Friday, March 26, 2010

TRON title sequence reimagined in 1960's Saul Bass style

Some of you may be too young to know who Saul Bass was, but back in the 1950's-60's Saul Bass was a genius graphic designer, best known for his design on animated motion picture title sequences like the one he did for Alfred Hitchcock's movies "Vertigo" or "Psycho", for Otto Preminger's "the Man with the Golden Arm", Stanley Kubrick's "Spartacus" or the incredible end credits of "Around the World in 80 Days". Saul Bass was also back in the 1990's when he did most of Martin Scorcese's title sequences. Since then, he inspired many creative people and, for instance, the animated title sequence of Steven Spielberg's "Catch me if you can" was a pure tribute to Saul Bass style by two young French designers.

But Bass didn't do the TRON title sequence. So, a talented guy named Hexagonall reimagined in the pure Bass 1960's-style the original TRON title sequence - and with 1960's music, too. Hexagonall who "love the simplicity and minimalism of Saul Bass” thought "What if Saul Bass had done the opening title of the film?" The result is brilliant and i think the master would have been proud of his disciple.

Tron vs. Saul Bass from Hexagonall on Vimeo.

Picture and video: copyright Hexagonall

Universal Studios Singapore Special Effects Show " Lights, Camera, Action "

Among the new shows unique to Universal Studios Singapore is a brand new special effects show called "Lights, Camera, Action" hosted by Steven Spielberg himself. After the Spielberg pre-show guests enter what seems to be a boat shed and all the SFX show will take place during a major hurricane in New York bay.

As you will see on this video from the Sentosa theme park blog water, fire and destructions effects are part of the show, and much more until the final surprise - don't miss the end! According to a report by the Theme Park Guy web site "the effects appear a bit orchestrated and slow-motion, but (he) was told that the ride is still getting tweaked". It's usual for this kind of show to improve the effects after the opening, and probably it will be the case here.

And after you've watched the video jump to the Sentosa theme park blog where you can see many others good videos of Universal Studios Singapore. As here on Disney and more we will probably not talk a lot more about USS until the opening of the Transformers ride in 2011 the Sentosa theme park blog will be for you a good site to have fresh news from the park. Make sure to bookmark it! The Theme Park Guy web site also have a nice pictorial report on Universal Singapore.

Pictures: copyright Sentosa theme park blog, the Theme Park Guy, Universal Studios Singapore

Video: copyright Sentosa theme park blog

The Sorcerer's Apprentice - New International Trailer

Just like Honor Hunter from Blue Sky Disney i was more than skeptical about this Sorcerer's Apprentice movie.... My opinion is this one: don't expect anything related to the Fantasia's animated sequence, the only thing this movie will have in common with it is the title and the fact that there is a sorcerer, and that he has an apprentice. And a short live action version of the flood with dozens of brooms.

That said, it looks like a summer movie with good special effects and a villain played by Alfred Molina. As it is a Bruckheimer production it probably will be fun to watch but i wouldn't expect the movie to be extremely memorable... Anyway, have a look to the new international trailer below, it won't put a spell on you.

Trailer and picture: copyright Disney

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grand Opening Of The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter Set For June 18 - Details on " Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey " ride !

One of the most widely anticipated theme park entertainment experiences ever created - The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort - is set for a public grand opening on June 18. Universal Orlando Resort also revealed details about what is expected to be one the most exciting theme park experiences ever created: Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The ride will be one of three themed attractions within The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including Flight of the Hippogriff and Dragon Challenge.

Here is the Universal orlando press release with new pictures showing Hogwarts castle decor:

Grand Opening Of The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter At Universal Orlando Resort Set For June 18

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is the heart of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This all new adventure combines a powerful storyline with spectacular new technology so effectively that guests will be completely immersed in the experience.

And as they live their adventure, guests will feel things no one has ever felt inside a theme park attraction, move in ways no one has ever moved, experience film like no one else ever has, explore vast sets punctuated by amazing special effects - and have an adventure only possible in Harry Potter's world.

The new attraction lies deep within Hogwarts castle, a majestic structure that towers over The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - the only place in the world where the wonder, excitement and adventure of the Harry Potter books and films comes to life.

The Adventure


...meeting Harry, Ron and Hermione as if they were in person

...soaring over Hogwarts castle with Harry

...being swept into a Quidditch match

...feeling the chilling effect of a Dementor

...exploring your favorite places inside Hogwarts castle adventures you've only been able to imagine - until now.

The Story

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey draws you into the excitement and chaos of Harry's life. As you venture through Hogwarts castle, you meet Harry, Ron and Hermione who convince you to skip a planned lecture and follow them. Upon taking their advice, you travel by Floo powder, and begin the adventure as you soar over Hogwarts, narrowly escape a dragon attack, have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow, get pulled into a Quidditch match and more.

"Guests will experience firsthand a completely new adventure featuring the iconic characters, amazing creatures and recognizable locations they've only read in the books or seen in the films," said Thierry Coup, creative director for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

The Location

The Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey experience starts as soon as you walk through the gates of Hogwarts. Within the towering Hogwarts castle, you explore a truly magical place. You journey through iconic locations taken from the films and take in the extraordinary detail of each scene. They include:

- Dumbledore's office: Here, you meet the Headmaster as he welcomes you to Hogwarts

- Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom: Where you first meet Harry, Ron and Hermione
- Gryffindor common room: You meet three additional characters who prepare you for your journey
- Room of Requirement: Here, with hundreds of floating candles above, you take your seat on an enchanted bench and begin the Forbidden Journey

- Other locations: In addition, guests will pass through the Dungeon passageway and hallways of Hogwarts where they will have the chance to see hundreds of wizard portraits from the films, including several magical talking portraits created exclusively for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, including the four founders of Hogwarts. Guests will even get a glimpse of the Sorting Hat.

The excellent Mugglenet website have more details about this amazing room: "The portrait gallery is a very tall room perhaps only ten feet wide. On each of the four walls? Portraits of each of the four founders of Hogwarts.... and they move. And they talk. These portraits are unlike anything I thought was possible to do outside of the movies. For the portraits move, but their surface looks like dried oil on canvas. Also, they travel. Other portraits in this hall leave their frames and enter the portraits of others', often generating an immediate response of reproach from whoever is being disturbed. It is clever, and well-synced. It is J.K. Rowling's books brought to life."

The Innovation

This is more than just an attraction and it is unlike any theme park experience ever created. It's a revolutionary, 360-degree theme park experience and first-ever combination of live-action, advanced robotic technology and innovative filmmaking - specially designed and developed for this brand-new adventure.

"We have created an entirely new way to place our guests into the heart of one of the most compelling stories of our time," said Mark Woodbury, president of Universal Creative. "What we have done will forever change the theme park attraction experience."

The attraction's newly created ride system envelops guests in filmed action scenes and moves those scenes with them as they travel through the ride, allowing more time in the center of the adventure and with their favorite characters. This fusion of robotic technology and filmed scenes has never been achieved until now. In some cases, technology had to be invented to achieve the highest level of guest experience. The combination of pioneering, state-of-the-art technology, innovative filmmaking and surprises around every corner make this attraction the embodiment of the Harry Potter book and film series-and the future of theme park entertainment.

Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Quick Facts

- Storyline: As you venture through Hogwarts, you meet Harry, Ron and Hermione, who convince you to skip a planned lecture and follow them. Upon taking their advice you travel by Floo powder, and begin your adventure as you soar over Hogwarts, narrowly escape a dragon attack, have a close encounter with the Whomping Willow, get pulled into a Quidditch match and more.

- First-ever combination of advanced robotic ride system technology with innovative, immersive filmmaking

- Award-winning composer John Williams oversaw the creation of the attraction's score

- The queue includes the following Harry Potter book and film elements: Headmaster Dumbledore's office, Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, Gryffindor common room, Room of Requirement, and the greenhouse; talking portraits including the Fat Lady and the never-before-seen four founders: Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Helga Hufflepuff and Rowena Ravenclaw; the Sorting Hat, the One-Eyed Witch statue and the Mirror of Erised

- Duration of ride: The full attraction experience, including the queue, takes about an hour

- Number of scenes in the attraction: 12

- Characters (featuring Harry Potter film talent): Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid and Draco Malfoy

- You may also catch a glimpse of Fred and George Weasley, Ginny Weasley and Neville Longbottom

That's the end of the press release but Universal also released today this short video where actors and President of Universal Creative talks about the ride.

Also released this CGI video takes you through Hogsmeade Village to Hogwarts castle.

I strongly recommand the reading of the Mugglenet article as they had a preview of the sets and you will find many more details about the ride (show and pre-show).

My feeling is that WDW should really worry about this new Harry Potter land as i think the land and specially the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride will be awesome and probably extremely successful!

Pictures and Videos: copyright Universal Studios Orlando

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jungle Cruise Original Artwork

We'll have a special Jungle Cruise artwork article today. The artwork below was of course created for Disneyland beloved attraction. As you know the original Jungle Cruise was created by legendary Harper Goff - picture below - so, this article is also a tribute to his work. As usual don't forget to click on each rendering to enjoy them in big size!

The next painting below is from the great Herb Ryman.

Let's end with a great artwork which was not part of the original Jungle Cruise artwork, but was done for a cover of the Disney news magazine some years ago.

Thanks to leave a comment or discuss this article on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

Artwork: copyright Disney, Disney Enterprises Inc

Monday, March 22, 2010

Universal Studios Singapore Ride Videos

Universal Studios Singapore opened last week and the first videos of the rides began to appear on Youtube. This first one was shoot on opening day and 18 "lions" graced the opening ceremony of the park!

The Jurassic Park River Adventure is now a raft ride version of Universal famous attraction. The dinos are here, of course, but you will note some differences with the Hollywood or Orlando versions, and i like particularly the rock work with its threatening look in the waterfall sequence.

Revenge of the Mummy in Ancient Egypt land have a great new theming outside but i think that the ride is quite the same. Difficult to have the right opinion, though, as the ride is so dark that it don't helps when you film a video.

Videos: copyright RW Sentosa and robinlow88

New Jasmine’s Flying Carpets ride coming at Tokyo Disney Sea in 2011

A new ride is coming to Tokyo Disney Sea for the park's 10th anniversary! Oriental Land Co announced that a new attraction, Jasmine’s Flying Carpets, will open at TDS in summer 2011.

With a total of 16 vehicles and a cost of 2 billion Yen ($22 million) Jasmine’s Flying Carpets is "a ride attraction where guests can soar over Jasmine’s garden on a flying carpet. Guests will be able to maneuver their vehicle up and down to a height of 5 meters, and tilt the vehicle forward and backward, as if flying their own magical carpet. This uplifting ride can be enjoyed by all, from young children to adults. Guests can also watch their friends and family on their flying carpet from an elevated viewing deck".

After the Aladdin Magic Carpets ride at WDW Magic Kingdom and at the WDS Toon Studio this is the third version of this ride but Jasmine’s Flying Carpets might be the one with the best decor. With the addition of this new attraction in summer 2011, there will be a total of 27 attractions at Tokyo DisneySea. I remind you that Mickey’s PhilharMagic and Cinderella’s Fairy Tale Hall (rendering below) will also open at Tokyo Disneyland in 2011 as well as a new Nighttime Spectacular “Fantasmic!”.

And a Toy Story Mania ride will also come at TDS New York area of American Waterfront in 2012. The cost of this new version of TSM is estimated by Oriental Land at 11.5 billion Yen ($127 Million).

The Jasmine’s Flying Carpets rendering at the top of this article is coming from the new The Art of Telling Tales blog where you can find it in high-res. The site which opened last September is linked to the excellent Tales from a Laughing Place Magazine and this gives me the opportunity to tell you again how great this magazine is.

“Tales from the Laughing Place Magazine isn’t so much a magazine as it is a collector’s item for anyone who loves Disney”

“…this magazine is everything a Disney fan wants”

“It’s filled with some really nice stuff a Disney Geek/Fan will just go giddy over”

“You'll find loads of interviews with the artists and Imagineers, and there are ALWAYS nuggets in there for a Disneyphile.”

Are all these quotes from Tales from the Laughing Place readers right? Not only they are, but they are under reality: Tales of a Laughing Place is a great and beautiful publication dedicated to Disney. And if you love Disney AND beauty, you will love Tales from the Laughing Place, as the magazine layouts are gorgeous. Have a look at the pictures below of some pages, and you'll understand what i mean.

But not only Tales from the Laughing Place is a stunningly beautiful magazine, but the articles are fantastic! Remember Lee MacDonald's article last week about the awaited TDL Monsters Inc Ride and Go Seek attraction? And how great was the article? Well, each Tales from the Laughing Place issue is full of those incredibly good articles. And there is a good reason for that: The Tales from the Laughing Place team have always access to interviews with WDI Imagineers and unseen renderings, pictures, etc...

Whether it's about Disney theme parks or Disney musicals or Anniversary celebration like the great issue they did about Epcot 25th anniversary, Tales from the Laughing Place is a pure delight. One of the latest issue was celebrating Animal Kingdom 10th anniversary and issue 14 have exclusive interviews on the development of Tokyo Disneyland with rare and unseen artwork from WDI archives! The latest one, issue 15 have a first look at the Magic Kingdom Fantasyland expansion, the story of Mickey Mouse Revue and Mickey's Philarmagic, and much more.

Until now, 15 issues were released and, good news, you still can order all the previous issues, except number one which is out of stock - but you can get it on the CD Rom including the six first issues. Each issue is $10 plus shipping, but the best of course is to take the four issues subscription at $40 including shipping. The CD Rom include the six first issues and cost $29.99.

Have a look at the Tales from the Laughing Place web site where you'll learn more about this wonderful magazine and the different issues, and don't hesitate to subscribe. Believe me, it will be for yourself or anyone you wish a GREAT gift!

Pictures: copyright Tales from the Laughing Place, Disney-Pixar, Oriental Land Co