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

September, 2014

  • Jim Hill

    Damon Lindelof's obsession with Peter the Panda leads to a "Lost" -inspired episode of "Phineas and Ferb"

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    Ten years ago this week, the world was first introduced to " Lost ," that Emmy Award-winning series which Jeffrey Lieber , J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof created for ABC that soon became an obsession with television viewers. Each week, million of people would first tune in to watch the continuing adventures of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 and then spend the following day discussing what the hatch, the smoke monster and -- of course -- those polar bears might actually mean. Mind you...
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    Nate D. Sanders' auction throws a spotlight on Ray Bradbury's long association with The Walt Disney Company

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    When I dropped by Disneyland earlier this month, I made a point of walking through Frontierland. Not so much to check out the "Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush" game ... Photo by Jim Hill ... which -- I have to admit -- given all the Guests crowded around the telegraph station that afternoon looked wildly popular / like a lot of fun. Photo by Jim Hill No, the reason I was there was to check out the Halloween Tree. But because I was there on September 8th and Disneyland's Halloween...
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    It's all the little details that help Universal Orlando deliver the really big scares at Halloween Horror Nights 24

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    You can't spell "scare" without "care." And the fiendish folks behind Universal Orlando 's Halloween Horror Nights clearly understand this. That's why they put a full year of careful thought & planning into the 24th edition of this seasonal scare-fest. Which officially opens to the public tonight at Universal Studios Florida . Copyright 2014 Universal Studios. All rights reserved But given the sheer size & scale of this annual entertainment experience (We're...
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    Will this eye-popping CG animation test power up Genndy Tartakovsky's "Popeye" ?

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    Everyone knows that Popeye is " ... strong to the finich 'cuz he eats his spinach." But what was this Sailor Man like before he discovered that those leafy greens gave him amazing strength? And what were Popeye's early days at sea like? And where exactly did he get that anchor-shaped tattoo? That's what Genndy Tartakovsky aims to find out with that feature-length "Popeye" project that he's currently developing for Sony Pictures Animation . Genndy Tartakovsky in...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney looks to avoid the mistakes that it made with "The Little Mermaid" as it expands its "Frozen" empire

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    25 years ago when "The Little Mermaid" first arrived in theaters, The Walt Disney Company really wasn't ready to capitalize on how successful that hand-drawn animated feature would become. And I mean REALLY not ready. If you dropped by your local Disney Store during the 1989 holiday season looking to purchase some "Little Mermaid" -themed merchandise, you'd have learned that what little had been ordered in advance had long since been sold out. Most likely, the only item...
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    Where Disneyland almost was (and what's now in the works for the Happiest Place on Earth)

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    It's been an amazing eight days here in Southern California. I've met with a lot of great people while I was out here. And these folks then shared tons of tremendous stories. Many of which I'll be posting on JHM & the Huffington Post in coming weeks. But before I blow town, I did want to let you guys know that I was mostly successful in my search for where Disneyland was almost built back in the mid-1950s. Working off of that "Analysis of Location Factors" report that Stanford...
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    "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" goes Hollywood with a fun S.H.I.E.L.D. themed promo event at Amoeba Music

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    It's been a pretty incredible week in Southern California so far. With me scoring all sorts of stories that I'll soon be sharing via the Huffington Post & JHM. But before I head back home to New Hampshire, I want to share what happened at Amoeba Music at Sunset & Caheunga last night. Photo by Jim Hill For those of you who don't know: Hollywood's Amoeba Music is the Southern California branch of this great independent music chain store. Though -- last night -- it was the movies...
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    Construction continues on The Wizarding World of Harry Potter & Springfield at Universal Studios Hollywood

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    Greetings from Universal Studio Hollywood. Where there's an epic transformation underway. And no, I'm not just talking about what's going on up the Upper Lot. Everywhere you look around Universal City, there are teams of construction workers taking down trees and/or trimming brush ... Photo by Jim Hill ... or building massive new parking structures (which is deliberately being built now so that -- when USH' next set of attractions all come on line in 2015 & 2016 -- this theme...
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    Walking around Walt 's backyard high in the Hollywood Hills at Disney's Woking Way house

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    Greetings from LA. I'm out in Tinsel Town this week for some JHM & HuffPost-related business. But while I was out West ... Well, I wanted to get a few items off of my Hollywood-related bucket list. So my first stop yesterday was the Hollywood Heritage Museum. Photo by Jim Hill For those of you who don't know this genuinely historic place, it's the barn-looking building on North Highland that sits right across the street from the Hollywood Bowl. And the reason that the Hollywood Heritage...
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    D23 to celebrate Discovery Bay, Disneyland's never-built tribute to Jules Verne & H.G. Wells, at Attraction Rewind event

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    35 years ago this week, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad first began rolling through Disneyland 's Frontierland. And while millions of theme park fans have enjoyed "The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness" since then, few folks today realize that -- if Disney's Imagineers had had their way back in the 1970s -- this thrill ride wouldn't have just been a stand-alone attraction. No, Big Thunder was supposed to have served as the gateway to this entirely new "land" at "The...
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    How did Disneyland Cast Members learn about the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad project back in 1979?

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    35 years ago today, Disneyland 's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad officially opened the public. And the very first Guests were then able to climb aboard the I.M. Brave & U.R. Daring for the "Wildest Ride in the Wilderness." Zooming along 2,780 feet of track at speeds that sometime reached 35 miles per hour! Mind you, back in 1979, there was no Internet or Cast Portals. So when it came time to educate the thousands of Cast Members who worked in Anaheim about what a Big Thunder Mountain...
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