Friday, August 31, 2007
Pixar's "Ratatouille" should hit the wonderous $200 million dollar mark by the end of this weekend. It's a little less than half a million away from it as of today and should pull off that record by Sunday night. As for its overseas take...
It's getting bigger and Bigger...
The internation total should overtake the domestic total sometime in mid-September... the Rat is proving a big hit around the world.
The final take should be at least what "Cars" took in, which was just under $462 million... Remy has taken in over $371 million so far and Brad Bird's great, little film still has over HALF it's foreign territories to still open up.
See? All those doomsayers predicting the end of Pixar Animation and writing articles about how Iger paid too much for the Lamp... Well, it's pretty silent from the naysayers right now. Come the end of the year they may be sitting around scratching their heads wondering how Lasseter and his crew were able to defeat the negativity and go 8 for 8.
On this day thirty-five years ago, a legend leaves Walt Disney Productions...
Animator Ward Kimball retires from the company after decades of creating Disney myths and magic. One of Walt Disney's original "Nine Old Men", Ward's like will never be seen again. He's a true giant in the world of animation.
The halls of the animation building could be heard crying when the lights went off that night...
Thursday, August 30, 2007
The Los Angeles Times is reporting what Al Lutz over at Miceage did a few days ago about the Walt Disney Company leasing space at the Anaheim GardenWalk for two hotels... one moderate priced family hotel and another luxury hotel catering to the Uber-Rich. Now, I've heard rumblings about Disney negotiating with the GardenWalk folks, but brushed it off until now as sheer speculation... relenting to pressure, I've relayed secret transmission signals to my Bothans to confirm this.
This may be true, I can't say for sure at this time... but I can say it doesn't mean the Mouse isn't going to be building anymore hotels on it's own property. This doesn't affect the plans for that new hotel to go in next to the Paradise Pier Hotel in the next four to five years... or the other possible hotel to go right next to it should the occupancy rates please the Suits at TDA and TDB. This may be the other two of the four hotels I heard the Burbank Suits were planning on constructing. There appears to be much movement around the Resort District over the next decade...
More about this a new Anaheim Blue Sky Alert later in mid-September. Oh, and those that keep e-mailing me about a Hong Kong Update... it's coming. Most likely at the end of September.
Gary Rydstrom did an interview with radio station KBOO FM's "Words & Pictures" show the other day. Check out the podcast of the discussion with the director of the "Lifted" short from Pixar and future film director... whoops, did I say that?
Well anyway, take a listen to the interview... it's really a nice, quiet chat about the short, Pixar, animation and FX itself. It's great things like this that makes the internet so appealing. You have access to whole areas of the world that were unattainable just a few years ago. Imagine if animation buffs and future artists had the ability to get hold of some of this stuff while they were honing their craft?
Perhaps someone listening out there is the next Ron Clements, Brad Bird, Bruce Timm or Uncle John?
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
On this day forty-three years ago Walt Disney's Mary Poppins was released, starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, this film based on a series of children's books was released and a classic was born. Of note from me, the world got to hear the beautiful music created by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman. Children the world over would be singing these catchy toons well into their adulthood.
I did... didn't you?
For an extra treat, go over to Scott Wolf's Mouse Clubhouse website. He's celebrating the anniversary of its release with many new interviews of those associated with the making of the film. If you've never been to Scott's website, go take a look... he has some really nice interviews and just like us here at Blue Sky Disney, has a special love for the Mouse.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Walt Disney Pictures will likely have Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson star in it's followup/remake of "Witch Mountain" which Andy Fickman is directing for the studio.
Johnson, last worked with Fickman in Disney's "The Game Plan," and is negotiating to play a Las Vegas cab driver who picks up a pair of tween siblings with mysterious powers on the run from ominous forces. Andrew Gunn produces through his Gunn Films shingle, and Ann Marie Sanderlin is the Suit in charge for the Mouse. The current draft of the script was written by Matt Lopez.
Filming will begin in March.
After some of the e-mail I've received of late, I figured it was time we labeled the players in this game. A scorecard is in order...
You know that proverbial story of a you man at the ball park... shouting with a pamphlet in his hand - "Get your scorecard, you can't tell a player without a scorecard!".
So I deemed it necessary to come up with one for the "Walt Disney Company Game"...
Now in this game as I've talked endlessly about there are heroes. There are villains. There are people who have switched sides and people who could do no wrong in Disney lore.
Having just read the screenplay to "Thor" by Mark Protosevich... which is awesome, I might add. It's like "Lord of the Rings" meets Conan/13th Warrior while still staying true to the comic and the Nordic legend. This will be a great movie if the right casting takes place. But, I digress... anyway, the great Nordic gods (the Aesir) face off against their enemy/opponents, the Frost Giants (the Jotun). Now this is not to say that there are good and evil people within the Disney company. But there are good and bad... both are trying for what they see is best for themselves and the company. I'm sure neither want bad to be done to the company as Paul Pressler never really intended to have the company be perceived as it while he was in charge of the parks. Even people whose action result in grave harm usually do so without ever intending to get that result. Heroes, Villains and Adversaries. Superman has Lex Luthor, Batman has the Joker, Spidey has Doc Ock... and in the Disney World we have our pathos. All part of of the Disney echo-sphere, I believe.
Like the gods of mythology, we have two sides in this game...
On one side of the company we have the Creatives. These are the ones within the company that believe in creativity. Art is the highest achievement. The creation of something noble, something entertaining that captivates the observer. These would be the Imagineers, the directors, writers and other storytellers with in the company.
The on the other side of the company we have the Suits. These are the people whose main concern is the bottom line. The essential part of the company where cost is all that matters. Everything has to be looked at through the prism of how it affects the bottom line.
Now this belief that the Suits have is really not a bad idea. The Disney company can't spend endless amounts of money on projects... it does have a finite supply and it's goal is to make more. I have no fault with this general idea.
Now before I begin, I wish to say one doesn't have to be bad to be a Suit. As well, someone may not be good who is a Creative. And lastly, some people can be a combination of both.
Ok, are we clear? Good, here we go...
Bob Iger(CEO & President, Walt Disney Company) - A Suit. But a prime examples of how one should run the company. He has a clear grasp of where his expertise is and how to cultivate and mine the talent of those around him. And the one thing he has over Eisner... his ego doesn't seem to need to be pampered to let everyone know that he's the boss. The results speak for themselves.
Steve Jobs(CEO, Apple Inc., Walt Disney Company Board Member) - A Creative with strong organizational skills... Jobs used to be just a creative known for his temper tantrums, but his years out in the wilderness away from Apple served him well. When he saw the potential of Pixar, after initially thinking it would be a software company is a prime example of a keen eye toward creativity and quality. As well as his return to Apple as it's triumphant savior, his position on the board is a hugh asset to guide the Walt Disney Company into the next decade... both for Suits and Creatives. Oh, and being the largest share holder in the company counts for something.
John Lasseter(Chief Creative Officer, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios and Principal Creative Advisor, Walt Disney Imagineering) - A Creative. Of course he has Suit skills, but like Walt his primary focus is on the creative aspects of the company. John is all about the creative process and his dealings with WDI, WDAS and Pixar are directed toward relationships that fuel and stoke this process. As I've said in an earlier post... John is Walt Disney 2.0.
Ed Catmull(President, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios) - A Suit. But one with excellent organization abilities. He's a brilliant organizer of internal structure of business. His ability to tap talent and make it grow while watching the bottom line is a prime skill that will help him guide WDAS back to its former glory. Think of Ed as the new Roy Disney.
Tony Baxter(Senior Vice President, Creative Development, Walt Disney Imagineering and Head of WDI development for Disneyland Park) - A Creative. Tony has handled Suit responsibilities for a long time, but he is a prime example of a Creative. He's done good and bad, creatively speaking... but mostly the good that has come from his proposals greatly outweigh the negative. It should also be said that most of the bad projects he were in charge of were underfunded and not his fault.
Tom Fitzgerald(Former Executive Vice President and Senior Creative Executive, Head of WDI development for Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot Park and Disney's Hollywood Studios Park) - A Suit... that used to be a Creative. Tom is a Creative, but over the past decade he's recessed back into the order of a Suit... so much so that some of the creativity he once had has been forgotten. Now that he's been put in charge of WDW we will see if he can regain that creative spark under the watchful eye of John Lasseter.
Joe Rodhe(Head of WDI development for Disney's Animal Kingdom Park) - A Creative. Joe came up with the creation of DAK in the early 90's and has been its head creatively since the beginning. While Joe has the skills to deal with Suits and knows his limitations, he is at heart a Creative... always was, always will be.
Bob Weiss(Head of WDI development for Disney's California Adventure Park) - A Creative/Suit, having run departments within WDI and then his own company in Florida: Design Island Associates. Bob is one of the best examples of what I call a blend of both. Based on his designs for Disney-MGM Studios Paris and Disney's America he knows how to properly balance both... now with DCA he's been given the chance to show his chops. By the end of the decade we should be seeing some prime examples of his work.
Michael Eisner(Former CEO & Chairman, Walt Disney Company) - A Suit. A Suit that had taste but let it fly out the window when ego and the bottom line got in the way. Eisner has creative taste... after-all, he's the one that realized the WDW property was undervalued and set out to exploit it. His first step was the decision to build the Grand Floridian which I commend him for. His support of Creatives in his first decade earn high marks... his abandonment of them during his last decade show ones own self worth can be very destructive.
Paul Pressler(Former Chairman, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts) - A Suit of the highest mode. The Uber Suit... Pressler was Eisner's Angel of the Death of Creativity. He will NOT be missed. I could say much more about Paul, but that would be giving him much more time and space than he deserves... way more.
Jay Rasulo(Chairman, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts) - A Suit. An uncreative Suit to be specific. The only thing Rasulo has going for him is the fact that he stays out of the way of Lasseter because of Uncle John's direct access to Iger. In turn, he winds up looking good from letting Lasseter push through projects that Rasulo wouldn't had the wonder boy not been hired by Iger to begin with.
Matt Ouimet(Former President, Disneyland Resort) - A Suit. Just like Iger though, one with great skills dealing with the Creatives. He'd make an absolutely outstanding head of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts... as I say this I pray Rasulo is planning a retirement party and Iger is looking up Ouimet on his rolodex.
Lastly, we have...
Bothans(Imagineers, WDC Executives, Various Park Employees, and Mysterious Others) - These are the ones within the Mouse's kingdom that are working on preserving the legacy. These are the ones that risk sending Blue Sky Disney and other websites the info to give us hope or warn us of impending doom. In the last two years they've been mainly harbingers of hope... let's hope their position doesn't change anytime soon.
Beyond all these players we're all just geeks... but Disney Geeks.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Much has happened since our last update on the little property in Florida that Disney owns. As I've said in an earlier post, WDW moves at a pace of about 18-24 months behind it's older sister in Anaheim... and while not as much is happening in Orlando there is a great deal of activity happening.
The situation at the Resort is more fluid than it is at Disneyland as Tom Fitzgerald and the Imagineers under his charge have still yet to finalize some of their plans. Even though Uncle John's main focus is the original park, he is watching what Fitzgerald is doing and making suggestions as to where he'd like them to go. Tom and company tend to know where their bread is buttered and are taking many suggestions as orders... not suggestions. This could turn out to be a good thing in a few years. There is much planning going on right now and we won't really get to see the results until January of 2008. Over the next three to four years there are plans to dust off some of the theme parks assets and fully use them without adding anymore gaudy(cough, wand, cough...) decorations.
THE MAGIC RETURNS...
The original park in Walt Disney World has a few plans prepared for it. While the Monster's Inc. Laugh Factory hasn't been the blazing hit everyone expected it to be(thanks, Tom)... it hasn't dimmed the Imagineers ideas when it comes to proposing new rides based on Pixar films. There is at least one proposal for a Pixar ride, most likely a "D" ticket attraction that is making it's way through the halls of WDI. There are plans over the next three years to have at least one new "E" ticket ride... possibly two if things go right. This all depends on how much progress is made getting those hotel rooms filled of course.
There are plans involving a new parade show as well, but it's in the early phase and won't be seen for some while now. Some Imagineers have been complaining about the general upkeep of certain areas of the park in the hope that Lasseter will make more suggestions to Tom about the overall comparison of quality between Anaheim and Orlando's attractions. It's not known yet if all the tugging on Uncle John's ear will wield early results, but he should be paying more attention to the parks as Tony Baxter and Bob Weiss takes over much of the control of Disneyland/DCA. While he will be active in the planning of the DL Resort it will free up more of his time next year so he can concentrate a little more on Disney's other parks.
FIGMENT OF YOUR IMAGINATION...
There are plans in place to have everyones favorite purple dragon make a return engagement. Several proposed plans include bringing back a new version of his old attraction... parts of the old show along with new enhancements have been proposed. Several Imagineers are hoping this plan gets signed off quickly so work can begin.
Many people are overjoyed at the removal of the wand. This is just a small sign of what will come over the next couple years as we see Spaceship Earth have a much needed makeover completed by the beginning of the new year. Some of the tacky tarps that are supposed to provide shade are scheduled for removal... not all are supposed to go, but the plans are still not final. There is clearly a plan that involves taking Epcot and removing some of the mistakes of the 90's.
The story of Epcot over the next few years is one of renewal more than anything else. There are proposals in the blue sky phase of course. Two prominent ones that WDI are working on are making their way through the process... we can expect to see at least one new E-Ticket by the end of the decade at Epcot, with a modest D-Ticket possible depending on funding next year.
A small faction within the walls of the Glendale Kingdom still wants to do something about the eyesores that exist around World Showcase. While it would be nice to see something done so that the Dolphin and Swan are not seen, it'll be a while before this is dealt with since it's much hard to hide. The Canadian pavilion is where some Imagineers want to focus by bringing out the old plans for a Canadian Rockies structure behind it to cover the Soarin' building and add a water ride like DCA's Grizzly River Rampage. It's unknown yet if they've been able to tug on the ear of Uncle John on this matter though, as he has a full plate. Time will tell...
NO KINGDOM IN SIGHT...
Sadly, I've heard no rumors of Beastly Kingdom returning. If WDI plans on bringing this dream project for Disney Geeks back, it's being held close to the vest, which wouldn't be a surprise given all the tight security these days with voluminous non-disclosure agreements being signed just to go to the bathroom... I'm kidding about that, but just barely. The good news is there is a proposed attraction being designed for DAK, it's not known yet if it is a D or E-Ticket, but my Bothans say it's a great addition to the park. Don't expect to see this for at least a couple of years though...
Right around the time that the new night-time show appears. That's right, I said night-time show. But it won't appear before fall 2008/summer 2009... by then there will hopefully be enough activities to keep people in the park past the sunlight. DAK's "Rivers of Light" is a show that has been being worked on concurrently with DCA's "Disney's World of Color" show. Both should appear around the same time unless some scheduling delay happens.
By 2009, DAK should have a couple new restaurants(one of which is being built now), a night-time water show, the new DAK-DVC units and a new ride either done or in the final stages of construction. Joe Rodhe is working hard to deliver a full day experience by the end of the decade and will most likely make it. Now, if he'll just tug on Uncle John's ear about Beastly Kingdom...
RETCHED HIVE OF SCUM AND VILLAINY...
Disney's Hollywood Studio, or as it was going to be called literally up until the week before the announcement, Disney-Pixar Studios is the park that has the most in store for it over the next four years. By the beginning of the next decade this park will be the one that looks the most different. Not as much as DCA will look to us in California... but much different than it does today.
As far as the question everyone asks about... will the hat go away? There's a growing presence in WDI that would like to see this happen... the higher-ups have made no decision yet. But the talk is going in the right direction.
Now DHS will not be getting 1.2 billion dollars to spend, but it will be getting a much healthier share than the other three parks. The decision to go with the new name over the Pixar name has everything to do with focusing the park on movies in particular and Hollywood in general... the Pixar brand, while a gold standard in animation caused too much confusion with visitors and it was decided to avoid this entirely with a different name.
We will see the Pixar area of the park start to have more attractions/activities over the rest of the decade. There are proposals to liven up the area as well as various other sections with a renewed focus on theming. Some of the drab areas will get a much needed spruce-up by 2010.
There are plans in the works for one new E-Ticket, in addition to "Toy Story Mania" and at least another C and D-Ticket by the beginning of the next decade. The focus on Hollywood will be emphasized much more, at least in the blue sky plans that are currently heading along, gathering steam.
The other big news, mentioned here a couple months ago and also bandied about the web lately is the new coziness that the Walt Disney Company has with George Lucas. There will be a big expansion of the Lucas properties at both DHL and Disneyland(more on that in a later report). This focus will include Star Wars(Movies), Indiana Jones and the new Clone Wars/Star Wars television shows if Bob Iger has his way. While Eisner ruffled the feathers of just about everyone from Lucas, Spielberg, Jobs, etc., it appears that Iger is doing a great deal of damage control. After making friends with Jobs and buying Pixar, it appears one of Bob's main goals is to bring Lucas back into the fold of Disney. Does this mean buying Lusasfilm? No, not really... although that would be an interesting acquisition for the Mouse to make in the future. Top Lucasfilm execs have said they wouldn't rule out taking the company public in the future. This happening would cause many entertainment companies to drool at the opportunity to own a piece of the force. But at this point, George isn't quite ready to do that. What he is ready to do is work with Disney, which he's always had a great fondness for. As well as a much more detailed Star Tours ride, new Indiana Jones events to correspond with the new film next year and a few things that will involve Indy later in 2008... Iger is also asking Lucas to help in other areas that don't have to do with Vader or Jones. There is talk that the folks at WDI are excited about getting Lucas' input on another, top-secret E=Ticket... one that is in the early stages and could make its debut at the start of the next decade. Uncle John is also involved in this as he recognizes the value and potential of George Lucas.
And you know what?
George is friends with this guy named Steven. He hasn't really worked for Disney since his tiff with Eisner. Could it be that Bob and Uncle John may want George help bridge the gap and smooth the feathers with Steven now that Eisner is gone? So this new friendship could turn out to be a two-for-one thing. And DHS could be the first of many Disney theme parks to benefit from this.
Remember, in Hollywood it's all about relationships... Eisner forgot that. He let his ego blind him and the company and the parks really suffered because of it. Not anymore.
Well, that's all I could get out of my Bothans for Florida... at least all I can tell you without getting them thrown over into the dark side. Stay tuned for more updates soon.
Pixar's "Ratatouille" hit the 3 billion yen ($25.9 million) mark in Japan, the first Hollywood animated film to surpass that mark since "The Lion King" opened there.
Variety says "Disney predicts that "Ratatouille" will surpass "Toy Story 2" (final B.O.: $29.7 million) to finish fourth all-time among Pixar toons in the Japanese market, after "Finding Nemo" ($94.8 million) "Monsters, Inc." ($80.7 million) and "The Incredibles" ($45.3 million)"... not bad for little rat, don't you think?
It may not make as much as "Cars", but it certainly is a hit... a slightly smaller one, but one with very strong legs...
Not bad at all.
It looks like Touchstone Pictures will co-finance and distribute in America, Kevin Costner's new film "Swing Vote", which is being produced by Costner's Tig Prods.
Starring Costner,Paula Patton, Kelsey Grammer, Dennis Hopper, Nathan Lane, Stanley Tucci, George Lopez, Judge Reinhold, Mare Winningham, Richard Petty, Willie Nelson and Madeline Carroll, the film is shooting in New Mexico right now from a script by Joshua Michael Stern and Jason Richman. Stern is directing.
The story is about Bud Johnson(Costner), an average working-class single father who is thrust onto the world stage after the presidential election comes down to his single vote. Lots of people want him to pull the lever for their guy... think there'll be pressure on him to pull the lever?
Dick Cook, Walt Disney Studios Chariman said: " 'Swing Vote' is a timely and heartfelt story that is sure to touch and entertain moviegoers in the same way that some of the classic films by Frank Capra have done in the past". Cook has a great reputation in Hollywood which is something hard to come by in Tinsel Town. Costner let Cook read the script and he in turn talked it over with WDS's President Oren Aviv before they quickly said yes.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Well, not exactly...
Miramax Pictures, a studio owned by the Walt Disney Company will produce, along with Sidney Kimmel a new film from Greg Mottola(Superbad) known as "Adventureland". The script was also written by Mottola. Jesse Eisenberg("The Squid and the Whale") is attached to star. Shooting is set for this fall in Pittsburgh.
Story, set in the summer of 1987, concerns an uptight recent college grad who's forced to take a minimum-wage job at the local amusement park: "Adventureland", after realizing he can't afford his dream European tour. The experience helps him to loosen up a bit as he finds first love, forms new friendships and matures just in time to enter the real world in the fall.
So much for the Mouse turning all its theme park rides into films. Could we say they're turning theme park lands into rides... not really, but it made a fun header and after seeing "Superbad" it'll most likely make a very funny film.
Here we are with another collection of stories that wound up getting lost along the way to the movie theater...
This children's fairy-tale based on a fantasy novel by Michael Chabon("Wonderboys') about baseball and the battle between good and evil in a world where fairies and werefoxes exists was snapped up for a mid-six figures to be produced by Walt Disney Pictures and Miramax. The project will be produced by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal. Michael Chabon was to have adapted his own book for the screen. The deal was put together in early 2001 before the novel was completed based on a three page synopsis and two sample chapters.
This screenplay written by Tristan Patterson for Producer Jerry Bruckheimer follows an elite force that focuses on solving criminal-on-criminal homicides in the San Francisco area. Can you say "CSI: the movie"? This project is supposed to currently in the process of being rewritten... I smell a mystery? Should we call out the investigators to solve it?
Wait Listing Wally
A comedy spec script by Toni Kotite that Walt Disney Pictures for a low-six figures. The story concerns a Midwestern family guy that sabotages families that are on a waiting list for a prestigious private school he wants his five-year old son to be enrolled at. Hilarity ensues...
Jenno Topping and Betty Thomas will produce through their Tall Trees Productions for Disney.
Until The Sea Shall Free Them
Based on the true story of a rundown merchant marine ship that sank off the coast of Virginia in 1980, with the loss of 31 out of 34 men. In the subsequent investigation, the ship's first mate was held accountable for the tragedy. At first compliant, he ultimately becomes a reluctant hero, defying the shipping industry and pressure from his community to stay quiet.
Bought for the Mouse in the mid-six figures. The script by Lewis Colick, adapted from Robert Frump's novel will be produced by Rachel Pfeffer.
His and Hers
The story of a interracial couple who fall in love and get married. But the two formerly single parents discover that trying to bring their families together is not as easy as it may have seemed. Sounds like someone has been watching "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?".
The script by Shonda Rhimes will be produced by Tracey Edmonds and Bridget Davis for Walt Disney Pictures... or at least it was... who knows now.
The Gumshoe Chronicles
Written by Dean DeBlois for Walt Disney Pictures, this tale of a Loch Ness-like monster in Key West, and a circle of kids that uses more Boy Scout technology than high-tech gadgets in order to trap it. A 21st Century "Goonies"? What's that you say? Sigh... never-mind. Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders will produce through their overall writing deal which allowed Sanders and Debois to write, direct and produce animated and live-action films under their Stormcoast Pictures banner. They were to receive multiple seven-figures on all films that get made. How many have been made yet?
A thriller by Jeffrey Nachmanoff about a topical, politically relevant story dealing with international terrorism and U.S. traitors was to be produced by Mandeville Pictures' David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman for Touchstone Pictures based on an original idea by Steve Martin. Could Political Correctness have shut it down... no one knows. Or do they? Hmmm...
James Kearns Project
The story centers on Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Robert Capa from 1943 and D-Day, and his love affair with an Englishwoman during WWII. Walt Disney Pictures paid six-figures for this project which is based on two books whose rights Disney picked up: Slightly Out of Focus: The Robert Capa Story,"... yawn. I'm sorry... what? Did someone say something?
Well, that's it. Some really good ones, some interesting ones and a few that don't register on your "interest radar". Such is the case in Hollywood, where money and talent sometimes collide to make great films and sometimes totally get lost on the way to the screen... even for the Mouse.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Well, it appears that the Anaheim City Council has decided that Disneyland hasn't given enough to the city. I mean, where would Anaheim be today without them? Disneyland should be grateful this powerful collection of orange groves allowed it to be built there. For some reason The idiots on the Council voted 4 to 1 to place the proposed zoning change on the June 3rd, 2008 ballot, during a state primary.
It's nice that all the tax money that's come into Anaheim(well over half of the tax money the city receives is from the Resort) is appreciated.
Council woman Galloway had a meeting which included officials from Disney, SunCal and the two other home developers.
Her request(read: demands) required Disney commit to helping fund-raise with other businesses and contribute at least $25 million for affordable housing units over five years. This is sheer robbery... where have they been spending the money they already receive? Is it the Walt Disney Company's responsibility to contribute even more than it does already because the Council spends too much money on its pet projects that should be left in the general fund?
Galloway wants Disney to negotiate with three developers and have them voluntarily remove their land from the Anaheim Resort boundaries so the Council could rezone the area to build homes there. Read this as getting Disney to use its weight to bully developers into giving up land they rightfully have a business investment in because the Council is too cowardly to do the bullying themselves.
The Council also wants Disney to drop the lawsuit. After-all, how dare they pursue their legal rights when the Council has reneged on its promise only six years into the agreement.
Of course, SunCal was "open" to these "fair" negotiations... sigh. Sorry if you don't like me writing these things... but I've always hated ingrates... and these people are living, breathing, walking, textbook examples of it. Not that I know they will, but I hope the Mouse puts a great deal of money toward defeating these Council members.
The Anaheim City Council needs fresh blood...
And a little sanity couldn't hurt, either.
On this day eighty-seven years ago today...
Daphne Milne and A.A. Milne welcome to the world their newborn son:
Christopher Robin Milne...
The "real" Christopher Robin, that is. He will go on to be forever immortalized in the children books that his father writes about a silly, ole' stuffed bear named Winnie the Pooh. He lived a full life as a husband, father and writer like his father before him, until passing from this world on April 20, 1996.
Somewhere right now in the Hundred Acre Woods candles on a cake are being blown out...
Monday, August 20, 2007
When it comes to the entertainment business, money isn't king...
No matter what people tell you, no matter what opinion they have about something, someone or someplace... nothing is as important as success. And success is measured by money in Hollywood even greater than the rest of the world. Others might tell you it was about the art or they're doing some project to save the earth... trust me, they're not. It's about the all-mighty-dollar. Not that there aren't other causes or dreams that people have... but when everything is brushed aside creativity is a passenger, not the driver in the entertainment industry. That's why we love Disney. That's what made Walt so special. Not because he didn't care about business(he did... but he let Roy handle that side because Roy was so much better at it), but because he was able to bring the creative process to the front where we didn't really notice the business side.
As much as we would like to think Michael Eisner got the boot for his disastrously bad creative mistakes over the last decade, it was the company's financial performance that put the last nail in his CEO coffin. Now, it could be argued that the reason for the poor performance was his creative decisions, but it all boils down to profits. Shareholders wouldn't give a "Ratatouille's assets" if money was still coming in like it had been during the first decade of Eisner. Quality and creativity be damned...
So looking at the new team in charge of the Walt Disney Company it's refreshing to see that their most important focus is...
Well yes, it is. But that isn't necessarily a bad thing and in this particular case it's a very good thing. Something that might help keep the company firing on all creative cylinders into the next decade... hopefully, even beyond.
Bob Iger has been in charge less than two years, but the way he deals with company is a world away from the corporate culture that Eisner instilled in the halls of Team Disney throughout the last decade... maybe even his entire tenure. While his plans definitely are aimed toward growth for the company and he is seeking other avenues to mine its properties there is a belief within the walls of the current leadership that many of the mistakes of the past were over quality.
Bad decisions = bad quality.
Unlike the way things were ran under Eisner... Iger seems to be following the motto: "Hire people smarter than you and let them do their job". He understands the problems faced and wants to make sure the right people are in place over the coming years. His ego doesn't seem to get in his way when it comes to handing out power and responsibilities. In-fact, the current structure with Lasseter and his people in charge reflects the first time since Walt where the Creatives are in charge of many executive decisions. There still are holdover Suits from the past regime that still don't like this, but thankfully there are fewer to put up a protest. Jay Rasulo not withstanding, the control over-which the Creatives have is a refreshing change and it has only come about in the last year and a half.
Iger has major growth plans. The profit motive is his motive, but Eisner's errors have given him a clearer roadmap to follow. Lasseter is no stranger to profits either and despite being concerned with the artist's point of view, he also wants the company to succeed and grow it's profits. And then there is the shadow behind Bob Igers chair...
He may not be the Chairman of the Walt Disney Company Board, but his persona casts a very powerful presence during the board meetings. Having come back and turned Apple, Inc. around into the darling of Wall Street while still running Pixar has compounded the mystic of Jobs' "Reality Distortion Field"... Also the weight of his friendship with Ed Catmull and Lasseter helps temper any flack they've received from other Suits within the walls of Burbank.
The record profits that Apple has been having, the relationship that it has with the media and the uber secrecy it has surrounding product launches have slowly crept into the fabric of Disney corporate culture. While not spread throughout the entire company, the changes are profound. There is a feeling in the air that has been absent since probably the opening of DCA(but not necessarily because of it).
With Jobs' finger on the pulse of pop-culture with the creation of iTunes, iPod and the iPhone among others such red hot properties, Iger and others on the Board have gotten direction as to where the technological opportunities can be explored from one of the preeminent leaders in this industry. Expect more influence of Disney's technological roadmap to be given to Jobs as well as a larger integration with services offered by Apple itself.
With Ed Catmull handling the direction and environment of the animation studios and John Lasseter handling the creative part of the animation studios... along with an ever-growing list of "Walt-Like" responsibilities around the rest of the company, this team plan on getting the heart of the Walt Disney company back at the top of its game.
Over in the live-action film making part of Walt Disney Studios you have Dick Cook and Oren Aviv respectively, seem to be handling that part of the studios very well. Disney's new slate of films will reflect of very broad range of branded entertainment intended to capitalize on the family label. While Aviv is new to this job and some are wary of him because of his marketing background... many, Dick Cook himself champion this young executive as having the right stuff to not only keep WDS successful, but even more profitable.
Now there's nothing wrong with making money. That's what corporations are created to do after-all. But it's good to see that many of the decisions in the near future, and hopefully the long term future will be based on creative decisions. If bad decisions equalled bad quality... hopefully over the coming years the creative decisions out of Burbank and Glendale will be good ones... my feeling is they will. In fact, I'm predicting it...
Not that I'm a prophet or anything...
Sunday, August 19, 2007
While Disney expected to get huge numbers from the debut of HSM 2 on Friday, it didn't expect the kind of numbers that actually came in...
17.2 million viewers stayed home on Friday night to watch the sequel. This makes it the most-watched cable telecast ever, beating out all sports telecasts, television movies, mini-series and long form shows.
That half a billion that the Walt Disney Company has made off this franchise so far is going to get a lot bigger. The CD's, books and other merchandise the Mouse has planned are going to just fill the coffers of the company up to bursting. When the third one is released in theaters it looks like all those Disney television stars are going to finally become movies stars... it's just a given. Of course, that means their shelf life on the those Disney Channel sitcoms is going to rapidly fade.
Now if the Suits over in Burbank can keep Zac Efron's head from exploding due to his gigantic ego, maybe the entire cast can come back for that film? Jason, as his agent... perhaps it's time you talked to your client and gave him a little attitude adjustment so he doesn't flame out too quickly and become the teen equivalent of David Caruso. Just a thought...
Walt Disney Studios officially announced their fall line of films this week.
The slate includes three prominent movies featuring stars such as Steve Carell, Nicholas Cage, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey.
THE GAME PLAN
September 28, 2007
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Roselyn Sanchez, Kyra Sedgwick, Morris Chestnut, Madison Pettis, Gordon Clapp
This film directed by Andy Fickman and written by Nichole Millard & Kathryn Price tells the story of superstar pro quarterback Joe Kingman, whose Boston-based team is heading for the championship. Kingman is the ultimate bachelor, totally self-center superstar: he’s rich, famous and the life of the party. But this dream is suddenly sacked for a loss when he discovers the 7-year-old daughter he never knew he had – the product of a last fling before parting years ago with his young wife. Now, during the most important time in his career, he has to figure out how to juggle his parties, practices and dates with the newfound ballet classes, bedtime stories and dolls that come with his daughter. Equally perplexed is his hard-edged mega-agent, Stella, herself without a parental bone in her body. Filled with the hilarious misadventures that come with being a new father, Kingman discovers there’s more to life than money, endorsements and thousands of adoring fans: the love and care of one very special small fan is the only thing that matters.
DAN IN REAL LIFE
Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, Dianne Wiest, John Mahoney, Emily Blunt
This film directed by Peter Hedges and written by Pierce Gardner and Peter Hedges features comic sensations Steve Carell and Dane Cook along with Academy Award® winner Juliette Binoche star in this hilarious and touching comedy that centers around what happens when romance and family collide. Love strikes in the worst-possible circumstances for widower, single dad and popular family advice columnist Dan Burns when he falls for a beautiful stranger in a bookshop – only to discover she’s the very same woman his charismatic brother is about to introduce as his incredible new girlfriend at their parents’ annual get-together. As the weekend gets under way, Dan and Marie scramble to hide their mutual attraction to each other, resulting in a series of hilariously awkward situations. Yet, even under those circumstances, they can’t help falling in love. Dan realizes that no matter how many good suggestions he might have for other people... when it comes to romance and family, the hardest advice for a man to follow is his own.
November 21, 2007
This film directed by Kevin Lima(Tarzan) from a script by Bill Kelly is a twist on the classic Disney animated film where fairy tales meets with up with modern, live-action romantic comedy. The story follows the beautiful princess Giselle as she is banished by an evil queen from her magical, musical animated land and finds herself in the gritty reality of the streets of modern-day Manhattan. Shocked by this strange new environment that doesn’t operate on a “happily ever after” basis, Giselle is now adrift in a chaotic world badly in need of enchantment. But when Giselle begins to fall in love with a charmingly flawed divorce lawyer who has come to her aid, even though she is already promised to a perfect fairy tale prince back home... she has to wonder if a storybook view of romance survive in the real world?
The film will feature original songs from the reunited team of acclaimed composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz (“Pocahontas,” “Hunchback of Notre Dame”).
NATIONAL TREASURE: BOOK OF SECRETS
December 21, 2007
Nicolas Cage, Jon Voight, Harvey Keitel, Ed Harris, Diane Kruger, Justin Bartha, Bruce Greenwood and Helen Mirren
This sequel to the surprise hit original film is directed by the original helmer Jon Turteltaub with a screenplany by the Wibberleys & Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio... heard of those last two guys? In this second tale we find treasure hunter Ben Gates once again sets out on an exhilarating, action-packed new global quest to unearth hidden history and treasures.
When a missing page from the diary of John Wilkes Booth surfaces, Ben’s great-great grandfather is suddenly implicated as a key conspirator in Abraham Lincoln’s death. Determined to prove his ancestor’s innocence, Ben follows an international chain of clues that takes him on a chase from Paris to London and ultimately back to America. This journey leads Ben and his crew not only to surprising revelations – but to the trail of the world’s most treasured secrets.
That should pretty much push us through till the holidays. Of course what isn't mentioned here is which film will get the new Disney animated short to go with it. Can you guess which one will be showing Goofy's rise back to stardom?
Friday, August 17, 2007
Tonight is the premiere of "High School Musical 2" on the Disney Channel. While I'm not a Tween and this doesn't appeal to me, if it gets the kind of numbers everyone is predicting...
Enjoy it. It will be the last "High School Musical" on the Disney Channel?
How can that be, you say? Well, if it's the huge hit the Mouse expects the next one, "Haunted High School Musical" will be theatrical as will any new films. Disney has made a half billion dollars from this show, CD's and other merchandise... more is on the way.
Lots of Busy things begin to happen in October...
It's when the new calendar year starts for the company...
Walls will start to go up...
Hopefully, complaining about nothing happening will stop... but I'm not holding my breath on that one. Disney dreams begin to happen in this month. I know Halloween is also at the end of this month, but it won't be a trick... it'll be a treat.
A very, very nice treat.
Remember all things start in Anaheim... and spread out from there.
Work will begin to pick up at the theme parks, hotels and DD. Plans will start quietly at first, steadily building toward the beginning of the new year. 2008 will be a very busy year for the Anaheim Resort. Construction will be impossible to miss.
Down in Orlando, things won't begin till the new year when the name change begins. The entire WDW Resort is moving about 18 months to 24 months behind it's older sister. There are a whole lot of changes in store for Florida... not as many as California of course, but changes nonetheless. More on this in a "Blue Sky Alert" later this year.
Over in Hong Kong, events are progressing as well. IASW will open and the Mouse has a lot of events set up to expand the parks attendance. The "Pirate Takeover" worked rather well and Disney is steadily building a successful brand in Hong Kong and still striding to make headway into the rest of China. Now if those talks with Hong Kong Officials would end soon with the Mouse getting a few more concessions. More on this in a "Blue Sky Alert" later this month... or early September.
2009 and beyond...
And the other areas that the Walt Disney Company will be doing some... um. Well, I guess I'll have to save those for a later report. Not really trying to tease... just want to gather a little more recon before I say anything else.
The point is the Mouse will be...
Which is good for the Mouse and us.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Stitch's favorite singer passed away 30 years ago today at Graceland in Memphis. Everyone remembers how much the adorable, little blue fella loved Elvis' music in "Lilo & Stitch".
The King is dead...
Long live the King, baby.
Two years ago today, the animation world in general and Pixar in particular, lost a really talented man. A very nice man... a man whose compasion and caring were as big as his talent.
Joe Ranft, one of Pixar's story artist and a lead in story development at the Lamp was killed in a car crash while doing what he always had done... helping others. Joe is survived by his wife Sue, and his two children, Jordan and Sophia. He will be remembered for all the good work he had done, both at home with his family and the office with Disney and Pixar.
Joe's story pitches are greatly missed inside the halls of Pixar...
The Walt Disney Company will discuss the fiscal full year and the results of the current fourth quarter for 2007 this afternoon at 4:15 p.m. EST/7:15 PST through a live audio Webcast.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Eight years ago today, the Disney Wonder made it's first voyage for the Disney Cruise Line. With two new ships scheduled to come online during the first part of the next decade, DCL will finally become a two ocean cruise line. No more sending one of it's ships to the West Coast simply to tease us about what the Atlantic has to offer. Ships will be departing from the Southern California ports as well as Florida come 2011...
The original plan when the Disney Cruise Line was conceived was to have as many as ten ships traveling between the East and West Coast. When Michael Eisner planned on building "Port Disney," the proposal was to have the cruise lines ships dock there at the Resort in Long Beach, where they would be surrounded by one of the most gorgeous sites their eyes could behold. Between the marina with three hundred slits filled with boats, the Downtown Disney-like outside mall area, there were five luxurious hotels and of course the stunning DisneySea.
Then as Disney had trouble getting its proposals off the ground, the economy tightened and as the company planned an expansion of the two ships initially build... 911 happened. All plans were shelved after that. Finally, with the booming economy at home and abroad the Walt Disney Company has bit the bullet and decided to double the amount of ships to four. Now this may not be the original ten that were planned... but give it time.
If the economy keeps up this pace there will be more ships to come and the Magic and Wonder won't be all.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
The Disney Channel had its fifth consecutive ratings win, topping all other basic cable networks in prime time with an average of over three million viewers according to Nielsen Media Research. Disney continued its two-year streak in the kids 6-11 and ‘tweens 9-14 demo. Disney had eight of basic cable’s top 20 rated programs last week, with the premiere of the theatrical release "Ella Enchanted", "Hannah Montana" and "The Suite Life of Zach & Cody". The channel is expected to draw even bigger ratings later this week when "High School Musical 2" debuts...
No, this is not a story about Disney's travel agency and the deals it offers you if you plan your vacation through it...
What am I talking about then?
Film. Motion Pictures. Movies...
Huh, you say?
Allow me to illuminate for you. With a previous article I touched on some of Disney's past films. From Walt's animated features to his hybrid live-action/animated films like the memorable "Mary Poppins" to his live action "Treasure Island" or "Swiss Family Robinson" there was particular type of film that was defined as a Disney Film. Walt Disney Productions has went through several evolutionary moments. The most obvious being when Walt was no longer around... the languishing period of the 70's. The Eisner Era that changed the company around in the mid 80's brought about a change with Touchstone's ability to market pictures that were deemed too controversial or adult in them. This period also included Disney's "Second Golden Age" of animation.
During the last couple of years under Eisner the company was going through another change... with audience taste ever-evolving, there was a focus on a broader acceptance of films that the public would accept, or expect rather of a Disney Film. With the promotion of Oren Aviv to the position of President of Walt Disney Pictures, Dick Cook now believes he has the right person to help him make Disney's films box office gold.
What will change?
Well if you look at the pattern started by "Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" then you have the right direction. The beginnings of the studios current path were set during this period with films like "POTC:Black Pearl" and "National Treasure" which Aviv had a great deal to do with.
Essentially, when it comes to Disney's tent pole movies, its epics that will define its summer releases and holiday openings... the answer is adventure.
Adventures by Disney.
From the release over the last few years of the Pirate films to the Narnia series, the coming slate are a departure from Eisner and Katzenberg's philosophy of developing small films with writers contracted for the studio and avoiding big spectacles... for the most part. WDP did try to create its own franchise like the "Rocketeer," but had little success. Many of the chances it had to have one of these series Eisner simply wouldn't agree to spend the money on. He let "The Lord of the Rings" go because he didn't "get it" and wasn't willing to put up the money to support it. It was only through a partnership with Walden Media that they agreed to do the "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," since Eisner was worried about the financial cost. Only years after watching other studios create franchises like "The Matrix" did he finally agree to pony up the cash to make a film like "Black Pearl".
So over the few years we can look forward to many films under the Disney brand that we would have never thought to have seen under the Disney label just a few years ago. We had the last(yeah, right...) of the Pirates series end this summer. Later this year a sequel to "National Treasure" comes out called "Book of Secrets." If this film is a success then expect to see at least one more movie of Benjamin Franklin Gates. Next summer we have the next in the Narnia series "Prince Caspian." If that film does well, and it should, there will be a new Narnia film once every year until they've exhausted the book series. In summer of 2009 we'll be treated to the epic Arabian adventure "The Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time." This will be the Mouse's tent pole release for that Summer... can you imagine the plans WDI wants to draft up for Tokyo DisneySEA's Arabian Port if this appears to be a success? If all goes well, we could see "Jungle Cruise" the movie, later that year unless production gets postponed. Then we have the unannounced "The Lone Ranger" set for release summer 2010. There are at least two or three other adventure films Disney has in development for the next few years, but they are too far back to discuss at this time.
As I stated in an earlier article... change happens. Sometimes for good, other times for bad. We happen to be in one of the good times, thankfully. The films we see coming out of the Disney Studios till the end of the decade will demonstrate the magic and wonder we all know and love about Walt Disney. The dream is still alive. You can be sure when you step into a darkened theater to see a Disney film... you're in for an adventure.
Monday, August 13, 2007
J. Audobon Woodlore makes his first appearance in the Donald Duck short "Grin and Bear It" fifty three years ago today. The lovable Ranger will go on to star in several Disney shorts. Perhaps he would make a good character to put in DCA's Redwood Creek Challenge Trail?
Time moves by so quickly we don't really realize how things change before you know it. I've done several posts that people really seem to like, the latest being "What Would Walt Think?"... all the way back to my evaluation of Uncle John called "Walt Disney 2.0". But we've never really examined how different the world we live in today is from the one Walt was in when his heart finally stopped letting him dream.
I mean, there's a lot of time and space between 1966 and 2007. How is the world different now from then?
When Walt died in 1966, America was deep in the middle of the Vietnam War. Lyndon B. Johnson was the president. The Soviet Union was still biggest threat with the Cold War already underway. We'd just lost John Kennedy a few years before and the world was a much scarier place than we thought it would be.
Walt had just completed the 1964 World's Fair and the beginnings of many of the rides we take for granted were just beginning to take their place at Disneyland. It's A Small world was there, but Pirates of the Caribbean would open till the following year after the Maestro's passing. Haunted Mansion wouldn't open for three years even though it had been planned in great detail by Disney during the same planning as Pirates.
Walt was heavily involved in trying to get his EPCOT concept to fruition. The land had been purchased and the announcement had already been made that there was going to be a Disney World in Florida to complement the Disneyland in California. While Walt worked feverishly to get his "Experimental Community of Tomorrow" completed while still alive he had many plans ahead for his WED and other companies. While he was no good at the business side, Walt was a master at the entertaining part of the show... brother Roy took care of the numbers while Walt plotted new ways to take the ideas, the dreams in his fertile mind and bring them to reality.
In his last years Walt was planning on building an expansive and as usual, gorgeously themed ski resort up in northern California called Mineral King. In fact, the last public appearance he made was on a press junket up to the spot where he intended to build it.
And in Hollywood, Walt Disney Productions was just finishing up the "Jungle Book" production. Sadly, this was the last animated film Walt would have his imprint on. "Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree " was just about finished when he passed away and preliminary work on the next part(my favorite, btw) "Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day" was well underway. A full slate of Disney's live-action films were in various states of production as well. While not nearly as good or popular as it's animated fair, WDP's slate over the last few years included: "That Darn Cat!", "The Monkey's Uncle" and "Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N.". It was a different time. It was a world full of wonder and filled with fear.
Compare the time to now and it's a world away...
The world we live in no longer has the Soviet Union as our focus of concern. America faces the trouble in the Middle East, an aggressive China and the growing giant that is India. While the planet still faces dangers, they are different dangers we confront. America is still the worlds largest economic power, even more-so than it was back in 1966. We are embroiled in another war, like the 60's, but unlike then our enemy doesn't wear a uniform and doesn't occupy any particular country.
Just as Walt Disney Productions was a big entertainment company back then, the Walt Disney Company dwarfs it size from when Walt and Roy ran it. The theme parks, films, television, cruise ships, Broadway shows and merchandising that the Mouse now does make the company the second largest entertainment company in the world... just slightly behind Time-Warner.
While this blog spends a good deal of time being highly critical of Michael Eisner, it should be noted that much of it's current success is due to the early part of his tenure. The majority of my problem with Eisner is the second half of his reign over all things Disney... I give him a good deal of praise for his first decade.
With every aspect, the WDC is a very "global" company today. While it always had a global impact, it has been seen primarily as an American company. Still American, it does base many decisions on how it affects the global market. The division of theme parks is no longer just a U.S.A. endeavor... with parks in Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong the world plays a much larger piece of its corporate pie.
Walt Disney Productions, now known as Walt Disney Pictures has always been a major maker of animation, but the live-action that it made in the 60's was not in the same category as Warner, Fox or others. In the 80's that changed with the creation of Touchstone and Disney's move into more diverse subject matter. Even more-so, today's production are far more epic in nature than the movies staring Dick Van Dyke or Kurt Russell(more on that in a future article).
While Walt has shows on one of the three major networks back then, today the Mouse actually owns the network that gave it the money to build Disneyland: ABC. Not that this matters in a world of 500 channels.
A line of cruise ships let one take Disney on a cruise around the world... never having to go without the Mouse, so to speak. Broadway, an area Disney hadn't mined until the 90's, it's now commonplace to see a production on this famous street with Disney's name on the header.
While Walt always was involved in merchandising, Disney Consumer Products and the various examples of it's licensing empire alone would make the profits of the company Walt ran fit into its tiny pocket.
The world the company started by a mouse knows today is a different place. Still a place of wonder. Still a fun factory. Still a reason the children and families all across the globe can share common dreams.
The company will still be changing. I'd bet the Walt Disney Company we see ten years from now will make the one Michael Eisner ran a very small place. But we shouldn't fear this change. The future is filled with change as Walt always told us... but also as he told us...
The future is filled with promise.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker's "Rush Hour 3" was at the tops of the box office this weekend with a $50 million take sending the super-spy, Jason Bourne down to number two with a $37 million haul. The Matt Damon vehicle, "Bourne Ultimatum" has domestic total of $132 million since last Friday. "The Simpsons Movie" brought it's home total to $152 million. Disney's "Underdog" continued to under-perform for the second week with a disappointing total of under $25 million in ten days. Pixar's "Ratatouille" collected over $193 million in domestic cheese... Remy is getting closer to a $300 million world-wide gross. While it's probably not going to equal "Cars" take, it seems to still have good legs, particularly overseas where there are still a few territories to open up.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
A lot of Disney fans were upset when Disney released Chris Sanders from "American Dog". We'll never know exactly what Chris had planned for the now titled "Bolt", but we will get to see him direct again thanks to Dreamworks Animation's "Crood Awakening". Just so you know, Chris has opened up an official website you can go visit. Be forewarned though, it's not a Disney website and some of the art is more adult themed, shall we say...
Thanks for the hat tip goes to The Animation Podcast.