Enjoy an acapella remix of Disney’s best songs


Courtesy of Resound. Read the rest

Crowdfunding a documentary about Haunted Mansion fandom


Documentary maker James H. Carter II is seeking about $4,000 to complete work on "Foolish Mortals," a documentary about Haunted Mansion fandom that includes a detailed 3D model of the Disneyland Mansion for you to VR in (or whatever!). Read the rest

Watch two hands become Kaa from The Jungle Book


Musician and comedian Mike Phirman performs “Trust In Me” from The Jungle Book using only his hands to create Kaa. Here’s the original for comparison:

[via Laughing Squid] Read the rest

Disney thought it would be a great idea to sell a brown, tattooed, full-body Polynesian skin suit


For just $44.95, you too could have worn the beautiful brown tattooed skin of a Polynesian demigod. Too late! Disney's snapped out of it, nudged by a complaint or two.

Disney said it regretted any offence. "The team behind Moana has taken great care to respect the cultures of the Pacific Islands that inspired the film, and we regret that the Maui costume has offended some," it said in a statement.

tl;dr: We were sure they'd love it!

A sad reminder that Disney's marketing machine is the bad place its good ideas go to die.

The film, due for release in November, tells the story of Moana, a young girl who teams up with the demi-god Maui to make an ocean voyage and save her people.

The character of Moana has been widely welcomed because she is feisty, independent and with a more realistic body shape than most Disney female leads.

She also has no love interest in the story, which was written by New Zealand Maori film-maker Taika Waititi.

What's fascinating about all this is how much effort is put into making something better, only for it to be unraveled by clueless assumptions and mistakes.

The stereotypically obese depiction of Maui had already raised hackles, but it seemed most of those concerned by it were willing to wait and see.

Selling ethnic skinsuits to children, though, suggests an astronomical stupidity quotient among those selling this flick. Where will it manifest next? My bet: in the form of a contemptuous, sighing remark from someone at Disney who obviously just doesn't give a damn about the movie as anything other than a Franchise Inception Unit. Read the rest

To do in San Francisco: Oct 15 panel on the creation of the Haunted Mansion


The storied Walt Disney Family Museum hosts Imagineer Kim Irvine, former Disney lead Twitter writer Ed Squair, and Winchester Mystery House manager Walter Magnuson in a panel on Oct 15, discussing the origins of the Disneyland Haunted Mansion, a subject near and dear to my heart. Read the rest

9/11 called for big changes in Disney's Lilo & Stitch


2002's feel good Lilo & Stitch, a movie about humans getting along with aliens was originally intended to end with a madcap 747 hijacking and chase scene through a hi-rise filled city. This video shows both versions.

Via HuffPo:

The animated hit features Hawaii’s beautiful scenery and explores themes of loss and unity ― which particularly resonated after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

But Disney made one major change to the film between the 9/11 attacks and the film’s release date.

“Lilo & Stitch” originally was supposed to end with an action-packed scene featuring Stitch and Jumba hijacking a commercial airplane to rescue Lilo from evil Gantu ― something that’s visible in a side-by-side video produced by Vox. The protagonists take over a passenger-filled Boeing 747 and go on a high-speed chase through a dense city, brushing the sides of skyscrapers and coming close to pedestrians on the ground.

Read the rest

The Cat from Outer Space

Movie trailer for The Cat from Outer Space (1978), directed by Norman Tokar and starring Ken Berry, Sandy Duncan, Harry Morgan, and Roddy McDowall. I predict a remake in 3... 2... 1....

If you're, er, curious, you can watch it on Amazon Video: The Cat from Outer Space

Read the rest

Original tombstones return to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion


John Frost writes, "With the return of this year's Haunted Mansion Holiday, Disneyland has also returned recreations of the original tombstones the rides original Imagineers left as tributes to themselves. I'm very happy because one of the 13 'family plots' includes the long-missing tribute to my grandfather - Vic Greene." Read the rest

Haunted Mansion tiki mugs!


They're on sale at Trader Sam's at the Disneyland Hotel for $30, limit 2 per customer. (Excited about this, but Trader Sam's needed another reason for crazy, badly managed queues like it needed a hole in its draught beer pressure system). (Thanks, Cecil!) Read the rest

The incredible true story of the Epcot Horizons superfans who ruled the ride


In 1995, after a year-long closure, Disney re-opened Horizons, the GE-sponsored original Epcot ride devoted to showcasing different ideas about the future, a kind of heir to the Futurama at the 1939 New York World's Fair; fearing the ride was likely to be shuttered soon, two Epcot superfans began covertly exploring and documenting the ride, figuring out its ways and means until they learned how to penetrate it and hide from Disney employees while sneaking in their friends and having little celebrations. Read the rest

What's inside a Tiki Bird?

Tiki Bird moveable wings

Kevin Kidney owns a couple of audio-animatronic birds from the Enchanted Tiki Room, the first Disney showcase for robotic animals, still running and glorious today -- he's decided to make them good as new, and is documenting his process. Read the rest

The story of the story of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion


The LA Times investigates the many, fragmentary, much-revised storyline of the Haunted Mansion, the greatest ride that Disney ever built (though Walt himself had to die before the constraints he imposed on the ride could be set aside and the ride finished). Read the rest

Why DC should put Batman and Superman in the public domain


Alex Schmidt of Cracked makes a passionate (and hilarious) argument for DC putting Superman and Batman into the public domain, pointing out that comics companiesmake a hell of a lot of money on public domain characters from Sherlock Holmes and Thor. Read the rest

Cool Haunted Mansion Umbrella Will Make You Smile On a Rainy Day

Haunted Mansion Umbrella Exterior

You walk into Disney’s Haunted Mansion, and whether you’re in Orlando, Anaheim, or Tokyo, after the foyer you enter a place known as The Stretching Room. The Ghost Host intones, “Our tour begins here in this gallery where you see paintings of some of our guests as they appeared in their corruptible, mortal state. Your cadaverous pallor betrays an aura of foreboding, almost as though you sense a disquieting metamorphosis. Is this haunted room actually stretching? Or is it your imagination, hmmm? And consider this dismaying observation: This chamber has no windows and no doors, which offers you this chilling challenge: to find a way out!”

And the room stretches, growing many many feet taller, the four paintings on the wall (by Imagineer Marc Davis) also stretch, revealing that the seemingly innocent pictures are actually much more devious and reveal peril at every turn for those portrayed in them.

If you’re a Haunted Mansion fan then you know all this backward and forward. But how would you like to carry The Stretching Room around on a rainy day to cheer you up with a fancy new Stretching Room Umbrella? The price is $34.99 with a money back guarantee. The seller gives the details:

Stretching Room Umbrella. Imagine you are in the Haunted Mansion every time you open your umbrella

Made from 100% polyester pongee waterproof fabric.

Image imprinted using heat sublimation technique to prevent discoloring.

Opens up to 41" span.

Can be reduced to a collapsed height of 9"

8 ribs made from strong fiber for extra support.

Read the rest

Teen comes out to her family on Disneyland's Splash Mountain


Gina is 16 and gay, something she was sure her folks would be cool with, so she told them in the best way possible: by holding up a sign at a strategic moment on the family's plunge down Disneyland's Splash Mountain. She's hoping others will do the same. Read the rest

Lego's doing a 4,080-piece, $350 Cinderella's castle

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No release date as yet! (Thanks, Sal!) Read the rest

Grandad builds miniature backyard Disneyland


Steve Dobbs grew up near the present-day site of Disneyland and was profoundly influenced by watching the park get built while he zipped by on his bike; today the reitred aerospace engineer has built a charming miniature Disney-inspired theme-park in his backyard in Fullerton, CA. Read the rest

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