Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pixar Honors Employess with Buzz Statues [UPDATED]

A set of pictures on Flickr depict a large set of tall, heavy and presumably bronze Buzz Lightyear statues. Each statue has a Pixar employee's name, as well as the words "10 Years of Passion & Commitment", written on the base. The statues were awarded two days ago as a thank you to all employees who have been with Pixar for at least 10 years. Employees who have worked at Pixar for 20 years were awarded a very special Woody statue. All statues were designed by the wonderful and gifted Jerome Ranft. 205 of the very cool Buzz Lightyear awards were handed out to the talented Pixar veterans.

Update: More photos have emerged on Flickr:

Source: The Pixar Blog


Are you 23? [UPDATED!]

Disney has fans stumped. A very mysterious site has arisen from deep within Disney's website, and all I can gather from it is: D23 (or Disney 23). Upon entering the site you are greeted with a Flash movie, and the question "Are you 23?" pops up, then the words "Find out March 10" appear; an animation of Tinker Bell and a countdown to march 10 follow. No more information is given. A simple countdown to March 10 and the phrase "Are you 23?" That is it.

I have several theories about what this new D23 might be. It seems like a sure bet that the "23" represents the year that the Walt Disney Brothers Studio was founded (October 16, 1923). Or possibly the 23rd birthday of Pixar, or even the release of 23 Disney DVDs. Many rumors around the internet, however, agree that D23 is most likely a new membership club for Disney fans (this is confirmed in the update below). Rumors also mention enrollment fees, exclusive merchandise, a yearly convention and an online community. Some leaked photos on The Disney Blog somewhat confirm these rumors (or, at least, the exclusive merchandise rumor), but there's no telling whether the pictures are legitimate at all:

These rumors sound about right to me since there are no real Disney fan clubs for true Disney fans, like myself (except, of course, for Club 33 which is very restricting due to its location and the fact that that's about all it is; an experience, not a real fan club or anything of that nature). There are very mild fan clubs, but those don't do or mean or provide very much. I guess we won't know until March 10. I did try to sneakily find out the answer by downloading the Flash file to my local hard drive and changed the system clock to March 10, but the video was disappointing; it had the countdown still, just in the negatives. I'll be sure to post all of the details on March 10, so come back then if you're curious, I know that I am very curious...

Update: has some very exciting news regarding this mystery. They have discovered an insert from the Pinocchio Platinum Edition DVD being released on March 10 (the same day that the announcement by Disney regarding D23 is made), and this insert pretty much solves the mystery of D23. (See the insert at the top of this post.)

Although this doesn't specify any details regarding D23, it does solve the mystery of what D23 is: "D23: The Official Community for Disney Fans".

Well there you have it. Come back on March 10 to read all about the details given at Disney's official D23 announcement.


More 'Monsters, Inc.' Sequel Rumors

Blue Sky Disney has released more information about a potential Monsters, Inc. sequel. Back in July there were some more rumors concerning a possible sequel, but, according to Blue Sky Disney, the sequel is all but confirmed by Pete Docter (the probable director due to his directing of the first Monsters). The supposed release date will be some time in 2013.

I don't think that this rumor is too far fetched. Afterall, Pixar is doing a lot of sequels already Cars 2, Toy Story 3...). I think that a sequel to Monsters, Inc. has a lot of potential, especially when executed by the geniuses at Pixar. I guess we won't know for about another year or so when the definitive announcement is made, if it is made at all, by Pixar.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

More 'Up' Posters

Briefly: These are the three new Up posters. They are pretty cool and all follow the same style. Nothing really groundbreaking here; just more exciting character art and hype for the movie. Although the detail shown in the dog, Dug, is brand new and quite interesting--especially his collar which is rumored to give him the power of speech. Click here to read more about Pixar's upcoming feature, Up, released May 29 of this year!

Source: The Pixar Blog


Monday, February 23, 2009

The Ultimate Guide to 2009 Movies

Now that the Oscars have come to a close, we can now turn our gaze from the movies of 2008 to the movies of this year: 2009. Here is a complete list, in chronological order, of all movies being released this year. The guide features trailers, movie posters, release dates, plot synopses, and my prospective ratings of these movies:

I'd like to start this post off with the clip shows directly after the Oscars showing the movies of 2009 (to the new song by Beck which is a cover of an old Bob Dylan song):


Probably the most anticipated movie of this year, Watchmen will be released in only a few weeks on March 6. It is based on the very popular novel of the same name by Alan Moore. The plot, as stated by When an ex-superhero is murdered, a vigilante named Rorschach begins an investigation into the murder, which begins to lead to a much more terrifying conclusion.

Hopefully the movie will do justice to the great graphic novel. Here's the trailer:

I think that this will be a great movie full of excitement, mystery, and romance, therefore I'll give it a 9.5 out of 10. I hope that it won't disappoint.

A remake of the original, live action Disney movie Escape to Witch Mountain, Race to Witch Mountain looks like it has potential. It has a star-studded cast (which doesn't really mean anything) of AnnaSophia Robb and Dwayne Johnson. The plot, as given by A UFO expert enlists the help of a cabbie to protect two siblings with paranormal powers from the clutches of an organization that wants to use the kids for their nefarious plans. Here's the trailer:

I don't think that this movie will manage to be better than the original, but it shouldn't be too bad. I give this movie, for now, a 7 out of 10.

The next film being released by DreamWorks Animation is Monsters vs. Aliens, a film that utilizes all of the cheap animation gimmicks of the decade: a star-studded cast, cheap parodies and jokes that won't be funny in a few years, shallow characters, and, finally, 3D. I don't think that a star-studded cast adds anything to a movie, cheap parodies and jokes are simply stupid and worthless, and 3D adds nothing to a movie, and I believe that it is just a fad and will be gone in about 5 years or so. Here's the trailer:

Due to these silly gimmicks that, as you can tell, I have immense hostility towards, I give this movie a 4 out of 10.


Crank: High Voltage will be a very stupid, nonsensical, and awesome movie. It will have tons of plot holes, but will also be an exciting and fun action movie. You don't watch this kind of movie for plot or character development; you watch it to get your adrenaline pumping and to be entertained by car crashes and bullets being fired. Here's the exciting trailer:

Since it will make an entertaining, mindless action movie with Jason Statham, I will give it an 8 out of 10.

Robert Downey and Jamie Foxx sure won't disappoint in this movie which will be released on April 24. It should have a great story, and it seems like it has fantastic character development of both Downey's and Foxx's characters. I cannot wait to see this movie which has potential at next year's Oscars. Here is the trailer:

This movie will hopefully be a masterpiece of cinematic excellence, and, if not, it at least has Robert Downey Jr. in it. I'm giving it a 9 out of 10 for now.


This should be a great performance by Hugh Jackman. I am excited to see this prequel to the successful X-men trilogy. Since Wolverine is my favorite character from the X-men series, I hope that this movie won't disappoint, and it doesn't look like it will. Here's the trailer:

Completely due to the "I'll cut your head off" segment in the trailer, I am giving this movie a 9 out of 10 for now.

I loved the first Night at the Museum. Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, and Robin Williams are some of my favorite actors. And since they, including Amy Adams and Hank Azaria, are starring in the new movie, it should be a great one. After looking over the above poster, I don't think you need too much more explanation. Here is the trailer:

Although the plot may not be the strongest, I think that this feel-good film will be a great one. I give it an 8 out of 10.

Pixar's next feature, Up, will not disappoint. I am sure that it will have wholesome and complete characters, awe-inspiring animation, and a heart-touching plot. There isn't much more to say other than it is a Pixar production, since Pixar has made a name for itself; a name that makes everyone think of quality in plot, characters and animation. Here's the trailer:

I cannot wait to see Pixar's next movie. It is sure to be another stunning production by the world's best animation studio. (To see a lot more about Up click here.) I give it a 10 out of 10 already.


Transformers was a great movie, and I don't think that the second installment will be any worse. It will still have car chases, mystery and romance embedded throughout, and therefore remain a great motion picture. Here is the exciting trailer:

I love this movie franchise already, so I will give this movie a 9 out of 10.


One of the movies I am most excited for this year is Public Enemies. It will star Johnny Depp as criminal Dillinger and Christian Bale as the federal agent after him. There hasn't been much released about the movie, not even a poster or a trailer, but I am sure it will be entertaining to say the least. I am giving it a 9 out of 10 for now.

The previous 5 Harry Potter movies have done pretty well interpretting the fabulous books by J.K Rowling. I loves the book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and, as long as the film does the story justice and matches the greatness of the rest of the franchise, the movie should be a good one. Here's the trailer:

I'll give this one an 8 out of 10.

Everybody loves Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen. They have never done a movie where they are both the leads, but I am excited to see it. Although it appears to have a sad premise (is the character development is done right), there should be some hilarious parts of the movie. And the fact that Judd Apatow is directing just makes me more confident that his will be a genuinely great movie. Here is the trailer for Funny People:

I'm gonna give this sure to be hilarious and heart-wrenching comedy/drama a 9.5 out of 10.


This movie should be an interesting one. I already know that it will have a fantastic performance by Brad Pitt, as well as the rest of the cast. As given by, the plot is as follows: In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a group of Jewish-American soldiers known as "The Basterds" are chosen specifically to spread fear throughout the Third Reich by scalping and brutally killing Nazis. The Basterds soon cross paths with a French-Jewish teenage girl who runs a movie theater in Paris which is targeted by the soldiers. Here is the trailer:

It is worth noting that, interestingly, Mike Myers is going to be in the movie playing the role of General Ed Fenech. I'm going to, tentatively, give this film a 9 out of 10.


This may be the most exciting release of 2009: Guy Ritchie's (one of my favorite directors') Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey, Jr., one of my favorite actors. This movie will be amazing. I can't even describe how perfect the mix of cast and crew are for this film; it will be a masterpiece. There isn't even a trailer or movie poster released yet, but I am sure this movie will be a hit. I give it a 10 out of 10.

Well, there are all of the major releases of 2009, with posters, ratings and trailers. I hope that now you are as excited for a year at the movies as I am!


'WALL-E' Wins Best Animated Feature at the Oscars [UPDATED]

Jack Black and Jennifer Aniston announced the winner of the Best Animated Feature at this year's Academy Awards, and the big winner is WALL-E!! Although it didn't win Best Original Screenplay, and the short film preceding it, Presto, didn't win Best Animated Short, this was a big win for Pixar. Stanton had a great acceptance speech where he thanked Ed Catmull, Steve Jobs and John Lasseter, among others.

Courtesy of The Pixar Touch, here is his acceptance speech:

My producers Jim Morris and Lindsey Collins should really be up here to accept this with me. It's been such an inspiration to spend time with a character who so tenaciously struggles to find the beauty in everything that he sees. It's a noble aspiration to have at times like these. I dearly want to thank everyone that's been on this film: the cast, the crew, everybody at Disney and Pixar Studios. I have to single out Ed Catmull, John Lasseter and Steve Jobs for creating a cinematic safe haven where only a film like WALL-E could be made. To my wife Julie, my kids Ben and Audrey, I love you so much, and I guess I'd be remiss if I did not thank my high school drama teacher Phil Perry for 28 years ago casting me as Barnaby in Hello, Dolly! Creative seeds are sown in the oddest of places so, uh, thank you so much to the Academy for this.

It's worth noting that, before announcing the winner, Jack Black (who played the leading role in Kung Fu Panda) hilariously commented that every year he "makes a ton of money doing a DreamWorks movie and bets it all on Pixar!" Ha ha.

UPDATE: Here is the video of Jack Black and Jennifer Aniston presenting the award to Stanton, as well as the 2008 Animation montage:

It is also worth noting that WALL-E clips could be found throughout, and at the very end, of the "romance montage" shown during the Oscars.

There were, sadly, no other wins for WALL-E at the 2009 Academy Awards, but 6 nominations plus one for Presto is a very prestigious achievement by Pixar and by all who worked on the great movie from that famed lunch so long ago, through the premiere of WALL-E and over $500 million at the box office, and now through its success at the Oscars.

Congratulations to everyone at Pixar!

Here is a short video of Andrew Stanton after he walked off-stage and spoke to the "Thank You Cam":

And, lastly, here is some footage of Jennifer Aniston and Jack Black sitting with Andrew Stanton backstage:

Congratulations, once again, to Andrew Stanton and everyone at Pixar!


81st Annual Academy Awards' Winners ('Slumdog' Wins Big)

Briefly: The favorite at this year's Oscars, Slumdog Millionaire, did not disappoint. It won 8 awards out of its 11 nominations. These wins include best picture, director, screenplay, score, song, cinematography, sound mixing and film editing.

Although I think that WALL-E was more worthy of winning the sound mixing award, I am glad that the feel-good movie of last year, Slumdog, did so well at the Oscars. It was a very good movie and deserved to dominate the Oscars.

Other notable winners include: Sean Penn won actor in a leading role for his performance in Milk, Kate Winslet for leading actress in The Reader, Penelope Cruz for actress in a supporting role for Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Heath Ledger for actor in a supporting role for The Dark Knight, Milk for original screenplay, Benjamin Button for art direction, visual effects and makeup, and WALL-E for best animated feature.

I wish that The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and WALL-E would have won more of the awards they were nominated for, but I am still glad that Slumdog Millionaire was the big winner of the night.


Friday, February 20, 2009

'Monsters' and 'Bugs' Coming to Blu-ray (UPDATED)

Briefly: Today it became official that Monsters, Inc. and A Bug's Life are being released on the Blu-ray disc format. They will both be released on May 19th, and both will include two-discs and a digital copy of the movie on a DVD. (Note: The cover art has not yet been released; the above photo is a mock-up). Here are the extras taken directly from

Extras for these two films will include all the features on the previous DVD releases, including the following Blu-ray exclusive extras:

    A Bug's Life
  • Introduction by John Lasseter
  • Roundtable with John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Kevin Rehr and Darla Anderson
  • Storyboard animations
  • BD-Live
    • Movie Chat
    • Movie Mail

    Monster's Inc
  • Roundtable with Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich, Darla Anderson, and Darla Anderson
  • Interactive Game
  • BD-Live
    • Movie Chat
    • Movie Mail
    • Disneyland Tokyo attraction
The suggested price of each movie is set at around $39.99, but no technical specifications have been released yet. Although one can expect the best sound and image quality, as is the standard for Pixar.

UPDATE: TheHDRoom has the not-yet-finalized covers for these movies (although these are sure to be close to the final product). They also state that:
Monster's Inc. and A Bug's Life will each be presented in their original aspect ratios (2.35:1 for Bugs, 1.85:1 for Monster's) in 1080p video with 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio packaged with an embossed foil O-sleeve. Both releases will also share a digital copy, BD-Live access, ported DVD bonus features and an all-new bonus feature: Filmmakers' Roundtable.
Source: The Pixar Blog, Upcoming Pixar


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Disney Parks to "Simplify and Streamline Product Delivery"

Today Disney announced that it will consolidate the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts' operating structure in a hope to "streamline decision-making and eliminate redundancy".

They feel that the consumer doesn't want multiple images of the Disney company and its parks, but rather "one-Disney" experience:

"We know that our Guests want a 'one-Disney' experience and we must organize around that expectation," said Rasulo. "The long-term success of Parks and Resorts depends upon our ability to adapt and innovate and respond to Guest preferences. These changes are essential to maintaining our leadership position in family tourism and reflect today's economic realities."
As a result, the management for the separate, domestic parks will consolidate into one organization in a hope to make the parks more similar and turn the consumer's view of multiple "Disneys" into "one-Disney":
A new Global Business Development team led by Executive Vice President Nick Franklin will combine the existing development functions of business and real estate development. The team will be responsible for driving growth by working with existing businesses on their development strategies, while also exploring new business opportunities around the globe.

Another interesting thing about this new policy and management is that now Imagineering will "be reorganized into a single practice merging resort development with attractions and entertainment development to bring the creativity of Disney storytelling to the design and delivery of products at all Disney destinations."

All of these changes are effective immediately, but chances are that this will not really change much about the parks to us consumers; just to execs, managers and the other "behind-the-scenes" people.

Source: Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Press Releases


Sunday, February 15, 2009

'Cinderella' Turns 59

Cinderella was Walt Disney's 12th animated feature. It featured Ilene Woods who beat out 309 other girls for the role of Cinderella.

The animated feature received three Oscar nominations for Best Sound, Best Score, and Best Original Song for "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo".

The movie was released on February 15, 1950 and was a smash hit. The Disney studio was in debt (due to World War II and poor box office returns) when they made the movie that had a nearly $3,000,000 budget. Had Cinderella not been a success, the studio would have shut down and not have had the money to move onto all of the animated features of the 1950s. Walt also got some of his money for Disneyland's early development from the release of Cinderella.

Today, we celebrate Cinderella's success, beautiful animation, and timeless story. Without all of these things, Disneyland, the Disney company, and all of the animated features following Cinderella would not exist today.

Happy 59th birthday, Cinderella!


'Toy Story' and 'Cars' Becoming LEGOS

Today, Disney made a deal with LEGO (Here is the press release). Coming out in 2010, a series of LEGO sets will be released, and they will be great.

The most exciting of the sets being released is a series of Toy Story LEGOs--they will depict scenes from the Toy Story movie franchise in anticipation of the release of Toy Story 3.

This, of course, is not the official Toy Story LEGO set as it won't be released for another year, but this is just a makeshift LEGO creation, you can find an article on it here.

Another LEGO release in June of 2010 will be a series of Cars DUPLO sets. This is also being released in anticipation of Cars 2. The DUPLO sets are generally made for younger kids and they usually use larger LEGO pieces, but are still fun, especially if they depict Cars characters!

A Prince of Persia: Sands of Time LEGO set will also be released by Disney and LEGO.

I can't wait! I love LEGOS and Pixar. These Cars and Toy Story LEGO sets are sure to be truly great additions to the LEGO collection of products. I can hardly wait!

Source: Upcoming Pixar


Sunday, February 8, 2009

'Up' Screening Results

Briefly: Pixar's next feature film, Up comes out on May 29. There has been a lot of buzz around it, but nobody has actually gotten to see any footage besides that revealed in trailers and UPisodes...until now.

Yesterday, at New York Comic Con, a crowd of very lucky people got to view 45 minutes of Up. The results are all positive and everybody loves it. The movie is sure to be another smash hit by Pixar! You can read various reviews of this special screening on, Cinematical, and, but be careful, there are many spoliers throughout the reviews!

Here is a short synopsis from of what was shown at the New York Comic Con. Be advised, spoliers ahead!

Up kicks off with Carl as a kid. He's watching the video of an adventurer who traveled to Paradise Falls in South America and returned claiming to have discovered a new species. Scientist thought it was a hoax and he was discredited, but Carl was hooked - he wanted to be an adventurer, too. He eventually meets Ellie, who has the same adventuresome spirit, and we see a montage of their life together until Ellie has passed away. Here's where we pick up again - Carl is now 78 years old and grumpy. We all know what happens next, considering we've seen the trailer. We meet the annoying Russell, then away he goes in his house.

Up's DougSo what happens after that? Well after hitting a storm and being spun out of control, the two wake up not knowing where they are. After eventually working their way to the ground and tethering the house behind them with to drag it along in the air, they discover that they're already at Paradise Falls. But in their walk through the jungle, they first encounter a giant, colorful bird with a long red beak that Russell nicknames Kevin. The bird doesn't speak, but it's really goofy. It befriends Russell but doesn't like Carl too much. It's a huge bird and is quite acrobatic, throwing Russell around and provoking lots of laughs.

But it gets better. A few minutes later we hear another voice. At first Carl thinks its another person, but we soon see it's a talking dog named Doug. That's him seen to the right on the newest poster, and the bird is hidden in there too - his head is sticking out of the right side of the house. Let me explain - Doug has a collar around his neck that his master made for him that allows us to hear his thoughts. It's not as crazy as it sounds and believe me, it works, and it works very well. It's exactly like if you were to give a voice to a domesticated dog, meaning he even stops every so often and exclaims "squirrel!" out of nowhere. He's probably the funniest part of the movie I've seen so far. Soon afterward we're introduced to three more dogs, two of which are bulldogs, one of which is a doberman pinscher.

That was a synopsis by Alex Billington from of what was shown during the special screening! Very exciting! I cannot wait for May 29 when the film is finally released.

Source: Upcoming Pixar


A Coraline Review (Plus a Hidden Connection to Pixar [UPDATED])

I saw Coraline, and I was impressed. The animation was beautiful, the plot was thorough and didn't stray from Neil Gaiman's original and wonderful novel, there were happy and creepy elements, and the whole movie did what movies should do: entertain and inflict emotion.

The plot follows a girl who has moved into a very old house. She gets very bored and lonely, so she goes exploring. Eventually, after meeting some quirky neighbors, she discovers a very odd for. It is very small, just small enough for her to fit through it, and it is wallpapered over. In the drawer in the kitchen she finds a key with a button on it, this key unlocks the door, and she goes through due to her own curiosity. What lies on the other side is a world identical to her own, except for everything is much more colorful and exciting; her parents give her more attention, there are musical numbers and delicious meals...but everyone has buttons for eyes. But this wonderful new world isn't as great as Coraline had thought...

The plot is fairly predictable, and I feel like the beginning dragged on a bit too long and the end was a little bit rushed, but it was overall a great movie. The animation was the best part.

The animation was phenomenal. It was all stop action, which has a wonderful effect. The style was quirky and unique with lots of colors and neat effects. The animation was by far my favorite part of the movie.

As I said earlier, Coraline does what all movies should: it inflicts emotion and entertains the audience. The plot is so strong and thorough because they set it up so that the audience really cares for the main character, Coraline. But it also entertains due to the comedy and creepiness. Coraline's quirky neighbors lead to lots of humor. The evil, alternate world that Coraline enters is very creepy. Not initially, but eventually, that world becomes very scary indeed. In fact, there were some parts where I was so entertained, creeped out, and invested in the plot that I felt my heart beating an my adrenaline spiking. There were some parts were really intense. Thus, it was entertaining and it inflicted emotion.

There was one interesting part of the movie that I haven't mentioned, however. When they move into this old house, there is a moving van out front with the name "Ranft Brothers" printed on the side. This is the Pixar connection. Henry Selick, the director of Coraline and The Nightmare Before Christmas, was a good friend of Joe Ranft, who worked on the storyboards of Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, and did a voice of a rabbit in Monkeybone--all of which were at the side of Henry Selick. Joe was one of the first members of the Pixar team; he did truly brilliant writing, plotting and voicing for Pixar. Tragically, Ranft died in a car crash a few years ago, but his brother, Jerome still works in the art department at Pixar. Jerome provided the voice for one of the movers in Coraline. Since they were good friends, Selick paid homage to his buddy with this little title of the moving company in Coraline, "Ranft Moving" and by giving the voice of one of the movers to Joe's brother, Jerome.

UPDATE: Cartoon Brew has some very nice stills, as well as an article repeating wht I have stated here. Here's one of the stills and a link.

Coraline had everything a decent movie should have: a great style, deep characters, a major conflict that the audience feels invested in, humor, eeriness, and a clever talking cat. The only thing I'd change about it is I'd speed up the first half of the movie, and slow down the second half; the beginning really dragged on and the end felt very rushed. But, overall, I would give Coraline a 9 out of 10. Actually, a 9.5 out of 10 because of the Pixar connection.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

"It's a Small World" Receives Renovations

One of the most beloved attractions at Disneyland, "it's a small world", reopened today after a series of renovations. The ride has always been a symbol of peace and unity for the rest of the world. It is a delightful journey around the world with an upbeat, catchy tune playing all the while. Up until now, the attraction was not cloaked in Disney characters--this was a good thing because it allowed the park visitor to be transported to other places and times and worlds, but with the Disney characters, it becomes a constant reminder that you are at Disneyland.

The new pieces of the attraction consist of Pinocchio dolls in the Italian section, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan dolls in the England section, Ariel, Nemo, and Aladdin, among many other popular Disney characters laden throughout the attraction. Also, the rainforest section has supposedly been replaced with an American section.

I do not believe these renovations to be too extreme, but I think that the original attraction was much better. The other one was genuine--it didn't contain any marketing ploys made by Disney, and it was a completely "transforming experience", there were no connections to Disney so you could get lost in the ride and not be reminded of your current location in the real world. When Walt Disney developed the ride for the 1964 World's Fair in New York as a benefit to the United Nations Children's Fund, he intended for those who experienced the attraction to be transported to another world where he could get his message of peace and unity across.

I am not sure when these changes took place, however. I visited the park at the end of December/beginning of January and "it's a small world" had just opened up after a series of renovations, and it was no different (besides new plastic boats and a fresh coat of paint). I did not see one trace of any added dolls, and I would have noticed it. So, these must be very, very new additions to the classic attraction. I am not too disgusted at these new additions, but I'd rather that they didn't meddle too much with the classics that make Disneyland great. Although, Walt himself
always said the park would always be changing as long as there was imagination in the world. . .

You can watch a video of the new attraction here.

Source: LA Times, Yahoo! News


Sunday, February 1, 2009

WALL-E Ignored at Annie Awards

Briefly: The Annie Awards took place last night; they focus on the animation category. WALL-E, the top rated movie of last year, the Golden Globe winner for Animation, the winner of several Rotten Tomatoes awards, was ignored at this year's Annie Awards. Kung Fu Panda was the big winner this year with 10 awards. I think that Kung Fu Panda was an OK movie, but WALL-E was much, much better. Kung Fu Panda's sweep was also somewhat negative towards Pixar because it beat Ratatouille's 9 award record from last year's Annie Awards.

Whether this is due to the fact that Katzenberg (the CEO of Dreamworks Animation) is an unscrupulous guy with very deep pockets, or if it is due to Ratatouille's success last year, or if it is due to the fact that Dreamworks Animation was the main "Gold" sponsor of the Annie Awards, I do not think that WALL-E was given proper recognition.

Oh well, congratulations to all of the winners, and I just know that WALL-E will sweep the Oscars.


UPisode #1: 'Animal Calling'

There are going to be a series of Up vignettes being released as the premiere of Pixar's first 3D movie, Up, gets ever closer. They are called "UPisodes". The first one has just been released on and is called Animal Calling. The animation is great, the characters are awesome already, and the whole thing has a very nice style to it that is simply great to look at. You can see it here, as well as see the preview for Up that aired during the Super Bowl. Nothing exciting; just a new voiceover and a little bit of new footage. Enjoy!

Up is coming out on May 29 of this year. Learn more about it here.