Saturday, July 13, 2013

TDL Announces Major Enhancements for Tokyo Disneyland Jungle Cruise

Here is an interesting news for our friends from Japan! As Oriental Land announced today that TDL Jungle Cruise will be enhanced at Tokyo Disneyland for a cost of $16 million. The beloved attraction will close on January 6, 2014 and reopen fall 2014 with new effects as well as new show effects, a musical score, and a special nighttime version!

Inside the Magic add: "In addition, a specially written musical soundtrack will be heard throughout the attraction for the first time in any Jungle Cruise ride worldwide. An after-dark only “night cruise” will provide a unique take on the jungle adventure.

New to the attraction will be a startling encounter with one of the “animal spirit guardians” in the ruins of a lost jungle temple".

Great news, i just hope that the music score will fit well with the ride...

Picture: copyright Disney

Friday, July 12, 2013

Disney's Frozen Main Characters

Little by little Disney released more visuals about the upcoming animated movie "Frozen". After the first trailer, here are Frozen main characters!

If you've not seen yet the trailer,  here is the first one, in its french version.

Pictures and video: copyright Disney

Thursday, July 11, 2013

First "Saving Mr Banks" Trailer !

That's it, the first awaited trailer of Saving Mr Banks with Tom Hanks playing Walt Disney and Emma Thompson playing P.L Travers, Mary Poppins creator has been released. Apparently the story is about Walt trying to convince P.L Travers to give to Walt Disney Studios the rights to adapt Mary Poppins, and although it's known that the relation between Walt and P.L Travers didn't went that well it is done on a comedy mode. Have a look!

Part of the movie was filmed at Disneyland as we know but also at Disney Studios and Walt's office was recreated as you can see in the picture below.

We can see how Tom Hanks tried his best - and apparently he did a pretty good job - to impersonate Walt Disney...

At one point Disney invites P.L Travers to Disneyland - where she's never been before, hoping she will be finally convinced...

I have a very good feeling on this movie, so can't wait to see more! What about you?

Pictures and video: copyright Disney, Entertainment Tonight

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tony Baxter, Steve Jobs, Billy Crystal, Glen Keane, among the 2013 Disney Legends Award Honorees to be celebrated at D23 Expo !

Tony Baxter, Steve Jobs, Billy Crystal, Glen Keane, John Goodman are among the 2013 Disney Legends Award Honorees to be celebrated at D23 Expo in Anaheim! 

BURBANK, Calif. – July 10, 2013 – Monsters Inc. and Monsters University stars Billy Crystal and John Goodman, technology visionary Steve Jobs, television icon Dick Clark and other beloved contributors to the Disney legacy will be named and honored as official Disney Legends during the D23 Expo 2013 at     2 p.m. on SaturdayAugust 10, in the D23 Expo Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Disney Legends Awards program is a 26-year tradition of The Walt Disney Company. The three-dayD23 Expo provides a rare opportunity for the public to be a part of the always touching and memorablepresentationhosted by noted television personality Tom Bergeron (host of ABC’s Dancing with the Starsand America’s Funniest Home Videos).

“The Disney Legend Award is our highest and most coveted honor,” said Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. “It’s reserved for the extraordinary visionaries and artists behind the Disney magic, the men and women who push the limits of innovation and creativity to ensure Disney remains truly special. The eightLegends we honor this year helped create some of our most beloved characters along with exciting new worlds and thrilling attractions.  They also entertained millions of people and expanded our definition of what’s possible. They are all indelible parts of our legacy, and we are proud to recognize them as true Disney Legends.”

The 2013 Disney Legends Award honorees (listed alphabetically) are:

TONY BAXTER has developed beloved Disney attractions including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Journey Into Imagination, Splash Mountain, and countless more over the course of his 43-year career with Walt Disney Imagineering.  Revered by Disney fans, he is best known for his commitment to storytelling, attention to detail, and ability to develop new ideas and attractions by combining time-tested design practices with modern technology.

COLLIN CAMPBELL touched almost every part of the Walt Disney Company, from animated classics to legendary theme park attractions, with stints in live action film and television. Collin’s work with Walt Disney Imagineering includes the development of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as concept illustrations of Magic Kingdom Park and Epcot Center.

DICK CLARK brought rock and roll to 40 million homes across the country with the national debut ofAmerican Bandstand on ABC in 1958. He went on to produce game shows, award shows including the Golden Globes® and the Academy of Country Music Awards, comedy specials movies, and other popular television specials. Dick might best be remembered, however, as the host of ABC’s annual Dick Clark’s New Years Rockin’ Eve from 1973 until 2011.

BILLY CRYSTAL is an acclaimed actor who lends his voice to Mike Wazowski, the frenetic, green cyclopean monster from Monsters Inc. and Monsters UniversityBest known for his memorable roles inWhen Harry Met Sally…, The Princess Bride, and City Slickers, Billy, who has won six Emmy Awards and one Tony Award, has also been a fixture on ABC television, where he hosted the Academy Awards® broadcast nine times and found his breakthrough role as Jodie Dallas on Soap from 1977-81.

JOHN GOODMAN is a celebrated actor of stage and screen, and the voice behind James P. Sullivan, better known as “Sully,” from Monsters Inc. and Monsters University. Among John’s notable film appearances are The Big LebowskiThe Flintstones, and most recently Argo and Flight. John’s appearances in Disney-produced films include the Hollywood Pictures films Arachnophobia and Born Yesterdayas well as Touchstone Pictures’ StellaCoyote UglyO Brother, Where Art Thou, andConfessions of a Shopaholic.  

STEVE JOBS changed the world of consumer electronics as the founder of Apple, and was known throughout the world for his visionary attitude and penchant for innovation. He was an early investor and chief executive of Pixar, and became the Walt Disney Company’s largest shareholder overnight when it acquired Pixar Animation Studios in 2006. That same year, he joined the Disney board of directors, and remained a valuable sounding board and advisor to the company until his passing in 2011.

GLEN KEANE has brought to life many of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ most popular characters. Since becoming a Disney animator in 1974, he has animated classic Disney characters such as Penny in The Rescuers, Elliott in Pete’s Dragon, Ratigan in The Great Mouse Detective, the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, and the titular characters in The Little MermaidAladdinPocahontas, and Tarzan. In 2010, Glen served as Executive Producer and Animation Supervisor for Tangled, a story he developed for more than ten years.

ED WYNN, a comedian whose career began on Broadway in the early 1900s, appeared in numerous Disney classics of the 1960s, including Mary PoppinsBabes in ToylandThat Darn CatThe Absent-Minded Professor, and Son of Flubber. Fans of Disney animation know him as the manic and distinctive voice of the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland.

Each honoree receives a two-foot-tall bronze Disney Legends sculpture that signifies the imagination, creativity and magic they have brought to the Company. Disney Legends Award recipients also participate in a handprint ceremony, and their bronzed prints will be displayed in the Disney Legends Plaza at the Company’s Burbank headquarters.

Admission to the ceremony will be on a first-come, first-served basis and is included in the price of a ticket to the D23 Expo. In addition to the 4,000-seat D23 Expo Arena, the ceremony will be simulcast into a 2,000-seat overflow theater inside the Convention Center.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Lone Ranger Review

I've been in theatre this afternoon to watch The Lone Ranger, and here is my review.

What a strange movie, perhaps the first time of my life that i had the feeling to see a "bipolar" movie, a film which is partly a classic action western, partly a comedy western and gives the feeling to never choose its side. And this till the very end. That's one of the problem of The Lone Ranger, but not the only one. The other problem is coming from The Lone Ranger himself, who also take two hours to make his choice between being someone who respect law and justice, and becoming a "lone ranger" with less moral conflicts. And, frankly, it's hard to believe that someone who had his brother killed by a brutal murderer who not only killed his brother but also eat his heart is still hesitating to kill him or not when he's finally face to face with him. Anyway, that's some of the things which are a bit hard to swallow in The Lone Ranger but, thanks God, there is plenty of scenes which are superb and extremely enjoyable.

The Lone Ranger is brilliantly filmed by Gore Verbinski and everything you can expect to see in a western is here: western towns, sherifs, outlaws, indians, runaway trains, a saloon, a saloon madam, mines ( in this case a silver mine ), buffallos herd, etc... And even Monument Valley where the movie was filmed for a big part. Action is set in this wild west era during which the trans america railway line was built, so you'll also see chinese workers which is historically correct as many chinese helped to build the railway. 

So, trains, and even lot of trains which for me was very enjoyable to watch as i love trains in western movies. The movie starts in 1933 in a San Francisco sideshow tent, at a time the Golden Gate bridge is still under construction - and this opening scene with a young boy is a lovely idea - and then the story flash back 70 years earlier, and the next scene is a fantastic train attack by outlaws, one of the best i've seen since the famous ending scene of How the West Was Won. And, again, all this is extremely brilliantly filmed. It also ends with another great train scene, unfortunately a bit spoiled by the music choice, but i'll come back on this later.

Actors are all excellent and well directed, and of course Johnny Depp once again creates a memorable character. The way he plays Tonto might be somewhere a tribute to Buster Keaton - so expect a totally different and less hysterical character than Captain Jack was - but creating an Indian character who seems to have escaped from a Carlos Castaneda book - so a bit sorcerer in the Indian meaning of the word - is a clever choice, and for me Johnny is perfect from the start to the end. 

The movie production is also superb, and all of you who love Frontierland theming will be delighted by the sets of The Lone Ranger. You definitely can see where the $225M have been spent. The Lone Ranger had everything to be a great classic western, excellent actors, brilliant director, a good script - although it might be a bit too much complicated for young children - great sets, wonderful natural decor location, etc... but as i've said it's spoiled by a mix of style which for the most doesn't work. Or, as a critic has said: "the Lone Ranger is a film that doesn't know what it wants to be".

So, somewhere, it's frustrating but, still, there is enough spectacular scenes in The Lone Ranger to be enjoyable. Some are saying that the movie is too long, but i'm not sure that it is really too long... may be they could have cut twenty minutes, but not more. What is definitely too long for sure is the time it takes to the Lone Ranger to become "The" Lone Ranger. That said, what i really didn't like at all was the choice of the music for the final train sequence. This is the film climax, you're expecting a spectacular train chase - and you have it - and suddenly you hear the famous Guillaume Tell Overture! I couldn't believe my ears... I was there thinking "what the hell are they doing !?!". What they were doing, once again, was trying to mix two different styles, an action western and a comedy  western. And even if i have to admit that the scene editing match quite well with the music, i was really expecting a classic movie score at this intense moment of the film. The music choice in that scene could have worked or at least not be a problem if ALL the movie would have been a comedy western, but by constantly going from one style to another without making a choice, then it becomes a problem. At least it was one, for me.

Editing: A good friend of mine just let me know that this Guillaume Tell Overture was in fact the original music of the Lone Ranger TV series main title. In this case it of course makes more sense, at least for americans who remember the TV series, which i'm afraid might not be the case for the rest of the world.

So, do i suggest you to go out and watch The Lone Ranger? Yes i do, because what is good and what really works is really good. Go see it for the production, for the sets, for the actors, and of course for Johnny Depp. But be also prepared to be frustrated and to understand what a great classic western The Lone Ranger could have been, and what unfortunately it is not. 

Below, The Lone Ranger trailer, and if you watched the movie already, let us know what you think of it.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Soarin' Update : Soarin' HD Version in 2014, Soarin' Over The World Coming in 2016 at DL and Epcot !

Let's start the week with a great news about the beloved Soarin' attraction. Disney fans are expecting a new Soarin' movie since a long time and from what i've been told Disney Parks and Resorts has scheduled Soaring over the world for a release in 2016 both at DCA and WDW Epcot. That will be a few months after it makes its debut at Shanghaî Disneyland under the title "Soaring over the horizon".

But in 2014 is also scheduled an update of Soarin' over California, and this update called Soaring HD will probably be one bringing an even better projection of the movie - may be in 4K - or even 8K ? - so expect a screening with an image more "crystal clear" than ever.

Why will you have to wait three more years the release of Soaring over the world? I can't tell for sure but Disney might want to keep the exclusive premiere for Shanghaî Disneyland, even if there will be just a few months only between its debut at SDL and at DL and Epcot. By the way, as you know a Soarin' attraction was in the plans since a long time for DLP Walt Disney Studios, but i'm sorry to say that, for now, there is absolutely no dates planned for a Soarin' attraction at the WDS, at least in the next ten years.

But what about the "Soaring over the World" movie itself, you ask? Well, some filming locations around the world were in the plans two years ago, and may be there has been some changes but here is the country WDI was thinking about. Before i go further, a little warning as there might be some spoilers ahead.

So, if no changes have been done, be prepared to soar over England, France, Italy, Egypt, India, China, Japan, and for the U.S.A: the Grand Canyon and New York.

Although there was no South America country in the list above it doesn't mean it's not part of Imagineers plans. They have the choice: Brasil and Rio de Janeiro's bay or Iguaçu Falls, The Amazonia forest, The old Inca Machu-Pichu fortress in Peru, all these would be spectacular locations to soar above...

However, the other part of the Imagineers challenge will be probably to avoid filming a too "obvious" Travelogue. It's not going to be easy, as each country have its own iconic place/city/monument and it's a little bit everyone's dream to fly above them.

Now, what is coming next is just my personal thoughts, as i don't know exactly which place in each country Imagineers are planning to film. I mean: i really don't know. So what you will read below is pure personal speculation, although the locations choice below could very well be the one that will be in the final film! Also, please note that the pictures below are NOT Disney pictures, but a photomontage that i did with aerial views and the "Soarin'" vehicle from the "Soarin' over California" marketing picture. I tried to choose aerial views which will give you the soaring "vertigo" feeling as close as it should be in the final movie - please click on each picture to see them in big size to get the "effect".

Now, think about the India sequence, who wouldn't love to soar above the beautiful and romantic Taj Mahal?...

...or, for Italy, over the gorgeous Venise, the City of the Doges? Soaring over the Grand Canal would be great!

For England, will we soar over the legendary Tower Bridge? I can almost see the camera plunging between the two towers of the bridge...

For China, can we escape to soar above The Forbidden City? Or the Great Wall of China

And for the USA how great it would be to fly above the Grand Canyon...

...or New York?

Everyone would love to fly over these historical landmarks, so let's hope that WDI Imagineers will fulfill our dreams. They shouldn't think if a location is too obvious or not, it's not the problem, really!

Then, because we will travel around the world, i'm ready to bet that imagineers will play with the time of the day. And, because each location have a best time to be filmed, WDI Imagineers will be right to do so. Why not, for instance, begin the "flight" by the Giza Pyramids at dawn? I know very well the place as i've been there many times in my life, and the best hour with magical light on Giza Pyramids is definitely at dawn. Also, Egypt civilisation is the oldest one of all the countries listed above. To choose Egypt for the opening sequence and a dazzling view of the Pyramids at dawn would make perfect sense, but the recent events in Egypt might change WDI plans if the sequence hasn't been filmed yet

And, for the evening sequence, soaring over London by night - the old Victorian city, the town of Peter Pan and the Darling family - would be wonderful. About the final scene, there is little doubt that the movie will have a different ending for each park where it will be played. At Shanghaî Disneyland, for instance, the movie will probably end with a sequence flying over SDL Enchanted castle, etc... A different ending for each park will not only be logical, but also great for fans who will discover a not-totally-identical version when they will visit foreign Disney theme parks...

But in each country there is also plenty of natural wonders like, for instance, the Grand Canyon. And WDI imagineers may prefer to film them instead of cities or historical landmarks. Or may be they will do a mix of both to help the audience to identify instantly the "country". There might be also significant differences between the movie for Shanghaî Disneyland and the one at DL and Epcot. I wouldn't be surprised if the one for SDL will include more scenes over China locations, in two words a movie specially designed for the Chinese audience...

One last wish and i'm sure that most of you who liked the first "Soarin'" will agree with me: please try to do a longer movie - which should be the case anyway as a roundtrip around the world in less than 5 minutes would be reaaally short - 7-8 minutes would be fine, it's never too long when you soar above all these wonders even if we must keep in mind the attraction hour capacity. Last but not least: pleaaaase keep - or adapt - the original and fantastic Jerry Goldsmith original music score which was absolutely perfect.

Anyway, the good news is that this time a new Soarin' movie is coming for sure, all you have to do is to be a little bit more patient!

Pictures: copyright Disney or Disney and more