Monday, August 31, 2009

Mickey, Meet Spider-Man

Have you ever wanted to see Yensid battle Wolverine? How about Donald Duck and Iron Man vs. Goofy and Captain America? These team-ups may now be possible.

Disney has just purchased Marvel, along with their 5,000+ characters (which include Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, the X-men, the Fantastic Four, and many, many more) for $4 billion.

Robert Iger said about the recent purchase: “We believe that adding Marvel to Disney’s unique portfolio of brands provides significant opportunities for long-term growth and value creation.”

Marvel’s CEO Ike Perlmutter added that “Disney is the perfect home for Marvel’s fantastic library of characters given its proven ability to expand content creation and licensing businesses. This is an unparalleled opportunity for Marvel to build upon its vibrant brand and character properties by accessing Disney’s tremendous global organization and infrastructure around the world.”

What will Disney do with these new gained characters and the recently gained fan base? I hope that they don't combine the classic Disney characters with these newly begotten Marvel characters, but it is possible they may capitalize on combining both pr

operties into their own merchandise and possible theme park attractions. Let's hope not...

(The above image was drawn by Marvel and Disney artist Jason Peltz, just for this occasion).

Source: TechCrunch


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pixar's Dinosaur Movie? [UPDATE]

Above is Pixar production artist and character sculptor Greg Dykstra. Aside from the fact that he gets to work at the best animation studio on the planet, what is just so special about Greg? Well, if the internet's a-buzzin's have any credibility, he may be so special because he forgot to strip his wall of confidential material when a cameraman walked into his room.

The image above is a screenshot (at around 4:07) of the Up B-roll #1, where you can clearly see some conceptual art of a boy and his (or maybe not his) dinosaur hanging up on the wall right behind Mr. Dykstra.

So what is this mysterious collection of pages? A future Pixar film? Maybe Toy Story 3's short film concept? A separate project that Greg is working on? I reckon that the dinosaur-related Pixar project will be attached to either Toy Story 3 or Cars 2 as a short; Pixar seems like they'd be able to do a very simple yet compelling short about a boy and his dinosaur (but what subject could they not do that with?). But there is no way of truly knowing unless Greg spills his guts as to what he's wallpaperin' his office with.

Update: Perhaps Dykstra may have already given himself away. Thanks to Mike over at the Pixar Blog and his excellent sleuthing skills, he has discovered that Dykstra (whose apparent passion is paleontology), as well as other Pixarians have recently gone on a trip to the badlands of South Dakota last month.

This leads me to believe that this was a research trip for an upcoming Pixar short (as I had previously thought) which might just be directed by the little-known-before-this Greg Dykstra.



John Lasseter and his 'Toy Story' Toys

Above is a short video of John Lasseter discussing the new line of amazing Toy Story toys being released very soon in preparation for both the re-release of the existing Toy Story films this October, and the next in the series being released next summer. Although the video doesn't actually show any of the toys in action (for which I am waiting intently) the video does showcase the really cool packaging, discuss their motives for making the new toys, as well as have John convey his personal connection with the franchise and its merchandise. It is a very good video, and makes me really want to buy two of each, as Mr. Lasseter recommends...

To read more about the Toy Story line of merchandise being released soon, read this.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Lots and Lots of News Links (D23 Expo, Toy Story, and More)

My apologies for not keeping up with the news lately, but I have been awfully busy. It won't happen again...

Anyways, in the week or so that news has been absent from Etc., a lot has happened when it comes to Disney. So, instead of writing an article on each piece of news which would encumber me with so much work that I'd miss new news, I will provide you with a bunch of links to other reliable and great Disney blogs. Enjoy the links. Click away...

Here are a slew of D23 links. You know, the expo in Anaheim? You might have heard of it...

  • Pixar (and therefore John Lasseter) will be present at the D23 Expo and will provide thousands of Disney fans with information all about their upcoming releases. Read about it here.
  • Blue Sky Disney has two articles about the upcoming expo. The first discusses the new, expanded, and complete schedule of the huge event in Anaheim. The second is all about the supposed planned presence of Stormtroopers at the upcoming event, suggesting a Star Tours 2.0 announcement. Very interesting...
Miscellaneous Disney (and Pixar) News...
  • The great star of Disney's original Alice comedies has recently passed away, and Jim Hill has a wonderful obituary-type article. Enjoy.
  • Jim Hill also has an article about recently registered domain names by the Walt Disney Company which would suggest a whole slew of new (and not too great) projects. Read it here, if you dare.
  • Above you will find the incredibly simple yet funny poster of the upcoming Toy Story/Toy Story 2 re-release. I sill absolutely love the idea of using the little green aliens as the mascot for the release. October had better hurry up.
  • I have always loved my iPhone, but now I love it even more now that I can play Toy Story Mania! (my favorite DCA attraction) anywhere, anytime. If you own one of Apple's little mobile gems I suggest purchasing the application from the App Store.
  • I'll finish up this set of links with a link to Cartoon Brew's article entitled "Zemeckis to ruin Yellow Submarine." As you have probably deduced already, Disney and Zemeckis plan to release a remake of the classic Beatles flick, MoCap style. Read all about it on CB right here.
Once again, sorry about the lack of news recently, but this post has brought you completely up-to-date, as will my future and prompt news articles that you'll find right here at Disney, etc.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Legion of Terra-Cotta Soldiers Discovered Below WDW

Briefly: Credible* news source The Onion is reporting that a very mysterious thing was just discovered at Disney World when a 'maintenance crew performing routine electrical work below Cinderella Castle last week accidentally stumbled upon a mysterious underground chamber believed to contain more than 8,000 terra-cotta Mouseketeer statues dating back to 300 B.C.'

It is reported that within days of the discovery, the nation's top archaeologists had begun excavating the massive subterranean army of fresh-faced clay youths, already considered the finest collection of relics from the Early Disney Dynasty ever unearthed.'

It is believed that this chamber is 'the final resting site of Emperor Retlaw I'. The rows upon rows of 'life-sized ceramic sculptures modeled after clean-cut teenagers' have their faces 'forever frozen in a mix of joy and wonder.'

Lead archaeologist Dr. Robert Moore had this to say about the discovery:

"Very little is known about the early history of the Disney civilization, so this is quite a significant find. By analyzing the crude markings above the doorway to the tomb, we've concluded that it was likely constructed during the Pre-Eisnerian period, one of the bloodiest and most chaotic eras in the history of the Magic Kingdom. These eternally wholesome soldiers stand watch over the body of their ironfisted leader, poised to ensure his reign over children's entertainment continues into the afterlife," Moore continued. "Or so the legend goes."

Above (courtesy of The Onion) is a detailed diagram of this recent uncovering.

Head over to The Onion which has a lot more information on this very interesting find underneath the Cinderella Castle in Florida.

*Ok, it's a joke. But a funny one.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Unkrich Smashes Face Into Cake

One of the best Twitters out there to follow is Lee Unkrich's (director of upcoming Pixar flick Toy Story 3). Previously, Unkrich had promised that if his Twitter following reached 5000 people, he would smash his face into a cake.

His Twitter following has now reached 5000. Here's one of the main creatives at Pixar, smashing his face into a cake:

Now where can I get one of those '3' t-shirts?


Monday, August 10, 2009

Happy Birthday, Happy Haunts

It has been 40 years since one of the most beloved attractions of all time opened at Disneyland, The Haunted Mansion. It is a truly remarkable attraction that has stood the test of time, and includes masterpieces by such Imagineering legends as Marc Davis, Claude Coats and X Atencio. Disneyland wouldn't be what it is today without guests' whose "cadaverous pallor betrays an aura of foreboding."

Happy Birthday, you Grim Grinning Ghosts...

Pics from the SHAG Cocktail Reception.
Official merchandise page for the anniversary.


More DCA Updates (Goodbye Orange Stinger...)

Briefly: The $1 billion renovation of Disney's California Adventure has begun to take shape. The Orange Stinger is no more, and construction for the "Silly Symphony Swings" has begun. The Wonderful World of Color fountain show's spouts and lights are being set-up in the drained lake at the center of the park (and I would love to be there on submersion day...).

There's a whole lot more going on over there at Disneyland's neighboring park--to see a lot of pictures, just click right here. Or learn more about the renovation here.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

'Princess and the Frog' Pencil Test

Briefly: Here is a short video that was shown at Comic-Con. It is a pencil test for The Princess and the Frog, and, being such, it contains a scene from the movie while showcasing the animation and style, as well. The scene is one from the movie that has yet to be seen, and is very interesting (especially to the animation enthusiast like myself), since it is a pencil test which, as defined by Wikipedia, is the following:

In traditional animation, a preliminary version of the final animated scene. The pencil drawings are quickly photographed or scanned and synced with the necessary soundtracks. This allows the animation to be reviewed and improved upon before being passed to assistant animators, who will add details and some of the missing frames in the scene. In European studios, the pencil test is called the “line test”, because it happens before the cels get their colour.
Enjoy the video which will make you even more excited for December 11...


Monday, August 3, 2009

Lasseter-Endorsed Pooh Feature in the Works

Winnie the Pooh has humble beginnings and then exploded into popularity when a little company named Disney picked up the little furry bear and his friends. As of late, however, Disney hasn't been doing the original stories or even their original 'Adventures of Winnie the Pooh' toons justice. The terrible Playhouse Disney adaptation and the poorly done theme park ride are examples of the lack of quality Pooh things produced by Disney.

Now, things are starting to look up. Lasseter, as you know, knows something good when he hears it. Well, he has just heard a pitch for a straight-to-DVD Pooh film, and, he liked the story concept so much, that it is now going to be released as a theatrical release! The last film this happened to was Toy Story 2 which was set to be a straight-to-DVD film but was becoming so great during development that it moved to the big screen. Read much more about the film and its 2011 release at Blue Sky Disney.


Behind the Scenes of the Haunted Mansion

DavelandWeb, a wonderful Disney blog, has some great behind-the-scenes photos from one of my favorite Disneyland attractions: The Haunted Mansion. The photos are of a scene which I have known the mechanics behind for awhile, but am still very interested to see the photos. The above is one of a few and the last is the behind-the-scenes photo; you can see the rest here. I recommend you see it--especially if you appreciate the attraction and the classic illusionary techniques it employs.


Woody's Last Name

Everybody knows Toy Story, and everybody knows Buzz's last name. Nobody, however, has ever even considered Woody's last name. In a recent interview with TS3's director Lee Unkrich, however, he has revealed Woody's last name--Pride. That's right: Woody Pride.

"Woody's actual full name, never before mentioned, is... 'Woody Pride', and has been since the earliest days of developing the original Toy Story."
So, does this recently discovered information mean that this will play a plot point in the new and upcoming Toy Story film? Nope. "Woody's last name is not mentioned in 'TS3'".

This makes me wonder, though, what's Mr. Potato Head's first name?...

Source: Cinema Blend