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

July, 2014

  • Jim Hill

    Cedar Fair CEO Matt Ouimet reveals the secret of running a successful amusement park

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    For Matt Ouimet , the President and CEO of Cedar Fair Entertainment Co. , a typical day at the office really is a walk in the park. Matt Ouimet at the May 2013 grand opening of GateKeeper at Cedar Point. Copyright 2014 CFEC. All rights reserved "To be honest, I don't think I'd like this job if I was forced to be cooped up in an office. When you work in the amusement park business, you have to see where things are working and you have to see where they're not," Ouimet admitted...
  • Jim Hill

    Dan Povenmire & Swampy Marsh's New Hope is that they get to make more "Phineas & Ferb Star Wars" specials for the Disney Channel

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    So just how quickly after the Disney - Lucasfilm acquisition was officially announced was tonight's "Phineas & Ferb Star Wars" special put into production? Well, to hear Dan Povenmire & Jeff "Swampy" Marsh tell the story, this affectionate-yet-hilarious show (which airs tonight at 9 p.m., 8 p.m. Central on the Disney Channel) was greenlit mere moments after this $4.06 million deal was revealed to the public back on October 30, 2012. "We were sitting in an audio...
  • Jim Hill

    How Glenn Casale helped "The Little Mermaid" find her feet after this Disney stage show stumbled on Broadway

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    It took the stage version of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" quite a while to finally find its sea legs. When the original Broadway production opened at the Lunt-Fontanne Theater back in January of 2008, the critics were not kind. Ben Brantley of the New York Times was particularly vicious, calling "Mermaid" an " ... unfocused spectacle" which saddled its cast with " ... ungainly guess-what-I-am costumes" and then forced them to perform in front of "...
  • Jim Hill

    Ready to let go of "Let It Go" ? Disney isn't. Mouse has five year plan for "Frozen" franchise

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    You've no doubt already heard about all of the box office records that " Frozen " has broken over the past eight months (With the most recent one being the 16 weeks that this Walt Disney Animation Studios production spent as the No. 1 film in Japan. "Frozen" sold over $240 million worth of tickets in that country before it was finally knocked out of the top spot . Ironically enough by another Disney movie, " Maleficent "). But were you aware of how well the "Frozen"...
  • Jim Hill

    Disneytoon Studios worked closely with CalFire to make "Planes: Fire & Rescue" as authentic as possible

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    "Do your research." That is the lesson that John Lasseter -- Chief Creative Officer of Walt Disney & Pixar Animation Studios -- has repeatedly drilled into the artists that he works with. That before they jump feet-first into developing a brand-new animated feature, these filmmakers must first understand the world that this movie's characters are supposed to occupy. CalFire crew members jump out of a plane as part of a training exercise. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights...
  • Jim Hill

    Tom Williams, Universal Parks Chairman & CEO, reflects on the Universal Orlando Resort's magical transformation

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    With everyone else looking forward to tomorrow's grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Diagon Alley , it might seem kind of strange that Tom Williams -- the Chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts -- is using this exact same moment to look backwards. "But you have to understand that I was part of the opening team for Universal Studios Florida . I was here back in 1987 when this was all still snake-filled marshland. And to see what it's become -- Central Florida's...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney hopes that "7D" 's stellar voice cast will make animation fans Happy, not Grumpy

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    So when Disney Television Animation decided to build a show around the Seven Dwarfs, how did they give this new animated series its own identity? Make sure that people wouldn't confuse this program with the classic animated feature that the Dwarfs debuted in back in 1937? Well, DTA did this by giving this new Disney Junior series a somewhat edgy title, " The 7D ." They also gave the Dwarfs a bold new look & different personalities. And then -- to make sure that today's kids...
  • Jim Hill

    So which Hollywood legend was actually responsible for the creation of "it's a small world"? Would you believe Mommy Dearest?

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    I realize that everyone out there in Online-land is already getting ready for the long Fourth of July Weekend. But before you plunge into three straight days of backyard barbeques & fireworks, I wanted to direct your attention to something cool that the Disney History Institute just posted: Project Fair Winds . Jeremy Marx spent the past 8 months putting together a CG version of the Tower of the Four Winds. Which recreates all 52 of the mobiles which decorated that 120 foot-tall, 100 ton structure...
  • Jim Hill

    "The Beast Within: The Tale of Beauty's Prince" puts a "Wicked"-ly entertaining twist on Disney's "... tale as old as time."

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    So what did you think of "Maleficent" ? This past weekend, that Robert Stromberg film blew through the $200-million-in-domestic-ticket-sales barrier. Which makes this Walt Disney Pictures a blockbuster by modern Hollywood standards. That -- coupled with the $383.7 million that "Maleficent" has earned overseas to date -- means that this reimagining of "Sleeping Beauty" will ultimately be a very profitable enterprise for the Mouse. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All...
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