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March, 2012

Jim Hill

Jim's musings on the history of and rumors about movies, TV shows, books and theme parks including Disneyland, Walt Disney World. Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood.
  • Jim Hill

    The Disney stars come out for "Newsies: The Musical" 's opening night on Broadway

    Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Photo by Nancy Stadler Following its acclaimed run at the Papermill Playhouse last Fall, Disney Theatrical Productions' " Newsies: The Musical " opened at NYC's Nederlander Theatre last night for a special limited engagement. The press lines up to get shots of celebrities as they walk the red carpet on "Newsies: The Musical" 's Opening Night. Photo by Nancy Stadler And -- of course -- the Disney brass turned out in drives to support...
  • Jim Hill

    What with pulling double duty on Disney XD's "Ultimate Spider-Man" and "Marvel's The Avengers," Clark Gregg is having a pretty Marvel-ous year

    Did Clark Gregg have any idea that -- when he signed on to do in " Iron Man " back in 2007 -- that playing Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D. would eventually become a full-time gig? "Not at all," Clark remarked at a Disney XD press conference last week which heralded this Sunday's debut of the new "Ultimate Spider-Man" animated series / this cable channel's Marvel Universe programming block. "I knew (the director Jon) Favreau a little bit and he had this...
  • Jim Hill

    Huffington Post - Jim Hill: Should the Bay Area be concerned that WonderCon is foresaking Frisco for Anaheim?

    "Should the Bay Area be concerned that WonderCon is foresaking Frisco for Anaheim?" It's the rumor that makes the rounds every summer. That Comic-Con is soon going to abandon San Diego for some other convention-friendly city like Las Vegas or Anaheim . The only problem with this rumor is (at least for the timing being) is that it can't possibly be true. Given that -- back in September of 2010 -- Comic-Con International (i.e. the parent company of this pop culture phenomenon) signed...
  • Jim Hill

    Universal's Hollywood Drive-In takes miniature golf in Orlando to a hole new level

    It looks like Universal Orlando has really hit a hole-in-one with its new Hollywood Drive-In Golf complex. Copyright Universal Orlando. All rights reserved Though the painters were still putting a few finishing touches on these two 18-hole courses while I "played through" at last night's press preview, it was hard not to be impressed with this new Universal CityWalk venue. Which (I predict) is going to quickly become Central Florida's new gold standard. At least when it comes to...
  • Jim Hill

    Agent P to replace Kim Possible as star of Epcot's World Showcase Adventure

    It's official. Teen crime fighter Kim Possible is being replaced by a platypus. In a recent interview with Travel Weekly editor-in-chief Arnie Weissmann, Chairman of Disney Parks & Resorts Tom Staggs was asked about the rumors which have been circulating lately about Disney's Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure , the popular interactive guest experience which debuted at Epcot back in January of 2009. And -- in direct response -- Staggs said that Disney ... Copyright Disney Enterprises...
  • Jim Hill

    Can positive word-of-mouth now help "John Carter" overcome its poisonous advance buzz?

    It's the story that entertainment reporters has been flogging since last Fall. How terrible the advance tracking on " John Carter " reportedly was. Which is why it was rumored that Walt Disney Studios was getting ready to take a $100 - $165 million write-off on this new Andrew Stanton film. But then a curious thing happened. "John Carter" finally opens this past Friday on 3,746 screens and only sells $9.8 million worth of tickets. But then comes Saturday, during which "Carter"...
  • Jim Hill

    Remembering Robert B Sherman (1925 - 2012)

    If any baby boomers that you know seem a bit blue today ... Well, there's a reason. Robert B Sherman , the man who -- along with his brother Richard M Sherman -- basically wrote the soundtrack for their childhoods ... passed away yesterday. Robert Bernard Sherman (December 19, 1925 - March 5, 2012) Which isn't to say that kids today aren't familiar with the Sherman Brothers' work. Given how sturdy & tuneful & memorable the music that these two crafted was, I'd wager that...
  • Jim Hill

    The "UFOs are real" documentary that Walt Disney Studios almost made

    I have long been a fan & supporter of Didier Ghez 's "Walt 's People" books , that series of paperbacks which collects amazing interviews with Disney Legends. But with Volume 11 of this series, Ghez has truly out-done himself. This 630-page book features 36 separate interviews which have been done by some of the top animation & theme park historians working today (EX: John Canemaker , John Culhane , Christopher Finch , J.B. Kaufman , Jim Korkis and Dave Smith , among others...
  • Jim Hill

    How xPASS plans on servicing Resort Guests as well as Disney World's day visitors

    Late last week, the Terrible Towel wrote in to say: Jim, I've been enjoying all of these XPASS articles that you've been writing lately. But with resort guests being able to reserve their ride times weeks and months in advance, I have to ask: What's going to be left for the day guest, the person who bought their ticket to a Disney theme park on the day of their visit? How are these people ever going to be able to experience these park's very best rides, shows, or attractions once...
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