Saturday, February 16, 2008
There is a new design on the Disney and more header. From now, there will be a picture - here the Disneyland Paris castle - and this picture will change regularly. But don't worry, you're still on Disney and more home page, the eye candy web site for Disney fans ! Also new : now, if you want to notify one of your friend about a Disney and more article, you can send directly an email to him with a click on the little envelope symbol located at the end of each article.
Publié par Alain Littaye à l'adresse 7:16 AM
Did you visit the BuyNLarge web site ? You know, this web site that Pixar created some months ago...It's all about a robot manufacturer company, supposedly real. Except that BuyNLarge don't exist, and will never be. The site is here only for the promotion - and the story line - of the awaited Pixar animated movie WALL-E.
It's a good idea, by the way, and there is even a store where you can buy some BuyNLarge t-shirts hats, magnets, etc...and this one - i think - is for real.
So, in WALL-E story line, BuyNLarge is the robot manufacturer - not only of WALL-E, as we will see. And the site provide a great 3D animated movie about WALL-E functions that you can watch below.
Always on the site, you can discover other BuyNLarge robot models. If they were real, and if we could order them, this will be great, as they look pretty cool.
Among them, SALL-E , the vaccubot - please click on each picture to see functions details of each robot.
...GAR-E, the yardbot
...NANC-E, the nannybot (!)
and WEND-E, the washbot
They all looks really cool as i've said, but this lead me to one question: Will these BuyNLarge robots appear in some scenes of the WALL-E movie?
Your thoughts ?
Video and screnn capture pictures: copyright Disney, Pixar and BuyNLarge
Friday, February 15, 2008
Since 50 years many celebrities from around the world came to visit Disneyland, Anaheim. Here are is a second series of pictures of some of them, you can see the first part HERE.
Let's begin with the "royals" with the picture above of Prince Rainier of Monaco with his daughter Princess Caroline and his son Prince Albert inside the Adventure through innerspace attraction in the 60's.
On the next picture, Princess Anne , daughter of Queen Elizabeth, in New Orleans square
Here is Sarah Ferguson, former wife of Prince Andrew here on the Alice in wonderland ride
Here is now some actors, beginning by Groucho Marx, one of the famous Marx Brothers, here on the Mark Twain
Famous italian actress Sophia Loren, sitting on the Disneyland "C.K Holliday"
Elizabeth Taylor had a special evening in Disneyland for her birthday
Sir Ben "Gandhi" Kingsley, in the late 80's enjoying one of Main Street vehicles
And, more recently U2 lead singer Bono, in Alice tea cups
And now, two of my favorite celebrities. The first one is legendary boxer Mohamed Ali "the greatest", here in Tomorrowland in the late 60's
And the next one is also a living legend, the great astronaut Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon
Talking about the moon, let's end by two other celebrities "from another planet" with C3PO and R2D2 !
See you next week for part three!
All photos: copyright Disney
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Indy is back! The highly awaited trailer of Indiana Jones and the kingdom of the crystal skull is now "officially" released and you can see it below, on Disney and more!
And now, here is a detailed analysis on the trailer and what we can learn from it about the story line. All the pictures below are screen capture of the high-definition trailer, so, don't hesitate to double-click on them to watch them in big size and explore each details. Also, please don't forget that what you will read below are only my personal deductions, and that i may be wrong ...
WARNING: From this point it's absolutely full of spoilers!
First, one thing is sure: it looks great, Indy is back for real, including his hat!
Two, he is in trouble! And, because the action is in late 50's - during the cold war - it's with russian agents.
And he's not alone in trouble. The interesting element on this picture below are the wooden boxes on the left. It should reminds you something...
That's right, the scene is in the huge warehouse where the ark of the covenant was secretly stored at the end of Raiders of the lost ark...and i think we can deduct that the russians are after it. It's Cate Blanchett who plays Agent Irina Spalko.
In one of the best stunt idea i've seen since a long time, Indy try to stop her...
... and land inside the truck just behind!
The chase is going on...
But the interesting shot is this one, as we can see an open box on the left: did the russians already stole the ark of the covenant?
Of course, it's not that easy for the bad guys...
Another extremely interesting shot of the trailer is this one, showing the words "Roswell". This seems to confirm rumors talking about a link between the "crystall skull" and aliens...
Also confirmed by this other shot showing a base in the desert - the famous area 51?
And what about this other shot - not from the trailer - showing Indy and a skeleton behind him which looks really not-from-this-world...
However, it seems that another fight happen in this place...
Action move to another country...
And, yes, the famous shot of the plane and the map are back!
We are now in South America, as the map above let us know, as well as the falls below...
Where a dangerous chase happens again between Indy and Agent Irina Spalko...
Although Indy is not really without lethal weapons...
Indy's son - played by Shia LaBeouf seems to feel some danger...
Is it these hostiles indians?
Or is it the usual temple's booby traps...
They will get in the temple, if these columns don't crash them...
Now, if they want to find the truth, they have to go down the stairs...
Or to escape to these very angry indians...
And there is a lot of indians!
The last shot of the trailer - but of course not the last one of the movie - show Indy and his son.
Trailer and all screen capture pictures: copyright Lucas Film Ltd and Paramount pictures
Publié par Alain Littaye à l'adresse 2:48 AM
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Today, this article will let you know everything about a great indoor theme park - the Space Center Bremen in Germany. A theme park with fantastic theming, that you would have loved instantly. Why “would” ? Because, nine months after its opening, the Space Center closed its doors....and, very unfortunately, will never re-open. I will explain why below, but let’s begin first by the beginning.
So, in 2004, exactly four years ago, a new European theme park opened in Bremen, a town on the north Germany (where some of Europe's space industry is located). Called "Space Center Bremen", this brand new attraction was Europe's largest indoor theme park - 70,000 square feet!
And guess who was the show-producer of Space Center Bremen? Bill Gorgensen. "And who is Bill Gorgensen?" you ask. Well, Bill - photo below - worked for many years for the Walt Disney Company in their Imagineering division. Gorgensen was co-show producer with Chris Tietz on the Adventureland section of the Disneyland Paris theme park. He supervised the creation of DLP's "Pirates of Caribbean." And - outside the theme park - Bill helped to create the resort's Disney village area - the "Downtown Disney" of Disneyland Paris. Bill Gorgensen is a man who is well known in themed entertainment circles for delivering a top quality product.
"So what's the back story on Space Center Bremen?" you query. Well, the original idea for the park came from a German nuclear physician, Dr Wilke - photo below. Which is perhaps why the entrance area of the theme park is played very straight. With a 200 foot high mock-up of the Ariane rocket towering overhead and replicas of Spoutnik on display nearby.
But don't let those displays of old spacesuits fool you. Space Center Bremen was a real theme park. One that's loaded with thrill rides, a 4D movie, simulators, an interactive dark ride as well as a brand new roller coaster featuring state-of-the-art technology! Plus licensed attractions like "Star Trek: Borg Encounter" and "Star Gate SG 3000."
At first glance, the exterior of the Space Center Bremen building looked like a fairly standard structure. Until you notice that the shape of the building's walls look very much like the exterior of a spaceship.
This seemingly insignificant detail actually has some importance. For it's all part of Space Center Bremen's "inside story." In fact, the "back story" of SCB is that the building that the theme park is housed in was actually supposed to be this giant space ship in which "windows" are open to various different time periods: For example, the "Star Gate" window was supposed to allow you to "enter" the year 3000, the "Star Trek" window allows you access to 2400, etc.
Getting back to the theme park's entrance: As soon as you saw this, you just knew that Space Center Bremen was going to be great. Giant boosters welcomed you with light and sound to the Futuristic Corridor - a kind of "Main Street U.S.A." - which leads to the Quantum Turbine and the giant Cosmosphere, the icon of Space Center Bremen.
The Quantum Turbine was a place where images from the conquest of space that have taken place over the past few centuries could be seen. This was the section of the theme park that supposedly "transports" guests into the space time continuum of the Cosmosphere.
All along the Futuristic Corridor, the theming, music and lightning was all "Disney quality-like" and the use of this interior space was wonderful.
Here is a first movie which is a long travelling from the entrance to the Quantum Turbine, and going through the "Mission control" area till the central hub.
This part of Space Center Bremen, leading up to the park's giant hub and the Cosmosphere was so well done, it would have easily fit in Epcot. Each half hour, the space ship's giant computer presented an elaborate and dazzling laser light and sound show. This whole part of the theme park was a real E Ticket. Here is a rendering of it...
...two photos of the central sphere show...
And a movie of the whole show !
Also along the Futuristic Corridor, was the entrance to "Mission Control," a place where you could have watch - live - the launch of the next Ariane rocket or locate the exact position of the International Space station (which is orbiting high above the Earth).
From here, guests entered the theme park's IMAX theatre. Where you could watch an edited down version of the recent IMAX film that was shot on the space station - narrated by Tom Cruise. This film - which was shot in 3D - features some wonderful effects as well as some just plain amazing views of the Earth.
Then you arrived at Space Center Bremen's "Hub," where the theme park's guests had the choice of visiting four different time periods. Let's start with the first one on the right, "Moon Base One." After entering a replica of the Space Station corridor, you arrived on the moon base where there were four attractions to choose from.
"Moon Base One's" main attraction was "Galaxy Express," an indoor roller coaster that features new technology. On this unique virtual reality adventure, guests could take a high-speed ride along a track that travels through the entire Space Center. As they journey through this attraction, guests - as they were well seated in their train - wear a kind of helmet..
Which allows them to see CGI movie that visually propels the guest through the infinite vastness of the universe. This clever combination of real coaster movement synchronized to computer generated imagery really plays tricks on your body and your mind. It makes regular roller-coaster speed seem like the speed of light, every curve becomes a desperate, last minute, planet-evasion maneuver. "Galaxy Express" may be a bit short in length, but it was a great new coaster experience.
On "Moon Base One," younger members of the family could experienced what it was like to be space travelers by visiting the "Moon Playground" for kids. At the "Destination Moon" attraction, you were able to see what the Earth looks like from the Moon through a beautiful and emotional 6-minute-long film.
Have a look to the two next movies, and discover the "Destination Moon" movie, and the "Moon Base One"
On the interactive "Robot Rescue" ride, guests travelled in lunar vehicles through a deuterium-3 mine. Your mission was to reboot all the robots that you saw in the mine (which have been stricken with a mysterious virus) by firing at them with your laser beam. It was cute, but fun.
Space Center Bremen's next "land" .... Oops! I mean next "stop" was "Planet Quest". This was a dark ride that was loaded with 3D screens. Its storyline supposedly recreates a trip into an unknown world. What I liked best about this ride is that it had a kind-of "Adventure through Inner Space" feeling, that old beloved Disneyland attraction.
Not that "Planet Quest" looks or feels "old," mind you. Far from it. Here you have a ride that was supposed to be this pseudo-serious scientific exploration of extra-terrestrial worlds, similar to "JTIS"'s somewhat serious trip through inner space. But here you had perfect 3D effects that "follow" the movement of your vehicle (Similar to what happens when you're riding through "The Amazing Spiderman" attraction at Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure). Admittedly, the show's story was a bit jumbled and somewhat hard to understand. But - what with "Planet Quest"'s excellent 3D sequences as well as the ride's great post-show were - this Space Center Bremen area was well worth a look see.
You can discover the whole Planet Quest ride on this video below - sorry, the 3D glasses are not provided!
Okay, now it's time to talk about the theme park's two licensed attractions. First up was "Star Gate SG 3000." Making its world premiere here at the Space Center Bremen park, "Stargate SG-3000" was inspired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios' TV-series, "Stargate SG-1." After a pre-show in a room which features the famous "Star Gate", guests then walked in one of the three high-tech simulators. 35 guests at a time experienced what happens when a gateway opens to various different dimensions.
The realization of this attraction was not based merely on various visual themes. But - rather - the visitors were completely immersed in the world of "Stargate SG-1." So, Space Center Bremen visitors were caught up in a race to get the Stargate key from the low-down Satra, a character specially created for the "Stargate SG-3000" experience.
Need to sit down and grab a quick snack before your next out-of-this-world adventure. Then you could eat at Bistro 3000, a wonderfully themed restaurant that seats over 450 and featured various show kitchens. A variety of good and not-very-expensive fare was offered there - everything from hamburgers to pasta to oriental food. The futuristic theming decor of Bistro 3000 was really great. And - given that this restaurant was right next door to the Cosmosphere - you often got a laser light show (featuring "liquid architecture" and changing light projections) while you dine.
Have a closer look to the Space Center restaurant area on the video below!
Next up was the "Star Trek: Borg Encounter" attraction. This one was Space Station Bremen's real good E-ticket. Your journey started aboard the U.S.S. Voyager (a pretty impressive pre-show unto itself). The next thing you knew, the starship that you were on was under attack by the Borg. So it was time to board one of Voyager's large shuttle craft in an effort to escape.
This 250 seat theatre was absolutely wonderfully designed. And - because you were supposed to be inside a shuttle - some of the members of Voyager's crew actually participated in the show.
This "4D" movie was absolutely great for any "Star Trek" lover. The attraction's 3D effects worked well and the in-theatre special effects (mainly in your seat) were just as good as any you find at a Disney or Universal theme park. (FYI: Space Center Bremen's "Star Trek: Borg Encounter" film is being produced by Paramount Pictures. This attraction is an exact copy of the ride film that is now at the Las Vegas Hilton. It was designed by Herman Zimmerman, the well-known production designer for "Star Trek".)
Space Center Bremen sounds pretty impressive so far, doesn't it? Well, wait. I'm not finished yet. There's still one attraction that you had to experience at this theme park. One that's actually located outside of this highly themed indoor attraction. Yes, I know. Space Center Bremen was supposed to be an indoor theme park. But this last ride was just too big to fit inside the building!
Close - just 5 meters away - from the giant Ariane rocket near the building's entrance, the "Space Shot" ride catapulted theme park guests 65 meters straight up, exposing them to a force of four G's. Then -- suddenly - "Space Shot" stopped. Which was when the guests experience free fall. Weightlessness for just under two seconds. Then your "space capsule" glides safely back down back to Earth.
"And how much did this amazing indoor theme park cost?" you ask. $250 Millions. No kidding. Of which at least $120 million was spent in the building itself.
All in all, Space Center Bremen was a great way to spend a day...and it was successful! 500.000 visitors enjoyed it during the 9 months when it was opened. Including legendary imagineer Tony Baxter and some of Disneyland Paris imagineers who came to discover this new indoor theme park. In fact, Tony was even impressed by the quality of the theming.
So, what happened, why this wonderful indoor theme park closed just nine months after its opening? Well, that happened for various reasons. First, a shopping center was attached to it, but no shops opened. Two, there was a misunderstanding in the area as to what it was. Most thought it was a Science Center, so there was little local support. Three, the state and banks wanted 1.5 million visitors in the first year and, when there wasn't, because of the shopping center, there was a disappointment factor. Four, it had more castmembers than needed so the overheads were larger than necessary.
Five, there was next to no awareness in the surrounding cities that Space Center existed. And, six, Some say it was just in the wrong place. All this finally killed the Space Center, and there is no chance at all, now, that it may re-open again.
It’s really a pity, because all of you would have loved it. Some of the attractions could have been improved, but the whole park was great. It’s a sad story, i know, but sometime this can happen. So, if you didn’t looked to the videos above yet, do it now, because they are your last chance to have a glimpse at this wonderful Space Center Bremen!
Photos: copyright Space Center Bremen and Alain Littaye
This article was previously published in 2004 on the Jim Hill website at: http://jimhillmedia.com/