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Monday Mouse Watch: Ariel meets her maker? Has Tinker Bell lost her voice?

Jim Hill shares a few fun Disney-related items that have popped up in his inbox over the past few days. Including where you can find an early reference to Rapunzel in “Enchanted”



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 and meet Sierra Boggess. That 25-year-old actress who’s playing the character that Keane helped create nearly 20 years ago at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

Sierra Boggess, Ariel in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne
Theater and Glen Keane, the original animator for the character of “Ariel.”
Photo by Joseph Marzullo

Keane was in Manhattan this past week because he was originally supposed to be taking part in the pre-opening press for this new Broadway musical. But then — because this still-in-previews show had to miss nearly three weeks of performances due to  the recent stagehand strike — Disney Theatrical officials decided to push back “Mermaid” ‘s opening date until after the holidays. So now this new musical will open on Thursday, January 10th.

Speaking of postponed projects, some interesting info about “The Tinker Bell Movie” could be found on that new ">"Pixie-Powered Edition" of "Disney’s Return to Neverland." Which was released to stores back on November 27th.

Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Home Entertainment.
All Rights Reserved

First of all, this film (Which has gone by a number of titles over the past two years. Including “Tinker Bell and the Ring of Belief”) has undergone yet another name change. Now it’s simply known as “Tinker Bell.”

Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved

And among the extra features found on the new “Return to Neverland” DVD were a trio of “Fairy Moments.” Translation: Three quick clips from this forthcoming home premiere. Which will hopefully whet the appetite of all those Disney Fairies fans out there.

Anyway … Among the bits of “Tinker Bell” that were tacked onto that “Return to Neverland” DVD was a sequence where Rosetta finally gets a stubborn flower to bloom …

 Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved

… a brief vignette where Iridessa feeds moon beams to some very hungry lightning bugs …

Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved

And then there was a scene starring Tink herself. Where everyone’s favorite fairy first finds a bell hidden in a bird’s nest ….

Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved

Then this impertinent pixie amuses herself by making funny faces in the bell’s reflective surface.

Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved

This CG sequence then borrows a gag from the man who originally animated Tinker Bell, Disney Legend Marc Davis. In that Tink now turns around and tries to check out her silhouette in the reflection …

Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved

… only to get hopping mad because the bell’s curved surface makes her butt look a whole lot bigger than it actually is.

 Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved

So this furious fairy now tries to take out her frustrations on that bell. Only to then have that bell eventually get the better of Ms. Bell.

Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Home Entertainment. All Rights Reserved

All in all, this was a really wonderful little bit of character animation. Suggesting that — now that Walt Disney Home Entertainment is following John Lasseter’s story suggestions for “Tinker Bell” and making sure that this home premiere hues a whole lot closer to the style & tone established in Disney’s 1953 version of “Peter Pan” — this Fall 2008 release may actually be worth watching.

But where this gets interesting is that — while Rosetta (Who will be voiced by Tony Award-winner and “Pushing Daisies” co-star Kristen Chenoweth) spoke & Iridessa laughed in the “Pixie-Powered” previews that were shown on the “Return to Neverland” DVD — Tink stayed conspicuously silent in the clip that was shown from “Tinker Bell.”

Now given that Disney Consumer Products made a very big deal (back at the 2006 Licensing Show at NYC’s Javits Center) of announcing that actress Britney Murphy had been chosen to provide Tinker Bell’s voice for a quartet of home premieres that Disney Toon Studios would soon be producing …

 Photo by Jeff Lange

… it just seems kind of odd that — out of all the clips that they could have chosen from “Tinker Bell” to help promote this project — the folks at Walt Disney Home Entertainment opted to go with a scene where Tinker Bell doesn’t talk at all. Could it be that Lasseter has convinced Disney Toon Studios to really stay true to the 1953 version of “Peter Pan” and thus create a Disney Fairies movie where Tink doesn’t talk at all?

Wouldn’t you know it? When I called Walt Disney Studios and asked it was true that Britney Murphy was no longer working on “Tinker Bell” (More importantly, if Tinker Bell was now a non-speaking role in this new series of home premieres), no one wanted to talk.

Getting back to Mr. Keane now and his forthcoming WDAS project, “Rapunzel” … How many of you caught that quick acknowledgment of this 2010 Walt Disney Pictures’ release that Kevin Lima managed to shoehorn into “Enchanted” ?

You can spot this brief tip-of-the-hat in that film’s “That’s How You Know” production number. Where Giselle is first shown onstage, sharing a castle tower with this pretty young girl who’s dressed as a princess.

 Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved

As the camera then switches to a long shot, we now see the full stage. Where — once we take in the set as well as all the kids in costume — we realize that Giselle has invaded a children’s theater production of Rapunzel.

 Copyright 2007 Walt Disney Pictures. All Rights Reserved

Mind you, the end credits for “Enchanted” also include a brief reference to the other fairy tale-based animated feature that Walt Disney Animation Studios currently has in production, “The Princess and the Frog” … But that’s a story that I should probably save ’til the “Enchanted” DVD officially hits store shelves on March 11, 2008.

And speaking of shopping … Tis the season, folks. And if you’d like to show your appreciation for all the great stories that you regularly read here on this website, then why not start out your next Amazon shopping spree by clicking on the banner above? That way, JHM gets a teeny tiny chunk of whatever you spend.

Happy Holidays!

Jim Hill is an entertainment writer who has specialized in covering The Walt Disney Company for nearly 40 years now. Over that time, he has interviewed hundreds of animators, actors, and Imagineers -- many of whom have shared behind-the-scenes stories with Mr. Hill about how the Mouse House really works. In addition to the 4000+ articles Jim has written for the Web, he also co-hosts a trio of popular podcasts: “Disney Dish with Len Testa,” “Fine Tooning with Drew Taylor” and “Marvel US Disney with Aaron Adams.” Mr. Hill makes his home in Southern New Hampshire with his lovely wife Nancy and two obnoxious cats, Ginger & Betty.

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Disney Will Bring D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event to Anaheim, California in August 2024



Expanded Disney Fan Experience Will Feature New and Exciting Events Across Multiple Locations, Including a D23 Takeover of the Happiest Place On Earth, Evening Entertainment at the Honda Center, D23 Day at Angel Stadium, and Much More

Fan Favorites Including Exhibits, Panels, Shows, and Shopping Will Dazzle Disney Enthusiasts at the Anaheim Convention Center

D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event is a one-of-a-kind fan experience like never before with spectacular shows, new venues, and multiple days of entertainment that will bring together the best of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and more!

Highlightswill include:

  • Sunday, August 4: D23 Day at Angel Stadium, where D23 fans are invited to attend the Los Angeles Angels vs. New York Mets game. 
  • Thursday, August 8: D23 kickoff celebration at Disneyland Resort.
  • Friday, August 9 – Sunday, August 11: Shopping, exhibits, panels, and presentations will take place at the Anaheim Convention Center during the day, with the fun extending into the evening at the Honda Center, the bigger home to marquee shows.

Tickets for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event will go on sale in Spring 2024, with ticketing options to be announced later for access to the Anaheim Convention Center and the Honda Center. Admission for D23 Day at Angel Stadium and the D23 kickoff celebration at Disneyland Resort will be available as separate ticketed events. Additional details for D23: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event will be announced in early 2024.

You can get updates by staying connected to D23 via social media (@DisneyD23 on FacebookInstagramX),, and our weekly D23 FanFare email (sign up for free as a D23 General Member at

About D23

The name “D23” pays homage to the exciting journey that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his first studio in Hollywood. D23 is the first official club for fans in Disney’s nearly 100-year history. It gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic year-round through its quarterly publication, Disney twenty-three; the latest news and stories on; member-exclusive offers and discounts; the popular D23 Inside Disney podcast; and special experiences for D23 Members throughout the year.

Fans can join D23 at Gold Membership ($99.99/year), Gold Duo Membership ($129.99/year), and General Membership (complimentary) levels at To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow DisneyD23 on Facebook, Instagram, X, TikTok, and YouTube.

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Star Wars Spoof: Space Robots in Outer Space Ep X: Battle for the Halcyon: The Last Starcruiser



Sure, Star Wars is cool and all. But let’s not forget about that other multi-part sci-fi cinematic spectacular, “Space Robots in Outer Space.” In fact, Hank Lonely (Hollywood’s ultimate hyphenate — actor / producer / director / writer / guy who makes sure the Porto Potties are kept squeaky-clean) just announced that there’ll soon be a 10th installment of this … Well, not exactly beloved. How about we say “admired from afar” instead? … series coming to a theater near you. In fact, here’s the highly anticipated teaser trailer for that project. Which is supposed to be titled “Space Robots in Outer Space X — Battle for the Halycon: The Last Starcruiser.”

Okay. Now the real story … In honor of Star Wars Day (i.e., May 4th. As in “May the Fourth Be With You”), Len Testa and I are sharing something that we produced with the help of all the nice folks who joined us last month aboard the Halycon.

We turned the Galactic Starcruiser as well as Black Spire Outpost into the backdrop for an affectionate send-up of all things Stars Wars. We hope that you (more importantly, the legal team at Lucasfilm) take this faux trailer in the spirit with which it was intended. Special thanks to Aaron Adams for so skillfully stitching all of this footage together. Also thanks to the team at Storybook Destinations, Touring Plans and the talented cast & crew aboard the “Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser” for making this “Disney Dish” fan event so memorable.

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Disney’s New Trailer Reveals How Ralph & Vanellope Get to the Internet in “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2”



Wreck-It Ralph 2

When “Wreck-It Ralph” opened on Nov. 2, 2012, it turned in the highest opening weekend ever for a Walt Disney Animation Studios film at the time of release. Now Disney is hoping Ralph will not only break the Internet but the 2018 Thanksgiving boxoffice records as well.

The film re-teams the original director, producer and co-writer behind “Wreck-It Ralph.”  The screenplay is currently being written by Phil Johnston and Pamela Ribon. Director Rich Moore, producer Clark Spencer, and co-writer Phil Johnston partnered with fellow director Byron Howard and co-writer/co-director Jared Bush to create the Academy Award®-winning blockbuster feature “Zootopia.”

ROYAL REUNION – In “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2,” Vanellope von Schweetz-along with her best friend Ralph-ventures into the uncharted world of the internet. When she finds herself surrounded by Disney princesses, she’s surprised to learn that she actually has a lot in common with them. The scene, highlighted in a new trailer for the film (below), features several of the original princess voices, including Auli’i Cravalho (“Moana”), Kristen Bell (Anna in “Frozen”), Idina Menzel (Elsa in “Frozen”), Kelly MacDonald (Merida in “Brave”), Mandy Moore (Rapunzel in “Tangled”), Anika Noni Rose (Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog”), Ming-Na Wen (“Mulan”), Irene Bedard (“Pocahontas”), Linda Larkin (Jasmine in “Aladdin”), Paige O’Hara (Belle in “Beauty and the Beast”) and Jodi Benson (Ariel in “The Little Mermaid”). Featuring Sarah Silverman as the voice of Vanellope, “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck It Ralph 2” opens in theaters nationwide Nov. 21, 2018. 





U.S. Release Date:  Nov. 21, 2018

Voice cast: John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Taraji P. Henson, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch, Alan Tudyk

Directors: Rich Moore, Phil Johnston

Producer: Clark Spencer

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