Thursday, April 26, 2018

Bob Iger Opens Officially Toy Story Land at Shanghaî Disneyland !



Shanghai Disney Resort Toy Story Land, SDL’s seventh themed land, had its Grand Opening today, and the land features three new attractions – Slinky Dog Spin, Rex’s Racer, and Woody’s Roundup as well as a themed character greeting area, Meeting Post, and shopping and dining experiences, Al’s Toy Barn and Toy Box Café.



The opening ceremony on Thursday was attended by Disney chairman and CEO, Bob Iger, Chen Qun, vice mayor of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, and Zong Ming, deputy secretary general of Shanghai Municipal People’s Government.

“We’re grateful to the people of China for wholeheartedly embracing Shanghai Disney Resort, for truly making it their own and also making it one of the most successful theme parks we’ve ever opened,” said Bob Iger.



“Shanghai Disney Resort has quickly become a premier tourism landmark in this city, for both Chinese and foreign visitors. We look forward to continuing the close collaboration with The Walt Disney Company as we further position Shanghai as a world-renowned tourism city, introducing exciting new experiences to guests and delivering a top-tier level of service,” said Fan Xiping, chairman of Shanghai Shendi Group, the Walt Disney Company’s partner in the park and hotels complex.



I have two videos for you, the first one ( in Chinese )shows the new land and the opening with Bob Iger...




And the second one, in English, is a walk through in the new land with a TV anchor man, and is a pretty good one to discover the land. Note: it was a LIVE report and jump directly to 2.15min in the video as the report doesn't start before.




Picture and video: copyright Disney

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

BREAKING NEWS: Hayao Miyazaki Studio Ghibli Announces the Opening of The Studio Ghibli Theme Park Near Nagoya in 2022 !



Fans of Hayao Miyazaki legendary Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio will be overjoyed to learn that today April 25 was announced the Studio Ghibli theme park, scheduled to open in Nagoya, Japan, in 2022! The fantasy world of Oscar-winning animator Hayao Miyazaki will come to life as a theme park, set to open in central Japan in 2022, the regional government said Wednesday.

Hayao Miyazaki is the cofounder of Studio Ghibli, Japan’s premier animation studio, and is renowned internationally with huge followings in Japan and abroad for his Award winning animated films including “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away”, beloved by millions of fans around the world. “Spirited Away” won the Oscar for best animated feature in 2003 — the first Japanese film to win one.




Studio Ghibli has released concept-arts for the park - that you can see above and below- which will be built by 2022 on a 200-hectare plot of land on which the 2005 World’s Fair was held near Nagoya, in Aichi Prefecture. The park construction cost and other details were yet to be decided, an Aichi official said.

The theme park will feature rides and forest trails based on the master animator’s popular fantasy films, including “My Neighbor Totoro,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service” and “Howl’s Moving Castle,”. The park will also be dotted with the European-themed brick towers that appear frequently in Miyazaki’s works, as well as giant installations of spider- and boar-shaped spirits in imaginary landscapes that evoke Japan’s mythical and idyllic past. The focus will be on bringing Studio Ghibli to life in a way that allows parkgoers to also enjoy nature.

The main gate should remind park goers of 19th-century structures out of Howl’s Moving Castle ( image on top ) as well as a recreation of Whisper of the Heart’s antique shop. Below, The Big Ghibli Warehouse, which is filled with all sorts of Ghibli themed play areas as well as exhibition areas and small cinemas. Apparently this are will be under a dome like Tokyo Disneyland World Bazaar.


The theme park will feature rides and forest trails based on Hayao Miyazaki films.



Princess Mononoke village will be recreated.


Above, Witch Valley, will feature attractions based on Miyazaki's Howl’s Moving Castle and Kiki’s Delivery Service.


Dondoko Forest will be Totoro themed. The area is already home to the house from My Neighbor Totoro, built for the 2005 World’s Fair.

This is extremely exciting news and Disney and more will follow the project and will let you know!

Pictures: copyright Studio Ghibli

Disney Reveal the Release Schedule for Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney Movies Up to 2020


At CinemaCon in Vegas, Disney Revealed the release schedule for Marvel, Star Wars, and others Disney movies for the next two years.

Here's the release order of upcoming movies until 2020:

1. Avengers: Infinity War
2. Solo: A Star Wars Story
3. Incredibles 2
4. Ant-Man and The Wasp ( July 6, 2018 )
5. Christopher Robin
6. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
7. Mary Poppins Returns
8. Captain Marvel ( March 8, 2019 )
9. Dumbo Live Adaptation
10. Penguins
11. Avengers Untitled (Avengers 4, May 3, 2019 )
12. Aladdin Live Adaptation
13. Toy Story 4
14. The Lion King Live Adaptation
15. Artemis Fowl
16. Frozen 2
17. Star Wars Episode IX
18. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ( in 2020 )

Picture : copyright Caleb Williams on Twitter

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Learn More About Evermore, a Theatrical Adventure Park Currently Being Built in Utah



We'll have a look today at a park concept currently being built in Pleasant Grove, Utah. It's called Evermore, and Evermore will be a place of exploration, wonder, and discovery, a magical place you'll be able to explore by yourself, where fairies, dragons, trolls, and other mythical creatures will await you at each corner. Evermore is not a theme park, nor is it an event, discovery, theatrical or thrill park. It is a blend of all of these and more. Evermore is an Experience Park. It’s designed to immerse guests into a world of adventure where they can live within an incredible story, and even build their own. Let's have a look at what lies beyond Evermore gates with this first video below.





Will there be rides at Evermore? To be honest i'm still not sure of the answer. Looking at the Q&A page of the Evermore website HERE they answer to this question: "Evermore is a living theatrical experience park, with designed immersive space for events and interactive shows. Evermore is not a standard theme park, amusement park or ride park. Guests will become inhabitants of Evermore, and become involved in adventures and quests in worlds of fantasy storytelling." But in a previous videos that you can watch below and filmed in 2014 during the announcement they were describing the park as "theatrical adventure park set in a Victorian London with events going all seasons" and also saying that they will have a pirate boat ride attraction that, contrary to Disney's Pirates of caribbean you will be able to go around and explore.

I have to say that it's still not totally obvious to me if there will be really rides or not and their communication dept should make things a bit more clear about that. Anyway, watch the 2014 video below which will tell you more and then the screen captures of renderings and model of the park which has a concept stimulating our curiosity...


































Learn more about Evermore on the official website HERE

Pictures and videos: copyright Evermore

New Disney Nature's Trailer "Penguins"



Watch the all-new trailer for Disneynature's "Penguins", coming to theatres Earth Day 2019! Disneynature’s all-new feature film “Penguins” is a coming-of-age story about an Adélie penguin named Steve who joins millions of fellow males in the icy Antarctic spring on a quest to build a suitable nest, find a life partner and start a family. None of it comes easily for him, especially considering he's targeted by everything from killer whales to leopard seals, who unapologetically threaten his happily ever after. From the filmmaking team behind “Bears” and “Chimpanzee,” Disneynature’s “Penguins” opens in theaters nationwide in time for Earth Day 2019.




Picture and video: copyright Disney

Monday, April 23, 2018

Bangkok Dinosaur Planet Closes Permanently - Farewell Tribute Article with Plenty of new HD Videos for Each Attraction



I am sad to announce that the great Bangkok Dinosaur Planet theme park had its last week-end and closed permanently yesterday April 22. The small theme park located in the heart of Bangkok was supposed to be a 9 months only temporary theme park but it finally stayed more than two years and Dinosaur Planet was hugely popular and stunned everyone with its dozens of full life size Audio-Animatronics Dinosaurs. 

The reason why Dinosaur Planet close its doors is simply because the contract with the land owner on which they built the park is ending and they have to give back the land. What will happen next of all the fantastic Audio-Animatronics Dinos? I've heard that they may rebuild the park in Phuket, South of Thailand, and i'll try to check this and will let you know. When i had the luck to visit Dinosaur Planet two years ago i really enjoyed it and was specially amazed of the quality of the Dinos AAs and of how they succeeded to do all the attractions with a limited budget. 




D&M had posted previous articles about Dinosaur Planet that you can read HERE, HERE and HERE but although the closure of the park is no good news, i have a good news for you as for this farewell article i finally did the editing of videos that i had shot two years ago and posted them on Youtube. They show others attractions of the park that you've never seen before and it worth the look as there is many good ideas in them. But first, here is a video showing Bangkok Dinosaur Planet '"Central Plaza" where stands 120 feet / 40m long and 60 feet / 20 m high Dinosaurs!




The first new video is about an attraction that was close to the entrance and the perfect one to start after you entered the park. It was called "Dinosaur District" and was quite an educational attraction, teaching through many pre-shows the origin and the end of the Dinosaurs. 


After a short movie quite well done you entered in a pre-show room where different Dinosaurs species skeletons were displayed, with more infos, before entering the main show where guests could discover a laboratory where they take care of Dinos eggs and babies Dinos. Yes, Universal did it before in their Jurassic Park lands but here there is a very cool twist at the end, something that Universal didn't thought to do, and i don't tell you what it is, just make sure to stay till the end of the video!






When guests exit Dinosaur District they found in front of them the Dino Eye attraction which at first sight looks like a regular Ferris Wheel but in fact this one was pretty unique in the world as it entered twice a show building - when moving up and down - with Dinosaurs and Ice Age animals Audio-Animatronics! The concept was interesting and the final result was okay, but let's say that it probably would have been better with show scenes of bigger sizes and more depth, but they were limited in space there. Cool pre-show room too as you will see in this other new video.





The "E-Ticket" attraction of the park was "Stars of Dinos" with dozens of life size Audio-Animatronics Dinosaurs with head, mouth, neck, eyes, tail, front legs moving! Some even have the belly moving to simulate the breath of the dinos. The result is that you could stand near dinosaurs which were as big as they were in real and have for the first time the feeling that you would have had if you've been living 150 Million years ago when these giants ruled the Earth! The skin and skin colors were extremely well done, even better than the dinosaurs at Universal Jurassic Park. 















The attraction was supposed to be a ride with guests sitting in a jeep moving all around a jungle set with the Dinos - the jeep that you can see above - but for many reasons they changed their plans and guests were simply walking around and could take their time to have a close encounter with all the Dinos. I did a daylight and nighttime videos of the attraction, atmosphere is very different depending if its daylight or nighttime, so the best is to watch both videos below.







Raptor XTreme was another Dinosaur Planet attraction. The storyline was that guests enter a camp where everybody have been killed since velociraptors escaped and even a Helicopter had crashed at the entrance of the camp. After a pre-show movie in which was explained what guests had to do - to find an attache case and the codes to open it hidden in the camp the only way to open the doors to escape the camp. Then, guest were moving in the camp itself, chased by velociraptors. I didn't filmed this one but others did and you have two videos below showing the attraction, the first one include the pre-show movie and the second one shows more the raptors - people in raptors costumes. Raptor XTreme was obviously an attraction for kids and teens who enjoyed it a lot. 






















Talking about kids the next attraction - "Dino Farm" - was entirely for young kids and included another good idea. Kids could literally ride a walking Dinosaur, and even make it turning left or right. Kind of "Autopia" with children sit on a Dinosaur instead than sit in a car, and most of all a very very very slow ride as you'll see in this other new short video. At the center was also an "excavation site" where children had fun finding in the sand Dinosaurs bones, like in Disney's Animal Kingdom Boneyard.
















The biggest problem of these slow walking Dinos was that they needed regular maintenance, and of course because of the slow speed, the attraction had a low hour capacity, but young children enjoyed it a lot.



The park had six different areas, each with attractions and a seven attraction - a 4D ride - opened a few months after the opening, inside the giant volcano in the center of the park. 4D Deep World was a 4D attraction with guests entering inside the volcano and once inside moved in a supposed lift going down in the center of the Earth where, at a deep underground level there was - guess what? - that's right: Dinosaurs. It was a cool projection show but no filming was allowed, so no video of it.



In addition to these cool attractions Bangkok Dinosaur Planet also had a very good night show happening in the volcano area, titled "The Extinction Live show" a mix of projections on the Live Show, Animatronics Dinosaurs and actors dresses ad Dinos. I had filmed the full show and here is this other new video!




I've got a "one more thing" for you as seasonal animations also happened at Dinosaur Planet like this one, during Songkran days - Thailand new year big event around mid-April. During Songkran, Thai people have fun splashing each other with water because April and May are the hottest months in South-East Asia, and the park had transformed an Audio-Animatronic Dino who was splashing the guests on the park central plaza, as you'll see in this other video below, and more pictures are available in a previous article HERE.




Dinosaur Planet was indeed a small theme park but it had a lot of charm and will be dearly missed. Although it couldn't be compared with Disney or Universal standards, considering the price of admission - 15€ / $18 - it was really a cool and a quality experience so let's hope Dinosaur Planet will have a new life in Phuket or somewhere else. Congrats to all Thai people who had created the park!



Pictures and videos: copyright Disney and more, Dinosaur  Planet

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Disney's Animal Kingdom Celebrates its 20th Anniversary - Imagineering Original Artworks


Disney's Animal Kingdom celebrates its 20th Anniversary today and those of you who want to know how it all started - i.e with Imagineering artworks - can find dozens of rare original WDI concept-arts on my D&M Artwork website HERE and HERE.


Pictures: copyright Disney