Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wonderful Concept...

Here's a proposed one-sheet for Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" film...



Can't wait to see more...

Hat Tip to IMP Awards.

Afterthoughts...


Just some observations/clarifications regarding the news...

I've seen a lot of comments out there regarding the Hong Kong Disneyland's expansion and wanted to give my thoughts about it.

Many people are upset with the introduction of a "Toy Story Land" because it appears too "Carny" to them. Being as how I hate "Dinoland USA" in DAK, I understand how they feel and where they're coming from. But...

I think the reaction to it is based on the preliminary artwork which is as you would expect not what you are used to. The Herbert Ryman styled designs haven't been used much of late when presenting of artwork for future attractions. I don't mean to demean the artist who did these, but the style most Disney fans look forward to are the kind of paintings you see from Byron Jowers, George McGinnis or the late great Peter Ellenshaw. It appears too cartoony, even for a cartoon land and doesn't convey the sense of wonder that these places can provide a ten year old, or someone that has a ten year old inside them. I think this type of art is one of the few things fans didn't like about the "Cars Land" artwork, alas when it's all done the results should look not only beautiful, but stunning in some places as well. I've heard from those that have seen other artwork and have commented how nice it looks, I just guess that the Walt Disney Company will want to bring out more of this slowly and at a later date. But when it comes to the new Toy Story Land, think of it as HKDL's Toon Town. Truthfully, that's essentially what it is. And when it's built it'll attract a large following of kids brought up on Woody and Buzz, not Mickey and Donald... and I'm fine with that. There are limitations to one's desires and you have to understand where they're coming from and who they're trying to appeal to.

Lastly on this, those who have wondered about this in relation to Walt Disney Studios Paris' version of this land would be correct if they thought that this was going to be what they get. It is very close to what will wind up in France with the main difference being that it's inverted. For those that are grammatically challenged to envision that concept, just look at it in a mirror and you'll get an idea of what happening in Europe.

Now, Mystic Point which houses Mystic Manor, well this is what you've been hearing rumors about all this time over the past couple of years. This is the Adventureland themed Haunted Mansion that we were all hearing about. Minus the Omni movers and plus a lot of lazers and flashy magic. This land is my favorite of what was announced. With the addition of The Adventurer's Club as a fine dining restaurant you can expect lush and detail theming around this place. I know many of you were thinking/hoping that this would be just an expansion of Adventureland with the HM should think of this in relation to New Orleans Square and Adventureland in Anaheim. They tend to blend right into one another. The same can be said of Mystic Point. Don't think of it as so much an entirely new land as it is a specialized extent ion of Adventureland.

And that area will lead you right into what will be considered "Frontierland" in Hong Kong Disneyland. Now, it's not called that, but you might as well call it that or at least think of it as such. Just like in Tokyo Disneyland they don't call Frontierland by that name, but instead go by "Westernland" because Japanese tend to not have a concept of what a frontier is. Such will be the case in China, err, scratch that, Hong Kong I mean. Don't want to say anything about the rest of that country since we'll find out soon enough about that. But Grizzly Trail will be HKDL's own unique representation of it. Again, I think the problem is the artwork. If they'd presented a design by Sam McKim then most Disney fans would have been relieved, but they've chosen to go with this simplistic, cartoon look for the presentation. Just so you know, this is not the look of the final land, but simply an artistic mock-up. Now this isn't the end of this land (only the first phase). If you look down below it on that map you'll notice a large swath of land still for construction. That part is reserved for an expanded Grizzly trail or should plans change, a Critter Country or something else. Nothing permanent has been approved, and plans/designs are always fluid, but that area is set aside based on how things happen and how attendance picks up. Or not... but I have a feeling that this plan which gets started next year and gets finished late 2014/early 2015 will make many more locals come to see what a Disney park can offer.

Of course, when it's all done, there'll most likely be competition from the mainland to deal with. But that competition will be quite a bit different than HKDL and it'll also have to be in a much later post...

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Middle Kingdom Grows...

Here's the start of something...



A few pieces of preliminary artwork has been put out...

I'll be happier when they release better artwork for this.
Hurry please.





Grizzly Trail
Grizzly Gulch, Frontier Gold-Mining Town


The path along Grizzly Trail offers high-spirited frontier fun in an abandoned mining town called Grizzly Gulch, set amidst mountains and woods. The town was founded August 8, 1888 – the luckiest day of the luckiest month of the luckiest year – by prospectors looking to discover gold. Bears have now started causing havoc at the Big Grizzly Mountain Mining Company.

Key Technology and Creative Elements
• Guests visiting Grizzly Gulch are part of the action, experiencing hands-on water features, massive geysers and various leaking structures in the abandoned town.
• Life-size Audio-Animatronic® bears set the story in motion on Big Grizzly Mountain Coaster, an adventure aboard a runaway mine train through town. Guests careen backward down an incline that propels them through twists and turns, before a launch sequence “blasts” the mine train out of the mountain.
• A Wild West stagecoach, an old time Jail House, and the world’s largest nugget of gold provide fun photo opportunities.
• Guests can relax with a Wild West refreshment at the old Saloon or shop for mining supplies and souvenirs at the Bear Necessities merchandise stand.

Mystic Point

Mystic Point is the site of mysterious forces and supernatural events in the heart of a dense, uncharted rain forest.

In Mystic Manor, home to an eccentric world traveler and adventurer and his collection of exotic international artifacts, strange things are afoot as an enchanted music box releases its magical powers, thanks to a mischievous monkey.

Key Technology and Creative Elements
• Inside Mystic Manor, a trackless ride system enables vehicles to move “freely” about the attraction as the story unfolds. Audio-Animatronic® figures and special visual and audio effects help tell the story of mystical phenomena.
• Within Mystic Point lies a beautiful garden full of relics and mythological figures, where guests discover a hidden world of illusions and mysteries that trick the eye.
• Guests can dine at the Adventurer’s Club amid a vast collection of unusual artifacts from around the world or purchase exclusive curiosities and collectibles at the Archive Shop.

Toy Story© Land
Disney·Pixar-themed Play Area for Kids of All Ages


Andy, the young boy from the Disney·Pixar Toy Story films, has left his toys unattended in this immersive and highly themed environment, based on one of Disney·Pixar’s most popular film series. While Andy is away, the toys come to life and play...and Guests are invited to join!

Key Technology and Creative Elements
• Oversized outdoor rides and photo opportunities allow Guests to experience the different perceptions of scale, and shrink to the size of a toy.
• One attraction includes a shuttle coaster which propels Guests along a U-shaped style track.
• A drop-style parachute attraction lets Guests join a “training mission,” plunging from a 25m tall tower.
• Guests will enjoy fun, immersive and interactive environments with life-size toys.
• A themed food kiosk provides a barrel of fun snacks and refreshments and Guests can shop for Toy Story inspired collectibles at the merchandise location.

Commentary to follow a little later...

Dreaming Of Hobbits...


Guillermo Del Toro is on location in New Zealand and he gave a really nice interview that's up on YouTube right now...

Check it out, I'm really interested in this film(s) since I've been a big fan of "The Lord of the Rings" since I was a teen. If Peter Jackson wasn't going to direct this, I believe Del Toro is a perfect fitting choice to interpret the classic children's novel. Awaiting 2011/2012.

There's that year again...

Hat Tip to Latino Review.

An Addendum From The Mouse...


From Disney, an acknowledgment, but no details...

This rather limp, vague press release was issued just a short while ago.

BURBANK, Calif. (June 30, 2009) The following statement can be attributed to Leslie Goodman, Executive Vice President for Worldwide Public Affairs, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, regarding the expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland.

"After more than two years of negotiations, Disney is pleased that the two shareholders have reached an agreement on the expansion of Hong Kong Disneyland that will benefit both parties. The expansion deal will contribute to Hong Kong’s appeal as an international, family-friendly tourist destination and the resort’s long-term success,” said Leslie Goodman, Executive Vice President for Worldwide Public Affairs, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “Disney is making a substantial investment in this important project and we are eager to begin work as soon as the necessary approvals are received."



Expect more to follow...

The Experts That Aren't...


All those Wall Street experts that were worrying about the potential of Pixar's latest film have been very quite lately...

As of today, the Lamp's tenth film, "Up" is officially the highest grossing film of 2009. And many of the same naysayers were wondering if kids would go and see this film about an old man, much less buy merchandise related to it.

I wonder how long Pixar will wait for an apology? I don't think Lasseter and crew are really even caring about what's being said. Other than by the film goers themselves. The critics liking the film was icing on the cake and the critics that were worried about the appeal of this film, well? They're toast, after having their lunch handed to them. Enough of the food metaphors, but you get the point.

Now, let's hope the critics did too...

UPDATE:
The only downside of this is that as of next week, the incomprehensible mass of action minus a story known as "Tranformers: Revenge of the Fallen" will overtake it. Another feather in Michael Bay's "whoneedsaplot" cap.

Till Tuesday Or Not...

Will those three mystery lands be revealed tomorrow?

Tick...

Tick...

Tick...

While waiting for that announcement I thought I'd address something stories/perspectives floating around the Internet the last few days...

There are several stories circulating that the Walt Disney Company capitulated and gave in to "all" the demands that the Hong Kong Government was asking/demanding. I obviously haven't been privy to all the inside workings of this deal, I will tell you that that is not the case.

The problem was mainly a product of the deal that was negotiated when they were planning the park(thank you, Mike Eisner!). Despite what people are saying, the Mouse has always been willing to pony up more for the expansion. Way more. The problem was the original agreement gave the HK Government Officials a virtual veto over any of these plans. The disappointing opening of the park has cause an almost emotional reaction as a retaliation for the less than stellar results. Most of the attempts that Disney Officials have made at expanding the park were met with clear "NO'S" from the regional officials. This is what caused Iger, Rasulo and company to finally say enough is enough and put each party in a giant game of chicken.

They essentially called those government officials bluff and it looks to have worked. After they stopped work on the project and did so in such a public way, the Hong Kong Government appears to have stopped whining and realized their position. The exact details of the project should be announced shortly and I have a feeling that most Disney Fans/Geeks will be pleased and surprised by what they see. That meeting the HK Officials had with Disney Suits earlier this year has finally borne fruitful results.

That fruit is about to be picked...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Continuing Voyages Of The "No"tilus...


Thus begins another in my series of "No" articles/posts about the looming sea disaster...

Get it? As in Nautilus. I'm so funny sometimes, eh? I mean, I'm laughing all up and down about the latest I hear regarding McG's prequel to 20k Under the Sea. It's absolutely funny. It's hysterical and the stuff of Hollywood legend. You know what I mean, where Hollywood takes a great literary property and twist and turns it inside out until it is totally unrecognizable.

I mean, who cares if they stick close to the book or even care that there is one, right? That seems to be the philosophy of Micky Bay Jr. at least when it comes to the current project. And seeing as how he did such a stellar job at making a Terminator movie which wound up being a generic action film, I can see why he's want to screw up this. Why stop at trying to destroy one franchise when you can do two. How's that for determination.

Stories don't matter. Only loud explosions and choreographed pretty pictures. Just look at the latest pile of cavity inducing mayhem known as "Transformers Revenge of the Fallen" and its success. Audiences won't notice where the story came from so the producers will just turn out a pile of crap that will be awe inspiring. And writers? Do we really need them? Let's just string together a collection of hot girls in slo-mo and dynamite. That will work... no need for a story.

Like a friend told me a joke about Michael Bay's story development process:

Michael Bay was in a story meeting and a writer asked: "How are we going to solve this problem with a scene?" Michael Bay answered back with: "An explosion!" To which the executive on the other side of the table responded: "But then we still don't have an ending" Bay's eyes sparkled and his pearly teeth widened as he said: "Another explosion!" And they gave each other a high five, called in the D-Girls to get them some drinks and make plans for that awesome party up in the hills later that night.

Sad, funny and ringing almost true it seems. But back to the coming train wreck that will be Walt Disney Pictures "Pre20K" that I was talking about before my mind skidded off the road. The powers that be are in the process of coming up with a script that in no way resembles the legendary book or the classic film. I can only cross my fingers and wish for an Angel to rescue this project. Everything I hear about this project sends up red flags. Suits beware. You are making a mistake and should listen before you proceed with this misfire (uhmm, "GI Joe" anyone?), you will regret it. Mark my words. This in no way appears to be going in the right direction the way the "TRON" sequel has moved along so smoothly. From all we've heard, the fans have faith in that project because the decisions being made appear to be done with care, reason and intelligence. This is not the case with Pre20k.

And it's not that I'm against a sequel or prequel. I just want a good one. One that has a great story with great actors being made by a great director. As of right now, we've got a studio that has hired a director who picks his films based on a list of cool shots he's seen in other films thrown out on the ground and he uses a lawn dart for all his decisions.

Developing...

V's Competition...


I was aiming to mention this the other day...

The deal that Steven Spielberg and Bob Iger signed a short while ago between DreamWorks and Walt Disney Pictures/Touchstone Pictures specifically covered the distribution of films and not the television unit of the company. Those films, about four to five a year starting in late 2010/early 2011 and going for five to six years will be interesting to follow. I'm curious as to what will be the first one distributed by the Mouse.

That said, I found this television project interesting. Continuing his fascination with all things alien, Spielberg has hatched another idea for a television series about what the earth would be like after an alien invasion wipes out most of the human race. The pilot which is being produced for TNT, will be written by Robert Rodat ("Saving Private Ryan") and follows a rag tag group of resistance fighters as they work to free our world from the cluthces of these foreign invaders. Noah Wyle, who has had a little experience working with Spielberg before (you remember a little series called "ER," right?), is set to play one of the resistance leaders. So "V" won't be the only series following nasty space aliens trying to take over our planet.

Developing...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Peek At A Princess...


Just a little note...

If you happen to be watching the Disney Channel tomorrow night around 7 (seven ET/PT) at night you might get a surprise with a little sneak peek at Walt Disney Animation Studios' "The Princess and the Frog" animated feature. I'm just saying, you know, if you were changing channels and accidentally landed on it, well, you might get lucky. That's all. You don't take hints very subtly, do you?

Watching and waiting...

Transforma's: Racist In Disguise...


So let me get this straight...

Executives from DreamWorks and Paramount can come out with characters like this in 2009, but Disney can't release "Song of the South" on DVD/Blu-Ray?

It's a world turned upside down we live in...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Short Sighted...

You got to love that Lasseter started the shorts program don't you?

Well, don't you?


Or more aptly, what to put before a princess...

I lot of people keep asking about Disney's new shorts program. You know the one started by Lasseter when he was put in charge of Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDFA).

Three.

Years.

Ago.

Since then we've had one short. ONE. The absolutely wonderful Goofy short, "How to Hook Up Your Home Theater." Remember those other shorts that were announced? One CG short was called "Prep and Landing" was announced. Another going by the name "The Ballad of Nessie" was going by stylized, hand-drawn animation. Then there was one by Chris Williams (co-director of "Bolt") called "Glago's Guest" that the wunderkin developed before Bolt. If fact, the short is what got him the gig as co-director of it. And then there were all those other rumors of shorts. The supposed reuniting of Mickey, Donald and Goofy being done by Eric Goldberg and others.

So, where are we? What happened?

Throwing out animation desks was oh, so stupid, Mr. Eisner. Really, it was limited thinking and I guess I have to forgive him for not being able to see past that enormous ego of his. It was after all, very huge.

But I digress...

Anyway, let's start off with an obvious question. At least to me. With Pixar coming out with a film a year we've gotten use to having a wonderful little short in front of it as a bonus. So, will "The Princess and the Frog" have one if front of it? We all know that "Bolt" came out last year and didn't initially have a short in front of it. Once the Suits realized that the power of the overly long Calvin Klein commercial known as "Twilight" was siphoning off money like an evil capitalist vampire they quickly took one of the Cars Toons, "Tokyo Mater" and dropped it in front of the 3D version of the film as an extra reason to see the film. That didn't help much, but a consistent pattern of putting shorts in front of Disney animated films should get the public understanding the extra value of a Disney film just like the same is for one from the Lamp.

As of now, and remember, things could change but the newest Disney princess should have a nice little short up in front of it. Come November, when we get our first hand-drawn animated film from Walt Disney Pictures since that horribly conceived cow starring western (not that I have anything against westerns, just bad westerns).

There will be a short attached to it as well. Everyone remembers when "Rapunzel" wound up getting a director change as Glen Keane left for "health reasons" and his co-director, Dean Wellins went on to work on pitching other animated film ideas and a short. Well, his short will be what is in front of "The Princess and the Frog" when the curtains go up and the lights go down.

"Tic Tock Tale" will be the computer animated short that your eyes get to grace before watching this new hand-drawn masterpiece. Now as for the story, well that'll have to come another post. From what I've heard though, it's quite a nice piece of storytelling with more heart than most of the films that have come out of the Mouse in a long time. Current management is focusing on story first... now if only the live-action division would do the same (sorry, another story for another time). And since WDAS has had all those computer animators sitting around waiting for "Rapunzel" to start working (which it now has), this has provided a bit of job security for them.

Now as for "The Ballad of Nessie" getting done, that is a short that is being done in a very stylized, hand-drawn look and we've not really heard much about it because those artist that like to use pencils were busy on the Frog. Not easy to finish something when you don't have the artist to do so. Again, thanks for getting rid of so many talented 2D artist, Eisner. So once Frog is done they can get around to finishing the "Nessie" short. What the management is trying to do is stem as many layoffs as possible with these short projects. Lasseter and crew understand that it's hard to find talented people and it's even harder to replace them once their gone. If the hand drawn film that comes out in November is a hit it'll provide a great deal of job security. Success tends to do that.

Now as for "Glago's Guest" coming out, there's not really any news I can report as to when we can see that. It's not known if it'll get a theatrical release or be part of a future Blu-Ray/DVD compilation of Disney shorts (think: Lorenzo, Runaway Brain, The Little Matchstick Girl, How to Hook Up Your Home Theater, Glago's Guest, Nessie, and a few others. Maybe = Pixar's Short Collection). But no set date yet.

I'm sure you've seen the news about the "Prep and Landing" short that Chris Williams came up with being turned into a half hour television special for the ABC Network this holiday. It originally started out as a short, but the potential for an expanded narrative was seen and it was handed off to a couple other animators once Williams became busy with "Bolt" a while ago.

As well as these there are a few other projects in various stages, but no greenlight for that Eric Goldberg short featuring the "Disney Trio" I was wanting. But another classic Disney character will be getting his very own hand-drawn short. Which one? Sorry, but I can't tell you that right now. Soon hopefully.

TTFN...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Frog Featurette...


Nice little gem for you...

The Animation World Network has a nice featurette on the making of Walt Disney Animation Studios "The Princess and the Frog" that you might want to take a look at.

Enjoy...

Extreme Makeover: Hong Kong Edition (Part 2)...


Expect a little surprise next week...

From Reuters:

HONG KONG, June 25 (Reuters) - Hong Kong has reached a deal with the Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) to expand the local Disney theme park, seen as necessary to bolster the park's long-term prospects against a Shanghai rival, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

The agreement is expected to be announced by June 30, with details of the deal to be laid out to local legislators in a special meeting, the Hong Kong Economic Times reported.

A spokeswoman for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, which oversees the Disneyland project, confirmed to Reuters that a special meeting had been called, but disclosed no specifics.

The report said the deal was expected to be worth HK$7 billion ($903.3 million) of which HK$4 billion would be used for expansion.

The size of Hong Kong Disneyland, the smallest of Disney's magic kingdoms, is expected to almost double, with construction to begin within a year, pending approval from the city's legislative council in July, the newspaper reported.

Hong Kong's Financial Secretary John Tsang travelled to Los Angeles in May, where he met senior Disney executives. The trip is seen to have paved the way for the breakthrough after Disney earlier said it would stall any expansion amid the credit crunch.

There was no immediate response from Tsang's office.

When contacted by Reuters, a Disney official in the United States said discussions are ongoing, without giving any specifics.

The Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) earlier indicated it would likely invest more capital in Hong Kong Disneyland and allow the Hong Kong government to convert its loans to equity to maintain its majority share of the theme park, a source involved in their talks told Reuters earlier.

The Hong Kong government, which owns 57 percent of the underperforming resort, desperately needs the expansion to boost flagging attendance, with a much larger rival Disneyland expected to be built in Shanghai in 2014 that could draw much visitor traffic from the burgeoning mainland China market.

"At this stage, we have to support the expansion otherwise it will be very difficult to compete with Shanghai in five to six years time," said legislator Fred Li of the Democratic Party, who said his party backed the expansion as long as Disney boosted its financial transparency in future on attendance figures. (Additional reporting by Gina Keating in Los Angeles) (Reporting by James Pomfret; Editing by Chris Lewis and Muralikumar Anantharaman)


Developing...

Captain Eo Passes From The Universe...

A star for generations leaves us. He's just a man like all the rest it turns out.

Sad news really...

Michael Jackson, who slipped into a coma earlier today has passed away from an apparent heart attack. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. I know there was great controversy around his life, but he most definitely left a lasting impression on pop-culture.The first trip I took to Disneyland, my friends and I went and saw the Captain Eo presentation. It was a bizarre spectacle, but a very enjoyable one. He was working on a comeback tour that was to start later this year. Alas, that will never happen and we'll be left with what was and could have been.

It's been a very pivotal day. Far more than was to be expected.

First an Angel, now a pop-star...

Alice Is Alive And So Is Her Site...


Above you see the logo for the new "Alice in Wonderland" film...



The official website has also gone live so if you want to see the loopy design and annoying clock, go over and take a look at it. But don't drink anything they ask you to, it could wind you up in trouble.

Developing...

Doubling Down...


The AMPAS has decided that Five (5) nominees for Best Picture is not enough...

So from now on there will be ten (10) nominees for Best Picture. Many think this is being done to boost ratings and they're probably right, but I whole heartedly support this move. There are many films that are worthy of being nominated that never get to be because of the limited number of slots the Academy gives for a Best Pictures nomination.

Now we can look forward to seeing films get respect that never would have even gotten the attention they deserve. Thanks Hollywood. Now how 'bout that nomination for Pixar's "Up" for best picture being one of them? That way Carl can meet Oscar since they're about the same age.

Time will tell...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mouse Martial Arts...



Yesterday the Mouse announced that Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment would be releasing several Hong Kong/Chinese films on the new Blu-Ray format...

On September 15, "The Legend of Drunken Master," "Hero," "Iron Monkey" and "Zatoichi." As well, all four will be packaged in a four-disc box set known as "The Ultimate Force of Four" box set. Cool beans. I'm a huge fan of several of these films and although they don't seem like the standard fare that Disney releases, I welcome them.

Now maybe we'll see them start making films like this, particularly "Hero" which I've been a fan of for a long time.

Developing...

No, those aren't the official covers if that's what you're think, btw.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Script Through The Looking Glass...


Those guys over at CC2K, aka: Cin City 2000 (the ones with the "TRON 2" script review) have gotten their hands on another Disney script. Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" adaption/sequel.

Click here if you want to read it, but if you don't want spoilers then don't go too far down the rabbit hole.

A trailer, please. A trailer...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mouse's Ponyo Trailer Comes Out Of Its Hole...


The trailer for Walt Disney Pictures American release of Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo is out...

Go over to Apple's Trailer Website and pick your own version of the trailer.

If you've never seen any of his work, but you've seen "Up" you'll notice the influences on Pete Docter...

Iron Man Too...

The Iron Man 2 teaser poster is out...



Nothing special, but I'm really looking forward to this. It has an outstanding cast and Jon Favreau really hit it out of the park on the last one. I'm curious to see what he does with a bigger budget and a broader canvas.

And now, where's that trailer...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Wonder Of Wonderland...


USA Today has a great article about Tim Burton's new "Alice in Wonderland" film from Walt Disney Pictures next year...

Besides the interesting details about this sequel, (yes, sequel) there is also some great art (other than what I'm showing here) that you can move around and examine in all its Photoshop wonder.

I can't wait to see a trailer for this thing...

Truth In Advertising...

If the rumors of Lucas, Spielberg and Ford are true, then this is what the title of "Indy 5" should be...



Nuff said...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tron Hacked...


A virus/review of the script for "Tron 2" has finally arrived...

It's from Cin City 2000 and it's an early draft so we know that things have changed since this one, but for those that are interested in finding out some of the details of the sequel to the 80's cult film, delve right in.

"CLICK ME"

Don't worry, I don't think it's a virus/trojan horse/worm or something else, but be warned that spoilers are ahead...

Hat Tip to Latino Review.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Hotel Rates...


No, this isn't official artwork...

But if you've been to the Disneyland Hotel recently, you can see the test models they plan on using for the new design. If you stack each of those rooms on top of one another and then spread them out this is what you come up with.

Something you'd want to stay in or avoid?

There should be official artwork released soon enough...

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A More Detailed Frog...


The official website for "The Princess and the Frog" has gotten an update..

Prepare for November/December. Whoo hoo!

Lots of pretty graphics, games and info...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Renovation Revelations...


Well, they've finally announced what we've been talking about...

The designs for the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim have gone through several revisions and to now finally have it come to fruition is great. I only hope that the detail of each tower is going to reflect what one expects from the Disney name.

Each tower will take about a year to do. The Dream Tower first in Summer 2010, another tower done by Summer 2011 and the final one in Summer 2012. Just in time for Cars Land, imagine that? As expected, the renovation starts just as the new rooms in the Grand Californian become available. I look forward to seeing the artwork and watching the transformation.

Here's the press release:

Landmark Disneyland Hotel to Undergo Significant Renovation

Historic hotel to feature considerable changes to guest rooms, exterior

ANAHEIM, CALIF. June 16, 2009 – Beginning in August 2009, Southern California’s landmark Disneyland Hotel will start a significant renovation project that will include major improvements to its guest rooms and considerable changes to the exterior of the hotel. The hotel will remain open during the renovation, which will be conducted in phases, and is scheduled to be completed in 2012.

“We are excited to embark on the largest and most extensive renovation of one of Disney’s classic hotels,” said Disneyland Resort President Ed Grier. “This renovation provides us with the opportunity to bring new magic to this historic hotel, which enables us to enhance the Disney experience that our guests have come to expect. “It also reinforces our ongoing commitment and investment in the Anaheim Resort District – working with the city and area businesses to continue to evolve the District into a world-class, multiday tourist destination,” added Grier.

Significant Guest Room Upgrades, New Room Amenities and Exterior Enhancements
Disneyland Hotel’s renovated guest rooms will feature an all-new contemporary look with exquisite Disney touches woven into the d├ęcor. A stunning new headboard that features an artistically carved representation of Disneyland Park’s famous Sleeping Beauty Castle will serve as the focal point in each guest room. The background on the headboard uses fiber optics to create a magical skyline with fireworks – bringing the immersive park experience into the room. Rooms also will feature black and white art that will take guests back in time, reinforcing the nostalgia and history of Walt’s first theme park.

When completed, guest rooms will boast new flat screen TVs, mini-refrigerators, coffeemakers, safes capable of holding laptop computers and new state-of-the-art telephone, cable and wireless Internet connections. Upgrades to plumbing, electrical and heating and air conditioning systems also are included in the project.

Disneyland Resort’s original hotel, built in 1955, also will experience a noteworthy change to its exterior. All of the three towers will feature an updated look, with large windows that will give the outside a sleek, radiant blue tint. The windows will replace the current sliding doors and faux balcony railings and are specially designed to be energy efficient and to extensively filter outside noise.

“The new design for the hotel’s exterior will enhance the existing towers and compliment the Resort as a whole. The windows will feature a sky blue reflective glass that channels the feel of our bright California sky,” said Mike Montague, director of resort development for Walt Disney Imagineering.

The Disneyland Hotel is composed of three main structures – the Magic, Wonder and Dreams towers. Construction will take place in one vertical half of a tower at a time – leaving the rest of the tower open for guests. The Dreams tower will be the first to be renovated and is scheduled to be completed in June 2010.

Popular Choice for Convention Visitors
In addition to being a top choice for vacationing families, the Disneyland Hotel has long been a favorite for meeting and convention planners because of its prime location and size – and direct access to more than 136,000 square feet of convention space. Anaheim hosts hundreds of groups each year and the renovation will help maintain the city’s premiere position as a meeting destination.

“We are thrilled with Disney’s plans to renovate the Disneyland Hotel,” said Charles W. Ahlers, president of the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau. “With the renovation of the hotel and the expansion of Disney’s Grand Californian, coupled with other new hotel developments that are coming to Anaheim over the next few years, our city will continue to be a premier destination for convention and meeting planners.”

Energy Efficient Enhancements
As with other construction and enhancements that are underway throughout the Disneyland Resort, the renovation will include energy efficient upgrades. The most notable feature will be the hotel’s new windows. With their reflective capabilities and double-pane glass, the windows will change the look of the exterior of the hotel dramatically, while reducing energy consumption by keeping guest rooms at the desired temperature.

The use of occupancy sensors in guest rooms, low-flow toilets, energy efficient light bulbs and paint low in volatile organic compounds are just a few more of the ways that the hotel will offer guests a “green” lodging experience.

Renovation is Part of Larger Resort Expansion
The Disneyland Hotel renovation is a part of a larger expansion project underway throughout the Resort. Disney’s California Adventure Park is undergoing a multiyear expansion project that includes new experiences, attractions and night-time spectaculars, culminating in 2012 with the opening a brand new land – Cars Land. The four-star Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is also undergoing an expansion, adding 200 hotel rooms and 50 two-bedroom villas that are part of the Disney Vacation Club, which will make its first West Coast debut when it opens in the fall of 2009.

Italian Basterds...

The Italian poster for Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" has been released...



It reminds me of something, I can't place my finger on it but I've seen it before.

Oh wait, it's this...

Hat Tip to Latino Review.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Fifth MacGuffin...


I don't know whether to take this as a rumor or a threat...

Now I'm not against a new Indiana Jones film. I was eagerly looking forward to Crystal Skull until I actually saw it. You can look at my post up until the moment I saw the film. What I'm against is another mediocre Indiana Jones film. I wonder what MacGuffin they're going to have Junior go after next? I can only cross my fingers and hope that this isn't Lucas' hand off to Shia with Indy being a mentor. I'd have to activate that crack team of operatives we have here at Blue Sky Headquarters to go in and destroy Skywalker Ranch. It would have to be done. Have to, I say!

Read the story, decide for yourself, pray for a miracle and prepare for George Lucas to lower his quality batting average again...

"Up"setting The Balance...


There's some quite buzz going on in Tinseltown about Pete Docter's new film...

Some people are starting to talk about if and why "Up" should nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. Or some say, at least Best Screenplay. So once again pressure will be put on the Academy to reward an animated film with the stature they normally only want to give live-action films. So if the momentum continues to grow it will be hard for those that hand out the little golden statuettes to actually do what it unthinkable. Give this charming film the respect it deserves. There has long been a bias against animated films, culminating with "Beauty and the Beast" becoming the first animated feature to be nominated for Best Picture. The stuffed shirts and tightened girdles inside this exclusive club couldn't take this and what culminated from all this was an award for Best Animated Film. For a group of people that consider themselves open and progressive, the Hollywood elite decided to create a segregated area for animated films since they're inferior to live-action. Imagine it as two water fountains, one labeled "live-action" and the other "animation" for drinking up movies. Separate but equal right? Riiiiiiggght. The reason there are two status groups for these type of films is because the Academy doesn't consider them equal and never really has. Remember how Walt wasn't even thought of as a competitor, which actually helped him slowly move into the live-action side. Every studio in Southern California thought that "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" would be a bomb. It turned out to be the most profitable film of that year. And when Disney moved into live action they felt he would succeed, because again, the perception of being an animator and not a real film maker. He must be crazy to make this "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" because it'll sink the studio. Animators and animation have been the brunt of this kind of thinking since the days of silent film. The movie business was wrong then and still is. Animation to them is a step down on the artistic ladder. The public, feels differently however. They vote with their wallets and animated films still tend to be some of the highest grossing of any films. Name me many films you can release on a new format seventy years later and still sell millions and millions of copies. Try that with most live-action titles and you'll be lucky to see hundreds of thousands, if not thousands.

So come the end of this year, well see if the weight of popularity and critical appeal will force the entertainment industry to acknowledge the obvious. Animation is worthy of being nominated for Best Picture. Pixar's "Up" is not only worthy of being nominated, it deserves to win as well.

Share the love...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Soul/Soldout...

They say a picture tells a thousand words...



These two from Uberpix speak millions of them and cross time and generations.

Hat Tip to /Film.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Sideways Sandman Bound For Mars...


More casting news keeps coming in from Walt Disney Pictures produced Andrew Stanton directed "John Carter of Mars" film...

Thomas Haden Church was on Jeffrey Lyon's Reel Talk and dropped the little nugget that he's going to be appearing in John Carter.

“probably going to do a huge science fiction drama at Disney called John Carter of Mars.”

The question then is what character will he be playing? I'm wondering if he's going to be doing a lot of MoCap? A giant Martian with his voice perhaps? Within the next couple of months all this should be clearer. If the plan is to start production by the end of this year in Utah, then by the end of summer most of the casting should be complete. It's going to be interesting seeing how this unfolds.

Watching and waiting...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Plot Thinkens, Or Didn't...


The way a film comes together is interesting. The way a Pixar film comes together is fascinating...

When animated movies are made they start off in storyboard phase and then sometimes move to animatics (moving storyboards with temp dialog and music). At the Lamp this has been refined to an art based on the final result of their ten films. Lots of preliminary art is done, plot lines are worked, reworked and spit back out. Check out that piece of art by Lou Romano for an early version of Charles Muntz. He also produced an earlier version of the long lost explorer that Carl Fredricksen idolises, holding an egg that held within it the germ of an earlier version of the story.

MTV's Movie Blog has a nice article about that version of the film before it got streamlined. A version that held more layers inside this wonderful story. That's one of the many great things about Pixar: the fact that within the story you can find hidden pages that tell an even deeper tale.

But perhaps one that will never, fully be told...

NOTE:
Am I seeing things or does that earlier pic of Charles Muntz look like Walt Disney?

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Greatest Action-Adventure Film Of All Time...


It's hard to believe that it all happened twenty-eight years ago today...

On this day in 1981, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg released "Raiders of the Lost Ark" which hijacked my brain and I haven't gotten it back since.

When I went into the theater to see this new film that the poster claimed was "From the Creator of Star Wars
" and "The director of Jaws" I didn't know what to expect. When I left after it was over, I was suffering from withdrawal from having the only out of body experience I've ever had watching a film. I fell in love like many others with the new character of Indiana Jones. He was bold, brash and all too human. I enjoyed seeing him even in the flawed sequels to this masterpiece(sans Crystal Skull of course). Happy birthday, Man in Hat!

Now if they'll just convince Lucas to let Paul Dini do that animated series of Indiana Jones I'll be happy...

Meet John Carter...


Wow, no sooner than I mention that casting should be announced soon, it's announced...

Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins have been cast in "John Carter of Mars" as announced by Variety earlier today. I really haven't seen Kitsch much other than "Wolverine" and I don't want to judge him based on that because I couldn't judge him very well after suffering through it.

Now that I've said that, I will say like a broken record, I trust Pixar, I trust Stanton and I trust Lasseter. Now some of you will say that this isn't a film by the Lamp, but you'd be wrong. Pixar is part of Disney, and the touch of that company is being felt more and more as its roots grow deeper inside the company. John Lasseter will have a say in this film as well as Bird's "1906" film, not to mention "TRON" and others that haven't been announced yet. Also, this film will benefit from the Brain Trust that the company has. This group of film makers will be giving feedback and advice to Stanton on this film. If something doesn't fit or feel right there will be people that voice it to him. And from everything I know, this is going to be a very faithful adaption of the characters/novels.

I would love to see Pixar's approach to film making move further inside the company and take over it the way NeXT computer was bought by Apple and over a few years engulfed the company and made it its own. A similar scenario by the Lamp over the Mouse could prove a wonderful thing. This film will be a test case for how that kind of situation would work. I'll look forward to the coming announcements about this. The first picture of Kitsch as Carter should be something akin to the Holy Grail...

Awww, Pooh...


You just can't keep away from Pooh, can you...

It appears that the new "Winnie the Pooh" is going to be a collection of stories. That is, unless things change. It will actually use footage from the classic. Now, I don't know if this means that it'll keep the original opening or if it means that they'll be introducing new segments alongside old ones ala: "Fantasia 2000" or something in between. I'm curious to see what becomes of this film. I trust Lasseter though. If this was made by the previous Suits I'd be up in arms and very worried. But I'm sure some fans will be concerned by this and turn it into a very blustery day.

Oh bother...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mars = Utah...


Wow, finally "John Carter of Mars" is going to be shooting in Utah during November...

After decades of failed attempts the film is actually going to be made by Andrew Stanton. And he's a fan so he "gets" it. It appears that the script is going to be much more faithful than that awful updated screenplay I read in the late 90's. It's funny, because Tom Cruise was apparently interested in playing the character (again, since he was somewhat connected to the project back in the early 90's when Disney was going to do it with John McTiernan). It never happened, Jeffrey Katzenber (remember when he used to do live-action films as well?) and McTiernan couldn't agree on a budget. And during the holidays a film that sci-fi geeks the world over will actually be filming at Lake Powell (remember the original "Planet of the Apes" film?). So cool.

Now, we should start hearing about who will be playing this iconic character very soon. I'm trying to imagine who will play this part. Hmmm...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Horseplay...


It seems that the Mouse isn't going to stop making films about thoroughbreds with just the "Horse Soldiers" adaptation that was announced earlier this year...

According the Variety, Randall Wallace will direct "Secretariat" from a script by Mike Rich the tale of the said-named 70's Triple Crown-winning race horse and the relationship with his owner Penny Cherery (to be played by Diane Lane). I guess they're hoping for some "Seabiscuit" type buzz. It's unknown if the film will be under the Touchstone or Walt Disney moniker.

And off they go...

The Final Nine...

This Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov Production directed by Shane Acker based on the short film is very intriguing...



Here's the final poster for the film "9". I may just go see this to see if the haunting images are matched by an equally haunting story...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Serving Duck For Seventy-Five Years...


Today marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of that famous temper...

Donald Fauntleroy Duck first appeared in the short "The Wise Little Hen" on this day that many decades ago. It's with the greatest of respect that I wish DD happy birthday. Donald is after all, my favorite Disney character and he looks amazing to be as old as he is, don't you think?

Got to get ready for the party...

Monday, June 8, 2009

More Pooh For You...


Before...

The Princess and the Frog - 2009
Rapunzel - 2010
n o t h i n g - 2011
King of the Elves - 2012

Now...


The Princess and the Frog - 2009
Rapunzel - 2010
Winnie the Pooh Untitled film - 2011
King of the Elves - 2012

It seems until a few days ago, disney was poised to have a year without a film in 2011 and Pixar was to have two that year (Cars 2, The Bear and the Bow).

I'm still waiting to hear back from a couple Bothans, but let us talk a bit about what we know, what's rumored and what we don't know...

First off, Lasseter's Lamp has had pretty steady employment up in Emeryville for a while now. It's probably one of the safest jobs in animation to be working for Luxo and family because they turn out hit after hit. Toy Story 3 next year... do you think it'll bomb? How about Cars 2 the year after? As John Wayne would say, "not hardly, pilgrim." It's been feared that once "The Princess and the Frog" came out many of those artist and animators would be let go. Some probably will, but Lasseter and Catmull don't want to have to continually keep rehiring people or having to train a large number of new people. They'd like to be in the position of Pixar where they know they're going to move from one project to the next, but Burbank doesn't have the hitting streak that Emeryville has. They're hoping to change things, but animation takes a lot of time and it'll be years before we'll know for sure if it worked.

What was needed was a project that could employ all or most of the animators that left TPATF to tide them over between CG film projects like "Rapunzel" and "King of the Elves" in the near future. Winnie the Pooh fits that bill. I'm sure some of you have heard, but for those expecting another television quality project from DisneyToons, that ain't the case. For a change, for the first time in decades, Walt Disney Animation Studios will be animating a film based on that silly ole' bear. This means the quality is going to be dramatically different/better than all those other spin offs. And as of now it's going to be vignettes like the original film (Honey Tree, Blustery Day, Tigger Too!) had. At least, as of now that's the case but we all remember that things can change.

There are rumors out there that Steve Anderson and Don Hall will direct it with Clark Spencer producing and Burny Mattinson as lead story artist. Now, as to this I can't verify it just yet. But it does sound in line with what Lasseter is trying to do. Keep the crew together, make a high quality hand drawn film, fill a void for 2011 and use two directors to spread the workload. I can say that Lasseter will be overseeing this project personally. That alone should guarantee a story that is light years ahead of those last few films. When I get more confirmation about the further adventures of the bear with little brains I'll be sure and update you...

Till then,

TTFN.

Fruit Company Introduces Fresh Produce...


Apple introduce the latest line of its popular taking to people device today...

The third generation "iPhone" which is known as the iPhone 3G S has more memory, slightly faster with longer battery life and it cooks and cleans your house.

It also comes with a video camera that will be perfect for taking pictures of those secret plans inside Glendale. Here that, you Bothans? Oh, and the original, errr scratch that, the second generation is for sale at only $99 bucks. Of course, that doesn't include the video cam of the new version. So if you want to just take pictures and send them to me, Mr. Youknowwhoyouare, go right ahead.

Now, if only they would open up this little magical device so that you don't have to use AT&T...

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Marvel Vs. Mouse...



Those wacky guys over at The Motley Crew have started an interesting duel/fight...

It seems Tim Beyers and Rick Aristotle Munarriz are in a disagreement over whose stock you should buy, Disney or Marvel. It's an interesting analysis of the companies and a good read. Give it a look. Rick Aristotle Munarriz's pitch for Mickey Mouse is here. Tim Beyers's pitch for Mighty Marvel is here.

See? Stock markets can be fun...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Nerdvana: Disney Style...


I may actually have to attend this...

I knew about D23 well before it was announced, but the details were kind of vague as to what would finally be offered. Now that the info for this expo has been released I'm starting to get giddy. Just a bit. But it seems the Mouse is planning on having its own version of Comic-Con, just with Disney related items, panels and merchandise. Now at first I was a little skeptical, but after seeing the line up I'm kind of impressed. If they actually pull this off, I think this could be the beginning of something beautiful and something big.

Time will tell...

Here's the preliminary schedule which will undoubtedly change as it gets closer to September:


D23 EXPO, THE ULTIMATE DISNEY FAN EXPERIENCE,
COMES TO THE ANAHEIMCONVENTION CENTER SEPT. 10-13


Four Extraordinary Days of Live Events, Interactive Pavilions and One-of-a-Kind Entertainment Celebrate the Past, Present and Future of Disney.

ANAHEIM and BURBANK, Calif. – June 3, 2009 – Disney fans will be given unprecedented access to never-before-seen movies, TV shows, park experiences, collectibles and more from Sept. 10 to Sept. 13 at the Anaheim Convention Center when Disney and D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans present the first-ever D23 EXPO.

Tickets to the D23 EXPO are available beginning today at http://www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 EXPO and can be purchased for single days or for the full four days of festivities. Admission is discounted for members of D23.

“We hope this will be the ultimate event for the multitude of fans who have been so instrumental in Disney’s success,” said Disney President and CEO Bob Iger. “The D23 Expo represents the finest in Disney entertainment from across our great company and will offer a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experience for people of all ages to enjoy.”

Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle added, “The upcoming D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center will serve as an exciting opportunity to present Anaheim to the millions of Disney enthusiasts around the world. For the thousands of inaugural-year D23 Expo attendees who will visit our city in September, this will be a special and a memorable time in the birthplace of Walt Disney’s original theme park. It is a great honor for Anaheim and the Anaheim Convention Center to host this event.”

Among the centerpiece events of the D23 EXPO will be an extraordinary, exclusive opportunity to get early glimpses of several all-new Disney feature films. Only at the D23 EXPO will guests preview a wide range of upcoming movie events, including The Princess and the Frog, Rapunzel, Disney’s A Christmas Carol, Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, TRON, Toy Story 3, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Walt Disney Pictures will present these special sneak peeks in a state-of-the-art cinema built especially for the D23 EXPO.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will take D23 EXPO guests behind the scenes to explore the rich legacy and exciting future of Disney’s theme parks and vacation destinations worldwide. Highlights will include a special look at what’s being imagineered for the future of Disney’s California Adventure, a peek behind closed doors at the amazing new technologies defining today’s and tomorrow’s Disney theme park experience, and the opportunity to meet and hear from the Imagineers, Cast Members and key Disney Parks and Resorts executives who create lasting memories for millions every year.

In many different ways, the D23 EXPO will explore the history and heritage of Walt Disney and the company he founded more than 80 years ago. The D23 EXPO will be home to the 2009 Disney Legends Awards – a 22-year tradition that pays tribute to the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to Disney entertainment. This year’s recipients will be honored at a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 12, marking the first time the prestigious event has been held off Disney property.

In an extraordinary exhibition designed specifically for the D23 EXPO, an incredible collection of classic and contemporary Disney props, artifacts and costumes will be accessible to the public for the first time ever. “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” brings together such amazing pieces as the fully restored, 11-foot model of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea; the stunning, jewel-encrusted book used in the opening moments of Sleeping Beauty; and other rare surprises from throughout Disney’s history. Ranging from the original Mickey Mouse Club and the musical classic Mary Poppins to recent hits like Pirates of the Caribbean and High School Musical, the “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” is a never-before-experienced exhibit that’s a D23 EXPO exclusive.

The D23 EXPO spotlight will also shine on Disney Channel's brightest stars in a can't miss-special event. There will also be an ESPN Sports Lounge, live broadcasts from Radio Disney, and a preview of ABC's new fall primetime shows, details of which will be announced in the coming weeks at www.D23Expo.com.

For Disney fans who want to take home part of the magic, Disney Consumer Products will offer myriad opportunities to do just that. Only at the D23 EXPO will guests be able to walk through the eight-room “Disney Dream Home,” celebrate the holidays Disney-style, see fine art created before their eyes, learn about Disney Fairy Tale Weddings, experience Disney couture fashion shows, meet and hear from the authors of a dazzling array of Disney books, prepare for trick-or-treating with the latest Disney Store Halloween costumes, and more ... all under one roof.

The D23 EXPO also will be home to the “Disney Dream Store,” where guests will find exclusive D23 EXPO merchandise and collectibles; the Disney pin-trading headquarters; and much more, including the chance to build your own Mouse ears.

Showcasing Disney’s appeal to fans of every generation, the D23 EXPO has created a multi-layered experience: Avid Disney enthusiasts can attend dozens of specially created panels and celebrity-speaker events, details of which will be announced over the next several weeks. Younger Disney fans, meanwhile, will be able to experience special interactive play areas, meet their favorite Radio Disney DJs broadcasting live, watch “Princess makeover” demonstrations from the Bibbidi-Bobbidi Boutique, and have fun in the Baby Einstein play area. Together, families can enjoy the Disney Lace Name and learn about Disney-themed scrapbooking.

The D23 Collectors’ Forum will present a wide range of options for collectors to show and sell their Disney memorabilia, and those interested in exhibiting can visit www.D23Expo.com for more information.

Fans also will be able to view and even take part in the first-ever Disney Fan Art Gallery, which will include the finalists in the Donald Duck 75th Anniversary Portrait Contest, as well as a one-of-a-kind fan art show. Full details and contest rules can be found at www.D23Expo.com or www.disney.com/D23.

All activities at the D23 EXPO are included in single- and four-day admissions, including the “50 and Fabulous Film Festival,” which honors three classic Disney movies that are celebrating their golden anniversaries this year. Sleeping Beauty, The Shaggy Dog and Darby O’Gill and the Little People, all originally released in 1959, will be presented on the big screen, one movie each evening, for Disney fans of all ages to enjoy together. Also featured at the D23 EXPO will be a special screening of Walt Disney Pictures’ upcoming Tinker Bell: Lost Treasure, along with an in-depth exploration of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Diamond Edition, which will be released this fall by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment.

Tickets to the D23 EXPO, which go on sale today, are $37 for a one-day adult admission and $27 for children 3-12. To experience every bit of entertainment and excitement at the D23 EXPO, four-day passes are also available at $111 for adults and $81 for children. Members of D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans will receive a discount on up to four same-day admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 EXPO for themselves and their guests.

Special vacation packages are available at the D23 EXPO website, from both the Walt Disney Travel Company (including Disneyland Resort hotel accommodations, D23 EXPO tickets and theme park admission), and the Anaheim Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, which is offering a limited number of area hotel rooms at special rates to those attending the D23 EXPO.

Many more details about the entertainment, events and special guests that will be part of the first-ever D23 EXPO will be announced in the coming weeks. Fans can keep up with all of the announcements by visiting www.D23EXPO.com, as well as by following “Disney D23” at Twitter and on Facebook.

About D23

The name “D23” pays homage to the wonder and excitement that began in 1923 when Walt Disney opened his fledgling studio in Hollywoodlace>. D23 is the first official community for fans in Disney’s 85-year history. D23 gives its members a greater connection to the entire world of Disney by placing them in the middle of the magic through its quarterly publication Disney twenty-three; a rich website at www.disney.com/D23; a new collectibles line, The Walt Disney Archives Collection; and special events for D23 members throughout the year, highlighted by the D23 EXPO in Anaheim, California, September 10-13, 2009. Fans can join D23 at www.Disney.com/D23, all Disney Store locations within the United Stateslace>, select shops at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, and www.DisneyShopping.com/D23.