Saturday, November 29, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: A Disneyland Paris guest was injured today at the Walt Disney Studios Crush Coaster attraction. More news later, but news reports said that the guest jumped himself from 7 meters high during the ride because he thought the harness was getting unlocked. His wife, who was seated in the same vehicle was arrested by security to answer some questions. Inquiry by French police and DLP maintenance was going on this saturday evening. Apparently the man is safe, even if other news medias keep saying that he is seriously hurt. More news when available.
UPDATE 11/30: A WDS source says that the man "didn't fall from 7 meters high" and, good news, the man was able to drive back to his home in the evening.

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough Video !

I was waiting for it, and here it is, the first available Youtube video of the new Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough, filmed by the always good Mintcrocodile. Please note that it is very dark inside the walkthrough - so dark that it is almost impossible to film, but Mintcrocodile did his best and had the good idea to include some pictures in the video to give a better idea of what one would be looking at.

But you will discover some of the nice WDI special effects, although it is incomparable with seeing them "directly" inside the attraction. Also, there is a nice photo report on Original D. May be it's even better to have a look at the Original D photo report before you watch the video below, what you will see on it will be more understandable.

Picture: copyright Disney

Youtube video: copyright Mintcrocodile. Many thanks to him. Have a look to more videos of Mintcrocodile HERE

Thursday, November 27, 2008

LIFE at Walt Disney Studios circa 1938-1939

Here is a new series of LIFE Magazine beautiful historical pictures, and these one were shot in 1938 and 1939 by two different LIFE photographers. The five pictures below and the one above were shot by Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Below, Walt Disney is chatting with a unidentified man in the hallway outside of his office.

Animator at Walt Disney studio holding cels of Mickey Mouse and Goofy she is working on for an animated cartoon.

Group of technicians in sound production room at Walt Disney Studio holding and banging various items while recording sound effects; they are using hanging mikes and handheld boom.

Walt Disney sitting casually at desk in his office.

Walt Disney talking with Leopold Stokowski - the concert director in Fantasia - at his studio.

The next pictures are from 1939, and were shot by Peter Stackpole. Below, Walt Disney with his staff of animators - Ward Kimball is in the center - looking over footage in the movieola editing machine from his latest picture "Pinocchio".

On the two next pictures, Walt is with animator Ward Kimball as he works out new piece of action for character Jiminy Cricket in the feature length cartoon "Pinocchio".

This next picture was shot a bit later in 1949 by J. R. Eyerman, but there is a reason why I include it here. On the picture, Bank of America Vice President Bernard Giannini is discussing bank loan with Walt Disney and his brother Roy. The Bank of America was a big help to the Walt Disney Studios, thanks to this man, Walt and Roy were able to produce many of the great animation movies we all love!

Again, all these pictures are coming from the fantastic LIFE archives now available on the web. Also, i want to let you know that if you love a picture from the LIFE archives there is possibility to order it to them and have a beautiful print on "Kodak Professional Supra Endura paper with matte finish". You have the choice between different sizes, it is delivered framed and prices begin at $79.99. Could be a good idea for a Christmas gift! Here is a link to know more about these prints - the link is for the picture of Walt standing behind Ward Kimball, but it is of course possible to order any picture.

All pictures: copyright Time-Life

Happy Thanksgiving , America !

It's Thanksgiving today in the U.S, and i wish to all my American readers a great Thanksgiving party.

I've found for you some artwork - inspired by a famous Norman Rockwell painting - which seems to be the right artwork for this memorable day!

Here is the original Norman Rockwell painting which inspired this "Disney" version.

Artwork: copyright Disney and Norman Rockwell foundation

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Disneyland's Frontierland Original Artwork

The artwork topic of this week is a special Disneyland's Frontierland artwork. The renderings below were done by great WDI artists such as Marc Davis, Herb Ryman, John De Cuir, Dan Goozeé and more. As usual don't forget to click on each image to enjoy them in big size!

Above and below, two Herb Ryman paintings of entrances to "Frontier Country" at Disneyland set the stage for the story of the Great American West.

This John De Cuir painting of the Golden Horseshoe Revue, in the style of Toulouse-Lautrec, was repainted six times larger for use as a scenic backdrop for the Golden Horseshoe Revue at Disneyland and the Diamond Horseshoe Revue at WDW.

A Marc Davis painting for the Country Bear Jamboree.

Another painting for the Bear Band Vacation Show by Dave Feiten.

A Dan Goozeé painting for Big Thunder Mountain.

All Artwork: copyright Disney and Wed Enterprises. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle walk-through open tomorrow at 5 p.m !

At 5pm tomorrow the gates of the Sleeping Beauty Catle walk-through will re-open, and it's the big news of the week. Disneyland released some pictures today and here they are below with the press release.

Walkthrough Attraction In Sleeping Beauty Castle Reopens In Time For Thanksgiving Holiday At Disneyland

The interior of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland, long closed to guests, will "reawaken" in time for Thanksgiving. A vibrant new version of the classic walkthrough attraction features colorful scenes of Aurora, her gallant prince, the evil Maleficent and other characters from the beloved fairy tale film.

The attraction is scheduled to open at 5 p.m. Wednesday, kicking off the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

This revived Sleeping Beauty Castle "show" differs from the window-display dioramas which could be seen in the castle during the 1980s and '90s. It takes its inspiration from the unique style of the original Disneyland castle walkthrough attraction of 1957, co-designed by animation art director and color stylist Eyvind Earle, who was credited with giving the motion picture "Sleeping Beauty" its distinctive and colorful look of storybook illustrations in medieval style.

Enhanced with new scenes and special-effects magic, the re-Imagineered attraction employs technology not available in the 1950s to tell the story of Sleeping Beauty, including the magic of good fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather, and the more sinister spells of the evil Maleficent.

For the first time, guests who are unable to climb stairs or navigate the passageways of the Castle will be able to experience the walkthrough "virtually" in a special room on the ground floor of the Castle.

All pictures: copyright Disney - All rights reserved

Monday, November 24, 2008

Atlantis The Palm Grand Opening - Part Two

After yesterday's pictorial presentation of Sol Kertzner's Atlantis Hotel, we will have a look in this second part to the Grand Opening party who happened last thursday.

Not only it was probably one of the most expensive party ever - 30 millions dollars were spent in the party - including 3M dollars for the Kylie Minogue private concert, but it was CERTAINLY the biggest fireworks in all mankind history - so, don't go away, because this fireworks worth the look. We'll see why in details later, but for now, let's have a look to some A+ people from the red carpet and dinner - 2500 guests were invited and enjoyed the party.

Below, Charlize Theron and Robert De Niro.

Janet Jackson with his friend and below with Richard Branson

Two pictures of the great Quincy Jones - I love Quincy!

The also great Shirley Bassey

Kylie Minogue in a glamorous dress, before her concert.

Lindsay Lohan - who came with her girl friend Samantha.

And Atlantis owner Sol Kertzner - 2nd from the left - with his wife and Charlize Theron

The show began with major projections effect on the hotel and performances by Atlantean Goddess Priyanka Chopra and Nawal El Zoughbi...

And then it was the Kylie Minogue show including 113 performers on a 43 meters long stage.

After the fireworks, the party went on and Lindsay Lohan's girlfriend Samantha Ronson was the DJ.

All this was already spectacular, but the stunning moment definitely happened with the gigantic fireworks. The cost of the 9 minutes fireworks was 3.5 M dollars - yes, Millions - and was designed and produced by Fireworks by Grucci, the team behind the design and engineering of the fireworks at the Opening Ceremonies of the Games of the XXIX Olympiad in Beijing.

Now, before you see pictures and videos of it, you have to know that there was not one firework only around the Atlantis, but all over the 17 km long Palm Jumeirah Island crescent and inside the island. Here are some numbers to give you the idea of the gigantic proportions:
- The Fireworks were launched from 716 locations (!)
- 50 points along the 17km crescent of Palm Jumeirah
- 226 floating pontoons stretched across 46km of water outlining the fronds of The Palm
- 40 locations along the 5.5km monorail outlined Palm Jumeirah’s trunk
- Over 400 balconies on the south facade and all rooftop surfaces of Atlantis The Palm - More than 100,000 specially designed pyrotechnic devices were fired in less than 9 minutes
- Relay sequences raced over 2,500 miles per hour in order to ignite more than 500 devices in 50 locations covering 17km in only 8 seconds
- The display utilized 79k of cables stretched across the 520-kilometres of Atlantis and Palm Jumeirah
- 220 pyrotechnicians spent 3,500 days to set up and produce this display
- The pyrotechnic display was one of the most ambitiously designed and technically advanced computer-controlled fireworks performances ever attempted, run by 62 computer systems operated by 1,200 satellite control modules, which fired more than 36,000 circuits.
- Special Effect Fireworks were designed and manufactured in China, Spain, Italy and Taiwan in addition to the designer’s own special effects Fireworks by Grucci made in the USA.

Okay, you got the idea? Now, here are some pictures , shot from the sky who shows the fireworks on all the Palm Jumeirah island.

This picture, shoot from the ground give a view on another angle.

And here is the Atlantis for the grand finale.

No need to say that i found plenty of videos of this amazing evening for you, and here they are. First these two videos from the sky news special.

This video will show you perfectly the fireworks, filmed from above.

Interesting also these two amateurs videos filmed by people who live on the island itself, in the center of the "action"!

One thing is sure: the synchronisation was amazingly perfect and the Grucci company did a fantastic job. Private message to WDI Imagineers: If Disney is looking for a fireworks company able to create a huge spectacular fireworks when it'll be the grand opening of Shanghai Disneyland, Grucci is the one you need!

Finally, a four part video of all the party filmed by one of the grand opening guest!

Hope you enjoyed this Atlantis grand opening, tomorrow we'll be back on Disney topics!

All pictures and videos: copyright Atlantis The Palm - Kerzner International.