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December, 2014

  • Jim Hill

    How Walt Disney Animation Studios kept "Feast" from looking like a dog's dinner

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    Patrick Osborne tried something interesting back in 2012. He set up two 1 Second Everyday accounts. With one, he used this app to capture brief glimpses of his day-to-day life. And with the other, Patrick recorded quick footage of many of the meals he consumed that year. "And it was the 1 Second Everyday footage of all that food which turned out to be the far more compelling recording. There's something cool about the amount of life you see just in showing your meals. These hints of intriguing...
  • Jim Hill

    Why "Doctor Who" 's Peter Capaldi didn't make the final cut in Disney's "Maleficent"

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    Given that Nick Frost already had the beard as well as a Santa Claus-like shape, it probably didn't take all that much behind-the-scenes effort to transform this "Shaun of the Dead" star into Saint Nick for tonight's annual " Doctor Who " Christmas special, " Last Christmas " (which airs on BBC America at 9 / 8 p.m. Central) Copyright BBC America. All rights reserved I mean, that brief spritz of white hairspray which Frost had to endured was nothing compared...
  • Jim Hill

    Seth MacFarlane celebrates the classic Christmas albums of the 1940s & 1950s with "Holiday for Swing!"

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    So how much time does it take to craft a brand-new holiday album that has a timeless sound? To hear Joel McNeely (i.e., the Emmy Award-winning arranger / producer behind Seth MacFarlane 's " Holiday for Swing! ") talk, it took a full year to lay down all 13 tracks for this top-selling recording. Which honors the rich sound / orchestral jazz tradition of those classic Christmas albums that Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney performed on back in the 1940s & 1950s. Copyright...
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    D23's Adam Sanderson sees social media, digital technology as the smart way to grow Disney's official fan club

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    When it came to proving his "Disney geek" street cred last January, Adam Sanderson -- Head of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club -- had just the secret weapon in mind. To decorate his new office, Sanderson (who had previously worked as the Senior Vice President of Franchise Management for the Disney / ABC Television Group) brought in one of his most prized childhood possession: a 45 of the theme song from "it's a small world." "This is actually a souvenir from my family's...
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    Gamers deck the virtual halls in their Disney Infinity Toy Boxes

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    As you've probably already heard, Disney Parks & Resorts go kind of Christmas Crazy this time of year ... Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved ... with character-specific decorations giving each land at the Parks an especially festive feel for the holiday season. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved But what you may not have heard is that Disney Infinity fans are now also embracing the spirit of the season. Which is why many of them have begun decorating...
  • Jim Hill

    Anika Noni Rose brings back Disney's first black princess for special "Sofia the First" episode

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    It was eight years ago tonight. The Los Angeles premiere of "Dreamgirls." And while it seemed like all of Hollywood had turned out to catch the West Coast debut of this DreamWorks / Paramount co-production at Beverly Hills' Wilshire Theatre, only a select few were then invited back to Eddie Murphy's house for the after-premiere party. "And I was actually invited to that party. But I had to tell Mr. Eddie Murphy 'No.' I couldn't go to his big fancy Hollywood party...
  • Jim Hill

    "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" makes the jump from beloved holiday special to Broadway with next Monday's Actors Fund benefit

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    Here's a challenge for all of you Christmas trivia buffs out there: Name the first-ever animated holiday special produced especially for television. If you were thinking "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," you'd be wrong. That much-beloved Rankin-Bass production didn't debut on NBC until December 6, 1964. Likewise "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (That Peabody Award-winning program didn't premiere on CBS 'til December 9, 1965) and "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch...
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    Macy's brings its Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons down to Florida to add some Big Apple spice to Universal Orlando's holiday program

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    Every year, after Santa's 60 foot-long sleigh float rolls up in front of Macy's Herald Square store on Thanksgiving morning, 50 million television viewers turn off their sets and say "Well, that's it for this year's parade." Not exactly. Though NBC's broadcast of this NYC tradition ends promptly at 12 p.m. ET, Macy's employees will then spend much of Thanksgiving afternoon deflating the 16 balloons and dissembling those 27 floats which traveled that 2.65 mile-long...
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    "How Star Wars Conquered the Universe" reveals the political references that George Lucas worked into Episodes I - VI

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    It's been kind of amusing to watch what's been going on online this past week in the wake of the release of the "Star Wars: The Force Awakes" teaser trailer . And -- no -- I'm not talking about the faux controversy surrounding that lightsaber with those two mini-lightsabers coming off of its hilt. But -- rather -- the ridiculous response that certain Star Wars fans have had to John Boyega's appearance in the teaser for this upcoming J.J. Abrams film. Copyright Disney Lucasfilm...
  • Jim Hill

    Galyn Susman talks about Pixar's first-ever Xmas special, "Toy Story That Time Forgot"

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    So what's been going on with the Toy Story gang since we last saw Buzz, Woody & Co. on the steps at Bonnie's house, as they sadly watched Andy drive off to college? Quite a lot, actually. Copyright Disney Pixar. All rights reserved On the heels of the June 2010 release of "Toy Story 3," Pixar Animation Studios took a two-tiered approach toward keeping these much-beloved characters front-of-mind. The first part of this program involved the creation of "Toy Story Toons,"...
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