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Podcasts & big green pussy cats prevented JHM from posting new pieces earlier this week

Podcasts & big green pussy cats prevented JHM from posting new pieces earlier this week

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Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?

My apologies for JHM basically being on hold these past few days. But I've been out in Southern California since Saturday morning working.

Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you do there?


Copyright DreamWorks Animation LLC. All rights reserved

Len Testa and I recorded 12 brand-new Unofficial Guide Disney Dish podcasts for iTunes earlier this week. We did three shows about Disney California Adventure theme park on Monday (one that dealt with all the behind-the-scenes struggles involved with the creation of a second gate for the Disneyland Resort, one that talked about the original version of DCA & all of the design choices that were made there and finally one about the recently completed DCA redo) and 9 about Disneyland Park on Tuesday (one show about the development & construction of Disneyland, and then 8 additional podcasts about each individual land in that theme park).

All told, I think that Len & I recorded 7 to 8 hours worth of shows while we were strolling around the Disneyland Resort. Mr. Testa is now hard about work editing these recordings. Which will supposedly start popping up on iTunes on a one-new-show-a-week schedule starting next month.

And speaking of those Unofficial Guide Disney Dish podcasts that I do with Len, the first of new three shows that he and I recorded at Walt Disney World last month (which goes over the history of the campsites at Fort Wilderness) just went live on iTunes late last week. If you'd like to check that podcast out, here's a direct link.


Copyright DreamWorks Animation LLC.
All rights reserved

Beyond that, during the four days I was in Southern California, I managed to catch an early test screening of DreamWorks Animation's March 2013 release, "The Croods." Which is this completely charming comic adventure about a family of cavemen who find themselves in search of a new home during a time of prehistoric upheaval. I don't want to give too much of this film's story away here (especially since I'm not looking to invoke the wrath of DWA and/or the folks at Nielsen [i.e. the company who actually ran Saturday's test screening] ). But if you're a fan of Chris Sanders' previous directorial efforts, 2002's "Lilo & Stitch" and 2010's "How to Train Your Dragon," you're just going to love "The Croods." Which looks like someone took those sketchbooks that Sanders makes from San Diego Comic-Con and then shoved them straight into the camera. Chris' unique take on character design totally permeates this motion picture ... and I mean that in a good way.

Though "The Croods" still has about 10 or 15 minutes of animation left to do (there were three or four sequences that were just storyboards and/or only roughed out animatics), it's already a skillful mix of comedy and adventure which has plenty of heart. More to the point, "The Croods" has some really great messages about  family & parenthood, not to mention the necessity of growth and change. Which is why -- when this Chris Sanders & Kirk DeMicco film is officially released to theaters on March 22, 2013 -- I'm definitely going to circle back around on this DreamWorks Animation production. Because if the finished version of "The Croods" is half as good as Saturday's work-in-progress test screening was, this is going to be one genuinely fun night at the movies.


Copyright DreamWorks Animation LLC. All rights reserved

Oh, one final thing. I'm predicting now that the break-out character for this upcoming DreamWorks Animation will be the green saber-toothed tiger-like character which you see in the center of the above  image. Which -- as I understand it -- the  "Croods" production team has dubbed the macawnivore.

Whatever DWA actually wind up calling this particular character, whatever lucky licensee wound up with the rights to make a plush version of this green tiger character from "The Croods" is going to make a buttload of money next year. Mark my words.

Anyway ... I just wanted to post a quick note to let you folks know about what I've been up to. Sorry for the delay when it comes to posting new pieces. JHM will resume its usual 5 new-articles-a-week publication schedule shortly. Plus look for some fun animation-related articles to soon start popping up in the Huffington Post's Entertainment section.

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  • Glad you're doing the podcasts, Jim.  I really enjoyed the Fort Wilderness one.  You always have background information I've never heard before, and it makes me want to go back there again!

  • Is there anyway to get the podcasts without having to use iTunes?

    EDITOR'S NOTE: That's an interesting question. Let me ask Len. I seem to recall that there is a way to access these Unofficial Guide podcasts without using iTunes. As soon as Mr. Testa lets me know how, I'll share that info here, okay?

  • pureval: There is an XML link for the podcasts at superfluffybunny.com/lenjim.xml

    You can also get the direct download links from blog.touringplans.com/.../Unofficial+Guide+Disney+Dish+Podcast

  • Jim, Thanks so much for posting this review! I am sooo excited for a new Chris Sanders (and Kirk De Micco) film, and your review has only upped my anticipation level. If you have a moment, could you give us a hint as to how you felt about the vocal performances? Thanks again!

  • I continue to weep for Disney allowing Sanders to get away.  And by get away I mean by firing him.

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