An early peek at 'The Jungle Book,' new Disney live-action remake of Kipling classic

Disney today released two new clips and a new little featurette from the studio's upcoming live action film “The Jungle Book.” I'm also loving the stunning poster art for the new film by Vincent Aseo, shown above in detail and below in full.

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Inspired Haunted Mansion stretch gallery/Star Wars mashup

Karen Hallion, a frustrated Disney animator, has updated her brilliant Princess Leia/Haunted Mansion mashup from 2014 with an inspired, complete set of Star Wars inspired Haunted Mansion stretch-gallery portraits. Read the rest

Awesome new Disney LEGO minifigs will be available starting in May

If you love and collect minifigs, May will be a big month for you! This via LEGO's twitter feed.

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Disney and Marvel threaten boycott over discriminatory Georgia law

Georgia has become very friendly to entertainment companies looking to create media there, however the state is far less friendly to folks not identifying as heteronormative. If Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal signs a new "religious liberty" bill into law, Disney and Marvel will boycott the state.

The bill allows faith-based businesses, and religion practitioners, to reject customers who violate their "sincerely held religious beliefs."

Via Variety:

The Walt Disney Co. and Marvel Studios indicated opposition to a Georgia religious liberty bill pending before Gov. Nathan Deal, saying that they will take their business elsewhere “should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law.”

With generous tax incentives, Georgia has become a production hub, with Marvel currently shooting “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” at Pinewood Studios outside Atlanta. “Captain America: Civil War” shot there last summer.

“Disney and Marvel are inclusive companies, and although we have had great experiences filming in Georgia, we will plan to take our business elsewhere should any legislation allowing discriminatory practices be signed into state law,” a Disney spokesman said on Wednesday.

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Haunted Mansion loot crates!

Disney has announced a series of three monthly subscription loot crates from the Haunted Mansion, released by the "Ghost Relations Department." Read the rest

The Art of Zootopia – A fantastic companion book to a fantastic movie

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

I got my hands on a copy of The Art of Zootopia last week, days before the movie opened, and was so enamored with the fresh yet classic Disney-inspired art that I was already set on reviewing the book. Then over the weekend I watched the movie with my 12-year-old daughter and friends, and wow! What a brilliantly humorous and moving winner of a movie it was. Bravo to directors Byron Howard and Rich Moore! But this is Wink, so back to the book…

The Art of Zootopia is such a treat in the way that it not only revisits the movie’s delightfully heartwarming characters and fantastic art, but gives us an engaging look at what went into the making of Zootopia. The book starts with author Jessica Julius describing the movie’s original story pitch – a 1960s spy story – and how it evolved over four years into the modern day tale of underdogs, prejudice, and fighting for justice for all. She gives us the scoop on how the characters were developed (balancing a feminine yet tough, naïve yet sharp, optimistic yet challenged bunny cop isn’t so easy!), shows us amazing “sets” I don’t even remember in the fast-moving film, and she lets us in on all kinds of fun details, like the fact that it took eight months to get the various animals’ fur just right (color, texture, and direction of fur growth takes more contemplation than I realized). We are also privy to many sketches and scenes that were eventually cut from the film. Read the rest

4 artists 1 tree

4 Artists Paint 1 Tree is a short documentary released by Disney in 1958, in which four of its best animators (then working on Sleeping Beauty) each paint the same old oak tree. An illustration of the depth of artistic brilliance and individuality informing the technical uniformity of an animated feature, it's well worth 15 minutes of your day.

They're all great, but my favorite is Eyvind Earle's, top, closely followed by Josh Meador's on the left. To the right, Walt Peregoy ("Walt Disney was a shit. We made Walt. Walt didn’t make Walt. Walt was an asshole.") holds his modernist rendering. At bottom is Mark Davis, whose technique seems delightfully contemporary. [Thanks, Wendy!] Read the rest

Red Queen's Race: Disney parks are rolling out surge pricing with 20% premiums on busy days

Two key decisions in the history of Disney parks have put them in an eternal war to balance capacity and pricing: deciding not to close the parks to new entrants on crowded days, and doing away with ticket books for rides. Read the rest

Disney offers to deduct contributions to its PAC from employees' paychecks, to lobby for TPP

In a mass mailing to employees, CEO Bob Iger asked Disney people to make a regular contribution to Disney PAC to help the company lobby for expanded copyright laws, and the Trans Pacific Partnership. Read the rest

Alice in Wonderland shoes

Irregular Choice make pretty gloriously crazy shoes, and they've teamed up with Disney to make crazy, flamboyant heels and flats themed after 1951's Alice in Wonderland, which will premiere at their Carnaby Street location in London. Read the rest

Hacker suspected in Anon raid on Boston hospital rescued at sea by Disney cruise ship, then arrested

Martin Gottesfeld and his family were rescued at sea, near Cuba, by a Disney cruise ship, then Gottesfeld was arrested by FBI agents dispatched from a Bahamian field office. Read the rest

Watch this beautiful ballet of drones (also, Disneyland Drones!)

"Working with Daito Manabe, Motoi Ishibashi and their team at Rhizomatiks Research in Tokyo, the goal is to create an intimate and artistic interaction between man and machine," says Marco Tempest of MagicLab.

Related, Disney recently filed a patent for what they call "Flixels" (floating pixels), drones that will be used in performances at their theme parks. (NBC News)

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Disneyland-scented candles

Rheney Williams, a former attorney from Charleston, SC, sells a line of unofficial Disneyland-scented candles themed after the rides, food, and environments of the park. Read the rest

Anaheim: the happiest surveillance state on earth

Orange County has many claims to fame: Richard Nixon, the S&L scandal, subprime boiler-rooms, Disneyland, an airport honoring a cowboy named Marion, and now, the revelation that its police force secretly uses low-flying surveillance aircraft to break the encryption of thousands of cellphone users, track their movements, and intercept their communications. Read the rest

Disney's prized theme-park no-fly zone means it can't use drones in its firework shows

Disney won its war on overflights by planes towing advertising banners in 2003, winning the only no-fly zone over a theme-park in the USA. Read the rest

We'll probably never "Free Mickey"

It's Copyright Week, and I've kicked it off with a post at the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Deep Links explaining why, regardless of copyright term extension, Mickey Mouse will probably never be "free" -- but that doesn't mean that Disney is acting irrationally in its fight as hard as they are for eternal copyrights. Read the rest

Worried about Chinese spies, the FBI freaked out about Epcot Center

Muckrock has secured the FBI's files on Epcot Center, revealing the panicked thrash that the prospect of a semi-circle of international pavilions around a toy artificial lake set off in Cold War atmosphere of 1981. Read the rest

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