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

April, 2011

  • Jim Hill

    Second Annual Entertainment Designer Forum to feature terrific behind-the-scenes stories, one-of-a-kind theme park collectables

    • 1 Comments
    I know that we're just a few days away from Easter here. But if you're a serious Halloween fan, one of those folks who actually plans their trips down to Orlando around Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios Florida and/or Howl-O-Scream at Busch Gardens Tampa ... Well, there's only one place that you need to be this Friday night. And that's the Mad Cow Theatre in downtown Orlando. Image courtesy of the Entertainment Designer Forum. All rights reserved "And what's going...
  • Jim Hill

    Why For: Disney theme park character costumes throughout the years (no fooling)

    • 16 Comments
    Why For: Disney theme park character costumes throughout the years DisneyWhirl sent me an e-mail yesterday to say: I got into the Town Square Theater today during its soft opening and the new Mickey meet-and-greet that the Imagineers built there is amazing. It's loaded with all sorts of great Disney in-jokes ... Photo by Gene Duncan. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved ... and the magic show theming carries through all the way to the gift shop. Photo by Gene Duncan. Copyright...
  • Jim Hill

    "Lemonade Mouth" author Mark Peter Hughes already working on sequel to this Disney Channel Original Movie

    • 35 Comments
    Picture this: It's the summer of 2007. And in order to promote his then-newly published book, " Lemonade Mouth ," Mark Peter Hughes climbed into a car with his wife and three kids. And over the next eight weeks, Mark & family put 12,592 miles on their 1996 Honda Odyssey as Hughes did readings & book signings at 60 stores in 38 states . This is what the Hughes family car looked like circa the Summer of 2007 Photo courtesy of Mark Peter Hughes "And since - at that time -...
  • Jim Hill

    Remembering Disney theme park conceptual artist Collin Campbell

    • 15 Comments
    How many times have you looked at a piece of Disney theme park concept art and thought: "Oooh, I wanna go there right now." Collin Campbell's painting of the Fort Wilderness Railroad Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Collin Campbell was an absolute master when it came to those sorts of paintings. Collin Campbell (1926 - 2011) Campbell (who passed away back on April 2 nd at the age of 84) was - in a lot of ways - like Walt Disney. In that Collin was a country boy...
  • Jim Hill

    Could the cancellations of ABC 's "All My Children" and "One Life to Live" have been prevented?

    • 49 Comments
    There were a number of articles late last week about how the actors who worked on " All My Children " and " One Life to Live " were blindsided by ABC's decision to cancel these long-running soaps . But when you really think about it, there were some pretty obvious signs over the past three years that The Walt Disney Company was losing its enthusiasm for daytime drama. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Perhaps the most obvious sign was Walt Disney Parks...
  • Jim Hill

    Marvelous Mechanized Magic Kingdom event dispelled many myths about Audio Animatronics

    • 3 Comments
    There are many myths associated with Audio Animatronics. With the biggest one being that these mechanized marvels can do just about anything that the Imagineers can dream up. Not so says Imagineer Darrin Hughes . Who's spent the past 20 years programming AA figures for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. Truth be told, even the most state-of-the-art Audio Animatronic can only replicate 2% of human expression. "No matter how much effort we put into them, all of the talent that's involved...
  • Jim Hill

    Why For: The Disney Princess royal processional that you almost got to see

    • 7 Comments
    In honor of William & Kate's wedding today, I thought that it might be fun to circle back on a royal-related story that I briefly mentioned on this site back in November of last year. As part of a Why For column that talked about a sequence that was originally considered for " Fantasia 2000 " which was to have starred ALL of the Disney Princesses . Over the past 15 years, I've talked with a number of folks who had been actively involved in this project, among them Disney Legends...
  • Jim Hill

    Corey Burton finds just the right Hook for Disney's "Jake and the Never Land Pirates"

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    Did you hear the one about how Hans Conried gave Corey Burton the hook? Hans Conried in the Captain Hook costume he wore while shooting the live-action reference footage for Disney's animated version of "Peter Pan." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved To hear Corey tell this story, this happened sometime in the Fall of 1974. Back when Burton was just getting started with his voice work career. And Corey was thrilled beyond words that he was getting the chance to sit...
  • Jim Hill

    Keeping up with Disney's "Kingdom Keepers" : Ridley Pearson talks about all the research that goes into this popular book series

    • 17 Comments
    When Ridley Pearson first wrote that scene for " Disney After Dark " where the Kingdom Keepers kids are looking for clues inside of WDW 's version of " it's a small world " and then get attacked by the dolls, he thought that there was just no way that Mouse House managers would ever allow something like that to appear in a Disney Hyperion book. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved "I mean, I had the dolls biting the kids and actually drawing blood...
  • Jim Hill

    Will a holographic version of Blackbeard soon begin appearing in Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride?

    • 11 Comments
    Given that the pirate Angelica has begun making appearances in the Adventureland section of WDW 's Magic Kingdom Park as well as in New Orleans Square at Disneyland Park .... The face character version of Angelica has begun appearing at the Disney Parks. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved ... Well, Disneyana fans are wondering if any other " Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides " characters will soon be popping up elsewhere in the Parks. Like - say - inside...
  • Jim Hill

    Do recently registered domain names hint at a possible comeback for Disney's Dreamfinder?

    • 10 Comments
    It's time to take another peek over the horizon. To see what The Walt Disney Company may have up its sleeve by checking out some of the domain names that the Mouse has registered over the past month. Now some of these domain names are fairly obvious. Take - for example - ... johncarterarrives.com whoisjohncarter.com ... which are clearly websites that the Company intends on using to promote " John Carter of Mars ." Which will be released to theaters on March 9, 2012. And then there's...
  • Jim Hill

    Why For: Don't get Shanghaied by Disney theme park concept art

    • 4 Comments
    MickeyFan238 sent me this e-mail earlier this week: I just can't wait until Friday. How much do you think Disney is going to reveal about the Shanghai park at this groundbreaking ceremony? Concept art for Storybook Castle and some of the Fantasyland section of Shanghai Disneyland. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved MickeyFan238 is - of course - referring to the groundbreaking ceremony for the Shanghai Disneyland Resort. Which was held earlier today on those flatlands just...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney's "Lemonade Mouth" showcases "Zeke and Luther" star's other talents

    • 7 Comments
    Even though he's only 19 years old, Adam Hicks is already kind of a show business veteran. By that I mean he's appeared in feature films like Disney's 2006 " Shaggy Dog " remake and New Line Cinema's " How to Eat Fried Worms ." Not to mention played Luther Waffles on " Zeke and Luther ," which is now in its third season on Disney XD . Adam Hicks performs his hip hop holiday jam, "Happy Universal Holidays," following "Zeke and Luther"...
  • Jim Hill

    Life-sized "Cars 2" characters rev up crowds on "Agents on a Mission" tour

    • 2 Comments
    Jay Ward had a favor to ask of his father. Ward - who's the guardian of the Cars franchise for Pixar Animation Studios - had just spent months supervising the construction of those life-sized versions of Lightning McQueen , Mater and Finn McMissile which were to be trucked over North America as part of State Farm ®'s "Agents on a Mission" multi-city tour . Copyright Pixar / State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. All rights reserved "I wanted to be there for the...
  • Jim Hill

    Only a few spots remain for D23's Great Disney Scavenger Hunt at Walt Disney World

    • 2 Comments
    Four theme parks in two days seem like a pretty extreme way to see the Walt Disney World Resort . Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved But for the 500+ teams that have already signed up for the Great Disney Scavenger Hunt (which will be held May 12 - 13 as a prelude to D23 's Destination D: Walt Disney World 40 th event) ... These folks are literally chomping at the bit to get into Magic Kingdom Park , Epcot , Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom Park...
  • Jim Hill

    Themed entertainment professionals to honor Stephanie Girard's memory tonight by holding ACS fundraiser

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    In response to Wednesday's Entertainment Designer Forum article , JacksBack wrote in to say: Paper model of Wizard's Crag from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal's Islands of Adventure. Signed by Ray Keim, this one-of-a-kind collectable will be just one of the items up for bid at tonight's silent auction. Image courtesy of the Entertainment Designer Forum. All rights reserved It was great to get to see all of those props from Halloween Horror Nights and Howl-O-Scream...
  • Jim Hill

    Southern California gears up for four full days of Disney-related fun

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    You know, I kind of feel sorry for all of you Disneyana fans who live out in the Los Angeles area. Why For? Because starting tomorrow ... There are so many Mouse-related events going on in & around Southern California that it will literally be impossible to attend them all. Want proof? Okay then. Let's start with what's going on tomorrow night at 6 p.m. When - courtesy of the Walt Disney Family Museum and the Museum of Modern Art - you can see six newly restored Laugh-O-grams . These...
  • Jim Hill

    Once more with feline: Alastair Fothergill talks about how the third Disneynature film, "African Cats" actually came together

    • 2 Comments
    When it comes to Take-Your-Kids-to-Work day, I'm afraid that Alastair Fothergill has us all beat. Alastair Fothergill, Executive Producer in the BBC Natural History Unit Copyright 2011 BBC. All rights reserved You see, last year as this UK-based executive producer was working on " Frozen Planet " (i.e. Fothergill's latest long-form documentary for the BBC. Which follows in the footsteps of his earlier highly acclaimed multi-part productions, " Blue Planet " and "...
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