Friday, September 23, 2011
As we learn more about this deal for an expansion of Disney's Animal Kingdom, some thoughts...
A lot of people are asking about how this deals with the possibility of fans seeing Beastly Kingdom? Well, to be honest, I'll let the dark lord of soulless numbers give you the answer:
”We just won’t do something else we were going to do”
- Jay Rasulo, Chief Financial Officer, Walt Disney Company
That was in response to a question he was asked about the cost of this new "Avatar" land and how it'll affect the bottom line. So for anyone expecting an announcement coming anytime in the near future, you better be patient. While the idea of Beastly Kingdom still lives in the halls of WDI in Glendale, it's not going to be happening anytime soon. And when/if it finally does, don't expect it to look exactly as the original proposal did. Somewhere, sometime in the future you could expect to see dragons, griffins and unicorns to make it to Animal Kingdom, but likely before the end of this decade. I'm willing to wait and watch it grow and evolve.
While "Avatar" wasn't my favorite film in 2009, I can see some appeal for putting it in DAK. And it does fall in the slot of fantasy or mythical creatures, but could likely be referred to as sci-fi creatures. So it would be a variation or play on the original theming of extinct animals, living animals and mythical animals. This would be a subset of that particular group.
And if James Cameron gets his way, which he's used to getting, then you can expect that every penny that he wants will get put into this project. And from what unnamed suits have been saying is this will be somewhere around $500 million dollars. To put that in perspective, Cars Land is somewhere close to $300 million and the Extreme Expansion of the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland is a little under that. Keeping that in mind, remember that the Extreme Makeover of DCA is a little under one billion dollars. So for just a section of DAK Imagineers will have half of that funding. This could make for an extremely immersive world if done properly.
And if everything goes well, dragons, griffins and unicorns will join this place when another expansion finally comes...
If you happen to get to see the new display at the Blue Sky Cellar, you will find these...
Three new lovely posters for more attractions. This brings to nine the number of posters done in this retro-Disneyland style. Now wouldn't it be nice if they sold all of these together in a set? Of course, there's still more that need to be done, like Midway Mania, Radiator Springs Racers, ect.
But it's lovely to view the walk back...
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Now this is surprising, but not entirely unexpected...
The Walt Disney Company has licensed James Cameron's "Avatar" for an attraction based in Disney's Animal Kingdom for debut after the release of the next film. So, Universal has Spielberg and now Disney has Cameron helping design themed attractions? Here's the press release:
BURBANK, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is joining forces with visionary filmmaker James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of AVATAR to life at Disney parks. Through an exclusive agreement announced today by Disney, Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox, Disney will partner with Cameron and producing partner Jon Landau to create themed lands that will give theme park guests the opportunity to explore the mysterious universe of AVATAR first hand. Disney plans to build the first AVATAR themed land at Walt Disney World, within the Animal Kingdom park. With its emphasis on living in harmony with nature, Animal Kingdom is a natural fit for the AVATAR stories, which share the same philosophy. Construction is expected to begin by 2013.
“James Cameron is a groundbreaking filmmaker and gifted storyteller who shares our passion for creativity, technological innovation and delivering the best experience possible,” said Robert A. Iger, President and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. “With this agreement, we have the extraordinary opportunity to combine James’ talent and vision with the imagination and expertise of Disney.”
“AVATAR created a world which audiences can discover again and again and now, through this incredible partnership with Disney, we’ll be able to bring Pandora to life like never before. With two new AVATAR films currently in development, we’ll have even more locations, characters and stories to explore,” said James Cameron. “I’m chomping at the bit to start work with Disney’s legendary Imagineers to bring our AVATAR universe to life. Our goal is to go beyond current boundaries of technical innovation and experiential storytelling, and give park goers the chance to see, hear, and touch the world of AVATAR with an unprecedented sense of reality.”
The agreement announced today gives The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) exclusive global theme park rights to the AVATAR franchise and provides for additional AVATAR themed lands at other Disney parks. The other locations will be determined by Disney and its international theme park partners. James Cameron, Jon Landau and their Lightstorm Entertainment group will serve as creative consultants on the projects and will partner with Walt Disney Imagineering in the design and development of the AVATAR themed lands.
“This exciting new venture combines the world of AVATAR with the enormous reach of Disney and the incomparable talent of Jim Cameron,” commented Fox Filmed Entertainment chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman. “While Jim is bringing audiences further into Pandora with the next two chapters in the AVATAR motion picture saga, the theme park attraction will likewise bring a new dimension to the amazing universe he created.”
“AVATAR is a uniquely powerful franchise that has global appeal with audiences of all ages. Its spectacular settings, intriguing characters, imaginative creatures, and strong themes of family and loyalty make it a perfect fit for Disney,” said Thomas O. Staggs, Chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “We can’t wait to give our guests the ability to journey to Pandora and explore the incredible immersive world of AVATAR in person.”
In addition to setting a global box office record, AVATAR has been hailed as one of the most innovative and visually stunning movies ever produced. With its advanced motion capture and 3-D digital projection technologies developed by James Cameron and his team, moviegoers were able to connect with the world of AVATAR in new and engaging ways.
This new venture complements Walt Disney Parks & Resorts’ strategic efforts to continue to invest in its core theme park businesses around the world while simultaneously expanding into other parts of the family vacation business.
More commentary to follow...
Hat Tip to Deadline Hollywood.
Friday, September 16, 2011
When the holidays roll around this year, DCA may be the place to be...
Regardless of all those walls, the Christmas holiday season may offer a great reason to skip the fireworks over at Disneyland. Unless the plans change between now and October, the World of Color show that you watch in December will be filled with a lot of green and red, with sugar plum dreams to dance in your head.
They've been testing selections and musical pieces over the past couple of months for it, as well as a Halloween show. That show has been postponed till next Halloween when the park will be fully open, sans walls. It's pretty impressive, from what I've been told, but for now it appears that the Christmas/Holiday show will be the only one. Which isn't a bad thing at all.
Imagine the snow...
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
It's less than a year before the Extreme Makeover of DCA is over...
Could this ad for a pin trading event next year be a peek into the marketing direction of where the Mouse will go?
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
This looks like a beautiful piece of architecture...
George Lucas' headquarters for Lucasfilm Animation Singapore will be completed mid-next year, but it's already developed a nickname: The Sandcrawler. Based on the pictures here you can see how it resembles the famed vehicle from the original Star Wars film.
Construction started in October 2010 on the facility which will consist of eight floors of office space, a retail shopping space located on the first floor, a lush public park area, elevated public gardens, a state-of-the-art data center and production capabilities as well as a 100 seat theater. The structure will be located in the country's Fusionopolis Development Complex.
It is expected to house the company's growing animation unit that is working on a secret feature film project. Apparently the creative elements of the story will still be developed in Marin County, back in Skywalker Ranch, but the visual construction of that tale will take place in a glass Jawa transport. The projects that are being done here are in addition to anything yet to be announced from ILM and their attempts to become a full fledged animation studio.
The Empire grows...
Monday, September 5, 2011
There were so many events and ceremonies celebrating the anniversary of Tokyo's Second Gate...
No way we could cover them all, but I thought it would be nice to look at a few of them. If you can't be there, at least YouTube can take you there.
Here is the opening ceremony to commemorate the tenth year of the park with the heads of the Oriental Land Company and Walt Disney Company head of parks, Tom Staggs (Take a look around Tom, this is what we expect!).
The musical celebration on the water in the Mediterranean Harbor yesterday. Again, nothing is as good as actually being there with the sights and sounds, but you can get some of the flavor of what it is to see this magical place at this magical time.
Before everything begins, custodial has to be make sure everything is up to the high standards of a Disney Park, but take a look at how much the Japanese Cast Members get into their jobs.
Some of the bizarre musical renditions (with Chip & Dale) you can find at Port Discovery during this time.
And speaking of music. Here's the official song of the 10th anniversary. Now, can you imagine if Disney California Adventure had an anniversary song?
And here are some of the decorations outside the entrance to the park.
If only the tenth of DCA could have been celebrated in such a tradition. We do have another one coming up in five years so perhaps they can take some tips from these celebrations and make it a memorable one. By then the Second Phase will be done if everything works out smoothly, or at the very least will be deeply in development.
And one can only imagine what will be up in Tokyo's Second Park by then...
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Ten years ago today a miracle happened...
The Walt Disney Company let someone else take their talent and ideas and create something better than they could/would do. They let someone else build their dreams. On this day a decade ago, Tokyo DisneySEA was born.
Born out of the collapse of Port Disney, Tokyo's Second Disney Gate is a masterpiece that all should see.
It is a prime example of what Disney and Imagineers are capable of if given the opportunity.
If you would like to know more about Tokyo DisneySEA or Port Disney click here. If you'd love some great wallpapers of it then get the Disney and More App for it here. If you'd like to go there then go to a travel site and book a trip now. And if you don't then I have to ask, why not?
Dreams are worth seeing as much as believing in...
Friday, September 2, 2011
You can always tell if I liked a film based on if I'll get the Blu-Ray...
And as many of you know, I absolutely loved "Captain America" when it came out. So there should be no doubt that when October 25th. It was a great adaption with depth and heart that should show any studio how to faithfully take a comic and create something everyone can have accessibility to. The Blu-Ray also features a ton of extras:
- 00:03:44:01 MARVEL ONE-SHOT: A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THOR’S HAMMER
- 00:01:08:17 THE AVENGERS – EARTH’S MIGHTIEST HEROES!
- 00:03:40:16 (CAPTAIN AMERICA’S ORIGIN)
- 00:10:20:20 (OUTFITTING A HERO)
- 00:05:47:02 (HOWLING COMMANDOS)
- 00:11:41:07 (HEIGHTENED TECHNOLOGY)
- 00:09:53:15 (BEHIND THE SKULL)
- 00:08:23:13 (THE TRANSFORMATION)
- 00:02:13:15 CAPTAIN AMERICA – SUPER SOLDIER
- 00:01:37:13 THE AVENGERS
- 00:00:38:06 (DELETED SCENES: NORWAY TANK ATTACK)
- 00:01:29:22 (DELETED SCENES: BUCKY’S BATTLE)
- 00:00:57:23 (DELETED SCENES: YOU DESERVE A MEDAL)
- 00:02:02:22 (DELETED SCENES: THERE’S A PLACE FOR YOU HERE)
- 00:00:39:08 (DELETED SCENES: NORWAY TANK ATTACK W/COMMENTARY) 00:01:29:24 (DELETED SCENES: BUCKY’S BATTLE W/COMMENTARY)
- 00:00:57:23 (DELETED SCENES: YOU DESERVE A MEDAL W/COMMENTARY) 00:02:18:05 CAPTAIN AMERICA – THE FIRST AVENGER (THEATRICAL TRAILER #1) 00:02:17:19 CAPTAIN AMERICA – THE FIRST AVENGER (THEATRICAL TRAILER #2)
Thursday, September 1, 2011
So September begins and the Mouse announces holiday gifts...
After much anticipation about when they would finally release a Blu-Ray of the classic film, "The Rocketeer" would be announced, the details are out.
That's when you can get your copy of the film. Who knows, if enough people buy it we might even see the Suits in Burbank think of a sequel, reboot or even an animated series on Disney XD?
Hey, I'm a dreamer...