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September, 2011

  • Jim Hill

    Why For WDW's 40th anniversary celebration is kind of a modest affair

    • 19 Comments
    Brent SD writes in to ask about JHM's 40 th -anniversary-of- Walt-Disney-World coverage. Or lack thereof. I can't help but notice that while many of the other Disney news sites have been doing article after article this week about Disney World's 40 th birthday, JimHillMedia has been posting stories about Knott's Berry Farm , The Chew and the Disney Channel . Am I reading too much into this situation? Or is JHM deliberately steering away from covering Disney World's birthday? Dear...
  • Jim Hill

    Kevin Chamberlin trades the real NYC for the sitcom version of that city in the Disney Channel's "Jessie"

    • 2 Comments
    It's funny how life works out sometimes. Take - for example - what just happened to Tony Award-nominee Kevin Chamberlin . After spending two years playing Uncle Fester in the "Addams Family" musical (more importantly, after a particularly brutal winter in NYC), Kevin longed for a change of scenery. (L to R) Kevin Chamberlin, Terrance Mann and Nathan Lane in "THE ADDAMS FAMILY." Photo by Joan Marcus "New York is a great city, especially when you're young. But I'm...
  • Jim Hill

    ABC's "The Chew" has too many cooks crammed into its party kitchen

    • 18 Comments
    In regards to ABC 's brand-new daytime chat show, " The Chew ," there are so many food-based jokes that I could do here. I could start by saying the first episode (which premiered yesterday afternoon) was both half-baked and overdone. With the end result being that "The Chew" left kind of a bad taste in your mouth. But that said, it's important to recognize that this was the very first episode of "The Chew." Or - as Clinton Kelly , the defacto host described...
  • Jim Hill

    Horror fans flock to the first night of Halloween Haunt at Knott's Scary Farm

    • 1 Comments
    As the sun sets over Buena Park, CA., Knott's Berry Farm - America's 1 st theme park - undergoes an unusual transformation on select nights in September and October. Photo by Noe Valladolid First a weird fog fills the streets of Ghost Town ... Photo by Noe Valladolid Then out of that mist comes all manner of monster ... Photo by Noe Valladolid Each of them determined to frighten the bejesus out of anyone who was brave enough and/or foolhardy enough to buy a ticket to the 39 th annual Halloween...
  • Jim Hill

    Ottawa International Animation Festival offers a trio of panels that are sure to delight Disney & Pixar fans

    • 1 Comments
    " Dumbo " may not be the shortest animated feature that Walt Disney Animation Studios ever produced (" Saludos Amigos " is actually shorter. This 1942 release clocks in a mere 42 minutes long). But if Walt had gone with his original gut feeling on this project, this movie might have been a whole lot shorter. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved "When Disney Studios originally bought the film rights to 'Dumbo, the Flying Elephant' in 1939, they were...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney-style inking & painting lives on, thanks to Courvoisier's studio replicas

    • 2 Comments
    As a longtime fan of hand-drawn animation, it did my heart good this past weekend to see Disney's "The Lion King" once again wind up on top of the box office heap. To have the 3D version of this 1994 Academy Award-winner gross $30.1 million (which is more than twice what the No. 2 film, " Contagion " managed to pull in ) was just so satisfying in a strange sort of way. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved I mean, there's no getting around the fact that...
  • Jim Hill

    Pruning Carnation Plaza Gardens makes room for future growth at Disneyland

    • 14 Comments
    As any good gardener will tell you, Fall is a great time to prune. Why For? Because once the leaves are off the tree, you can actually see what you're doing. More to the point, flowering plants that are pruned back in the autumn usually experience vigorous regrowth the following spring. Photo by Noe Valladolid So taking that info into consideration ... I guess it's kind of appropriate that - sometime later this Fall - the construction walls will go up around Carnation Plaza Gardens. So that...
  • Jim Hill

    How Disney decides where to draw the line when it comes to restoring its classic films

    • 21 Comments
    How does a well-intentioned restoration wind up being thought of as a desecration of a once-popular motion picture? That's what Steven Spielberg seemed to be wondering earlier this week at the 30 th anniversary screening of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." During the Q & A session following this Los Angeles Times-sponsored screening, the topic of "E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial" 's 2002 release on DVD came up. And Spielberg publicly admitted that he now regrets some of the...
  • Jim Hill

    Joe Rohde explains how Aulani Resort & Spa blends authentic Hawaiian culture with Disney showmanship

    • 2 Comments
    You know everything that you think you know about Hawaii? That island paradise with the luaus and the tiki torches (not to mention the concrete canyons of Honolulu) ? Well, you can forget about all that when you visit at Aulani, Disney's new resort and spa which just opened at Ko Olina, Oahu. According to veteran Imagineer Joe Rohde, the whole point of this $800 million project is to celebrate the real Hawaii. "There's this image of Hawaii, this rambling grass-shacky, beachy thing that...
  • Jim Hill

    How come Hong Kong Disneyland can have a frightening Halloween event but the Anaheim original can't?

    • 15 Comments
    So how did Disney diehards react to the recent news that Walt Disney World would soon be getting a brand-new interactive experience, " Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom " ... Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved ... and Disneyland Park would soon be bumping out the borders of its Fantasyland section with the addition of a new "Fantasy Faire" experience? Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Just as you might expect. By complaining loudly. "So...
  • Jim Hill

    East Coast premiere of Pixar's "La Luna" to benefit Japan Earthquake Relief Fund

    • 0 Comments
    This coming Sunday - what with being the 10 th anniversary of 9/11 and all - is obviously going to be a fairly somber time in NYC. But that said, it's important at moments like this to remember that we're not actually alone in the world. That there are other people on this planet who (just like all of those New Yorkers did back on September 11, 2001) need our kindness, our good wishes and - most importantly - our generosity at times like this. Which bring me to that "Films For Hope"...
  • Jim Hill

    Sean Astin proves to Disney Junior fans that Agent Oso isn't the only one who's special

    • 5 Comments
    Given his close association with " The Lord of the Rings " films, Sean Astin thought he knew all about how to handle crowds at conventions. But all that changed last month when Astin put in an appearance at the D23 EXPO . When Sean came out onstage at the Disney Channel pavilion accompanied by a walk-around version of the character that he voices for " Special Agent Oso ," Astin suddenly found himself being upstaged by a 5-foot-tall, bright yellow bear. Copyright Disney Enterprises...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney helps travel agents get to know the World better through on-site training

    • 12 Comments
    So you're on the phone with your travel agent. And you're in the process of planning out your family's next Walt Disney World vacation. And because your kids really love to swim, you're then asking this agent about the various themed pools that can be found around the Resort. Which is when your travel agent launches into this detailed description of how the Mardi Gras-theme pool at Disney's Port Orleans (which can be found in the French Quarter section of this WDW Resort) compares...
  • Jim Hill

    How Disney's two-dimensional "Beast" became a 3D "Beauty"

    • 10 Comments
    New and a bit alarming Who 'd have ever thought that this could be? Well, " Beauty and the Beast " co-director Kirk Wise doesn't seem all that surprised that this Academy Award-winning film (which was the first animated feature to ever be nominated for Best Picture) got selected for the Disney Digital 3D treatment. "I can remember when we were previewing this picture and the camera would then begin its big sweeping move through the ballroom while Angela was singing 'Beauty...
  • Jim Hill

    Walt Disney Animation Studios looks to really up its game with "Wreck-It Ralph"

    • 7 Comments
    Every day for the past 30 years, Wreck-It Ralph has done the exact same thing. He first enters his home, (which is located inside of this cozy tree stump that is hidden away in the heart of this beautiful 8-bit pine forest) ... Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved ... only to then have a bulldozer come along and rudely push Wreck-It Ralph's tree stump out of that pine forest & then deposit it in the local dump. So that a brand-new, 5-story-tall brick apartment building can...
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