Posts Tagged ‘Disney’

Mickey Hates Muslims, too? Shit.

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Yuh-oh. Nobody wins here: “Disneyland Prohibits Muslim Worker from Wearing Hijab on the Job, Suit Claims.”

RIP Harrison Price

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Oh that’s sad, I just heard that Harrison “Buzz” Price has passed away: “Disney Legend Harrison “Buzz” Price Dies at 89.”

Briefly, Price was the MBA from Stanford who figured where to put Disneyland and Walt Disney World back in the 1950s and 1960s. He put everything into the hopper – economic analysis, population projections, land values – and came out with Anaheim and Orlando.

Clever guy.

His autobiography, Walt’s Revolution!: By the Numbers, is simultaneously fascinating and frustrating; I love how he did what he did in the days before computers, but a co-author would have helped immensely. Sometimes numbers guys should stick to the numbers.

I’m glad he wrote his story down, though, it shows how Disneyland and Walt Disney World were the product of so many clever individuals and not the sole brainchild of one man.

Return of the PeopleMover

Friday, August 6th, 2010


So in 1975 Walt Disney World revamped their Tomorrowland, adding some attraction named “Space Mountain” along with with the a people mover named, well, the “WEDWay PeopleMover”. After the fancy refurbishment of Tomorrowland in 1994 it was renamed the “Tomorrowland Transit Authority” but little changed otherwise.

Apparently now it’s going to be re-renamed to the “Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover” – “‘PeopleMover’ is Coming Back at Walt Disney World.”

Also, to be a nitpick, this article is incorrect when it says the pollution-free linear induction motors were introduced at Disneyland in California in 1967. Disneyland’s PeopleMover (which closed in 1995) used the propulsion system of rotating Goodyear tires.

Its sponsor?

Why Goodyear, of course.

Inception Ripped-Off Scrooge McDuck

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

In case you haven’t seen this yet: “Inception Ripped-Off Scrooge McDuck & The Beagle Boys!

The work in question is a from Uncle Scrooge #329 by Don Rosa titled “Uncle Scrooge in the Dream of a Lifetime”:

Wikipedia (which we all know never is wrong) has this to say about “The Dream of a Lifetime”:

The Beagle Boys steal a dream making invention from Gyro Gearloose and use it to invade Scrooge’s dreams. Donald has to go into Scrooge’s dreams to get them out of there and they chase each other through different chapters of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.

I’m not sold on this, as the comic book never mentions the kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun or the chick from Juno.

Happy Birthday Disneyland

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

On July 17, 1955, Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California.

After 55 years, I think it’s safe to say to truly is a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.

Happy Fourth of July!

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

I was going to be patriotic today, but I’m not great at that. So instead? Disney lesson!

You might remember this chap below from a Newlywed in Dubai blog post two years ago today (see 4 On The 4th).

His name is Sam the Olympic Eagle, he was the mascot of the 1984 Summer Olympics, and was designed by artists at the Walt Disney Company.

What makes this interesting (at least, to me) is that there are two other Sam Eagles out there, both also owned by Disney.

From 1974 to 1988 Disneyland park’s rotating Carousel Theater was home to the America Sings attraction which was hosted by “Eagle Sam” who was voiced by Burl Ives.

Interestingly, once the attraction closed most of the Audio-Animatronic animals were reused in the then-being-constructed Splash Mountain, which opened the summer of 1989.

The other Sam character is Sam the Eagle the censor and cultural moderator of the Muppets, who are now owned by Disney.

My favorite Sam the Eagle line is from the Disney theme park attraction MuppetVision 3D. In charge of the show’s grand finale, Sam says he has planned “a tribute to all nations, but mostly America”.


Anyway, thanks for putting up with this lesson, and Happy Fourth!

Good Bye ESPN Zone

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

It wasn’t a great concept – is it for kids or for drunk adults? – but it’s still sad: “Disney to close 5 ESPN Zone restaurants.”

They’re keeping the one at Disneyland’s Downtown Disney and one near the Staples Center in LA.

Nadal at Disneyland Paris

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

My wife likes tennis, I like Disney. Put them together, you get Rafael Nadal at Disneyland Paris celebrating his fifth French Open:

Disneyland Hotel Pool

Friday, May 28th, 2010

Yesterday the Disney Parks Blog released some concept art for the Disneyland Hotel Makeover. One of the centerpieces of the blog is the redesign for the pool that lies at the center of the hotel’s three towers. Currently the pool is themed to Peter Pan characters. Soon it’ll be a little bigger and splashier (excuse the pun):

Showing my age, as soon as I saw this I thought, “But they just re-did the pool the year I moved to California!”

Which was in 1998.

Yeah, I guess it’s time for a makeover, eh?

Star Wars Video

Thursday, May 20th, 2010


Star Wars Weekends kickoff tomorrow at Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios).

The Roy E. Disney Animation Building

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

You might recall my mentioning how Roy E. Disney, Walt Disney’s nephew, passed away back in December (see Roy E. Disney).

I forgot to tell you that, at a memorial service in January , the company announced they were renaming the animation building on near the Disney Studio Lot the “Roy E. Disney Animation Building”.


I was legitimately touched when I read this, that was the building in which I worked for a good number of years around the turn of the century.

Of course, it might be confusing to folks in Burbank as there’s already a Roy O. Disney Building named after his father (who was Walt’s brother and business partner). It’s sadly the ugliest building in Burbank, a brute of a concrete 1976 mess, not unlike Boston City Hall, actually.

Anyway, apparently on Friday they had the official dedication of the building.

Here’s a photo:


Suicides at Disneyland Resort Paris

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Poor Disneyland Resort Paris. It’s been the red-headed step child of the Disney family for close to two decades now, ever since it was known as “Euro Disney.”

Apparently three employees at the resort have committed suicide over the last few months: “Disney resort hit by staff suicides.”

While that’s tragic, I hardly think the working conditions could be “brutal”.

But then again, it’s all perspective. I’m sure there are cultural hiccups at play – what’s a fair practice to American workers might not fly in other places.

At least the article didn’t mention how the park didn’t allow wine when it opened in 1992. Criminy, they always seem to mention that. It’s like the go-to line for how culturally insensitive Disney was back in the day. But they never mention how the current Chairman and CEO is French. Never. Mais non!

New Disney Cruise Ship

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Here’s a light but interested piece on the new Disney Cruise ship that’s in the works – specifically from a technology point of view: “5 Ways Disney’s New Cruise Ship Will be Wired for Family Fun.”

Sounds kind of cool.

What’s Wrong with WDFA?

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this two part article “What’s Wrong with [Walt] Disney Feature Animation?” – part 1 and part 2.

I’m not sure who Ed Liu is, and I don’t agree with some of his statements, but it’s a good dialogue to start. Something’s certainly going wrong that needs fixing.

Robert Foster’s Autobiography

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

I’ve been thinking about that new Disney book Project Future that I was telling you about yesterday (see New Disney Book).

I’m psyched for it, but there’s another book that I really want to read.

Sadly, it’s unpublished.

I swear I’ve talked about this before, but I can’t find the link. See, in the late 1960s when Walt Disney wanted to build what became Walt Disney World he sent a company lawyer to Florida to start buying up land.

And that lawyer, Robert Foster, wrote his story down.

From what I know it’s a story of pseudonyms and shell companies, determining who owned the land (and the mineral rights to said land) – probably all of the stuff in the new book above.

Sadly, Foster, who used the name “Robert Price” to keep his identity secret, never got his book published.

(And Foster/Price shouldn’t be confused with Harrison “Buzz” Price, whose Walt’s Revolution!: By the Numbers is a nerdy good read).

Foster/Price did, however, get a window on the Magic Kingdom’s Main Street, USA as both “Foster” and “Price”, a rare feat.

New Disney Book

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

How have I not heard of this book?!

If this were any more up my alley I would have written it! Check out this Orlando Sentinel article: “Talking With Chad Emerson: A ‘spy-like’ start for Disney.”

It’s out now, and affordable for someone’s birthday two weeks from today … (cough link cough).

Shermans Get a Window

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Robert and Richard Sherman are the songwriters behind a host of tunes from Disney movies such as Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, and The Aristocats as well as theme park attractions such as It’s a Small World, Carousel of Progress (both the original and the 1975 revamp), Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, and my personal favorite, Journey Into Imagination.

Well yesterday they received the highest honor that a Disney theme park can bestow – a window on Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A.

Check out: “Songwriting brothers get window in Disneyland.”

A Letter RE: Disney Remakes

Monday, March 8th, 2010

February 8, 2010

Rich Ross, Chairman
Walt Disney Studios
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521

Dear Mr. Ross,

Congratulations on recently being promoted to Chairman of the Studio! I have a few ideas I wanted to share with you, hope you don’t mind.

The first is the big rumor of the week – you probably saw it – from some obscure Austrailian website that Disney is going to remake 1989’s Honey I Shrunk the Kids. An odd choice, but I guess it’s possible. Look at Tim Burton and Disney’s Alice in Wonderland this weekend. Congratuations on that, by the way. People sure do like movies that they’ve seen before.

I honestly was hoping that Disney was getting away from the remakes, though. For a tear in the late 1990s it was all the rage – 1996 had the live-action 101 Dalmatians, 1997 saw Robin Williams’ Flubber, Christina Ricci’s That Darn Cat, Brendan Fraser’s George of the Jungle and Leslie Nielsen’s Mr. Magoo, 1998 had Mighty Joe Young and Lindsay Lohan’s Parent Trap, 1999 had My Favorite Martian, Tarzan and Matthew Broderick’s Inspector Gadget.

After a few years sans-remakes (I like to call them “The Years in Which Peter Schneider Tried to Bring Sanity to the Walt Disney Studios”) they were off like a photocopier machine making copies of old scripts again in 2003 – The Country Bears, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Freaky Friday with Lindsay Lohan, The Haunted Mansion and The Young Black Stallion.

It calmed down a bit after that shock – 2004 had Around the World in 80 Days, 2005 had Herbie: Fully Loaded again with the Lohan, 2006 saw The Shaggy Dog with Tim Allen, in 2007 nobody saw Underdog, and last year had Race to Witch Mountain with The Rock and A Christmas Carol.

What’s my point?

Am I trying to shame you guys into making an original movie by listing some of the worst films ever to grace the silver screen (yes, silver screen only – I left out remade-for-television movies, such as 1995’s Kirk Cameron gem The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes)?

Not really. And I’m sure you wouldn’t stop either, not when your predecessors thought we needed a live-action The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010), another foray into the Swiss Family Robinson (2012) or Zemeckis screwing with the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine (2012).

But I know you’re not into it. Your into High School Musical and Camp Rock and Cadet Kelly stuff. I know.

But if you have to do these, why not Splash?

Splash movie poster

Why not remake the 1984 romantic comedy?

Of course, with a few changes.

The first thing we’d have to change is the name “Madison”. Remember when Daryl Hannah sees the “Madison Avenue” road sign and says her name is “Madison”? And Tom Hanks says, in his Hanksian way, “That’s not even a name!”

Well, it is now. In fact, it was the sixth most popular name for girls born in 2009.

So I think this time you go with something totally outlandish. What about Zalophus californianus? I can see “Zalophus” being a popular name in 2036 …

And there can’t be as much nudity as there was in the original, either. PG in 1984 is way different than PG in 2010. Remember when Daryl Hannah was walking up to the Statue of Liberty and you could see her entire naked rear-end? That’d be Rated X these days! You can’t do that!

And cut the swearing, too. I remember a few bad words that we can’t have in a Disney movie.

What if it was in San Francisico, instead of New York? Nobody wants to think of anything coming out of the polluted New York waterways anymore.

As for a lead, what if we switch it up? I’m thinking The Rock as the mer-man, and maybe Amy Adams as an organic wholesale fruit and vegetable shop owner.

Allen Bauer, meet “Allie Bauer”.

And the government has to be the bad guy. Scientists were bad guys in 1980, but now I’m thinking a power-hungry Homeland Security manager or – ooh, ooh, Senator (people still hate the government, right?). Eugene Levy could play Senator Walter Kornbluth who wants to control the mer-man for, I dunno, a weapon. And he doesn’t want to be a weapon, he just wants to cruise around San Francisco bay all day long.

The Jonas Brothers could play a song.

Zac Efron as the John Candy role. But less womanizing.

Zack and Cody from the Suite Life of Zack & Cody could be the wacky neighbors.

Selena Gomez could be the mer-man’s daughter (he’s a widower).

And I keep forgetting, is Miley Cyrus done with Disney, or not? If she’s still around, we could work a role (and a song) in for her. And if she is done with Disney, does she have any siblings? If not, can you talk to Billy Ray about getting another Cyrus or two?

What am I saying, he’s from Kentucky, he’s got to have a few more legitimate (or otherwise) kids around. Do some snooping. Find his high school, er, middle school girlfriend.

So what do you say? Are you with me? Splash, coming in 2013 from Walt Disney Pictures??

Have your people call my people.


Josh Edwards
PS – Go Wildcats!

Disney Gets Bad-Ass

Friday, March 5th, 2010

If you care about this sort of thing, you’ve probably already seen this. But on Wednesday, Disney Channel announced a 10-part Tron series for fall of 2011.

Disney XD (another channel, formerly known as “Toon Disney”) confirmed Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes for this fall. Check this out: