Saturday, January 24, 2009

Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary - All about the Collectibles Event

It's the Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary this year, and Disneyland will have a special collectibles event on 09-09-09!

LOT of artists are designing great Haunted Mansion collectibles for this event, and here below is a selection of them. The bad news is that all Disney packages which allows to be part of this HM collectible event on September 9 are now totally sold out... If you - like me - won't be able to attend the event and buy some of these collectibles, don't worry, you should be able to find them on EBay!

So, let's have a look to these awaited collectibles and let's begin by the two collectible designers genius Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily who are designing many different collectibles for this HM 40th anniversary. For now, two only have been shown. First this great Haunted Mansion Coffin - Edition Size: 300 - $75. Actually, the coffin will have a mechanism and the top of it with the skeleton arms will go up and down! In the same time, the green light in the coffin will switch on and off.

...and this also great 12" high Candelabra - Edition Size: 300 - $85.

Designed by Walt Disney Imagineer, John Mauvezin, this Haunted Mansion Door - no details yet on the edition size and price.

Always from John, this 20" high Haunted Mansion Tabletop Clock which will work for real! - Edition Size: 25 - $200.

Please note that these first four pictures are "art concepts", not a picture of the final product.

Sculpted by Dusty Horner, for Walt Disney Classics Collection this "Organ: Spirited Entertainer" will have an edition size of 500 - $225.

Artist Jim Shore is creating in his Disney Traditions series these "Hitchhiking Ghosts". It's an "open" edition - which mean it's not limited and the price will be $75.

Next, this "Haunted Mansion Serpant Door Handle Walking Stick" Inspired by the serpant door handle as it appears in the hallway scene in the attraction. - Edition Size: 25 - $250.

A great idea for all chess players, although a bit expensive, this Haunted Mansion Painted Chess Set designed by Walt Disney Imagineer, Scott Goddard. Price: $999

Pieces include the following:
Pawns - Tombstones
Rooks - Mausoleums
Knights - Singing Busts
Bishops - Opera Singers
Queen - Raven
King - Graveyard Caretaker

From the "Gallery of Light" collection of the great miniaturist Robert Olszewski these "Hitchhiking Ghosts" are an open edition and will cost $85.

The Pins fans will specially like this series of lenticular pins of the "Attic Bride with Groom". Here are two of them (Before Beheading, After Beheading) - Edition Size: 999 - $14.95.

And one more item for the road, which is the least i can say as it is those "Haunted Mansion Wallpaper High Top Sneakers" - Edition Limited to Special Orders Only - $75.

The collectibles above are my personal choice - so, it's a totally subjective choice! There is many more items to discover on this special Disney HM 40th anniversary page.

So, what do you think of these Haunted Mansion 40th Anniversary collectibles?

All pictures: copyright Disney

New book about Disneyland !

Disneyland : Little-Known Facts about Well-Known Places is a 200 pages new book in the popular David Hoffman "Little-Known Facts..." series.

David delves into the stories behind the Happiest place on Earth and goes beyond the obvious to reveal the tidbits that we have yet to discover. Covering every aspect from the history and personalities to the landscaping and architecture this collection of offbeat facts and figures, statistics and specifics, is great even for the most die-hard Disneyland fan. Packed with a wealth of revelations, Disneyland Little-Known Facts about Well-Known Places is a must-have for Mouseketeers and Disneyland fan.

The book is now available on the Disney and more Amazon store, you'll find it HERE.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New " UP ! " Poster released !

Yahoo! Movies released this new UP! poster. For the first time Dug the talking dog and Kevin the bird characters appears officially, along with the two main characters, Carl Fredricksen and Russell, the 9-year-old Wilderness Explorer.

From now, i create a special "UP!" section on the right column where you'll find all new articles about this awaited Pixar movie as well as the previous articles.

Picture: copyright Disney-Pixar

New Princess and the Frog Artwork

Last week, the Walt Disney Company's 2008 Annual Report was released and inside - actually at the very end of it - was a treasure, this new Princess and the Frog artwork.

It's a beautiful one, and it will be even more beautiful when you will double-click on it to see it in big size.

Artwork: copyright Disney

Thursday, January 22, 2009

LIFE Magazine at Disneyland - Part Two

Last week we saw the LIFE magazine colour pictures shoot at Disneyland in the 50's, and today here is the part two, with the black and white pictures, thanks to LIFE photographers.

Above, a Ralph Crane picture of a WED Enterprises Imagineer working on a Pirates of Caribbean Audio-Animatronic.

A Main Street U.S.A Fire Dept vehicle. Picture by Ralph Crane.

In 1960, the "Bank of America", outside...

...and inside. Pictures by Ralph Crane.

Below, of course, the Mark Twain river boat at night in 1961...

...and a party on the same Mark Twain - Pictures by J. R. Eyerman.

One of the snakes during the Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland ride in 1960. Picture by Ralph Crane.

Skyway over Fantasyland in October 1958. Picture by Ralph Crane.

And riding on Alice in Wonderland the same month and year.

The Mad Hatter's Tea Cups, in June 1961. Picture by Grey Villet.

Driving on Autopia in October 1958. Picture by Ralph Crane.

In June 1960 Disneyland guests enjoying view of the "bottom of the sea" in the Submarine ride.

And i've kept the best one for the end: who wouldn't have enjoyed to take his shower in Monsanto's House of the Future? This little girl did it in May 1957! Picture by Ralph Crane.

All pictures: copyright TIME - LIFE

More Disneyland Artwork...

The artwork article this week is all about Disneyland, U.S.A! I know you like when the artwork is in high-res, unfortunately for once it's not the case today - but don't worry, you should survive!

Above is a rendering for Adventure through inner space and the next one below show, of course, the Matterhorn.

A great early concept-art for a WDW Big Thunder Mountain.

This next one shows the Splash Mountain entrance.

And this last one is an overview of Toon Town!

All artwork: copyright Disney - WED enterprises

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New one minute clip from Pixar's " UP! "

Sony Insider posted on Vimeo a new one-minute scene from the awaited Pixar's "Up!" shown during the Sony CES keynote, and this one is a scene with the two characters in the South America jungle!

UP! movie clip: copyright Disney-Pixar

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Disney and More Time Machine : Back on April 12, 1992 - Disneyland Paris Grand Opening

Where were you on April 12, 1992? Some of you were watching the event on their TV, the luckiest one were invited at the party, and some of you were may be too young to know what the words Disney theme park means. But for many people all over Europe, the Grand opening of EuroDisney - that was the name of the park 17 years ago - on April 12, 1992 was for sure a memorable day.

And what a memorable evening! Today, as another memorable day is ending, the Disney and more Time Machine takes you back in time on this April 12 evening thanks to the DLP opening show. As the majority of my readers speak english, the TV grand opening show you will see below is the British one - I believe each country had its own show with their own anchor men, even if the filming of the show itself was the same for everybody. The show is interesting too because it shows the park as it was on opening day. Some elements don't exist anymore, specially some of the "streetmospheres" as they call it. The Main Street Keystone cops, other street orchestras, the Lucky Nugget show or the Frontierland shooting are gone unfortunately forever! You'll see also an interview of Roy Disney and Frank Wells, some filming of the Buffalo Bill Wild West show, and many more!

One of my favorite emotional moment happen on the first part below when a children choir sings "When you wish upon a star". If you look carefully, at precisely 10 min 19 sec, on the top left of the image you'll see a young black girl. If you look in her eyes, you'll see all the dazzler of the world. For her, it was definitely the most magical day of her life, you can feel it, literally. I have tears in my eyes each time i see this moment...Pure childhood wonder, pure innocence, pure magic. Don't miss it! And, of course, enjoy the show!

Photo: copyright Disney

Daily Motion video many thanks to djf06 !

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New " Toy Story Land " will open at Walt Disney Studios in 2010

The Toy Story Land project for DLP's Walt Disney Studios was still a rumour two weeks ago...until last week, when Meeko120103, somebody usually well informed revealed all about it on the site forum. The news was then posted on the WDSFans web site as well as on Screamscape, and also on Disney Central Plaza and Mice Age forums, so i think we can say it's not really a secret anymore.

So, here is the program of this Toy Story Land, as described by Meeko120103 in his own words:

"Three attractions will appear between Tram Tour, the Costuming Building and Cars. Together they are TOY STORY PLAYLAND.

Walking down Route 66 you will see a giant Robot, holding Scrabble Letters forming TOY STORY PLAYLAND. The street will split up, left side leading to ARMY MEN PARACHUTE JUMP and SLINKY DOG Ride, the right one towards the forest (and future Expansion that the Imagineers still cook on ) and the RC RACER Halfpipe Coaster. Both ways lead around the SLINKY DOG Ride and connect behind it in front of RC RACER.


Imagine the Pearl Harbor set from Tram Tour and give it Toy Story Colors. A huge Babyphone will guide you to the entrance. Metal Army Barriers, a Toy Jeep and your way continues into a small hangar. Between the ride and Tram Tour you recognize an Airplane ( yes, Disney uses Extreme Makeover for old props ) The ride will take you up, 3 guests on each seat, up to 25 meters. (It's the height of Studio 1). Outside you may take pictures on a photo location like if you are jumping with a parachute.


Between the parachutes and the costuming building (just behind the robot at the entrance) you find this ride. Compare it with a Music Express (carnival ride from Mack), but themed around Slinky chasing his tail around a fire hydrant in the center. Entering left hand (the left road) into a huge plastic woodlog building (in Toy Story 2 you have Mr and Mrs Potatohead kissing in it) you will passing along the famous Pixar Ball (the one with the yellow star), KNEX Construction Barriers, huge dominoes and play cubes to have a spin.

The ride is facing the forest and RC RACER, so even waiting you see a lot. Exiting on the right side you encounter Rex the Dinosaur and a barrel with the plastic monkeys forming a chain over the walkway.


Well, 35 meters high, looks like a huge horseshoe upside down. Why? Cause the top is nearly 95 degrees, so when the remote control car that you are seated in will stop on highest position, the only thing holding you in your seat is a lapbar. Literally! Entering the queueline you will follow a racetrack from Carrera, inclusive with black yellow striped barriers. Think Test Track, just walk on it. Leading around the ride you have enough time to see a lot of up and downs. After the ride you and sure a lot of (too) small children will enjoy taking a photo in a set with the remote controled car.

Got some idea? Ready for Toy Story? Maybe enjoy in some weeks already the changed Tram Tour that will sneak around this huge construction site. Instead of leaving straight towards Dinotopia, you make a big S-curved turn through parts of the forest. This is the backside of TOY STORY PLAYLAND; like this you get already some idea of the size of things."

For those of you who may not be familiar with what kind of rides are "music express" and a "half pipe coaster", here is a picture previously posted by the excellent WDSFANS site which explain pretty well what will be what. You will note that WDI already used the "music express" ride with another theming, outside the little Mermaid Lagoon at Tokyo Disney Sea.

This new Toy Story Land, although some keep saying it'll be open at the end of 2009 should in fact open in 2010 and of course will be part of the new attractions for next year season. The timing will be absolutely perfect as we know that the two first Toy Story movies will be released in 3D at the end of this year and early 2010, and the awaited Toy Story 3 will be released summer 2010 in Europe. So, next year will definitely be a "Toy Story" year.

Now, to be honest i'm still a little bit dubious about this project. Don't get me wrong, I am sure it will be successful and I am also sure that the Imagineers will do a wonderful Toy Story theming all over what are normally carnival rides. And i like also the idea of giant elements in front of which even adults will feel they are a child. I know, too, that the Walt Disney Studios desperately need a kind of "Fantasyland", and that each Disney park do have this kind of land - think about Bug's Land at DCA or Mermaid lagoon at TDS - but, considering the height of two of them - the parachute tower and the half pipe coaster - i sincerely hope there will not be any visual intrusion, whether it'll be at the WDS or DLP - the back of Frontierland is only at 200 yards from where these three attractions will be build...

By the way, talking about the Green Army men parachute jump, California Adventure fans will note that this attraction who was supposed to replace the Maliboomer before it was cancelled - picture of the DCA model above - will finally exist here in Paris, at the Walt Disney Studios - although the one for the WDS should probably have only "one" tower instead of three...

Everybody is expecting an official announcement of this Toy Story Land at the Share Holders meeting next month where renderings hopefully will be unveiled...i'll let you know. In the meantime, what do you think of this future WDS addition?

Pictures: copyright Disney-Pixar