Sunday, May 31, 2009

Will Mickey's Sorcerer's Hat be removed from Disney Hollywood Studios?


As part of today's 20th birthday event at the Studios, guests got to hear from senior members of Imagineering, including Bob Weis. (Bob was one of the key imagineers who originally created the studios). Most interestingly, he showed a photo looking along Hollywood Blvd towards the Chinese Theater prior to the hat install. He made comment that this view can't be had now, but MAY be had again in the future (sorry don't have the exact quote, no recording was allowed). This was met with huge applause from the gathered crowd, and lots of laughs from all three of the Imagineers. Bob in particular had the look of knowing something we don't. The hat was brought up a couple of times, and again, all three Imagineers laughed about it, and seemed to fully understand how it's not particularly liked by the fans. It may well be that too much is being read into this, but certainly today you could walk away with the impression that the hat is going to be removed.




Thursday, May 28, 2009

Disney park opening in Maryland?

"As we began identifying possible locations to grow our business, the Washington, DC area immediately jumped to the top of the list," said Jay Rasulo, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "National Harbor offers an array of entertaining activities for regional visitors, but it is also a family-friendly base camp, from which visitors from around the world can explore the stirring sights and inspirational stories of our nation's capital. We believe National Harbor has the unique opportunity to offer a new level of family-friendly hospitality."

Disney purchased the Maryland property from the Peterson Companies for $11 million.


I wonder if this is another Disney Vacation Club resort, like the one in Hawaii.



Monday, May 25, 2009

Disney News: Spoodles out, Cat Cora in!

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Chef Cat Cora and Disney are joining together to open an exciting new family dining restaurant at Disney's BoardWalk Resort. Kouzzina by Cat Cora will feature a menu of Mediterranean-style cuisine that pays tribute to the chef's Greek roots.

The restaurant, to be owned and operated by Disney, is scheduled to open by fall 2009 in the space currently occupied by Spoodles.

"I am pleased to welcome Cat Cora and her engaging new concept for Kouzzina to the Walt Disney World Resort," said Jay Rasulo, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. "This collaboration between Cat and Disney represents a significant step in our ongoing commitment to offer unique culinary experiences and choices for our guests."

As a Mississippi native born to a family of Greek restaurateurs, Cora grew up immersed in two different and flavorful cultures, and has taken from that unique background the kitchen "know-how" handed down through generations. The cuisine at Kouzzina (Greek for "kitchen" and pronounced "koo-zee-nah") will showcase Mediterranean cuisine and Chef Cora's philosophy to create simple yet sensational meals.

Cora said that the new restaurant will feature "time-honored recipes passed down from my ancestors, as well as my favorite Greek and Mediterranean dishes that my family loves."

She began working with Disney in 2008 by creating a Disney Video on Demand series to showcase ways to help families develop more healthy eating habits. "I'm extremely excited about this latest extension of my relationship with Disney," she said. "Together, we're going to develop a truly amazing contemporary Mediterranean restaurant."

The first and only female Iron Chef on Food Network's hit show "Iron Chef America," Cora is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York. She also is Executive Chef for Bon Appetit magazine. In addition to hosting the instructional cooking demonstrations for Disney Video on Demand, Cora has been a featured chef at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and at Disney's California Food & Wine Festival at Disneyland Resort.



Friday, May 22, 2009

Mickey Mouse Died

Wayne Allwine the voice of Mickey Mouse for the last 32 years has passed away.

You can read the article here:

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Disney Christmas Carol Train Tour

July 3-5 at King Street Station

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Princess and the Frog Trailer

Disney's back!

The full trailer for Disney's "The Princess and the Frog". This trailer aired during "Wizards of Waverly Place" on disney channel on May 9, 2009.



Sunday, May 10, 2009

Preview of Pixar's "Partly Cloudy" short (to be shown before "Up")

Pixar’s got a new short (that I presume will be shown before “Up”) called “Partly Cloudy.” It’s about storks delivering babies (so far). Pixar is starting to get into the old Silly Symphony type of content, which is very interesting.

Pixar’s “Partly Cloudy”
Though it’s only a brief clip, get a peek at their latest animated short, Pixar's Partle Cloudy and Up . This AWNtv ‘site also has clips from Pixar’s “UP” as well.

Also in the playlist on the right (which will start automatically, or you can click ones you want to watch), are the Upisodes (a bunch of gag shorts featuring the Up guys).



Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Timing for Animation

Click the link to read this book (the first 24 pages are online):

Timing for Animation

Written by two internationally acclaimed animators, this classic text teaches you all you need to know about the art of timing and its importance in the animated film.

John Lasseter wrote the Foreward. It's all about how timing is so important with animation.



Saturday, May 02, 2009

Early Walt Disney animated films: Struggles with funding

The first film was Snow White. Walt Disney bet the entire company on the success of that film because he wanted it to be as high quality as possible. So all the money he had made from his successful Mickey Mouse, Silly Symphony, and Donald Duck cartoons was used to fund Snow White. In addition, Walt Disney packaged his five Academy Award winning shorts together and released it as a film, "Academy Award Review of Walt Disney Cartoons" (

All of the Disney company was riding on Snow White, and the critics called it "Disney's folly" because they thought it would fail. Even Walt's wife didn't think people would want to go see "a dwarf movie."

The success put all of Walt's other productions into place (which is why it took 3 years for Disney's next animated film Pinocchio, but Disney was cranking them out about one a year after that). However, Pinocchio lost a lot of money in the box office, which put Disney into debt. A few of the pre-War World 2 films made profits (Dumbo, Saludos Amigos, and Fun and Fancy Free), and Disney slowly squeezed money from re-releasing his first earlier films, and he continued to make money from his shorts, but Pinocchio put the company in debt, and the other films (especially Fantasia, Bambi, and war films) kept it in debt until Cinderella pulled it out. So Cinderella was the third time that Disney risked the entire company on a single project (Steamboat Willie and Snow White were the previous times)…

0 Academy Award Review of Walt Disney Cartoons (not canon)
May 19, 1937

1 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
December 21, 1937 (premiere); February 4, 1938

2 Pinocchio
February 7, 1940 (premiere); February 9, 1940

3 Fantasia
November 13, 1940 (premiere/roadshow); January 29, 1941 (RKO roadshow); January 8, 1942

3.5 The Reluctant Dragon (not canon)
June 20, 1941

4 Dumbo
October 23, 1941

5 Bambi
August 13, 1942 (limited); August 21, 1942

6 Saludos Amigos
August 24, 1942 (premiere); February 6, 1943

7 The Three Caballeros
December 21, 1944 (premiere); February 3, 1945

8 Make Mine Music
April 20, 1946 (premiere); August 15, 1946

8.5 Song of the South (not canon)
November 12, 1046

9 Fun and Fancy Free
September 27, 1947

10 Melody Time
May 27, 1948

11 The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
October 5, 1949

12 Cinderella
February 15, 1950

Cinderella was a huge success, but Walt Disney lost his passion for animations. It was still there, but he became more passionate about other things (new frontiers for him). Even Cinderella was great, but he saw it as a remake of Snow White. He also just overcame the challenge of keeping the company alive, and he wanted a new challenge.

Disney then took his wad of cash from the success of Cinderella (movie profits, merchandising, and music profits) and turned his attention to TV, live-action films, and Disneyland. Disneyland was his fourth project that he bet the entire company on. Not only did he bet all his profits from TV, animation, and films, but he also built up a debt and had ABC co-own the park (which he bought in 1960).

Of course, he also continued to release all the classics that he had already planned before the war stopped him in 1942 (but you can see that he slowed down on the frequency of his animations because he was concentrating more on TV, live-action films, and Disneyland):

13 Alice in Wonderland
July 26, 1951 (limited); July 28, 1951

14 Peter Pan
February 5, 1953

15 Lady and the Tramp
June 16, 1955 (premiere); June 22, 1955

16 Sleeping Beauty
January 29, 1959

17 One Hundred and One Dalmatians
January 25, 1961

18 The Sword in the Stone
December 25, 1963

19 The Jungle Book
October 18, 1967

Also, most of the later films (from 1960 on) have one thing in common… the director, Wolfgang Reitherman ( He often stated that he repurposed animation long before he became a director. It seemed to be a normal process and a way to cut costs without cutting out quality. Wolfgang was a major Disney animator since 1934. He worked on all the old movies, he was one of Disney’s 9 Old Men (, he began animation direction/supervision starting with Pinocchio, and he became the primary Disney animation director in 1961, directing the following animated films (in addition to shorts):

One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
The Sword in the Stone (1963)
The Jungle Book (1967)
The AristoCats (1970)
Robin Hood (1973)
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
The Rescuers (1977)



Popular Posts (of all time)