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

June, 2011

  • Jim Hill

    "Mousejunkies!" is a laugh-filled alternative to your standard WDW travel book

    • 4 Comments
    There are Walt Disney World guidebooks that you read because they give you amazingly accurate info about how to properly navigate this 43 square-mile resort (EX: " The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World 2012 "). Then there are those WDW guidebooks that you pick up because they have lots of great photographs (" The Complete Walt Disney World 2011 ") or cool behind-the-scenes info (" Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World's Best Kept Secrets "). And then...
  • Jim Hill

    Jason Earles is getting a real kick out of working on Disney XD's "Kickin' It"

    • 7 Comments
    There's a saying in the sitcom world - especially when it comes to physical comedy -- that you have to commit to the bit. That you can't just go halfway when you're out to get a laugh. Jason Earles tries to stimulate the growth of a mustache in a Season Four episode of "Hannah Montana." Photo by Jaimie Trueblood. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved And Jason Earles ... He's a really "commit to the bit" kind of guy. Which is why - when Jason was...
  • Jim Hill

    Fan art a highlight of LEGOLAND California's LEGO Star Wars Days

    • 2 Comments
    There are lots of great reasons to visit LEGOLAND California . Chief among these being this theme park's highly detailed recreations of cityscapes from around the globe. These include a miniature version of New York City which took over two million bricks to build ... Photo by Noe Valladolid ... not to mention a stylized version of the California coastline which allows you to travel from San Francisco 's Golden Gate Bridge all the way down to San Diego's scenic beaches in just under a...
  • Jim Hill

    Bill Farmer is looking to get Goofy at this weekend's Dayton Disneyana event

    • 0 Comments
    Gawrsh, has it really been 25 years since Bill Farmer first began speaking for Goofy? "Yeah, I better be careful here," Bill joked when we spoke on the phone yesterday. "Otherwise this might turn into a career." Goofy and Bill Farmer. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved This Disney Legend was kind enough to carve out some time to chat last night. Which - given that Farmer was in right in the middle of packing for Dayton Disneyana 2011 (i.e. that Show & Sale...
  • Jim Hill

    Dan Signer talks about developing the Disney Channel's newest hit, "A.N.T. Farm"

    • 23 Comments
    You've heard of products that were made in China? Well, how about projects that were made for China. To be specific: China Anne McClain , the 13-year-old actress and singer. "A.N.T. Farm" star China Anne McClain. Photo by Bob D'Amico. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved China first came on the Disney Channel 's radar thanks to her scene-stealing appearances on Tyler Perry 's House of Payne . The Mouse thought that McClain had the making of a sitcom star...
  • Jim Hill

    D23 is actively working to increase capacity at its events, reaching out to Official Disney Fan Club members around the country

    • 10 Comments
    There's a joke from " Annie Hall " that I love: Two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort. And one of them says, "Boy, the food at this place is really terrible." And then the other one says, "Yeah, I know; and such small portions." I bring this story up today because D23 now finds itself dealing with a different sort of customer service problem. In that the behind-the-scenes tours & special events that The Official Disney Fan Club offers have become...
  • Jim Hill

    Walt Disney Studios celebrates "Cars 2" with a special on-the-lot showcase

    • 1 Comments
    This past Friday, Mickey Avenue on the Disney Lot in Burbank was redressed as Victory Lane. Photo by Jim Hill That was because The Walt Disney Company -- out ahead of the June 24th release date of " Cars 2 " -- wanted to celebrate Pixar 's latest production. So there were games for Studio employees and their families to play ... Photo by Noe Valladolid ... which keyed off of some of the countries that Lightning McQueen & Mater will visit over the course of this new John Lasseter...
  • Jim Hill

    Visiting Hong Kong Disneyland can be a delightfully disturbing experience for the classic Disneyland fan

    • 3 Comments
    Veteran Disneyland visitors always have the same sort of reaction when they finally get the chance to visit Hong Kong Disneyland . As in: This theme park is exactly the same ... only different. Photo by Florence Doyle By that I mean: This theme park's entrance plaza -- with its Mickey-surfing-atop-a-whale's-spout fountain -- is, of course, all-new. Photo by Florence Doyle But then you walk up to the actual entrance of Hong Kong Disneyland. And there is an exact duplicate of the train station...
  • Jim Hill

    Remembering Disney's "The Rocketeer" : How a beloved series of comic books made the jump to the big screen

    • 3 Comments
    For screenwriters Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo , it was pretty much love at first sight when it came to " The Rocketeer ." "This was the early 1980s and Paul & I were were just getting started in the business," Danny recalled. "We were working for this company called Empire Entertainment and - in order to get out of the office during lunchtime - we always walked down to the Golden Apple ." For those of you who don't know: The Golden Apple is THE comic book store...
  • Jim Hill

    Licensing International Expo gives conventioneers a look at movies & TV shows for 2012 & beyond

    • 5 Comments
    Greetings from the Licensing International Expo . Which -- this year -- is being held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Photo by Jim Hill This is where the various studios -- in order to impress would-be licensees -- annually put on elaborate displays for their upcoming TV shows & movies. Take -- for example -- Universal Pictures ' over-the-top effort to promote " Despicable Me 2 " (which won't be showing up in theaters 'til the Summer of 2013) ... Photo...
  • Jim Hill

    Get an in-the-depth look at the making of Disney's newest summer blockbuster with "The Art of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"

    • 5 Comments
    A year ago today, Johnny Depp was in a helicopter flying along Kauai 's Na Pali coast . This copter eventually touched down along the shoreline. Depp then hopped out and - in full pirate regalia - carefully made his way across the sand to that beautiful natural arch which graces Honopu Beach . Photo by Peter Mountain. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Once in position in front of the cameras, Johnny then shot the scene from " On Stranger Tides " where Captain Jack...
  • Jim Hill

    Jonathan Freeman returns as Jafar in new stage musical version of Disney's "Aladdin"

    • 1 Comments
    It's often been said that a story is only as good as its villain. Which is why you genuinely have to feel for Casey Nicholaw and Chad Beguelin . As the director & the librettist of " Disney's Aladdin: The New Stage Musical " (which will begin presenting performances at Seattle's 5 th Avenue Theatre on July 7 th ) realized, Casey & Chad faced an awful challenge when it came to casting the role of Jafar. After all, no matter who they chose for this part, that poor actor...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney XD's new karate-themed sitcom, "Kickin' It" gets off to a promising start

    • 134 Comments
    Since " Zeke and Luther " proved that there's a fairly sizable young-male audience out there which enjoys sitcoms that mix slapstick & extreme sports, Disney XD is revisiting this theme tomorrow night with " Kickin' It ." Which is a brand-new half-hour-long comedy that debuts on this cable channel tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. ET / PT following the Season 2 premiere of " Pair of Kings ." "So how does 'Kickin' It' compare to "Zeke and Luther'...
  • Jim Hill

    "The Ballad of Nessie" : Why it took Disney such a long, long time to produce this short

    • 5 Comments
    Did you hear that there was a Loch Ness Monster sighting yesterday in France? Well, not a sighting exactly. More like a screening. With Walt Disney Animation Studios ' latest short, " The Ballad of Nessie ," being shown to attendees of the 51 st Annecy International Animation Festival and Conference as part of that fest's Screening on the Lake series. And later today, Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton (i.e. the directors of "Nessie") and Dorothy McKim (i.e. the producer...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney Soundsational Summer media event comes to a close with light saber battles & hula dances

    • 1 Comments
    The Disneyland Resort 's Soundsational Summer media event continued on Friday morning with the opening ceremony for Star Tours - The Adventures Continue . TV crews from around the country were out in front of this recently-refurbished Tomorrowland attraction doing live remotes. And to give these local news anchors someone to interact with, Disneyland sent out Stormtrooper Donald and Darth Goofy ... Photo by Shelly Valladolid ... who then put their own silly spin of memorable moments from the...
  • Jim Hill

    Remembering Wally Boag & Betty Taylor, the stars of Disneyland's long-running Golden Horseshoe Revue

    • 3 Comments
    Back in the early 1960s, whenever Walt Disney himself escorted dignitaries around Disneyland , there were always a few rides & shows that Walt would insist that his guests experience with him while they were in the Park. Walt let Jawaharlal Nehru take a turn at the wheel on the Jungle Cruise when the Indian Prime Minister visited Disneyland in November of 1961. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Typically, Disney would first take these folks down to Adventureland . Where they'd...
  • Jim Hill

    Disneyland Resort kicks off its Soundsational Summer with the premiere of new attractions, parade

    • 4 Comments
    Greetings from Anaheim, California. Where I am right in the thick of the Disneyland Resort's Soundsational Summer media event. The Mouse has really pulled out the stops for this one, folks. Not only were Jodi Benson (i.e. the voice of Ariel for "The Little Mermaid" animated feature) and Sherie Rene Scott (i.e. the actress who played Ursula the Sea Witch in the Broadway stage version of "The Little Mermaid") on hand to entertain the crowds for the opening ceremony of "The...
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