Saturday, July 25, 2009

At last, Tron Legacy Trailer !

The new and highly awaited Tron movie has a title, and it's "Tron Legacy".

Directed by Joseph Kosinski, "Tron Legacy" follows Sam Flynn, the tech-savvy son of Kevin Flynn, as he investigates his father's disappearance and finds himself pulled into the same world of fierce programs and gladiatorial games where his father has been living for 25 years. After finding Kevin, Sam joins forces with him and Kevin's loyal confidant on a life-and-death journey across a visually-stunning cyber universe that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous.

Jeff Bridges who played Kevin Flynn in the first Tron is back...

...and it's interesting to note the "tribute" - voluntary or not - to the end sequence of Stanley Kubrick's 2001, A Space Odyssey in what seems to be Jeff Bridges character's home decor...

The famous Tron cycles are also back, with a new design...

...and deadly races.

Okay, enough talk, here is the trailer you're waiting for, and yes, this new Tron Legacy looks great!

Now, if you want to know more about the story, or, as a D&M reader asked in the comments, if Tron will be back as Bruce Boxleitner, don't miss this video interview of director Joe Kosinski and producer Sean Bailey HERE.

Thanks to leave a comment or discuss this interview on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

Pictures and video: copyright Disney

Thursday, July 23, 2009

DCA's World of Color Pictures, Artwork and Videos

The pictures were released last week-end, but i was doing my "Man on the Moon" celebration and couldn't post them before. Anyway, better too late than never and here is great artwork for the awaited "World of Color" show at DCA. As always, click on each picture to see them in big size.

First, some pictures of the Blue Sky Cellar preview center.

Here is the artwork for the Pocahontas scene...

...And two artworks for Alice in Wonderland scenes.

The artwork for the Wall-E scene...

and the one - if i'm not wrong - for the final scene.

Disneyland also released a picture of the model showing where will be all the fountains... well as pictures of the construction inside Paradise Pier Lagoon.

I'm re-posting here the video - filmed by the always excellent MintCrocodile - that visitors of Blue Sky Cellar can see and learn more about the upcoming show.

Disneyland also posted on Youtube a behind the scenes video of the construction in DCA's lagoon!

But the not-to-be-missed video is the presentation that Steven Davison, creator of the show, did last week. Not only you will learn a lot about the show itself, but if you want to see somebody who have a real VISION, then look closely at Steven Davison.
Thanks God, "Lightsofwinter" had the genius idea to film Steven's presentation, and here it is in three parts.

Pictures and artwork: copyright Disney

Videos: copyright Disney, MintCrocodile and Lightsofwinter

Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland trailer !

The highly awaited first trailer of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland is released and it looks very promising. Just can't wait for March 2010!

Video: copyright Disney

Hat Tip to

Marty Sklar's Main Street "window" ceremony video

Last friday, Marty Sklar received his "window" on Main Street during a ceremony in tribute to his WDI career. You saw images of it and the WDI party in my exclusive report last week-end, but Disneyland just released a video of the DL ceremony, and here it is below.

Photo and video: copyright Disney

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

UP! Balloon flies high at Disneyland Paris

UP! was released almost two months ago in the U.S and it's a huge success with $280 M at the box office, but its international career is just beginning. The movie will be released in France next week and little by little all over Europe.

To promote this European release Disneyland Paris had recently the UP! balloon, flying high over DLP Central Plaza and Sleeping Beauty castle. Disney and more have for you the shots of the whole operation, as you will see below. I'm just curious to see if the movie will be here as popular as he was in the U.S, but normally it should be the case, all french reviews are excellent.

All pictures: copyright Disney

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

From " Mission to Mars " to " Mission : Space "

We will have a look today to Disney's attractions in relation with travel in outer space. "Mission to Mars" now a Disneyland and Walt Disney World extinct attraction was located in Tomorrowland. The show was originally named Flight to the Moon and as we know it opened in 1955. In 1975, the destination was changed to Mars because man had already been to the moon. During that time, the attraction was considerably updated.

The show was initially sponsored by McDonnell-Douglas. After sponsorship ended, logos referring to the company were removed from the attraction, but the outline of the stylized tail fin in the McDonnell-Douglas logo still remains part of the former building's facade as you can see on this short Youtube video showing Mission to Mars entrance at night.

The show was designed in cooperation with NASA and was basically a revised and updated version of the previous attraction Flight to the Moon. Guests would now be launched on a spacecraft into space and then approach the surface of the red planet Mars.

Guests would first enter a viewing area known as Mission Control, which was modeled after a typical mission control center with chairs and control panels for about ten seated Audio-Animatronic "technicians" whose backs were to the audience as they moved their heads and arms. Facing the audience was the Audio-Animatronic flight director Mr. Johnson. He would then talk and show film clips to explain how man had made numerous advances in space travel and manufacturing in microgravity, and also learned how to deal with the effects of space. The lecture was interrupted once per show by an intruder alarm caused by a large bird crash-landing near the spacecraft launch pad.

After the pre-show, guests would move on and finally board their spacecraft. Inside was a circular theater with stadium-like seating with circular flat screens on the ceiling and floor. During the mission, guests could look at the views from outside the spacecraft from either of these screens. There were also side screens that showed film clips or graphics.

"Third Officer Collins" was the tour guide, and discussed the mission as the spacecraft explored space and Mars. Eventually, the ship was damaged, possibly by a volcanic eruption, and the ship had to quickly head back to Earth. The seats in the attraction would simulate the vibrations and G-forces from "Hyper-space" during take-offs and landings by filling up with compressed air. Finally, the spacecraft landed safely back on Earth and Officer Collins would then urge guests to return and visit again. As he explained, "there's a lot more to see on Mars".

The attraction closed at Disneyland on November 2, 1992, and at the Magic Kingdom on October 4, 1993. It re-opened as the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter as part of the Magic Kingdom's New Tomorrowland on June 20, 1995 but that's another story...

Below two videos of Mission to Mars, the first one shows the pre-show with Mission Control room and the second one the show itself. Please note that the show was quite dark, so...

Ten years later, another "mission" will take WDW guests on Mars, and it was at Epcot when "Mission: Space" opened on October 9, 2003. Well, as a matter of fact, what opened was the first part of a much better "Mission: Space" attraction concept.

In its first concept part one of the attraction was the same one that Epcot guests can ride every day, i.e the shuttle centrifuge-simulator of a blast-off to outer space.

But instead to go on Mars, the original concept would have sent Mission: Space guests to a Space Station built on the Moon - or, according to Jim Hill in his excellent 2001 article, on a huge asteroid.

Always according to Jim "After they've arrived at the station, Epcot visitors will be free to disembark and discover the many wonders that are hidden deep inside that asteroid". And how, you ask? Well, that was the third genius part of the ride as Guests would have been able to move inside the Space Station thanks to a simulation of "MMU" - Manned Maneuvering Unit - the famous propulsion backpack which was used by NASA astronauts on three space shuttle missions in 1984 and which allowed the astronauts to perform untethered EVA spacewalks at a distance from the shuttle. Of course, as you can see on the rendering below, every one was supposed to follow the track, but the ride would have been great anyway, don't you think so?

Of course the cost of the whole attraction was extremely high, and too high probably for Michael Eisner, Disney's CEO at that time. Only the first part of the ride was saved and Mission: Space was built on the former site of the beloved Horizons attraction.

Grand Opening happened on October 2003 and here is the video of the ceremony attended by Disney CEO Michael Eisner, HP CEO Carly Fiorina and NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe, as well as several NASA astronauts from its many phases of human space exploration- Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, the space shuttle program and two crew members aboard the International Space Station!

The two next videos shows the attraction itself. The first one shows part of the pre-show as well as Mission Space Imagineers, and the second one was filmed during the ride itself, showing the whole movie one can see during the centrifuge ride.

This article ends my "Man on the Moon" celebration and tomorrow we'll be back to Earth!


Thanks to leave a comment or discuss this interview on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

All pictures: copyright Disney

Many thanks to the different people for the Youtube videos!

Thanks to Wikipedia for part of the text

Monday, July 20, 2009

Gordon Cooper, when a Legendary Astronaut became a WED Imagineer

Here is the part three of D&M "Man on the Moon" celebration, and Imagineer Pat Burke is back on Disney and more with a great story.

Before the Apollo missions in the late 60's, the Mercury missions opened the way to the conquest of the moon. Seven legendary Astronauts were part of this Mercury team - see picture below - and among them, the famous Leroy Gordon Cooper that you can see above in this gorgeous 1962 NASA picture.

What is less known is that ten years later or so, Gordon Cooper will become a WED Imagineer and Vice-President of Research and Development! Incredible!

I introduce now the great Pat Burke, who will tell you his memories about Gordon Cooper, Imagineer at WED Enterprises.

Gordon Cooper, from Test Pilot to Astronaut to being an Imagineer.
By Pat Burke.

"After WED Enterprises got Walt Disney World open in 1971, it was time to start working on Walt's "Dream City of the Future" Epcot. Ray Bradbury was the elected spokesman and was often seen in the halls at then WED Enterprises before it became WDI. Having come aboard in 1972, I was a bit surprised when I heard about a new recruit I had met earlier in the late 50's. In 1973, Disney President Card Walker, had hired a new Vice President of Research and Development. Having grown up around all the test pilots for Edwards Air Force base or Murdoch Field, as it was called back then, Gordon Cooper was a name I heard about often. X 1 to X15 Test Pilot Scott Crossfield, lived just a few doors down from my family, as there was not a lot of housing at Edwards. I believe Scott called him Gordo at some BBQ's my family attended at his home. My father, who had been in the Army Airforce training pilots in WW2, was the first contractor to be hired to build their new homes out near the Base.

Gordon moved out there after graduation in about 1957, and it was soon after that he had his first encounter with UFO's that were well documented in a film he submitted to his superiors that never went anywhere public. So seeing Gordon Cooper in the mid 70's as our new Vice President of Research and Development was not that hard to believe. We were getting both Space Mountains going for Walt Disney World in 75 and Disneyland in 77. Some of Gordon's Mercury 7 teammates, 6 astronauts in total of the 7, helped launch Space Mountain to the waiting public at WDW. Gordon Cooper was also hired by Card Walker to promote Epcot. He also helped us to get some infrared photos taken from an overhead Space Satellite in about 1974, of our Lake Independence site for ski run development.

I was lucky enough to join a group of WED Imagineers several times for a lunch in the park with Gordon. We would all pick up our ZUP'S or Pecos Bill's sandwiches and head to the nearby Griffith Park for a meet and eat session with our VP. There we would learn about his "Right Stuff" test pilot days, being an Astronaut with Mercury 7 and all the UFO's and alien encounters he had been witness to. Like Walt, he believed "it was fun to do the impossible!" and he had surely done that. He seemed to fit right in with Space Mountain and Ray Bradbury for our Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow!"

I managed to find on Youtube the video of the Space Mountain opening at Walt disney World in 1975. You will see some of the astronauts invited for the Grand Opening event and, of course, Imagineer Gordon Cooper!

Twenty years later, in 1995, another legendary astronaut, Buzz Aldrin - the 2nd man who walked on the moon - was invited to celebrate the opening of Disneyland Paris Space Mountain.

And more recently at Disneyland Anaheim, it was Neil armstrong himself who came for the Grand opening of the "new" Space Mountain!

Here is the video of the ceremony where you'll see Neil Armstrong speech.

Thanks to leave a comment or discuss this interview on D&M english forum on Mice Chat

Pictures: copyright NASA or Disney

Youtube video: copyright Disney

Man on the Moon 40th Anniversary special celebration

Today is July 20th, and exactly 40 years ago Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. To celebrate this historic event - and before coming back tomorrow to "Disney and Space" articles - here is a selection of Apollo 121 mission pictures. And some of them are more rare than the pictures you probably saw everywhere in magazines. Most of them are old NASA pictures of course, with others from LIFE magazine.

On the first picture below, an aerial view of the launching pads at Cape Kennedy in 1964. In the upper left hand corner, the huge Vehicle Assembly Building under construction where the giant Saturn 5 rockets will be assembled years later.

A rare LIFE picture of Neil Armstrong at home in March 1969, four months before he became the first man to walk on the moon.

Astronaut Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin in space suit, practicing with a movie camera he will use on the upcoming Apollo XI lunar mission.

A picture of the preparation of famous Lunar Module For Apollo 11.

Cover of LIFE magazine dated 07-25-1969 with logo & legend "Leaving for the Moon" and picture of astronaut Neil Armstrong in spacesuit waving.

Composite of 5 frame shots of the gantry retracting while the Saturn V boosters lift off to carry the Apollo 11 astronauts to the Moon.

Jan Armstrong, wife of Apollo 11 astronaut, Neil Armstrong, gazes upon white trail in sky of Apollo 11 blastoff, from boat, with son.

Launching of Apollo 11 viewed from across river by group of people.

Fish-eye lens view of spectators watching Apollo 11 blast-off.

Apollo 11 Lunar Module in landing configuration, as viewed from Command & Service Module.

Cover of LIFE magazine special issue (08-11-1969) entitled ""To the Moon and Back." with photo of reflections on astronauts facemask.

Astronaut Edwin Aldrin backing down stairs from lunar module to be 2nd man on the moon.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin preparing to deploy the Early Apollo Scientific Experiments Package (EASEP) during Apollo 11 lunar surface extravehicular activity on moon.

Buzz Aldrin standing on moon beside part. deployed Early Apollo Scientific Experimental Package with Lunar Module & newly-erected American flag in the background.

"Buzz" Aldrin standing on moon as he deploys seismic-testing equipment (Early Apollo Scientific Experimental Package or EASEP) with Lunar Module "Eagle" in background.

Buzz Aldrin stands beside an American flag at Tranquility Base on the surface of the moon during the Apollo 11 mission. July, 1969 Tranquility Base, Mare Tranquillitatus, Moon.

Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin inside Apollo 11 Lunar Module during Lunar landing mission.

Apollo 11 lunar module ascent stage photographed fromcommand service module during rendezvous in lunar orbit. Planet Earth visible above the lunar horizon.

Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong in space capsule after his historic walk on moon.

It's one thing to go on the Moon, but then you have to come back to Earth! Here is some pictures of the splashdown of Apollo XI mission.

Joan Aldrin, wife of Buzz Aldrin applauding her husband, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, as she watches TV coverage of splashdown at end of mission.

Overall of scene surrounding quarantined astronauts after splashdown of Apollo XI mission.

Apollo 11 astronauts Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin peering out window of quarantine room aboard recovery ship Hornet following splashdown.

The three Astronauts went then all around the world for a huge celebration. Here, astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins are parading through India on the Giantstep-Apollo 11 Presidential Goodwill Tour to promote American willingness to share space knowledge.

Cover of LIFE magazine dated 08-08-1969 with logo & picture of American flag planted on the moon.

Here is a great video where you'll be able to see the main images of the Apollo XI mission.

Recently, the NASA did an amazing work of restoration of the first Moon movies. the result? We see more clearly than ever these historical footage!

I would like to end with a rare interview, a long time later of legendary Neil Armstrong. I strongly recommand you to have a look at it as Armstrong, after he came back from the Moon and left NASA some years later decided to never grant any interview. Thanks God, he did at least two or three and here is one of them.

Pictures: copyright NASA and TIME-LIFE

Videos: copyright NASA