Welcome to Jim Hill Media - Entertainment News : Theme Parks Movies Television

January, 2011

  • Jim Hill

    Vinylmation Villains arrive at your local Disney Store today

    • 12 Comments
    I'll be honest with you. I don't entirely get Vinylmation . Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Don't get me wrong. As I tried to explain to Nathan Rose during this week's Magical Definition podcast , I can appreciate the craft & artistry that go into the creation of each of these vinyl collectibles. But the signature gimmick of Vinylmation (i.e. that each Figurine comes packed away inside of this stylish box. And the only way to find out which collectible is...
  • Jim Hill

    Parties and panels to pay tribute to Oscars' past & present

    • 3 Comments
    So how did the directors of " Toy Story 3 " and " How to Train Your Dragon " react to their respective films being nominated for the Academy Award in the Animated Feature Film category? Leave it to Lee Unkrich to use his moment in the spotlight to acknowledge the competition as well as pay tribute to the other feature-length cartoon that he wished had received some love from Oscar voters. In an interview with Lane Brown for New York Magazine , Unkrich said: Copyright Sony Pictures...
  • Jim Hill

    Should Disney World's Cirque du Soleil show be replaced by something more Marvel-ous?

    • 28 Comments
    Have you heard about this survey that's been making the rounds? The one that asks people who've previously attended performances of La Nouba (i.e. that Cirque du Soleil show that's been entertaining WDW visitors on Downtown Disney 's West Side since December of 1998) about a possible replacement for this popular nighttime show. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved There are two questions in particular on this survey that have got themed entertainment insiders buzzing...
  • Jim Hill

    What Johnny Depp just did for "Rango," Kathryn Beaumont did for Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" back in 1950

    • 4 Comments
    Are you looking forward to " Rango " ? Copyright 2010 Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved I know that I am. And not just because this project reunites Johnny Depp with his " Pirates of the Caribbean " director, Gore Verbinski . Or because this Paramount Pictures will be ILM 's first-ever animated feature (though - not to be a nit-picker here - but wasn't 1983's " Twice Upon a Time " really Lucasfilm Ltd. 's first full-length animated film? Anyway...
  • Jim Hill

    Was news of that "Tron 3" teaser deliberately leaked to the Web by Disney insiders?

    • 21 Comments
    Have you heard about this "Tron 3" teaser that Aint It Cool News & Tron-Sector have been talking up this past weekend? As the story goes: This "Tron 3" teaser was supposedly shot back in November before " Tron: Legacy " was released to theaters, with the idea that it would then be included as a surprise Special Feature on the DVD & Blu-ray release of "Tron: Legacy." Studio execs were supposedly hoping that this teaser would not only help build excitement...
  • Jim Hill

    It's Disney show-and-tell time on the Magical Definition podcast

    • 0 Comments
    It's been a very interesting week in the world of Disney entertainment. What with news coming out of Seattle that a brand-new stage version of "Aladdin" will be premiering at the 5 th Avenue Theatre July 7th - 31st . Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved This two-act musical will feature the Academy Award-winning songs from the 1992 animated film . But where this new stage version of "Aladdin" gets interesting is that this stage show will attempt to honor...
  • Jim Hill

    LEGOLAND California snaps the last few pieces of its new Star Wars Miniland into place

    • 2 Comments
    This is a very interesting time to be a Star Wars fan. What with Darth Vader and the 501 st Legion making an appearance at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month when Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment revealed that the complete saga will be available on Blu-ray starting in September . Copyright Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation / Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved Not to mention what's been going on at Cartoon Network these past few Fridays. As " Star Wars...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney World unveils its more boy-friendly plans for the Fantasyland expansion project

    • 47 Comments
    There's this story which dates back to the Fall of 1984. About how Michael Eisner - right after he'd been installed as the new head of Walt Disney Productions - brought his son, Breck along when Eisner did his very first walk-through of WED. And based on this then-14-year-old boy's enthusiastic reaction to a model that the Imagineers had built for a proposed attraction that - back then -- was called Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah River Run ... Well, that's why Splash Mountain was first built at...
  • Jim Hill

    "Family Fun Weekends" give Southern Californians an extra incentive to revisit the Disneyland Resort

    • 1 Comments
    There's kind of a perception out there that - once the holiday season wraps up in Southern California - that the Disneyland Resort isn't much as fun to visit as it used to be back in October , November and December. Which is kind of understandable. Right now, anyway. Given that Disney California Adventure Park is currently wall-to-wall construction walls. Whereas over at Disneyland Park ... Well, since four of that theme park's most popular attractions - it's a small world, The Haunted...
  • Jim Hill

    Cruising along with the Magical Definition crew

    • 4 Comments
    Given that Disney Cruise Line is getting to launch the Dream (i.e. that 128000-ton, 2500-passenger addition to the fleet) ... Well, I thought that it might be fun to use that launch as an excuse to launch Sunday content on JHM. The Disney Dream arrives at its home port of Port Canaveral, FL on January 4th. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Truth be told, this isn't so much new content as it is putting the Magical Definition podcast -- which Nathan Rose and I have been doing...
  • Jim Hill

    Where to go & what to see over the MLK weekend if you're a Disneyana fan

    • 1 Comments
    We got any " No Ordinary Family " fans out there? The cast of "No Ordinary Family." (L to R) Romany Malco, Kay Panabaker, Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, Jimmy Bennett, Autumn Reeser and Stephen Collins. Photo by Bob D'Amico. Copyright American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved I have to admit that I first began watching this new ABC Studios show because "No Ordinary Family" is shot right on the lot in Burbank . Which - when you're a big-time Disney...
  • Jim Hill

    Sir Tim Rice & friends celebrate the Disney Theatrical songbook

    • 1 Comments

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  • Jim Hill

    Jack Lindquist's "In Service to the Mouse" is an unvarnished view of Disneyland history

    • 12 Comments
    There are two types of behind-the-scenes books that you typically see coming out of The Walt Disney Company. The first type is the highly scrubbed history (EX: Bob Thomas ' " Disney's Art of Animation: From Mickey Mouse to Beauty and the Beast " [Disney Editions, October 1992]) which deliberately steps around some of the more embarrassing moments that are associated with a particular production. The second kind of behind-the-scenes book usually comes years after the fact (EX: Charles...
  • Jim Hill

    D23 makes tweaks & improvements as Disney's official fan club heads into 2011

    • 11 Comments
    Have you noticed that Dale - as he's represented within the D23 world - is almost always wearing a set of Mickey Mouse ears? Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Well, there's a reason for that. The folks who run the Official Disney Fan Club want to get across the idea that they're listening. Take - for example - last year. When, in response to people's concerns about the cost of joining D23, Disney then created a two-tiered membership system for D23. With Gold-level...
  • Jim Hill

    Your exclusive first look at the cover for Ridley Pearson' s fourth "Kingdom Keepers" novel

    • 2 Comments
    It's something that every Disney fan has wondered about. What actually goes on inside of the theme parks after dark? What sorts of weird & wonderful things go on at Walt Disney World after all of the Guests have gone home for the day? Author Ridley Pearson Well, a few years back, Ridley Pearson (i.e. the co-author of the "Peter and the Starcatchers" books ) took this idea and ran with it. With the end result being " Kingdom Keepers ," that super-popular series of young...
  • Jim Hill

    Knott's canned food drive helps make the post-holiday period brighter for Orange County families

    • 2 Comments
    Tomorrow's Epiphany AKA Little Christmas . Which means - for you procrastinators out there - that it's finally time to take down your Xmas decorations and then pack them away for yet another holiday season. That's what Disneyland staffers are doing inside of The Haunted Mansion right now. Carefully pulling down all of those fiendish yet festive decorations that are used to transform this New Orleans Square favorite into "Haunted Mansion Holiday" each Fall. So that they can then...
  • Jim Hill

    Team AllEars is Running with Purpose at this year's Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend endurance events

    • 2 Comments
    This time last year, over 55,000 runners journeyed to Central Florida to take part in the 17 th annual Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend . Over the next 48 hours, an equally large number of endurance athletes will be arriving in Orlando to take part in the 18 th edition of this 4-day-long event. Now that's obviously a very large group of people. Each of them with their own very personal reasons for pushing themselves to the limit like this, taking part in 13.1 & 26.2 mile races that will...
  • Jim Hill

    Long-in-development "Gnomeo and Juliet" finally arrives in theaters on February 11th

    • 16 Comments
    So now that " Tangled " has restored moviegoers ' faith in Walt Disney Animation Studios , which toon is going to cash in on all of this Mouse-related good will? Oddly enough, it's a project that WDAS abandoned back in 2006 , only to then be resurrected by Miramax Films in 2008 and then - on February 11, 2011 - get released to theaters under the Touchstone Pictures' banner. Copyright Touchstone Pictures. All rights reserved Yeah, " Gnomeo & Juliet " has had a rather...
  • Jim Hill

    Pixar's Darla K. Anderson's slow & steady path to success

    • 5 Comments
    Here's kind of a depressing fact to start 2011 off with: 88% of all people will fail to keep their New Year's resolution . With 45% of those folks falling off the self-improvement wagon by the end of January. And why is that exactly? To be blunt, it's because a lot of us aren't willing to commit, make the necessary sacrifices, do the hard work that will actually help turn our dreams into reality. Which is why I'd now like to talk about Pixar veteran Darla K. Anderson . Who --...
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