It took me a while to realize the actors in Disney's "Wand" idents were supposed to be drawing Mickey Mouse's head.
Genius! You're gonna want to unmute, and turn your sound up. Read the rest
Filmmaker Benjamin Lancaster spent four years secretly shooting a science fiction movie called "The Further Adventures of Walt's Frozen Head," working with actors Daniel Cooksley and Ron Schneider to make a movie about a WDW cast-member who discovers the (urban)-legendary frozen head of Walt Disney, kicking off a series of adventures around the park. The movie premieres online later today. This is (at least) the second time someone has secretly shot a movie at Walt Disney World. (Thanks, Hugh!) Read the rest
Fox has been ordered to pay $179m to profit participants on the longrunning TV show Bones; the judgment includes $128m in punitive damages because the aribitrator that heard the case found that Fox had concealed the show's true earnings and its execs had lied under oath to keep the profit participants from getting their share of the take. Read the rest
For years, Disneyland annual passes, parking fees and single-day-tickets have seen above-inflation price-hikes, but this year's will take the cost of the no-blackout-day "Premier Pass" (good for Disneyland and Walt Disney World, in Florida) to $1,949, up 23.4% from last year, a firm push away from the idea of Disneyland as a "locals park" for casual visits and into the kind of place that most local families could only visit on very special occasions. Read the rest
In 1994, Disney trademarked the use of the phrase "hakuna matata" on clothing, footwear, and headgear. The common Swahili phrase, meaning "no trouble," was the name of a song in Disney's movie The Lion King. Now, a petition for Disney to give up the copyright, has more than 50,000 signatures.
(Zimbabwean activist Shelton) Mpala told CNN he started the petition "to draw attention to the appropriation of African culture and the importance of protecting our heritage, identity and culture from being exploited for financial gain by third parties. This plundered artwork serves to enrich or benefit these museums and corporations and not the creators or people it's derived from."
Russell Walks' astounding and vast collection of licensed, retro-styled Star Wars propaganda posters are also available in postcard form. Read the rest
Spoonflower's gorgeous selection of Haunted Mansion patterns can be printed on demand on wallpaper, giftwrap, or fabric: from the green strips of the maids' uniforms to the purple and black stripes of the butler's vests, to motifs picked up from the characters and decor (tightrope walker girl's floral print, hitchhiking ghosts, Leota's seance room), the variety is amazing. (via Disney's Haunted Mansion) Read the rest
I never saw The Lion King when I was growing up. I was a little on my way out of high school by the time that it popped. But I know a lot of folks adore the film. Despite having never watched it, somehow, I know a reference to it when I see it on TV or in films. It's a cultural touchstone. It's a hell of a big deal, so much so that, instead of letting it stand as a classic, It's being remade.
The animation in the trailer of Jon Favreau’s rehash of the Lion King looks outstanding. It's got a blend of realism and cutesy cartoon going on that I think both kids and grownups will dig. But I have to wonder why this thing exists. Disney's well-known for pulling their intellectual property out of cold storage from time to time, making a bundle of money off of Blu-ray sales and digital downloads and then stashing it away again until for another decade. It's absolutely genius: who wouldn't want to share the films they adored when they were children with their own children. If you saw the original Lion King in a theater with your family, how excited would you be to share that experience with your own child? I'd imagine it'd feel pretty good. Currently, the Lion King is available to download from iTunes. I'd be very interested to understand the financial soothsaying that goes into determining that a whole new imagining of a classic film You can it from Amazon, too. Read the rest
When Disney's Captain Marvel put out a PSA encouraging their fans to vote, they also, unwittingly, encouraged people to call a sex hotline.
In their get-out the-vote ad, Captain Marvel lead Brie Larson is standing in a phone booth surrounded by Rock the Vote posters. "CAPTAIN MARVOTE IS A BAD PUN BUT NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE VOTE TOMORROW," she says in a tweet.
CAPTAIN MARVOTE IS A BAD PUN BUT NOW THAT I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE VOTE TOMORROW pic.twitter.com/ZhXk5Qzkt5
— Brie Larson (@brielarson) November 5, 2018
But along with her encouraging words is a phone number displayed on the booth's telephone, a number which was obviously photoshopped by the folks on the Captain Marvel promotional team. Obvious because the number – 1-800-654-2192 – was an ABC number ("It used to appear in shows like The Suite Life of Zac and Cody, and if you called it, you got an automated message from the network," according to Daily Dot). And ABC is a subsidiary of Disney, who distributes Captain Marvel.
Of course some Marvel fans were intrigued by the number and gave it a call, but rather than connecting to a superhero, they were greeted by a recording that says: “Welcome to America’s hottest talk line. Guys, hot ladies are waiting to talk to you—press 1 now. Ladies, to talk to interesting and exciting guys, free, press 2 to connect free now...."
Either ABC is looking for new ways to turn a profit, or they dumped the number but forgot to delete it from their phone book. Read the rest
A non-negotiable feature of Disneyland's 2008 contract with Unite Local 11 -- which represents the laundry workers who clean linens from the resort's hotels and restaurants -- was a new "work-tracking" system that used "gamification" to display realtime signals about each worker's productivity on public leaderboards, colorcoded with the slowest workers' names in red, as well as color-coding indicators on individual machines to indicate whether they were underperforming. Read the rest
If you ever hear an announcement on a Disneyland or Walt Disney World PA calling for a "HEPA cleanup" it means that someone has just dumped a dead person's ashes in a ride. Again. Read the rest
The tombstones at the Haunted Mansions in Disney's themeparks are a kind of credit reel that pay tribute to the Imagineers who made the Mansion possible; in this short Disney video, you get some potted biographies of the honorees, from Claude Coats to Marc Davis to Harriet Burns to the incredible and weird Rolly Crump. Read the rest
Disney is Anaheim's largest employer and the city is something of a company town, with Disney exerting massive influence on the city government and engaging in strong-arm tactics to suppress media reports of the dirtiest of its deals, whereby the city financed much of the company's building projects and expansions while extending massive tax breaks. Read the rest