Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Muppets: The Green Album debuts on Billboard’s Top 10; Kermit is flippergasted

On Aug. 31, Walt Disney Records released numbers on “Muppets: The Green Album,” the tribute album that features contemporary musicians covering Muppet songs from television and movies. “The Green Album” debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 chart in its first week of release.
According to Nielsen SoundScan, over 30,000 units were scanned. “The Green Album” was ranked highly in the following categorys and charts:
  • #1 Rock Album
  • #1 Rock Song, for “Rainbow Connection"
  • #1 Rock Music Video, for “Muppet Show Theme Song,” done by OK Go
  • #4 Top Album Chart at iTunes
  • #5 Billboard’s Top Digital Album
Soon after the “Muppets: The Green Album” released the OK Go video of the “Muppet Theme Song,” which also featured members of the felt and furry gang, the OK Go video went viral.


The tribute album features songs long associated with the Muppets, but five songs written by Paul Williams, the Oscar-winning composer:
  • “Rainbow Connection,” performed by Weezer, featuring Hayley Williams
  • “Moving Right Along,” peformed by Alkaline Trio
  • “Our World,” peformed by My Morning Jacket
  • “I Hope Something Better Comes Along,” performed by Matt Nathanson
  • "I’m going Back There Someday, performed by Rachael Yamagata
"I'm flippergasted!" said Kermit the Frog in a media statement. "Hearing these songs covered by these amazing artists makes them sound so fresh. They're like old friends you've just met." As for ’The Green Album’ making the Billboard Top 10, Kermit adds, "It just proves what we always say in the swamp: 'songs sung green, everybody knows one'."

Like the Muppets themselves since Disney began promoting the upcoming “The Muppets” movie, due out Nov. 23, “Muppets: The Green Album” is available everywhere. At least everywhere music is sold. Wocka wocka! For more information on the album or other Walt Disney Records releases, visit Disney’s website.

For more Muppet domination, be sure to watch “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on Aug. 31.The will feature OK Go performing its rendition of the “Muppet Show Theme Song,” as well as offer special guest appearances. Muppet domination indeed.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Description of Wreck-It Ralph footage now online

The first four minutes of Disney’s upcoming animated movie Wreck-It Ralph were recently screened at the studio’s D23 Expo, and while the footage itself has yet to make it to the internet, a full description of it can be found over at Cinema Blend. Along with more information about the films’s plot, which centers around a video game villian who longs to become a hero, the description also reveals that the movie will include references to classic video games, including Pac-Man. The movie is set for release on November 2nd, 2012.


Monday, August 29, 2011

Disney's Aulani Resort Officially Open in Hawaii


Even Mickey and Minnie need an island getaway every now and then and they can now with Disney’s new resort opening in Hawaii.

Disney’s Aulani resort, their first in Hawaii, will open its doors to travelers on Oahu’s Waianae coast Monday.

The resort will be a blend of Native Hawaiian culture and as the MSNBC report put it, “mouse-inspired Imagineering.”

Disney is looking to fit in with the culture and even had culture-resource specialists look over the planning process for the resort, something other businesses failed to do when moving into Hawaii.

The end result is now a full team of Aulani resort employees that are fully-aware of the local culture.
Aulani will have it all, a beach, pools, restaurants, spa services, definitely a place to look in to if you’re looking for flights to Hawaii.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Is a "Epic Mickey 2" under consideration at Disney?

Epic Mickey 2 is under consideration at Disney, a leaked survey suggests.

The marketing questionnaire, sent to Destructoid by an anonymous user, showed box art prototypes and potential titles for the sequel.

Disney asked participants which title they preferred, offering a choice between Epic Mickey 2: Return of the Mad DoctorEpic Mickey 2: The Power of TwoEpic Mickey 2: Mystery on Mean Street, and simply Epic Mickey 2.

Box artwork showed Mickey and Oswald The Lucky Rabbit in various poses. Optional split-screen play with the two characters was listed among the game's features.

Developer Junction Point Studios advertised for a programmer with experience working on Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 projects. It has been speculated that the position was related to Epic Mickey 2.

Epic Mickey was released for Nintendo Wii in November 2010.








Saturday, August 27, 2011

Disney's Aulani: Mickey Goes Hawaiian!

This week, Walt Disney (DIS) unveils its first hotel and timeshare project that isn't connected to a theme park, in a master-planned resort community on the west side of Hawaii's Oahu. It's similar to Disney's multigenerational cruise offerings, only at the beach andsans life rafts. "This isn't Disneyland. This has never been done, within Disney or not," says Jeffrey Stone, founder of The Resort Group, the Honolulu-based developer of Ko Olina, where the resort is located.





The $800 million project is called Aulani, Hawaiian for "messenger from a higher authority," owing to Disney's intent to tell the story of Hawaiian history and culture throughout the site. There are still tricked-out swimming pools, character-hosted breakfasts—and the Black Pearl pirate ship of Johnny Depp fame is moored nearby. This is Disney, after all. But accommodations aren't Mickey Mouse—witness amenities such as teen-only spas and adult-only pools.

Disney has also given the Hawaiian economy a shot in the arm during a woeful slump in construction and tourism. The company projects it will have generated 4,800 jobs and $634 million in economic activity during the construction phase alone, which will be completed in early 2013. Timing couldn't be better, after an already punk tourism industry was weakened further by disasters in Japan, whose tourists tend to favor Oahu over neighboring islands. Ironically, Japanese affinity for all things Disney helped Oahu and Ko Olina snare the project, which should augur well for the "Five-0." Mahalo, Mickey.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Disney Gives Fans a Chance to Win a Trip to Rapunzel's Royal Celebration in London


As Rapunzel is welcomed into the Disney Princess royal court on Oct. 2 at Kensington Palace in London, England, Disney Princess fans can feel a part of the special occasion by participating in an online video contest on Disney.com. Whether it's the kindness shown by Cinderella, determination of Tiana, or adventurous nature of Rapunzel, girls connect with Disney Princess characters in different ways to bring their own stories to life. With the "Your Princess Moment -- The Story Begins With You" video upload contest, fans age 12 and under can submit a 45-second video singing part of one of four songs from the upcoming Disney Princess Fairy Tale Songs compilation album -- available Sept. 20 from Walt Disney Records. Alternatively, fans can submit a video recreating a favorite Disney Princess scene, dressing up or performing a dance.
Videos entered between now and Sept. 12, 2011 at Disney.com/PrincessMoment are eligible for the ultimate Grand Prize -- a trip for four to London for Rapunzel's royal celebration. From videos entered by Oct. 4, 2011, one First Prize winner will be selected to receive a 3D TV and DVD assortment from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, and ten Second Prize winners will receive the Disney Princess Ultimate Dream Castle from Mattel. Parental consent is required to enter the contest.
Disney will officially welcome Rapunzel as the 10th Disney Princess character at a high profile, star-studded celebration, to take place in front of a global audience on Oct. 2, 2011. Little princesses from across the globe will watch Rapunzel be welcomed into the Disney Princess royal court by Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Jasmine, Mulan, Pocahontas, Snow White and Tiana. In a world first, Kensington Palace, London, UK, was chosen by Disney as the perfect location for this magical welcoming ceremony of a Disney Princess, as it has been the home of many real life princesses over the centuries.
For full contest rules, prize information and details for how to enter, please visit Disney.com/PrincessMoment.


About Disney Princess
The Disney Princess franchise enables little girls to role play as a princess through world-class entertainment and lifestyle products that enable them to act out scenes from Disney's wholesome, timeless and cherished fairy tale film classics. The franchise is comprised of ten beloved Disney Princess characters -- Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Cinderella, Jasmine (Aladdin), Mulan, Pocahontas, Rapunzel (Tangled) Snow White and Tiana (The Princess and the Frog). Each Disney Princess has a unique story that empowers girls to imagine and enact their very own fairy tales. Disney began branding the characters under the Disney Princess umbrella brand in 2000. Today, Disney Princess is a global franchise that has become a leading girls' lifestyle brand with product offerings including toys and personal electronics, apparel, home decor, stationery, food, personal care, publishing, video games, and home entertainment, theme park and live theatrical experiences. Every month, millions of girls engage with each Disney Princess through interactive stories and activities at disney.com/disneyprincess.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

'The Green Album': OK Go, Weezer cover the Muppets!

We have nothing but praise for Disney's re-launch of the Muppets franchise with the release of Nov. 23's "The Muppets" starring Jason Segel, Amy Adams and -- yes -- The Muppets. Adding to our nostalgic high, a new album of Muppet covers launched on Tuesday (Aug. 23).

"The Green Album" features songs from Weezer, The Fray, My Morning Jacket, Alkaline Trio and OK Go, who put their own awesome spin on the "Muppet Show" theme song.

Watch as the band -- joined by Kermit, Dr. Teeth, the Swedish chef, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear, Janice and a slew of Muppet faves -- update the classic. Bonus: The album is kid-friendly, parent-friendly and hipster-approved (at least the one we asked).












Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Disney Eliminates Marvel Marketing Staff in Restructuring

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) eliminated Marvel Studios’ marketing department, two years after acquiring the movie producer and comic-book publisher, as the media company looks for ways to reduce film costs.
Marvel’s marketing will be absorbed into Disney’s film studio, the person said. The jobs of Dana Precious, Marvel’s executive vice president of worldwide marketing, and two others were cut.

The move comes as Disney, which reported a 60 percent drop in film-unit earnings in its most recent quarter, attempts to cut spending on pictures. The studio suspended production of “The Lone Ranger,” starring Johnny Depp, this month when it was unable to cut the $250 million budget.
“It’s our intention to take a very careful look at what films cost, and if we can’t get them to a level that we’re comfortable with, we think that we’re better off actually reducing the size of our slate,” Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said in an earnings call with analysts on Aug. 9.
Disney referred requests for comment to Marvel’s outside spokesman, Paul Pflug, who declined comment.
Disney bought Marvel for $4.24 billion in 2009, and is scheduled to release its first film featuring Marvel characters, “The Avengers,” in June.

Marvel’s “Thor” and “Captain America” were released by Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures under an arrangement that that Disney ended this year.
The Marvel staff cuts were reported earlier by the industry blog Deadline Hollywood.
Disney, based in Burbank, California, rose 9 cents to $32.11 today in New York Stock Exchange trading. The shares have declined 14 percent this year.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Disney•Pixar Toy Story Command Center

Buzz, Woody, and Rex have gone to outer space to defeat the evil Emperor Zurg! Catch the all new Disney•Pixar "toymation" adventure made with real toys and a wild imagination!


OK Go and The Muppets (Muppet Show Theme Song) Music Video & "Green Album" out today!

The official music video for the ‘Muppet Show Theme Song’ has made its debut today, as the Muppets Green album becomes available for sale from retailers such as Amazon.com and iTunes.

The song, written by Jim Henson and Sam Pottle, opened and closed “The Muppet Show” for five seasons in the UK and US, from 1976-1981. The new track was produced by OK Go and mixed by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, MGMT).  Says singer Damian Kulash, “I’m so excited about working with the Muppets that I can hardly sleep. Collaborating with your idols is a huge thrill no matter what, but when your idols are fictional characters it seems downright impossible. The 10-year-old me was pretty good at imagining outrageous futures, but this surpasses even his capacities.”

Kermit the Frog adds, “The Muppets have performed this song lots of times, but not like this. OK Go never does anything the way you’d expect it. Damian, Tim, Dan and Andy like to mix things up and get a little loopy.  I think they were Muppets in a previous lifetime.”
The music video was directed by Kirk Thatcher, who previously directed two Webby award-winning videos for the Muppets, “Ode to Joy” (over 15 million YouTube views) and “Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody” (over 21 million YouTube views). It celebrates a burgeoning Muppet extravaganza this year, which culminates in the November release of the Muppets’ seventh full-length feature film, Disney’s “The Muppets.”








Monday, August 22, 2011

Recap, Video clip and Pics on 2011 D23 Expo!

"The Avengers" might not be assembling in theaters until May 4, 2012, but fans who attended Disney's D23 convention in Anaheim, California, over the weekend were lucky enough to catch the cast joining forces in person.  Here's a little recap of the weekend's highlights:
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston and Cobie Smulders all showed up to unveil two new clips from the upcoming superhero flick. It was the first time the group has come together publicly since 2010's San Diego Comic-Con, and the first time "How I Met Your Mother Star" Smulders has been part of the promotion for the movie.



Both of the clips shown focused on the showdown between the Avengers and "Thor" bad boy Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, AceShowBiz reports. The first showed Loki trapped in a hi-tech chamber in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Helicarrier, chatting with Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury. It is revealed that the chamber was actually created to hold the Hulk, but will hold Loki because he threatens Earth with war and "a force [he] can't control."
The second scene featured Downey's Tony Stark chatting with Loki in a private bar. "Let's do a head count," Loki says. "Two world class assassins" — the camera cuts to shots of Hawkeye and Black Widow — "a demigod" — cut to Thor — "a living legend who actually lives up to the legend" — a glimpse of Captain America. Stark responds by saying, "And you, big fella, you have managed to piss off every single one of them."
"I have an army," Loki says. Stark strikes back, "We have a Hulk."
When MTV caught up with Downey and Hemsworth after the panel, the two were coy about any scenes other than the ones that have been revealed. Downey joked that his favorite scene in the movie was the one "in which we don't reveal anything about the plot," but Hemsworth admitted that his favorite was already revealed.
"One of our first days was the whole assembly," he said, referring to the scene that was revealed at the end of "Captain America: The First Avenger." "That was pretty crazy. Not only meeting Robert Downey and Scarlett and whatever, but it was meeting Iron Man and Black Widow and the Hulk. It's exciting."



Marvel wasn't the only Disney division doing some heavy lifting at D23, though. Pixar showed up with a slew of announcements, including some news about unannounced upcoming films, ScreenRant recapped.
First on the docket is "Brave," the Scotland-based animated adventure that hits in 2012. In addition to showing some new clips of the movie, Pixar also released a fleshed out plot synopsis that gives "Brave" more context. "Monsters University" received a summer 2013 release date slot, and Pixar also added two yet-untitled animated flicks to its upcoming releases. The first, directed by "Up" helmer Bob Peterson, speculates on what would happen if dinosaurs never became extinct and should hit theaters in fall 2013. The second, directed by "Monsters, Inc." 's Pete Doctor, explores inside the human mind and should be released at some point in 2014.


Also on the animation front, Shock Till You Drop reported on the "Frankenweenie" sizzle reel that was presented at the panel, which included footage from the flick, behind-the-scenes moments and interviews with the cast members. The title card for the movie was also unveiled, as well as the news that Danny Elfman will be composing the flick's score. "Frankenweenie" hits theaters October 5, 2012.

Jason Segel showed up with his "The Muppets" co-stars Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy to present two new clips from the movie, Entertainment Weekly reported. Clip number one featured an inside look at Kermit's house and showed that he's stuck in his '80s heyday, while clip number two showed off Muppets Rolf, Kermit, Fozzie Bear and Dr. Teeth trying to get the old Muppet Theater back in working order.
Not to be outdone, the cast and crew of "John Carter of Mars" presented four new clips from their upcoming sci-fi flick. Taylor Kitsch, Willem Dafoe and Lynn Collins stood with director Andrew Stanton to show off the footage, EW recounted. The unfinished clips featured scenes where the titular Carter first lands on Mars, gets captured by Thark leader Tars Tarkas, has to battle his way out of a gladiatorial arena and tries to convince his lady love not to go through with her arranged marriage. Vulture said the clips had "a distinctly Pixar sense of humor," which can be attributed to Stanton's history with the animation company.

The last big presentation of D23 was for "Oz, the Great and Powerful," and though there was no finished footage, the panel did get to see James Franco's wizard and Michelle Williams' Glinda in costume. AceShowBiz said that a behind-the-scenes sizzle reel, narrated by director Sam Raimi, displayed concept art for the Emerald City, munchkins and the yellow brick road. The movie is currently in production in Detroit and is set to hit theaters on March 8, 2013.



We also have pics from D23  expo. 1st up, "Prep & Landing" stuff coming to hallmark stores THIS holiday season, 2nd is a SNEAK PEEK (thanks to ToughPigs.com) of next years 2012 christmas ornament of Fozzie Bear and 3rd but NEVER last, nail polish staring non other than, Miss Piggy coming out this fall in time for the NEW movie "Disney's The Muppets".  enJoy! & Here's looking forward to the NEXT D23 Expo!!!







Sunday, August 21, 2011

D23 Expo: Day 2 Recap – Walt Disney Studios Presentation (Disney & Marvel), Frankenweenie, Muppets & more!

Continuing on with what was revealed at The Walt Disney Studios presentation, Sean Bailey, President of Production, came out to introduce the first live-action film that would be discussed at great length:John Carter. After watching the already-revealed teaser trailer, Andrew Stanton, director of John Carter, discussed his history with the story of books, originally relishing the tales via comic books and even developing his own drawings of the protagonist. “I struck gold,” with the actors, he said. Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins and Willem Dafoe came out to talk about their characters, and Kitsch said he hopes to see a sequel. After this introduction of the cast, we saw four – yes, four – clips of the film, each with a decidedly different tone. The first showed Carter arriving on Barsoom, seeing strange lights and realizing his amazing jumping ability on this planet with less gravity. Carter meets Dafoe’s character, a green native alien who speaks a different language, but tries to befriend the disoriented Civil War veteran. In the next clip, Carter interacted with a strange-looking dog that appears menacing, but is quite the contrary. Carter talked with Collins’ princess Dejah in the third scene, while the last showed Kitsch’s and Dafoe’s characters sentenced to death in an arena (almost reminiscent of Star Wars Episode II). The amount and quality of footage was rather spectacular, and I expect fans to want to flock to this science-fiction fantasy. John Carter looks terrific. The film opens in March 2012.







Frankenweenie, Tim Burton’s baby, is being filmed in London in black-and-white and 3-D. The story follows the relationship of a boy and his best friend, his dog, and what unfolds when he resurrects his canine after its untimely death. Two of the filmmakers shared with us names in the voice cast, “the friends of Tim ensemble,” and the actual version of Sparky, the dog, that is being used for filming.Frankenweenie, which looks witty and fun, debuts in October 2012.
The Odd Life of Timothy Green stars Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton as a couple who cannot have a child, but through magical circumstances, find a spirited boy emerge from an unknown place. After watching the already-seen teaser trailer, Garner greeted the arena. She seemed very fond of this project and of the young boy who plays Timothy Green. “You’ll all be dressed in mud next year,” she joked, as we see in the trailer that the character is covered in mud when he is first shown. Timothy Green opens August 2012.
Oz: The Great and Powerful, the story behind how a traveling magician ended up in the magical land of Oz, was detailed through some early footage and concept art. Although filming only started in July, the actors (featured in the video clip) shared their excitement and enthusiasm behind working on Sam Raimi’s new fantasy. Oz will arrive in theatres in March 2013.
Jason, I am a regular,” Kermit the Frog joked to Jason Segel, when they came out to discuss The Muppets. Indeed, the famous Muppet is indeed a regular at D23, and we are so happy and fortunate that Kermit can spend time with the Disney fan community. The two chatted for a few minutes, as a couple of audience members called out phrases like “We love you Kermit.” The frog responded to this comment, and so did Segel when someone recognized him. “I look forward to personally meeting you one day,” he replied with a laugh. Miss Piggy entered on a motorcycle, and the gang then shared two clips. One is when Segel, Amy Adams and Muppet Walter arrive at Kermit the Frog’s mansion – unfortunately, poor Walter is electrocuted when the pair try throwing him over the fence – and the second clip showed the whole Muppet gang renovating the theatre they want to save, set to the classic “We Built This City on Rock and Roll.” The Muppets, which will enter theatres this November, was possibly the most well-received part of the presentation – certainly more than the next project, which felt out of place.


What an exciting presenation at the D23 Expo! This was probably the highlight of the event and sure it was for the thousands of others who flocked to this must-see presentation.






Saturday, August 20, 2011

D23 Expo: Regis Philbin Now a Disney Legend? and Jim Henson. (video clips!)


Fans of all-things Disney began converging for the three-day D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center in Orange County, Calif. Friday for a chance to see the Walt Disney Co. roll out its latest additions, including comic book heroes and upcoming film stars.

After a two-year absence, the second edition of the D23 Expo included in the mix for the first time the Disney-owned Marvel comic book brand. Expo observers believe the reason Marvel was not present at this year’s Comic-Con International, the annual pop-culture fest held in San Diego, was to help boost D23.
The “D” in D23 stands for Disney and the 23 represents 1923, the year Walt Disney opened his studio in Hollywood. Disney devotees came the day before the event to wait in line for a chance to attend several premiers and sneak peeks into future park attractions and film projects.
D23, also known as “The Ultimate Disney Fan Event,” began with a Disney Legends awards ceremony Friday morning. This year's honorees included Regis Philbin (from Disney owned ABC), Muppets creator Jim Henson, "Zorro" actor Guy Williams and the voices behind the Disney Princess Court.
Philbin, who is the host of "Live! With Regis and Kelly," told ABC’s George Pennacchio, "I got to say, it really is quite an honor. I don't even know if I deserve this."
The “Treasures of Walt Disney Archives” exhibit takes up a full 12,000 square feet of the convention space and includes a display of Mickey Mouse memorabilia. Also, displayed are the props, costumes and set pieces from LOST and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Celebrities expected to make appearances at the expo are Jennifer Garner, Sean Astin, Sarah Silverman and the cast of the Marvel movie, "The Avengers."
D23 organizers project a crowd of 45,000 people to attend through Sunday. A Facebook page of the event included comments on Friday from a few disgruntled fans who say they missed out on packed-out sessions after waiting in long lines.
Still, the expo has plenty of buzz and another two days for Disney fans to soak in the mega-sized event.
"For people who like Disney, this is really exciting," D23 attender Steve Mayfield told The Orange County Register. "It's not just about buying things. It doesn't matter if you're a fan of the parks or ABC, there's something for everybody."


Friday, August 19, 2011

D23 Expo for Disney's fan club begins today! (& a Video)


The will-call both for Disney's D23 Expo opened at noon on Thursday at the Anaheim Convention Center, and by 12:30 p.m. the line was out the door.
The convention, which starts Friday (today) and runs through Sunday, is hosted by D23, Disney's official fan club. A Disney spokeswoman said 45,000 people are expected to attend the conference throughout the weekend.
Steve Mayfield of Diamond Bar took the weekend off from work and came early to get his ticket.
Mayfield said he was looking forward to buying special merchandise.
"I plan on spending a fair amount of money," Mayfield said. "I've got friends of mine who live in other cities who asked me if I would pick up some stuff."
The first D23 Expo, held in 2009, attracted thousands of conventioneers.
This year's Expo will feature panel discussions, exclusive screenings of Disney and Disney-related movies and TV shows, and updates on the resorts and amusement parks. The convention is also scheduled to host a fan trivia challenge.
Brothers Blake and Brandon Garnsey of Danville, Ca. did not attend the inaugural Expo, but were looking forward to this one.
"We love Disney and love Disney things," said Brandon Garnsey, 12.
Brandon Garnsey said he was looking forward to information on upcoming movies and products, but his older brother was looking forward to news about the expansion of Disney California Adventure.
"If you ask anyone who hasn't been here about stuff that's coming up in the parks, you'd probably be the only one to know about it," said Blake Garnsey, 16. "It's like being in an exclusive club."
Celebrities that appeared in 2009 include Johnny Depp, Miley Cyrus and Nicolas Cage.
Jennifer Garner, Miss Piggy, Sean Astin, Sarah Silverman and the cast of the upcoming Marvel movie, "The Avengers" are among the announced celebrities scheduled to appear throughout this year's Expo.
"For people who like Disney, this is really exciting," Mayfield said. "It's not just about buying things. It doesn't matter if you're a fan of the parks of ABC, there's something for everybody."
Tickets are available at the D23 Web site. Admission is $47 for a one-day adult ticket and $37 for children, ages 3-12. Three-day passes are $136 for adults and $106 for children.

 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Miss Piggy visits "Take Two with Phineas and Ferb"

from EW.com



In a melding of two great children’s franchises, Miss Piggy of The Muppet Show meets Phineas of Disney’s Phineas and Ferb series this Saturday, when the animated character grills the puppet in one of the show’s Take Two with Phineas and Ferb shorts.
The two-minute(ish) segment — which EW has an exclusive first look at below — finds Miss Piggy being her usual diva self. “What was it like growing up on a farm?” Phineas earnestly asks her, on the Leno-esque show. “Very humbling,” she replies, before going into diva mode: “I don’t like being humble, so I got out fast.” The interview continues and Miss Piggy pulls off two wardrobe changes before finishing the clip with an outlandish song.
The second season of Take Two with Phineas and Ferb debuted July 23 on the Disney Channel and featured an interview with soccer superstar David Beckham. Although the series usually airs on Disney, this latest episode will be featured in a commercial break during the re-airing of the franchise’s recent Disney Channel Original Movie on ABC this Saturday, Aug. 20, at 8 p.m.
Other celebrities who will appear on Take Two later this season include Jason Segel, Shaun White, Ty Pennington, Tom Bergeron, Guy Fieri, Ben Stiller, and Larry King. Watch HERE.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Disney Exec Says They (and You) Don't Care About Story!


This innocuously titled Variety report from last week’s Siggraph conference has slipped under the radar for about nine days now, though that seems likely to change now that the Internet has finally taken notice of comments made by Disney’s chief technical officer Andy Hendrickson, who used his presentation to make explicit the heretofore-unspoken yet oft-assumed machinations behind the film industry’s creative strategies.  In the course of his “Econ 101” presentation on how the movie business can combat ticket prices, Hendrickson argued that the studios need to focus almost exclusively on the sort of “tentpole” films that can attract as broad an audience as possible—the sort of film, in other words, that succeeds almost exclusively thanks to brand recognition or CGI gimmickry. “People say 'It's all about the story,'” Hendrickson said. “When you're making tentpole films, bulls**t.”
Hendrickson then provided a chart of the top 12 highest-grossing films of all time, singling out his studio’s own Alice In Wonderland: “The story isn't very good, but visual spectacle brought people in droves,” he said, adding, “And Johnny Depp didn't hurt." One would presume that, after the presentation was over, “Andy Hendrickson” disappeared into whatever ether he came from before some satirical showbiz blogger dreamed him up to make their heavy-handed point. But no, he is a real guy, apparently. Anyway, his honesty would likely be more surprising if everyone didn’t already assume that studios think exactly like this.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

First Listen: 'Muppets: The Green Album' (and a Trailer)


NPR has released a first listen of Muppets: The Green Album, out August 23. The album is sure to please young and old; satisfying both fans of the originals and bringing in new fans.
The album opens with OK Go performing the “Muppet Show Theme Song.” The song is remixed and extended, giving a good preview of what’s to come in the album. Weezer and Hayley Williams’ duet version of “Rainbow Connection” is magical and lovely, keeping the spirit of the beloved classic.
The Fray tackles the silly “Mahna Mahna,” while Alkaline Trio brings in a smile-inducing track with “Movin’ Right Along.” Evanesecnce’s Amy Lee brings a haunting beauty to “Halfway Down the Stairs.” Sondre Lerche covers “Mr. Bassman,” a song that will please both Lerche and Muppet fans alike.
The album is full of optimism and uplifting songs. “Wishing Song,” covered by The Airborne Toxic Event, is the most uplifting song on the album. The surprising thing about the track is that it could easily be a hit on the radio today, not just a song once sung by puppets.
“Night Life” by Brandon Saller brings hard rock to the Indie feeling album. The background vocals are reminiscent of Animal.
Kermit the Frog’s theme song, “Bein’ Green,” gets a new life thanks to Andrew Bird. Listen for the happy violin solo and relaxing vocals from Bird.
Matt Nathanson turns the break-up song “I Hope That Somethin’ Better Comes Along” into a happy outlook on life. Again, the track has been made into a current hit.
Rachael Yamagata ends the album with “I’m Going to Go Back There Someday.” The track gives a bittersweet feel and a proper ending to the album.
In general, The Green Album has something to please everyone. It takes the Muppets songs and turns them into hit tracks for the year 2011.
The listen to the entire album, click over to NPR.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Disney fans head to D23 Expo

Disney devotees from across the globe will flock to Anaheim, Calif., this weekend for the company's second D23 Expo, dubbed by the Mouse as "The Ultimate Disney Fan Event."
The bi-annual confab premiered in 2009 with tens of thousands of Disney fans in attendance and returns this year after skipping 2010. D23, the official Disney fan club, was created after Mouse topper Bob Iger received emails from shareholders (who double as Disney fans)asking why it had never had an official fan club during its 80-plus years. Steven Clark, head of D23, and others conceived D23 (23 being a reference to Disney's founding in 1923) and wanted to create a fan convention to complement the org.
"When we started looking into what the expo might be, it grew and grew and really became something that filled … not just a ballroom at one of our resort hotels … but the Anaheim Convention Center," Clark said.
This year's features events, talks and sneak peeks for fans. Rich Ross, chair of Walt Disney Studios, will host a presentation along with an arsenal of execs, including Disney's Sean Bailey, Pixar's John Lasseter and Marvel's Kevin Feige. Joe Quesada will host "Marvel: The House of Ideas."
Sneak peeks -- many exclusive premieres -- of upcoming Disney pics include "The Muppets," "John Carter," "Brave," "Frankenweenie," "Oz: The Great and Powerful," and a buzzed about "The Avengers." Disney will hold a special screening of "The Lion King" in 3D as well.
Event overall caters to specialty Mouse fans: Imagineers will interact with park fans, unveiling elements of Walt Disney World and California Adventure; "Treasures of Walt Disney Archives" will be on display, including props and set pieces from such pics as "Zorro," "Tron," and the "Pirates" franchise; and finally, Disney Channel will host meet-and-greets with cast members. "For kids who watch Disney Channel, it's going to be nirvana," Clark said.
D23 may not just be for Disney buffs, though. Clark said for investor relations, the press or general biz insiders, there is nothing better than the D23 Expo when it comes to "getting a real look at all things Disney under one roof.""What we've done is open the doors of Disney to our best consumers -- there's no better way to foster that relationship," he said.
Expo runs Friday-Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center. More info can be found at D23Expo.com.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Full D23 Expo Schedule

We’re less than one week away from the D23 Expo now, and Disney has finally announced the event’s final schedule. You can view the
complete, up-to-the-minute schedule over at the D23 Expo website.
We’ve been bringing you coverage of what each sector of the Walt Disney Company will be showcasing at the Expo over the past few months, but with so much jam packed into the Expo’s three days, it can get a little bit overwhelming. Here are some highlights of what attendees can expect at the D23 Expo:


Exclusive Screenings and Sneak Peeks: The Expo will give guests the chance to get a first look at some exciting projects and films from Disney. At the Walt Disney Studios presentation on Saturday, August 20, guests can expect to see sneak peeks from The Avengers, Disney’s The Muppets, John Carter, Disney•Pixar’s Brave, , Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, Oz The Great and Powerful, and more. ABC will hold exclusive screenings of their upcoming show Once Upon a Time and holiday special Prep and Landing: Naughty vs. Nice. Attendees can also see The Lion King in 3D at an exclusive advance screening at the Expo.


Special Presentations and Panels: The Expo will be packed throughout its three days will special presentations and panels that give guests the chance to go “behind the magic” of Disney attractions and films, giver deeper insight into Disney history, and expose guests to some of the great Disney Legends that have been a part of the company’s rich history. There will be a wide variety of presentations by Disney Imagineers, highlighting upcoming and new attractions at the theme parks, and also looking at Imagineering itself and the Legends behind it. There will also be presentations and panels by Disney authors and filmmakers, including five presentations by Pixar Animation Studios that animation fans will definitely want to check out.


D23 Expo Show Floor: While it might seem hard to tear yourself away from the multitude of presentations going on, be sure to check out the Expo’s giant show floor. The show floor will feature a number of different pavilions and interactive areas, including offerings from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney Consumer Products, Disney Channel, Walt Disney Studios, Disney Interactive Media Group, and more. There will also be a Collectors Forum,  an “ultimate marketplace for fans,” which will offer Disney memorabilia, merchandise, art, and more from various vendors and collectors. You can find a complete list of Collectors Forum vendors here. The Show Floor will be open each day to the public from 10:00 AM-7:00 PM, and D23 members will have access to the floor one hour before the general public each day.


Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives Exhibit: One things at the Expo that Disney fans definitely should not miss is the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit. The 12,000-square-foot exhibition will feature costumes, props, and set pieces from Disney TV shows and films, including LOST, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Tron. The exhibit will also feature the finalists and winner from D23’s Fan Art Contest, as well as vintage Mickey Mouse memorabilia and other important pieces from Disney history. The Expo Show Floor will feature three pieces from the Archives: Walt Disney’s limousine, a 23-foot-long model of the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean and the Dharma Initiative Volkswagen van from LOST.


Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament Presented by Hasbro® TRIVIAL PURSUIT: Disney For All Edition: Disney fans will be able to showcase their trivia skills in the first-ever Ultimate Disney Trivia Tournament, which will feature trivia questions from all areas of the Walt Disney Company, both past and present. The tournament will kick off the day before the Expo begins on Thursday, August 18 at the Anaheim Convention Center at 7:30 AM. On this day, twenty semi-finalists will be chosen, who will then compete at the Convention Center at 6 PM on Friday, August 19. The winner of the contest will be awarded a special preview cruise on the Disney Fantasy.


Arena Presentations: The Expo will include several arena presentations each day, which will be huge presentations that Disney fans will definitely want to check out. On Friday, August 19, the arena will be home to the 2011 Disney Legends ceremony, which will honor such people as Jim Henson, Regis Philbin, and the voices of the Disney Princesses as official Disney Legends. The arena will also feature presentations from Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Walt Disney Studios, Disney Channel, Marvel, and more. These major presentations are sure to feature some great guests, exciting sneak peeks, and perhaps even surprise announcements, so be sure to make time for them if you can.


Celebrity Appearances: Attendees at the Expo will have the chance to see, hear from, and even meet some of their favorite celebrities at the Expo. Celebrities currently expected to attend the Expo include Jennifer Garner, Dick Van Dyke, Willem Dafoe, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy,Jason Segel, Marty Sklar, Alice Davis, Michael Giacchino, Tony Baxter, Tom Bergeron, Regis Philbin, Jodi Benson, Lea Salonga, Linda Larkin, Paige O’Hara, Anika Noni Rose, David Arquette, Jason Dolley, Hayley Keyoko, Sterling Knight,Tiffany Thornton, Sarah Silverman, Jack McBrayer, Kelly MacDonald, Kevin McKidd, Lynn Collins, Taylor Kitsch, Wilmer Valderrama, Sean Astin, Melissa Joan Hart, Sean Astin, Chelsea Kane, Kyle Massey, cast members from Marvel’s The Avengers and many more. Guests will be able to see these stars at such places as the Expo’s official Welcome Center, the Disney Channel Pavilion, and at the Walt Disney Studios arena presentation.


D23 Expo Exclusive Merchandise: Another thing that guests should look out for at the Expo is all the great, exclusive merchandise. Merchandise can be found all around the Expo, but guests should look out especially for the Disney Living Pavilion and their Disney Store area, D23 Dream Store, the Walt Disney Archives Treasure Trove, and Mickey’s of Glendale. Vinylmation collectors can find a listing of what vinylmation will be released at the Expo here, and pin collectors can discover some exclusive Expo pins here.
To help attendees plan their days at the D23 Expo, Disney has released a mobile app/mobile-friendly website that includes maps of the Convention Center, the complete schedule, polls, and more. With so many different things going on, having a way to organize everything in one spot is sure to be extremely helpful. You can find the mobile app at www.d23mobile.com.

The Expo is sure to be a very exciting weekend that Disney fans won’t want to miss, and we hope you’re getting excited for it. I know I am! The Expo will take place August 19-21, 2011 at the Anaheim Convention Center. To purchase tickets, visit the event’s official website, or stop by the Convention Center box office on the days of the Expo, which will be open from 8:00 AM-7:00 PM on August 19 & 20, and from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM on August 21.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Disney Kills Johnny Depp's "The Lone Ranger" Film

Back in 2008, during the Disney showcase in Los Angeles, Johnny Depp came out on stage to "The Lone Ranger" theme song while wearing his Jack Sparrow outfit along with The Lone Ranger mask and gun. At that point, it was revealed that the studio is moving forward with "The Lone Ranger" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," which Depp would both star in.

"On Stranger Tides" has already hit theaters, but "The Lone Ranger" has been struggling with casting, story and finding a director. Eventually, Armie Hammer was brought on to play the title role and Gore Verbinski (helmer of first three "Pirates of the Caribbean" films) signed on to direct. The studio even planned to begin filming in the fall for a December 21st, 2012 release.

But now comes word that Disney has officially killed the project due to budget concerns. This is very similar to what happened with "On Stranger Tides," when Disney told producer Jerry Bruckheimer to cut $100 million out of thebudget. The studio asked him to cut a substantial amount out of "The Lone Ranger"budgetas well, but apparently he refused and so did Verbinski.

Meanwhile, Disney is worried that a Western may not be able to earn back a massivebudgetand used "Cowboys and Aliens" as an example. Plus, it is currently involved in too many other high-budget productions. As a result, the studio, producer and director have not been able to figure out a solution and have decided to just kill the project.



Update:Variety says that Disney is planning to lower the budget to around $200 million and see if it will be possible to make the film.