Saturday, November 1, 2008

Editor's Note: Is there any better way to end this Halloween week-end than with Tim Burton's short movie Frankenweenie? If you've never seen it, don't miss it below. Also, check Benoit and Marie Laurence best DLP Halloween evening "themed" costumes, their tribute to Phantom Manor's characters is just perfect!

Tim Burton's Frankenweenie

We will end this Halloween week-end on Disney and more with Tim Burton's wonderful short movie "Frankenweenie".

Frankenweenie is a 30 minutes short who tell the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young boy who creates movies starring his dog, Sparky, a bull terrier.

After Sparky is hit by a car, Victor learns at school about electrical impulses in muscles, and gets the idea to bring his pet back to life. He creates elaborate machines which bring down a bolt of lightning that revives the dog.

As you will see the movie below in a few seconds, i won't spoil you the rest of the story, a brilliant variation on the myth of Frankenstein. Although it's one of Tim Burton's first movie, all Tim's personal universe is already there, and Frankenweenie is not only a great tale, but also a marvellous movie.

Burton was fired by Disney after the film was complete in 1984. The studio claimed that he had wasted company resources and felt the film was too scary for young audiences. Thirty four years later, Tim got a sweet revenge, as Frankenweenie is released by Disney in the new Dvd-Blue-Ray edition of Nightmare before Christmas, and Burton signed a deal with Disney to remake the film as a feature length, 3D stop-motion film!

Pictures and Daily Motion videos: copyright Disney

Disneyland Paris Halloween evening best themed costumes

Last night was the Halloween Night special at Disneyland Paris, and as usual, many people were there all dressed in Halloween costumes. I didn't attend the event as the weather yesterday in Paris was really too terrible, but here is some pictures shoot two years ago of Benoit and Marie Laurence, and i think they deserves the title of "best themed costumes".

Some others costumes may look more scary of course, but i think that Benoit and Marie Laurence costumes - a perfect tribute to Phantom Manor's bride and her unfortunate lover are really great!

On the top, Marie Laurence is on Main Street's with the Halloween eerie lighting, and below, Benoit and her are standing in front of the Manor.

They also had the good idea to took some pictures inside Phantom Manor, in the portrait hall. The photographer sent to me a new version of the photo with a special Photoshop "ghostly" effect!

And this picture with Marie laurence standing in front of the bride portrait show how good their themed costumes were!

Pictures by Randie Soul, a big thanks to Benoit and Marie Laurence for these great pictures!

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Special Halloween Night DLP Wallpaper pictures

It's Halloween night tonight, so, here is some bonus high-res wallpaper pictures of the Halloween decorations at Disneyland Paris. As usual, double-click on each to enjoy them, and i wish all of you a great Halloween evening!

All pictures: copyright Randie Soul & Disney and more

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Disneyland Paris " Le Visionarium " making-of documentary

The beloved Disneyland Paris attraction "Le Visionarium" is now an "extinct" attraction. Since the opening of the park in 1992, and until it was replaced by the "Buzz Lightyear laser Blast" ride, everybody loved it. The music score was one of the best ever written for a Disney attraction, the Time Keeper and Nine Eye Audio-animatronics were just perfect, and the circlevision movie was awesome - a special award to legendary french actor Michel Piccoli who played the best Jules Verne ever seen in a movie.

The attraction opened years later at WDW Magic Kingdom - it was called "From Time to time" but was less popular than it was at DLP. For an inexplicable reason, the music was changed, and i'm sorry to say that the new score was not as good as the original one who - literally - was giving an incredible epic energy to any guest exiting the DLP version. Today, the last place on earth where it is possible to see - i should say "live" the attraction is at Tokyo Disneyland's Tommorowland.

Today, we will have a closer look to how this great circlevision movie was made, thanks to a wonderful making-of documentary in three parts. Making-of documentaries of Disney attractions are pretty rare, we saw last week the one did for DLP Space Mountain "Shoot for the Moon", and this one is just as good. Enjoy it!

All my thanks to the very good Imagineering Files site who had the good idea to download it on Daily Motion.

Pictures and Video: copyright Disney

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Disneyland's New Orleans Square Original Artwork

The artwork topic of this week is a special Disneyland's New Orleans Square artwork. The renderings below were done by great WDI artists such as Sam Mc Kim, Herb Ryman or Dorothea Redmond. As usual don't forget to click on each image to enjoy them in big size!

This first painting above - by Herb Ryman - was the first detailed visualization of New Orleans Square. The masts of sailing ships, seen over the rooftops are not at Disneyland, but add an authentic touch to the painting. Many of Ryman's renderings for New Orleans Square are peopled with the sister of charity, who were a common sight in 19th century New Orleans.

The next one, also from Herb Ryman, depicts an early concept for the Royal Courtyard, located adjacent to the One-of-a-kind shop. Stairs from this courtyard lead to a suite planned for the Disney family, which became the Disney Gallery before it was transformed in the Disneyland Dream Suite.

This next rendering show the french quarter of New Orleans Square.

This painting below show the "Cristal d'Orleans" shop. Its elegance recalls the film "Gone with the wind". Interior designer Dorothea Redmond who did this painting worked on the 1939 classic.

This next painting, also by Dorothea Redmond, show the Walt Disney Suite project. Imagineers took part of their inspiration from this artwork when they've designed the Disneyland Dream Suite last year.

This last and famous painting from Sam Mc Kim was a design for an eerie "Haunted Mansion" and was based on an actual antebellum home. Walt Disney who didn't want anything so run-down looking in Disneyland remarked "We'll take care of the outside, let the ghosts take care of the inside.

All Artwork: copyright Disney Enterprises Inc.

Cars Toon " Mater's Tall Tales " Animated shorts

Cars Toon animated short series had its premiere last night on Toon Disney, and the animation looks absolutely great .

The first episode of these "Mater's Tall Tales" was called "Rescue Squad Mater".

The second episode is called "Mater the Greater" , in which Mater is supposed to be a famous daredevil...

And the last of these first three animated short is called "El Materdor", in which Mater is a "bulldozer" matador in Spain.

These three animated shorts - each of them last approximately 3 minutes - were directed by John Lasseter, who was joined by co-directors Victor Navone and Rob Gibbs. You can watch a video interview of them HERE.

As you saw, the quality of these shorts is "Pixar quality", and let's hope they will be available soon for download on the ITunes Store! I'll let you know!

Pictures and Videos: copyright Disney-Pixar

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bay Lake Tower at WDW Disney’s Contemporary Resort

The new Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort - a Disney Vacation Club Resort - is supposed to open fall 2009. It will complement the strong horizontal lines of the original Contemporary resort while adding its own unique touches, including a fireworks viewing deck, a rooftop lounge, a lakeside pool and much more. Add to that a sky bridge linking the tower to the original resort’s monorail station, restaurants and shops, and you’ve got a new classic Disney resort that allows guests to blow Tinker Bell a kiss goodnight as they relax after a fun day of theme park experiences.
Below and above, two artist concept-art show how it should look at the end of next year.

Bay Lake Tower’s crescent-shaped tower will boast some of the most dramatic Walt Disney World views available, offering open sightlines to an amenity-filled courtyard, the picturesque lakefront or one of the most beloved theme parks on earth. The view will be equally appealing on the other side of the window, with rich woods and warm fabrics complementing interior spaces and creating a welcoming, family friendly environment.

The only view better than the one families will enjoy from their rooms may be the one available* from the exclusive rooftop deck, offering sweeping views of the resort and a dramatic look at Magic Kingdom Park’s fireworks by night. Plus, as an homage to the original, Bay Lake Tower’s rooftop lounge, Top of the World Lounge, was actually inspired by Disney’s Contemporary Resort’s former restaurant of the same name.

All Pictures : copyright Disney

If you're planning a trip to Disneyland Paris, the new Sejours Magiques web site will be a precious help !

If you're planning a trip to the Disneyland Resort for Christmas or later next year, here is a new website to put in your bookmarks, as it will surely be helpful anytime soon!

Sejours Magiques - "Magical Stays" in english - assembles all hotels in and around Disneyland Paris and have precious informations for your upcoming stays at the Resort. Looking for a hotel or a house to rent near the park? You will find all infos on the site. You can compare and reserve easily hotels, apartments, houses and camping sites on the Disneyland Paris Resort and its surroundings. All at the best price.

Honestly, Sejours Magiques is a real tool for travelers coming to DLP. Each accommodation has its own full description sheet seen from an independent angle. Location, hotel services, description of the rooms, restaurants, bars and others.
Then, you have the possibility to reserve your stay (with or without transportation) or your entrance tickets for the parks. The site is sponsored by Disneyland Paris, and Expedia, and, once again, pretty well done. Have a look!

The site is for now in french and netherland language, but hopefully should be also in english anytime soon.

Screen captures: copyright

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Free Bolt App Game for the IPhone - IPod Touch available now on ITunes App Store

A new application game for the IPhone and Ipod Touch was released two days ago on the Itunes App Store, and it's a BOLT game! And the game is FREE! That's a news that should delight those of you who own an IPhone or an IPod Touch, however i have to moderate any enthusiasm, and here is why.

First let me describe this Bolt app game. The application include the game, and two videos - the official trailer and a TV special commercial. Nothing that we've not seen before, but quite good image quality.

The game itself is all about the character Rhino the Hamster who is on a roll and trying to get to his favorite super dog - Bolt - as fast as he can.

All you have to do - thanks to the Iphone accelerometer - is to tilt your IPhone forward, backwards, left or right to guide Rhino through the city streets, avoiding cars and other obstacles on your way to the finish line.

On your way, you can collect bonus lightning bolts and hit the launching ramps for a - as they say - "fully awesome adventure".

Okay, this app game is free, and it's a good point, i agree. But first the app weight is 94,4 MB (!) which is incredibly heavy, probably because of the movie clips weight included in the application. However, it means that the app will take a lot of your available "space" on your IPhone-IPod Touch and, considering that people are downloading like crazy the applications of the App Store ( Apple announced yesterday that 200 millions applications were downloaded since the opening of the App Store in July ) i think it's a bit of a marketing strategy mistake to have released a such "heavy" application, even free.

The other problem is with the game itself. Graphics are simple but most of all, as i've said, basically all what you have to do is to guide Rhino through the streets, avoiding cars and other obstacles, and at the same time, collect the Bolt lightnings. The main problem is that - except the Rhino ball - everything is static. I mean, the cars don't move, nothing is moving, and it's a pity as it would have been much more fun to guide this little hamster in its ball through a dangerous "moving" traffic...

Anyway, the game is free, so if you have enough space available on your IPhone-IPod Touch, give it a try, you'll find it on the ITunes App Store under the name "Rhinoball".

Pictures: copyright Disney - AvatarLabs