Saturday, July 5, 2008

WDW Magic kingdom 4th of July fireworks - Photos and Videos

It was the 4th of July yesterday, i.e the big national day in America. WDW Magic Kingdom had a new and stunning fireworks with patriotic images projected on the castle. Here below is a two-part youtube video filmed by alexanderhomes

And here is another video from the excellent, filmed differently where you see less the projections effects on the castle, but better the fireworks.
By the way, don't forget to click on the two photos above, they are in high-res!

Photos: copyright Disney

Youtube videos: many thanks to alexanderhomes and insidethemagic

Friday, July 4, 2008

France F 1 Grand Prix coming to Disneyland Paris ? Say goodbye to the third theme park !

Today in the french newspaper "Le Parisien", Euro Disney admits they are officially favorable to the move of the french Formule 1 grand prix from Magny-Cours to the Disneyland Paris Resor . On the condition of limiting the noise pollution and the atmospheric pollution.

EuroDisney wishes that the project will be more a "technopole" with a F 1 grand prix only once a year. This "high-tech city" would be dedicated to the development of the renewable energies. In two words, it is about research on the "green" vehicles of the future: hydrogen, biofuels, etc...

"For us, it is unthinkable that visitors of the park hear the noise of the racing cars when they walk in Main Street" said Dominique Coquet.

In fact EuroDisney requires that " the activities of the circuit during the year bring no emergence of noise with regards to the current level, and no supplementary atmospheric pollution. "These drastic conditions ask the question of the profitability of the future installation, the cost of which is estimated at 60 million euros". " This business plan is not within our competence " said EuroDisney , adding that " the ball is in the camp of the government and the French Federation of car-racing ( FFSSA) ".

Then there is the question of the land to build it. The direction/management of Euro Disney has already chosen: they will use the 130 hectares initially devolved to the third theme park ( initially a kind of EPCOT). The site is include in the 1987 agreement between Disney and the french government who is the owner of the land. An agreement which has to be renegociated soon.

For Arnaud de Belenet, president of the public establishment of the Val-d'Europe town " to give temporarily this land for the F 1 Grand Prix would allow Disney " to spare time " to realize its project of the third theme park, today frozen for a lack of money.

My opinion on all this is that the park don't need this. The french F 1 Grand Prix happen once a year, and even if the land may look far from the Magic Kingdom, believe me, you WILL hear the roaring F 1 cars in Main Street! Also, if they built it, say goodbye to a third theme park, for a looooong time. Not to mention that i would not like to be a guest at the Newport Bay, Sequoia Lodge or Santa Fe hotels during the F 1 race as the hotels are located just in front of where the circuit is supposed to be build...

Frankly, the park has a lot to loose with this project, but if they keep saying they are interested it may be more for the "technopole" part of the project than the grand prix itself. As always, we must "look for the money" to understand a decision, and this "technopole" will certainly bring some ( money ) to EuroDisney SCA.... Yes, but if the cost is the loss of a future third theme park, then Disneyland Paris fans may enter in rebellion...

Photo from AP Photo by Christian Lutz
Editor's note: Don't miss on Miceage today the fantastic photographic report of Andy Castro on the new Innoventions Dream Home at Disneyland. It's the best i've seen so far!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Hong Kong Disneyland expansion project and Shanghaï Disneyland rumors

The hong Kong Economic Times newspaper printed in their front page this Hong Kong Disneyland expansion map. It is supposed to be a 5 years expansion project covering an area of 5 hectares, mainly in the back of Adventureland and Fantasyland.

About the future new attractions themselves, my opinion is that we can count on the huge Pirates of Caribbean "land" - see rendering below - and rumours are talking about a Toon Town coming, too, in the back of Fantasyland. UPDATED 7/4: Finally it seems that the Pirates of Caribbean land project is "dead" and that the imagineers are going in a different direction...more news when i will have some!

The land for a third hotel is always available , as well as the 60 hectares for the phase two.

We all know that the park need more attractions, and there is no doubt they are going to build new one, the sooner being the better.

A chinese newspaper also reported that the deal for a new Shanghaï Disneyland was signed with Disney, for a park 8 times bigger than HKD. Both disney and the chinese denied that the deal was signed, which doesn't mean at all that it won't be done. My personnal feeling is that a Shangaï Disneyland will exist, but don't hope for an official announcement before the end of the olympic games...

More about this on the excellent Micechat at, from where is coming the map above.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Plectu's Fantastic Galactic Revue, the "Disney decade" project that never was

"Plectu's Fantastic Galactic Revue" was part of the new attraction/show announced in 1990's famous "Disney decade" project. Supposed to replace the Carousel of Progress at WDW, it was, unfortunately, never built. The renderings of this "Plectu's" project are extremely rare, but here is one showing how the exterior would have looked. Let's thanks Mark Taft from the excellent Insight and Sounds blog who had the good idea to take the picture of the artwork in 1990 at Disneyland.

In one of his famous "Why for?" articles published in 2004, Jim Hill described the building exterior theming as "Like someone had brought the Mothership from "Close Encounters of a Third Kind" in for a three-point landing in the heart of Tomorrowland", and when we look at the artwork, the least we can say is that Jim's description was right!

To know more how this "singing audio-animatronics aliens" and their "outer-space musical-variety revue" would have been - if WDI succeed to have the green light from Michael Eisner - which they never had, i suggest you to have a look at Jim's article HERE

Artwork: copyright Walt Disney Enterprises

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

New Pixar short movie "Presto" now available on ITunes Store !

The new Pixar short movie "Presto" is already available on the U.S ITunes Store for $1.99 ! Those of you who live in the U.S will see it just before Wall-E, but many other countries - like France where Wall-E is release only on July 30th - will have to wait one more month to discover it.

Now, everybody in the world can buy "Presto" on the ITunes Store IF you have a U.S ITunes Store account. And to have a U.S ITunes Store account, you need not only an adress in the U.S, but also a U.S credit card or bank account. If you do NOT have a U.S bank account, your last chance to order Presto is to have a friend in the U.S who can order and download it for you. And if you don't have an american friend, then you just gotta wait for Presto to be release on your local ITunes Store....and it can take a looong time - in France, for instance, last year Pixar short "Lifted" is still not available on the french ITunes Store - i know, it's absurd, but it's the sad truth...

Here is again the 30 seconds Presto preview - by the way, all the reviews on this Pixar short are highly positive...

Photo and video: copyright Disney-Pixar

Monday, June 30, 2008

A review of cool stuff available at Disney Shopping

Quite a while since i did a "cool merchandise" topic, but here is one about cool stuff available at

Of course, plenty of new items about Wall-E, beginning with this great poster above available for $29.50 in the collectibles section HERE

In the Wall-E toys section HERE , lot of different items - remote-controlled Wall-E, Motorized Interactive Talking Wall-E and EVE who interact with each other - $39.50 each. Here are two different videos to have a closer look to how it works.

Also, these "Wall-E Transforming" which "quickly transforms from cube to fully poseable figure in seconds, ready to clean up the world" - $24.50

This Search & Protect Eve "Press EVE's head down to change her eye expressions six different ways" - $12.50

And, this Clean & Go M-O which moves along the floor brushing up any debris in his path - Two rotating brushes lift dirt up into his back panel compartment - $12.50

Don't forget to keep some dollars for the Ultimate Wall-E that will be available this fall - the real good one to buy. Have a look at this new video of it below.

Always at, three cool items to celebrate Peter Pan 55th anniversary. The first one is this great Never Land big figure featuring a working waterfall, a rotating Tinker Bell and lots of your favorite characters and locations, including the Mermaid's Lagoon, a hollow tree filled with the Lost Boys and Peter Pan, and Tiger Lily and her village. Tepees and Hollow tree lights up.

Also, this Peter Pan 55th Anniversary Snowglobe where The Lost Boys are lost in joy as they dance around Peter Pan and Tiger Lily, while her father and the jealous Wendy watch. Characters rotate around snowglobe and Indian Tents light up. These two items are a bit pricey - $150 and $99.50, but nice Peter Pan items are always rare.

And if you like fiber optic effects, this Tinker Bell Fiber Optic Big Figure should make your day - Fiber optic wings and Pixie dust on base lights up and changes color - $79.50

Finally, there is a real good deal on Disneyshopping right now, it's this Jack Sparrow 22'' Full Body Figurine at $49.99 ( intead of 124.50 previously ). I bought it some months ago, and not only the sculpture is huge, but also beautiful. The best Jack Sparrow sculpture i've seen so far. Believe me, for $49.99 it's a reaaaal good deal!

Okay, that should do it for today!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Editor's note: Wall-E was released in the U.S last friday, and the estimated Box office for the week-end is between $ 62.55 M and $ 65 M, which is pretty good. We must not forget that another awaited movie was released the same day in 3100 theatres, the Angelina Jolie's action movie "Wanted".
Below, all about Disney and Pixar's next animated movies, and right after, don't miss the funny new Wall-E short video "Cups"

After WALL-E , all about the future Pixar and Disney animated movies - include the new BOLT trailer !

Now that Wall-E is released, let's have a look to the next animated movies coming from Disney and Pixar until 2011. Here is the program, with pictures and synopsis for each movie!

The first animated to be release - but on dvd - will be "TINKERBELL" , October 28 2008
DisneyToon Studios
Director: Bradley Raymond
Producer: Jeannine Roussel

Synopsis: Enter the magical world of fairies and meet the enchanting creatures of Pixie Hollow, who “nurture nature” and bring about the change of the seasons. Changing the colors of the leaves, moving a sunbeam to melt snow, waking animals from their winter slumber, or giving a patch of sproutlings a sprinkle of water are all within the realm of these seasonal specialists. Tinker Bell thinks her fairy talent as a “tinker” isn’t as special or important as the other fairies’ talents. But when Tink tries to change who she is, she creates nothing but disaster! With encouragement from her friends Rosetta, Silvermist, Fawn and Iridessa, Tink learns the key to solving her problems lies in her unique tinker abilities…and discovers that when she’s true to herself, magical things can happen.

November 26th, 2008 is the date for BOLT's U.S Release Date and in Disney Digital 3-D!
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Directors: Chris Williams, Byron Howard
Producer: Clark Spencer
Voice Talent: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman

Synopsis: For super-dog Bolt (voiced by John Travolta), every day is filled with adventure, danger and intrigue – at least until the cameras stop rolling. When the canine star of a hit TV show is accidentally shipped from his Hollywood soundstage to New York City, he begins his biggest adventure yet – a cross-country journey through the real world. Armed only with the delusions that all his amazing feats and powers are real, and with the help of two unlikely traveling companions – a jaded, abandoned housecat named Mittens (voiced by Susie Essman), and TV-obsessed hamster in a plastic ball named Rhino – Bolt discovers he doesn’t need superpowers to be a hero.

Here is the new BOLT trailer in HD quality

Next one , in May 2009 will be a Pixar production: "UP!"
Pixar Animation Studios
Director: Pete Docter
Co-Director: Bob Peterson
Producer: Jonas Rivera
Writer: Bob Peterson
Voice Talent: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, John Ratzenberger, Jordan Nagai

Synopsis: Carl Fredricksen spent his entire life dreaming of exploring the globe and experiencing life to its fullest. But at age 78, life seems to have passed him by, until a twist of fate (and a persistent 8-year old Wilderness Explorer named Russell) gives him a new lease on life. “Up” takes audiences on a thrilling journey where the unlikely pair encounter wild terrain, unexpected villains and jungle creatures.

Christmas 2009 will see the return of Disney traditional 2D animation with THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG
Directors: John Musker, Ron Clements
Producer: Peter Del Vecho
Composer: Randy Newman
Voice Talent: Anika Noni Rose, Keith David, Jenifer Lewis, John Goodman

Synopsis: A musical set in the greatest city of them all, New Orleans, “The Princess and the Frog” marks Disney’s return to the timeless art form of traditional animation. The film teams Ron Clements and John Musker, creators of “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin,” with Oscar®-winning composer Randy Newman to tell the most beautiful love story ever told…with frogs, voodoo, and a singing alligator.

You can have a look at the "frog" character in these storyboard pages

And here is the rendering of an insect, one of the characters - very probably a firefly

June 18th, 2010 is the big date for Pixar's TOY STORY 3 and in Disney Digital 3-D
Director: Lee Unkrich
Producer: Darla K. Anderson
Writer: Michael Arndt
Composer: Randy Newman
Voice Talent: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, Estelle Harris, John Ratzenberger, Ned Beatty

The creators of the beloved “Toy Story” films re-open the toy box and bring moviegoers back to the delightful world of Woody, Buzz and our favorite gang of toy characters in “Toy Story 3.” Lee Unkrich (co-director of “Toy Story 2” and “Finding Nemo”) directs this highly anticipated film, and Michael Arndt, the Academy Award®-winning screenwriter of “Little Miss Sunshine,” brings his unique talents and comedic sensibilities to the proceedings.

Synopsis ( Source: IMDB ) : Woody, Buzz, and the rest of their toy-box friends are dumped in a day-care center after their owner, Andy, departs for college. Meanwhile, Hamm, Rex and Mr. Potato Head begin a quest to find their long lost twin brothers. (NDR: Rumors also say that the characters will travel in Europe)

In Christmas 2010, the next Disney animated will be release: RAPUNZEL
Walt Disney Animation Studios
Directors: Glen Keane, Dean Wellins
Producer: Roy Conli

Synopsis: In this new telling of the classic fairy tale, “Rapunzel,” audiences will be transported to a stunning CG fantasy world complete with the iconic tower, an evil witch, a gallant hero and, of course, the mysterious girl with the long golden tresses. Expect adventure, heart, humor, and hair…lots of hair, when Rapunzel unleashes her locks in theaters for the 2010 holiday.

Finally, in Christmas 2011 Pixar Animation Studios will release THE BEAR AND THE BOW
Pixar Animation Studios
Director: Brenda Chapman
Producer: Katherine Sarafian
Voice Talent: Reese Witherspoon, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson

Synopsis: A rugged and mythic Scotland is the setting for Pixar’s action-adventure "The Bear and the Bow.” The impetuous, tangle-haired Merida, though a daughter of royalty, would prefer to make her mark as a great archer. A clash of wills with her mother compels Merida to make a reckless choice, which unleashes unintended peril on her father’s kingdom and her mother’s life. Merida struggles with the unpredictable forces of nature, magic and a dark, ancient curse to set things right. Director Brenda Chapman (“The Prince of Egypt,” “The Lion King”) and the storytelling wizards of Pixar conjure humor, fantasy and excitement in this rich Highland tale.

Photos, trailer and drawings: copyright Disney or Pixar

New WALL-E vignette "Cups"

Don't miss below this new and may be last short Wall-E video "Cups", one of the best from the vignette series.