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February, 2011

  • Jim Hill

    Shanghai Disneyland concept art reveals how good the Imagineers are at hiding things

    • 16 Comments
    I got an e-mail asking me what I thought of that concept painting of the Shanghai Disneyland Resort which was shown at The Walt Disney Company's 2011 Investor's Conference yesterday. Concept art for the Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved To be honest, I thought that it looked an awful lot like that image of the Shanghai Disneyland theme park which was briefly unveiled at a Walt Disney Family Museum event back in July of 2010 ... Concept art...
  • Jim Hill

    Why Walt Disney Feature Animation opted NOT to make "My Peoples"

    • 12 Comments
    I'm sure that you're already familiar with that Audio Animatronic version of Abraham Lincoln which appears in The Hall of Presidents at WDW 's Magic Kingdom . Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved And maybe you've seen that cool, new NextGen version of Honest Abe which made its debut in Disneyland 's significantly revamped "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" show back in December of 2009. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved In honor of...
  • Jim Hill

    The year that Mickey & Minnie almost got married

    • 32 Comments
    Take a moment. Go check out your Disney t-shirt and coffee mug collection. There's an awful lot of anniversary logos & celebration slogans there, aren't there? 35 Years of Magic . 40 Years of Adventure . 100 Years of Magic . Remember the Magic . Year of a Million Dreams . What Will You Celebrate? Give a Day, Get a Day . And - of course - Disney Parks & Resort's most recent effort, Let the Memories Begin . But for every one of these Disney Parks promotional campaigns that receive...
  • Jim Hill

    How Don Rickles became Mr. Potato Head's voice for Disney Pixar's "Toy Story" films

    • 5 Comments
    In honor of Super Bowl Sunday (that annual television event that turns tens of millions of us into couch potatoes, when we wolf down handful of greasy potato chips and/or platters full of toppings-laden potato skins), I thought that - today - it might be appropriate to pay tribute to that most cinematic of spuds. And that's Mr. Potato Head of " Toy Story " fame. Copyright Disney Pixar. All rights reserved It was John Lasseter himself - back in the early 1990s when Pixar Animation Studios...
  • Jim Hill

    Are Pixar's animated features too emotionally manipulative?

    • 35 Comments
    Did you catch that piece about Michael Barrier that the Huffington Post ran last week? Where this noted animation historian said that the films that Pixar produces " ... are emotionally manipulative in a fundamentally dishonest way." Well, no disrespect to Mr. Barrier (By that I mean: I'm a longtime fan of Michael's work. I've been reading & enjoying Barrier's articles since he first began making them available through his "Funnyworld" magazine . More to the...
  • Jim Hill

    Where to find the in-jokes in "Gnomeo & Juliet"

    • 6 Comments
    It's one of the clichés of Oscar time. That someone stands onstage clutching one of those gold statues and then says "I'd like to thank all the little people ... " Well, this month, the folks at Walt Disney Studios ARE especially thankful for the little people. To be specific, the plastic, ceramic & concrete cast of " Gnomeo & Juliet ." Copyright Miramax Film, NY, LLC. All rights reserved Why For? Well, Disney had hopes that this Kelly Asbury film would...
  • Jim Hill

    How the "Disney World" project was described to Florida legislators back in February of 1967

    • 11 Comments
    If you've visited Walt Disney World recently, I bet that you got to see some of the fun 40 th anniversary items that the Resort's shops currently have in stock. And as we get closer to October 1 st (i.e. WDW's official opening date), I'd imagine that we'll see even more 40 th anniversary merchandise popping up on store shelves. But if I had my druthers ... Well, the Disney World souvenir that I'd dearly love to own wouldn't be some t-shirt or pin emblazoned with that 40...
  • Jim Hill

    Who's who on Walt Disney Animation Studios' reboot of Winnie the Pooh

    • 16 Comments
    It is the film that - when Andrew Mooney of Disney Consumer Products revealed that this project was in the works back in June of 2009 at the Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas - made a lot of people go "Huh?" By that I mean: A hand-drawn, feature-length Winnie the Pooh . Which was something that Walt himself wasn't sure would work. Which is why - back in the early 1960s - Disney stopped developing a "Pooh" feature and opted instead to make featurettes like " Winnie...
  • Jim Hill

    Don't count out Disney's Hollywood Studios Countdown to Fun! parade just yet

    • 9 Comments
    So it's been just over two weeks since Disney's Pixar Pals Countdown to Fun! Parade made its debut at Disney's Hollywood Studios . And based on the large number of Guest complaints that this retooled version of Block Party Bash has reportedly received so far, it's clear that Countdown to Fun! hasn't exactly won over theme park fans . Not yet, anyway. Which is somewhat frustrating to the folks at Walt Disney World Entertainment. Given that many of the changes that they made to...
  • Jim Hill

    Getting to the Art of the matter with Mickey Mouse

    • 1 Comments
    You gotta admit that - for an 83 year-old mouse -- Mickey looks good. So what's Mickey's secret? Botox? Collagen? The fact that he's a cartoon character that doesn't actually age? I prefer to think it's the company that Mickey keeps. Take - for example - Tom Whalen . Who just created this killer Steamboat Willie print for Mondo . Which is the collectible art boutique at the Alamo Drafthouse . Now the good news is that this Steamboat Willie print (which is 18" by 24"...
  • Jim Hill

    Oscar-nominee Glenn Slater looks back on writing lyrics for Disney's "Tangled"

    • 7 Comments
    All those days watching from the window All those years outside looking in You're going to have to forgive Glenn Slater if this couplet that he wrote from " Tangled " 's " I See The Light " kind of strikes close to home these days. Given that this talented lyricist has worked on a number of projects for The Walt Disney Company (EX: The Broadway version of "The Little Mermaid" ) which were then nominated for awards (i.e. The 2008 Tony for Best Score ) only to...
  • Jim Hill

    Mickey and the Disney Princesses will soon move into WDW's Town Square Theater

    • 10 Comments
    So when Mickey's Toontown Fair closes for good this Friday night to make way for the next phase of the New Fantasyland construction project, what happens to all of the characters that used to greet WDW visitors inside of the Judge's Tent & the Toontown Hall of Fame ? Well, they'll be on the move for the next few weeks. Starting on Saturday, Mickey & Minnie will temporarily be meeting-and-greeting Guests in Tomorrowland. The Disney Princesses (with the exception of Rapunzel. Who...
  • Jim Hill

    Real canines give Disney's "Beverly Hills Chihuahau 2" two paws up

    • 2 Comments
    You're going to see a lot of people taking cheap shots at " Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2 " today. People making jokes to the effect that this new home premiere is a dog and/or a real bitch to sit through. Copyright Disney Enterprises, inc. All rights reserved Which isn't entirely fair. Especially since this Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment sequel to " Beverly Hills Chihuahua " was never intended to be an important piece of cinematic history. Bur rather -- just like...
  • Jim Hill

    Cartoon Art Museum exhibition takes Berkeley Breathed fans From Bloom County to Mars

    • 2 Comments
    "A good comic strip is no more eternal than a ripe melon. The ugly truth is that in most cases, comics age less gracefully than their creators." So said Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed in early 1989 when he announced that he was pulling the plug on " Bloom County ." That landmark comic strip which - at its height - appeared in over 1,200 newspapers around the world. Berkeley Breathed and Opus the Penguin (Opus is the one wearing a bow tie) Mind you, Breathed...
  • Jim Hill

    Remembering Aunt Jemima's Pancake Races at Disneyland

    Today, IHOP celebrates its sixth annual National Pancake Day . Which is the event that this restaurant chain holds each year on March 1 st in an effort to raise money for local Children's Miracle Network hospitals . Copyright IHOP Restaurants 2007 - 2011 A DineEquity Brand "So how does this work exactly?," you ask. Well, if you drop by your local International House of Pancakes today between 7 a.m. & 10 p.m., the nice folks there will happily serve you a complimentary short stack...
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