Tuesday, May 31, 2011

'The Three Caballeros' Animatronics on Display during Destination D!

As many know, I'm a huge fan of The Three Caballeros so was a real treat while at Destination D at Walt Disney earlier this month to see animatronics of all three (Donald Duck, Panchito Pistoles and Jose Carioca) on display in the Archives room.

These animatronics have had a very long life and a very long journey.  They originally appeared in The Mickey Mouse Review in Fantasyland in Walt Disney World, one of three original attractions on opening day.

When they were removed from Walt Disney World they went to Toyko Disneyland and performed there until just about 2 years ago.  The show was finally replaced there by Mickey's Philharmagic just recently.

Below are photos of the animatronics while on display in the Archives Room.  Please click on each image for a larger view. Would love to see these put back in use as part of the Gran Fiesta Tour attraction located in the Mexican Pavillion of World Showcase in Epcot.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Dr. Facilier from 'The Princess and The Frog'

Click Image for a Larger View
On Tuesday, I blogged that retailers were starting to see the arrival of Dr. Facilier from The Princess and The Frog and Friar Tuck from Robin Hood.

I was so impressed by Dr. Facilier from the image supplied by Enesco, I pre-ordered him without waiting to see in person.  Dr. Facilier arrived today and am very pleased!

Even though we knew its height (11-1/4"), the sculpture is much larger than I was envisioning.  So much for shrinkage, eh? ]:)

The detail is amazing, from his bony body structure to his fingers in his outstretched left hand.  Facially, he is spot on from the purple shading of his pupils to the gap between his front teeth!  Dr. Facilier is plussed with pewter (his arm, legs, the feather in his hat and his sinister staff) and a purple glass orb atop his staff.

Kudos to sculptor, Patrick Romandy-Simmons for bringing this two-dimensional character to life in a three-dimensional sculpture! 

Dr. Facilier is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500 and the 2011 Villains Series release, bearing the Villains Series backstamp. 

When Dr. Facilier was announced, only a front view image was available.  Below are images I took this evening showing additional angles of Dr. Facilier and also with Naveen (as Frog) on Balcony and Tiana for size comparison.

Side View-Click for Larger View

Back View-Click for Larger View

I also photographed some images showing Dr. Facilier with the recently released Prince Naveen (as a Frog) on the balcony with Tiana to see the three sculptures interacting with one another and for size comparison as well. Please click each image for a larger view.

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

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

This week check out the following:

- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue blasts off at Disney's Hollywood Studios with Bob Iger, George Lucas and… Darth Vader!

- Stunning concept art from the new Disney Fantasy cruise ship including the European-themed nightclub area

- "Pirates" makes a lotta loot!

- It's Donald Duck's birthday and "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" is celebrating

- The first poster for the new Muppet movie

- Luminaries announced for D23's Rocketeer 20th Anniversary Celebration including star Bill Campbell and Oscar-winner Rick Baker… and more!



12,000-Square-Foot Exhibit Will Feature Imagery, Costumes, Props and More From Beloved Disney Movies, Television Shows and Characters

BURBANK, Calif. – May 26, 2011 – D23: The Official Disney Fan Club and the Walt Disney Archives are proud to announce the return of the “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives” exhibit to the D23 Expo. During the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center, August 19-21, 2011, the 12,000-square-foot exhibit, which has doubled in size since the 2009 Expo, will give fans unprecedented access and insight into more than eight decades of Disney history. 

The expansive exhibit will showcase the crown jewels of the Walt Disney Archives Collection, many of which will be displayed publicly for the first time. The most memorable props, set pieces, photos, costumes and memorabilia from beloved Disney films such as the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Alice in Wonderland, National Treasure, Tron (1982), The Rocketeer, Pinocchio and Who Framed Roger Rabbit will allow fans to enjoy and explore their favorite movies and characters like never before.  In addition, the show floor will feature one-of-a-kind pieces including a 23-foot model of The Black Pearl, used in both Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, the Dharma Initiative Volkswagen van from the ABC television series LOST, and Walt Disney’s limousine.

 “Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives,” located on the second floor of the convention center, will feature numerous special exhibits including: an exhaustive collection of props, costumes and set pieces from ABC’s groundbreaking series LOST; a Mickey Mouse exhibit featuring the original Mickey Mouse doll, Mousegetar, and a retrospective of memorabilia; a House of de Vil exhibit commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the animated film 101 Dalmatians, featuring a Fan Art Gallery as well as costumes and props from the live action film, which is celebrating its 15th Anniversary; and a tribute to Zorro, the first ever episodic television series, featuring the largest collection of costumes and vintage memorabilia ever exhibited. 

“This is truly a one-of-a-kind display that showcases the enormous creativity and imagination of Walt Disney and the artists who have created unforgettable moments in entertainment history,” said Steven Clark, head of D23. “From Mickey Mouse and Walt Disney to Pirates of the Caribbean and Wizards of Waverly Place, the ‘Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives’ will truly be something for Disney fans of all ages.”

The D23 Expo will also feature the Disney Legends Awards – a tradition that pays tribute to the talented men and women who have made indelible contributions to the Disney legacy; the return of the D23 Live Auction, boasting extraordinary rarities and specially designed items for Disney fans; the all-new Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament Presented by Hasbro® TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Disney For All Edition, where Disney fans will match wits to win a cruise on the new Disney Fantasy cruise ship; plus amazing live events, special celebrity appearances, panels and presentations and unique experiences from every corner of Disney – from upcoming feature film and television sneak peeks to what's new and what's next from our theme parks around the world.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First '2011 Production Mark' Sighting!

The 2011 Production Mark has been sighted! The Umbrella production mark made its debut on Friar Tuck ("Bemused Badger") from Robin Hood.

The 2011 Production Mark (pictured at right) is the Umbrella from Walt Disney's live-action classic Mary Poppins (1964).

The Walt Disney Classics Collection features a yearly Production Mark that is incised or imprinted on the bottom of sculptures produced during the calendar year. This mark indicates the calendar year in which the piece was produced.

Update 05-25-11: Friar Tuck is arriving with both production marks, 2010 (Sword and Anvil from The Sword in the Stone) and 2011 (Umbrella). 

The Secondary  Guide has been updated with both markings for those keeping track.

New WDCC Arrivals Arriving at Retailers This Week!

More of the Spring 2011 Releases have begun to arrive at retailers!  Showing up this week are Dr. Facilier from The Princess and The Frog and Friar Tuck from Robin Hood.

Oozing with Southern charm and deceptive promises, magical, mystical Dr. Facilier is the deceitful voodoo man who masks his dark purposes with an underhanded pledge to make dreams come true.

“He’s musical, he’s threatening, he’s tall, he’s lean, he’s thin,” observes supervising animator Bruce Smith of this versatile villain. “He can be very sweet. He’s handsome. He’s graceful. And I think all that stuff is, in very contemporary animation anyway, rare to see in that type of villain.”

Sinister Shadow Man sculpted by Patrick Romandy Simmons is plussed with pewter and a glass bead topping his sinister staff. This shadowy figure is being a honored as a truly classic baddie and is the 2011 release in the scary-but-sought-after Disney Villains Series.

Dr. Facilier is a Numbered Limited Edition (NLE) of 500.

Oo-de-lally golly — what a day for a wedding! Jolly Friar Tuck was starting to think England didn’t have a prayer in the greedy paws of Prince John but now that heroic Robin Hood has triumphed, this ebullient cleric has the last chuckle as brave Robin weds beautiful Maid Marian.

Bemused Badger sculpted by Bruce Lau, joins the previously released Wedding Scene (consisting of Robin Hood, Maid Marian, Skippy the Rabbit and Toby the Turtle) from Robin Hood marking his Walt Disney Classics Collection debut!  Friar Tuck is Limited to Production Year 2011.

Ultimate Disney Trivia Prizes Announced!

D23: The Official Disney Fan Club, Announces Spectacular New Prize For Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament Presented by Hasbro® TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Disney For All Edition

Winning Contestant Gets Free Trip on Disney Cruise Line’s
            Newest Majestic Ship, the Disney Fantasy

BURBANK, Calif. – May 24, 2011 – D23’s Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament Presented by Hasbro® TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Disney For All Edition kicks off the weekend’s activities at this year’s D23 Expo with a full day of mind probing on August 18. Participants will demonstrate their Disney knowledge before hundreds of onlookers in hopes to win the ultimate prize, a coveted cruise vacation on the Disney Fantasy, the newest vessel in the expanding Disney Cruise Line fleet. The nail-biting semifinal and final rounds, held on Stage 23 during the D23 Expo on Friday, August 19, will feature questions directly from the new Hasbro® TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Disney For All Edition which releases this fall just in time for the holiday season.  

Disney Fantasy is set to make its maiden voyage in spring 2012. The spectacular special prize was announced during D23’s Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th event. This new 4,000-passenger cruise liner will boast 14 towering decks, 1,250 staterooms and more than 1,450 cast and crew members. Specially designed with families in mind, the Disney Fantasy will provide entertainment for all ages, with a variety of pools, youth clubs and restaurants. The prize includes accommodations for four, plus air travel. Registration information, as well as additional details on the D23 Expo 2011 and D23’s Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament Presented by Hasbro® TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Disney For All Edition, can be found on the D23 Expo website at www.D23Expo.com.

Fans can join D23 at www.Disney.com/D23, all Disney Store locations within the United States, select shops at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, and www.DisneyStore.com/D23. To keep up with all the latest D23 news and events, follow us “DisneyD23” at Twitter and on Facebook.

Friday, May 20, 2011

D23's The Rocketeer Event at the El Cap's Got Talent!


BURBANK, CA, May 19, 2011 In 1991 when The Rocketeer hit theaters, actor Bill Campbell effortlessly won fans over with his sincere portrayal of the heroic Cliff Secord. In honor of the 20th Anniversary of this Disney film favorite, Campbell will participate in a panel discussion hosted by writer/producer/director and self-proclaimed Rocketeer Kevin Smith.

The panel will occur immediately before an exclusive screening of the film on June 21, 2011 at the legendary El Capitan Theatre, where the film premiered two decades ago, transporting audiences to a golden age of thrills, glamour and, of course, sleek jet packs. Members of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club have an opportunity to secure tickets for themselves before seats are sold to the general public. 

In addition to the rocket man himself, the panel will also feature Academy Award®-winning makeup artist Rick Baker (whose other work for Disney includes Enchanted and Captain EO) the two screenwriters responsible for the acclaimed film, Danny Bilson (GoldenEye: Rogue Agent) and Paul De Meo (James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing), and as a special treat, renowned illustrator William Stout (Pan’s LabyrinthThe Muppet Wizard of Oz) will be on hand, representing his friend Dave Stevens, creator of The Rocketeer comics.* Other talent will be announced in the coming weeks.

Following the movie, guests are invited to tour the Hollywood Museum — located in the nearby historic Max Factor building — and explore the museum’s four floors of exhibits as well as a special exhibition of props and costumes from The Rocketeer, curated exclusively for this event by the Walt Disney Archives.

The Rocketeer follows the adventures of stunt pilot Cliff Secord (Billy Campbell) who discovers a stolen rocket pack and sets off on a series of heroic (and sometimes hilarious) adventures that attract the attention of Howard Hughes, the FBI, gangsters, a band of Nazis and one aspiring actress, namely Cliff’s girlfriend Jenny (Oscar® winner Jennifer Connolly). Directed by Joe Johnston, the film also stars Terry O’Quinn, Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton and Paul Sorvino.  Check out the trailer at:http://d23.disney.go.com/expo/062111.EE.EVENT_Rocketeer.html

Tickets are currently available for D23 Members who have the advantage of being able to reserve their own seats. The general public will be able to purchase remaining General Admission tickets on May 23. Event ticket cost is $50 per person.

D23 Members and their guests will receive a special commemorative Rocketeer gift. All attendees are invited to attend the special Rocketeer exhibit following the film, where there will also be exclusive, limited-edition Rocketeer collectibles available for purchase from D23 and event co-sponsor, Creature Features.

Event check-in begins at 6:45 p.m. at the El Capitan Theatre, 6838 Hollywood Blvd; panel and screening begins at 7:30 p.m. The Walt Disney Archives exhibit will follow the screening from 9:45 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at the Hollywood Museum located at 1660 N. Highland Ave.

*Talent subject to availability.

Members of Disney's official fan club may purchase advance tickets now!
Tickets go on sale to the general public Monday, May 23, 2011.

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

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

This week check out the following:

- All the excitement of Destination D: Walt Disney World 40th, from Disney luminaries to big surprises!

- The Enchanted Tiki Room at Walt Disney World will be reimagined in homage to the original Tropical Serenade 

- More than 550 teams raced around the World in D23's Great Disney Scavenger Hunt: Walt Disney World

- The ultimate "Fantasy" prize for the Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament 

- Brad Paisley, Robbie Williams and Weezer lend their talents to the "Cars 2" soundtrack

- The soundtrack for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" offers unexpected delights

- Fantasmic! lights up Tokyo DisneySea

- Viewer questions … and more!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Downtown Disney Car Masters Weekend!

Downtown Disney Car Masters Weekend is going on this weekend, May 13-15.

Four-time Piston Cup Champion, Lightning McQueen, Mater and British super-spy, Finn McMissile will hit the road to celebrate the release of Disney•Pixar’s Cars 2.  At Downtown Disney Car Masters Weekend, families can hang out with Lightning, Mater and Finn McMissile, plus take part in all sorts of fun “Cars” activities, including a video kiosk, e-photo opportunities and games.

Along with meeting some their favorite characters from “Cars,” families were able to “test drive” and purchase new Cars 2  RIDEMAKERZ models. Always wanted to see what Mater would look like as a 4×4? Mix, match and design your very own unique Cars 2 vehicle.

Families can also throw their love for cars in “reverse” and go back in time to check out dozens of classic cars on display that helped shape the vehicles we drive today or check out the original Cars film, which will play on the big screen all weekend at the AMC Pleasure Island 24 Theatres Complex.

Below are photos taken while there this afternoon.  Click on each image for a larger view. 

Those in attendance were each given a pencil and a choice of a key chain or magnet featuring Lightning McQueen, Mater, Finn McMissile and Holly Shiftwell. A photo pass was given to each person for free photos with each of the cars.

We stopped by D-Street at Downtown Disney® WestSide while at the Cars Masters Weekend to check out the upcoming new Cars 2 set coming this summer that were on display.

They're not for sale as of yet, only on display.  Castmember we spoke to wasn't sure of actual release date and guestimated price to be in the $24.95-$26.95.

Maquettes & Artwork from Cars 2

It's been a perfect weekend to be at Walt Disney World. In addition to D23's Scavenger Hunt and Destination D, it's been a Cars 2 weekend as well. Friend and fellow collector Brent told me about the 4" Cars vinyl display at Villains Vogue in Disney Hollywood Studios, so was cool to finally see in person.

After checking the vinyl display and unable to figure a way to get it home :(, headed to the Animation Gallery to check out the maquettes and artwork (pictured below) from the upcoming Cars 2 film.

Holly Shiftwell


Finn McMissile

Lightning McQueen

Thursday, May 12, 2011

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

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

This week check out the following:

- Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and many more hit the "black carpet" for the "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" premiere at Disneyland

- Oprah surprises her audience with a special "Pirates" screening—and appearance by Johnny Depp! 

- Mary Blair is honored with a glorious exhibit of her work at the Disney Gallery

- Ian McShane's Blackbeard takes over for Davy Jones on the mystical waterfall inside Pirates of the Caribbean 

- Incredible time lapse video of the creation of The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure

- A new book details the extraordinary design and details of the fourth "Pirates" film

- The Star Tours: The Adventures Continue poster is debuted at Disney's Hollywood Studios

- Opening dates for the eateries on Disney California Adventure's Paradise Pier and Goofy's Sky School

- A first look at the new Disney•Pixar short "La Luna"

- Brent Musburger comes to life in "Cars 2" as Brent Mustangburger… and more!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Flower and Garden Festival: World Showcase

Here are some of the amazing topiaries inside World Showcase.  Click on each image for a larger view.


Between France and the UK

Between France and the UK
United Kingdom