Friday, October 17, 2008

Editor's Note: Jump at Apple to watch the new and spectacular Bolt film clip called "The Chase". Until now, i was not totally convinced by this new Disney animated, now i am!
Also, you will find the Blue Sky Cellar article right below the Cirque du Soleil post. Scroll down and don't miss it!

Tokyo Disneyland Cirque du Soleil ZED Show

Le Cirque du Soleil at Tokyo Disneyland opened recently, and his new show "ZED" is already acclaimed by audience and critics.

As i didn't saw it myself, i choose a critic by theatre critic Richard Ouzounian to let you knoww more about it. In addition you will find at the end youtube videos of the show.

Cirque du Soleil show Zed is a masterpiece

The Cirque du Soleil show Zed opened Oct. 1 at Tokyo's Disney resort. It's worth the journey to Japan.

TOKYO–Just when you think Cirque du Soleil has taken its own unique form of entertainment about as far as it can go, they manage to astonish us once again.

Zed, which opened at the Disney Resort here last night, is one of the major works in the company's history and a piece of theatrical magic that is truly worth travelling halfway around the world to see.

This time out, the secret weapon is François Girard, the Québécois director best known for such movies as 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould and The Red Violin, as well as his works for the Canadian Opera Company, such as Oedipus Rex and Siegfried. Girard has always had a knack for bringing a total vision onto the stage or screen and filling it with complexity, but I feel that Zed may very well be his masterpiece to date.

At first glance, it is not unlike many other Cirque shows, in which a Harlequinesque character goes on a voyage of discovery. In this case, he's a white-garbed figure known as Zed, perhaps a bit of a clown, but also the perfect empty vessel seeking to be filled by life's experiences.

Like any fable, Zed is open to a variety of interpretations and Girard is wise enough to make the audience a creative partner in the show, allowing us to find in the journey of Zed everything from a reflection on our interpersonal relationships to a response to the troubled climate in today's political and economic world.

Guy Laliberté, the genius who created Cirque du Soleil, instinctively felt that this show should be dominated by acrobatics and that was the sole direction he gave Girard. But what might have become a repetitious series of aerial stunts turns into a dazzling cadenza of variations on the theme of man in flight. The artists of Cirque hurl themselves into the air in a series of awe-inspiring combinations, defying both gravity and variety as well.

One soon realizes that what the legendary Cirque show O did for water, Zed does for air. By restricting the basic palette of choices, Girard has been compelled to go for depth in his staging.

Set designer François Séguin has sliced into one of those magical spheres from the imagination of Leonardo Da Vinci. The result is a structure of breathtaking grandeur, filled with multiple levels where performers can be displayed. Girard rises to this challenge and positions his artists boldly, letting the musicians and vocalists – too often hidden away in Cirque shows – be highlighted front and centre, while artfully placed actors function as pieces of kinetic sculpture in an ever-changing series of contrapuntal images.

The lighting of David Finn is also sheer legerdemain, offering kaleidoscopic fantasies in dazzling hues and textures that provide Girard's images with a tantalizing depth and complexity.

And the costumes of Renée April aren't afraid to make bold statements of their own, using pattern and colour to complete these complex pictures.

René Dupéré has composed some of Cirque's most memorable scores over the years, but the one for Zed ranks with his very best and the vocal execution of Kevin Faraci and Johanna Lillvik touches it with magic.

All of the pieces of Zed are brilliant on their own, but it is in the show's final sequence that they achieve true greatness. Girard gradually adds every single element we have seen all evening, one at a time, until the stage is filled with an astonishing panoply of movement, light, sound and sensation.

The old cliché about "seeing your life pass before your eyes" suddenly comes true as Girard brings everything together in a way that is both dizzying and somehow unifying at the same time. Unless Cirque decides to mount a version of Zed on our side of the globe, you will have to go to Japan to experience this jewel. Believe me when I tell you, it would be worth the journey."

Photos and Artwork: copyright Cirque du Soleil

Text: copyright Richard Ouzounian

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blue Sky Cellar Unveils Exciting New Magic Coming to Disney’s California Adventure Park

The Blue Sky Cellar preview Center at DCA is opening this week-end, but here is some pics of it, i will do probably another post with more "close-up" pictures of the artwork early next week. In the meantime, you can see the pictures below and more on MiceChat HERE

And now, the Disney official press release!

ANAHEIM, Calif., October 15, 2008 – Nestled in the Golden Vine Winery at the base of Grizzly Peak in Disney’s California Adventure Park, the Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar is a place where Guests will get an exclusive sneak preview of what is new and what is in store for the expansion of the Disneyland Resort.

Beginning October 20, Guests will view working models as well as dozens of concepts and sketches from Disney Imagineers, the creative minds behind the design and construction of Disney theme parks and attractions.

With Blue Sky Cellar, Guests will be invited for the first time to preview works in progress at Disneyland Resort by immersing themselves in a facsimile of an Imagineering workspace. Based on the belief that idea gathering is best when “the sky’s the limit,” the Blue Sky Cellar is designed to resemble an Imagineering “charette,” an extended creative idea development meeting. Guests receive an inside-look at how Imagineers take “blue sky” ideas and refine them into the classic storytelling that characterizes Disney Theme Park attractions and adventures.

In this whimsical immersive setting, Imagineers have taken over a former wine cellar and set up shop. Wine barrels have turned into work stations and the former wine tasting room has become a screening room where videos showcase the behind-the-scenes magic that goes into the creation of new and upcoming attractions for Disney’s California Adventure.

Guests will view several new attraction models, including the newly envisioned Paradise Pier area with its turn-of-the-20th-Century look...

...ride vehicle maquettes from Toy Story Mania!; and the new character overlays to the Games of the Boardwalk.

Special features include updates and character additions to attractions such as Mickey’s Fun Wheel (an enhancement of the current Sun Wheel)...

...a parachute drop where once was the Maliboomer

...and Silly Symphony Swings - a refreshed and rethemed Orange Stinger.

Here is one of the envisioned concept for a "Gepetto" rethemed Orange Stinger.

And here is another one for a new Mulholland Madness.

Brand new sketches and artwork line the walls including images of the new entrance area, soon to be known as Buena Vista Street, which will bring to life a nostalgic look at Los Angeles from the 1920s and 30s when Walt Disney first arrived in California; a Red Car trolley, reminiscent of the Pacific Electric Railway; and a new central plaza area including a replica of the Carthay Circle Theatre, where Walt premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

The “coming soon” area features images of Disney’s World of Color and The Little Mermaid attraction..

...and looks even further ahead to Cars Land, a 12-acre expansion of the Park which will bring to life the town of Radiator Springs from the Disney?Pixar animated film Cars, complete with three new attractions for the whole family. Additionally, Guests in Blue Sky Cellar will have fun testing their knowledge of Disney trivia at one of the interactive workstations.

The screening room features Imagineers describing the approach and vision of the Disney California Adventure expansion. Guests will see footage of model-making, sculpting, blue sky meetings and all the aspects of bringing a Disney concept to life.

Here are two videos coming from The first one is the movie projected into the "screening room", and the second one is an Imagineering presentation by Imagineer Bob Weiss himself.


More videos and many more pictures available on ! Have a look!

Included in the original announcement of the multi-year expansion of the Disneyland Resort in Fall 2007, the Blue Sky Cellar is part of the overall commitment to keep the community and Disneyland Resort Guests informed of the exciting new and upcoming plans for the Resort. Future updates will focus on other new areas and attractions, and Guests are invited to return periodically for additional exciting information.

All pictures, artwork and press release: copyright Disney

Some pictures: copyright Mice Chat

Videos: copyright

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Editor's Note: Looking for the three parts article on Disneyland Paris Halloween season? Scroll down, you'll find it below, right after the flying Tinkerbell post!

She can fly! She can fly! She can fly! - WowWee Robotics release flying Tinkerbell !

Some months ago, i've let you know about the upcoming Tinkerbell Flytech product developed by famous robotic company WowWee. Well, that's it, the flying Tinkerbell is now available and you can order it online on the WowWee web site for $39.99!

No video available yet , but only these two pictures. I guess that many children will have a flying Tinkerbell in their bedroom this Christmas. Also, i won't be surprised if the product was available soon at Disney parks, specially in the U.S near the Fairies meet and greet they are currently building...Oh, by the way, this flying Tinkerbell is of course remote controlled - well, you didn't think that she was really flying by herself, did you?

More details about it from the WSJ: "Perfect for indoor flight, the Tinker Bell flyer powered with FlyTech technology features graceful flight patterns and enchanting wing design and is an elegant, easy-to-use vertical flyer. She is equipped with a flower wand remote controller designed specifically for children's hands and a decorative stand for storage when she needs to rest her wings. With the wand, users control the height and speed of the Tinker Bell flyer with ease, allowing her to soar, dive and glide. The wand also serves as a power source with an LED charge indicator - 18 minutes of charging gives Tinker Bell a magical power boost allowing for up to 4 minutes of flight.
The Tinker Bell flyer is constructed of light-weight, crash-resistant materials that prevent her from getting into mischief. As an ideal introduction to flight, she will entertain and delight children by allowing them to interact with a "real" Disney character. Dual-band infrared controls also allow users to fly up to two Tinker Bell flyers together in one room."

Talking about WowWee robotics, they've also released recently a new robot called "Mr Personality" and it's the kind of little robot that could be on display at Epcot's Innoventions. " Mr Personality redefines the term personal robot. This fully animated and interactive talking companion exudes personality in everything he says and does. Like a cartoon character morphed into 3D, he can tell jokes, read your daily fortune, and even answer questions about your future. RS Mr. Personality’s full color LCD screen displays his personality with animated and synchronized facial features."

In robotic, one of the most difficult thing to achieve is face movements - ask WDI Imagineers, they know what i mean! - and so, WowWee did something smart on this one. Instead to have a real face, the face of the robot is a LCD screen and eyes, nose and mouth is a kind of cartoonish movie. You'll understand better with the video below. This Mr Personality is on sale for $299.99 on their web site.

WowWee also released many other robotics, like this WowWee Femisapien Humanoid Robot and you can see all of them at

All pictures and video: copyright WowWee

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Disneyland Paris Halloween 2008 Part Three - Frontierland Halloween

Here is the third part of my Disneyland Paris Halloween 2008 report, and this time we will move all around the Frontierland decorations. There we go, beginning from the Fort, with not a lot of comments as the images - all "wallpaper" size - tells everything!

These giant "walking" scarecrows impressed every guests!

The entrance of the Bonanza Outfitters shop...

Let's have a look inside Thunder Mesa!

Near the Cowboy Cookout Barbecue is the Trick or Treat Stage, where guests can enjoy two shows: the Minnie and the Bat Boys, with a damn' good orchestra and a very good female singer, and Goofy and the magic pot, a show for younger children.

Here is a video of the Minnie and the Bat Boys show!

Let's move now in the back of Frontierland...

In Critter Corral Woody's Roundup village, guests can meet Woody and Jessie...

O-Kay, that should do it for today! Halloween season at DLP is until early November with a special Halloween evening October
31st and, new this year, three or four Mickey's not-so-scary party for young children!

All pictures and video: copyright Alain Littaye - Disney and more