Saturday, September 22, 2018

Comcast Outbids Fox and Disney in a $39 billion Takeover of Sky

So, Comcast has won tonight the battle against FOX ( and so, Disney ) to own SKY, and here is why it's good news probably for everyone, Comcast, Disney AND Disney fans:

Why it's a good news for Comcast: Comcast wanted SKY almost at any price as it will give it an immediate access in 23 million homes outside the U.S, mainly in five European countries. It has cost Comcast $39 Billion to get it but now it's done. Sky’s independent board members still must approve the winning bid of $22.75 a share, and shareholders must ratify the deal before the sale will be complete, but considering the amount per share which is the double than it was one year ago, they most probably will. And do i have to remind you that Comcast also owns Universal theme parks? Who knows, if someday they finally decide to build a Universal Studios in Europe ( we can dream ) they'll now have a way to do a heavy marketing campaign to European audience for nothing...

Why it's a good news for Disney: Disney bought FOX for the huge amount of $71 Billion, $19 Billion more than its first offer and all this because Comcast wanted FOX too and raised the price in a win-win situation, i.e either Comcast was winning FOX or it wasn't ( what happened ) and it would have pushed its main competitor to pay such amount that it will increase its debt and will require to put on hold others projects or investments. Sure, Disney must now continue its strategy of controlling distribution platforms without SKY, a TV operator that would have given Disney an immediate presence in more than 23 million homes, and not winning SKY will make things a bit more difficult but it also would have increased the total amount of $35 Billion, and i suspect that Bob Iger thought, even if he said that SKY was the "crown jewel" of the FOX acquisition, that there is a moment when you need to be reasonable. Disney, thanks to Comcast strategy already paid FOX $19 Billion more than it wished ( so the equivalent of the amounts that Disney paid for Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm AND Shanghaî Disneyland all together! ) and increasing the $71 Billion amount of $35 Billion probably was not reasonable and would have effects on Disney strategy in others divisions. And anyway, thanks to the FOX purchase Disney don't lose everything as it owns already 39% of SKY shares.

Why it's a good news for Disney fans: Remember when Shanghaî Disneyland was built, when SDL cost got higher than expected and when Disney had to put on hold all others expansions projects in all Disney theme parks? Well, you can't spent huge amount of money everywhere without reaching the point where you have to make choices, right? I already doubt that the $71 billion FOX purchase won't have any effects on others Disney divisions, but if Disney would have paid $35 Billion more for SKY - and in cash! - you can be sure that we would have reached the point of no return for quantities of others projects, including theme parks additions, and this for years.

So, for all these reasons, it's probably better that Comcast won the battle, and Disney had even a sweet revenge as thanks to the last minute auction Comcast had to pay for SKY many more billions than expected - just like Comcast did with Disney for FOX. And by the way, the story is may be not over yet as "a CNBC source familiar with Comcast's thinking told CNBC they expect Comcast to begin talks regarding Disney potentially selling its Sky 39% stake to Comcast. Comcast could also sell its 30 percent stake in Hulu, the American online entertainment service, the source added."

BREAKING: DLP WDS Beloved CinéMagique Show Returns to Walt Disney Studios Park Starting December 1st, 2018 Until February 3rd, 2019 !

BREAKING: DLP WDS beloved CinéMagique show is returning to Walt Disney Studios Park for a limited time starting December 1st, 2018 until February 3rd, 2019, DLP promises that the revisited show will be “more immersive than ever”! 

When the Walt Disney studios open in Paris in 2002, the Cinemagique" attraction was one of the best one of the park. For those of you who have never seen it, the attraction is a tribute to cinema history. Here is the story line: The movie begin by a black and white 1920's sequence until somebody from the audience is magically transported inside the movie - just like in Woody Allen's Purple rose of Cairo. Then, the man - played by Martin Short - goes from one famous movie sequence to another - digitally included in the original shots, and funny and emotional scenes happen between him, the characters of the original sequences and a girl played by Julie Delpy. That's, basically, how the storyline goes.

The Cinemagique attraction at DLP Walt disney Studios is one of my favorite. It is a brilliant tribute to Movies and Cinema in general and the show even have a lot of emotion thanks to Martin Short and Julie Delpy, as well as brilliant editing and visual effects. Cinémagique is an attraction unique to the WDS so if you've never visited the park chances are that you don't know it. Now, Cinémagique is back for a limited time from December 1st, 2018 until February 3rd, 2019, and you have one mor chance to see the attraction.

But some of you might not be able to come to the park before Cinémagique is gone again so, thanks to JordiFun who filmed the entire Cinémagique show, you'll be able to discover right now this great attraction movie with the two parts videos below, and this is the original version of the movie before it was slightly updated some years ago. So, go ahead, choose the 1080p definition and watch it full screen as usual! 

Now, there is more as sometime ago i was reading an article on the excellent Cartoon Brew web site, talking about something called "Balloon movies" done by a mysterious director...just to discover that what they were talking about was one of the first and abandoned concept for Cinemagique!

In this other concept, we always had the famous movie sequences, but a facetious balloon - digitally included in the original shots with After Effects - was going from a sequence to another. Not only it's perfectly done, but also funny or poetic. Here is what the director said in his own words about it:

“The main through line was a romance between a guy in the audience and a woman in the movie. The “every man” goes into the movie (right through the screen) and meets a beautiful woman there. There is a spark of romance. He is then chased by villains out of her movie and stumbles through many other classic films, lost and alone. The woman leaves her movie to go on a quest to find him. 

So — now you’re probably wondering where the balloon shots come in. Well they don’t. Not in the final show. However, just before we committed to film the project, we decided to go through a kind of wild card period. Float some totally different ideas. I thought it might be fun to do a nod to “The Red Balloon”. I did a few of these balloon shots at home and took them into the studio. Everybody enjoyed them. So we explored a possible version centered on that idea. I did more and more shots, took them in, hunkered down with the editor and stitched together a draft. We all got a kick out of it, but utimately decided that we missed the romantic comedy of Plan A. So after the diversion, we returned to our original course.

So I had all these shots at home that I’d done on spec. I figured that since I did them and they contain no material from the studio, and I don’t reference the context we used when toying with them, they’re safe to post.”

Please note that he didn't say that it was in relation with "Cinemagique", I did, but it's pretty obvious that it was.

Of course you certainly would like to see more about this, and here is a youtube video where you will see the 18 different sequences he is talking about all together, plus a new one on "Lord of the Rings".

And remember to look for the arrival of the balloon!

Here are the name of the famous movies :

Harold Lloyd
King Kong
The Wizard of Oz
Singing in the rain
African Queen
Buthch Cassidy and the Sundance kid
Once upon a time in the west
North by northwest
The Empire strikes back
A" musical"
Gentlemen prefer blondes
Mary Poppins

Lord of the Rings

Youtube videos by Jordifun, Cybershire

Picture and video: copyright Disney, Photos Magique

Friday, September 21, 2018

Disney's Animal Kingdom Rafiki's Planet Watch to Close on October 21st be Replaced by What? A Zootopia Land? Black Panther Wakanda?

At Disney's Animal Kingdom Rafiki's Planet Watch will close on October 21st, though Disney didn't announced it yet officially. With it it's all the great exhibits, meet and greets and apparently too the Wildlife Express Train ride which will close and it's pretty strange that this happen now, at the moment when the question of animals conservation on the planet has never been so important. Of course all the veterinary facilities will stay to take care of all DAK animals, so no worries about that.

DAK cast-members are saying that some experiences from Planet Watch will be back elsewhere in the park in the future but i would take this with a grain of salt until announced officially. I will be really sad if the Wildlife Express train closes forever because i always loved its theming, i think that it is the best themed train in a Disney theme park with the Disneyland Paris Railroad, in a different way, of course.

That said, the question of course is: why are they closing Rafiki's Planet Watch? It could be a budgetary reason but you also have probably read rumors that either a Zootopia land or a Black Panther Wakanda land would come to Disney's Animal Kingdom. We won't know for sure until Disney announces it officially but, for Zootopia, i remember reading that Joe Rohde was against the idea of a Zootopia land at Animal Kingdom and personally i agree with him. It's not because Zootopia is an animated films with all kind of animals in it that it necessarily can find its place at DAK. Considering the cartoonish style of Zootopia i think that a mini land at Disney's Hollywood Studios would be better there, with 3D and painted backdrops for the skyline buildings of Zootopia. On the other hand, when Zootopia hero Judy Hopps arrive at Zootopia she does it by train - but a bullet train - and the railroad trip from DAK Harambe station could give this feeling to Animal Kingdom guests. Will that be enough to give it a go? Not sure, we'll see.

Do you really want to see something like this at Disney's Animal Kingdom? Mmmmh... probably not.

May be a more stylized version of Zootopia like this early artwork for the animated film, then?

And then there is the other rumor about a Black Panther Wakanda land. For now there is also lots of speculations that Epcot Wonders of Life pavilion could possibly be used as a Wakanda exhibit and, as it would be close to the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy coaster it will allows Disney to create a kind of Marvel area there. The other problem with creating a Wakanda land at DAK is about Black Panther and the inhabitants of Wakanda, which as we know is located in Africa. Okay, the Africa land is next door but Disney's Animal Kingdom is a park dedicated to animals and having a land about an African country with Africans people - even a mythical country - in an animal park will for sure raise protests instantly. I'm sure that WDI Imagineers are aware of that and even if i'm certain that they could find a way to introduce a Wakanda land in a sensitive way, i'm not sure it's a good idea.

And do you want a Wakanda at DAK? Mmmh, not sure it will be a good idea, too...

We'll see what will be announced officially but you might have to wait until the next 2019 D23 Expo to learn more... In the meantime and, as apparently there is plenty of you who've never been to Rafiki's Planet Watch and even done the train ride here is a great 4K video showing all of it, including the ride aboard the Wildlife Express Train from Harambe Station to Conservation Station!

D&M Walt Disney World Week-End Update !

Here we go for a big WDW Update, thanks to pictures and video from D&M contributor at WDW! And we start by shots of Star Wars Galaxy Edge construction at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Always at DHS there is a great presentation of the Star Wars land with models and renderings and a preview movie including artworks for the awaited land.

At Disney Springs the new parking structure is almost done.

Let's move to the Caribbean Beach Resort to the construction site of the new building.

New parking lot entrance for Disney's Hollywood studios!

Disney's Coronado Springs expansion construction site and artworks for the new wing lobby, bar and restaurants.

There is more in the video update below, so go ahead and check the exclusive video!

And there is a "one more thing" with the video below showing the now destroyed front facade and entrance of Epcot Universe of Energy to make place for the new entrance for the upcoming Guardians of Galaxy coaster.

Pictures and videos: copyright Disney and more