Thursday, June 30, 2011

Check Out Latest Episode of 'D23's Disney Geek'!

Episode Forty-Six of 'D23's Disney Geek' is now online!

This week check out the following:

- D23's star-studded "Rocketeer" 20th anniversary screening with Bill Campbell, Kevin Smith, Shane West, Thomas Jane and more!

- On the Pixar campus for their Motorama event

- "Cars 2" races to number one at the box office—plus a report from "D23's Cars 2 Cross Country" events in San Francisco, Washington, DC and Chicago

- Announcements about D23's "Sip and Stroll" and "Magic and Merriment" events

- Celebrities revealed for Walt Disney World's Candlelight Processional

- Inside the exotic new Adventureland Suite at the Disneyland Hotel

- "D23's Armchair Archivist" update… And more!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

First of Summer 2011 Arriving at Retailers!

Click Image for Additional Angles
The first of the Summer 2011 Releases from the Walt Disney Classics Collection are starting to arrive at retailers!

The first to arrive is Brer Bear from The Song of South joining Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox.  

Galumphing and a bit bumbling, Brer Bear is Brer Fox’s bosom buddy, so when the crafty fox is ready to roast Brer Rabbit for dinner, the burly big guy is more than ready to dig in. 

"The charm of animation is simplicity and pantomime,” noted Eric Larson, one of the animal trio’s directing animators. “Where could you find three more clearly defined characters getting into strange predicaments than in [the tales of Brer Rabbit]? The characters were especially fun to animate because they showed a lot of thinking going on behind them.” 

Brer Bear (plussed with a pewter knife and fork) completes this classic scene between the clever rabbit, the sly fox and the dim-witted bruin, showing the rich and colorful chemistry Walt Disney and his artists crafted for the “three Brers.”

"A Hankering for Hare" sculpted by Patrick Romandy-Simmons is Limited to Production Year 2011.

Click Image for Additional Angles
Brer Rabbit ("Cooking Up a Plan") and Brer Fox ("Last Laugh"), a two-piece box set, sculpted by Ruben Procopio were Limited to Production Year 2010 and began arriving at retailers just in time for Christmas in mid-December, 2010.  

These fun-filled sculptures are plussed with a bronze fork and pewter neck on Brer Fox and a pewter pole for Brer Rabbit.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Box office: 'Cars 2' speeds to No. 1!


Fears that Pixar Animation Studios could have its first box-office dud were left in the dust this weekend as "Cars 2" opened to a solid $68 million, according to an estimate from distributor Walt Disney Studios.

Though far behind the opening of last year's much more popular sequel "Toy Story 3," the follow-up to the tale about anthropormophic automobiles that has been a merchandising bonanza among young boys was right in line with other recent Pixar releases such as 2009's "Up" and 2008's "Wall-E," which debuted with $68.1 million and $63.1 million, respectively.

Prerelease surveys had indicated that "Cars 2" would open at around $55 million, the second-lowest debut for a Pixar film this decade and below even the original "Cars" five years ago. Combined with soft reviews, that prediction had many at Disney worried. Instead, the picture's $68-million launch indicates that interest has stayed roughly even with the original, accounting for rising ticket prices and the fact that the sequel is in 3-D and enjoyed premium pricing in some theaters.

Unlike "Toy Story 3," which drew audiences of all types, "Cars 2" was primarily driven by families with children under 12, according to exit polls. Those who came disagreed with critics and liked the movie, giving it an average grade of A-minus, according to market research firm CinemaScore. That leaves little reason to doubt that, like most Pixar movies, "Cars 2" should enjoy a long box-office life and exceed $200 million at the domestic box office.

Overseas, it opened to $42.9 million in 18 foreign markets, marking the biggest ever Pixar openings in Russia and Brazil and second highest ever in Mexico, behind only "Toy Story 3." The film, which features a globe-spanning story, is now certain to exceed the $217.9 million international total of the first "Cars." 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: 'Cars 2'


Family, friends and those who follow me on Twitter and/or friends on Facebook know that I'm a HUGE Cars fan!  I didn't see the original when released in the theaters, seeing for the first time when it came out on DVD and instantly fell in love with the gang from Radiator Springs.

I read time and time again this is considered the weakest of the Pixar's films and quite honestly, just don't get that nor understand why? I dislike when a film is measured by it's box office receipts and/or compared to a film that brought in big dollars.   

Pinocchio and Sleeping Beauty were box office flops but they've proved the test of time and are more remembered and endeared than some films that were box office winners.  I could barely sit through Ratatouille, did not see the appeal of Wall-E nor A Bug's Life.  Maybe I'm in a minority.  This film (at least for me) has so much heart, with emphasis on friendships and relationships.  Growing up in a small town, I related to that bond and closeness of the folks at Radiator Springs.  

Part of the marketing of this film was the release of diecast cars.  Growing up, I collected Matchbox cars with my brother and through Cars, relived those great moments collecting the Cars diecast with my friends, then anticipating each new Mater's Tall Tales release (wondering what they'll do in diecast?) then counting down and getting excited like a little kid for the release of Cars 2!


I promised myself I wasn't going to read any of the reviews and actually kept to that promise until yesterday.  I decided to visit one of the Cars Message Boards I frequent to see if any new diecast were released to coincide with opening day.  There was a thread on reviews, curiosity getting the best of me, opened the thread and began reading.  My heart sunk! It was a mixed bag of reviews and many referring to it as Pixar's Decline and the worst of the Pixar films, some even going so far as bashing John Lasseter.  I decided I read enough, closed out the message board and had faith in how important and loved these characters are by Mr. Lasseter, there was no way he was going to let me (or anyone) else down!

Let me start this review in saying ... the Critics Suck!  I think they spent too much time picking the film apart and comparing to the original.  If you're looking for Radiator Springs: Part II, this may not be the film for you.  I give props to Mr. Lasseter for taking these beloved characters, adding in some memorable new characters (Finn McMissile, Holly Shiftwell and Francesco Bernoulli) and telling a whole new story but still keeping the heart, bond and friendship you felt in the original.  

The animation was stunning!  At times, things were moving so quickly, you may have missed something but I believe this film (much like the original) was made to view again and again to soak it all up and with each viewing, seeing something new, making the film fresh each time. 


A quote I read probably best describes it, "The sequel is a tire-burning burst of action and fun with a beating heart under its hood.  Original director John Lasseter is back behind the wheel, and you can feel his love for all things automotive in every frame."

Working from a solid script by Ben Queen, Lasseter and co-director Brad Lewis take their race-car hero, Lightning McQueen (along with his best buddy Mater, Luigi, Guido, Fillmore and Sarge) out of the nostalgic Radiator Springs and onto the global stage (Japan, Italy, France and England).   Throw in the spy element with two great new characters, the classy British spy Finn McMissile (Michael Caine. a 007-era Aston Martin) and hot rookie Holley Shiftwell (Emily Mortimer), who mistake Mater's cluelessness for a brilliant disguise. 

Does Lightning win the race, beating the confident Francesco Bernouilli (voiced by John Turturro)? That doesn't seem as important vs. whether Lightning will let his career wreck his friendship with Mater. It's the Pixar touch of valuing feeling over frenzy that makes Cars 2 a winner.

The homage to Doc (voiced by the late Paul Newman) was poignant and fit perfectly in the story. Was happy to see the rest of the Radiator Springs gang (Flo, Ramone, Sally and Red) show up in London and the film ending in Radiator Springs.    

The center of the film is friendship and the importance of those friends and accepting them as they are. At least that's the message I walked away from it with.

I'd like to thank Mr. Lasseter for putting his heart into this film and regardless of what some of the critics have said, a film that met my expectations and more! 

I'm all ready for future Cars projects .. can't wait to see what will be done in diecast, more Mater's Tall Tales and if you can do like you did with Toy Story 3, am all ready for Cars 3 .. Ka Chow!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Last Chance Discount for D23 Expo 2011!


PURCHASE YOUR D23 EXPO 2011 TICKETS TODAY!
ADVANCE DISCOUNTED TICKETS END JUNE 30, 2011

 Do your Blog, Twitter and Facebook friends all know that this is their LAST CHANCE to purchase discounted D23 Expo 2011 tickets?! D23 Members can save as much as $144 off Expo tickets if they purchase by June 30!* 

The highly anticipated D23 Expo 2011: The Ultimate Disney Event for Fans and Families returns to the Anaheim Convention Center from August 19 – 21, 2011, once again bringing all the wonderful worlds of Disney under one roof, and offering attendees unprecedented access to Disney films, television and theme parks as only D23: The Official Disney Fan Club can!

Highlights of D23 Expo 2011’s activities will include:
  • 2011 Disney Legends. Paying tribute to the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to Disney entertainment, including Regis Philbin, Jim Henson, the Disney Princesses and many more
  • Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives. A 12,000-square-foot exhibit featuring dozen of props, artifacts and costumes, including a special beachfront display of items from LOST and Pirates of the Caribbean, a spectacular Tron room, the House of de Vil—which includes the Fan Art Gallery—and much more. Plus, on the show floor, see a 23-foot-model of the Black Pearl, Walt Disney’s limousine and the Volkswagen van from LOST.
  • The Lion King in 3D. The Walt Disney Studios will showcase sneak peeks of upcoming film projects including an exclusive screening of The Lion King in 3D.
  • Phineas and Ferb’s Platy-bus. The hit Disney Channel/Disney XD animated series comes to the D23 Expo with a 27-foot Airstream trailer dedicated to the show’s beloved Perry the Platypus, decked out with games and “Perry-oke.”
  • Collector’s Forum. Where attendees can buy, sell and trade Disney collectibles, memorabilia and merchandise. This year the Forum also includes the worlds of Marvel and Star Wars.
  • D23 Expo Dream Store and Live Auction. Bursting with D23-themed merchandise and other specialty items, the D23 Expo Dream Store will feature Disney-inspired art and collectibles as well as Vinylmation and pins. The D23 Expo Live Auction returns—this year with an added silent auction—offering Disney enthusiasts the opportunity to bid on unique experiences, tours, artwork, props and more.
  • The Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament will allow participants to demonstrate their Disney knowledge as they compete for outstanding prizes.
  • Many more one-of-a-kind D23 Expo pavilions, panels, presentations and experiences which will be announced in the coming weeks.
Read more details on specific prices on the D23 Web site:
www.D23Expo.com

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Check Out Latest Episode of 'D23's Disney Geek'!

Episode Forty-Five of 'D23's Disney Geek' is now online!

This week check out the following:

- Hitting the road at the "Cars 2" premiere with Owen Wilson, Bonnie Hunt, John Lasseter, Emily Mortimer and many more!

- Lightning McQueen joins "Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show" at Walt Disney World

- Russell and Dug from "Up" join the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at Disney California Adventure

- Phineas and Ferb have a rockin' new show at Disney California Adventure

- Details on D23's Wonderful Morning with "Winnie the Pooh" event on July 9 at the El Capitan

- New "John Carter of Mars" artwork

- The Disney Fantasy ship is coming together quickly—see for yourself!

- From fine art to Vinylmation and pins, the scoop on the D23 Expo Dream Store

- The El Capitan debuts the "Cars 2" World Grand Prix attraction

- Rapunzel to join the Disney Princess royal court… And more!

Coolwaters Productions LLC brings exclusive autograph sessions to the Disney D23 Expo!


COOLWATERS PRODUCTIONS LLC BRINGS THE STARS OF TRON, TRON: LEGACY, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, STAR WARS AND MARVEL TO THE DISNEY D23 EXPO

Exclusive autograph sessions and meet and greets with celebrities including Bruce Boxleitner and Billy Dee Williams at the ultimate Disney fan event!

ANAHEIM, Calif. – June 22, 2011 Celebrity management company Coolwaters Productions LLC is bringing a cavalcade of talent to the D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event, August 19 – 21, at the Anaheim Convention Center. Each day at the Coolwaters booth, located in the Collectors Forum, fans will enjoy celebrity meet and greets and autograph signings, including rare photographs and limited-edition Tron pin sets created by D23 especially for this event.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 19: MARVEL DAY
          Doug Jones: Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (also starred as Billy Butcherson in Disney’s Hocus Pocus and will be signing images from both films)
          Matthew Wolf: Voice of Thor in the animated film Thor: Tales of Asgard

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20: TRON DAY
          Bruce Boxleitner: Alan Bradley/Tron in Tron, TRON: Legacy, the videogame TRON: Evolution and the upcoming animated series TRON: Uprising
          Cindy Morgan: Lora/Yori in Tron, and the videogame TRON 2.0
          Jackson Bostwick: Sark’s Head Guard in Tron
          Anis Cheurfa: Rinzler, Clu’s right hand man in TRON: Legacy
          Rob Daly: Clu’s Lead Sentry in TRON: Legacy

SUNDAY, AUGUST 21: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN DAY
          Isaac C. Singleton: Bo’sun in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
          Greg Ellis: Lieutenant Commander Theodore Groves in all four installments of the Pirates of the Caribbean films
          Treva Etienne: Koehler in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
          Vince Lozano: Jacoby in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
          Tyler Tuione: Boiler Room Attendant in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

With the recent opening of Star Tours—The Adventures Continue at the Disney Parks, D23 Expo 2011 is honored to welcome Hollywood icon and Star Wars luminary Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian). Williams, an award-winning artist, has created an exclusive piece of artwork featuring Disney characters which will be available to attendees as a limited edition poster only at the Expo.

All celebrity appearances are subject to change at any time. There will be a charge for each signature signed during the event from the celebrities listed in this press release. Autograph tickets will be available for purchase during all Expo hours at the Coolwaters Productions LLC booth at the Collectors Forum and are on a first-come, first served basis.

About Coolwaters Productions LLC
Coolwaters Productions LLC is a celebrity management company based in Los Angeles, CA. With over 80 clients on their roster, the talent they represent have brought some of the hottest films and TV programs to life including Tron, Tron: Legacy, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Superman, Pan's Labyrinth and many more. For more information on Coolwaters and its clients, please visit www.coolwatersprods.com.

About D23 EXPO 2011
D23 Expo: The Ultimate Disney Fan Event brings the entire world of Disney under one roof, providing guests with unprecedented access to Disney films, television and theme parks. Tickets to the D23 EXPO are available at www.D23Expo.com. Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 EXPO and can be purchased for single days or for the full three days of festivities. Admission is $42 for a one-day adult ticket and $32 for children 3-12.  Three-day passes are $121 for adults and $91 for children. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will receive a discount for up to four admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 EXPO for themselves and their guests. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow us “DisneyD23” at Twitter and on Facebook.

Cars 2: The Video Game Races Into Stores!


SPIES WANTED - DISNEY•PIXAR’S CARS 2: THE VIDEO GAME NOW AVAILABLE

Players Enter an International Game of Espionage as They Compete to Become the Fastest Racecar in the World

BURBANK, Calif. — (June 21, 2011) – Disney Interactive Studios today announced the company is gearing up for an action-packed summer with Disney•Pixar’s Cars 2: The Video Game, now available for all major gaming platforms. Inspired by the Disney•Pixar animated comedy adventure movie Cars 2, which opens in North America on June 24, the game offers players intrigue and excitement as they take on dangerous missions, vie to become the fastest racecar in the world and use newly acquired espionage skills in adrenaline-pumping combat racing and battle arenas.

Cars 2: The Video Game maintains the film’s look and feel while expanding on the spy-driven plot line.  Players will jump into the Cars 2 universe with many of their favorite Cars personalities in locations around the globe.

“We’ve developed a meaningful and creative partnership with Pixar that continues to result in video games that are an authentic and immersive experience for fans,” said John Blackburn, vice president and general manager of Avalanche Software. “We anticipate that Cars enthusiasts around the world will be compelled to become agents of C.H.R.O.M.E with the release of this new video game.”

In Cars 2: The Video Game, players enroll in an international spy training academy known as C.H.R.O.M.E. (Command Headquarters for Recon Operations and Motorized Espionage). As part of their international training to become world class spies, players will participate in simulated daring missions using assorted high-tech gadgetry in their effort to outpace and slow down the competition, and ultimately become the world’s fastest racecar. 

Fans will choose from more than 20 different characters to play, including classic favorites like Mater the tow truck and Lightning McQueen, along with new challengers, such as Finn McMissile and Holley Shiftwell. Fans will also recognize familiar voices while playing Cars 2: The Video Game with a celebrity voice cast including Larry the Cable Guy returning as Mater, Emily Mortimer as Holley Shiftwell, Tony Shalhoub reappearing as Luigi and John Turturro as Francesco Bernoulli. In addition, the endless action will take players beyond Radiator Springs to experience exotic locales across the globe including Tokyo, London and Italy. 

The game supports up to four players in split-screen and features connectivity with the World of Cars Online, a free-to-play browser-based, virtual world tied to the hit Disney•Pixar animated Cars universe. 

Cars 2: The Video Game was developed by Avalanche Software in collaboration with the filmmakers at Pixar Animation Studios. It features full 3D support for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and is also available on the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, Wii™, Nintendo DS™ and PC/MAC. The console versions are all rated E 10+, while the Nintendo DS version is rated E for Everyone by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB). The Wii, PlayStation®3 system and Xbox 360 versions are available for a suggested retail price of $49.99, while the Windows-based PC/Mac, and Nintendo DS versions are available for $29.99.

Please visit http://Disney.com/CarsVideogame and www.facebook.com/carsgames for more information on Cars 2: The Video GameArt assets are available at http://corporate.disney.go.com/wdig/product-portfolio/index.html?franchise=Cars&product=cars2.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Comic Book Companions

Click Image for a Larger View
Yesterday I received "Comic Book Companions" the fourth release in the Classic Comics Series featuring Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck.

Sculpted by Bruce Lau, I thought Bruce did a great job in taking a 2D illustration and translating into a 3D sculpture.  The sculpture (at least to me) has a more comic feel vs. animated film or sheet feel/look to it and he replicated the comic book cover spot on!

When the sculpture was announced, two images were made available (a front and back view) and what you didn't see in those images (which hopefully the pictures below convey) is how Bruce sculpted Mickey's posture in reading the comic with Donald.  You'll notice, Mickey is leaning in, reading over Donald's shoulder.
Typically, Mickey's tail is plussed with pewter or metal but in this case, given it's laying on the rug, is sculpted as part of the sculpture. The rug has a braided effect to it with a subtle pink hue.  In the photos, the flash makes it more prominent vs. in person.

"Comic Book Companions" is Limited to Production Year 2011.  Below are some additional angles (please click on each image for a larger view).  





Monday, June 20, 2011

Dream Store and Live Auction Return to the D23 Expo!


DREAM STORE AND LIVE AUCTION RETURN TO THE D23 EXPO
WITH ONE-OF-A-KIND ITEMS AND UNIQUE COLLECTIBLES

Special logo apparel, product debuts, artist signings, and a new silent auction will highlight the Ultimate Disney Event for Fans and Families August 19-21 
  
BURBANK and ANAHEIM, Calif. – June 20, 2011 – Bursting with D23-themed merchandise and other specialty items from Disney Theme Park Merchandise, the Dream Store returns to D23 Expo 2011 with something magical for Disney fans of all ages. From Disney-inspired art and collectibles to classic character collections featuring such beloved characters as Mickey Mouse and Dumbo among others, the D23 Expo Dream Store is a Disney enthusiast’s dream come true.  Highlights include:

D23 Expo Logo Merchandise will allow D23 fans to take home a piece of the magic from this year’s D23 Expo, with an assortment of merchandise including apparel, headwear, pins, and Vinylmation™. The heart of this collection is the official logo of the D23 Expo 2011.

Remember... it all started with a Mouse is a tribute to Walt’s legacy and visionary imagination. As part of this year’s D23 Expo, Disney Consumer Products commissioned local artist Noah to create an iconic graphic celebrating this year’s themes. In exquisite detail, Noah has captured the joy and laughter that come from Walt Disney’s ever-familiar and contagious smile. By carefully selecting a beautiful palette of colors, he cleverly reveals this year’s celebrated Disney film anniversaries, which include One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo and Beauty and the Beast.

For the past decade, Noah has continued to magically interpret Disney characters through his unique style, which has become a favorite among Disney collectors worldwide. For more information on Noah, visit www.noahfineart.com.

Disney Theme Park Merchandise debuts some of its newest releases, including the Disneyland Vintage Collection, which pays tribute to attractions from yesteryear, as well as the release of the much-anticipated, limited-edition TRON Monorail and the Disneyland Monorail play set. In addition, the latest releases from Disney licensees and artists, including Precious Moments, Robert Olszewski, Jim Shore, and more will be unveiled.

D23 Expo Anniversary Collection pays tribute to this year’s historical anniversaries of the beloved Disney classic films One Hundred and One Dalmatians, Alice in Wonderland, and Dumbo.  Each day of the Expo, the Dream Store will release limited quantities of commemorative merchandise from each of these celebrated films.

Disney Dream Collection and D23-Exclusive Jewelry will captivate and dazzle audiences with new pieces of fine jewelry featuring classic Disney icons and characters, such as the Sleeping Beauty Castle, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Tinker Bell, among others.

Acme Archives Limited invites guests to make the magic come alive in your home with the latest releases from Disney•Pixar, Disney Studio Art, Disney Limited and Disney Underground.

Dream Store Autograph Sessions will give D23 fans the opportunity to meet and greet some of their favorite authors, artists, Disney Legends and other notable celebrities. Autograph sessions will be posted daily at the D23 Expo Autograph exhibition area.

Dream Store Showcase and Trading Area invites fans to find out more about what is “in store” from the world of Disney Theme Park Merchandise, including Disney Pins, Vinylmation™, Duffy the Disney Bear, limited-edition ear hats, and more. This special area is the place to trade, collect, and swap stories with fellow Disney fans.

D23 Expo 2011 Live and Silent Auction offers Disney enthusiasts the rare opportunity to bid on unique experiences, tours, artwork, props, and more—specially designed for Disney fans. The D23 Expo 2011 Live and Silent Auction takes place Saturday, August 20, 2011. Tickets for the Live and Silent Auction go on sale June 20, 2011, at 8:00 a.m. via www.ArtofDisneyParks.com. Separate D23 Expo admission is required.

Please continue to watch as we release more details about Dream Store merchandise, offerings, live and silent auction lots, and more on www.Disney.com/D23 and www.ArtofDisneyParks.com and on Facebook and Twitter at “DisneyD23”.

Tickets for D23 Expo 2011 are available at a discounted price through June 30, 2011. All D23 Members—both Gold level and Silver level—can take advantage of additional exclusive admission savings at www.D23Expo.com.

First Look at D23's 'Rocketeer' 20th Anniversary Celebration Merchandise!

FIRST LOOK AT D23'S ROCKETEER 20TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION MERCHANDISE

D23 is throwing one high-flying fun and the one-night-only anniversary for the 20th anniversary of The Rocketeer with an unprecedented reunion of the film's notables hosted by noted writer/ producer/ director Kevin Smith on June 21 at the historic El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. For tickets, please call 818-845-3110 or visit ElCapitanTickets.com. For more information, please click here.

D23 and Creature Features are proud to present the following merchandise, created specifically for this anniversary event.  Please click here.

Check Out Latest Episode of 'D23's Disney Geek'!

Episode Forty-Four of 'D23's Disney Geek' is now online!

This week check out the following:

- Honorees—including Regis Philbin and Jim Henson—announced for the 2011 Disney Legends Ceremony at the D23 Expo!

- "The Lone Ranger" starring Johnny Depp and "Oz: The Great and Powerful" starring James Franco set to begin production

- New art from the Disney•Pixar short "La Luna"

- More talent announced for D23's Rocketeer 20th Anniversary Celebration—plus exclusive collectible merchandise items revealed

- "Wreck-It Ralph" plot details—plus John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman lend their voices to the new animated movie

- ElecTRONica extends into 2012—with a brand-new Laserman show
- A look at the stunning mural inside "The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure"

- Perry the Platypus gets his own bus tour, and it culminates at the D23 Expo

- D23's "Cars 2 Cross Country" event is racing to Chicago and Washington D.C. … And more!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Love This Latest Commercial for Cars 2!!


Saw this commercial for the 1st time last night .. Too Cute!  The Mom looks and sounds a lot like Mini from Cars.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

More from Spring 2011 Releases Arriving at Retailers!


Click Image for More Detail
The Spring 2011 releases started to arrive in April and this week we're seeing four more from that announcement starting to arrive at retailers!
  
Allan-a-Dale, a rhyming rhythmic rooster is a minstrel, and that is, as he explains himself…”an early folk singer, and my job is to tell it like it is…or was…or whatever”. Naturally, this plucky minstrel is on hand to sing out the joyful news in his own laid-back way.

Sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales, he is plussed with bronze legs and wire lute strings.  Allan-A-Dale is Limited to Production Year 2011.

Knowing the star of Pinocchio had to be appealing, Walt Disney directed his artists to “win the audience to the little guy.” The lovable living puppet was enhanced with vocal artist Dickie Jones, who Walt said, had a “typical nice boy’s voice.”
Click Image for More Detail

Walt also created a cricket sidekick, but reported, “At first we made Jiminy sort of a pompous fellow – kind of a windbag,” but voice artist Cliff Edwards’ performance had “so much life and fun in it that we altered the character to conform to the voice. Thus Jiminy comes to the screen... lively and full of quips.”

Jiminy (the cricket-sized sculpture is bronze) wants the
little woodenhead to call on him any time, so as the little conscience cheerfully chirps, all Pinocchio needs to do is give a little whistle.

Sculpted by Bruce Lau, Pinocchio & Jiminy Cricket are a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 750.


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Celebrating 70 years of publication in 2010, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories is one of the best-selling and longest-lived comic books ever, and this fun-filled anthology of multi-paneled Disney delights has featured many unforgettable covers over the years.Attributed to veteran artist Carl Buettner, the famous cover art from issue number 33, June 1943, features Mickey favorite: the infinity cover, in which characters read a comic cover picturing them reading a cover that pictures them reading that cover, and so on, into infinity.

Sculpted by Bruce Lau is an irresistible sculpture artfully celebrating Disney’s flagship comic book—still published today—while also spotlighting two of the greatest starsfrom its pages.  Comic Book Companions is Limited to Production Year 2011.


Click Image for More Detail
Proud of her brand-new license tag—shiny symbol of her happy domesticity—this pampered pedigreed pooch is anything but spoiled, for she has a personality so loving it took three different real-life dogs to inspire it: an adorable puppy newlywed Walt presented to his bride Lillian in 1925; story artist Joe Grant’s own affectionate cocker spaniel Jennie; and another beautiful cocker spaniel named Blondie who belonged to Lady and the Tramp co-director Ham Luske.

Plussed with a charming pewter license tag on her collar and sculpted by Jacqueline Perreault Gonzales, Lady is an Open Edition release. 

2011 Disney Legends Award Honorees to be Celebrated at D23 Expo!


2011 DISNEY LEGENDS AWARD HONOREES
TO BE CELEBRATED DURING D23 EXPO IN ANAHEIM

Regis Philbin, Jim Henson, Disney Princesses Jodi Benson, Paige O’Hara, Lea Salonga, Anika Noni Rose, and Other Talented Contributors to Disney History Take the Spotlight at a Special Ceremony on Friday, August 19

 
BURBANK, Calif. – June 16, 2011 –Television icon Regis Philbin, Muppets creator Jim Henson, the extraordinary actresses who vocally brought to life many modern-day Disney Princesses including Jodi Benson (Ariel from The Little Mermaid), Paige O’Hara (Belle from Beauty and the Beast), Lea Salonga (singing voices of Jasmine from Aladdin and Mulan from Mulan), Linda Larkin (speaking voice of Jasmine from Aladdin), and Anika Noni Rose (Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog) plus other equally impressive contributors to the Disney legacy will be named and honored as official Disney Legends during the D23 EXPO at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 19, in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena.

The Disney Legends Awards program is a 24-year tradition of The Walt Disney Company, and the three-day D23 EXPO provides a rare opportunity for the public to be a part of the always touching and memorable presentation.  The awards ceremony will kick off the first day of the D23 EXPO, hosted by noted television personality Tom Bergeron (host of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and America’s Funniest Home Videos), and will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, August 19, in the Anaheim Convention Center Arena. 

From giving voice to some of our most iconic and beloved Disney princesses to bringing a smile to millions of television viewers every morning for two decades, we are proud to present these 12 men and women with our highest, most coveted honor, The Disney Legends Award," said Disney President and CEO Bob Iger.  "Our newest honorees now join this unique and prestigious circle, which recognizes those whose incredible talents and outstanding contributions have had a lasting, meaningful impact on Disney's great legacy."

The 2011 Disney Legends Award honorees (listed alphabetically) are:

            JODI BENSON is an acclaimed voice actress and soprano singer who provided both the singing and speaking voices for Disney’s Princess Ariel in The Little Mermaid and its sequels. For more than 20 years, Benson has voiced Ariel in film, television, video games, toys and at Disney Parks. She also starred as Sam in Disney’s Enchanted and voiced Barbie in the hit Disney/Pixar films Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, plus Weebo in the film comedy Flubber

BARTON “BO” BOYD began his career at Disney 1968 as an Assistant Merchandise Supervisor at Disneyland. Continually advancing over the course of his 33-years with the company, Boyd was an integral part of the team creating merchandise specifically for Disneyland and Walt Disney World and held positions including Merchandise Division Director and Vice President, Retail Merchandising. In 1997, he was named Chairman of Disney Consumer Products where he oversaw one of the longest periods of sustained growth in the history of Disney merchandising with such initiatives as Licensed Merchandise, Walt Disney Records, the start of Hyperion Press, the entire line of Disney magazine products, Disney Catalog, Disney Interactive for computer games and educational software, ESPN—The Store, Walt Disney Classics Collection, Walt Disney Collectors Society and the establishment of the first Disney Store outside the grounds of the Disney Parks.

JIM HENSON, an Emmy Award-winning television producer and Oscar-nominated film director, was an American puppeteer and the creator of global phenomenon, The Muppets. The cross-cultural appeal of The Muppets propelled television shows like Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and Fraggle Rock to new heights. The success of these series led Henson to explore feature films including The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan, as well as the technologically ground-breaking fantasy classics The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. The Muppet legacy continued with popular Disney films such as The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island, as well as the upcoming The Muppets, premiering this November.

LINDA LARKIN is a celebrated actress and popular voice performer best known for providing the voice of Princess Jasmine in the Disney animated feature Aladdin, its sequels, spin-offs and television specials. She has also been vocally featured in the Disney animated television series House of Mouse and the popular Kingdom Hearts video game.

PAIGE O’HARA is a Broadway actress and singer best known for providing the voice of Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, its sequels, series and games. She also starred as Angela in the Disney film hit Enchanted. O’Hara has also been vocally featured in the Disney video game Kingdom Hearts and as Belle on the 64th Annual Academy Awards.

REGIS PHILBIN is an Emmy Award-winning, cultural icon who has entertained millions of people through talk shows, game shows, books and albums for more than 50 years. For the past 23 years, Americans have woken up to Philbin, thanks to the nationally syndicated hit talk show LIVE! with Regis and Kelly which originated in 1983 when Philbin created The Morning Show for WABC in New York. In addition to his daytime success, Philbin launched ABC’s Who Wants To Be A Millionaire into a primetime powerhouse and hosted a variety of shows including NBC’s America’s Got Talent, CBS’ Million Dollar Password, and the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards.

JACK AND BONITA WRATHER struck a deal with their friend Walt Disney in 1954 to build a luxury family hotel on property adjacent to Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Ground was broken on March 18, 1955, and the hotel opened six and a half months later—104 rooms in five two-story buildings at a starting room rate of $15. The Disneyland Hotel, originally conceived as simply lodging, presaged future developments in how Americans entertained themselves, pioneering, as Jack’s son Chris wrote, “new forms of dining as entertainment, shopping as entertainment and the use of a waterfront setting” in an urban environment. The Disneyland Hotel has since played host to kings, queens, presidents, entertainment and sports legends and families from around the world.

ANIKA NONI ROSE is a renowned actress and singer who provided the voice of Princess Tiana in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. In addition, some of her Broadway, television and film credits include her Tony Award-winning performance in Caroline, or Change, the blockbuster feature film Dreamgirls, and television series including The Starter Wife and The Good Wife.

LEA SALONGA is a celebrated actress and singer who provided the singing voice for two Disney Princesses: Jasmine in Aladdin, and Fa Mulan in Mulan and Mulan II. In addition to her recording and television career, Salonga’s vast Broadway credits are highlighted by her performance as Kim in Miss Saigon which garnered her numerous awards including a Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics’ Circle and Theater World Awards. 

RAY WATSON was President of The Irvine Company when he was asked to join the Board of Directors for Walt Disney Productions in 1973. Watson’s early tenure on the Board saw the expansion of Walt Disney World, the 1976 opening of River Country—Disney’s first water park, and the opening of EPCOT Center, in 1982, which at a cost of $1 billion was the largest private land development project ever at that time. In 1983, Watson was elected as Chairman of the Board and after stepping down as chairman 1984, remained on the Board until he retired in 2004 after serving the Company for 30 years and establishing a worldwide reputation as a real estate development visionary.

GUY WILLIAMS was an acclaimed actor who starred in the hit Disney television series Zorro and two feature films, The Sign of Zorro and Zorro the Avenger. Williams’ charming portrayal of Zorro helped galvanized the character in the public’s imagination and made the series a favorite among the Baby Boomer generation and beyond. His other popular television credits include the hit series Bonanza and Lost in Space.

            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.

            The first Disney Legend, actor Fred MacMurray (The Shaggy Dog, The Absent-Minded Professor, The Happiest Millionaire), was named in 1987.  Including this year’s honorees, a total of 237 Disney Legends have been named.  Past Disney Legends include Tim Allen, Robin Williams, Julie Andrews, Howard Ashman, Annette Funicello, Peter Jennings, Angela Lansbury, Steve Martin, Alan Menken, Hayley Mills, Fess Parker, Sir Tim Rice, Dick Van Dyke and Barbara Walters.  At the inaugural D23 Expo in 2009, the Legends Awards ceremony, which honored Robin Williams, Beatrice Arthur, Estelle Getty, Rue McLanahan, Betty White, Tony Anselmo, Bill Farmer, Harry Archinal, Don Iwerks and Leota Toombs Thomas, was presented to thousands of Disney fans for the first time. 

            Tickets to the D23 EXPO are available at http://www.D23Expo.com.  Admission includes access to all experiences and entertainment at the D23 EXPO, including the Disney Legends Ceremony, and can be purchased for single days or for the full three days of festivities. Admission is $42 for a one-day adult ticket and $32 for children 3-12.  Three-day passes are $121 for adults and $91 for children. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club will receive a discount for up to four admissions, as well as early entry to each day of the D23 EXPO for themselves and their guests.