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December, 2010

  • Jim Hill

    Disney references galore can be found in BOOM! Studios' "Darkwing Duck" comic books

    • 5 Comments
    There are lots of reasons to like BOOM! Studios "Darkwing Duck" comic book series ... Copyright 2005 - 2010 BOOM! Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved ... which - FYI - will be releasing its first-ever oversized annual next month. Copyright 2005 - 2010 BOOM! Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved The folks at BOOM! Studios have done a brilliant job of taking this much-beloved Disney Afternoon series and then uisng this world & its characters as the jumping-off point for a consistently...
  • Jim Hill

    "Flyin' Chunks" looks back at Dorse Lanpher's 48 years at Disney & Don Bluth's animation studios

    • 5 Comments
    Dorse Lanpher has a real eye for detail. Which is just what you'd expect from one of the top effects artists in feature animation. But as it turns out, Lanpher was able to use his eye for detail for more than just creating all those fire, water and shadow effects that you've seen in most Disney animated features from " Sleeping Beauty " all the way through to " Home on the Range ." Given that Dorse had a front row seat for an amazing amount of animation history during...
  • Jim Hill

    It took a smarter-than-the-average animation supervisor to make "Yogi Bear"

    • 4 Comments
    What was the toughest part of riding herd on all of the CG artists at Rhythm & Hues who worked on " Yogi Bear " ? According to Alex Orrelle , the Animation Supervisor on this new Warner Bros ' live-action/computer animated 3D adventure, it was actually when he had to persuade his crew NOT to animate Yogi. "You have to remember that the guys who animated the original 'Yogi Bear' TV series were all old pros that Bill Hanna & Joe Barbera had personally recruited to...
  • Jim Hill

    "The War for Late Night" reveals Disney's role in the Leno / O'Brien debacle

    • 11 Comments
    It's now considered one of the great PR disasters of 2010. The way that NBC totally mismanaged its Jay Leno / Conan O'Brien situation. Which ultimately resulted in Conan bolting for TBS , a significantly battered & bruised Jay resuming his duties as host of " The Tonight Show " in March, and Jeff Zucker - the president and CEO of NBC Universal - announcing that he would step down as head of the Peacock Network once Comcast completes its takeover of NBC . But as it turns out...
  • Jim Hill

    TCM celebrates Disney live-action with movie marathon, 2011 film festival

    • 2 Comments
    So what exactly is the deal with Boxing Day ? How did December 26 th wind up with this particular moniker? Well, in the U.K., the name supposedly dates back to the tradition of Victorian tradesmen receiving "Christmas boxes" and/or gifts on the day after Christmas in return for goods & services that they provided throughout the rest of the year. But here in the States, given how many of us now come from dysfunctional families and spend much of the holiday season bickering with our relatives...
  • Jim Hill

    Universal Orlando's Hogwarts Castle (some assembly required)

    • 1 Comments
    All around the world tonight, as children lay nestled, all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums dance in their heads ... Out in the living room, their parents will be quietly cursing as they attempt to assemble some overly complicated Christmas gift. If it's any consolation, while that LEGO Pirate Ship or Schwinn bicycle which you'll be struggling to complete before sunrise is incredibly complex, it's not nearly as daunting a construction project as the one the Universal Orlando...
  • Jim Hill

    Learn about all the artistic preparation that went into Disney's "Prep & Landing"

    • 0 Comments
    Just in case you hadn't already noticed, tonight is your very last chance (for the 2010 holiday season, anyway) to catch what is rapidly becoming a real Christmas classic, Disney's "Prep & Landing" on ABC . Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved So if you haven't already seen this charming Walt Disney Animation Studios production, be sure and tune into the Alphabet network tonight at 8 p.m. ET / PT to watch this Emmy Award-winner . And while you're watching...
  • Jim Hill

    Avoid Christmas present panic with JHM's last-minute gift guide

    • 3 Comments
    Yesterday, Jeff posted a not-so-Holly-Jolly comment in response to Monday's "On Stranger Tides" article . If i had a dollar for everytime Jim promised to do a story or complete a series of stories I would be one rich guy. Okay, fine. So I'm the prince of procrastination. To be fair, this time of year, I have lots & lots of company. People who - for one reason or another - put off their Christmas shopping 'til the very minute and then don't have a clue about what to get...
  • Jim Hill

    Never mind about "Pirates 5" & "6." Does Disney already have a "Santa Paws 3" in the works?

    • 4 Comments
    W.C. Fields is often credited with coining that old show business adage, "Never work with children or animals." Copyright 2009 W.C. Fields Productions. All rights reserved Well, Robert Vince has clearly never heard this adage. Given that - as the writer / producer / director of Disney's " Air Bud " & " Air Buddies " pictures - virtually every movie that this family film veteran makes is wall-to-wall canines and kids. George Wendt and the canine cast of "Santa...
  • Jim Hill

    "On Stranger Tides" will attempt to recapture the fun & adventure of Disney's first "Pirates" picture

    • 11 Comments
    By now, you have to have seen the trailer for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." (And if not ... Well, here it is then) ... And ever since this first popped up on the Web last week, I've been getting all sorts of e-mail from "Pirates" fans who now have questions about this Robert Marshall film. Like - for example - why is Captain Barbossa now dressed in a British naval uniform ... Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved ... and saying things like...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney insiders advise patience when it comes to determining "TRON: Legacy" 's box office success

    • 20 Comments
    Wyatt M. dropped me a line yesterday to ask: Because of Tron: Legacy being a "disappointment," does this mean that everything Disney had planned for it isn't actually going to happen? Personally, this was my favorite film of the year, and I'd hate to see the sequel , television show , and online world never happen. I see some real potential here, and there's nothing worse than wasted potential. Thanks! Given that "TRON: Legacy" has only been out in theaters for three...
  • Jim Hill

    Between working with WDI and a new stage show, 2010 was loaded with "Great Moments" for John Tartaglia

    • 1 Comments
    What's the weirdest place you ever got a job offer? Because I bet John Tartaglia has you beat. Let me set the scene for you. It's September of 2009. And the star of " Johnny and the Sprites " - having a fun few days exploring & experiencing the inaugural D23 Expo - was over at Disneyland Park with his friend, Imagineer Josh Shipley . And as the two of them were riding through the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage , Shipley turned to this Tony Award-nominee and asked "What are...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney's "TRON: Legacy" is more visually arresting than it is entertaining

    • 18 Comments
    28 years ago, the original " TRON " dazzled audiences with its cutting-edge visual effects. But then this ambitious Walt Disney Productions release kind of underwhelmed moviegoers when it came to story. So does " TRON: Legacy " correct the sins of the past? Does this Joseph Kosinski film do a far better job of blending spectacle and story? Sort of. Don't get me wrong. This new Walt Disney Pictures' 3D tentpole does feature dazzling visuals, some great action set pieces...
  • Jim Hill

    Could WDW's New Year's Eve events possibly include a party inside of DisneyQuest?

    • 0 Comments
    Look. I know. Hanukkah ended on the 9th. And Christmas and Kwanzaa are just around the corner. So the last thing that you probably want to hear about at this point is another holiday. But given that a lot of you like spending New Year's Eve at Walt Disney World but don't necessarily enjoy the crowds that you encounter at the Parks at that time, I thought that you should be made aware of a couple of special ticketed events that are being held at the Resort this year. Plus one as-of-yet-unannounced...
  • Jim Hill

    Saturday's "Disney's Gummi Bears" online reunion will allow animation fans to interact with this show's creators

    • 1 Comments
    Be it candy canes, Hanukkah gelt or those visions of sugar plums that are supposed to dance in your head this time of year, the holidays have always been closely associated with sweet stuff. Which is why I'd like to make JHM readers aware of a pretty sweet deal that's happening this Saturday night. Which is when Jymn Magon and an amazing array of animation industry vets will be coming together on the Web to celebrate the 25 th anniversary of "Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears...
  • Jim Hill

    Check out Disney's pre- "Tangled" versions of Rapunzel

    • 3 Comments
    Sometime today, Disney's "Tangled" will blow through the $100-million-in-domestic-ticket-sales threshold . Which is the fastest that a Walt Disney Animation Studios release has reached this particular milestone since " The Lion King " back in 1994. So -- in honor of this auspicious occasion - I thought it might be fun to take a look at the Walt Disney Company's earlier versions of "Rapunzel." To be specific, the 1969 Disneyland Record ... Copyright Disney Enterprises...
  • Jim Hill

    Never mind about finding the perfect Christmas present. Help JHM discover what the "Naughty vs Nice" Easter Egg in "Operation Secret Santa" is

    • 8 Comments
    When you watch Disney's "Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa" tonight following ABC 's annual airing of " A Charlie Brown Christmas ," keep a sharp eye out for ... something. Sorry that I can't be more specific here. But there's an Easter Egg hidden in this 7 minute-long "stocking stuffer." An item that will seem particularly significant this time next year when " Prep & Landing " 's really-for-real sequel, "Naughty vs Nice...
  • Jim Hill

    The 2010 holiday season kicks into high gear at Disneyland, SeaWorld and Universal Orlando

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    With only 20 days now 'til Christmas, theme parks around the country are really getting serious about the holiday season. Photo by Paul Hiffmeyer / Disneyland. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved At the Park that started it all, this past Friday, JHM's Shelly Valladolid got the chance to talk with Doug McIntyre, Director of Development for the Entertainment Division at the Disneyland Resort about the many holiday-themed offerings to be found at the Park this year ... ....
  • Jim Hill

    Disney's new "Prep & Landing" short, "Operation Secret Santa," will have you dreaming of a Betty White Christmas

    • 2 Comments
    Betty White is not only the hardest working woman in show business today, she's also the nicest and most professional. That's at least what Dorothy McKim (the producer of Disney's " Prep & Landing: Operation Secret Santa ") and Stevie Wermers-Skelton & Kevin Deters (the writers / directors of this 7-minute-long follow-up to last year's No. 1 holiday special) were saying when I spoke with them earlier this week about this all-new "stocking stuffer." Which...
  • Jim Hill

    Kim Irvine honors WED's pioneers with her work at the Disneyland Design Studio

    • 1 Comments
    When it comes to making changes at Disneyland , it's always been something of a delicate balancing act. The Walt Disney Company - because it wants this theme park to remain relevant - is always pushing for new stuff to be added to the place. So that Guests will then be compelled to return to "The Happiest Place on Earth" and keep those turnstiles spinning. The only problem with this particular corporate philosophy is ... Well, for many people (especially Disneyland's increasing...
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