Saturday, May 5, 2007

The "Cinemagique" attraction movie you will never see - well, the park

When the Walt Disney studios open in Paris in 2002, the Cinemagique" attraction was one of the best one, and still is. For those of you who have never seen it, the attraction is a tribute to cinema history. Here is the story line: The movie begin by a black and white 1920's sequence until somebody inside the audience is magically transport inside the movie - just like in Woody Allen's Purple rose of Cairo. Then, the man goes from one famous movie sequence to another - digitally include in the original shots, and funny and emotional things happen between him, the characters of the original sequences and a girl. That's very basically how it goes.

Now , some weeks ago, i was reading an article on the very good cartoon brew web site, talking about something called "Balloon movies" done by a mysterious director...just to discover that what they were talking about was one of the first and abandoned concept for Cinemagique!
In this other concept, we always had the famous movie sequences, but a facetious balloon - digitally include in the original shots with After Effects - was going from a sequence to another.
Not only it's perfectly done, but also funny or poetic. Here is what the director said in his own words about it:
“The main through line was a romance between a guy in the audience and a woman in the movie. The “every man” goes into the movie (right through the screen) and meets a beautiful woman there. There is a spark of romance. He is then chased by villains out of her movie and stumbles through many other classic films, lost and alone. The woman leaves her movie to go on a quest to find him.

“So — now you’re probably wondering where the balloon shots come in. Well they don’t. Not in the final show. However, just before we committed to film the project, we decided to go through a kind of wild card period. Float some totally different ideas. I thought it might be fun to do a nod to “The Red Balloon”. I did a few of these balloon shots at home and took them into the studio. Everybody enjoyed them. So we explored a possible version centered on that idea. I did more and more shots, took them in, hunkered down with the editor and stitched together a draft. We all got a kick out of it, but utimately decided that we missed the romantic comedy of Plan A. So after the diversion, we returned to our original course.

“So I had all these shots at home that I’d done on spec. I figured that since I did them and they contain no material from the studio, and I don’t reference the context we used when toying with them, they’re safe to post.”

Please note that he didn't say that it was in relation with "Cinemagique" , I did.

Of course you certainly would like to see how it looks, and here is a youtube video where you will see the 18 different sequences , all together, plus a new one on "Lord of the Rings".

And remember to look for the arrival of the balloon!

Here are the name of the famous movies :

Harold Lloyd
King Kong
The Wizard of Oz
Singing in the rain
African Queen
Buthch Cassidy and the Sundance kid
Once upon a time in the west
North by northwest
The Empire strikes back
A" musical"
Gentlemen prefer blondes
Mary Poppins

Lord of the Rings

youtube videos by Cybershire
cartoonbrew web site at:

David Copperfield 1978 very first show, with Orson Welles

It's the week-end, and, as usual, here is the magic show that i've found for you.

This time, here is the very first tv special done by David Copperfield in 1978.David was around 22 years old at that time , and , although he was a young magician doing his first show, he had the genius movie director Orson Welles himself to introduce him to the audience. In his introduction, Orson say "...although young, you will see him - David - for a long time" , and when we think to David's career, the least we can say is that he was right!

As you may know , Orson was not only an acclaimed movie director, but also was performing magic tours, as you will see at the end of this show. Orson's tour is perfectly done, but it's the way he's doing it that is pure "Orson Welles".

Video: copyright David Copperfield productions

Friday, May 4, 2007

Pixar's Brad Bird "Ratatouille" 9 minutes Video

The new Pixar animated "Ratatouille" will be released soon, but in the meanwhile, enjoy these 9 minutes almost non-stop from the movie, presented by Brad Bird himself.

Video: copyright Disney

POTC "At world's end" Pirates Lords, and more - Videos

These two new Pirates of Caribbean , At world's end, featurettes "Characters" and "Pirates Lords" were put on line by the very good web site IGN.
As it is possible to download them, what had to happen happened: somebody uploaded them on youtube .
So here is below these two videos , direct from youtube where you will be pleased, i'm sure, to discover more new images from the third movie.

Videos: copyright Disney

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Disneyland Paris Space Mountain - Artwork , photos , and video tribute

After the "Discovery Mountain " article of last week, here is the second part of this article, this time about the "final" version of DLP Space Mountain "from the earth to the moon" , with the original renderings and pictures of Imagineers at work.

As you've probably understood when you saw the renderings in the previous article, due to the financial situation of the park back in 1993, the Discovery Mountain project became suddenly too expensive, and the imagineers had to revise their blueprints!

It was decided to keep the “from the earth to the moon” roller coaster concept, and the Nautilus too, now located outside the building.The beautiful Columbiad cannon was always there, and even some reminiscence of the “volcano” first concept with these rocks emerging from the Discoveryland lagoon that you still can see today.

The “Columbiad “ canon is not only perfectly themed in a victorian way, but it's doing too a lot of things. The Imagineers could have design this 22 meters long canon only as an element of the decor , they did better than that. In fact, when the train is “catapulted” out of it, steam is projected in the front, and, too, in the back, like in a real one.

The upper part of the canon do have a “backing up” movement, and when the train enter it, before the launch , a door open , allowing the outside guests to see the arrival of the train inside the Columbiad. At the same time, a stylized sun on the side of the cannon turn right and left, and when all these elements work together, it makes the whole show “richer”.

Mind you, the title “Discovery mountain” remained in use until two months before the opening in 1995! Basically the change was for marketing reason: the executives thought that the word “Space “ would have been better understood as a clearer term for a “space roller coaster” by the visitors than “Discovery”... This is also why the initials “D.M” were still visible on the side of the trains as it was too late to change them, and the imagineers as well also like to keep a little bit of of the history of the ride in place.

Space Mountain first adventure “from the earth to the moon” from the opening day was a big hit . Great story line and solid theming by Tim Delaney, show producer, and his imagineers. For the first time inside a Space Mountain riders could directly walk in through the middle of the attraction, and watch the trains going by at high speeds between the meteorites.

The boarding room was designed as a victorian station which celebrates the “Gun club” first flight to the moon ( the name came from the Jules Verne novel ) and the “bronze” colour of the trains was perfectly chosen. For almost the first time ever, (in '95), the trains had on-board audio. (I have to say "almost" because the first time WDI utilized this unique system was the year before on the DLP Fantasyland "Casey Jr. Train.")

The launching with the cannon worked perfectly, and the ride was, in 1995, the fastest ride in a Disney theme park, with loops, etc, all that at 70 km per hour...

The theming in the ride was totally inspired by Verne’s novel: the train entered at high speed the “Lunar mining co” , then enter a huge meteorite, before he approach the moon , which was designed as a tribute to Georges Melies famous silent movie.

After a race through meteorites, the train came back to the station , passing through the “electro-de-velocitor” , another item inspired by the novel.

And there is the gorgeous night lighting. Designed by Michael Valentino, one of the best lighting expert of WDI, his work is stunning. It is so beautiful that it becomes “hypnotic” , you can’t take your eyes out of it. The mix of theatrical lighting and neon transforms Space Mountain at night in a kind of huge “space ship” and it's a wonder, really!

Two years ago, the Space Mountain "Mission two" was launched, with a totally new theming, this time with no relation to the Verne's novel. Among the new show additions: the encounter with a huge “Comet”. This is a big projection effect, extremely well done, but the genius idea is that , when you first see the comet from the train, you see it from a distance - when the train is still on the other side - and as the train goes on, he approach in the direction of the comet. In the same time, the comet seems to move on the opposite direction, which means coming in the direction of your train, giving you the feeling for a few seconds that you’re going to collide. Of course, the train goes over the comet, but the whole effect is perfectly done, specially with the new addition of the “star field” - similar to the US versions - projected on the dome of the building.

Right after the first loop, now is “galaxy” effect, before the train enter the giant asteroid - that was in the first version, but now with a mix of fog and light projection effect . The train goes down again, passing through a “cork screw” with meteorits thatlooks “in fire” - another projection effect . It’s also very well done , and it looks like if you were going to hit them...

At the top of the next “lift” awaits the “explosion” of a “super-nova”. There is another great idea before the arrival: a long red-neon “vortex” followed with blue-”flash” effect, which is supposed to bring back the train through “hyper space” at light speed to earth......before entering the “electro de velocitor”, one of the only decor element which remains from the first version .

It’s of course always difficult to describe with words the whole show - because it's a physical experience - but it’s real fun, always a speed roller coaster with a new musical score written by Michael Giacchino, who wrote the music for “the incredibles”. His score is good, goes very well with the new show, although i think the previous one by Steve Bramson was probably more “emotional”.

Below are two youtube videos, the first one , from johan30061967 shows the first version " from the earth to the moon " with a clever mix of on ride images and CGI video, and the second one is a brilliant 3D recreation of the "Mission two" ride by didyz.

Photos and Artwork: copyright Disney
Please note that photos 4, 5, 6 and 7 from the top show the model of Discovery Mountain, not the actual Space Mountain.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

How Walt Disney Cartoons were 1938 - Video

This rare 1938 short movie show you "How Walt Disney Cartoons are made" and was filmed after the release of Snow White to show the audience how Disney artists prepare a long animated feature at the Walt Disney Studios.
It's 8 and a half minutes long, and just like the other topic below , it's an incredible time machine at the glorious age of animation.

Video: copyright Disney

Disneyland 1955 inauguration photo tribute

Here is a photo tribute to the opening of Disneyland, Anaheim, july 17, 1955.

The parking lot, full of cars for the very first time , Ronald Reagan anchor man for the tv special,the Mark Twain river boat, the opening ceremony, the parade, the children running through the castle, Walt's dedication, all these pictures are full of memories , and, as often with black and white photos, they are a time machine bringing us back to this very special day.

Photos: copyright Disney

Hong Kong Disneyland's Pirate Takeover event begin

That's it! the Pirate Takeover at Hong Kong Disneyland began and the Pirates jumped into action! Here are the first pictures. Pirate crew has hoisted a pirate flag on Sleeping Beauty Castle to officially lay their claim on Hong Kong Disneyland and have gradually taken over Adventureland as Pirate signs are all over the arch at the entrance to Adventureland.

This Pirate Takeover is an authentic and immersive pirate event that will take place in Adventureland of Hong Kong Disneyland from May 4 to June 30, 2007.

For more details about it and art-work, see in the "Theme park and attaction art-work" section on the right at: HKD Adventureland's Pirate Takeover will begin May 4.

Photos: copyright Disney