Disney's Hall of Presidents show reportedly rolled back so Trumpbot won't get a speaking role

For decades, new US presidents were welcomed to Walt Disney World's Hall of Presidents with a robot carved in their honor, and which would deliver a short, recorded speech voiced by the incoming POTUS himself -- but the idea of a talking Trumpbot is so repugnant that the entire show is reportedly being rolled back to an earlier version (nominally to shorten it), eliminating the speaking roles of everyone except Lincolnbot and Washingtonbot. Read the rest

Make a quick, cool crystal ball out of a smartphone and a goldfish bowl

Get your phone to loop Madame Leota (or your favorite spooky fortune teller), stick it in a goldfish bowl with strategic black cloth covering everything except the video, and plonk the whole thing on a candle-holder: viola! (via Gameraboy) Read the rest

Easter Magic at the Tokyo Disney Resort

My friend Yasuo Amano, whose themed magic I've posted here before, visited The Tokyo Disney Resort for two days and sampled their seasonal Easter events. If you've only been to a Disney park in the United States, the incredible theming they do at the two parks in Tokyo will blow you away. There are Easter decorations everywhere at Tokyo Disneyland, a full Easter parade at Tokyo Disneyland and a special show at Tokyo DisneySea, hundreds of pieces of Easter merchandise, and even special food for the event. 

Amano not only shot a great montage of the Easter festivities (which continue for three months), but he also created some special Easter-themed magic and incorporated it into his visit.

Above, an official video showing the Easter celebrations at the parks. Below is Amano's video of his personal visit and Easter-themed magic tricks.

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How Disney uses language in its music

The Sideways YouTube channel digs into the many different ways Disney has used foreign languages in its animated musical movies over the years. Read the rest

Colonel Nedley Lostmore, Doctor of Jungle Medicine

Hidden inside a bazaar, off the beaten track, in an adventurous land far from civilization, where the paths are thick with dense vegetation and an ancient temple can be seen in the distance, one can meet the self-proclaimed “Doctor of Jungle Medicine,” Colonel Nedley Lostmore.

He has, in fact, lost more than most of us since all that remains is his head … his shrunken head. Despite this seemingly insurmountable dilemma, the good doctor (known to the natives as “Shrunken Ned”) dispenses medical advice for up to 16 hours a day depending on his mood and the season.

It’s not free, though, and he’s quite up front about that—until you part with two bits he won’t even look at you.

To see the wooden contraption that is Shrunken Ned, you’d think it was built in the late 1950s or early 60s, and has been at Disneyland for most of the park’s existence. But while one group of The Walt Disney Company’s Imagineers were busy developing the most sophisticated ride in the history of the park, “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye,” another group designed a retro coin-op machine that, like so many of its fortune-telling ancestors, dispenses a card of wisdom (of a sort) at the end. He’s been the sole medical practitioner in this corner of the jungle since 1995.

So, while Colonel Nedley Lostmore has only occupied his little spot in the South Sea Traders shop for 22 years, it seems like he’s always been there. Read the rest

The Haunted Mansion Ghost Post wins a Themed Entertainment Award!

When I wrote about the Haunted Mansion loot crates ("Ghost Post") last March, what I couldn't say was that I was a writer on the project, penning the radio scripts, newspapers, letters, and associated gubbins and scraps that went along with the three boxes of custom-made props and merch, tying them together into a series of puzzles that the boxes' 999 owners solved together over the internet. Read the rest

Disney is mooting an overnight Star Wars LARP resort

Disney is contemplating opening a luxury Star Wars themed resort next to the Hollywood Studios park at Disney World, which could feature multi-day live-action role-playing games that run overnight, with guests staying all night in the park to interact with costumed characters and automated elements (droids, etc) to game out scenarios. Read the rest

New Disney World dress shop is perfect for Disney-bounding

Since adults aren’t allowed to wear costumes in Disney World, adult Disney fans have created something called “Disney bounding.” It’s where you dress up in clothes that invoke a certain Disney character without being a full-on costume. And now Disney itself is getting in on the action with a new Disney World store called The Dress Shop that sells Disney-inspired dresses and accessories. The dresses would also be perfect for “Dapper Day,” an annual Disney World event in which people dress up in retro outfits. Right now the dresses are only available in-store. Here’s a vlog from someone who visited the shop:

You can read more about The Dress Shop on Bustle. Read the rest

Map of favorite Disney princesses by US state

What political insights can we glean from this map of favorite Disney princesses in each US State?

From Decluttr:

In second place is Pocahontas, one of the few American Disney princesses. She topped searches in 7 states, including the state Pocahontas is set in, Virginia.The most popular princess overall is Elsa from Frozen, who topped searches in 8 states. That’s no real surprise considering how popular Frozen is!

Interestingly, geography seems to play a part in which princess a state prefers. For example, Sleeping Beauty is super popular in the Midwest, while ‘cold’ princesses like Elsa and Snow White are popular in sunshine states like California, Nevada and Texas. Maybe watching them helps people cool down during a heatwave!

Beauty and The Beast’s Belle is the most popular princess in six states, including Arizona, Oregon and Idaho. We think she’ll become more popular after the new movie has been in cinemas for a few weeks though.

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Let It Go, the Fair Use Week mashup version

Charles Duan from Public Knowledge sends us "a video we put together for Fair Use Week about copyright and fair use, to the tune of 'Let It Go' from Frozen, and full of clips of other fair use videos." Read the rest

Disney wants to build an "aerial tramway" between the Disney World parks

Disney's "skybuckets" are fondly remembered as the best place in the themepark to do some sneaky kissin', but they were also a magnet for antisocial behavior, from smoking weed to spitting on people to jumping out of them -- and they proved lethal to park maintenance crews. Read the rest

Gamer star PewDiePie canned by Disney and YouTube after anti-semitic postings

Gamer star PewDiePie was set for the big-time: 53m subscribers to his YouTube gamering channel and a hot deal with Disney to take his clean-cut mug to mass culture stardom. But then he started posting about the Jews.

[Felix] Kjellberg, a 27-year-old Swede whose YouTube antics secured him multimillion-dollar deals with YouTube and Disney, posted a Jan. 11 video that included two men laughing as they held a banner that read “Death to all Jews." He made a total of nine other videos that made anti-Semitic comments or used Nazi imagery, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the news.

Disney, which has owned Maker Studios since 2014, said it was severing ties with him.

YouTube also cancelled his reality show Scare PewDiePie and removed him from its premium line-up of ad-supported channels. Excuses were immediately forthcoming.

"I was trying to show how crazy the modern world is, specifically some of the services available online," he wrote, continuing, "I think it's important to say something and I want to make one thing clear: I am in no way supporting any kind of hateful attitudes."

Here's the sign he paid a couple of Sri Lankans to hold up:

That giggling sociopathic edgyness! The veil of irony spread over it! Imagine that you just got your big family-entertainment break from Disney and the thought that hits you is "right, now to dial that up a notch! Who can I hire to hold up signs saying DEATH TO ALL JEWS?"

It would almost be better if he were a closet fash rather than the soulless vlogger moron he excuses himself as. Read the rest

Why do cartoon characters wear white gloves?

The short answer is efficiency! But it was also an artistic choice that became a creative convention...

"We didn't want (Mickey Mouse) to have mouse hands, because he was supposed to be more human," Walt Disney wrote. "So we gave him gloves. Five fingers looked like too much on such a little figure, so we took one away. That was just one less finger to animate."

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Disneyland's show-buildings induce charming glitches in Google Earth

Dan Howland writes, "Screengrabs that made me laugh from Google (Happiest Place on) Earth. It does pretty well with conventional architecture, but it freaked out on the Haunted Mansion's cupola and chimblies, and Dumbo just looks like a Jello salad."

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RIP Tyrus Wong, unsung Chinese-American Disney legend who had to lie to come to America and save his life

Nagurski writes, "Tyrus Wong was a brilliant Chinese-American artist who designed the look of the landmark 'Bambi' cartoon for Disney. Due to racial attitudes and at the time, he received limited recognition for his contributions, but was belatedly named a Disney Legend in 2001. He also was an accomplished painter and made fantastic kites, which he flew on the Santa Monica beach, continuing to do so past the age of 100." Read the rest

Beyond Bad Lip Reading: the Auralnauts' astounding Star Wars remixes

The Auralnauts' wildly successful Star Wars remixes have gone from strength to strength, combining bad lip reading, South Park-ish raunchy humor, and massive dance-parties accompanied by some seriously rockin' tunes. Read the rest

"Bring Back Weird Epcot" and other unofficial retro Disney World tees

Foxxfur, proprietress of the outstanding Passport to Dreams Old and New Disney themepark design critique blog (previously) has opened a t-shirt store featuring designs celebrating the lost, lamented design-flourishes that lurked in the corners of early Walt Disney World: the crowning glory of the store is this Bring Back Weird Epcot tee that really tells it like it is. Read the rest

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