Sunday, January 31, 2010

Giacchino Wins at the Grammys

While the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards haven't aired yet, some awards have already been given out at a separate, non-televised ceremony. One of the winners at this ceremony was the brilliant composer Michael Giacchino. He won two awards: one for "Married Life" as the best instrumental composition, and another for Up having the best score of the year.

This is so exciting! Up's score truly is the best I have ever heard, and "Married Life" really is a remarkable composition. I am so glad the genius of Giacchino and the timelessness of Pixar are being recognized this awards season.

Now all that's left are the Oscars...


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Apple iPad

Today, Apple announced a "revolutionary and magical" product. Check it out at their website. Pretty cool. While it's not as revolutionary as the iPhone, I wouldn't bet against Mr. Jobs. He seems to know what he's doing.

Plus, if Bob Iger and Lee Unkrich are at the release event, I think it's something I should maybe pay attention to.

The iPad ships in about 60 days, and I can't wait to play around with one.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Walt Disney World Favoritism

In 1955, Walt Disney opened what is arguably the Happiest Place on Earth: Disneyland. It has brought joy to billions of people during its 55 years of operation, and is the original Disney Theme Park.

In 1971, Walt Disney World opened. It is, historically, the second Disney Resort and has four theme parks, two water parks, and 24 themed hotels (compared to Disneyland's two theme parks and three hotels). WDW has EPCOT and the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

Disneyland is the second most visited park in world at 14.8 million visits in 2007. Walt Disney World is the first most visited park in the world at 17 million visits. One's on the west coast, and one's on the east coast. They are both Disney parks, but any Disney fanatic you ask will prefer one over the other.

Personally, I like Disneyland better. It is the original. It is more magical with more focus on what makes Disney uniquely Disney. There is a certain atmosphere at Disneyland that you lose at Walt Disney World. Disneyland is authentic. It feels like Disney World was created so that they could have a park on the East coast. I haven't quite been able to put my finger on the exact reason, but I feel that Disneyland is an all-around better park than Walt Disney World.

Many would disagree. In fact, an overwhelming majority would disagree, if my research means anything. While searching for stories and things for the site, I have found that there are many more Disney World fans than there are Disneyland fans.

The first place I looked was on Google. No, I wasn't looking for a website, but was simply looking at the amount of pages on the web that mention each park. Disneyland appears on 12,800,000 unique webpages compared to Disney World's 29,600,000. The Floridian theme park is on the internet more than twice as often as its Californian counterpart.

Next, I went to one of the most popular Disney forums around, DIS Boards. It didn't take long for me to notice the same recurring theme of Disney World favoritism: WDW had over 5,000,000 posts and Disneyland barely had 500,000. The theme park from California seemed like more of an afterthought, actually; the top of the page contains numerous links to different discussions about WDW (weddings, camping, different languages, individual parks within, etc.), then it moves on to discussions about the Disney Vacation Club, "Global Neighbors," and the Disney Cruise Line. Then, finally, it reaches a link to a discussion regarding Disneyland. But even then, there's only one link compared to WDW's 12. Yes, the Walt Disney World favoritism is living large at one of the most popular forums, DIS Boards.

But the madness doesn't end there. If you go to the Disney Parks homepage, every single list on the site (the lists composed of Disney destinations: Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, etc.), begins with Disney World and has Disneyland come second.

The drop down list for finding prices has Walt Disney World set as its default location. The "Give a Day, Get a Day" promotional site has the Cinderella castle from Disney World as its home page, and Disney World first on its "Select a Location" list. When you are ordering a Disney Theme Park DVD, Disney World comes first on the list. It's almost as if it's Disney's policy to have Disney World always come before Disneyland.

Heck, even Google Maps doesn't once mention California after a search for "Disney parks."

But why is this? Why must Disneyland always come second? It's not fair. Disney World shouldn't come first--Disneyland came into existence first. Without Disneyland, Disney World wouldn't even exist. It always has been, and always will be, the original. It is more magical and more historically important than its sister in Florida.

I am sure that Disney World steals the attention since it's bigger and more popular, but I still think that Disneyland takes the cake as the best Disney park.

Oh well, this was merely an observation. And, also, a sort of public service announcement; now you know that Disney World favoritism is out there and is apparent everywhere you look.

I love every single bit of every single Disney park. Don't get me wrong: I love both Disney parks. I just happen to like Disneyland a little bit better.

Long live Disneyland.


Weird Al to Direct a Feature

"Weird Al" Yankovic is the best parody artist of our time. He is a comedic genius with a large fan base, and he has just signed a deal with Cartoon Network. He will be writing and directing a feature film for them. According to his very own blog, it will not be a sequel to the classic UHF, and will star a teenager (but Al will be making an appearance in the film).

I'm looking forward to what the hilariously talented Weird Al will come up with.

Source: Al's Web Log


Shatner to Host 37th Annie Awards

Briefly: ASIFA-Hollywood has announced that William Shatner will host the 37th Annual Annie Awards on February 6, 2010 at the UCLA's Royce Hall in Los Angeles, CA. Very cool.

Now the only question is, who will win? Will Pixar continue to sweep the awards season, or will The Princess and the Frog or Coraline or even The Fantastic Mr. Fox win a little, too? We will know soon enough...


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Unkrich's Pixar Stuff to Benefit Haiti

Lee Unkrich is helping out the people who are suffering in Haiti by auctioning off his great collection of Pixar things he has accumulated over the years. Each item is being auctioned separately, and they include crew jackets from numerous Pixar films, baseball hats, T-shirts, signed art, and even specially made Monsters, Inc. Jones Soda. I'd like to stress that these charity auctions are being created and handled personally by Lee Unkrich, director of Toy Story 3, and are not being organized by either Pixar or Disney. Also, it is important to note that 100% of the final sale price will go to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. There are some real treasures being put up for auction and I would encourage you to take a look at them. After all, it is for a great cause.

Check out The Pixar Blog for more information and a statement made by Lee.

Very cool.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More TS3 Cast Pictures from Unkrich (And Some More Cool Stuff)

Like I always say, Unkrich's TwitPic page is a place full of wonderful, insider pictures straight from Toy Story 3's production, and Pixar Studios in general. Today, I'll share some brand new pictures featuring the director, Lee Unkrich with some pictures of the cast. At the top you'll see my favorite (I just love how they're in the exact same position), featuring Lee and Tom Hanks (voice of Woody the Sheriff). Below are pictures of Lee with Estelle Harris (Mrs. Potato Head) and Bonnie Hunt, in that order. And at the bottom you will find a model of Buzz Lightyear, presumably created out of a hard foam-type substance by a 3D printer, if the commenters are correct (notice the Annie Award sitting in the background). They're all very nice...

And, one last extra special surprise straight from Lee, two drawings from Christmastime. Very cool:

Toy Story 3 will be released in Disney Digital 3D (and IMAX 3D) on June 18 of this year. And I can hardly stand the wait.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Burton to Creep-ify 'Sleeping Beauty' Next

Alice in Wonderland, a new take on a classic novel and a Disney animated film, will be released later this year. It is being directed, as you probably know, by the visionary Tim Burton. But what you may not know is that Burton is also set to direct a "re-telling" of a different classic Disney film, Sleeping Beauty. It will be produced by Disney and will be titled Maleficent. It will focus on the story of the antagonist rather than the heroine Aurora. Just like the upcoming Alice in Wonderland, Maleficent will be live-action (and will almost definitely be in 3D), and, of course, will be creepy.

There are currently no details relating to a release date or any other members of the cast (but it is a sure bet that Depp will be in it--possibly as Prince Philip?). We will know soon enough...


Spider-Man has a new Webb

Marc Webb (directed (500) Days of Summer) is a great director, but I don't know if he's right for his next gig. Sony has just announced that Webb will be at the head of a completely new Spider-Man reboot. This new trilogy will have completely different storylines and actors and everything else compared to the popular trilogy featuring Tobey and Kirsten.

This is very exciting news. I love Spider-Man, but did not like where the last trilogy was taking it. Although I never pictured him as a superhero director, I'm very interested to see what Marc Webb, a lighthearted and character-driven director, will do with Peter Parker.

An unconfirmed rumor that's been going around recently is that Robert Pattinson of the Twilight series will star as our friend Peter Parker. Let us hope that this is not the case. (What I'd like to see is Joseph Gordon-Levitt taking over as the webmaster. That would be great.)

Marc Webb is all that's known for now about the new trilogy, but I'll keep you up-to-date as more news surfaces.

Source: /Film


Sunday, January 17, 2010

'Up' Wins at the Golden Globes

Up can add two more awards to its ever-growing list of accolades. Docter is taking home a Golden Globe for Up as the Best Animated Feature, and Michael Giacchino is taking one home for his score. The legendary Paul McCartney presented the award to Docter, stating that “animation is not just for children, it also for adults who take drugs.” Everyone knew that Up would win best animated feature, since it almost had a chance at getting nominated for best picture. But what I am really glad about is Up's win for Best Score. Michael Giacchino really did write a truly glorious score. He definitely deserves his globe, and deserves the Oscar that is most certainly heading his way.

Great job to Pete Docter, Michael Giacchino, and Pixar!


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tons of Awards for 'Up'

Up was the best film of 2009. Luckily, it is obvious that as the awards season gets into high gear, the majority of the critics agree. First, Up was given the Rotten Tomatoes Golden Tomato Award, recognizing it as the highest rated film of 2009 at 98%. Up was then recognized as the Favorite Family Movie of last year at the 36th annual People's Choice Awards. And, finally, Up won the Best Animated Feature Film and the Best Score at the Critics' Choice Award.

I sure hope that Up keeps going strong through the Golden Globes and the Oscars. Way to go, Pixar!


'Finding Nemo' Blu-ray on the Way? has a product page for the Finding Nemo Blu-ray. It has a list price of $38.81 and a shipping date of May 1, 2010. There has been no official announcement from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment regarding a Finding Nemo Blu-ray. Judging by the product page, I'm guessing that this is simply a false alarm.

Source: The Pixar Blog


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

'Princess and the Frog' Score Ineligible at Oscars

Randy Newman wrote a wonderful score for Disney's most recent animated masterpiece, The Princess and the Frog. However, after having mailed the nominations ballots, the Music Branch Executive Committee of the Academy Awards decided that the score for the film could not be eligible for an Oscar due to Rule 16, Section II, Paragraph E: "...scores diluted by the use of tracked themes or other preexisting music, diminished in impact by the predominant use of songs, or assembled from the music of more than one composer shall not be eligible." They have yet to specify which rule the score has broken.

If you loved the music of The Princess and the Frog like I did, don't feel too bad. The film is still eligible to win with one of its four original songs. And, frankly, it should do very well in this category, being up against songs from Avatar and Nine (neither of which are anything special). Sorry there, Randy. At least you can look forward to an Oscar for one of your great original songs.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

TS3's Production Designer has a great Holiday Card

Briefly: Above, straight from Lee Unkrich's twitpic page, you'll find the holiday card of Toy Story 3 Production Designer Bob Pauley. I love this piece of artwork. It is really, very cool.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

'Pirates 4' Gets an Official Release Date

Disney has just officially announced that Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides will be released in theaters on May 20, 2011. They made the announcement on their Facebook page. Currently, nobody is attached to the film. Not Johnny Depp. Not Gore Verbinski. Nobody. I'm pretty sure that Depp will star in the film, although, after Cook's departure, you never know what might happen. I'd also like to point out that a year and a half is an incredibly short amount of time to write, shoot, edit, and promote such a gigantic film. I don't know how they're going to do it.

No more information is known, but I'll keep you updated.

Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me.