Disney (yes, Disney) declares war on "overzealous copyright holders"

Disney is being sued by the Michael Jackson estate for using fair-use clips in a biopic called "The Last Days of Michael Jackson" -- in its brief, the company decries "overzealous copyright holders" whose unwillingness to consider fair use harms "the right of free speech under the First Amendment." Read the rest

Hilarious video of every parent at Disney parks ever

Comedian John Crist captures what it's like for every parent who makes the mistake of overscheduling their trip to a Disney park. Read the rest

A gorgeous history of the mid-century modernism by Disney's finest illustrators of the 1950s

Didier Ghez is a dedicated Disney historian who has embarked on a massive, multi-volume history of the art of Disney in his They Drew As They Pleased series from Chronicle Books; I enjoyed the first three volumes of the series, but volume 4, The Hidden Art of Disney's Mid-Century Era: The 1950s took my breath away.

Would EPCOT have worked as a city?

Rob from Rob Plays takes an in-depth look at Walt Disney's grand plan to make an experimental prototype city of tomorrow. Read the rest

Adventure House: the sequel to the Haunted Mansion that never was

In 1976, Walt Disney World was riding high: the oil crisis was over, tourists were flocking back to Florida, and the successful bicentennial celebration at the Florida Disney resort had been national news. Read the rest

JOHN WILCOCK: Sneaking Pot into Disneyland with Shel Silverstein

Mort Gerberg shares this memory of his encounter with John and Shel Silverstein outside the gates of Disneyland in 1966. From John Wilcock, New York Years.

New trailer for Disney's "Ralph Breaks the Internet"

Here's the trailer for the upcoming sequel to Disney's Wreck-It Ralph, called Ralph Breaks the Internet.

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 leaves Litwak’s video arcade behind, venturing into the uncharted, expansive and thrilling world of the internet -- which may or may not survive Ralph’s wrecking. Video game bad guy Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman) must risk it all by traveling to the world wide web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope’s video game, Sugar Rush. In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet -- the netizens -- to help navigate their way, including a website entrepreneur named Yesss (voice of Taraji P. Henson), who is the head algorithm and the heart and soul of trend-making site "BuzzzTube."

So, why didn't they call it Ralph Wrecks the Internet -- that question is answered in the trailer. Read the rest

Bernie Sanders rallies Disneyland employees for a $15 minimum wage

Disneyland employees' average hourly wages have decreased in real terms every year for more than 15 years, while the company has taken in record municipal subsidies from the city of Anaheim and soared in profitability, returning high dividends to its shareholders. Read the rest

Taking a ride on Space Mountain with the lights on

We've previously seen what Space Mountain looks like with its lights on from the vantage point of the Wedway Peoplemover. Now, we get to experience the roller coaster with the lights on as if we were riding it in this POV video by Theme Park University.

I have two personal things to say about this:

1. In the early 1980s, my mom and I took a ride on WDW's Space Mountain when its lights were on. I don't remember why the lights were on but we talked about it for years afterwards. I was 12 years old at the time.

2. Earlier this year, I took my 13-year-old daughter to Disneyland and we rode Space Mountain, in the dark. I hadn't ridden it in many years because the line is always so long and I'm sad to report that it made me queasy because it was so dark. My kid, however, loved it, got in the single rider line and rode a few more times.

(reddit) Read the rest

Founder of Diamond Comic Distributors donates 3,000 comics rarities to the Library of Congress

Gary Price writes, "The Library of Congress announced today that collector and entrepreneur Stephen A. Geppi (owner of Diamond Comic Distributors) has donated to the nation’s library more than 3,000 items from his phenomenal and vast personal collection of comic books and popular art, including the original storyboards that document the creation of Mickey Mouse." Read the rest

Disney and ABC stand by as Roseanne Barr spews racist filth

UPDATE*** ABC cancelled Roseanne

Disney and subsidiary ABC are standing by quietly while vicious racist Roseanne Barr erupts with Islamophobic and anti-gay remarks.

via HuffPo:

Roseanne Barr has said another racist thing.

On Tuesday, the actress and creator of “Roseanne” ― the show recently rebooted on ABC and already wading into racist waters ― attacked former Obama White House adviser Valerie Jarrett via Twitter.

“Muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby=vj,” Barr tweeted, referring to Jarrett, who is black and originally from Iran.

In another series of tweets that morning, Barr also attacked liberal billionaire George Soros and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton.

Read the rest

Check out Disney's robot acrobat

This is "Stickman," a robot acrobat that Disney Research scientists presented at this week's IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation. From the abstract of their technical paper:

Human performers have developed impressive acrobatic techniques over thousands of years of practicing the gymnastic arts. At the same time, robots have started to become more mobile and autonomous and can begin to imitate these stunts in dramatic and informative ways. We present a simple two degree of freedom robot that uses a gravity-driven pendulum launch and produces a variety of somersaulting stunts. The robot uses an IMU and a laser range-finder to estimate its state mid-flight and actuates to change its motion both on and off the pendulum.

"Stickman: Towards a Human Scale Acrobatic Robot" Read the rest

Disney made a haptic jacket for the VRs

As VR headsets and controllers become readily available it is only a matter of time before we are all wearing haptic underoos and doing VR yogas.

Now I can feel my heartbreak as I get shot down in Fortnite.

Via Disney:

Immersive experiences seek to engage the full sensory system in ways that words, pictures, or touch alone cannot. With respect to the haptic system, however, physical feedback has been provided primarily with handheld tactile experiences or vibration-based designs, largely ignoring both pressure receptors and the full upper-body area as conduits for expressing meaning that is consistent with sight and sound. We extend the potential for immersion along these dimensions with the Force Jacket, a novel array of pneumatically-actuated airbags and force sensors that provide precisely directed force and high frequency vibrations to the upper body. We describe the pneumatic hardware and force control algorithms, user studies to verify perception of airbag location and pressure magnitude, and subsequent studies to define full-torso, pressure and vibration-based feel effects such as punch, hug, and snake moving across the body. We also discuss the use of those effects in prototype virtual reality applications.

Read the rest

"Pirate Water" and other fragrances inspired by Disney resorts

We've seen Disneyland-scented candles before but now there are new contenders in the category of "Things that smell like something you'd find in a Disney resort."

While the Magic Candle Company in Kissimmee, Florida is not affiliated with Disney in any official way, they have made an entire line of candles, wax melts, and spray-on room fragrances that smell like something you'd find in a Disney park.

I think the funniest one is this "Pirate Water" which is scented like the "musty, damp smell" of a familiar "dark water ride" (ie. the Bromine-filled waters of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride).

Take a whiff down memory lane with their other (completely unofficial and unsanctioned) scents like: Pinocchio's Village (a "powerful aroma of pistachio nuts, almond, honey, heliotrope, and rich, creamy vanilla custard"), Churro ("cinnamon, sugar and hints of bergamot and creamy dark chocolate"), and the Pineapple Float (they write, "'Dole' out a smile every time you smell our Pineapple Float fragrance").

There's also something called Walt's Office which is the "warm and spicy aroma of cured pipe tobacco."

Prices are $7.95 for wax melts, $18.95 for the room sprays, and between $15.95 and $28.95 for the candles.

The Magic Candle Company

Thanks, Frank! Read the rest

An auction for Rolly Crump's "Museum of the Weird" art from the Haunted Mansion that never was

Rolly Crump (previously) was one of the weirdest, most bohemian of the original group of Imagineers; when he was tasked with developing concepts for the oft-stalled and perennially beleaguered Disneyland Haunted Mansion, he came up with the Museum of the Weird, a guided walkthrough spook house filled with mystical illusions, and psychedelic, daemonic imagery. Read the rest

Explore Disney's parks in 360-degree panoramas via Google Street View

Fans of Disney theme parks, prepare to fritter your day away.

Google announced Tuesday that its Map's Street View feature is now available to explore all of Disney's U.S. theme parks, from California to Florida, in 360-degree panorama.

The parks included are, as follows: Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Magic Kingdom at WDW Resort, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Pandora – The World of Avatar, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot, ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, and Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park.

Street View is also available to explore the shops and restaurants at Disney Springs and Downtown Disney District.

Disney Parks Blog writes:

To create the 360-degree imagery at Disney Parks, Google used Street View Trekker, a wearable backpack with a camera system on top. The Trekker is worn by an operator and is moved through walkways and structures, automatically gathering images. Imagery is then stitched together to create the 360-degree panoramas you see today.

Here's a look:

image via Disney Parks Blog Read the rest

Wreck-It Ralph sequel breaks the internet

It's been six years since Disney's original Wreck-It Ralph movie. You'll remember that it was focused on video games. Its sequel, due to release at Thanksgiving, is set inside the internet.

Taking place six years after saving the arcade from Turbo's vengeance, the Sugar Rush arcade cabinet has broken, forcing Ralph and Vanellope to travel to the Internet via the newly-installed Wi-Fi router in Litwak's Arcade to retrieve the piece capable of saving the game.

A new teaser trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 was released Wednesday and it looks like a whole lot of fun.

Side note: I don't want to spoil it by describing it, but don't miss the funny "internet-breaking" ad for the film on its IMDB page. Read the rest

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