Reopening the Walt Disney World theme parks during a global pandemic is scary, which is why this gloomier sounding version of Disney's announcement video by Twitter user @pobrecito just makes a lot of sense.
Here's the same video with its original sound:
screengrab via Disney/YouTube Read the rest
Georgia State University student Julian Bass made a fun reel of his visual effects work on TikTok, showing him transforming into his favorite superheroes: a Jedi, Ben 10, and Spider-Man. He then posted the video on Twitter with the message, "if y’all can retweet this enough times that Disney calls, that’d be greatly appreciated." Well, on the very same day, Disney's Executive Chairman Bob Iger responded with, "The world’s gonna know your name!!!" No word on whether the two are talking but the video has been viewed over 22M times since July 2 when it was first posted. I'm guessing it won't be long before someone hires him.
screengrab via Julian Bass/TikTok Read the rest
Disney's Splash Mountain ride, based on their racially offensive 1946 film Song of the South -- a controversial (not to mention seriously boring) movie that featured the popular song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" -- is finally changing its tune. Motivated by a change.org petition that 20,000 people signed, its new theme will revolve around last scenes from The Princess and the Frog.
The recent Black Lives Matter protests sweeping across the nation have spurred deep conversation and introspection in Hollywood regarding depictions of race in popular culture. Films like "Gone with the Wind" and TV episodes that included the use of blackface have been re-evaluated or, in some cases, pulled.
Disney says the new Splash Mountain concept is "inclusive" and "one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by."
"It speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year," Disney said on Thursday.
Disney added that the new ride — which the company has been working on since last year — will pick up the story of "Princess and the Frog" after "the final kiss" and will join Princess Tiana and her trumpet-playing alligator Louis "on a musical adventure." It will feature "some of the powerful music from the film as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance."
Disney hasn't announced when the reimagined Splash Mountain will debut. In fact, California's Disneyland and California Adventure parks, which had been set to reopen July 17 after a months-long coronavirus shutdown, are postponing their restart because of surging new Covid-19 cases. Read the rest
A San Diego-based Disney fan has made "happy haunts materialize" on his Animal Crossing: New Horizons island. Player Weary Bones (who goes by the Twitter handle @capuchinokappu) has re-created the experience of the Haunted Mansion as his in-game home, and it's nothing short of A-MAZING. It must have taken him weeks to make this. The level to detail is impressive — a real dedication to a worthy concept!
Take a look:
He has since added the attraction's gate:
By the way, if you're looking for that wallpaper, it's called "Corridor of Doors" and it's available here. You can follow Weary Bones on Twitch.
A quick note about the game, from my perspective: At the beginning of this shelter in place, my 15-year-old asked for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and a Switch Lite to play it on. I obliged, not knowing that I would soon be swept up into this great quarantine escape. Before this, it had been about 16 years since I've played a video game regularly (Sims). Now, every time I play, I find something new and joyful. Read the rest
Orange County, Florida police arrested Richard J. McGuire, 42, who had been illegally camping on the abandoned "Discovery Island" at Disney World. All Disney parks are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, besides, Discovery Island has become overgrown and the structures decayed since it closed as an attraction in 1999. (Above is 2017 video of the property.) From the New York Times:
As a deputy arrived, Disney staff members were helping a small boat with Mr. McGuire aboard to shore, according to an arrest report.
Mr. McGuire told the authorities that he had reached the island on Monday or Tuesday to go camping and that he planned to stay there for “approximately one week,” the report said.
Told that the area was restricted, Mr. McGuire said he was unaware of that and described the island as looking “like a tropical paradise,” the report said.
(Thanks, Charles Pescovitz!)
image: detail of photo by Gmaletic (public domain)
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I've never heard of the Disney animated feature Fun and Fancy Free. It's from 1947 and stars Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, and Goofy. (It is also the last Disney cartoon in which Walt himself voiced Mickey) Above, as seen in which Mickey Mouse Goofy and Donald duck have barely any food so they must split one slice of bread and one bean among the three of them.
Below, someone re-created the scene in real life:
Mickey mouse and friends, IRL from r/combinedgifs
Image: Reddit Read the rest
Earlier today, Disney announced they are offering a free bedtime message, via a toll-free number, to help children to go to sleep. But I called it, and it's clear to me this was not created specifically for this shelter-in-place time. I started by listening to option 5, aka "Goofy." He talks about being tired from going fishing and having lunch with his pal Mickey. Then I rang "Daisy Duck." She had a picnic with Donald, and later hung out and played soccer with her nieces. And if you think she might be in the same germ pod with those members of her family, think again. She then brags about having dinner with Minnie Mouse! I guess characters in the Disney universe aren't affected by coronavirus? Seems a bit tone deaf, Disney! In any event, here's the info, so you can remind your little ones of all the fun they're missing:
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Beginning today, fans can hear messages from favorite Disney characters before falling asleep – all from the comfort of home. Parents, simply call 1-877-7-MICKEY for one of five special messages for your little ones from Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck or Goofy.
The toll-free hotline will run for a limited time only, so be sure to make your call before the end of the month, Thursday, April 30 at midnight PT. Available in the United States only. Limit 1 message per call. If calling using a mobile phone, standard mobile charges may apply.
Attractions Magazine shared this clip of the voice actor behind Disney's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the late Dallas McKennon, talking about recording the gig. Humorously, he looks just as you would expect him to (a ye olde prospector type):
In his 50-year career, Dal's most-famous acting credit wasn't Big Thunder though. He also voiced Gumby in Art Clokey's The Gumby Show. Check out his other many credits.
lead image via Disney Parks Read the rest
All the Disney Parks are closed* but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy two of their most famous flavors: the Dole Whip and churros.
Last Sunday, the Disney Parks Blog shared the recipe for Churro Tots, which is based on their in-park, cinnamon-y snack:
Crazy fact: Over 5.5 million churros were sold at Disney Parks each year. Not this year but, you know.
And, via the Disneyland app, they shared how to make an at-home version of their super-popular tropical treat, the Dole Whip. Full recipe here.
*And expect mandatory temperature checks when they re-open.
photo via Disney Parks Blog, screengrab via Disneyland app
(Deseret News) Read the rest
Swedish artist Daniel Björk is the mad mind behind these wonderfully evil visions of classic horror films reimagined as Disney's Wonderful World of Reading vintage children's books. My wish upon a star is that they were real! See more at Björk's Instagram.
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If you care about The Simpsons with the same intensity that I don't care about the Simpsons, you'll be happy to hear that that Disney has finally sorted out how to stream the long-running cartoon sitcom in its proper 4:3 ratio. Disney+ will start kicking it old school, by the end of May.
In a message posted to Disney+'s Twitter account yesterday, the company's reps stated:
"We appreciate our fans’ patience and are working to make the first 19 Seasons (and part of 20) of The Simpsons available in 4:3 versions on DisneyPlus. We expect to accomplish this by the end of May."
So that's nice.
If you keep track of such things, you'll recall that, a few months ago, Simpsons fans lost their shit over Disney+'s streaming earlier seasons of the show, which were originally broadcast in a 4:3 aspect ratio, in 16:9. While this might fill up a modern wide screen television's display quite nicely, the forced 16:9 aspect ratio cut out a lot of what was going on, on screen. This left many elements of some of the series' best sight gags, unseen.
I know that many films suffered from the pan-and-scan nonsense they were put through before televisions moved to a wider aspect ratio. While I'm not personally invested in The Simpsons being shown as each episode was intended to be seen, I have to wonder how many other television shows from the 1990's on back are currently being ruined by being shown in 16:9.
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On Friday, Disney announced that Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort will remain closed until further notice. Read the rest
Disneyland Park and California Adventures in Anaheim, California today said it will close on March 14 through at least the end of the month due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read the rest
One Zachary Bisenio created a handy chart illustrating age differences in Disney couples. There are some interesting surprises, to be sure, but also lots of statutory rape. Read the rest
On Tuesday I linked to a CNN story reporting that Emerson Elementary School in Berkeley, California held a screening of The Lion King, and received a $250 charge for "illegally screening the movie." Today The New York Times reports that Disney chief Bob Iger apologized to the school and said he will donate money to its PTA:
The New York Times notes that it "was not immediately clear whether the company was still requiring the licensing fee after Mr. Iger’s tweet." My guess is that Iger's donation will exceed $250, but that the licensing fee will stand. If Disney dropped the fee, it would set a precedent that would give anyone a good excuse to screen Disney movies at fundraising events without having to buy a license.
Image by Thomas Wolter from Pixabay Read the rest
The best impressions SNL has ever seen are the work of Kate McKinnon. Read the rest