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

  • Jim Hill

    Universal Orlando mixes hi-tech & simple tricks to serve up scares at Halloween Horror Nights 25

    • 0 Comments
    With October 31st just a few days away now, millions of people are in the process of putting the finishing touches on their home Halloween displays. All with the hope that they'll then be able to impress the neighbors and/or thrill some trick-or-treaters when they come a-knockin' on All Hallows' Eve. But what are the exact components of a truly successful seasonal display? To get a definitive answer to this question, I reached out to Mike Aiello , Director of Entertainment - Creative...
  • Jim Hill

    How Universal Orlando sets the stage for Halloween Horror Nights 25 in just 60 minutes

    • 1 Comments
    One hour. 60 measly minutes. That's all the time that Show Director Lora Wallace and her team are given to transform the streets of Universal Studios Florida . Change these highly themed but family-friendly thoroughfares into a setting better suited for the hundreds of scareactors who work the nation's premier Halloween event, Universal Orlando 's Halloween Horror Nights 25 . Copyright 2015 Universal Studios. All rights reserved So how exactly does Universal Studios Florida pull off this...
  • Jim Hill

    Disney plans "Descendants" sequel for 2017, will hold fan event at the Disneyland Resort this Saturday

    • 2 Comments
    It's one of those hard-and-fast rules of the Disney Universe. That -- Flora (i.e., The leader of the good fairies in "Sleeping Beauty" put it) once put it -- " ... evil die and good endure!" So how then to explain the success of Disney's "Descendants." This Disney Channel Original Movie -- which was built around the teenage sons and daughters of Disney's most infamous villains -- debuted back on July 31st and wound up being cable television's fifth highest...
  • Jim Hill

    How Eric Goldberg created the Genie Outtakes for Disney's Diamond Edition of "Aladdin"

    • 2 Comments
    Here's an interesting tidbit for all of your animation fans out there: An excerpt from the screenplay for Disney's " Aladdin ." To be specific, the scene where the Genie makes his dramatic entrance in this motion picture: Aladdin rubs the lamp with his sleeve. It glows slightly -- and then, POOF! Colorful smoke spews out of the spout. It eddies and swirls, filling the cave, taking shape and solid form -- Towering above Aladdin is the gigantic GENIE of the lamp. He is a hip, hyper...
  • Jim Hill

    Ariel Winter looks ahead, prepares for life after "Modern Family" and "Sofia the First"

    • 0 Comments
    Between recording dialogue for "Sofia the First: The Secret Library" and getting ready to take her College Boards in real life, Ariel Winter has really been hitting the books lately. Copyright American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved "I just took the SAT yesterday," Ariel admitted during a recent phone interview. "Which -- I have to admit -- kind of freaked me out." But given that Alex Dunphy (i.e., the character that Alex plays on ABC 's "...
  • Jim Hill

    How Universal Studios Hollywood uses Krusty Burger to keep theme park guests from peeking at Harry Potter

    • 1 Comments
    Tomorrow night, "The Simpsons" kicks off its 27th season on Fox with an episode entitled "Every Man's Dream." Coincidentally, West Coast-based fans of this animated Fox animated comedy have been dreaming for decades now about getting the chance to visit Springfield (i.e., that hyper-detailed burg that Bart, Lisa, Maggie, Marge & Homer call home). Maybe do a little shopping at the Kwik-E-Mart. Grab a Ribwich at Krusty Burger. Or -- better yet -- drop by Lard Lad and treat...
  • Jim Hill

    Don't wear Green & Gold to Universal Orlando's Jurassic Park unless you want the raptors there to see red

    • 0 Comments
    Just a bit of advice to all your Green Bay Packers fans out there: On the heels of yesterday's season opener (when the Packers traveled to Chicago's historic Soldier Field (and then beat the Bears 31 to 23), you're probably feeling pretty proud right about now. Which is why -- most likely -- you're wearing Green & Gold today. Well, if that's really the case and you're currently on vacation in Central Florida, you may want to steer clear of the Jurassic Park section of...
  • Jim Hill

    There's something fishy about Asher Blinkoff's voicework in "Hotel Transylvania 2"

    • 0 Comments
    When you're 6 & a 1/2, almost 7 years-old, you view the movie-making process differently than -- say -- your typical SAG-AFTRA member. Take -- for example -- Asher Blinkoff. The talented tot who's providing the voice of Dracula's grandson Dennis in Sony Pictures Animation 's " Hotel Transylvania 2 ." Copyright Sony Pictures Animation. All rights reserved What excites Asher most about making movies? Is it walking the red carpet with his fellow "HT2" cast members...
  • Jim Hill

    "Ant-Man" director Peyton Reed recalls working with Disney Legend Dean Jones

    • 0 Comments
    As the director of Marvel's most recent summer blockbuster, Peyton Reed has a lot to be thankful for these days. " 'Ant-Man' was a fantastic experience. The cast was amazing," Reed admitted during a recent phone call. "I'm really pleased with the way the finished film turned out. And I'm hoping that we get to do a follow-up." Peyton Reed (L) confers with Paul Rudd on the "Ant-Man" set. Copyright Marvel / Disney. All rights reserved Mind you, 20 year...
  • Jim Hill

    From beach house to the White House: How "Aladdin" 's Courtney Reed spent her summer vacation

    • 1 Comments
    After spending the last year & a half soaring high above the stage floor of the New Amsterdam Theatre aboard a magic carpet, Courtney Reed (who plays Princess Jasmine in the Broadway production of Disney's "Aladdin" ) was ready for some more down-to-earth activities. Courtney Reed & Adam Jacobs in the Broadway production of Disney's "Aladdin." Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved "I was looking forward to spending some time on the Outer Banks...
  • Jim Hill

    Macy's Parade Studio gets some major Buzz (Lightyear) going at D23 EXPO 2015

    • 2 Comments
    Can you believe it? This November (November 19th, to be precise) marks the 20th anniversary of the release of " Toy Story ." Copyright Disney / Pixar. All rights reserved D23 -- the Official Disney Fan Club -- wanted to do something special to commemorate this occasion. So they arranged for John Lasseter , Pete Docter , Andrew Stanton , Lee Unkrich and other Pixar Animation Studios veterans to come on down to Anaheim. Where -- as part of D23 EXPO 2015 (which officially gets underway today...
  • Jim Hill

    Star Wars and star power -- plus Marvel, Pixar, and plenty of Disney -- at this year's D23 EXPO

    • 0 Comments
    When D23 -- Disney's official fan club -- launched the D23 EXPO back in 2009, all the "wonderful worlds" of Disney was pretty much just Disney. And -- of course -- Pixar , a Disney acquisition in 2006. And ABC , which Disney purchased over a decade before that. But now Disney's "world" has come to include a "universe" and a "galaxy" (albeit one far, far away). So how does Disney bring all of these seemingly disparate brands together for its biennial...
  • Jim Hill

    Get ready for Lord Dominator, "Wander Over Yonder" 's new extreme bad guy who happens to be a gal

    • 1 Comments
    It was Rudyard Kipling who said it best ( in rhyming couplets , no less): "The female of the species is more deadly than the male." And if you want animated proof of this proposition, then I suggest that you tune in to " Wander Over Yonder " tonight. Which is when Lord Dominator -- a brand-new female fiend -- makes her debut on Disney XD at 9 p.m. ET / PT as this Annie Award-winning series kicks off its second season. "And why is 'Wander' adding a new villain to its...
  • Jim Hill

    Could we see a king-sized character in Disney "Descendants 2" ?

    • 1 Comments
    Look, I really don't want to be that guy . Especially since I just wrote an article for HuffPost that talked about how Kenny Ortega and his creative team got the Disney-related details right on " Descendants ." But then I was told to take a closer look at the map of the United States of Auradon that makes a brief appearance at the very start of this Disney Channel Original Movie. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Given that there's a Bald Mountain stashed in...
  • Jim Hill

    Will "Descendants" become the Disney Channel's next big franchise? Director / choreographer Kenny Ortega sure hopes that it does

    • 3 Comments
    Given that Kenny Ortega made a fortune for the Mouse a decade ago when he directed " High School Musical " (i.e., that 2006 Disney Channel Original Movie which eventually launched a best-selling album, a sold-out ice show, a super-popular concert tour as well as stage productions around the globe) ... Well, it only makes sense that -- as a reward -- Mickey would offer Kenny the Magic Kingdom's crown jewels. As is: Give Ortega the opportunity to build a brand-new Disney Channel Original...
  • Jim Hill

    "Jessie" co-star Cameron Boyce graduates to the big leagues with Disney XD's "Gamer's Guide to Pretty Much Everything"

    • 0 Comments
    You're familiar with the concept of a farm team, right? That place where would-be professional ballplayers go to get the training & experience that they need before these talented young athletes are then ready to move on up to "The Big Show" ? Well, the Disney Channel has a similar sort of system in place. And there's no better example of someone who's steadily climbed the ladder, worked his way up through the ranks at the Mouse House -- going from a guest appearance on...
  • Jim Hill

    Ron Diamond's Animation Show of Shows coming to Comic-Con, getting ready for nationwide debut

    • 0 Comments
    Toon fans rejoice! The Animation Show of Shows will soon be coming to a theater near you. Thanks to a successful KickstartASOS.com campaign (which still has a few hours left to run, by the way), this animation industry favorite will now transition from being an insider-only exclusive to becoming a program that film fans around the world can participate in and enjoy. For those of you who don't know: The Animation Show of Shows has long been Ron Diamond 's baby. For the past 16 years, this...
  • Jim Hill

    Seward Johnson bronzes add a surreal, artistic touch to NYC's Garment District

    • 1 Comments
    Greetings from NYC. Nancy and I drove down from New Hampshire yesterday because we'll be checking out Disney Consumer Products ' annual Holiday Showcase later today. Anyway ... After checking into our hotel (i.e., The Paul . Which is located down in NYC's NoMad district), we decided to grab some dinner. Which is how we wound up at the Melt Shop . Photo by Jim Hill Which is this restaurant that only sells grilled cheese sandwiches. This comfort food was delicious, but kind of on the heavy...
  • Jim Hill

    James Earl Jones returns to voice Darth Vader as "Star Wars Rebels" begins its second season on Disney XD

    • 1 Comments
    Do you remember how big, strong & scary Darth Vader was in " Star Wars IV: A New Hope " ? Well, that version of this Dark Lord of the Sith -- back when Vader was at the very height of his powers -- will be front & center as " Star Wars Rebels " begins its second season on Disney XD this Saturday, June 20th at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT). Copyright Lucasfilm / Disney. All rights reserved Better yet, to make sure Darth sounds exactly he did in the original " Star Wars "...
  • Jim Hill

    Phineas and Ferb finale, "Last Day of Summer," may not be as final as we think

    • 4 Comments
    In Stephen Sondheim's " Merrily We Roll Along " (which is this wonderful if flawed musical about friendship & show business), there's this particular line of dialogue that talks about the importance of a properly timed exit. It states that ... "You know what true greatness is? It's knowing when to get off." Well, tonight -- after 126 episodes, five one-hour specials, and a Disney Channel Original movie -- " Phineas and Ferb " are heading for the exit...
  • Jim Hill

    Wondering what you should "Boldly Go" see at the movies next year? The 2015 Licensing Expo offers you some clues

    • 1 Comments
    Greeting from the 2015 Licensing Expo , which is being held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Photo by Jim Hill I have to admit that I enjoy covering the Licensing Expo. Mostly becomes it allows bloggers & entertainment writers like myself to get a peek over the horizon. Scope out some of the major motion pictures & TV shows that today's vertically integrated entertainment conglomerates (Remember when these companies used to be called movie studios?) will be sending...
  • Jim Hill

    It takes more than three circles to craft a Classic version of Mickey Mouse

    • 3 Comments
    You know what Mickey Mouse looks like, right? Little guy, big ears? Truth be told, Disney's corporate symbol has a lot of different looks. If Mickey's interacting with Guests at Disneyland Park (especially this summer, when the Happiest Place on Earth is celebrating its 60th anniversary ), he looks & dresses like this. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved Or when he's appearing in one of those Emmy Award-winning shorts that Disney Television Animation has produced...
  • Jim Hill

    When did the Imagineers first dream of bringing a Marvel character into a Disney theme park?

    • 2 Comments
    Given that the highly anticipated "Iron Man Experience" won't actually open at Hong Kong Disneyland 'til the Fall of 2016 ... Copyright Marvel / Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved ... I thought that it might be interesting to look back at how the Marvel movies and characters first began filtering into the Disney theme parks and resort. Because it didn't happen overnight, folks. Though The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion in the latter...
  • Jim Hill

    Rapunzel & Flynn Rider's adventures continue with "Tangled" animated series, which debuts on the Disney Channel in 2017

    • 2 Comments
    Given that Disney Theatrical has a "Frozen" musical in the works AND Walt Disney Animation Studios is already working on "Frozen 2" AND a "Frozen" ride will be opening at Epcot early next year, it's easy nowadays to forget that there was actually a CG Disney Princess which preceded Anna & Elsa. And that's Rapunzel of "Tangled" fame. In fact, to hear some Disney insiders talk, if "Tangled" hadn't been as successful as it was when this...
  • Jim Hill

    The Disneyland That Might Have Been: Mickey Mouse Club, Treasure Island & Lilliputian Land

    • 1 Comments
    Given that Disneyland Park kicked off its 60th anniversary celebration last month, I thought it might be fun to take a look at some aspects of the Happiest Place on Earth that didn't make it off the drawing boarding. Take -- for example -- the Mickey Mouse Club. 1953 site plan for Disneyland Park, showing Walt originally envisioned all of the "lands" at his theme park being placed. Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved According to the "Inside Disneyland"...
Page 2 of 97 (2,409 items) 12345»