Saturday, July 26, 2008

The first WATCHMEN Trailer is released - and it's a WOW ! - High-res pictures and trailer

If you've read Alan moore and Dave gibbons WATCHMEN, you're probably among the millions of super fans around the world awaiting Zach Snyder's movie adaptation of this fantastic graphic novel - listed by Time magazine as one of " 20th century 100 best novels ".

All others Alan Moore movies adaptations were mostly disapointed - remember The League of extraordinary gentlemen ? - but this time, it seems that we're going to get the real thing. The first trailer is released, and all i can say is:!!!

Have a look below at the high-res screen capture photos and the trailer, or, much better, watch it in high definition HERE and you'll understand what i mean. I just can't wait for June 2009, it looks so perfect...

And here is a video showing the Night Owl ship exhibit at the Comic Con

Photos and trailer: copyright Warner

Week-end update : Tron 2 , Stan Lee " Time Jumper " project with Disney , Imagineers Harriet Burns and Randy Pausch died...

Some interesting news for the week-end, beginning of course by the presentation at San Diego's Comic Con of three minutes of Tron 2. More about it in the Jim Hill article and a full description of what the lucky guys at the Comic Con have seen on Ain't it You can also see these three minutes of Tron 2 on a youtube video HERE. You better hurry to watch it on youtube before the WDC asked it to be removed!

Also, legendary comic-book creator Stan Lee and Disney may have a deal on a new project announced Variety :

The Walt Disney Co. has reupped its first look pact with POW Entertainment, the production shingle run by comicbook vet Stan Lee.
Two-year deal covers movies, TV, publishing, games, online and mobile entertainment.

Lee co-created the Spider-Man, X-Men, Iron Man, Hulk, Daredevil and Fantastic Four characters while at Marvel Comics.

As part of the pact, Mouse has greenlit "Time Jumper," a digital comicbook series that Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will produce and distribute across multiple platforms.

Project revolves around the character of Terry Dixon, an agent of the secret government org HUNT (Heroes United, Noble and True), who has a cell phone called the Articulus that's also a time machine. When his brother is lost in time, Terry must try to find him before an a criminal cartel does.

Disney Interactive Media Group's Disney Online and Disney Publishing Worldwide will also develop their own content based on the property that consumers will be able to download as single or multiple episodes. A comicbook will also be published.

"Time Jumpers" is the latest project for Lee at Disney, who has also set up three other pics, including "Nick Ratchet," to be helmed by Richard LaGravenese; "Blaze" and "Tigress."

Sad news from WDI as two Imagineers have died : Disney Legend Harriet Burns was 79. During her WDI career she worked on the design of Sleeping Beauty Castle, New Orleans Square, the Haunted Mansion, and also all the singing birds of the Enchanted Tiki Room. In 2000 she became a Disney Legend.

Randy Pausch, also a Disney Imagineer, died of cancer at 47. Don't miss his “Last Lecture” video entitled "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" , you can watch it on the Disney Blog.

Stan Lee news: copyright:

Photos: copyright Disney

Friday, July 25, 2008

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge pictorial tribute - Part one

The recent article about the beautiful tokyo Disneyland Hotel gave me the idea to do a series of pictorial articles about Disney theme park most beautiful hotels. So, after the TDL Hotel, here is the second article, and this one is all about the stunning Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Designed by WDI Imagineers, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, as we know, is located inside Animal Kingdom and facing Animal Kingdom African savannah.

If you've never stayed at the hotel or never saw a picture of the lobby in good resolution you are going to understand why this lobby is a "wow!".

Hand-carved furnishings, rich wood and vibrant colors at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge offer Walt Disney World Resort guests the finest in authentic African architecture and design.

The centerpiece of the art collection at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is the Igbo Ijele (pronounced e-bo e-gelay) mask, featured in the lobby. The Ijele, created by the Igbo people of Africa, is a massive creation that towers more than 16 feet tall and is eight feet in width. In Africa, the mask signifies an important event or celebration and makes rare appearances. No other Ijele, which is the largest mask in tropical Africa, is known to exist outside of Igbo land.

Imagine walking out onto your guest-room balcony for a view of animals and tropical birds roaming through a savannah and working wildlife reserve. Altogether, more than 200 mammals and birds populate the 33-acre savannah at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Many guestroom balconies overlook the savannah, putting guests within 30 feet of the animals.

Can you spot Mickey? Walt Disney World Resort is filled with "hidden" Mickeys -- silhouettes and abstract images of Mickey Mouse cleverly hidden by Walt Disney Imagineers across the Vacation Kingdom -- including a Mickey-shaped pattern on a giraffe carved into Arusha Rock at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Landscaping creates the beautiful and diverse look of an African landscape at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

With décor inspired by the opening scenes of Disney's The Lion King, the Jiko restaurant offers sophisticated, African-inspired cuisine and a stellar South African wine list.

Here is a picture of a room.

The Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge captures the yuletide spirit of the holiday season with cultural decor and warm traditions, even at Christmas.

A new Disney Vacation Club Resort, Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas, will include a village of vacation homes. To be located at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, the new accommodations are scheduled for development in phases with an anticipated opening beginning fall 2007, with completion scheduled for spring 2009.

A distinctively themed lobby, pictured in this artist rendering, and a new village of Vacation Homes will be part of Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas.

In the part two of this pictorial article, we will have a look at the incredible - i should stay stunning - Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Presidential suite. Don't miss it !

Artwork and Photos: copyright Disney

First look at the Walt Disney Family Museum

Thanks to laughing and the photographer Doug Marsh you can have a preview of the awaited Walt Disney Family Museum schedule to open in summer 2009 at san Francisco.

The article is full of pictures of the renderings that were shown at the NFFC Convention, with a presentation by Jeff Kurti.

Two of the renderings are reproduced here, but you have dozens more , and a video interview of Jeff Kurti on Laughing Place, and you should really have a look!

Rendering photo by Doug Marsh

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Walt Disney " Secret Lives " Documentary

If there is one thing i really believe in when i do something - in this case, my blog - it is that my readers are enough intelligent to accept the truth even if it must break a bit an icon image.

The Youtube videos below are a Channel Four 1995 documentary, and it talks about the "dark side" of Walt Disney. It includes interviews with artists Bill Melendez, David Hilberman, Mary Eastman, Bill Hurtz, Marie Beardsley, and Bill Littlejohn, screenwriter Joan Scott, and biographers Marc Eliot, Richard Schickel, and Bob Thomas.

Although some of the facts told in this document are not new - and also that i don't know how objective the editing is, it worth the look, specially because of rare footage of that old era - the Studios at Burbank, the famous strike that changed everything, the 1950's Mac Carthy anti-american commitee, etc... Before beginning to think that some of these facts are infamous, it is important to put back these events in the era context. It don't change the fact that Walt really should not have done some of these things, but it explains it.

Now, don't get me wrong: Walt's mistakes don't change the fact that he had a unique vision, but what you'll see today will mainly prove one thing: Walt Disney was a human being. And like most of humans he had his moments of solar vision, and others of darkness. But, once again, there is a lot of interesting footage inside this six-part video below, so, have a look!

Video: copyright Channel Four and Disney

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tokyo Disneyland Hotel Shops - Exclusive High-Res Pictures

I will end this series of articles about the new and stunning Tokyo Disneyland Hotel with some new exclusive High-Res Pictures of the shops of the Hotel.

The Tokyo Disneyland Hotel have three shops:

Above, the picture of the Looking Glass Gifts shop - A wide variety of hotel gifts and daily-use items can be found here.

Disney Mercantile is more a "Disney" shop - This shop offers Tokyo Disney Resort merchandise.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is a beauty salon for young girls. Shimmering dresses, elegantly coiffed hair, lovely makeup… Every girl’s dream of becoming a “Disney Princess” comes true at this magical salon.

All photos: copyright Tokyo Disneyland Resort - Oriental Land Company

Please note that i will add these pictures to the previous Tokyo Disneyland Hotel article so you'll be able to find every picture on the same page.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Animation master Hayao Miyazaki's new movie " Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea " opens in Japan today ! - Artwork and Movie Trailer

You probably know who Hayao Miyazaki is, but for those of you who don't, Hayao Miyazaki is not only a genius director of animated movie, but also a master acclaimed by all animated movie directors in the world, beginning by John Lasseter.
If you've seen Princess Mononoke, Porco Rosso, Spirited Away, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Howl's Moving Castle, then, not only you know his work, but also his genius. If you've never seen any of Miyazaki movies, i envy you! As you still have to discover them, and believe me, it's pure genius and poetry!

So, today in Japan is released the highly awaited Miyazaki animated movie: "Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea" and not only it's the new one and a major event, but may be, too, his very last one, as Miyazaki is now 67 and his health is not very good - one more good reason to discover his movies while he is still alive.

And, guess what? "Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea" is inspired by the classic story of "The Little Mermaid". Of course it's a new version of Hans Christian Andersen classic tale, re-written in a japanese way. " The story is now set in modern Japan and the christian elements of Andersen original story have been deleted " says Miyazaki. Miyazaki says also that this movie was done for very young children. The movie tell the story of Ponyo, a lovely aquatic creature with a human face, saved by a 5 years old boy, Sôsuke. Ponyo is forced to go back in the abyss of the ocean, and is dreaming to become human and live with Sôsuke who saved her life.

" I wanted to use the sea element since a long time, but doing animated waves is an incredible challenge " says Miyazaki. The 170000 cels of the movie are as always all hand painted - in the pure 2D animation tradition. As it is often the case in his previous movies, there is a subliminal ecological message - even if Miyazaki keep saying that " hidden messages don't interest him". But Fujimoto, Ponyo's father in the movie is living in the ocean's abyss since he left human beings because he could not stand any more their non-Environment respect...

The movie, released today in Japan, should be release in the U.S and Europe early 2009 and will be as usual distributed by Disney. In the meantime, here is some artwork and you can see more on the Studio Ghibli web site , to see them, find the four rectangles on the right of the home page, and click on the second one.
But most of all, below, here is Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea japanese trailer!

Artwork and trailer: copyright Studio Ghibli

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Wall-E windows now on the Disney Store at Champs-Elysées, Paris

Those of you who don't live in France may not know it, but the Disney Store on the Champs-Elysées avenue in Paris , known as the "most beautiful avenue in the world" - which is a bit exagerated - is one of the best seller Disney Store in the world.

And, as the movie is released July 30 in France, they've changed their windows yesterday with a new Wall-E theming. Inside the window of the corner a real-size animated Wall-E - not a Audio-animatronic, don't dream - and all the other windows are themed on the film, including a real size Eve. Inside, the store, of course, plenty of Wall-E merchandise. Here are the pictures, sorry for the inevitable reflections in the glass.

All photos: copyright Disney and more