Ricky sez, "Director Philip B. Swift has announced a feature-length documentary film called 'The Dark Side of Disney' based on Leonard Kinsey's travel guide of the same name, to feature topics like finding and buying dirt cheap park tickets and time shares, drinking around Epcot, having sex in the parks, obtaining and using drugs while on an Orlando vacation. The film has just hit Kickstarter, trying to raise $20,000. Last year Swift released 'The Bubble,' a documentary about the Disney-created town of Celebration just outside Walt Disney World."
The Dark Side of Disney [Amazon]
“The Dark Side of Disney” documentary film to explore adult side of theme park vacations, hits Kickstarter for funds [Ricky Brigante/Inside the Magic]
Olaf, the living snowman from Frozen, is pretty much the greatest comic-relief sidekick in animated history. Tortallmagic has made him even better by imagining him as an ambulatory misshapen snowman cosplaying Disney princesses. They're the roles he was born to play.
Olaf as some of the Disney Princesses!!!!!!
Here's voice-actor Jim "Winnie the Pooh" Cummings doing Darth Vader's lines from Star Wars in the voice of Winnie, and other key characters as Darkwing Duck and his other best-known voices; he appears with Lauren Landa, another voice actor with a distinguished resume of anime and game voices. It's pretty much perfect.
Jim Cummings CtCon 2013 - Star Wars with Winnie the Pooh
(via Kelly the Mortal Girl)
Etsy seller Breakeble Designs used to offer these hand-painted Italian marble coasters that depicted the stretching portraits from the Haunted Mansions from Disneyland/Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland. Alas, Breakeble Designs is on holiday, with no word of when or if the coasters will return. They'd make handsome decorative wall-tiles as well as coasters.
Haunted Mansion Stretching Portrait Italian Marble Coasters (via The Haunted Mansion)
In January 2013, Disney Animation Studios released a box-set of nine flip books that pay tribute to the "Nine Old Men" of Disney animation -- artists who pioneered the animation techniques that define the field even today. I only just found out about these today -- they're amazing. Each book shows the animation as line-art, really capturing the character and movement the animators imbued their creations with. This video does a good job of showing off the books. The box also includes a short explanatory book, but this isn't really about reading material -- the value is all in having the cel-by-cel line art to marvel upon.
Walt Disney Animation Studios The Archive Series Walt Disney's Nine Old Men: The Flipbooks
Matt Hawkins contributed his lovely papercraft Disney characters to the Boing Boing Flickr pool. His description: "Paper sculptures made of painted watercolor paper. I created Goofy and Elliott one facet at a time from the top down from watercolor paintings with only a 2-D sketch for a guide. My hope is that this improvisational technique would help capture the spirit of these characters, bringing them to life in a flowing organic way that defies the sharp corners and geometric forms from which they're built. Available at the Wonderground Gallery in Downtown Disney."
The Walt Disney Company has acquired Maker Studios
-- a successful Youtube channel focused on millennials -- for $500M, with an additional $450M potential performance-related payout in the future.
Deviant Art's Kasami-Sensei has produced a series of illustrations that mashup The Walking Dead with Disney characters, recasting the familiar lighthearted animated figures as post-apocalyptic zombie-hunters.
The Walking Disney
San Francisco's Walt Disney Family Museum is running an exhibition on the art of Mary Blair, one of the all-time greats of Disney history and modernist illustration and color. I've covered her work here before (for example, there's a gorgeous collection of Blair's Golden Books, and, of course, the amazing Alice in Wonderland edition featuring the rejected concept art she produced for Disney's psychedelic Alice in Wonderland animated film), and I've been lucky enough to see some of it in person while I was working at Disney, but this exhibit, called "MAGIC, COLOR, FLAIR: the world of Mary Blair," looks extraordinary.
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There are a lot of covers of Frozen's themesong "Let it Go" on Youtube -- enough to seriously freak out the loony Christian right -- but Brian Hull beats 'em all, managing to sing the song, verse-by-verse, in the voices of characters from across the cinematic history of Disney and Pixar. What's your favorite?
Disney and Pixar Sings Let it Go
(via Seanan McGuire)
396 pure, unadulterated, dyed-in-the-wool, 100% made-up, completely fake disneyland "facts" is funny book of plausible-sounding Disneyland lies, penned by Horatio Liar (AKA Dominick Cancilla). As John Frost notes, Cancilla has a flair for making up stories that sound weird-but-true, but are, in fact, weird-but-false, and nevertheless make you want to repeat them.
For example: "The Disneyland Hotel was originally independently owned and operated. Eventually, Disney decided that they would rather own the hotel outright, but the owners weren’t interested in selling. To help the owners change their mind, Michael Eisner proposed that the company build an enormous impenetrable wall between the hotel and Disneyland if they didn’t sell. The deal was signed just weeks later."
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Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism , Pulitzer-winning writer Ron Suskind tells the incredible story of how his son Owen disappeared into "regressive autism" at the age of three, losing the ability to speak or understand speech and developmentally degenerating across a variety of metrics, only to reemerge a few years later, able to communicate through references and dialog from the Disney movies he obsessively watches.
A long excerpt in the New York Times, generously illustrated with Owen's expressive fan-art, hints at a book that is wrenching and inspirational by turns. It reminds me of 3500, Ron Miles's memoir of raising a son with autism who was able to engage with the world through thousands of re-rides of Snow White's Scary Adventures at Walt Disney World.
Suskind is a brilliant writer, and the excerpt is deeply moving. I've pre-ordered my copy.
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Jeff sez, "On Saturday, March 29, 2014, there will be an epic Disney event in San Francisco. The Disney Project proudly presents: Walt, WED, and WESTCot. The evening will consist of two multimedia presentations, hilarity, videos, goodie bags, Disney Legends, raffle prizes, and more!"
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Disney has dropped the Boy Scouts of America from the roster of charities eligible to benefit from its Voluntears program, through which the company donates money to charities when its employees do volunteer work in their communities. The Scouts have a policy banning gay people from serving as scout leaders, and Disney has a policy banning charities that are "inconsistent with Disney's policies on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, age, marital status, mental or physical ability, or sexual orientation."
Last year, the BSA received $4.8M in funding through the Voluntears program.
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A number of friendly, charity-minded social clubs have sprung up in Disney fandom. They dress in disnefied versions of biker wear, gather together in Disneyland, help people out, and keep each other company. I encountered the Neverlanders several times last year when I had a residency at Disney Imagineering, and I loved the way they blended counterculture and fandom. A long, smart piece about the clubs in OC Weekly traces their history and growth -- fuelled by Instagram -- and the way they encountered mainstream Disney fandom through message-boards and in the parks.
As the article notes, there's a long history of counterculture at Disney parks, from the Yippie invasion to the goth takeover of Tomorrowland prior to the New Tomorrowland renovation. This sort of thing was my direct inspiration for proposing a fan takeover of Disney in Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, and the goth redesign of Fantasyland in Makers.
The presence of counterculture/bohemians in Disneyland shows how appropriation runs in two directions, and also points to a new direction in fraternal organizations. The activities of Disneyland's social clubs -- Neverlanders, Pix Pak, Black Death Crew, Main Street Elite -- would be recognizable to my grandparents, who were active in groups like Kiwanis and B'nai Brith, and who unwound with their friends through bowling and card-games and multi-family picnics.
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