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Archive for the ‘Disney’ Category

Animated animation roughs

Some fantastic short animated roughs here from animators including Marc Davis, Milt Kahl, Ollie Johnson and Glen Keane.

Chris Sanders fired from American Dog

Chris Sanders fired from American Dog: I knew all about the layoffs at Disney last week, but I was totally unaware that Lilo and Stitch creator/director and Antikewl favourite Chris Sanders had been dropped from his project, American Dog. It’s very sad news but, as Cartoon Brew reports, may have been a blessing in disguise.

Walt Disney: Man or mouse?

The L.A. Times has an interesting article on Walt Disney, 40 years after his death on December 15, 1966.

Ask just about anyone how he or she feels about Disney and you are likely to get either a beaming, misty-eyed tribute from those who recall him fondly and enjoy his animations and theme parks, or a scowling, brow-furrowed denunciation from those who see him as the great Satan of modern mass culture.

After 40 years, Walt Disney is not either/or — the best or the worst. He is both the best and the worst — not the polarizing center of cultural warfare but a portent of the truce between high and low.

(via Cartoon Brew)

Il Etait une Fois Walt Disney exhibition in Paris

Les aventures d'Alice au Pays des Merveilles, Paris, Hachette page 164, 1908

Il Etait une Fois Walt Disney: I meant to write about this earlier, but I got so excited that I’d actually be seeing it next month that I almost completely forgot! Le Grand Palais in Paris is running an fantastic exhibition of classic Disney artwork alongside the works that inspired them. It runs until January 15th 2007, so there’s still time to catch it before the exhibition moves to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts from March 8 to June 24th 2007.

There’s a superb slideshow of artwork at l’Express and Cartoon Brew (where I originally found out about the exhibition) has a few more details as well.

Update: I’ve been! Read my report here.

The Maintenance of Magic in the Magic Kingdom

The Maintenance of Magic in the Magic Kingdom

Stuff from the Park have posted scans from a booklet called “The Maintenance of Magic in the Magic Kingdom“, a guidebook for Disneyland maintenance, published back in 1969. It contains some great photographs and gives a really good insight as to how things used to work behind the scenes.

I love the idea of a bunch of guys fixing stuff, or knocking together a dinosaur, backstage.

Disney to produce theatrical shorts again

New animated shorts from-guess who? Disney: Jenny highlights a recent article from the New York Times.

After a hiatus of nearly 50 years, Walt Disney Studios is getting back into the business of producing short cartoons, starting with a Goofy vehicle next year. The studio has released a few shorts in recent years — “Destino,” “Lorenzo” and “The Little Match Girl” — but those were more artistic exercise than commercial endeavor. The new cartoons, by contrast, are an effort by a new leadership team from Pixar Animation Studios, now a Disney unit, to put the Burbank company back at the forefront of animation with a form it once pioneered.

Remember the magic: EPCOT Center as it was

Another favourite blog of mine is EPCOT Central. Like, the Re-Imagineering blog, it borders on the cynical “they don’t make them like they used to” side of critical journalism, but often raises some very important points on Epcot’s current lack of direction.

They also uncover some fantasic gems, like these brilliant videos from a more enthusiastic age. Sure they’re a bit cheesy now, but they only emphasise how revolutionary Epcot was back in the early days when Disney didn’t feel the need to pump the park full of Disney princesses, thrill rides and inappropriate merchandising.

Why EPCOT Center was so special.
Seeing into the future.
When enthusiasm was enthusiastic.

The Nightmare Before Christmas: 3D

Amid has a mini-review of the new version of the classic Nightmare Before Christmas 3D re-release over at Cartoon Brew. It’s out in the US tomorrow, but we’ll have to wait until December 1st to see it over here in the UK. I love this movie, and it’ll be good to see it in a theatre again — and in 3D!

Kingdom Hearts 2

Kingdom Hearts II screenshot

I’ve finally started playing Kingdom Hearts 2 on the PS2. It’s been out in the US for six months (and in Japan for almost a year) but for some reason Square kept Europe waiting. I have no right to complain, if I’m brutally honest, as I never actually got around to completing the first one and, as I never had a a Gameboy Advance, have only just got hold of Chain of Memories (a kind of portable Kingdom Hearts 1.5) to play now I’ve got a DS Lite to play it on.

Still, as a fan of the original that I never played properly, I *needed* to see KH2!

If you haven’t heard of the series, it’s kind of a mashup of characters from Disney and Final Fantasy (mostly the former) in a story lead by a number of characters unique to the plot. Wikipedia has much more information than I could ever care to provide, so I won’t bore you with all of that.

Anyway, to cut a long story short (and it *is* a long story, with many many cut-scenes), I’m loving the game so far. Yes, it’s rather easy (so far) in standard mode but this, to me, isn’t really a bad thing. The problem I have is that if I find a game too hard I’ll end up giving up. I never completed Devil May Cry because I just couldn’t get out of the castle within the time limit on the very last level! It’s not so easy as to be boring (and if you fancy more of a challenge, there’s always the harder mode), and the story and visuals are fascinating enough for me to see the game itself as almost secondary to the plot!

That said, I’m only eight hours into the game (we don’t meet the lead character, Sora, again until the titles kick in at around 3 1/2 hours into the game!) so my opinion could very well change.

One thing I realised, possibly too late, is that Jiminy counts the treasures you’ve discovered in each of the lands, and I don’t have all of them from the first, Twilight Town. This isn’t a problem with the others, but Twilight Town has disappeared and I can’t go back to it! I hope this doesn’t mean I’ll get the “bitch ending I deserve“.

My verdict? I love Disneyland and videogames with a plot, and I’m really enjoying it. Take from that what you will.

Re-Imagineering

Sometimes bordering on the obsessively skeptical, Re-Imagineering is a great blog about the shortcomings of Disney theme parks today. The latest post, “Communi-clutter“, features a comparison of EPCOT Center’s Communicore of the 80s/early 90s and Epcot’s Innoventions of now. Same place, different time.

It’s clear that the practice of dumbing down and cheapening what were (and still are, underneath) fantastic architectural statements by The Disney Company is sadly now incredibly commonplace.