Friday, June 27, 2014

Disneyland Paris Release WDS Ratatouille Ride Construction Footage

Some pretty cool footage showing the construction of the Ratatouille ride has been released by Disneyland Paris and just in case you still had some doubts you'll see that the whole thing was surely no little work!

Video: copyright Disneyland Paris

Beautiful Short Animated Film by Little Mermaid Animator Glen Keane

Here is a beautiful short animated film called "Duet," and directed by former Disney animator Glen Keane, who worked on Disney's beloved classics such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, Aladdin, and more. Glen left Disney in 2012, but he is still producing amazing animated movies, and Duet is one of them

The movie was produced through Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group. No dialogue in it, but a wonderful soundtrack and Duet is a moving story following the lives of a man and a woman as they journey into adulthood and succeed to find one another along the way.

Thanks to Cartoon Brew!

Picture and video : copyright Glen Keane

Avengers : All Age of Ultron Cast Coming to San Diego Comic Con !

The whole cast of Avengers : Age of Ultron although currently on shooting in London will come to the San Diego 2014 Comic Con this July! And it's Mark "The Hulk" Rufallo who confirmed it: “Yeah, we’re gonna go out there.  We’re all flying, we’re flying from London.  We’re working.  We’re shooting.  We’re gonna stop and get on a plane and go to Comic Con together. It’s gonna be amazing.”

In the same interview, Ruffalo also discussed the standalone Hulk film we are all waiting for, and the technology being used to bring the character to life.:

“We’re a little bit behind on the motion capture technology as far as facial recognition in real time.  Now we have, when I put on my motion capture suit, I look in front of me and there’s me as The Hulk.  There’s The Hulk.  Every move I make, The Hulk’s making it and so you have this immediate feedback like almost looking in a mirror, but instead of seeing myself, I see The Hulk …  But they haven’t come up to speed on the facial recognition that way.  They can capture the facial – the new technology is we can shoot the body recognition and the facial recognition at the same time, so now you can integrate performance, physical performance with the actual face and voice, but by the time we’re ready to probably – if we do another Hulk – that technology will be in real time and once that happens, there’d be no limit to what you can do creatively as far as your physical being is concerned.  I can play a freakin’ parasite in the ass of a worm [laughs].

"It’s so exciting.  There’s no limit to where we can go.  I hope to be a pioneer in this space with Andy Serkis.  I worked a lot with him on this.  I’m very excited by what he’s doing.  We are retraining the studio to see this as integral a part as the first unit.  This is not second or third unit or motion capture unit.  This is first unit.  This is performance.  It’s completely driven by the actor and it has to be honored as much as anything else, so that’s kind of where we’re heading with this technology and it’s very exciting.”

New Star Wars 7 Spoiler Rumors...

The great fan poster above is coming from @HUSDESIGN and we have more spoiler rumors about Star Wars 7 which appeared on the web. The first one is coming from AICN who says that "Han Solo is basically the main character of Episode VII, and he will be "leading a galaxy-wide search party for Luke Skywalker." A previous rumor said that Luke Skywalker has been out and about trying to stop the Sith from being resurrected and his friends might need him to be back for something or to help him complete his mission.

Others infos are about the roles that John Boyega and Daisy Ridley are playing. The following info comes from MakingStarWars, who says that Boyega’s character is an imperial trooper or pilot named Thomas. Apparently he is shot down over Tatooine and injured from the crash. There he meets a character named Rachel played by Ridley, and starts to realize that he’s on the wrong side of things and begins Jedi training:

"Rachel rescues him from the wreckage and the elements of the sandy planet. Over the course of their 'unlikely pairing,'  Thomas sees the reality of the universe and he defects from the side of the villains and decides to help Rachel for saving his life. However, things are not easy for the character because unlike most of the rebels we’ve met in the series, none were traitors, they were always on the side of right from the beginning. However, it appears Rachel and Thomas have an innocent flirtation in their first film with hints at romance in the future episode."

Picture: copyright @HUSDESIGN

Amazing Trailer for "Into the Storm" !

I've always been a big fan of catastrophe movies - when they're well done of course. And as a lot of people i'm also fascinated by Twisters ( I know, i probably won't say the same thing if i was living in the U.S in Tornado Alley... ). Soemthing which looks like a spectacular tornado movie - probably the best one since "Twister" will be released soon and the latest trailer looks pretty spectacular, it's the least we can say...

The movie was directed by Steven Quale (Avatar - second unit), and it stars Richard Armitage (The Hobbit) and Sarah Wayne Callies (The Walking Dead). The story is about a small town that is hit by one of the most chaotic storms ever. Here's the synopsis:

"In the span of a single day, the town of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of the most furious twisters they’ve ever seen. The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come. Most seek shelter; others run towards the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot. Told through the eyes and lenses of professional storm chasers, thrill-seeking amateurs and courageous townspeople, the movie throws you directly into the eye of the storm to experience Mother Nature at her most extreme."

The special effects looks really impressive, but let's hope that the story and the cast will be as good... we'll have to wait the first reviews to be sure about that. Anyway, go ahead and watch the trailer in 1080p and full screen mode!

Picture and video: copyright New Line

Thursday, June 26, 2014

All About "Arthur, In The Minimoys Kingdom" , New E-Ticket Attraction Now Open at Europa Park... and Serious Competitor to DLP WDS Ratatouille Ride !

After a whole week during which we talked about the new Ratatouille ride and its impressing theming i suggest that we have a look today about another brand new attraction, which opened a few days ago, also located in Europe and which will be the direct competitor this year to the WDS ride. 

Europa Park, located in Germany not that far from France is not only an impressive park owned by Mack, the ride manufacturer, but is also the second theme park in terms of attendance in Europe after Disneyland Paris. Last year DLP Magic Kingdom had 10.430.000  visitors and Europa Park had 4.900.000. Sure, DLP had 6 million more visitors but DLP WDS had 4.470.000 visitors, 430.000 less than Europa Park. Both of them open this year major attractions, "Ratatouille, The Adventure" for the WDS and "Arthur, In The Minimoys Kingdom" for Europa Park.

"Arthur, In The Minimoys Kingdom" is inspired by the animated trilogy movies from director Luc Besson, who worked closely with Europa Park during the development of the new attraction. Although both rides have a different storyline but in both of them, coincidence, the guests are supposed to be "reduced" - at the size of a rat in Ratatouille and at the size of the Minimoys, two millimeters high creatures living in a garden, for "Arthur, In The Minimoys Kingdom". 

Arthur, In The Minimoys Kingdom and Ratatouille have the same length - 4.30 min - but the ride system used for the two attractions is completely different - trackless vehicle and 3D projections for Ratatouille and an indoor-outdoor inverted coaster for "Arthur, In The Minimoys Kingdom". But both have huge decors, in ride projections and special effects, and "Arthur" also include Audio-Animatronics! Also, it's a new kind of coaster invented by Mack, a dynamic ride system with different speeds and in which guests are seated by four in three cars. In addition, guests can choose to turn it to look either backward or forward. In two words the coaster cars can revolve and this can be done during the ride, and this new ride system is a world premiere for Mack. The ride capacity is up to 1500 guests per hour and the coaster can go as fast as 8,5 M per second ( 31 km/h ) all along the 550 meters track, which makes a perfect family ride as being not too fast. As you will see in the video this new ride system is really interesting and i won't be surprised if WDI Imagineers or Universal Creatives were coming to have a closer look at it, and eventually use it in future attractions. 

"Arthur, In The Minimoys Kingdom" is Europa Park most extensive indoor attraction they've ever built with a surface area of 3500sqm and an indoor volume of 45.500 M3 not to forget the indoor dome which is 16 meters high. But there is more than the ride as "Arthur, In The Minimoys Kingdom" also include the Minimoys village, built indoor under the dome, in which guests can others smaller attractions for children with the "Red Poppy" a 10 m high free-fall tower ( picture above ), the Mul Mul Carousel, a large slide paradise, a play area ( pictures below ), as well as a shop and a food and drink location. It reminds me a bit of Mermaid Lagoon at Tokyo Disney Sea where guests can find amusement rides as well as a shop and a restaurant, the whole thing being indoor. In the case of Arthur, it's done of course with a totally different theming and storyline. During the ride the coaster cars "fly" above the Minimoys village and it's a huge decor which stun the visitors when they discover it from above.

Before having a look at the two different POV ride videos, here is some original artwork as well as the press release and the ride synopsis that i suggest you to read before seeing the videos, specially if you're not familiar with the Arthur animated movies.

“ARTHUR – In the Minimoys Kingdom”

Ants take on mammoth proportions, a blade of grass is as tall as a skyscraper and bees give jet planes a run for their money: In “ARTHUR - In the Minimoys Kingdom”, nature becomes a huge adventure. Visitors will be swept away into a microcosm like no other. The huge-scale adaptation of the lovingly detailed scenes from star director Luc Besson’s smash hit movie trilogy ARTHUR and the Invisibles shows the peaceful, secret world of the tiny beings known as Minimoys. Oversized ladybugs, gigantic frogs and imposing caterpillars fly, hop, and crawl over huge branches and gigantic rocks. The real world and the animated film merge into a 10.000 m² big experience for the whole family.

The most intricate indoor attraction in the entire history of Europa-Park is hidden under a gigantic, 16-meter dome on a magical island surrounded by two streams and Grimm’s enchanted forest. Teeny-tiny, and yet larger than life – the dream of experiencing vast natural settings up close becomes a reality on this theme attraction! An extraordinary gem is being constructed at Germany’s largest amusement park in cooperation with French film business titan Luc Besson. Visitors experience seven fantastic kingdoms with all five senses on a 550-meter-long flight through the underground universe. Deep underground, the Minimoys seek out their treasure. Adults and children ages 4 and above can accompany them on their daring expedition.
“ARTHUR” is a world premiere attraction from Mack Rides, the in-house manufacturer in Waldkirch. The attraction fascinates visitors with a unique dark ride and numerous high-tech special effects. Passengers fly through the dream world in rotating cars suspended below a track. “ARTHUR” is even more than a suspended dark ride vehicle: The seats are turning and they have the ability to turn quickly and accelerate out of a scene, which makes it a truly unique and exciting experience. Combined with the outside landscaping, theming, animatronics, sound, lighting, smoke, scents and the music it becomes an unbelievable

Musical accompaniment for the “ARTHUR” ride was provided by composer Eric Serra, who has created a four-minute song specially for Europa-Park. The composition has been perfectly coordinated to match the attraction’s atmosphere and emphasises the emotional moments. Eric Serra is a close friend of Luc Besson; he already composed the film scores of the three “ARTHUR” films for the director. Europa-Park has remained true to this story and completed their ARTHUR project by choosing Eric Serra to compose the “ARTHUR” background music.

Occupying 3,500 m² of space and with volume of 45,000 m³, the Kingdom of the Minimoys is the largest indoor attraction since Europa-Park opened in 1975. It offers breathtaking indoor and outdoor segments for a dynamic flight from the microcosmic world into the real natural world and back as visitors pass through key locations from the spellbinding movies, finally encountering the evil Maltazard, who has stolen the Minimoys’ treasure. Alongside “ARTHUR,” a ten-meter-tall children’s free-fall tower shaped like a magnificent red poppy, a large slide area and a “mül-müls” carousel with adorable round, fluffy white creatures await fans of the courageous fantasy creatures of all ages.

And now, here below is a synopsis of the ride itself, right after this picture showing the indoor track CGI model.

"After the departure of the ride the first scene is a projection on a large screen. The scene is set in the garden of the grandmother of Arthur and allows the visitor to project the size of the Minimoys.

At the end of this sequence, the train rotates and plunges into a real and oversized setting where the public finds our hero busy picking fruit to prepare a great feast. Butterflies, leaves,  giant grass, ladybug, myriad of glowworms ... harmony and joy is in the garden, but the danger is everywhere! Pit bull Koolomassai threat to snap the visitors who, by avoiding it, are swallowed by a giant caterpillar taxi which they passes through the guts.
Expelled from the digestive tract, the train makes a turn downhill outside the building before rushing into an air vent leading to dark lines arise where a giant spider and Darkos, the son of the evil Maltazard. The train accelerates to reach "Paradise Alley", a mythical scenes of the second film of the trilogy and the projections of a clip allows a transition with the real sets.
The universe is colorful and noisy, the character of Max riding his giant comes coccivolante tell them the path to follow to find the treasure and rescue the prisoners. Chased by two Unicorns, the train rushes into a dark tunnel where the noise of a huge fan blades attract the riders attention. But the threat is in a huge tin from which emerges a giant rat! Going now backwards after a steep fall, the cars speed and fly over the Minimoys village and its roots slides, the feeling of flying is striking ...

Then the cars rush into a hole that leads to Necropolis, the lair of Maltazard! Facing the guests, the treasure, a wall of ruby but also Arthur, Selenia, Bétamèche Archibald imprisoned. To save them, passengers can send light beams on the treasure by activating a button on the safety barrier seat. The walls shake, Necropolis collapses and Maltazard disappear in a large cloud of smoke. Fleeing the earthquake, the train accelerates to an external output for fly over a river while dodging through trees. A return to reality, a breath of fresh air before returning to the building by entering a hive located in Necropolis.

Perched on a pile of rubies and free, Arthur, Selenia and Archibald thank their hosts for saving the world of the Minimoys in finding the treasure. In a final touch of malice, Bétamèche, riding a bee, invites them to leave the boat. Thus ends this adventure!"

O-Kay, it's more than time to have a look at the real thing, isn't it? So here are two videos, the first one has been shot probably using a GoPro, but contrary and the wide lens of the GoPro is here welcome to allow large views of the decor.

This next one was shot by a normal camera and will allow you to have a closer look t the Audio-Animatronics all along the ride. Sure, they're not as sophisticated as the AAs from WDI but they do the job quite well and the decor of the Minimoys village is really impressive.

As you've seen, Europa Park built this year its own E-Ticket attraction and although it's a totally different ride than Ratatouille i think they did a pretty good job - specially considering that the budget was not the same than the 150M€ spent for Ratatouille. "Arthur, In The Minimoys Kingdom" surely will attract visitors at Europa Park and it will be interesting to compare again next year the numbers of visitors who came at both Europa Park and DLP WDS to see which one will have won the competition!

Pictures: copyright Europa Park.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WDS Ratatouille Press Event Full Pictorial Report - Part Two

Here we go for the part two of this big pictorial report on the Ratatouille press event which happened that week-end, thanks to Max, D&M contributor and DLPWelcome webmaster.

This time we'll have a closer look at the "Bistrot Chez Remy", the restaurant located both at the entrance and the exit of the ride as riders can see it after the unload. As you will see the theming is stunning and DLP Imagineers instead to reproduce the classic restaurant of Gusteau as you see it in the movie choose to create a restaurant as it would be done if it was own by Remy and his friends, which mean that here too you had the feeling to be reduce at the size of a rat with giant plates, forks, flowers, etc... In fact the design of Bistro Chez Remy is inspired by the last scene of the ride.

The entrance and decorated hallway...

According to Max, "The service is simply perfect, served with style and very "French" with an organized brigade. The menu fits comfortably in your hand, with a very classy leather touch and thick pages. During our visit the menu was unique and without choice to facilitate the organization and flow in the kitchen.
You should know that Disney expect it to be a high attendance restaurant, with people staying around 50-minute at table. Us, taking our time we stayed 1heures 45 as the theming is unique and the food was excellent!"

Here is Max video showing the restaurant if you haven't watched it yet, and i tell you more about the menu and prices right after it.

As i'm sure you're curious to know more about the menu here it is in french and english, with prices including for the drinks. Click on the pictures to read it in large size.

...and here are pictures of the dishes: entrance "vegetable seasonal salad", main course " beef filet, pont-neuf potatoes and ratatouille, cheese "brie de Meaux" and dessert "giant profiterolles, vanilla ice cream"!

And here ends this article about Bistrot Chez Remy and last Sunday's press event. Max will be back soon with a new DLP update and in the meantime don't miss the special offer price on the great Disneyland Paris "From Sketch to Reality" book - for both ENGLISH or FRENCH editions!  Thanks to this special offer you will save $50 on the normal price, so if you don't own the book yet i'm sure you don't want to miss it! Paypal and credit card payments are accepted, so make sure you to place your order now! 

You can use the Paypal buttons below for the english edition, or for the french edition. 
If you don't have a Paypal account you can also pay directly with your credit card with these buttons without opening a Paypal account. If it don't works please send me an email at:

Paypal button for ENGLISH Edition : 

Paypal bouton pour Edition FRANCAISE :

Don't know yet the Disneyland Paris book? Have a look at the video below or on the book website HERE.

Pictures: copyright Max Fan - DLPWelcome