that Christmas card in the mail to Grandma, I want you to pause for a moment and think about the artist who drew the image on the front of that holiday card. To be specific, WHEN they drew that image. "My Dad was actually an illustrator for Hallmark Cards . And I remember that he always got discombobulated because they were always doing holiday-themed stuff at the wrong time of year," recalled Paul Rudish during a recent phone interview. "By that I mean: In order to...
  • Jim Hill

    Thankful for the way Miss Piggy saved Tony Bennett from falling, Freeform names her their first-ever Ambassador of Cheer

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    Never mind about that Grinch who stole Christmas. Have you heard about the pig who saved a national treasure on Thanksgiving morning? Those of you who watched last month's live broadcast of Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC surely remember this moment. To herald the arrival of Saint Nick at Macy's Herald Square store , Tony Bennett & Miss Piggy had just finished singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town." And then -- as the parade float that these two entertainment icons...
  • Jim Hill

    Meet the team who brought Maui to life for Disney's "Moana"

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    You'd think - looking at Maui from Disney's " Moana " - given this demigod's dimples (more importantly, those eyebrows) that Dwayne Johnson was always supposed to be this character's voice. But that's where you'd be wrong. "You have to understand that - when we're initially developing these movies - we typically get them up on reels 5 or 6 times so that John (Lasseter , the chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios ) and the other...
  • Press Releases

    Universal Parks and Resorts to Bring Characters, Action and Adventure of Nintendo Video Games to Life Within Theme Parks in Hollywood, Orlando and Japan

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    Universal Parks & Resorts And Nintendo Will Bring The Fun Of Nintendo To Life With Expansive, Highly Themed Environments At Osaka, Orlando And Hollywood Kyoto, Japan and ORLANDO, Florida (November 29, 2016) - Imagine the fun of stepping into a larger-than-life Nintendo adventure. Gigantic Piranha Plants spring to life. Question blocks, power-ups and more surround you. And Mario and all his friends are there to pull you into a brand-new world. You will enter an entire realm filled with iconic...
  • Press Releases

    Disney Cars 3 Teaser Trailer Reveals The Moment Everything Changes for Lightning McQueen (Video)

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    From this moment on, everything will change Blindsided by a new generation of blazing-fast racers, the legendary Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves. To get back in the game, he will need the help of an eager young race technician, Cruz Ramirez, with her own plan to win, plus inspiration from the late Fabulous Hudson Hornet and a few unexpected turns. Proving that #95 isn’t through yet will test the heart of a champion on Piston Cup Racing’s...
  • Jim Hill

    From toxic gas leaks to the triumph of 'Finding Dory,' Lindsey Collins has loved every minute of her time at Pixar Animation Studios

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    When it comes to " Finding Dory " producer Lindsey Collins , she takes "going-with-your-gut" to a whole new level. To explain: This Occidental College graduate joined Walt Disney Animation Studios straight out of school in 1994. And after working as a PA on " Pocahontas " & " The Hunchback of Notre Dame ," Lindsey had just been made assistant production manager on " Hercules " when she began hearing people talk about Pixar. "I was working...
  • Press Releases

    D23 Announces New Slate of Events For Fans Across the Country in 2017

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    From exclusive tours to cinematic surprises, Disney's official fan club serves up something for fans both young and young-at-heart. In 2017, D23: The Official Disney Fan Club brings a new roster of events for fans around the country to enjoy. SCREENINGS ON THE DISNEY STUDIO LOT AND AT WALT DISNEY WORLD RESORT : Throughout the year, D23 will once again offer special screenings on both coasts of classic Disney favorites, including Tangled , Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, and...
  • Jim Hill

    New animated series, "Mickey and the Roadster Racers" to premiere at Fathom's "Disney Junior at the Movies" event this Saturday morning

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    Is your toddler anxious to take a look under-the-hood at " Mickey and the Roadster Racers " ? See how this new animated-series-for-preschoolers stacks up against all of their other favorite Disney Junior shows? Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Well, if you want your kid to catch "Roadsters" 's actual debut on this cable channel, that isn't scheduled to happen 'til early January of 2017. Which is an awful long time for any 3-to-5 year-old to wait...
  • Press Releases

    ABC’S Good Morning America to Premiere Mickey Mouse’s New Music Video, “What We Got” Nov. 18th

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    GMA Visit is Mickey's Final Stop in His Worldwide Birthday Tour Mickey Mouse will visit the set of ABC's Good Morning America on November 18, to celebrate his birthday and premiere his new music video, "What We Got." His appearance in New York City is the culmination of his worldwide birthday tour, where he surprised fans and friends in Los Angeles, Kyoto, Shanghai, Rome, Paris, Cusco and Rio de Janeiro while making the music video. Mickey will share stories about his adventures...
  • Press Releases

    Black Friday: Disney Store Unlocks Deals Two Weeks Early

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    Disney Store Unlocks Magical Friday Deals Two Weeks Prior to Black Friday Guests Can Save Up to 40% In-Store and Online Starting November 14 - Earlier Than Ever Before Special In-Store Wishing Ceremony Kicks Off the Magic of the Season Disney Store unveiled its Magical Friday (aka Black Friday) deals and special in-store holiday events - nearly two weeks before the Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend. Beginning November 14th in-store and online, guests can expect to see up to 40% off thousands...
  • Jim Hill

    WDW's new "The Muppets Present ... Great Moments in American History" show brings authentic Muppet mayhem to Liberty Square

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    Anyone who's ever seen " Jim Henson's Muppet*Vision 3D " can tell you the title of that elaborate pageant which Sam Eagle has put together to close out that show. It's called "A Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America." Sadly, things don't quite go as this self-proclaimed super-patriot had planned. As "Muppet*Vision 3D" predictably descents into chaos, Kermit the Frog asks Sam if that part of the show is now ready to go. "It's a glorious three...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney XD's "Milo Murphy's Law" offers optimistic alternative to election night coverage

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    With just one day left until America votes, people are really stressing right now. They keep looking at all the polling data and then wondering "What happens if everything goes wrong and the wrong person gets elected?" Well, I can't tell you how to vote. But I can tell you what to do after the election, especially if your candidate doesn't win. Which is: Be more like Milo Murphy. Copyright Disney XD. All rights reserved You've heard about " Milo Murphy's Law ,"...
  • Jim Hill

    How Hurricane Matthew forced Universal Orlando to extend Halloween Horror Nights 2016's run through early November

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    Halloween is one of those holidays that lingers, isn't it? Whether it's all of those decorations that are still out in the yard (which you'll finally get around to taking down & packing away later this weekend ... right?) or that bowl of leftover Treat-or-Trick candy that you've been slowly make disappear one fun-sized bar at a time, while All Hallows Eve should have been over at the stroke of midnight on October 31st ... Well, just like that jack-o-lantern that the kids carved...
  • Jim Hill

    Universal Orlando will use cutting-edge tech to reimagine the water park experience at Volcano Bay

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    Seven years ago, Dale Mason - the Vice President and Executive Art Director at Universal Creative - had an idea. He wanted to do a water theme park. Not a water park, mind you. A water theme park. Something that would then move the whole water park experience to an entirely different level. "So I and this very small team of people put together a very small brief on this idea," Dale recalled during a recent phone interview. "And we thought that the concept that we had come up with for...
  • Jim Hill

    TASCHEN 's "Walt Disney Film Archives" features stunning artwork, seldom-told stories from that studio's past

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    As one very wise cinephile once put it, "Every Disney film is someone's favorite movie." Editor / author Daniel Kothenschulte tried to keep that in mind over the past two years as he worked on " The Walt Disney Film Archives: The Animated Movies 1921 - 1968 " ( TASCHEN America, October 2016). But given that he only had so many pages to work with as Kothenschulte tried to cover this massive chunk of Mouse House history, Daniel began the pruning process almost as soon as he...
  • Jim Hill

    Knott's Berry Farm puts an awful lot of thought into all those celebrities that it skewers at Halloween Haunt

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    So what happens tonight after the last Hanging is held at Knott's Scary Farm ? Well, the entertainment team at America's First Theme Park gets a well-deserved night of rest. But after that, these talented folks plunge right into compiling a constantly changing list of celebrity scandals, political faux pas, memorable movie moments and quirky pop culture phenomena which next year's Hanging can then be built around. "Since we have to have a treatment of this show ready by the first...
  • Press Releases

    Disney Twenty-Three Winter Issue Reveals the Origins of "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"

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    DISNEY TWENTY-THREE JOINS THE REBELLION TO CELEBRATE THE ARRIVAL OF ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS WITH STARS FELICITY JONES AND ALAN TUDYK, DIRECTOR GARETH EDWARDS, AND PRODUCER KATHLEEN KENNEDY PLUS, A PREVIEW OF THE NEW IRON MAN EXPERIENCE AT HONG KONG DISNEYLAND, A TOUR OF THE REIMAGINED DISNEY WONDER , AND A CONVERSATION WITH MOANA STAR AULI'I CRAVALHO On December 16, Star Wars fans will blast off once again to a galaxy far, far away-only this time, it's with a new...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney Junior reimagines "Muppet Babies" as a CG-animated series which will debut on that pre-school cable channel in early 2018

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    Someone better tell Nanny that she needs a new pair of green & blue knee socks. Because the Muppet Babies are headed back to the nursery. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Sometime in early 2018, a reimaging of this much-beloved TV show (which - back in the 1980s - was a four-time winner of the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program) will premiere on Disney Junior . A co-production of that cable channel, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media 's (DCPI)...
  • Jim Hill

    First draft of Disney's "Steamboat Willie" scenario coming up for bid in S/R Lab's next animation art auction

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    The Walt Disney Company is really going all out for Mickey Mouse's 88 th birthday . Over the next four weeks, they will be sending this beloved character / corporate symbol around the globe. Where (I'm quoting from the official press release now) Mickey will be making " ... surprise appearances at iconic, real-world locations" where the Mouse will then interact with his many " ... fans and friends." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Mind you, all of...
  • Jim Hill

    What Peter Swords King went through while doing make-up for Disney's "Alice Through the Looking Glass"

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    To hear Peter Swords King talk, there's no such thing as " ... making it up as you go along" while you're handling the make-up end of a major motion picture. And given some of the projects that Peter has worked on over the past 15 years (i.e., all three of Peter Jackson 's "Lord of the Rings" films plus "The Hobbit" trilogy. Not to mention Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," " Into the Woods " and the just-released...
  • Press Releases

    Mickey Mouse to Celebrate His Birthday With a Trip Around the World

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    DISNEY'S BRIGHTEST STAR INVITES THE YOUNG AND YOUNG-AT-HEART TO JOIN THE PARTY. To celebrate his upcoming birthday, Mickey Mouse is embarking on a trip around the world, where he will make surprise appearances in iconic, real-world locations to delight his fans and friends. These magical moments chronicling Mickey's global adventures will be captured and shared on Disney's Mickey Mouse Facebook page, culminating with the debut of a video highlighting Mickey's travels featuring an...
  • Jim Hill

    Steampunk stylings make the Toothsome Chocolate Emporium & Savory Feast Kitchen a stand-out at Universal Orlando's CityWalk

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    It's the one-two punch that's been dazzling visitors to the Universal Parks & Resorts ever since The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Hogsmeade first opened back in June of 2010. Combining immersive theming with a top quality dining experience that's set in a specific world. And what with all the people who now line up at the Three Broomsticks so that they can then knock back a Butterbeer with their lunch (Not to mention all of those "Simpsons" fans who wait for an empty...
  • Jim Hill

    Would Woody Allen have been a better fit for LeFou in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" ?

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    Given that the silver anniversary of Disney's " Beauty and the Beast " is coming up (This Kirk Wise & Gary Trousdale film initially went into wide release back on November 22, 1991), a lot of bloggers have recently been writing about this hand-drawn animated feature. Using Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment's release of the signature collection edition of "Beast" (which includes a Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD version of this Academy Award-winning movie) as an excuse...
  • Jim Hill

    Universal Studios Hollywood's The Walking Dead Attraction is amazing. Just don't make the mistake of calling it a maze

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    When Southern Californian fright fans return to Universal Studios Hollywood this Friday for the official kick-off of Halloween Horror Nights 2016 , they'll have a wide assortment of scares to choose from. They can climb aboard the Terror Tram (which is presented by horror auteur Eli Roth & his digital network Crypt TV) and have a far-too-close encounter with "Hollywood Harry," the serial killer clown. Or - if these USH visitors prefer -- they can explore the more public portions...
  • Jim Hill

    How the makers of Disney's "Moana" almost chickened out

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    It's kind of a tradition at Walt Disney Animation Studios that the hero or heroine of each new production has an animal companion. Sometimes they talk (EX: Flounder in " The Little Mermaid ") and sometimes they don't (EX: Abu in " Aladdin "). But these furry, feathered or finny friends always provide support - emotional & otherwise - for that film's lead character. More to the point, these animal companions always find a way - even when they can't talk - to...
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