Saturday, October 23, 2010

Enjoy "War of the Worlds" Movies ? So, have a look to "Skyline" , released Nov 12 in the U.S !

I don't know about you but i always loved "War of the Worlds" movies. You know, when Aliens attack the Earth and blow up everything! And guess what? There is a new one called "Skyline" coming soon and it looks interesting. Of course, it'll be probably a pop corn movie which looks like a mix of Independence Day and War of the Worlds but if the SFX are good and the script better than a Roland Emmerich movie it might be fun.

Here is the synopsis: "Strange lights descend on the city of Los Angeles (and other cities of the world), drawing people outside like moths to a flame where an extraterrestrial force threatens to swallow the entire human population off the face of the Earth".

The film is directed and completely financed by Colin and Greg Strause without the assistance of any major studio and was almost entirely filmed at Greg Strause's condo building in Marina Del Rey with the new and famous RED cameras with a Mysterium-X chip owned by the two Brothers. For this kind of movie the Strause brothers have a big advantage in that they've got their own visual sfx company - Hydraulx - which did CG FX for movies like The Day after Tomorrow, 2012 and Iron Man 2.

Skyline will be released November 12 in the U.S and December 15 in France and other European countries.

Let's have a look at the two HD trailers, and if you want to read more about how Skyline was made and how the Strause brothers succeed to keep the major studios out of the creative process jump to

And here is the second trailer showing more of the movie.

Pictures and videos: copyright Universal

Friday, October 22, 2010

Eric Heschong Disneyland's New Tomorrowland TRUE Original Artwork

Remember one month ago when i did my second tribute to Eric Heschong artwork? In the article there was two paintings he realised for Disneyland's 1998 "New Tomorrowland". Eric Heschong artwork looked great but after seeing my scans, Eric notified me that one of his original Tomorrowland overview artwork - the one you can see below - has been extensively reworked by an unkown artist.

Eric's original artwork - without these additions - was printed up as a fine art print some years ago and is of course impossible to find now but Eric, extremely kindly, sent to me a copy of this signed print. The first thing i did - right after being amazed by the beauty of Eric's original artwork - was of course to see if, as Eric said, there was a lot of differences between Eric's "true original" painting and the picture released by DL marketing ten years ago.

And Eric is of course right, it's not the same images!!! Somebody definitely reworked Eric's original artwork and there is many changes between the two pictures as you'll be able to see by yourself. Above is Eric's original painting and below is the picture released by DL marketing. To check the differences between them open another window of your browser, click on each image to have them in big size and try to put them side by side.

Personally i think that Eric's original artwork is the best one, much more "fine", beautiful. I suppose that WDI asked for these changes in the artwork because they did changes on the final project after Eric did his painting, and Disney probably wanted to release an "official" image which reflected the final reality of the new land... Still, they should have follow Eric's original painting for the land design as the land looks so much better on it!

And for those of you who don't own Eric's Tomorrowland original artwork print the picture of it above is in mega high-res!

Pictures: copyright Disney

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cars 2 : First Concept-arts & Teaser !

Disney/Pixar just released the first Cars 2 concept-arts as well as a teaser which clearly indicates that the awaited animated feature will also be a "spy" movie. You have the teaser below as well as the four concept-arts showing races in different countries/cities, i.e London, Paris, Porto Corsa and Japan.

I remind you Cars 2 synopsis: "Lightning McQueen, his pit crew and his new crew chief, Mater, head around the world for the "Race of Champions" taking place in five different countries: Japan, Austria, Italy, a 24-hour race in France and the United Kingdom. However, Mater, involved in a case of mistaken identity, saves the life of a British secret agent named Finn McMissile and finds himself embroiled in his world of international espionage."

I don't know about you but i'm a big fan of the first Cars movie and all the Cars characters so i'm really awaiting this sequel which looks promising!

Pictures and Video: copyright Disney-Pixar

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Shanghaî Disneyland project ready to roll...

More good news about Shanghaî Disneyland, this time from the Shanghaî Daily. A little bit more of patience and the renderings should arrive anytime soon! :

"The construction of the Shanghai Disneyland park in the Pudong New Area will kick off next month, following the closure of the Shanghai World Expo on October 31.

The land for phase one is ready for use and two of the total of seven roads planned for the project have passed checks, according to yesterday's National Business Daily.

The deadline for bids for the construction of the theme park and other support facilities is close to an end while negotiations between Chinese and United States parties are also in the final stretch, the report quoted project director Fan Xiping, deputy secretary general of the city government, as saying.

Shanghai Daily's requests for an interview about the progress of construction went unanswered by the Walt Disney Company in Shanghai yesterday.

Overseen by the Shanghai Shendi Group Co, a Sino-US joint venture that was established in August, phase one of the project will be completed by 2014, and will include a theme park and other attractions covering a total area of 1.5 square kilometers."

Full Shanghaî Daily article HERE

Text: copyright Shanghaî Daily

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When Soarin' over the World will come to the Walt Disney Studios...

DLP fans are now awaiting the future Ratatouille dark ride and when it will open the expansion of the Toon Studio land will be completed. But what's next for the WDS after Ratatouille? Well, it's time to talk again about another long awaited attraction: Soarin' over the World. As Soarin' over the World is not only awaited at the WDS but also at DCA and Epcot this article which reveal details about the new movie should also interest DCA and WDW fans.

Since Walt Disney Studios opening DLP Imagineers kept the room to build Soarin' in the future. The attraction is clearly indicated on some DLPI map project, all things which doesn't mean necessarily that they will build the attraction. It just mean that if they decide to build Soarin' they have the room available to do it. Actually, the space available is located between Cinemagique and the former Disney Channel buildings where are now Playhouse Disney and Stitch Live! attractions. And if you want to have an idea of the dimensions of the space available for Soarin' have a look at the picture below shot from the WDS parking lot. Click on it to enlarge the picture.

So, they do have the room to build Soarin' but when will they build it? In a former article one year ago i explained why we shouldn't expect to "soar over the world" before 2011. Well, actually it won't be before 2013 - and this is for DCA or Epcot Soarin' versions. For the Walt Disney Studios, considering that the Ratatouille dark ride may open only early 2013 there is of course no chances at all to have a Soarin' opening the same year.

However, what i can tell you is that Production Courtyard - the "land" where Soarin' would be build if they decide to do so - is the next part of the park which should have a big "placemaking". It's also the area where DLP Imagineers have the biggest space available to build a new attraction. They have of course plenty of land to expand the park in front and beyond the Tram tour station but if they want to stay inside the current limits of the park the available area reserved for Soarin' is definitely the biggest one.

And how should it look when Soarin' will be finally built, you ask? Well, if you're standing right now between Cinemagique and Stitch Live!, it looks like this:

But when DLPI Imagineers will finally build Soarin' over the World it might very well look like this:

Please note that the picture above is NOT a WDI picture, it's a Photoshop montage - not perfect, i agree - that i personally did using the infos from what i've been told and Disney's California Adventure's Soarin' facade and sign, which means that it might very well not look like this at the end...although it will be probably quite close and you can expect a facade as high as the one i did on the picture.

However, the park would be inspired to don't wait too long to build Soarin' at the WDS. Ten years ago WDI was almost alone to have the technology but now others ride manufacturers already propose some kind of "Soarin'" attraction using more or less the same technology at a much cheaper price and it's almost a miracle if no other french park didn't built yet an attraction of the same kind.

Recently the Futuroscope - a french theme park competitor - revealed that they're working on a kind of Soarin' attraction. However, in this case, what they are planning is to transform th "Tapis Magique" theatre, a unique IMAX technology with one giant screen in the front and another big one under the feet of the spectators - see picture below. Apparently what they would like to do is to remove all the seats and have the guests hanged over the two screens to give the illusion of flight. For reasons that i can't reveal now the Futuroscope is just at the beginning of the project and it's not even sure they will succeed to do it, but at least they are thinking to create a kind of Soarin'. Let's hope they won't do it as in this case it might change DLP execs plans for the WDS...

But what about the "Soarin'over the World" movie itself, you ask? Well, the last two years WDI imagineers were scouting locations around the world, and once the locations are choosen they need government's authorizations to film from an helicopter. Part of the shooting itself - for instance in France - was scheduled for last summer but it may have changed. Now, may be it don't looks like, but this "Soaring over the World movie" is going to be a real challenge for WDI imagineers. Why? Well, as in this new "Soarin'" movie we will soar "over and around the world" it means different filming in different locations, and here comes the question of the best season. Very probably the best time for filming should be in spring or early summer to avoid landscapes with no leaves on the trees of winter or summer monsoon rains in other locations. Not to mention that for other countries, it will be another season than spring which may be the right one for filming.

Before i go further, a little warning as there will be some spoilers ahead.

Now, the big question is : over which location will we "soar" in this new movie? Well, WDI imagineers have chosen some countries and if they don't change their plans, prepare yourself to soar over England, France, Italy, Egypt, India, China, Japan, and for the U.S.A: the Grand Canyon and New York.

Although there is no South America country in the list above it doesn't mean it's not part of Imagineers plans. They have the choice: Brasil and Rio de Janeiro's bay or Iguaçu Falls, The Amazonia forest, The old Inca Machu-Pichu fortress in Peru, all these would be spectacular locations to soar above...

However, the other part of the Imagineers challenge will be probably to avoid filming a too "obvious" Travelogue. It's not going to be easy, as each country have its own iconic place/city/monument and it's a little bit everyone's dream to fly above them.

Now, what is coming next is pure personal thoughts, as i don't know exactly which place in each country Imagineers are planning to film. I mean: i really don't know. So what you will read below is pure personal speculation, although the locations choice below could very well be the one that will be filmed! Also, please note that the pictures below are NOT Disney pictures, but a photomontage that i did with aerial views and the "Soarin'" vehicle from the "Soarin' over California" marketing picture. I tried to choose aerial views which will give you the soaring "vertigo" feeling as close as it should be in the final movie - please click on each picture to see them in big size to get the "effect".

Now, think about the India sequence, who wouldn't love to soar above the beautiful and romantic Taj Mahal?...

...or, for Italy, over the gorgeous Venise, the City of the Doges? Soaring over the Grand Canal would be great!

For England, will we soar over the legendary Tower Bridge? I can almost see the camera plunging between the two towers of the bridge...

For China, can we escape to soar above The Forbidden City?

And for the USA how great it would be to fly above the Grand Canyon...

...or New York?

Everyone would love to fly over these historical landmarks, so let's hope that WDI Imagineers will fulfill our dreams. They shouldn't think if a location is too obvious or not, it's not the problem, really!

Then, because we will travel around the world, i'm ready to bet that imagineers will play with the time of the day. And, because each location have a best time to be filmed, WDI Imagineers will be right to do so. Why not, for instance, begin the "flight" by the Giza Pyramids at dawn? I know very well the place as i've been there many times in my life, and the best hour with magical light on Giza Pyramids is definitely at dawn. Also, Egypt civilisation is the oldest one of all the countries listed above. To choose Egypt for the opening sequence and a dazzling view of the Pyramids at dawn would make perfect sense.

As for the evening sequence, soaring over London by night - the old Victorian city, the town of Peter Pan and the Darling family - would be wonderful. And if they need a Magic Kingdom for the "fireworks" final sequence, there is Disneyland Paris, just a few miles down in the south!

Even better: the best would be to have a different ending for each park where the attraction will play in the future. Take Hong Kong Disneyland for instance. Hong Kong at night is dazzling, and they could "cut" to a scene with fireworks over HKDL castle. Same for Epcot, or TDL or the future Shanghaî Disneyland. Different ending for each park will not only be logical, but also great for fans who will discover a not-totally-identical version when they will visit foreign Disney parks...

But in each country there is also plenty of natural wonders like, for instance, the Grand Canyon. And WDI imagineers may prefer to film them instead of cities or historical landmark like the Forbidden City in Beijing. Or may be they will do a mix of both to help the audience to identify instantly the "country".

Once the filming will be done WDI Imagineers still have to do the editing, add the music score and fix everything right which always takes some months... One last wish and i'm sure that most of you who've ride the first "Soarin'" will agree with me: please try to do a longer movie - which should be the case anyway as a roundtrip around the world in less than 5 minutes would be reaaally short - 7-8 minutes would be fine, it's never too long when you soar above all these wonders even if we must keep in mind the attraction hour capacity. Also: pleaaaase keep - or adapt - the original and fantastic Jerry Goldsmith original music score, no need to have a new one, really!

To come back to the WDS, it will be interesting to see if they will use only the new Soarin' over the World movie or also the first one, Soarin' over California. After all, as the attraction have two theaters guests could have the choice between the two movies... Personally i think they will use only Soarin' over the World at the opening and might keep Soarin over California for a re-boost of the attraction some years later.

Whether Soarin' will come at the WDS in the future or not - personally i think it will and that WDS guests will love it - let's all be patient and wait with confidence. Soarin over the World should arrive in 2013 at DCA and Epcot and hopefully later at the WDS. The sooner will be the better as i'm sure that Soarin' over the World will be an awesome experience!

Pictures: copyright Disney or Disney and more

Looking for a great Disney book ? Then, the Disneyland Paris book is the perfect gift for any Disney fan !

If you're looking for a great gift to offer to anyone you love - including you! - my "Disneyland Paris, From Sketch to Reality" book with its 320 pages and 750 pictures - including 250 renderings from Walt Disney Imagineering - would be a GREAT gift for any Disney fan!

I still have copies of the book, and, as i am one of the two authors of the book, each copy will be sign specially for you or anyone you wish. Of course, don't forget to tell me the name to whom you wish i dedicate the book.

An important note before i go further: If you're not in a rush to get the book, choose the flat shipping option (also indicated below) which usually takes between 3 to 6 weeks delivery (depending if you're living in Europe or in the U.S) and is also much less expensive.

And now, here is a description of the book and everything you need to know to order one of the last signed copy of this beautiful book. Please note that NO re-printing of the book is scheduled, and these last available copies may be the REAL last one!


Price for one copy of the english updated edition is 87 Euros

About the shipping:

IF YOU'RE NOT IN A HURRY TO GET THE BOOK: Flat shipping (4-5 weeks delivery) is 15 euros.

IF YOU'RE IN A HURRY TO GET THE BOOK: Air-mail shipping (2 weeks delivery) is 38 Euros.

If you have a Paypal account you can proceed to the payment by paypal - paypal payment including your choice of shipping must be sent to the email adress:

Important: Note that the price is in Euros, not in U.S $, so you have to choose the "euro" currency when you do the paypal payment.

If you don't have a Paypal account, a bank wire transfert is possible, just let me know.

And, of course, thanks to confirm me your order and payment AND the shipping adress by email at the email adress:


As i am the one who designed the book, i'm not really at the good place to send compliments about it, but if you are a reader who already own the book, please leave a comment at the end of the article to let other readers know what you think about it.
Previous comments can be read at the bottom of this page where the article below was previously posted.

So, here is a little description of the book, now - See below some pictures of the book pages - click on each of them to see the photo-montage pictures in big size.

The book is a gorgeous "coffee table book" with 320 pages and 750 pictures - of which 500 are park and attractions photos and 250 are Walt Disney Imagineering renderings!

The size is 9 x 12 inches, all pages are in color and it's hardbound with a glossy dust jacket. The text (by Disney historian Didier Ghez), was written after more than 75 interviews he conducted with all the Imagineers who created the park. He goes into just about everything you wanted to know about this unique place that many describe as the best "Magic Kingdom" ever created by WDI.

It took five years to create the book, but it was worth all the time we spent on it, and the book looks just as good as we had hoped for at the beginning - in fact Imagineer Bruce Gordon told us that it was "probably the best book ever done on a Disney theme park". Coming from Bruce who did with David Mumford the great "Disneyland, The Nickel Tour" book, it was more than a compliment.

The first chapter about Main Street has 52 pages and introduces the reader to the "legend" of Main Street, USA. You'll learn all about the Disneyland Paris Railroad, the unique "Discovery" and "Liberty" Arcades; find out about the architecture, the restaurants (like "Walt's," a tribute to Walt Disney, but also inspired by Club 33 in Anaheim) and the shops; with dozens of photos, renderings, models, and reproduced for the first time here, all the "cities of the future" posters located in "Discovery Arcade."

The second chapter on Frontierland discusses the park's western side with extensive sections about its major attractions, "Big Thunder Mountain" and "Phantom Manor." In fact the book has the longest sections ever put together in a book on all the major attractions. The Pirates of Caribbean section in the Adventureland chapter is 26 pages, Phantom Manor has 16 pages devoted to it, as does Space Mountain, it's a small world, etc. The photo material was so great that we kept adding more pages to the book, which was supposed to have only 240 pages when we started... we ended up with 320 upon completion!

The Frontierland chapter also covers the Mark Twain, the River Rogue Keelboats, Fort Comstock, all the restaurants, the shops and Cottonwood Creek Ranch.and featuring stunning photos of Disneyland Paris from the air by Yann Arthus Bertrand, author of The Earth from Above that make spectacular "double-pages," and allow the reader to discover the park from a whole different angle.

The Adventureland chapter is even more interesting, as many elements of the land exist only in Paris - such as the Bazaar and Aladdin to Africa and the ex-"Explorer's Club." Plus there's a long section about "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril," "Adventure Isle" and "The Swiss Robinson Treehouse" and, of course, "Pirates of Caribbean" the land's major attraction and featuring its amazing Audio-Animatronics! All in all there are 56 full pages about Adventureland, and as in the previous chapters, there are dozens of photos, lots of concept art, and many shots of Imagineers at work. There's even a great bonus here, with the Marc Davis artwork for "Pirates" also included.

56 full pages are also dedicated to Fantasyland. There's an extensive look at Sleeping Beauty Castle, sections on all the dark rides (Snow White, Peter Pan and Pinocchio), as well as a look at "Alice's Curious Labyrinth," the "Mad Hatter's Tea Cups," "Storybookland," and "Casey Jr." There are even 14 pages about "it's a small world" with stunning photos of nearly all the scenes in it. Here the reader can discover a new attraction that exists only at Disneyland Paris, with a great view from above of Alice's Labyrinth.

Discoveryland also gets 52 pages of special treatment, with sections on the Visionarium, the Nautilus, Star Tours, Space Mountain, and everything you wanted to know about the other attractions in this land – Autopia and Orbitron. In fact the Nautilus chapter takes you on a visit with photos of every room of this detailed walk-through and two double page photo spreads, one which makes you feel you're inside Captain Nemo's grand salon, and the other showing you a unique view of Discoveyland featuring the Nautilus and Space Mountain in a kind of "CinemaScope" view.

When the book was released in early 2002, the Walt Disney Studios didn't exist, so you won't see them in the book. But there's still one last chapter about the hotels of the park, and Disney Village too, with the great Buffalo Bill Wild West show that entertains hundreds each evening.

And because every day in a Magic Kingdom should end with a parade and fireworks, we have the Main Street Electrical Parade that close the book, with an Herb Ryman gorgeous painting!

Pictures: copyright Disney
Editor's Note: Don't miss Al Lutz new update on Mice Age as Al have the latest news on Disneyland Resort's future!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Shanghaî Disneyland construction starting in November ?

According to Shanghaî Disneyland construction is supposed to start after the ending of the 2010 Shanghai Expo in November. This doesn't surprised me as i've always thought that Shanghaî officials will wait the end of the Expo to do the awaited SDL announcement. Once the Expo will be over Shanghaî will need to create a new buzz for the future and the big Shanghaî Disneyland project will perfect for that.

The full article is on Trading Markets. com HERE, and don't miss the "space" article below with two never seen before pictures of Walt Disney coming back in 1965 to the Marshall Space Flight Center!