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  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : “Carol” makes cash registers ring, while “Frog” ‘s financial future makes Disney animators jumpy

    You’re going to read a lot of stories this morning about how Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” had a bad opening weekend. How – because this new Robert Zemeckis movie didn’t make $35 - $40 million during its first three days in domestic release – this rather expensive ImageMovers Digital production is now...
  • Blog Post: Toon Tuesday: Glen Keane goes back to the drawing board

    He’s ba-a-ack. After taking a six month sabbatical from the Mouse House, master animator Glen Keane is back. Keane – who stepped down from his directorial position on “ Rapunzel ” last October due to health-related reasons – is now back supervising animation on that project. Master animator Glen Keane...
  • Blog Post: Say "Yup" to "Up" : Pixar's latest is a charming mix of heartbreak, hope and hilarity

    Forget about the flying house, that giant bird and the talking dog. All of those out-of-the-ordinary items. Because -- when you get right down to it --“ Up ” is a movie that celebrates the boring stuff. Those tiny, little moments that really make life worth living. Copyright Disney / Pixar. All Rights...
  • Blog Post: "The Art of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" details how DreamWorks Animation's latest came together

    When it comes to putting together a good "Art of" book, especially one that covers the creation of a new animated feature ... Well, it's a lot harder than it looks. Sometimes the authors of these over-sized coffee table books take themselves a bit too seriously. Which is why they then make the mistake...
  • Blog Post: "Disney Dogs" showcases canine cartoon stars

    If you're a Disney trivia buff, I'm sure that you can already name the father & mother dog in " 101 Dalmatians ." But can you name all 15 of the puppies that Perdita had? Copyright 2008 Disney. All Rights Reserved Okay. I know. That's kind of a trick question. Given that -- in the original 1961 film...
  • Blog Post: A special "May the (Stephen) Schwartz Be With You" edition of Why For

    Evidently that book review of Carol de Giere 's " Defying Gravity: The Creative Career of Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell to Wicked " that this site ran two week back really struck a chord with JHM readers as we've received a number of Stephen Schwartz -related questions since then. First up, Gayle B...
  • Blog Post: Monday Mouse Watch : Get ready for WDW's monstrous new coaster

    Judging by the long lines at " Toy Story Mania " as well as the brisk business that "Hey Howdy Hey!" & the gift shop across the way have been doing, it would appear that Pixar Place has already proven to be a very popular addition to Disney's Hollywood Studios . The only problem with the studio theme...
  • 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: Toon Thursday: "Kung Fu Panda" is one fun summer flick

    With its lush visuals and eye-popping fight scenes, " Kung Fu Panda " may be one of the best looking action film ever produced. Which -- I know -- sounds like a really weird thing to say about a new animated feature. But as Brad Bird once said: "Animation isn't a genre. It's a type of film-making that...
  • Blog Post: Disney rarities to be screened tonight at Newport Beach Film Festival

    It's a fantasy that every animation fan has. First breaking into Disney's infamous vault and then screening all of those shorts that -- for one reason or another -- the Mouse has kept hidden away from view. Well, if tunneling under the walls of Walt Disney Studios sounds like too much work to you .....
  • Blog Post: Remembering Ollie Johnston (1912 - 2008)

    " ... and then there were none." For over three decades now, animation fans have been quietly counting down. As first John Lounsbury , and then Les Clark slipped away. Followed by Woolie Reitherman , Milt Kahl and Eric Larsen . Then Marc Davis , Ward Kimball and Frank Thomas . And today word came out...
  • Blog Post: Jerry Beck to be honored at this year's Annie Awards

    Next Friday night, Toontown's top talents will put on their Sunday best and then motor on over to UCLA 's Royce Hall for the 35th annual Annie Awards . Copyright 2008 ASIFA-Hollywood. All Rights Reserved This is the night that the animation industry honors its own. When the very best work from 2007 in...
  • Blog Post: "Dream Worlds" offers look at abandoned Disney animated features

    Who is Hans Bacher ? Trust me, folks. If you're a Disneyana fan, you know this man's work. If you were creeped out by the look of the Beast's lair in " Beauty & the Beast " ... Copyright 2007 Disney Enterprises. All Rights Reserved ... or ever marveled at the clean, crisp design of the logo for the...
  • Blog Post: Oscar Watch '08: Miramax maxes out while the Mouse gets skunked

    "Maybe Tuesday will be my good news day ..." -- lyric from "The Man I Love" by George & Ira Gershwin Well, if you worked on the Miramax Films side of the Mouse House, Tuesday definitely was a "good news day." Disney's art house arm snagged Academy Award nominations for four of its most recent releases...
  • 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: 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: 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...
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