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

August, 2011

  • Jim Hill

    Want a sneak preview of Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 21? Today's your lucky day

    • 1 Comments
    Monday night, a mysterious message popped up in my in-box. It read: You are part of a select group of media invited to learn details about Universal Orlando's Halloween Horror Nights 21 BEFORE they are revealed to the rest of the world. You will hear the news from one of HHN 21's creators ... and you'll get to see who you'll really be facing at this year's event. Copyright Universal Orlando. All rights reserved Watch for an email from us at 11:30 p.m. tomorrow with further instructions...
  • Jim Hill

    Looking back at the 2011 D23 EXPO: expectations vs. reality

    • 53 Comments
    And how was your weekend? Mine contrasted sharply with last weekend. Instead of being inside of the brightly-lit Anaheim Convention Center surrounded by thousands of Disney fans, I was sitting in the dark here at home with Nancy, Alice and the cats. What with all the wind & wet weather associated with Hurricane / Tropical Storm Irene, it took Public Service of New Hampshire upwards of 15 hours to finally get the electricity flowing again in our neck of the woods. Which - I know - sounds like...
  • Jim Hill

    Why For did Phase II of Epcot's World Showcase never get built?

    • 10 Comments
    Annoyed in Anaheim writes in to say: I have to say that I was very disappointed with the Disney Parks & Resorts presentation at the D23 EXPO. They didn't announce anything significant for Walt Disney World. You'd think, given that it's been almost a quarter of a century since a new country was last added to the World Showcase, that they could have at least announced a new international pavilion for Epcot. Dear Annoyed in Anaheim, Ah, but just because they announced a new country for...
  • Jim Hill

    Keith Coogan of "The Fox and the Hound" recalls his days at Disney Studios

    • 1 Comments
    If you watched TV during the late 1970s / early 1980s, you undoubtedly saw Keith Coogan at some time or another. As a child, Keith made appearances on virtually every big television program of the day. We're talking about one-hour dramas like "The Waltons," "Eight is Enough," "Knight Rider" and "CHiPS." Not to mention sitcoms like "Morky & Mindy" and "Laverne & Shirley." "Aaron Spelling took a liking to me. So I also made...
  • Jim Hill

    The stars come out for the D23 EXPO's "Inside the Walt Disney Studios" presentation

    • 2 Comments
    So how was your weekend? Mine ... was interesting. Take - for instance - how I spent my Saturday morning. While thousands of Official Disney Fan Club members were in the D23 area enjoying Rich Ross' "Building Worlds: Inside the Walt Disney Studios" presentation ... Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved ... I was out back with these guys. The entertainment press. Where I then got the chance to interview some of the talent before they then went out onstage to talk up...
  • Jim Hill

    The Mouse pays tribute to Kermit's creator by making him a Disney Legend today

    • 10 Comments
    Jim Henson , Disney Legend . For a lot of people (myself included) this phrase doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. But perhaps that's because - for so many of us who grew up in the late 1960s / early 1970s - Jim Henson was / already is a legend. This enormously talented individual who - through the hundreds of hours of television that Jim helped create, plus the handful of feature films that Henson directed or produced - played a huge role in our childhood. Serving up characters & stories...
  • Jim Hill

    ABC's "Once Upon a Time" looks to put a smart, contemporary spin on classic fairytales

    • 3 Comments
    A long time ago (Okay. It was 2002), Edward Kitsis & Adam Horowitz were just getting started in the television writing business. They had landed jobs on " Felicity ." And while these two were genuinely enjoying creating scripts for this Touchstone Television production, Edward & Adam yearned to work on something ... different. Something that would take a familiar thing and then look at it in a whole new way. The cast of "Felicity." Copyright Touchstone Television / Imagine...
  • Jim Hill

    WDI's "Carousel of Projects" looks to put a new spin on the D23 EXPO's Parks & Resort pavilion

    • 4 Comments
    So what was the very best part of the original D23 EXPO ? To be honest, that depended on what aspect of the Walt Disney Company most excites you. For fans of Disney's live-action movies, it would be hard to top that moment from the Studio Showcase when the wreckage of a sailing ship slowly rotated, revealing Johnny Depp in full Captain Jack Sparrow regalia. For those who love Disney & Pixar's animated features, John Lasseter rolling clips from the then-still-in-production " The Princess...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney "Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice" is that rare sequel that equals

    • 0 Comments
    Over the past 50 years, there have been a number of sequels to beloved holiday specials produced (EX: Rudolph's Shiny New Year in 1976, Rudolph & Frosty's Christmas in July in 1979 and Frosty Returns in 1992 come immediately to mind) ... Copyright Warner Home Video. All rights reserved ... but there has never been a really great one. Until now. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Let me be blunt here: Disney "Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice" - Walt Disney...
  • Jim Hill

    Zendaya Coleman is hoping to really "Shake It Up" at this year's D23 EXPO

    • 25 Comments
    In the language of the Shona (i.e. the native people of Zimbabwe and southern Zambia ), the name "Zendaya" means "to give thanks." This name is entirely appropriate in Zendaya Coleman 's case. Given that you'd be hard-pressed to find a more thankful young lady than this talented 14-year-old, who currently co-stars in that Disney Channel hit series, " Shake It Up ." "This has all happened so fast. Just two years ago, I remember watching ' Hannah Montana...
  • Jim Hill

    The countdown begins for the 2011 edition of the D23 Expo

    • 1 Comments
    It all starts one week from today. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved A solid two years of planning has gone into the 2011 edition of the D23 Expo . We're talking about months of meetings with the various divisions of The Walt Disney Company. Hundreds of hours spent putting together various panels and presentations. Thousands of e-mails being sent and phone calls being made just to make sure that all of the surprise and announced celebrities and Disney Legends will actually...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney Research, Pittsburgh demonstrates tactile gaming technology at SIGGRAPH 2011

    • 1 Comments
    " Reach Out. Reach Out and Touch Someone ." That was the catchphrase which Bell Telephone used back in 1979 to try & convince consumers to make more long distance phones. But someday soon, the Mouse may find itself reviving this slogan as a way to promote Surround Haptics , a next generation home-gaming platform that Disney Research, Pittsburgh has recently developed which features tactile technology. "And what's tactile technology?," you ask. Well, if you'd like to...
  • Jim Hill

    Yippies at Disneyland, Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, Phineas & Ferb Across the 2nd Dimension and yours truly at the D23 EXPO

    • 2 Comments
    MaxAndGoofy wrote in yesterday to ask about my whereabouts: Are you okay? I've been coming by your website since late Tuesday night. Other than that Roger Rabbit article that you pulled out of the archives, I haven't seen any new articles posted on JHM since then. Since you're usually good about updating your site with new content, is everything alright? Dear MaxAndGoofy, Don't worry. Everything's fine. The reason that JHM has been a little light on content these past few days...
  • Jim Hill

    "Muppets: The Green Album" reveals how truly evergreen the Muppet song catalog is

    • 2 Comments
    We're still about 16 weeks out from the release of " The Muppets ." But since that it's never too early to start building audience interest in the Studio's Thanksgiving 2011 release ... On August 23rd, Walt Disney Records will be releasing " Muppets: The Green Album ." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved An early review copy of this tribute album (which takes 12 classic Muppet songs and then hands them off to contemporary rockers & alternative...
  • Jim Hill

    From the JHM Archives: Scenes that were cut out of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

    • 13 Comments
    We're conducting a little experiment today. Taking one of the more popular pieces that was ever posted on this website (this detailed look at a full 10 pages of script that was cut out of the original theatrical release of " Who Framed Roger Rabbit " originally ran on JHM back in August of 2006) and then bringing it back for an encore. Depending on the reaction this rerun gets, "From the JHM Archives" could become a regular feature at this site. With specially selected stories...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney's "Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension" is silly, smart, somewhat subversive summer fun

    • 12 Comments
    You know, the " Phineas & Ferb " universe has some hard-and-fast rules (WARNING !! There are spoilers ahead. If you're not already familiar with the inner working of this Emmy Award-winning Disney Channel & Disney XD series, now would be a very good time to bail out of today's JHM article). 1) The show's title characters are unaware that Perry , their pet platypus has a secret identity. That he's Agent P, a secret agent who continually does battle with Dr. Heinz...
  • Jim Hill

    How Disney's dream of building Epcot, the city, sank in Lake Buena Vista

    • 4 Comments
    Deerborn Duck wrote in to ask me about Walt Disney World's real estate development arm: What you tell me about the Buena Vista Land Company? That name keeps coming up in regards to that Flamingo Crossing complex which Disney is supposed to be building out along Western Way near the State Road 429 interchange. Do you know anything about this outfit? Flaming Crossing concept art. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Hang on. Let me go dig out some of my old Walt Disney Productions'...
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