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July 2, 2012

D23 Presents: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

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Jeanine Yamanaka and Jason team up for this tour of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the Reagan Library on Saturday, June 30, 2012.

Jeanine here--I also attended, and will be putting in my oar occasionally, between Jason's great photos.

This afternoon we had a great opportunity to preview the upcoming D23 Presents Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives at the Reagan Library.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

For those that do not know, the Reagan Library is located in Simi Valley which is about 45 minutes from Downtown Los Angeles.

Jason got the easy drive this time--anyone coming from the Disneyland area probably has a minimum of a two hour trip each way, assuming you don't hit a lot of traffic.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Once the group had assembled we made our way through the museum entrance and then cut over to the Disney exhibit.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Time to head in. We had just under 2 hours to walk and photograph the exhibit. Which may sound like a lot but in reality it was not. The exhibit covers over 12,000 square feet featuring over 500 items.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Before having free roam a brief introduction. In the center of this picture (sorry for the darkness no flash allowed in this first room) is John Heubusch the executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation.

Photography and video were permitted throughout the exhibit, with a restriction on flash photography in the first gallery.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Steven Clark the Head of D23 was also on hand to welcome us.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

I thought it was appropriate to start at the beginning. Here is Walt's birth certificate.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Skipping ahead to Walt's Laugh O Gram Business.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

A look at Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

A couple of telegrams about Oswald.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

So here's one of mine, showing the end of the telegraph and Walt's reply. What I love about this exchange is that a) you can totally see what a jerk Mintz is, and the foreshadowing of his grab for Walt's business, and b) how reasonable Walt is trying to be, up to the end, where he clearly can't take any more of Mintz's lame suggestions, and just says "forget the monocle."

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The next case had the animation script for Steamboat Willie.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Drawings by Ub Iwerks, typing by Walt Disney.

As well as some Brave Little Tailor sketches.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The next room featured an animators desk.

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How is this for a collection of books.. these are the restored handmade books from the opening shots of Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Across the way a wall featuring the famous drawing of Disneyland.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

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So I can't even tell you how much I love this map. It is unbelievably detailed and huge and gorgeous, and you can't even imagine that Herb Ryman drew this thing in a weekend. If you look closely at it, you can see tiny ducklings wandering around in the Jungle Cruise, and boys rolling hoops down Main Street.

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I'm not saying contemporary concept art is bad, but as the farmer said to the chickens, when he showed them the ostrich egg, "you can see what kind of work is being done elsewhere."

Walt's Formal Office has been recreated. This time to the exact dimensions and arrangements (unlike the version we saw at Disneyland for years).

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Here's a link to a panorama I took as well.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives
The original Model T from the Absent Minded Professor.
Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

One of my favorite galleries was right after this--the "Magic Room." It had an abundance of props and memorabilia from The Shaggy Dog and Bedknobs and Broomsticks, including a prop portrait thought to be done by Herb Ryman, and Tommy Kirk's magical ring of the Borgias!

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Might there be a hidden but familiar item in Emelius Browne's display? You'll have to go to find out.

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Babes in Toyland

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


After this first set of rooms upstairs you head down stairs and into an expanded area that was constructed just for this exhibit. They actually cut a whole in the wall of the library to build this extension that sits in a tent structure.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

In this axillary area, are most of the larger set pieces, from mostly contemporary properties.
Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

To the right, 101 Dalmatians costumes and props.

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Next a series of cases with the costumes worn in the Annie Leibovitz pictures.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


This Tinkerbell worn by Tina Fey.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

And Peter Pan by Mikhail Baryshnikov

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

A large gallery includes a number of costumes from a variety of recent movie/TV/theater productions.

The other side had some Enchanted costumes, and one from the Fairy Godmother in the 1997 ABC TV movie worn by Whitney Houston.

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Moving on some Marquettes used for Alice in Wonderland.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Around the corner props and costumes from the film.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


Next up Tron.. this is from Tron Legacy.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Thought this was interesting... not from the film but from DCA...

Both the lightcycle and the big lit "FLYNN" sign are from the lately departed ElecTRONica event there.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


Some of the original Tron costumes from the 1982 film.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Next up the Avengers.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

These would probably have held more significance for us, except that Jason and I are probably the last two people in America who have not yet seen the Avengers...

The next area has some Theme Park items..

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This was apparently the start of the area themed to "things from the Island of Downsized Attractions."

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Thought this was an interesting corner.. the dragon head from Fantasmic, Mickey from the Mickey Mouse Revue and in the background a Country Bears poster.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


From the original Golden Horseshoe show and the Country Bears at Disneyland.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

One of Slue Foot Sue's original costumes.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


Next up a Haunted Mansion display featuring mostly items from Walt Disney World.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


The tombstones chosen for display are the ones for Yale Gracey, X. Atencio, and Marc Davis.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The center area was for Pirates.. starting where it all began with the attraction.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives


Then moving quickly into the film.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

This rounds out the lower level.. time to head back upstairs.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The next room was basically a small tribute to the second Golden Age of Animation for the Disney Company, focusing on the Ashman/Menken films and Pixar.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives
Next up a room with National Treasure items.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The National Treasure room, with its faux-Presidential connections, then leads us into...

This takes us to the last display room of the exhibit. On the left hand side busts of all the presidents from the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World (first time all have been on display together)

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Amazing to think that Blaine Gibson sculpted everyone one of these, except that of President Obama, who came along after he retired.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The other side of the room features mostly items from the Reagan Library collections.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The walls had letters from presidents to Disney and photographs of presidents at Disneyland/WDW and other Disney interactions.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The ear hat has "Mr. President" embroidered on the back, and was a gift to Reagan from Disney. Replicas are sold in the gift store.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

A particularly adorable letter from Amy Carter on her favorite character. I suspect she got her picture.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

The one piece of EPCOT memorabilia present. We have to assume the rest of it's getting boxed up to go for EPCOT 30.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

Moving on to the last room.
It featured this display of the Team Disney Building (the Eisner building) in Burbank and featured another video that I did not have time to watch.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

I made an extremely quick pass through the gift shop. Some pins for all you collectors. The gift shop had a decent crowd and we did not have time to browse/photograph items.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

I actually found the shop before our exhibit time started, so I got a few photos then.

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Mainly Archive items, with mostly pins, shirts, and a catalog specific to the exhibit.

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They also had a plethora of copies of Dave Smith's new book Disney Trivia from the Vault, and Bob Gurr's Design: Just for Fun on hand, for the D23 signing later that evening.

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Our time in the Disney exhibit was up, it was 4:30 and time for the D23 Members event, so we exited.

On my way out, I ran into Steven Clark and Becky Cline, whose hard work with D23 and the Archives has made this impressive exhibit a reality.

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Did a quick tour of Air Force One before 5:00pm and closing. For more pictures of the museum and Air Force One. visit my site..

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

One last picture on the way out. Here you can sort of make out the tent structure that was added and the stairs leading to it for the Disney exhibit.

Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives

So ultimately, should you go? Granted, the drive from the Disneyland area is long and occasionally painful, it's a great exhibit filled with many items never seen before. Having said that, a lot of it did seem somewhat familiar--the first room, detailing Walt's early life and career was very similar to galleries you could find in the Walt Disney Family Museum. Some of the Oswald-specific items were recently displayed at the E3 convention. A few of the costumes and props have been shown at the D23 Expos and on the Disney Studios Tours.

If, however, you didn't/don't have a lot of time and opportunity to attend all these different events, then this is definitely your best bet to see a comprehensive collection of artifacts spanning the length of the Walt Disney Company's existence. I think if you were determined to read everything and watch all the videos, it would probably take you a good 3-4 hours to do it all. There is also an audio tour available as well, although no one I spoke with had listened to it, or knew how long it went (estimates were for 45 minutes.) Although I didn't have an opportunity to check out the rest of the Reagan Museum, it seems as though that could easily take up another few hours to fill out a day trip there.

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Frankly, I think Disney is missing out if they do not produce some sort of a shuttle between Disneyland and the exhibit at least for the Destination D weekend--I'm sure this would be of interest to a great many attendants who might not have the means or the motor to get there.

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The exhibit D23 Presents: Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives will open to the public July 6, 2012, at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley, CA 93065. Tickets, which include regular admission to the rest of the Reagan Library can be purchased online at www.ReaganLibrary.com/Tickets or at the box office. General admission is $21, with discounts for seniors, youth/children, and military. The exhibit will run there until April 2013.


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

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This is my country! Land of my birth!
This is my country! Grandest on earth!

It is amazing to think that over half of the year has passed by, and we've already seen the launching of a new cruise ship, the opening of a new resort, the 20th anniversary of one Disney park, and the rebirth of another.

What difference if I hail from North or South
Or from the East or West?

With so much more to come for the rest of the year, it's fitting, perhaps, to take a day to reflect on exactly how fortunate so many of us are, to be able to be at this place, in this time; in a country that, although it certainly has its plethora of problems, was founded on principles of freedom and equality--principles I feel sure were intended to be extended to all, regardless of wealth, or color, or location, or inclination.

Tomorrow, we can continue to fight and argue about all the socioeconomic tragedies that are as much a part of America as its victories. For today? Happy Independence Day.

This is my country! Land of my choice!
This is my country! Hear my proud voice!
I pledge thee my allegiance, America, the bold,
For this is my country! To have and to hold.

[This, and many more great Disneyland videos by Fantasmiceddie24 can be found on YouTube.]

July 16, 2012

Disney Gallery Presents - Crowning Achievements - Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos of the exhibit in the Disney Gallery, which opened June 30.

The Disney Gallery on Main Street is hosting an exhibit entitled Crowning Achievements - Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms


A quick look through the gift store area. These are in the vault.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms
Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms


The first gallery features original artwork for the exhibit that is for sale, both originals and recreations.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Moving on to the second/larger room of the gallery.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Front and center is a model of the castle in Paris.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

A closer look:

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Now a trip around the gallery. Starting on the first wall on the left when you enter. It features what is inside the castles.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

First up a look at Sleeping Beauty Castle Walk-Through at Disneyland. This piece was done by Eyvind Earle.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Each picture has a description. To include more pictures I am not going to post all the descriptions. If you want to read one just let me know and I can post or send it to you.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

The Interior Mosaic at WDW's Magic Kingdom. This was done by Dorothea Redmond.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

King Stefan's Banquet Hall at WDW by Dorothea Redmond.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

The Castle Suite at WDW - Karen Armitage

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

The interior of Le Chateau de la Belle a Bois Dormant at Disneyland Paris - by Bryan Jowers

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

The display even featured upcoming concept art. Here is the Enchanted Storybook Castle for Shanghai Disneyland by Anatasia Pavlova.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

A Tapestry Design from Disneyland Paris by Robert Rowe and Kim Irvine.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Castle Mystery Tour poster from Tokyo Disneyland - John Drury

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

The Castle Mystery Tour from Tokyo - G. Jalander

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms


The next section features the long shots of the castles.

Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom - Herb Ryman

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Sleeping Beauty Castle in Hong Kong Disneyland - Christopher Smith

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland - Herb Ryman.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

A wide shot of the back wall. It features the long view of the castles.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Le Chateau de la Belle a Bois Dormant - Disneyland Paris - Frank Armitage

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Cinderella Castle - Tokyo - Erik Van Der Palen

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Triton's Castle Mermaid Lagoon - Tokyo DisneySea - Suzanne Braniff-Rattigan

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Moving on, the next section features Blue Sky Concepts.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Castle Concept for Disneyland Paris by Tim Delaney

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Castle Concept by John Horny

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms


Hong Kong Disneyland concept by Karen Armitage

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Hong Kong Disneyland concept by Ahmed Jafari

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Beast Castle for the Be Our Guest Restaurant in the new Fantasyland at WDW - Christopher Smith

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

The last section features some Castle Celebrations, or more appropriately a look at Disneyland's 50th since they are all from that event.

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Cinderella Castle at WDW for Disneyland's 50th by Alex Wright

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Disneyland for the 50th by Christopher Smith

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms

Disneyland for the 50th - Greg Pro

Creating Castles from Magical Kingdoms



Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disney Gallery. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



July 21, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trips to the parks on Tuesday, July 3, 2012 and Saturday, July 12, 2012.

Let's begin at Disney California Adventure!

A new Buena Vista Bugle is out this month.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12


There were a lot of guests moving around but it did not feel over crowded.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Only the Ice Cream Cone had a long wait this comfortable afternoon (highs were in the mid 70s)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

The flavors at the PopCone stand.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12


At Elias & Co was the Music of Cars Land CD.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

The front cover

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Next stop Disneyland. Main Street was not too busy this mid-afternoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

The All American College Band performing their 2:30 set in front of the Castle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

A check in on the Plaza Gardens status.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Things seem to be moving slowly.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Time for the Billies over in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Saw Goofy coloring for a while.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Aladdin's Oasis is now open during the day. It provides some extra seating as well as a place for a Meet and Greet with Jasmine and Aladdin.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

The College Band performs a set at 3:25pm at the Hollywood Backlot Theater in Disney California Adventure. It was not listed on any of the park schedules and not really promoted. I found out the time by asking a tech who was setting up earlier when I walked by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

A video clip from their performance.


I still need to go for a ride on the Red Car Trolley. Seems every time they are running so am I to somewhere else then when I have free time they are not running...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Time for the Voices of Liberty. They perform a brief song outside then head into the main theater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12


They sang a different set of songs this time around. Here is a clip from one.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12


They did an armed forces medley then concluded with the Star Spangled Banner. Here is a video of the medley.


The Dapper Dans were decked out for the 4th of July.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12


In Downtown Disney there is not much visible progress on the Earl of Sandwich shop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

A look into the candy store window..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12


Back to DCA to watch the neon turning on in Radiator Springs, then stuck around and saw some of DJ's Dance and Drive.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Found a spot for World of Color. Cast Members going around selling Glow with the Show Ears. Not that many takers though. Wonder if regular guests do not know about them or if the price point is too high for them?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

World of Color had a 4th of July preshow running from July 1-4 again this year. (It appeared to be the same as last year. If you're curious I have the video clip posted on Youtube and also embedded in a blog posting: http://blog.disneygeek.com/2012/07/04/disneyland-resort-4th-of-july-shows/ )


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12


There was a full moon that evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Here are some photos from a visit to DCA on Saturday, July 14. We had a couple of first-timers with us (one of whom was celebrating his birthday), and since he wanted more than anything to ride Radiator Springs Racers we braved the two hour wait.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Looking back at the entrance sign from the queue.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

The spring was not running today...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

One of the many great vistas from the queue.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

I do not think this was the original intent of this planter/area. It has turned into a kids' play/waiting area as well as a location for the vendors to hawk their treats.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Guests had managed to move some of the rocks that covered the lights. One group was actually picking one up for pictures. Amazing what people will do.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

We eventually made it onto the attraction and rejoined those who did not about 3 hours after leaving them. After dinner it was back to Cars Land to catch the lights coming on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

The cone souvenir cups are back in stock and sales were brisk.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

Decided to go for a spin on Maters since it was a posted 15 minute wait. Notice the hidden Mickey.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

A closer look.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12

The Bugs Theater blends in fairly well in the background.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 7/03/12


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



July 27, 2012

San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Now With Even More People, Part I.

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Another year's Comic-Con has come and gone, and if there was one overwhelming impression I got out of it, it was "Good Heavens, There's A Lot of People Here!"

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This is all one line. And not even all of the one line. And the room was already partially full from people who sat through the panel before this one. And those people had probably spent the night before sleeping out on the sidewalks in line to assure themselves of a seat.

In the Exhibition Hall, most of the major studios were represented by huge elaborate booths, and Disney was no exception this year.

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Although the Disney Studios had their own panel, their flashiest property was clearly Marvel. Through some annoying scheduling, it was impossible to see both the panel and the press conference, so I opted for the one that didn't require camping out overnight.

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Attended by Marvel president Kevin Feige, director Shane Black, Don Cheadle, and Robert Downey, Jr., the press panel mostly answered questions pertaining to the upcoming "Iron Man 3" film, which they said would concentrate on the relationships the various characters have with each other, in addition to exploring Tony Stark's limitations in a post-Avengers world.

While I wasn't there, Marvel Studios released some B-Roll footage of various parts of the general panel, including this one of Downey entering the cavernous Hall H.

(Those of us who saw him at the last D23 Expo Studios presentation probably remember that he seems very fond of going immediately to tape once appearing on stage.)

The Walt Disney Studios had their own press event, showcasing three upcoming movies.

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"Frankenweenie" was up first, with a panel including Executive Producer Don Hahn, Director Tim Burton, and voice talent Atticus Shaffer. Among other things, Hahn noted that this is the first black and white stop motion film ever. When asked about the state of current superhero movies, Burton commented that when he did his first one, he was told it was "too, too dark. Now it looks like Batman on Ice." Both felt that stop motion is a lost art, but is one of the purest forms where you can really see the hand of the artist in the medium.

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Next up was "Oz the Great and Powerful," with Director Sam Raimi, Actresses Mila Kunis and Michelle Williams, and Producer Joe Roth. Speaking generally about the movie, Raimi described it as a straightforward family/Disney movie, showing how some people can be "sinners and hurt people," and then realize that the things they do in the world have consequences and ultimately grow into the best person they can be. Roth commented that the film is a prequel to the famous musical film, and that none of them would want to simply do a remake (Raimi also said that they did not have the legal rights to use the original Emerald City or ruby slippers in any case.)

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The third film on their docket was the highly-anticipated "Wreck-It Ralph" with voice talent John C. Reilly and Sarah Silverman, Producer Clark Spencer, and Director Rich Moore. This panel, largely because of the talent involved, was more humorous and a good deal more profane than the previous ones. When asked about violence, Moore stated that although there was a lot of violence, as would be obligatory when portraying shooter video games, it was never gratuitous or gory--they made an effort to represent each genre while still being a family film. A question about how they developed the voices for their characters was answered by Silverman as being more of a process that was influenced by everyone's contributions. "That's why when Disney movies come out, they're [expletive] masterpieces!"

One question they were surprised to be asked repeatedly through their press junket was whether they had any difficulty getting the rights to use the different video game characters. "If you made Frogger," Reilly replied, "a game no one plays anymore--is it really a difficult negotiation to say 'yes,' he could be in a movie?"

Finally, the question of whether people would necessarily need to be familiar with the video games in order to understand the movie was asked--Moore replied that the story was made emotional and the characters relatable without any connection to games, as he laid out a traditional story before laying on an accoutrement of video games. Spencer maintained that the relationship of Ralph and Penelope is the core of the movie, and Reilly commented that the main characters are made up and explained as they go along, so you don't need to know anything else. Silverman: "These are just avatars to tell a story as old as time."

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Next Time: Tron Uprising, and Epic Mickey II.

July 28, 2012

San Diego Comic-Con 2012: Now With Even More People, Part 2.

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So another panel I attended was on TRON: Uprising--the new animated series based on the popular Tron universe.

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Taking place temporally between the original TRON film and the recent TRON: Legacy, the show promises to fill in the events that led up to the changed situation Sam finds on the Grid, and the metamorphosis of Tron himself.

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The panel was moderated by Variety Film Editor Josh Dickey, and included Creator Charlie Bean, Producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz, voice actors Elijah Wood (Beck), Bruce Boxleitner (Tron), Tricia Helfer (The Grid), Art Designer Alberto Nielgo and Lead Character Designer Rob Valley.

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They answered some brief questions about how they liked the TRON movies and came up with the new voices for the series, and then showed clips from an upcoming episode hinting at the eventual corruption of Tron. When asked if Wood's new character would be added to the film series, they could only say that a sequel to TRON: Legacy is currently in the works.

Subsequently, they raffled off some signed light discs, which Boxleitner threatened to send by...direct methods.

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TRON: Uprising plays on the Disney XD channel.

Finally, the last big Disney property I saw being represented was the highly anticipated "Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two" video game.

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[I actually already covered some of the game information/mechanics as was displayed at the E3 Conference earlier this year: My E3 Blog.]

Representing Disney and Junction Point (the game development company headed by Warren Spector and now part of Disney Interactive Studios,) were DC and Marvel comic book writer Marv Wolfman, game designer Warren Spector, Director of the Walt Disney Archives Becky Cline, and veteran comic book writer Peter David.

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As the panel began, all the members were presented with their very own embroidered Oswald ears, which they wore with varying degrees of pride and chagrin.

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They started off by showing their opening video, setting up the game and showing off some of its immediate differences from Epic Mickey 1. (ALL TALKING! ALL SINGING!)

Some of the introduced themes: Does everyone (the Mad Doctor) have the possibility of redemption? Or is some evil too profound to be redeemed?

Choices in the game also have a bigger impact as changes you make to the game environment, constructive (paint) or destructive (thinner,) have persistence and long-ranging consequences for the course of your story. They estimate the game may take something like 10-15 hours to complete (or half a year, if you're as bad at platforming as I am,) but that you have to play it three times to see everything.

Cline went over the story of Walt Disney losing Oswald to his distributor, Charles Muntz, as depicted online in Prominent Oswaldologist Morgan Ditta's video "Oswald's Story."

There was, of course, a happy ending 80 years later, in real life, as Bob Iger traded sportscaster Al Michaels to NBC for the rights to Oswald. Peter David: "So you're saying we almost sat here wearing Al Michaels ears?!"

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Wolfman spoke briefly about how amazing he found it, being the person to write Oswald's first spoken dialogue in 80 years. "...I don't know how a mouse and a rabbit are brothers..." Spector interjected "...and he has a cat girlfriend!" "...but you accept it, because they also wear pants."

David then described the graphic novel he's writing which tells a number of tales about the Wasteland and Oswald, and which should be out around the same time as the game (November 18.)

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There will also be a Nintendo 3DS version of the game with an entirely different narrative, and numerous 16-bit gaming tributes, including references to "Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse"

They ended by emphasizing that they've tried to follow John Lasseter's advice to them, to make games for everyone, as Pixar strives to make movies for everyone. Spector also remarked that virtually everything in the game is inspired or references something real from Disney history, and that he's waiting for a fan to make a definitive list for them, because they don't have one.


July 30, 2012

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

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There's no particular rhyme or reason to this blog...it's just a collection of things that have occurred to me, or that I thought some people might not be aware of, that I wanted to share.

Did you know that there are now four different places to get ice cream in Disney California Adventure? Paradise Pier Ice Cream Co (the former Catch a Flave), the Ice Cream Cone at Sally's Cozy Cones, Clarabelle's Hand-Scooped Ice Cream on Buena Vista Street, and Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop in the Pacific Wharf.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

I love the hot fudge sundaes at Ghirardelli, but my new favorite ice cream treat is the Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bars from Clarabelle's. (In About.com's recent poll of Disney travel journalists I ranked it my #1 snack.) First you choose your ice cream bar: vanilla, chocolate or mixed berry sorbet. Then you choose your chocolate: dark or milk. And then you choose your topping: chocolate chips, confetti Mickeys, blue raspberry bursts, rainbow sprinkles or all of above. No surprise to anyone who knows me, I'm sure, but I am a chocolate/dark/chocolate chip girl.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

If you haven't seen it, check out one of the Instant Concert - Just Add Water shows. It's a daytime water show where Maestro Goofy conducts the World of Color fountains which have been choreographed to various musical selections. It's Goofy, so sometimes things get a little out of hand...There are three different shows, each taking place twice a day. They are only about 5 minutes long. Check the daily Times Guide for show times.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

Oh, and speaking of the Times Guide...Disneyland and DCA used to share one Times Guide, with DCA events on one side and Disneyland on the other. This summer, there are so many things going on that each park has its own individual fold-out four page Times Guide! These give a much better overview of the entertainment offerings than the old guide had space for.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

Be sure to check out the new exhibit in the Blue Sky Cellar: The Radiator Springs Historical Society's Museum of the History of Radiator Springs. In the screening room they are showing a really fun Pixar short: Time Travel Mater. It tells the story of the founding of Radiator Springs - which also explains a lot of the artifacts that are in the Radiator Springs Racers queue. This one really makes me smile.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

Throughout the day you'll find the Citizens of Buena Vista Street out and about. There's Disney characters in period attire (Zoot Suit Goofy, Newsboy Mickey), and there's the other citizens, like Officer Blue, Donna the Dog Lady, Molly the Messenger and Fifi the Photographer. It's interesting to see these characters interact with the shows on Buena Vista Street - Goofy joins Five & Dime for a dance number, and Mickey and Molly are part of the Red Car News Boys show.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure
Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

A new entertainment offering this summer, and one that I think has been overlooked by parents with pre-teens, is Dancin' With Disney. It takes place during the day in Stage 17 in the Hollywood Land area of DCA. (By the way, the area formerly known as the Hollywood Pictures Backlot is now Hollywood Land.) While a DJ hosts the event and spins the tunes there are anywhere from 6-8 Disney characters on the dance floor at a time, dancing with any kids (or adults) who want to come out and join them. It's a great opportunity for the kids to get some up close time with the characters. There are at least two different sets - one featuring Disney villains like Captain Hook and Cruella de Vil, and another with some of the Disney "girls", such as Lilo, Daisy, Cinderella's stepsisters, Clarabelle Cow and Clarice the chipmunk. On a warm day it's a nice air-conditioned space to take a break. There's not a lot of seating, but there are some benches around the perimeter of the room.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

Each night around dusk there's a moment when the neon lights in Cars Land come on. It's really worth taking the time to see it. The song "Sh-boom" plays in the background as the lights come on - starting at the end of the street by the courthouse and moving down to the entrance to Cars Land. I don't think there's a spot that's going to give you an unobstructed view of all the lights, so there's many places to position yourself. If you're at Cross Street you'll be able to see in all four directions - there's a lot of neon on Flo's V8 Cafe. But I like watching from around Sarge's Surplus, and watching the neon lights move up and come closer to me.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

There are some strange critters wandering around the Mad T Party in the evenings. There's these crazy guys riding pink flamingos who get up close with the guests.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

And a few times a night they bring the "Who Are You" character out on stage. This colorful "human slinky" performs some very interesting moves.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

How about you? Any things that you've noticed at Disney California Adventure that you'd like to share with your fellow readers? Please submit your comments using the comment link below.

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About July 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in July 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

June 2012 is the previous archive.

August 2012 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.