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

May, 2011

  • Jim Hill

    Great advice & flying Twinkies rain down in Don Hahn's "Brain Storm: Unleashing Your Creative Self"

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    Welcome to June. That time of year when many of us struggle to find the perfect graduation present. That thoughtful, well-chosen item which will then make an impression on the newly capped-and-gowned. Luckily, Disney Editions has - just yesterday, in fact - released a book that (I think, anyway) will make a great gift for the recent high school & college graduate in your group. It's called " Brain Storm: Unleashing Your Creative Self " and features acclaimed film producer Don Hahn...
  • Jim Hill

    "Winnie the Pooh" BYOB screenings prove to be a big hit with pajama-clad undergrads

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    The conventional wisdom in Hollywood these days is that " Winnie the Pooh " is going to have a tough time of it this summer. Given that this Walt Disney Animation Studios production is being released to theaters on July 15 th , the exact same day that " Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 " opens ... The belief out west is that - given a choice between seeing the battle for Hogwarts in 3D or returning to a hand-drawn Hundred Acre Wood - people will pick over Potter over...
  • Jim Hill

    Buck Sergeant Duck and other tales of Donald's 50th birthday celebration

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    So what are you going to do with your Memorial Day Monday? If you're out in Southern California and looking for a really spectacular patriotic event to attend ... I'm afraid that you're about a week late at this point. You see, the City of Torrance 's 52 nd Armed Forces Day Celebration and Parade was held last weekend. With the branch of the service being honored this time around being the United States Army . "And why should I care about an Armed Forces Day parade that's...
  • Jim Hill

    Times Square Disney Store gives its first floor a magical makeover

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    The Times They Are A-Changin' -- Bob Dylan And - by "Times" - I mean the Times Square Disney Store . Which - just this morning - re-opens for business after its first floor sales area received a pretty significant makeover. For those of you who can't quite recall what the first floor of Disney's flagship used to look like ... Here, let me share a few shots that Nancy took back in November of 2010 just prior to the grand opening of this 20,000 square-foot store. Photo by Nancy...
  • Jim Hill

    "The Price of Freedom" is a thoroughly entertaining "Pirates of the Caribbean" prequel

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    Now that " Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides " is out in theaters, we've learned a bit more about Captain Jack Sparrow's back story. In particular how this rascally rogue may have (SPOILERS AHEAD) robbed Angelica of her innocence when he snuck into a Spanish convent late one night. (Sparrow's excuse? "I thought it was a brothel. Honest mistake.") Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved But would you like to learn even more about Capt. Jack's...
  • Jim Hill

    "Kung Fu Panda 2" portfolio allows DreamWorks Animation Fine Arts program to live up to its full Po-tential

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    Given that he's the star of a soon-to-be-released high profile sequel, Po has been popping up in all sorts of interesting places over the past few months. To be specific, far out at sea ... Beginning in December 2010, characters from DreamWorks Animation films began appearing on four Royal Caribbean International ships: The Allure of the Seas, the Oasis of the Seas, the Liberty of the Seas and the Freedom of the Seas. Copyright Royal Caribbean International. All rights reserved ... in NYC .....
  • Jim Hill

    S/R Labs' annual online auction gets underway today, company becomes official Disney licensee

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    It's a busy but happy time for the folks at S/R Laboratories Animation Art Conservation Center . And not just because their annual Spring auction gets underway today. Which means that - now through tomorrow afternoon PT- some rarer-than-rare cels, storyboard and concept sketches will be coming up for bid. Image courtesy of S/R Laboratories, Inc. All rights reserved No, Ron Stark and his team in Westlake Village are happy these days because S/R Laboratories Animation Art Conservation Center has...
  • Jim Hill

    Paul F. Anderson shares the untold history of the war years at Walt Disney Studios

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    For a lot of Americans, the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 signaled the start of four long years of hardship, sacrifice and struggle. As the United States suddenly found itself plunged in World War II. For Walt Disney, the sacrifices began on December 8, 1941. When he got word that - in order to protect the nearby Lockheed planet (which was located right nearby at the Burbank Airport) - the War Department had ordered that 500 troops be billeted at Disney Studios. Thus began a little...
  • Jim Hill

    Imagine that: The Dreamfinder & Figment reunite for one night only at WDW 40th anniversary event

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    So what was the high point of Destination D: Walt Disney World 40 th , that D23 event that was held this past weekend at Disney's Contemporary Resort ? Given that there were so many terrific panels & presentations over this two-day-long event, it wouldn't really be fair to single out a particular one. But that said, I can guarantee you that there was one moment which members of the Official Disney Fan Club will be talking about for years to come. Picture this: It's Sunday night. Well...
  • Jim Hill

    State Farm's "Cars 2: Agents on a Mission" tour rolls into Orlando for WDW's Car Masters Weekend

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    If you're a maven for all things automotive, Downtown Disney is the place that you really need to be today, tomorrow and Sunday. So that you can then experience Car Masters Weekend at the Walt Disney World Resort . Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved All weekend long, classic muscle cars will be lined up along the promenade. Not to mention Richard Petty 's own racecar, which will be on display over at RIDERMAKERZ . But it you're a fan of the Disney-Pixar "Cars"...
  • Jim Hill

    "Working with Disney" gives you an up-close look at Walt Disney, the man

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    So when did Don Peri start collecting Mouse-related stories? Over 35 years ago. Back when genuine Disney Legends were still working at the Studios. " Frank and Ollie were still doing animation back then. When I first met them, they were both working on ' The Rescuers ' and were getting started on the research for ' The Illusion of Life ,'" Peri recalled. "Which was harder than you might think. Given that Dave Smith was just getting the Disney Archives up out of the...
  • Jim Hill

    Phill Lewis looks back on all the sweet times that he had while working on the Disney Channel's two "Suite Life" shows

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    If you've watched television and/or been to the movies over the past 25 years, you're familiar with Phill Lewis ' work. I mean, how could you not be? This talented character actor has made memorable appearances on Top 10 TV shows like " Hill Street Blues ," " Buffy the Vampire Slayer " and " Friends ." Not to mention popping up in popular motion pictures like " City Slickers ," " Heathers " and " Bowfinger ." A very young Phill...
  • Jim Hill

    "Toy Story 3" director puts Pixar collectables up for bid to help out with Japanese earthquake relief

    • 2 Comments
    Look, I know it's been a lot of stuff in the news lately. Rising gas prices. Obama's long-form birth certificate. William & Kate's wedding. Those horrific tornadoes that touched down in Alabama. Bin Laden being blown away. The Mississippi reaching record flood stages. The ongoing strife in Libya. And -- of course -- The Donald being a dumb-ass. But it's important to remember that - on the other side of the planet - over a half million people are still dealing with the aftermath...
  • Jim Hill

    Dick Van Dyke's memoir reveals what it was really like to work with Walt

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    So how exactly did Dick Van Dyke wind up playing Bert in " Mary Poppins " ? According to his just-released memoir, " My Lucky Life In and Out of Show Business " (Crown Archetype, May 2011), Dick landed his role in that Disney classic because an earlier film of his - 1964's " What a Way to Go! " - hadn't gone quite according to plan. As Van Dyke explained, that Shirley MacLaine movie's script ... ... had been a pleasure to read, but the final version (of "What...
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