Whatever you're reading, whatever you're doing right now ... Stop it. Drop everything and click on this link ASAP.
This, my friend, is the on-line version of the Walt Disney Company's 2006 annual report. And -- as you burrow through all of the various sections of this report -- if you're a hardcore Disney dweeb, you're going to find a lot of things in here that will really make you smile.
I mean, sure. There's the standard stuff that you always find in a forward-looking document like this. Where the Mouse talks up upcoming motion pictures & projects. Like "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" and/or Disney's soon-to-go-live on-line "Pirates" RPG.
Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Which is why you'll also find some images in here from Disney's big live action / animated release for the 2007 holiday season, "Enchanted."
Plus there's the briefest of mentions of that soon-to-begin-shooting "National Treasure" sequel, "National Treasure 2: The Book of Secrets." Though -- oddily enough -- no mention at all of Jerry Bruckheimer's next project for Walt Disney Pictures. Which is a big screen adaptation of that best-selling Ubisoft game, "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time."
But then there are the things that are sure to thrill all you animation fans out there. Like the first official image of the title character from Pixar's Summer 2008 release, "Wall E." FYI: You won't actually find the logo for this new Andrew Stanton film in this year's annual report. That particular "Wall E" image was recently forwarded to me by a friend who has very strong ties to the Mouse House. Who tells me that this robots-in-love story looks rather promising.
This same source also provided me with the early concept for a teaser poster for "Prince Caspian" that you'll see below, Which also isn't in Disney's 2006 annual report. Though there is one beautiful concept painting of a castle from this "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" sequel included as part of this corporate publication.
Then (for all you Disney theme park fans out there) there's great stuff like concept art from the yet-to-be-officially-announced-but-already-under-construction "Toy Story Mania" ...
Or -- better yet -- a trio of shots from Disney's California Adventure's next big "E" Ticket, "Carland." Which will borrow technology from Epcot's "GM Test Track" attraction to send Disneyland Resort guests zooming through the world of "Cars."
But perhaps the most startling images in this entire publication can be found in the "Dreaming" section of Disney's 2006 annual report. Which includes a concept painting of the exterior of that urban entertainment center that the company's thinking of building in Singapore. As well as an overview of a brand-new "land" that's themed around the characters & the settings found in "The Little Mermaid." Which is a key component of that new theme park that the Walt Disney Company wants to build in China.
All this ... Plus preliminary concept art for DCA's long-rumored lagoon show. Plus a look at the "Pirates of the Caribbean" -themed area that the Imagineers are considering adding to Hong Kong Disneyland. Trust me, folks. This is one annual report that you're really going to want to read cover-to-cover.
So what are you still doing here? Head on over to Disney's Investor Relations page NOW and check out all of the cool new movies & theme park attractions that are being talked up in the 2006 annual report.
Wall-E looks great. Mechanical, like cars, but managing to be cute and sympathetic. Let's just hope they keep Owen Wilson far away (I'm still a firm believer that big-name actors are typically the worst voice-overs, with a few very notable exceptions.)
National Treasure 2 will likely get awful reviews, make history buffs everywhere cringe, yet still bring in pretty good money. I will never get it.
Stuff in Disney annual reports always comes true- look at all the great stuff we got from the "Disney Decade!" WOO-HOO! I can't wait to experience all the new attractions shown that are certainly coming our way!
Everything looks great. Leave it to Disney to make one hell of awesome annual report!
Aww, look at Wall-E...so cute! I had no idea that Disneyland was getting anything "Cars"-themed- I thought only DL Paris was. That's cool, though. And a TLM-themed park? That's really neat. What if Disney doesn't get to build a park in China? What else is up their sleeves, as far as attractions are concerned? Maybe we could get an article on that sometime...???
Thanks for the info, Jim!
I like the Pixar films, but I'll never LOVE them like I do the classic Disney animated features. The still from "WALL.E" is a prime example of why I can't warm up to their creations. I would suggest that, like the cast of "Cars", this really isn't much of a character design either, not in the truest sense. From what I see here, all they've done is stuck cartoony eyes on top of what resembles a Mars rover. That's not particularly clever or difficult - I could stick a pair of eyes on top of my Mac and call it a character too, but that doesn't make it so.
That was the same problem with "Cars" as well. Eyes were plastered on the windshield and a mouth was animated on the bumper. Other than that there was no attempt to anthropomorphize the vehicle itself. There was no "squash and stretch" to allow for stronger expressions and body language - just a rigid form with facial features merely stuck on the surface, not unlike the racing decals adhering to Ace's paint job. One only has to look back into the history of traditional animation to find far more superior car characters such as Disney's "Suzie the Blue Coupe" and Tex Avery's "One Cab's Family". Even Benny the Cab from "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is much more visually interesting and appealing because of classic "squash and stretch" cartoon techniques.
I'm sure that "WALL.E", like other Pixar films, will be entertaining and well-written, but mechanical, rigid, robotic characters just don't hold much appeal for this cartoon fan. As far as Pixar's output goes, I much prefer the look of "The Incredibles" and the upcoming "Ratatouille", both of which I believe benefit from the more traditional drawn animation cartoon sensibilities of Brad Bird. Until Disney revives traditional animation, the organically pliable character design of Mr. Bird's films is about all I can really appreciate these days.
I'm just hoping that the concept of Wall-E isn't easily confused with Robots, unless Pixar is just showing everyone how to do it the "right" way.
I was a little disappointed when I saw the artwork for "Enchanted". I was hoping this "traditionally animated" sequence was going to look more like Disney's earlier cel animated fairy tales and not just a retread of the Beauty and the Beast character design from the 90's. This could almost be a clip from "Anistasia".
I'm excited that Pixar is branching out and trying something different. I think that is one of their specialties. They are doing a robot movie that looks nothing like Robots. That is great! So first we had toys, then bugs, then monsters, then fish, then humans, then cars, then rats, now robots. Maybe we need a movie about aliens next!
I'm sorry that Ponsonby Britt was disappointed with the Cars design, but it was very intentional. Pixar took a look at Suzie the Blue Coupe and decided to do something different. They didn't want something that would remind people of Chevron cars. They also wanted the cars to feel like they were actually cars, and not add the amount of squash and stretch that they normally would. Maybe in retrospect they would change their design, but then again maybe it came out exactly the way they wanted them to look.
Gotta have lots of glossy distracting pictures so no one focuses too closely at details - especially executive pay numbers. Don't want to have to give bonuses out to the people who actually earned the money for the company.
"OOh look - shiny colors - pretty pictures !"
I saw an actual clip of "Enchanted" on the Disney Channel the other day. Looks like it's the same scene the still pic here represents. And...gosh, I hate to say this, but it looked dreadful. Now the clip was VERY brief, but the movement was very choppy and it was quite frankly unimpressive. I hope I'm worrying over nothing...
As for "Wall-E"...it reminds me of "Robots", and that was a pretty bad flick. Robots - as characters - get reaaallllly old after awhile. Ah well...
Gotta have lots of glossy distracting pictures so no one focuses too closely at details - especially executive pay numbers.
He he...just what I was thinking. Maybe I'm turning into a curmudgeon too!
-AWE: How can I not be looking foward to that?
-Enchanted: I like the newer style of the princess, but not loving the old person all that much (seems to be a clone of the witch from Snow White)
-NT2: As long as they keep it like the first one, I'll probably like it
-WallE: That preview makes me want to throw up. The character looks like a mixture of something you would find in Robots, Jimmy Neutron/Nickelodeon-style animation & that dude from Treasure Planet. Why can't they do a film again about something that people can instinctively feel for (not 'cold' things like cars, robots & rats). And if that logo's real, then it certainly is a bad one. Seems like a rehash of Ratatouille's logo.
-Narnia: Again, looking very much forward to this one. I like how (it at least seems) that they are keeping the same style of the first.
-TSM: As far as I'm concerned its a mixture of a video game and Space Ranger Spin. It's not doing anything new....heck....it's not even changing the characters. I really hope this is only going to DCA and not DMGM.
-Carland: ah, let DCA have that one. YAPA (Yet another Pixar Attraction)
But what Jim didn't touch upon that I thought was intriguing was the new nighttime spectacular water show. With characters from Pirates, black & white Mickey cartoon, TLM, Lion King & Fantasia among others (along with Sorcerer Mickey's hat), it is obviously based on Disney films. Is that going to DCA or TDS?
I will reserve judgment on Wall-E until more is known. Considering it comes from the director of 'Finding Nemo', the best of Pixar's movies-- I can't wait.
askmike1 said: "Why can't they do a film again about something that people can instinctively feel for (not 'cold' things like cars, robots & rats)."
Well, Mickey and Minnie are mice, as our the cast of "The Great Mouse Detective", except for Ratigan :-) I think that Remy is a cute character, and I'm hoping his plushes sell well. I know that "Cars" had some plushes...heck, I still want to get a Mater one...
Hmmm...The witch from Enchanted could probably be Queen Narissa pulling the same stunt the Queen did from Snow White. Otherwise, they wouldn't have cast Susan Sarandon for the Queen.