Sunday, December 27, 2009

Review: 'The Princess and The Frog"


Last night, Mary and I finally had the opportunity to see Disney's latest 2D animated film, The Princess and the Frog. We were enamored with the character of Tiana from the video clips available via the Internet and both looking forward to this film with high anticipation and it did not fail to disappoint. To sum it up .. Disney brilliantly rediscovers what many term as the classic Disney formula, hand-drawn animation and the value of a good story!

The Princess and the Frog really marks Disney's rediscovery of a strong narrative loaded with memorable characters, a story that pulls you in from the beginning and an unforgettable music score. Under the direction of veterans Ron Clements and John Musker (the team behind The Little Mermaid and Aladdin) and the watchful eye of John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Disney Animation, The Princess and the Frog celebrates old and new. It's a musical fairy tale that dates back to the days when Walt Disney was a person, not a brand. Yet it deftly mingles with the new sensibilities in animation where fairy tales must get fractured, settings must be fresh and humor pitched to many age levels.

The story takes place in New Orleans during the Roaring 1920's, and Clements and Musker go crazy with period details drawn from decorative arts, architecture and design styles. This is not just hand-painted animation, it's characters and backgrounds painstakingly drawn by animators in love with New Orleans, the bayous of Louisiana, the black magic of its underworlds and the 1920's themselves. Randy Newman has composed songs and a melodious score that weaves together jazz, blues and gospel.

There is no princess here, but there is a prince, Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos), a n'er-do-well who is penniless because his parents cut him off. The heroine is Tiana (Anika Noni Rose), a hardworking servant's daughter carrying out her father's dreams of owning her own waterfront restaurant. There also is a menacing magician (new Disney villain), the cunning Dr. Facilier (Keith David), who lives to thwart happy endings.

The story transports Tiana and the Prince to a mystical, alligator-ridden bayou where good and bad magic battles for their souls. They are aided by the romantic firefly Ray (Jim Cummings), the jazz-loving alligator named Louis (Michael-Leon Wooley) and the bayou's own queen, Mama Odie (Jenifer Lewis).

Voicing memorable smaller roles are John Goodman as Southern aristocrat Big Daddy, Oprah Winfrey and Terrence Howard as Tiana's loving parents and Jennifer Cody as Big Daddy's spoiled Southern debutante daughter, Charlotte.

Mary ranked this film with Beauty and the Beast, absolutely loving this film. I personally would rank slightly below The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast but par with Aladdin and much better than The Lion King. My only fault with the film, too much time was spent with Tiana and Prince Naveen as frogs.

I liked the relationship between Tiana and Charlotte and how Charlotte gave up her dream for her friend. The substory of Ray and Evangeline, if when Ray joined Evangeline didn't choke you up and/or bring a tear to your eye, you lack heart and/or emotion. Favorite song was "Almost There" and thoroughly enjoyed "Friends on the Other Side" and "Dig a Little Deeper."

If you're a fan of hand-drawn animation, you definitely want to check this film out. If another opportunity presents itself, we'll definitely be seeing again while in theaters, if not, pick up as soon as released on Blu-Ray/DVD.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Buzz and Woody want to wish everyone a Happy Holidays in this quick video (courtesy of YouTube.com) plus a promo for Toy Story 3:


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Villains Series: Should it be Abandoned?

After the announcements were made, my friend Matthew and I were discussing the upcoming King Louie sculpture. With the announcement of the Walt Disney Collectors Society being suspended, Matthew wondered if this could have been the planned Villains Series release for 2010.

I didn't think so, as I never saw King Louie as a Villain. Did a little research via Google and stand corrected. King Louie is considered a Villain and one of three (3) Villains, Shere Khan and Kaa being the other two from the 1967 animated classic, The Jungle Book.

The Villains Series made it's debut in the summer of 1997 and over the years featured such Villains as Maleficent, Cruella DeVil, the Evil Queen, Scar and the Queen of Hearts to name a few. The initial releases, the Villain was in a 'setting' such as a turret (Maleficent), a bed (Cruella) and a throne (Evil Queen). Others were released as a stand alone with an 'accessory' item (Stomboli with a table, Jafar with his hourglass on a brick pedestal and the Old Hag with her potion table and cauldron) and some were done as a single sculpt (Queen of Hearts with rose tree and Shere Khan in the jungle). King Louie fits the style of some of the earlier releases where the character was part of the setting, so does you make you wonder if intended as the next release in the Villains Series??

Even though the Walt Disney Collectors Society has been suspended, I'd hate to see some of the series that were part of the Society be abandoned. Why couldn't the Villains Series continue, with the logo but no longer a members only release? The sculptures could be either a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) or Limited to Production Year.

The packaging for Society pieces were no different than non-member releases, so see no reason for this series to be abandoned. Continue the series, either use the same logo (without members only being part of the backstamp) or come up with a new logo. There are still so many Villains that could yet be done, the Horned King from The Black Cauldron, Ratigan from The Great Mouse Detective and Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog.

How Many Molds Does It Take?

At the recent signing event with Patrick Romandy-Simmons at Gallery of the Lakes (November 07, 2009, collectors asked the following question:

Q. How many molds did it take to produce this years Signature Series release of the Dwarfs on the Log ("
Heigh-Ho! Heigh-Ho! It's Home From Work We Go!")?

A. 245

Toy Story 3 Trailer

Initially planned to debut during Sunday's screening of The Incredibles on the ABC Family Channel, we see the first extended look at Toy Story 3 series has already rolled up online.

Director Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo) appears in an introduction before the new scene and an outro at the end, but there’s no new revelations in what he has to tell us. This clip is all about the footage from the film.

Thanks to
Coming Soon for sourcing this already. Clip is courtesy of YouTube.com. Toy Story 3 hits theaters on June 18, 2010 and stars original cast members Tom Hanks (Woody), Tim Allen (Buzz), John Ratzenberger (Hamm), Wallace Shawn (Rex), Don Rickles (Mr. Potato Head), Joan Cusack (Jessie), Estelle Harris (Mrs. Potato Head), John Morris (Andy) and Laurie Metcalf (Andy's Mom, Mrs. Davis) as well as new additions Michael Keaton (Ken), Whoopie Goldberg and recently announced Kristen Schaal. Also new to the cast is Blake Clarke, who will replace the late Jim Varney in the role of Slinky Dog.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Prep and Landing: New Holiday Special from Disney!

Was a weekend to do a lot of catching up, in spite of taking time to shovel, though we were so fortunate compared to a lot of friends in Mother Nature's first snowfall this year.

I missed Prep and Landing when originally aired but thanks to the Internet was finally able to catch it. My BFF's Bob & Toni saw previews on the Disney Cruise this past September and kept telling us, 'wait until you see this!'

A very enjoyable holiday short! Great characters, good story like only Disney can do! Prep and Landing (Official Title: Disney Prep and Landing) is a computer animated television special, based on an idea by Chris Williams at Walt Disney Animation Studios and developed by Kevin Deters and Stevie Wermers-Skelton
into a half-hour Christmas special. It first aired December 8, 2009 on ABC.

Trivia:
  • Director Kevin Deters' hometown is Quincy, IL, home to Deter's Dairy. During a scene in which Wayne is "being naughty" and making himself a drink, the milk carton Wayne is using has the Deter's logo.
  • The Longitude / Latitude coordinates for Timmy Terwelp's house are N 34' 9' 20" / W 118' 19' 23", which are the real-world coordinates of Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA, though a map seen earlier in the film depicts it to be in the middle of a storm covering New England.
  • Santa Claus' face is not revealed during the show, similar to the way Hollywood treated depicting Jesus during early films (only over-the-shoulder shots, or concentrating on his hands/actions).
  • Santa uses snow globes to look in on some of the "drop zones" much like in the Santa Clause series.
  • Tiny, Magee's "secret friend," has his own short adventure which can be seen on Disney's Official Site for the special.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A 'Mythic Menagerie' from Fantasia!

Walt Disney’s masterpiece Fantasia is a universe of animated treasures, including the celebrated segment that beautifully animates “The Pastoral Symphony.” Soaring serenely over the Olympian landscape is a majestic mother Pegasus who, once settled, tends to her multicolored babies in an elegant nest.

The Pegasus Family ("Mythic Menagerie"), sculpted by Kent Melton is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500.

Sculpture includes a
70th Anniversary backstamp in honor of the film's release is scheduled for a Spring, 2010 release.


Update: Two (2) additional side-view angles have been added. Please click on either Pegasus Family images to view.

Maleficent's Castle Includes a WDCC First!

Deep in the Forbidden Mountains stands Maleficent’s ominous fortress. Guarded by goons and surrounded by craggy peaks, this forbidding castle is the scary site of both fearsome plotting and sinister celebration.

Castle includes a sound clip with music and narration, a Walt Disney Classics Collection first! The music and narration are from the digitally remastered Sleeping Beauty film sequence which introduces Maleficent's Castle. The narration goes as follows:

"For everyone knew that as long as Maleficent's domain, the Forbidden Mountains, thundered with her wrath and frustration, her evil prophecy had not yet been fulfilled..." [thunder and lightning]

Pressing a button on the hardwood base, this sound clip starts playing (approx. 23 seconds) and LED lights within the castle flash to replicate lightning. Powered by 3 AA batteries (not included).

Maleficent's Castle ("Forbidden Fortress"), concept designed by Larry Nikolai is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500 and scheduled for an April, 2010 release.

Yzma: Making Her WDCC Debut!

Wild and wacky as well as wicked, Yzma tries hard to be elegant—but somehow she’s prone to slapstick mishaps. This slinky seductress is actually a sorceress and while she plans on poisoning the spoiled young emperor and take over the throne, fate has something else entirely in store.

Making her WDCC debut, from The Emperor's New Groove, Yzma ("Calculating Conspirator") is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500. One of Disney’s most hilariously heinous baddies, Yzma is plussed with pewter, resin and a magnet to hold the elaborate headpiece (featuring real feathers) in place.

Sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons, Yzma is slated for a Spring 2010 release.


Update: Two (2) angles (side and back view) have been added. Please click on Yzma image to view.

King Louie: The Jungle VIP!

It’s no wonder this madcap monarch is known as King Louie the Most, for he’s the most outrageous animal in the jungle. This kooky orangutan holds crazy court in an ancient temple, where Louie loves to dance up a storm when he’s not lounging on his elaborate throne.

King Louie ("Orangutango-Jango!), sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750.

Scheduled for a Spring 2010 release, this irresistible sculpture set is complete with an urn full of jungle delicacies, and plussed with wire, pewter and resin.


Update: Three (3) additional angles (two (2) side view and a back angle) have been added to the presentation page. Please click on King Louie image to view.

Jiminy Cricket Finds Himself in Some 'Bubble Trouble!'


While Jiminy Cricket advised Pinocchio to always follow his conscience, it’s the cricket-conscience himself who follows the wooden puppet everywhere—even to the bottom of the sea, where the inquisitive but irresistible insect finds himself inside a bubble.

Jiminy Cricket ("Bubble Trouble"), an Open Edition release is richly plussed with exquisite details including a glass bubble, exquisitely capturing this classic character in a delightful yet rarely portrayed moment, and is truly worthy of Walt Disney’s animated masterpiece Pinocchio.

Scheduled for an April, 2010 release, the sculpture will bear a 70th Anniversary backstamp in honor of the film's release.

All in a Golden Afternoon-Alice & Dinah

All in a golden afternoon, Alice daydreams in the daisies with her cuddly kitty, Dinah. A new and utterly irresistible entry in the Disney Artist Series, this sweet sculpture captures winsome Alice as she plays with her rarely portrayed pet, Dinah.

Alice and Dinah ("Riverbank Reverie"), a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 1,500 was sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales. Alice & Dinah has been selected as the Spring Premiere Event sculpture and will be available through all participating Walt Disney Classics Collection Dealers and the Walt Disney Theme Parks, April 23-25, 2010. This sculpture marks the third release in the Disney Artist Series and honors David Pacheco.

Previous releases in the Disney Artist Series include Tinkerbell ("Blithe Spirit"), first release in the series sculpted by Margi Wray, a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 2,000 and Sorcerer Mickey ("Impatient Apprentice"), second release in series sculpted by Dusty Horner and Limited to Production Year 2009.

'Ohana! - New Scene from 'Lilo & Stitch'

On the heels of the recently retired Halloween Lilo and Stitch, the Walt Disney Classics Collection releases a new scene release of them in their hula attire.

‘Ohana is the Hawaiian spirit of family, and if Stitch is to ever fit in as family he’ll have to dance the hula—but with Lilo as his model, the destructive yet endearing alien aces each sway and swing. Every little movement has a meaning, and with lovable Lilo and irresistible adorable Stitch leading the luau, each motion means ‘ohana.

Lilo ("Hawaiian Hula"), Limited to Production Year 2010, was sculpted by Bruce Lau. Stitch ("Alien Auana") , an Open Edition release was sculpted by Dave Spafford, first time sculpting for the Walt Disney Classics Collection. Lilo and Stitch are scheduled for a Spring, 2010 release.


Update: Additional angles of Lilo (side and back view) and Stitch (back view) have been added. Please click on Lilo and Stitch image to view.

Friday, December 18, 2009

RIP: Roy E. Disney (1930-2009)

Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Roy Edward Disney, the nephew of Walt Disney, died Wednesday after a year long battle with stomach cancer, according to a Walt Disney Co. spokesman.

Disney "played a key role in the revitalization of the Walt Disney Co. and Disney's animation legacy," the company said. He died in a Newport Beach, California, hospital at the age of 79. His father -- Roy O. Disney -- co-founded the Disney entertainment business with Walt Disney in 1923.

Roy E. Disney's 56-year association with the company culminated in 2003 when he stepped down as vice chairman of Disney's board and chairman of the Disney Studio's Animation Department. He kept the title director emeritus and consultant in recent years, the company said. "As head of Disney Animation, Disney helped to guide the studio to a new golden age of animation with an unprecedented string of artistic and box office successes that included 'The Little Mermaid,' 'Beauty and the Beast,' 'Aladdin' and 'The Lion King,' " the company said.

A private funeral service and cremation are planned, the company said. His ashes will be scattered at sea, it said. He was born in in Los Angeles seven years after his father and uncle began building the Disney empire. His entertainment career began in 1952 -- after he attended Harvard University and Pomona College -- with a job as an assistant film editor on the "Dragnet" TV series. He joined the family business a year later as an assistant film editor at the Walt Disney Studios. He received two Oscar nominations. One was as a writer and production associate on the 1959 short subject film "Mysteries of the Deep," and the second was for his work in 2003 as executive producer of "Destino," a film based on storyboards and original art by the iconic artist Salvador Dali.

Disney founded Shamrock Holdings, an investment company owned by the Disney family, in 1978. He also was an avid competitive sailor, the company said. He held several elapsed-time records for offshore races in the Pacific Ocean, including multiple wins in the 2,225-mile Transpac race between Hawaii and California, it said.

The following statement was issued by Bob Iger on Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 12:14PM:

Subject: THE PASSING OF ROY E. DISNEY

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of our friend and colleague Roy E. Disney. After a courageous year-long fight with stomach cancer, he passed away peacefully this morning at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, surrounded by his loving family.

Roy played an important role in our lives here at Disney, and in the success of our Company over many years. Along the way, he touched many of us in a personal way. During his 56-year association with the Company, his true passion and focus was preserving and building upon the amazing legacy of Disney animation that was started by his father and uncle. His commitment to the art of animation was unparalleled and will always remain his personal legacy and one of the greatest contributions to Disney's past, present and future.
Roy not only helped to keep the legacy alive, but he also embraced new technologies, and gave the filmmakers the tools they needed to tell their stories in new and exciting ways. He encouraged talent, and loved working with the creative community. And they loved working with him.

Roy was a Disney Legend in every sense of the word, and his contributions to this great company have been profound and will always be remembered. For the next week we will be flying the Disney flag at half mast here at the Studio and at our parks, and I know you join me in sending thoughts and prayers to Roy's wife, Leslie, his four children, and his 16 grandchildren. For those who wish to pay their respects, the family has requested that donations be made in Roy's name to the California International Sailing Association (CISA) to benefit youth sailing.

A Heartfelt Thanks!

I'd like to thank all those via the Blog, Facebook and Twitter for your emails, cards, phone calls and well wishes during a very difficult time when I lost my Uncle to cancer earlier this month.

Still hard seeing someone vibrant and healthy succumb within 11 days to cancer. Very thankful to work for allowing me to spend as much time as possible with him during that time. I feel so blessed to not only know but be related to this amazing person who was an AWESOME Uncle.

Love & Miss You Uncle Paul. Gone but NEVER forgotten!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today is a day of Thanks and reflecting on what we're thankful for. I'm SO thankful for my family, friends and God. I am truly blessed to have you all in my life. Thankful not just for today but every day!

Last night we received unexpected news on the health of a family member that I'm very close with that has been sick. Am so blessed and thankful to have a family that is so tight knit. When one bleeds, we all bleed. This coupled with the support and prayers of my friends, gives me so much to be thankful for today.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who visit the blog today .. my family and my WDCC, Twitter & Facebook friends!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Walt Disney Collectors Society Suspended :(

Throughout the morning, I received numerous emails/inquiries regarding the status of the Walt Disney Collectors Society. Like everyone else, I had not heard anything so began making inquiries with some dealer friends. Spoke with Ray at Gallery of the Lakes and he told me of a memo that was sent out to the sales force earlier today. The memo is as follows:

Valued collectors of the Walt Disney Classics Collection will be pleased to know that we are committed to continuing to celebrate the artistic legacy of Disney animated films through these exquisite and innovative porcelain sculptures.

In just days we will be announcing an exciting lineup of new Walt Disney Classics Collection sculptures for 2010, which will feature both rarely depicted characters and perennial favorites to delight new collectors and those who have been with us since the beginning.

While the Walt Disney Classics Collection will continue with many new innovative sculptures planned, we regret that the Walt Disney Collectors Society will be suspended at the end of this year. Details are being mailed directly to Walt Disney Classics Collection authorized retailers and Walt Disney Collectors Society Members now.

Collectors will be able to sign up for new release information on our website
www.WaltDisneyClassicsCollection.com. We also will be working with authorized retailers to provide supplemental information.

Ray confirmed we should be hearing something as early as next week regarding sculptures planned for 2010. Being a member of the Society since the charter year, am very sorry to hear that it's being suspended. Prefer to hear it was suspended vs. being discontinued completely.

The Walt Disney Classics Collection was introduced in January, 1993. Jiminy Cricket was the charter membership gift sculpture and named the mascot of the Walt Disney Collectors Society. The 1st Members Only offering was Mickey Mouse as the Tailor from The Brave Little Tailor (1938).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sleigh Rides Offered for First Time at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground

If you say “sleigh ride” — thoughts of Florida rarely follow. But this holiday season, there’s a new experience that may just change that. For the first time, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground is offering horse-drawn sleigh rides through the woods at Walt Disney World Resort.

Beginning on November 29, a fire-engine red sleigh with garland and holiday lights will take you through parts of the 700-acre backwoods resort. The magic-makers at the resort’s Tri-Circle-D Ranch have equipped sleighs with tires for rides around property. Four adults or two adults and three children should be able to ride on each sleigh.

You’ll depart from the Blacksmith’s Shop near the Settlement area inside Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground and travel into the forest on each 25-minute ride. It’ll cost $60 for one group to ride and children ages 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Sound fun? You can also book the experience by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Disney's The Princess and the Frog Merchandise in High Demand Weeks before Film's Debut!

GLENDALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Weeks before the theatrical release of Disney’s upcoming animated feature The Princess and the Frog, the excitement for film-inspired merchandise is already building in a big way as anticipation for the film intensifies. Since its launch just a few weeks ago, retailers report that the merchandise has already begun out-selling other Disney Princess items by double digit percentages. More than 45,000 dolls have sold in less than a month with 17,000 selling last week alone. At one major retailer, The Princess and the Frog bedding has sold nearly triple the amount of regular Disney Princess bedding. At Disney Store locations nationwide and DisneyStore.com, the Princess Tiana role-play dresses are selling above all other Disney Princess characters.

The Princess and the Frog toys have also captured industry praise as the Disney Princess Tiana Just One Kiss doll tops FunFare magazine’s “Holiday Hot Dozen” and the Toys”R”Us "Fabulous 15" holiday lists. The doll was also recently nominated for the “2009 Girls Toy of the Year” award by the Toy Industry Association. Sales of the Princess Tiana Just One Kiss doll are up by over 150% and industry and media have reported it could be among this Holiday season’s sell-out toys.

The Princess and the Frog introduces Disney’s newest princess character in more than 10 years and the first African-American Disney princess. The product line from Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is supporting the film with a wide range of products spanning toys, fashion, home décor, food, personal care, beauty, stationery, books and an assortment for adults including collectibles, art, bridal wear and couture fashion.

“Generations of little girls have experienced the enchanting and magical stories of the Disney Princess characters. Now, with Princess Tiana, as the first new princess in a decade, they will experience a new adventure, woven by the master story-tellers at Disney. This modern-day princess character must muster her determination and perseverance as she faces and overcomes her challenges, providing little girls with another inspiring role-model,” stated Reyne Rice, Toy Trend Specialist at the Toy Industry Association.

“It is typical with any major Disney film to see movie-inspired product available as early as six weeks prior to the film’s release, and the same is true for The Princess and the Frog,” stated Mary Beech, vice president franchise development and marketing for Disney Consumer Products. “However, the historic nature of the release of The Princess and the Frog film has generated tremendous consumer excitement well in advance of the film – and sales thus far have been very strong, something that is remarkable for characters with which fans are not yet completely familiar.”

The Princess and the Frog is also a hit on the social media circuit, as well: DCP is taking fans and families behind the scenes with an exclusive The Princess and the Frog YouTube video series that premiered today on its channel www.YouTube.com/DisneyLiving. The series will provide an inside look at how some of the most interesting products came to life and will release new videos weekly leading up to the national release of the film on December 11th. From never-before-released footage such as interviews with Anika Noni Rose http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0npCpcxaBc, film voice for the Princess Tiana character, to the unveiling of the Princess Tiana wedding gown live on the runways at New York Bridal Week and cooking demonstrations from Princess Tiana’s Cookbook Recipes for Kids, the videos will delight any Disney and Disney Princess fan.

The Princess and the Frog merchandise assortment:

Disney Store
Disney Store is offering an enchanting assortment of exclusive products, plus bayou-inspired in-store and window displays that celebrate The Princess and the Frog. On November 20 just before Chicago’s famed Festival of Lights, Disney Store will unveil a truly magical window display in its Michigan Avenue flag ship store featuring a beautiful scene from the new film. And beginning November 30, Disney Store will dedicate all of its 229 windows in North America to The Princess and the Frog. Products available only at Disney Store and www.DisneyStore.com include: a hand-crafted jewelry box, bookends, a snow globe featuring Princess Tiana and her prince in a wedding scene, role play costumes such as a one-of-a-kind wedding dress, plush dolls representing key characters, and exclusive dolls.

Toys & Electronics
The Princess and the Frog toy line comes alive in vibrant hues of purple, green, gold and blue and is accented with decorative elements reminiscent of New Orleans and the bayou. Available at major retailers nationwide, these new playthings include the beautiful Just One Kiss Disney Princess Tiana Doll dressed in her sparkly blue ball gown that lights up, a Princess Tiana Doll outfitted in her shimmering bayou dress, a variety of Princess Tiana role play costumes, play sets and plush dolls featuring key characters from the film and cuddly and comical The Princess and the Frog Kissing Frog plush.

Fashion & Home
Girls of all ages can live like a princess with an array of new fashion and home décor products inspired by Princess Tiana. Young fashionistas can embrace their inner princess with fashion collections available at department stores nationwide; the beautiful Princess Tiana Watch & Tiara available at JC Penney; and The Princess and the Frog girls bedding available at department stores nationwide.

DCP has also collaborated with top designers to create unique couture apparel and accessories. A Princess Tiana inspired bridal gown will be added to the successful Kirstie Kelly for Disney Fairy Tale Weddings collection in spring 2010. Trend-forward fashion tops inspired by the book “The Art of Disney Princess” are also available at specialty boutiques. Kidada Jones for Disney Couture will introduce a new line of stunning gold jewelry at specialty retailers.

Collectibles
Collectors will be eager to get their hands on a variety of beautifully crafted and detailed collectible items featuring Disney’s newest princess including the open edition porcelain Princess Tiana “Determined Dreamer” collectible figurine statue by Enesco, LLC, which comes with a certificate of authenticity and is available from Walt Disney Classics Collection and specialty dealers. A new unique oil masterpiece from Thomas Kinkade depicts Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen in a gorgeous scene from the film.

Special Note: I've edited the portion of the article regarding the WDCC Princess Tiana sculpture regarding sculpture title and type of release. Both were erroneously mentioned in the original article.

Health & Beauty
A princess is beautiful inside and out and DCP has collaborated with top health and beauty brands to create princess-worthy products including the “Magical Collection” by Carol’s Daughter, which offers hair care and bubble bath products available at specialty stores, www.carolsdaughter.com, Disney Store and www.disneystore.com. Additional products include The Princess and the Frog role-play cosmetics and Band-Aid® adhesive bandages by Johnson & Johnson available at mass retailers.

Food
The Disney food assortment also offers a selection of The Princess and the Frog items including Tummy Tickler® juices from In Zone Brands, Inc. and Kellogg’s fruit flavored snacks, available at select grocery stores nationwide.

Stationery
The Princess and the Frog stationery assortment includes craft and activity sets, journals, sticker packets, paper party sets, cake décor, calendars and Holiday wrapping paper among other offerings available at major retailers nationwide, Party City, Party America, and independent and online specialty party stores.

Fans can get regular updates on The Princess and the Frog and its inspired products by signing up to become a fan on Facebook www.facebook.com/DisneyLiving and following us on Twitter www.twitter.com/DisneyLiving for a chance to win unique merchandise.

About “The Princess and the Frog”
Presented by Walt Disney Animation Studios, the musical The Princess And The Frog is an animated comedy set in the great city of New Orleans. A modern twist on a classic tale, the film features a girl named Tiana who dreams of owning her own restaurant, a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, and a fateful kiss that leads them both on a hilarious adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana. The Princess And The Frog marks the return to hand-drawn animation from the revered team of John Musker and Ron Clements and features music by Oscar®-winning composer Randy Newman. Featuring the voice talents of Anika Noni Rose, Terrence Howard, John Goodman, Keith David, Jim Cummings, Jennifer Lewis and Oprah Winfrey, the film hits theaters nationwide on Dec. 11.

Press Release
Source: Disney Consumer Products
Wednesday, November 18, 2009, 7:30am EST

Happy Birthday Mickey & Minnie!

The grand old mouse of Hollywood, Mickey Mouse, along with his gal pal Minnie turns 81 today! It's been over eight decades since Mickey and Minnie's debut Steamboat Willie, hit the screens on November 18, 1928.

Co-created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks and voiced by Walt Disney, Mickey became an icon for The Walt Disney Company.


Happy Birthday Mickey & Minnie!!

Featured is the 1997 Walt Disney Classics Collection release of Mickey from Mickey's Birthday Party (1942). Happy Birthday (4-1/2"), sculpted by Bruce Lau was released as part of the Celebration Series.

For your viewing pleasure, courtesy of YouTube.com is Steamboat Willie (1928):

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party Special Event at Magic Kingdom® Park

Glimpse all the wonder and magic of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party

Select a chapter from the Storybook page for a close-up look at all the festive events that happen during this special holiday party. Choose as many chapters as you wish to learn more about all there is to see and do at the merriest place on earth.



Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party is a special event held each winter on select nights at Magic Kingdom® Theme Park that requires a separate ticket to attend. This festive celebration is filled with live entertainment, spectacular fireworks and an oh-so-jolly holiday parade.

Celebrate the magic of the season in the holiday wonderland of Magic Kingdom theme park. Gather with loved ones for a festive sight- and sound-filled special event that is sure to make you merry!

Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party features:

  • The enchanted Castle Dream Lights on Cinderella's Castle
  • Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, complete with a special appearance by Santa Claus himself
  • An exclusive holiday fireworks extravaganza — Holiday Wishes: Celebrate the Spirit of the Season
  • Live entertainment featuring Disney Characters
  • Meet and greet opportunities throughout Magic Kingdom® theme park with some of your favorite Disney Characters
  • Complimentary cookies and hot cocoa
  • A magical snow fall on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Many of the most popular Magic Kingdom attractions

The event will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. on the following dates in 2009:

  • November 10, 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20, 29
  • December 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18

Buy tickets early and save! Order online or by calling (407) WDISNEY (934-7639). Guests under age 18 must have parent or guardian permission to call.

Tickets may be purchased in advance and the event can sell out. Standard Magic Kingdom theme park admission tickets will not allow Guests to attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. View ticket prices

'It's A Small World' Celebrates Children of all Nations in recent ad!

It's been a crazy couple weeks with things taking top priority on both the work and homefront. As Thanksgiving approaches we are so thankful for the people in our lives, both family and friends. We've been truly blessed. All the tasks at hand are almost done and now it's time to put the finishing touches on our upcoming trip to Walt Disney World!

As we research and plan our trip, want to share some cool ads over the next couple days I came across while putting the finishing touches on our trip.

Disney Parks has released a really nice advertising video for the Christmas season of It's a Small World. Frankly, it's done with tenderness and it reproduces perfectly the childhood spirit of the attraction.

Thanks Greg!

Exclusive Disney Parks Tilt-Shift Video


See the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida from a whole new perspective. The exclusive video first featured on The Disney Parks Blog was created from a series of photos snapped inside the Magic Kingdom Park. Its a sunrise-to-sunset story told without words. But the message is clear — celebrate.

Enjoy! Thanks Chris!

Art Partners Gallery Hosts an 'Enchanted Evening' with Toby Bluth & Paige O'Hara

Toby Bluth returns to Art Partners Gallery with special guest, Paige O'Hara, the voice of Belle from the Academy Award winning film Beauty and The Beast for an Enchanted Evening.

The event will be held December 4-5, 2009 at Art Partners Gallery. Friday evening (Dec. 4th) is an "By Special Invite Only" to begin at 7:00pm. On Saturday (Dec. 5th), an "Open to the Public" event will be held starting at 1:30pm.

The Art Partners Gallery is located in the Schaumburg Town Square in Schaumburg, IL. Contact them at (800) 650-2357 for more details.

Special Note: Tony Bluth and Paige O'Hara will be limited to signing items exclusively purchased in the Gallery.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Update on Disneyland Contact Info

Update on Disneyland's mail order contact information. They are no longer called "DelivEARS" but they do provide a service of offering mail order capability of Disneyland merchandise. Here is the new contact info:

Disneyland Merchandise Guest Services
Toll-Free Phone: 1-800-362-4533
e-mail:
MerchandiseGuestServices@disney.go.com

This can include WDCC sculptures, Jim Shore, Gallery of Light, etc.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Surprise Retirement!

The Walt Disney Classics Collection is delighted to announce the surprise retirement of two beloved sculpture scenes - the charming Seven Dwarfs Mine Scene from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and the Bambi Winter Scene from Bambi.

The complete Mine Scene is retired, Grumpy and Doc (previously suspended in May, 2009) are being honored as a "dry retirement" (meaning stock is no longer available) and quantity on the remaining items is extremely limited!


The Dwarfs Mine Scene was released in August, 2004 and sculpted by Bruce Lau. The Bambi Winter Scene (Bambi, Thumper and Flower), sculpted by Kent Melton was released in November, 2005 and the Base was released in January, 2006.

Please contact your authorized dealer for availability.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Magical Heigh Ho! Signing Event Party with Patrick Romandy-Simmons

Mark your Calendars! November 7th, Gallery of the Lakes is hosting a Magical, Whistling Heigh Ho! Signing Event Party.

This Magical Storybook Weekend celebrates Disney's #1 masterpiece, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, still the studios most celebrated and asked for release, featuring Patrick Romandy-Simmons.

Patrick, who sculpted the very first Signature release "Soup's On!" will be on hand to sign the latest Signature Series release "Heigh-Ho! Heigh Ho! It's Home From Work We Go!" featuring the Seven Dwarfs (Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy and Dopey).

Patrick will be signing all his sculpture work for the Walt Disney Classics Collection.
For a complete listing of Patrick's Walt Disney Classics Collection releases and his bio, please visit his Sculptor Listing page.

Itinerary for Saturday, November 07, 2008
1:00-5:00pm

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Signing Party
  • "Villain Debut" Maleficent ("Evil Eruption") and Evil Queen ("Now Begins Thy Magic Spell")
  • Special Presentation-Gallery Lounge
  • Silent Auction
5:30pm Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Dinner & Cocktail Reception

Fourth Quarter Preview

Preview the recently announced Fourth Quarter in addition to Maleficent (Transformation):
  • Belle & Beast, Babette, Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts & Chip from Beauty and the Beast
  • Millweed Ballerinas from Fantasia
  • Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog
Gallery of the Lakes is located in Rock Hill, NY 12775
Please RSVP (800) 692-3087

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Maleficent (Transformation) has Sold Out!

The Walt Disney Classics Collection 50th Anniversary sculpture Maleficent (as a Dragon): Evil Eruption has Sold Out! The sculpture has not only sold out to retailers but also before it has begun shipping!

Plussed with glass and pewter, this magnificent piece, one of the most unusual and elaborate sculptures ever crafted by the Walt Disney Classics Collection, captures every fearsome detail of Maleficent’s terrifying transformation, reflecting the sublime artistry of Walt Disney’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty.

The Dragon's wing span is 10" wide and the height of the Dragon and Clouds is 7". The majority of sculpture is porcelain (Dragon at top, Clouds on top and bottom, etc.). There's a connection point at the top and bottom of the glass that is resin, the Maleficent sculpture inside the glass is resin. The glass used is smooth and tinted green but there are vertical striations air-brushed onto the surface as a special effect.

Maleficent's Transformation, a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500 was sculpted by Ruben Procopio.

A great companion piece to Maleficent (Transformation) is Prince Phillip, a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 1,000, sculpted by Dusty Horner. Valiant is the 3rd release in the Heroes & Heroines Series.

Prince Phillip has not sold out, limited quantities are still available.


Please contact your Authorized WDCC Dealer and/or the Walt Disney Theme Parks for availability.

Friday, October 16, 2009

BIG, BIG Breaking News-It's a Small World Series Retirement!

BIG, BIG Breaking News Today!!

The Walt Disney Classics Collection has just announced the Series Retirement of Disney's it's a small world. All sculptures and ornaments have been retired, no new releases are planned and in-stock pieces are available while supplies last (many of these there is less than 100 units in inventory).

As a part of this MAJOR retirement, it is also announced Hawaii's ("Aloha") dry retirement!

For the first time, a special incentive program to retailers and collectors in conjunction with this surprise announcement where participating retailers will offer the pieces to collectors at "Celebration Pricing" in time for the holidays. Also included are the remaining inventory of Small World Spain and Belgium (previously retired in May, 2007) in the program. The only active piece not included in the revised pricing is Small World Peru (the final release in the series which just started shipping last month).


Please check with your authorized dealer for availability.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Prince Phillip & Maleficent Revisited

Mistress of All Evil sees her terrible plot unravel as valiant Prince Phillip approaches King Stefan’s castle. Furious, Maleficent blocks Phillip’s path and, in a massive explosion, transmogrifies into a horrifyingdragon.

Plussed with glass and pewter, this magnificent piece, one of the most unusual and elaborate sculptures ever crafted by the Walt Disney Classics Collection, captures every fearsome detail of Maleficent’s terrifying transformation, reflecting the sublime artistry of Walt Disney’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty.

Maleficent's Transformation, a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500 was sculpted by Ruben Procopio. This marks the Dragon's second appearance in the collection. Prince Phillip, a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 1,000, sculpted by Dusty Horner is the 3rd release in the Heroes & Heroines Series.

The Dragon's wing span is 10" wide and the height of the Dragon and Clouds is 7". The majority of sculpture is porcelain (Dragon at top, Clouds on top and bottom, etc.). There's a connection point at the top and bottom of the glass that is resin, the Maleficent sculpture inside the glass is resin. The glass used is smooth and tinted green but there are vertical striations air-brushed onto the surface as a special effect.

Special Note: This blog update contains updated images of Prince Phillip and Maleficent photographed together.

'A Waltz Upon the Wind' in Whiteware

Part of the process in creating memorable Walt Disney Classics Collection sculptures is creating whiteware.

The final clay sculpt is cut into pieces and a plaster mold of each piece is made. The more complex and delicate the sculpture, the more pieces are needed.

Liquid clay called 'slip' is poured into the molds and partially air dried into 'greenware' pieces, which are then re-assembled using more slip. The greenware is sprayed with a translucent glaze and fired in a brick kiln, creating a glazed whiteware. The whiteware is then painted with a yellow dye to pick up any flaws within the whiteware.

The Milkweed Ballerinas, a Numbered Limited Edition of 500 is plussed with resin (2) and bronze (1) branches. The Ballerina heads (13) are made of pewter.

If you click on the image at left, you will be able to see and study the amazing detail that went into this sculpture, sculpted by Master Sculptor, Kent Melton.


Special Note: The whiteware version of the Milkweed Ballerinas is not available for sale. The image has been made available as a behind the scenes look into the production of this sculpture.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sheriff of Bullet Valley has Sold Out!

The Sheriff from Bullet Valley, featuring Donald Duck and his Nephews has Sold Out! Sculpted by Bruce Lau, the second release in the Classic Comics Series was Limited to Production Year 2009.

Sheriff of Bullet Valley is a Donald Duck comic story from October 1948, written and illustrated by Carl Barks.

This comic is probably the longest western story that Carl Barks ever wrote. Donald quotes classical western movies throughout
the story, as being his source of knowledge to guide his actions.


Please contact your Authorized WDCC Dealer and/or the Walt Disney Theme Parks for availability.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Vultures from 'Jungle Book' Sold Out!

The Vultures from The Jungle Book ("Things Are Right Dead All Over"), a Members Only Numbered Limited Edition of 1,000 for 2009 has Sold Out!

The Vultures, rarely portrayed in any other medium mark not only their WDCC debut but the return of the Members Only Limited Edition. This Numbered Limited Edition (NLE), in an edition size of 1,000, was sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons.

"Things Are Right Dead All Over" is plussed with pewter plant stalks and branches as well as well as the feathers on Flaps, Buzzie, Ziggy and Dizzy.

Please contact your Authorized WDCC Dealer and/or the Walt Disney Theme Parks for availability.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Maleficent's Transformation: Concept Drawings & Film Capture

Ruben Procopio has just updated his blog, Masked Avenger Studios with Concept Drawings of the upcoming Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of Maleficent transforming into the Dragon. The entry also includes film strip stills of the moment as well.

Plussed with glass and pewter, this magnificent piece, one of the most unusual and elaborate sculptures ever crafted by the Walt Disney Classics Collection, captures every fearsome detail of Maleficent’s terrifying transformation, reflecting the sublime artistry of Walt Disney’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty.

Maleficent's Transformation, a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500 was sculpted by Ruben Procopio. This marks the Dragon's second appearance in the collection.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A New Scene Grouping from Beauty and the Beast

Last week, the Walt Disney Classics Collection announced a new scene release from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. This new scene features a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) release of Belle and Beast along with the Enchanted Objects (Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts & Chip and Babette) , designed to be in exact scale to Belle and Beast.

The above grouping depicts the new scene release with three (3) previously released Enchanted Objects that were done in full scale and work perfectly with this new scene .. the Hatrack ("
Hospitable Hat Rack"), Dog Footstool ("Frisky Footstool") and Wardrobe ("You'll Look Ravishing in This One").

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Review: Mulan & Father (Fa Zhou) & Grandma Fa


Things have gotten so hectic as summer came to a close with Amanda returning to school and a lot of demands at work, taking the opportunity to review some blog entries I was working on at summer's end plus what updates to the Secondary Guide of the website I've still yet to do.

One of the entries was my review on two (2) releases from Disney's Mulan that I added to my collection. It's rather funny, I wouldn't rank Mulan as a film favorite but love the sculpts the WDCC has chosen to do from this film. Up until now, the only release film I had was Matchmaker Mulan ("Perfectly Poised") and the Opening Title.

I first added Mulan and her Father, Fa Zhou ("When it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of all."), a Numbered Limited (NLE) of 500 sculpted by Kent Melton, released in December, 2008. As a father, this sculpture struck a chord with me (as did Ariel & Triton), mirroring much the relationship between my daughter, Amanda and myself.

Photos don't do this one justice. Kent did an amazing job capturing that moment between Mulan and her Father. The cherry blossoms are beautifully done and what you don't see in the photos is how they almost create an umbrella over Mulan and her Father.

The second sculpture purchased was Grandma Fa and Cri-Kee ("I've Got All the Luck We Need!"), a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500 sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons, released in May, 2009.

This sculpt just makes me smile. There are things about the sculpture (and character) that remind me a lot of my late Grandmother. This sculpture makes a great companion piece to Matchmaker Mulan (pictured with Grandma Fa).

Matchmake Mulan, an Open Edition release was sculpted by Margi Wray. The sentimental factor and how I could relate from a personal level are reasons I wanted to have both these sculptures as part of my collection.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Spirit of the Season Premiere Event (09/25-09/27)

The Spirit of the Season Premiere Event, featuring Jiminy Cricket from Mickey's Christmas Carol starts today!

Jiminy Cricket will be available through all participating Walt Disney Classics Collection Authorized Dealers and the Walt Disney Theme Parks, September 25-27, 2009.

Jiminy Cricket, sculpted by Ruben Procopio is plussed with a resin umbrella and resin flame.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bat Kid Sold Out!

The Walt Disney Classics Collection is pleased to announce the SOLD OUT status of the Bat Kid ("Terrifying Tyke") from Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas.

Sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons and plussed with pewter and resin, the sculpture was Limited to Production Year 2009.

Please contact your Authorized WDCC Dealer and/or the Walt Disney Theme Parks for availability.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

An Evil Eruption!

Mistress of All Evil sees her terrible plot unravel as valiant Prince Phillip approaches King Stefan’s castle. Furious, Maleficent blocks Phillip’s path and, in a massive explosion, transmogrifies into a horrifying
dragon.


Plussed with glass and pewter, this magnificent piece, one of the most unusual and elaborate sculptures ever crafted by the Walt Disney Classics Collection, captures every fearsome detail of Maleficent’s terrifying transformation, reflecting the sublime artistry of Walt Disney’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty.

Maleficent's Transformation, a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500 was sculpted by Ruben Procopio. This marks the Dragon's second appearance in the collection. Prince Phillip, a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 1,000, sculpted by Dusty Horner is the 3rd release in the Heroes & Heroines Series.
Product Info Update: The initial photo used in this blog entry, I created in Photoshop with official images. The above photo is an actual photo of the two sculpts, untouched. The Dragon's wing span is 10" wide and the height of the Dragon and Clouds is 7". The majority of sculpture is porcelain (Dragon at top, Clouds on top and bottom, etc.). There's a connection point at the top and bottom of the glass that is resin, the Maleficent sculpture inside the glass is resin. The glass used is smooth and tinted green but there are vertical striations air-brushed onto the surface as a special effect.

For your viewing pleasure (courtesy of YouTube.com) is the sequence from the film the sculptures were chosen:



Sleeping Beauty ©Disney