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  • Blog Post: “The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History” looks back at Conan O’Brien’s beginnings

    With all the talk this past week or so about how NBC is booting Conan O’Brien off of The Tonight Night so that network execs can then turn this show back over to Jay Leno , I thought that it might be interesting to take a look back at how CoCo actually got into the late night talk game. Which is why...
  • Blog Post: “Disney Prep and Landing” claims the top spot among this year’s holiday specials

    For 35 years now, “ Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ” has been leading the way. At least when it comes to Christmas specials. Ever since this Rankin/Bass production first premiered on NBC in December of 1964, year after year, “Rudolph” has consistently occupied the top spot. Ratings-wise, that is. But...
  • Blog Post: Disney's "Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation" is one special holiday special

    Given that Phineas & Ferb manage to make the most of all 104 days of summer vacation, is it such a surprise to learn that these step-brothers really step things up when it comes to their two-week long holiday break from school? Copyright 2009 Disney. All Rights Reserved In " Phineas and Ferb Christmas...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: How to have a rockin' good time on Mickey Mouse’s birthday

    So where will you wind up spending MM’s b-day? It’s tomorrow, you know. November 18 th . That’s the date that The Walt Disney Company officially acknowledges as being this iconic character’s “ birthday ” (i.e. the day that “ Steamboat Willie ” – the first Mickey Mouse cartoon with synchronized sound...
  • Blog Post: Comic-Con Countdown: Can Peter Parker pick the proper panels?

    It’s the classic Comic-Con conundrum. In this corner, you have some of the biggest names in modern animation coming together to pay tribute to Walt Stanchfield. We’re talking about Glen Keane, Eric Goldberg, Tom Sito and Rubén Procopio all in the same room at the same time, taking part in a panel that...
  • Blog Post: Watch out, Toontown ! Here come the Tappet Brothers

    Will the third time really be the charm for Click & Clack ? Or will this latest attempt to adapt NPR 's " Car Talk " to television stall out just like the other two? Truth be told, Tom & Ray Magliozzi -- the real-life brothers who host this extremely popular National Public Radio program -- bear...
  • Blog Post: "Shrek the Halls" puts the fun back into dysfunctional family gatherings

    Are you tired of tearing up when George Bailey finds Zuzu's petals in his pocket? Or reaching for a Kleenex whenever that doll on the Island of Misfit Toys says "I don't have any dreams left to dream"? Well, if that's true ... Then have I got a Christmas present for all you Grinches out there. DreamWorks...
  • Blog Post: Tube Thursday : The "Disney Afternoon" shows that you didn't get to see

    A real treat showed up in the mail today. " Darkwing Duck: Volume 2 ." Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved I don't know how many of you remember this " Disney Afternoon " show. But "Darkwing Duck" was great fun. A witty spoof of the whole superhero genre, "DD" debuted as part...
  • Blog Post: As "Tarzan" swings off Broadway, is Beyoncé getting ready to play Aida in Disney's next big movie musical?

    First up, Kevin writes in to say: I was just wondering, how do Disney executives feel about the Wiggles joining up with Six Flags for the " Wiggles World " theme areas in their parks? Is this a sign that the Wiggles and Disney may be parting company soon? Kevin Dear Kevin -- Nope. You have to understand...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : 7-11's Kwik-E-Mart conversions allow you to shop just like "The Simpsons"

    Do you still need supplies for tomorrow's big picnic. Not to worry. I know just the place to go ... To the Kwik-E-Mart ! Photo by Max Power What's that you say? That's just a fictitious convenience store from "The Simpsons" TV series . Not anymore, pal. As part of the promotion for " The Simpsons Movie...
  • Blog Post: Why (For) Pat Carroll wasn't actually Disney's first choice to voice Ursula in "The Little Mermaid"

    Steve T. writes in to say: My family and I caught a sneak preview of " Nancy Drew " this past weekend. And I was surprised to see Pat Carroll do a cameo in that movie. She's always been one of my favorites, even before she did her memorable turn in Disney's " The Little Mermaid ." But I've also heard...
  • Blog Post: "Cartoon Modern" takes a witty & informed look back at animation's not-so-distant past

    This past Friday, Amid Amidi (Who -- along with noted animation historian Jerry Beck -- rides herd on the always-entertaining-and-informative Cartoon Brew ) was singled out for a pretty amazing honor. You see, the Theatre Library Association declared that Amid's latest book -- " Cartoon Modern: Style...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : Why Cundo Rabaudi is the model DreamWorks Animation employee

    Back in the old days, when an animator had trouble visualizing what a particular prop and/or problematic character looked like from a certain angle ... Well, the usual solution to this problem was that that artist then had to construct a model. So that they could then literally see things from a different...
  • Blog Post: "The Dream Team" serves up some intriguing insights about how the New Hollywood really operates

    In October of 1994, when Steven Spielberg, David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg first announced that they were about to launch a brand-new entertainment company ... Well, this trio of show business vets was thought to be so unstoppable that the Hollywood press corps dubbed them the Dream Team. But 11...
  • Blog Post: Wandering the halls with Roy E. Disney

    To hear Roy Disney tell the tale, he basically owes his entire career in animation to his mother needing a babysitter. "When my Mother needed to go shopping, she'd drop me off with my Dad's office," Roy explained. "And my Dad would eventually say 'Get out of my office and find someone else to play with...
  • Blog Post: A special behind-the-scenes version of Why For

    Karen M. writes in to ask a special favor: Dear Jim -- I just want to send you a quick e-mail to thank you for writing about Charlie Ridgway 's new book, " Spinning Disney's World ." On your recommendation , I picked up a copy and found that Mr. Ridgway's biography was just as you said it would be: Loaded...
  • Blog Post: John Lasseter to be feted at Sonoma Valley Film Festival

    For the past decade, the Sonoma Valley Film Festival has heard the refrains of "You've Got A Friend In Me" from John Lasseter , the creative force behind Pixar . Now the festival is turning the tables and planning quite a bash April 11-15 in recognition not only of its 10th anniversary but in tribute...
  • Blog Post: Walt Disney Pictures plans cheesy promotional stunt for "Ratatouille"

    In a little more than three months time, Pixar 's next big release, " Ratatouille " will be rolling into theaters. And -- to date -- Walt Disney Pictures ' promotional department has done everything that they can in order to get the word out about this Brad Bird film. This includes creating a teaser...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : "WALL E" skillfully blends sci-fi & satire to tell a surprisingly sweet tale

    By now, you've probably seen pictures of " WALL E " 's title character. Maybe you've even caught a glimpse of this film's unique-looking logo. But what do you actually know about Pixar 's 2008 release? Very little, I'll bet. Which is standard operating procedure for this Emeryville-based animation studio...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday : How Disney is fixing "American Dog"

    It's often been said that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Well, I'm guessing that the folks at Walt Disney Feature Animation have never heard that expression. For they're right in the middle of an Extreme Makeover of their 2008 release, "American Dog." Gone is Chris Sanders ' quirk-filled take...
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