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

February, 2017

  • Jim Hill

    Looking back on Elizabeth Taylor's 60th birthday celebration at Disneyland Park

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    25 years ago tonight, Disneyland Park traded its "Happiest Place on Earth" reputation for one that stressed security. Which is why - as you approached the perimeter of this famed theme park on the evening of February 27, 1992 - you'd have then encountered guards armed with flashlights & German shepherd dogs stationed at 50 foot intervals. "Why the extra security?," you ask. Because this was the night when all of Hollywood had driven down to Anaheim to help Elizabeth Taylor...
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    Oscar winners & nominees apply their craft to cutting-edge theme park attractions for Falcon's Creative Group

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    Tonight, all eyes will be on the Dolby Theatre as Hollywood comes together to celebrate the craft of movie-making. Mind you, as entertaining as the Academy Awards may be to watch, it's important to remember that those who receive Oscars don't necessarily limit themselves to just working on movies that then show up at your local multiplex. Take - for example - Mark Lasoff , the veteran visual effects artist who, along with Thomas L. Fisher , Michael Kanfer , and Robert Legato , took home 1998's...
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    It was "Kubo" 's moments of stillness - rather than that movie's big action sequences - which really challenged the animators at LAIKA

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    What was the biggest challenge the team that animated " Kubo and the Two Strings " faced during production? Copyright LAIKA / Focus Features. All rights reserved Was it this film's battle in the Hall of Bones, which made use of the largest stop motion puppet ever made (a 16-feet tall articulated skeleton that weighed in at a whopping 400 pounds)? Or was it "Kubo" ''s ambitious opening sequence, which drew its inspiration from that famous Japanese woodblock print, Hokusai...
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    "Circus 1903" uses modern stage craft & pachyderm puppets to recreate a turn-of-the-century traveling show

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    30+ years ago, David Williamson almost ran away with the circus. "I was a teenager growing up in Ohio," Williamson recalled during a recent phone interview. "And this one ring circus came to town. They found out somehow that I did magic and then tried to recruit me to come join their show. The idea sounded so romantic, but my mother wouldn't let me go." We now jump ahead a few decades and Williamson has become a conjurer's conjurer. Voted "Sleight of Hand Magician...
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    The Mouse makes use of its theme parks, in-cinema events and podcasts to help spread the word about Disney Theatrical Productions

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    Given that Disney Theatrical has - over the past two years - launched four international productions of its hit Broadway musical, "Aladdin" (With the Japanese version bowing in Tokyo in May of 2015, the German version debuting in Hamburg back in December of 2015, the London version opening in the West End in June of 2016, and the Australia version of this Tony Award-winner opening in Sydney back in August of 2016) ... It's not exactly as though this division of The Walt Disney Company...
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    How relocating to a leaky old warehouse made rebooting Disney's smart, subversive "Zootopia" so much easier

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    It was the one-two punch that would have felled a lesser group of filmmakers. Back in November of 2014, the " Zootopia " story team had just realized that - after 3+ years of developing this project for Walt Disney Animation Studios - they were going to have to change this movie's protagonist. "And doing that sort of reboot, changing our film's story so that it could then be told from Judy's point-of-view rather than Nick's, was going to cause a lot of upheaval,"...
  • Jim Hill

    Spending Valentine's Day at the Winchester Mystery House is not for the faint-of-heart

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    When it comes to making a romantic gesture on Valentine's Day, most men opt for the safe choices (i.e., cards, chocolate and/or flowers). But if you're one of those guys who's got a bit of a dramatic / gothic streak, if you sincerely believe that every great romance should have an element of surprise & mystery to it ... Well, maybe you should consider taking your beloved out to San Jose to tour the Winchester Mystery House . Okay. I know. Taking someone that you care about into what...
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    Getting "Zootopia" just right really challenged Disney screenwriters Jared Bush and Phil Johnston

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    Given that " Zootopia " is set in a mammals-only city, it's entirely appropriate that this Walt Disney Animation Studios production took home the lion's share of the prizes at this year's Annie Awards . This Byron Howard / Rich Moore movie wound up claiming six of the top trophies at Saturday night's ceremony at UCLA's Royce Hall . Among them Best Animated Feature, Best Directing, Best Storyboarding, Best Character Design and Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature...
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