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  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : Will Disney Animation's latest "Rapunzel" rescue attempt have a negative impact on "Bolt" 's debut ?

    By now, I'm sure that you're heard that Glen Keane is no longer the co-director of "Rapunzel." That he and Dean Wellins will be turning the reins over to Byron Howard & Nathan Greno , who were the co-director and head of story on " Bolt " respectively. To be honest, this change couldn't have come...
  • Blog Post: Pixar once again opens its doors for the Cartoon Art Museum's annual benefit

    It's that time of year again, folks. That rarified moment when Willy Wonka allows a lucky few to enter the Wonka Works ... er ... I mean when John Lasseter opens the gates in Emeryville , allowing a limited number of people to come visit Pixar Animation Studios . Mind you, you won't need a Golden Ticket...
  • Blog Post: "I can go to Disney and be a director, or I can stay here and make history"

    "It was 20 years ago today ..." Well, it was tomorrow actually. August 2, 1988 to be precise. That was the date when an incomplete version of " Tin Toy " first screened at SIGGRAPH and truly wowed the crowd in Atlanta. Given the overwhelmingly positive response that this John Lasseter film received ...
  • Blog Post: Toon Thursday: GAME OVER for TRON's first director

    It's been a week now since that "TR2N" teaser trailer ran at Comic-Con. And Disneyana & sci-fi fans are desperate for additional information about this Summer 2010 release. Well, let me share some info that I'm sure will send all of you "TRON" fanboys out there straight off the Game Grid. Guess who...
  • Blog Post: Peter David maps out a campaign to save the Adventurers Club

    Peter David isn't exactly sure when he first discovered the Adventurers Club. "It had to be sometime in 1989 or 1990," this award-winning author remembers. "I was exploring the then-newly-opened Pleasure Island . I'd already been to a number of the other clubs on the Island. And I must have wandered...
  • Blog Post: Mist Direction or How DAK Operations just slipped Joe Rohde a Mickey

    Folks who visited Disney's Animal Kingdom late last month got something of a treat. In that -- for a while there, anyway -- most of " Expedition Everest " 's effects were actually working. The scenic mist that's supposed to drift off of Forbidden Mountain top actually did that. The fog bank that your...
  • Blog Post: "The Pixar Touch" shares seldom-told tales about the early days of this animation studio

    If you were to ask David A. Price when Pixar Animation Studios first came on his radar, he'd probably tell you about this tech conference that he attended in the late 1980s where the work-in-progress version of "Tin Toy" was shown. "Tinny had just gotten stuck in that box," Price recalled. "And as he...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : Was John Lasseter stung by that mean caricature of him that appears in "Bee Movie" ?

    Everybody knows about those " Hidden Mickeys " that Disney sometimes stashes in its motion pictures & theme park attractions. But have you ever heard about the "Hidden Lasseters" ? Yep. As a tribute to the creative Grand Pooh-Bah of Pixar , the folks who work at this Emeryville-based animation studio...
  • Blog Post: Why the Imagineers are still tinker(toy)ing with "Toy Story Mania"

    Have you seen that clip on YouTube ? The one that shows how the Mr. Potato Head AA figure that you find in the queue area of Disney's " Toy Story Mania " can actually pull off its own ear? Well, that's nothing. Wait 'til you hear about how the Imagineers are now pulling out their hair as they try &...
  • Blog Post: Disney Consumer Products isn't getting its hopes up for "Up"

    Following up on last month's article about how Children's Place is getting ready to sell the Disney Store retail chain back to the Walt Disney Company ... I spoke with the managers of a number of New England-area Disney Stores over the past few days. And while none of these folks wanted to go on-the...
  • Blog Post: "The Art of Cars" rolls into LA's Petersen Automotive Museum this Saturday

    Anyone who's ever been stuck in traffic on the 5 or the 10 will tell you that Southern California already has 'way too many cars. That said, I imagine that even the crabbiest of commuters will still crack a smile once they see the four-wheeled characters who'll be going on display at the Petersen Automotive...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Disney's "The Aristocats" ... The Animated Series ?!

    Today, the "Special Edition" version of " The Aristocats " DVD goes on sale. Copyright 2008 Disney. All Rights Reserved And while it's hard to find fault with this 1970 Walt Disney Productions release itself (Which remains just as charming as ever. With Duchess the filthy rich feline falling for Thomas...
  • Blog Post: Tons of Toontown's secrets revealed in "Animation Magazine: 20 Year Collection"

    You have to admit that it's a pretty amazing time to be an animation fan. By that I mean: The best reviewed film of 2007 was " Ratatouille ." With " Enchanted " and "How to Hook Up Your Home Theater," we're getting our very first glimpses of the revival of hand-drawn animation at Walt Disney Animation...
  • Blog Post: Animation fans prematurely shoot off their mouths about "Bolt"

    How many of you know the story of the blind men and the elephant ? I bring up this ancient Indian fable because ... Well ... I have to admit that I was highly amused by what happened last Wednesday. When the on-line animation community went completely bananas over those "Bolt" pre-release images . Copyright...
  • Blog Post: The Pixar TV special you never got to see, "A Tin Toy Christmas"

    In response to this week's Toon Tuesday column , CC writes in to say: " Pixar wanted to produce a holiday special back in the 1980s?! Come on, Jim. You've GOT TO write an article about that." Ask and ye shall receive. But please keep in mind that the Pixar that I'll be writing about will not be the great...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: The story behind "The Pixar Story"

    It's going to seem like "Old Home Week" at Hollywood's Egyptian Theater tonight. What with acclaimed filmmaker Leslie Iwerks sharing the stage with industry legend Roy E. Disney during the Q & A portion of tonight's screening of " The Pixar Story " at the American Cinematheque . You see, if it hadn...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch: Ariel meets her maker? Has Tinker Bell lost her voice?

    Have you ever heard the old saying that "Life imitates art" ? Well, this past Wednesday night, master animator Glen Keane actually got to live that axiom. When -- after attending a performance of Disney Theatrical 's new musical, " The Little Mermaid " -- Glen got to go backstage at the Lunt-Fontanne...
  • Blog Post: A special "Where's WALL-E" edition of Why For?

    Bernie W. writes in to say: Jim -- Can you please help me win a bet at work? A co-worker of mine says that WALL-E makes a brief cameo appearance in " Ratatouille ." More importantly, this guy has bet me $100 that I'll never ever be able to find that robot in this movie. Copyright 2007 Disney...
  • Blog Post: "To Infinity and Beyond!" is an entertaining look back at Pixar's first two decades

    There's this genuinely eerie passage in Karen Paik 's " To Infinity and Beyond! The Story of Pixar Animation Studios " ( Chronicle Books , November 2007), which talks about how a single book basically changed the course of John Lasseter 's life. In ninth grade, Lasseter was searching the art section...
  • Blog Post: A special "Toon Much of a Good Thing" edition of Why For

    First up, Danny writes in to ask: Jim, Any reason that you know of why Pixar started skimping on their DVD packages? Up to and including " The Incredibles ," no company did the medium justice better than Pixar. But the discs for " Cars " and " Rataouille " (which I have an advanced copy of) are pathetic...
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