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Gyo Fujikawa, Godmother of #WeNeedDiverseBooks

What do vintage ads for Beech-Nut, Q-Tips, and Eskimo Pie have in common with some of the earliest depictions of multiethnic babies in children's books? They were all the work of pioneering illustrator Gyo Fujikawa. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Jul 8, 2014 - 11 comments

Google & Glen Keane - a Duet For the Ages

In March 2012, legendary animator Glen Keane sent out a letter to his colleagues at Walt Disney Animation Studios that outlined his resignation from the House of Mouse, where he'd worked for over 38 years on beloved Disney characters like Ariel, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Tarzan, and the Beast. His departure left many Disney fans wondering what was going to happen to the great master, whom many believe is one of the greatest character animators alive today, and for a while it seemed that his retirement might be permanent. Last week, however, Keane debuted his first hand-drawn animated short, Duet, which he produced with Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group in San Francisco. As you might expect, it's an absolutely breathtaking artistic and technical achievement. And it hasn't even been released in its final interactive mobile format yet. [more inside]
posted by Hermione Granger on Jul 4, 2014 - 53 comments

"why Frozen left me cold"

The problem with false feminism: "My friends have asked for it and I feel like the internet needs it, so I’m going to go through, point-by-point and in no particular order, the top handful of reasons people have given for thinking Frozen is a feminist triumph, and I’m going to debunk them all." [more inside]
posted by flex on Jun 29, 2014 - 201 comments

Rian Johnson to Write and Direct Episodes VIII and IX

In a suprise move, a "bombshell" even, Disney and Lucasfilms have announced that Rian Johnson will write and direct the next two films in the Star Wars franchise, Episodes VIII and IX, taking the reins from JJ Abrams after Episode VII. Copious previously. Johnson has previously directed Brick, Looper, and three episodes of Breaking Bad. Johnson responded thusly on Twitter.
posted by dry white toast on Jun 20, 2014 - 138 comments

Penta, Mariya: Rejected

Women too awesome, awful or offbeat for the movies [more inside]
posted by shino-boy on Jun 19, 2014 - 24 comments

Tim Burton's rarely seen 1982 version of 'Hansel and Gretel'

Hansel and Gretel is a 34 minute television special directed by Tim Burton for The Disney Channel in 1982. Brimming with practical effects and long thought to be lost, the film has recently resurfaced via a recording made from its single broadcast at 10:30 p.m. on October 31, 1983. [more inside]
posted by item on Jun 17, 2014 - 15 comments

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, back to the drawing board we go

DisneyToon Studios is best known for their spin-offs of Walt Disney Animation Studios films, like the Tinker Bell and Planes series, or the execrable string of direct-to-video sequels to Disney movies released from the mid-nineties to mid-2000's. But around 2005, they had a different spin-off in development: an epic, dark prequel to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
posted by Small Dollar on Jun 11, 2014 - 10 comments

the snow instigateth not lugubriosity within me…

The Egyptian singer Nesma Mahgoub, in the song’s chorus, sings, “Discharge thy secret! I shall not bear the torment!” and “I dread not all that shall be said! Discharge the storm clouds! The snow instigateth not lugubriosity within me…” From one song to the next, there isn’t a declensional ending dropped or an antique expression avoided, whether it is sung by a dancing snowman or a choir of forest trolls. The Arabic of “Frozen” is frozen in time, as “localized” to contemporary Middle Eastern youth culture as Latin quatrains in French rap.
So Disney used to translate its movies into Egyptian Arabic but recently switched to Modern Standard Arabic, which is somewhat more formal.
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 4, 2014 - 19 comments

Ursula Explains It All

"No, I took her voice for two simple reasons—she was a twit and she was in love. I took one look at her and knew that she’d spill everything she knew in the pretty human boy’s ear, and then where would we be?" - The Sea Witch Sets The Record Straight by Ursula Vernon.
posted by The Whelk on May 30, 2014 - 25 comments

Good Journalism?

"Can you imagine that within six years of getting his MBA he was CFO of Disney?" Please appreciate the thorough reporting on a seedy topic.
posted by breadbox on May 28, 2014 - 53 comments

Animated mouse shown to destroy cels when exposed to Ecstasy.

Disney Studios censors Miyazaki collection, pulls Studio Ghibli compilation. "On Your Mark" a video directed by Hiyao Miyazaki, and produced between early January and late May, 1995 by a team of over fifty animators at Studio Ghibli, in cooperation with other studios, is being censored from the upcoming 13-disc "Collected Works of Director Hayao Miyazaki" collection. Disney is also stopping shipments of a 2005 Ghibli Shorts collection, which features the video, along 22 other shorts that Studio Ghibli produced over the course of decades. The rationale?! Nineteen years after the video's release, one of the members of the band that did the music for the video has been arrested, along with a female acquaintance, after police found MDMA at his home. The musician was arrested Saturday, but has not been charged or convicted, as yet. Both he and the woman he was arrested with claim to be innocent.
posted by markkraft on May 21, 2014 - 73 comments

(Walt) said we should have gone ahead and made it anyway

In the mid-1940s, surrealist artist Salvador Dali began collaborating with Walt Disney on a short film. The idea was fully storyboarded and an 18 second test animation was completed by Disney animator John Hench. Soon after, the idea was shelved due to a changing of focus with Disney Feature Animation. Almost 60 years later, Walt's nephew Roy E. Disney (with consultation from the now 95-year old Hench) spearheaded an effort to finish the film. In 2003, the finished product, "Destino", premiered. [more inside]
posted by inturnaround on May 15, 2014 - 11 comments

And now they know

So, in writing about Elsa, from Frozen, as having an iconic value in an emerging canon of a new trans creative mythology, of course I’m not saying that’s what Disney intended. What interests me is not the official image, but how the image gets ported into a kind of dynamic sensation of sympathy within a collective group. The number of trans women who told me — “I never liked princesses, but I get Elsa.” What are we all detecting in her at such a shared resonance?
Imaging Frozen's Elsa as a trans symbol. (trans 101)
posted by MartinWisse on May 12, 2014 - 71 comments

There's No Crying In Pilots

Actual Network notes given to actual shows BONUS: What network notes say vs. what they mean.
posted by The Whelk on May 9, 2014 - 43 comments

Disney Dconstructed (EDM)

Like most people, my first thoughts upon hearing about Disney's EDM remix album "DCONSTRUCTED" was: "Oh dear God. This cannot end well."
posted by MechEng on Apr 22, 2014 - 17 comments

Melissa May-Dunn is a performance poet.

Melissa May-Dunn is a performance poet who dropped out of divinity school. A successful gofundme campaign sent her to this year's Women of the World Poetry Slam, where she placed seventh out of 72 with a tribute to a Disney villain, Dear Ursula. [more inside]
posted by bilabial on Apr 10, 2014 - 5 comments

"I was able to help shape a type of heroine that I wanted to see."

"To Celebrate the Phenomenal Music of Disney's Frozen, Cast Members took to the Stage to Treat a Small Audience to a Live Performance." Kristen Bell took it one step further, by performing her song, Do You Want to Build a Snowman with each stanza done as the main character Anna at a different age.
posted by quin on Apr 4, 2014 - 82 comments

Same Face Syndrome

"I seriously believed that someone with too much time on their hands had photomanipulated some screenshots of Rapunzel and tried to pass them off as the official Frozen designs. After all, there was no way that a major animation studio like Disney would knowingly, willfully produce three princesses with the Exact Same Face." -- Why do the Frozen heroines Anna and Elsa have the same face, a face they share with Rapunzel?
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 25, 2014 - 119 comments

“I loooove the way your fowl little mind works.”

At three, Ron Suskind's son, Owen, was diagnosed with regressive autism and all but lost his speech. A year later, watching Disney's The Little Mermaid, Owen's parents heard him speak again. Reaching My Autistic Son Through Disney. (SLNYTimes Magazine, with video) [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 7, 2014 - 21 comments

Taking the Mickey

The Very Merry Un-Gangs of Disneyland These social clubs are a new generation of hardcore Disney fans, powered by Instagram and Facebook and made up of grandparents in their 60s, as well as teens and toddlers plodding along beside their parents. Only 10 years ago, their style—tattooed and plugged—would have banned them from the parks and made them outcasts among Disney fans. But now, with tolerance, if not approval, from the Mouse, the social clubs have found a playground to call their own.
posted by modernnomad on Feb 27, 2014 - 32 comments

"IT'S ALIVE, ALIVE!! ... I've always wanted to say that."

"It's an epic Urban Fantasy, a sci-fi thriller set Twenty Minutes into the Future, and a gritty crime-drama. And a tribute to William Shakespeare, where Puck, Oberon, Titania, and the Weird Sisters have prominent roles, and Macbeth kicks ass in a trenchcoat with a laser gun."
Plus, Star Trek alums lend their voices to many regular characters and guest stars. On the eve of its 20th anniversary, Gargoyles is now being offered legally on YouTube by Disney. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Feb 12, 2014 - 51 comments

Disney's Lilo & Stitch, everything is blown up, more fun, also more real

Lilo & Stitch is an odd movie to come from Disney for a number of reasons: a rare work based on an original story, set in a realistic version of the "island paradise" of Hawaii, focusing on strong female characters who have a realistic/varied bodyshapes. For more insight into the making of the "affordable" Disney film, here's Lilo & Stitch revisited, Part I, interviewing the creators Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois, and Part II, featuring master animator Andreas Deja. For a taste of the animation, here are four teaser clips of Stitch invading other Disney films, the official full version of the Lion King interrupted trailer, and making of Lilo & Stitch short docu-clip.
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 12, 2014 - 90 comments

Grumpy Disney: illustrations of Grumpy Cats as Disney Princesses

Eric Proctor, aka Tsaoshin, draws cute monsters, dragons, Disney characters and Grumpy Cats. The last two merge in a short series of images he calls Grumpy Disney, with the various Disney characters (mostly princesses) replaced with Grumpy Cats doing suitably Grumpy Cat things.
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 6, 2014 - 5 comments

Best Medley, in 25 Languages!

Disney's Frozen: Let It Go I have always enjoyed a Cantonese version of Disney cartoons, this was edited together so well!
posted by Yellow on Jan 29, 2014 - 80 comments

"You can't bring food from home into Epcot Centre. Don't even try it."

"Q. What makes Epcot such a special place for young & old alike? - Rajeesh (Bethesda, MD) --- A. Rajeesh, I honestly have no idea."
"Q. Do you offer discounts to senior citizens? - Arnie (Gothenburg, NE) --- A. Not really. Thanks for writing, Arnie!"
"Q. Are the rumors about Epcot being haunted true? - Lou (Central Falls, RI) --- A. Don't even joke about stuff like that, Lou."
"Epcot is 100% wheelchair accessible, basically."
"Many visitors ask us about our Jumping Water Fountains. We don't know how they work, but the man who invented them was definitely foreign."

Fun Facts, Informative Q&As, and Friendly Advice courtesy of @EpcotCentre.
posted by Atom Eyes on Jan 28, 2014 - 112 comments

You can’t see Buzz Lightyear while backpacking

You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat space data race
The bands are even uniquely colored and monogrammed with your family members’ names so that they won’t get switched up. Why? Because they don’t want their database to get confused and think that you, a 45-year-old man, rode the teacups instead of your little son Timmy. This is one of the first examples I’ve seen of physical design (e.g., monogramming and coloring) for the sake of digital data purity.
If ever there was a testimony to the importance big data has achieved in business it’s this: We will now shape our physical world to create better streams of digital information.

posted by frimble on Jan 27, 2014 - 74 comments

Disney to destroy EU* (*Expanded Universe)

While JJ Abrams finishes off the script for Star Wars VII, Disney and the Lucasfilm Story Group are busily deciding what is canon and what isn't. Lee Hutchinson at Arts Technica thinks cutting out the Expanded Universe and starting again is a good idea. Stuart Ian Burns at Feeling Listless isn't so sure. [more inside]
posted by crossoverman on Jan 20, 2014 - 161 comments

The Architecture Of The Incredibles

At first glance, you might think The Incredibles is just a fun superhero movie. But remove the capes and tights and you're left with an in-depth architectural narrative with its own beginning and end.
posted by gnutron on Jan 10, 2014 - 70 comments

The cold never bothered me anyway

Disney's FROZEN: How one simple suggestion broke the ice on the Snow Queen's decades-long story problem
posted by crossoverman on Dec 31, 2013 - 145 comments

...and then "some clown invented the printed circuit."

During the 1950's, Wernher von Braun served as technical adviser for three space-related television films produced by Disney: Man in Space, Man and the Moon and Mars and Beyond. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 24, 2013 - 40 comments

P.L Travers, Walt Disney and the "Brand Deposit"

Is Saving Mr. Banks, Disney's retelling of the events surrounding the adaptation of Mary Poppins a corporate, borderline-sexist spoonful of lies which throws author P. L. Travers under the bus?
posted by Artw on Dec 18, 2013 - 69 comments

במבי

Bambi's Jewish Roots [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Dec 4, 2013 - 17 comments

Kay Nielsen's Little Mermaid

Kay Nielsen, a Danish illustrator who was popular in the early 20th century, the "golden age of illustration", contributed artwork for many Disney films, including concept paintings for a proposed adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's The Little Mermaid. The adaptation was to be part of a package film containing various segments based on Anderson's fairy tales. The film, however, was not made within Nielsen's lifetime and his work went unused until production started on the 1989 film. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Nov 19, 2013 - 6 comments

Boys' Night

Mickey, Goofy and Donald go out for drinks.
posted by dortmunder on Nov 7, 2013 - 46 comments

No, Thomas; I am your father.

Adding to the widely reported speculation that Chiwetel Ejiofor is joining the cast, the BBC is reporting that open auditions for two of the lead roles in the next Star Wars film are being held across Britain and Ireland in the next few weeks. Shooting is still slated to start in January. The audition call tweet gives details of the roles... [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 5, 2013 - 114 comments

Real heroines reimagined as Disney Princesses

Artist puts Disney Princess filter on ten real life female role models.
posted by Lush on Nov 3, 2013 - 79 comments

Snow White in Auschwitz

"Knowing of Dina's artistic ability, Freddy asked her to paint a mural on the wall of the barracks to cheer up the children. She agreed, although she expected she would be executed if the Germans caught her. This was some time if February 1944. Using paints that were smuggled from various sources, Dina set to work painting a scene of Snow White looking out over the Swiss countryside. Dina knew that some of the children had seen the movie and would recognize the character. She had seen the movie 'seven times in a row' back in Czechoslovakia."

The amazing, sad, triumphant story of Dina Babbitt (née Gottliebová)—artist, animator, concentration camp survivor. [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes on Oct 30, 2013 - 36 comments

Single, my glass.

Spell Block Tango (the Disney Villains meet Chicago: the Musical) (SLYT)
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 29, 2013 - 21 comments

Mickey Mouse and friends, brought back to the 1930s era sense of humor

Mickey Mouse in Ghoul Friend is a new Disney short, featuring the reanimated corpse of Goofy. With this information, you might get the idea that this is not what you might expect from modern Disney cartoons, and you'd be right. It's one of 19 new shorts that are part of the new Mickey Mouse series of shorts that are inspired by the 1930s era Disney shorts. If you'd like to see more, 11 of the shorts are currently available to view on YouTube (in a playlist with two bonus behind the scenes clips), from the DisneyShorts YouTube acccount. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 19, 2013 - 33 comments

Mama, I've been asked to the prom

It turns out that if you cut together a bunch of scenes from Disney's Cinderella along with the audio track for the trailer of the new Carrie remake, you get something very creepy, disturbing and brilliant.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Oct 16, 2013 - 42 comments

Grumpy isn't a mean dwarf, but he's a pessimist and has little patience

Everything Is Terrible digs up a real find: highlights from a Disney suited character performer training tape from 1976!
posted by JHarris on Oct 13, 2013 - 25 comments

It's whole new world for Disney princesses.

Disney princesses try to maintain their cultural relevance and popularity by cross-dressing, twerking, and hitting the hottest (and fakest) magazine covers.
posted by fuse theorem on Sep 14, 2013 - 28 comments

And this is why we torrent

Disney has announced plans to rerelease The Little Mermaid to theaters on September 20. However, the rereleased film has been synced with an iPad app that gives users the ability to play games, sing-a-long to the movie and interact with the characters. While in the movie theatre.
posted by Wordshore on Sep 11, 2013 - 106 comments

Hiya, Mickey!

A new set of Mickey Mouse shorts have debuted this summer. Mickey heads around the world, getting into slapstick situations on his own and with Donald, Goofy, Daisy, and Minnie.
posted by ocherdraco on Aug 8, 2013 - 53 comments

"What is feasible?" can be finally answered only by future historians

"The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet." Before we get into terraforming, what about the space between worlds? NASA has a website dedicated to discussions of space settlements (previously), many going back to the 1970s, as seen in the CoEvolution Book on space settlement and the NASA Ames/Stanford 1975 Summer Study. There is also concept art from the 1970s by Don Davis (prev: 1, 2, 3) and Rick Guidice. Escaping from that orbit, there's also a toroidal space colony as imagined in the 1982 book Walt Disney's EPCOT, and more recently, a ton of neat imagery on Bryan Versteeg's Spacehabs website. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 6, 2013 - 15 comments

Huey, Dewey, and Louie's pivotal role in modern Family Planning

In 1968, well loved cartoon character Donald Duck continued his educational film career by appearing in a Disney-produced short for the Population Council, called Family Planning. [more inside]
posted by 2N2222 on Aug 1, 2013 - 17 comments

The Last Vestiges of the Old Republic...

The Clone Wars (previously) are over, with only a few last mopping up operations underway and a few Jedi unaccounted for. But there is another... Star Wars Rebels will be the new Lucasfilm animated series, and will be taking it's design direction from the work of Ralph McQuarrie.
posted by Artw on Jul 28, 2013 - 30 comments

Autism means friendship

Tommy Des Brisay is a Canadian runner and para-athlete living with autism. While running, Tommy often chants "I think I can...", recites lines from Disney movies, or sings. He has a YouTube channel where he posts his dances with Disney princesses and mini documentaries about his life.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jul 21, 2013 - 3 comments

Disney Voce

This is a video I’ve wanted to dish for years--a video that contextualizes Disneyland within the political and cultural events of the early 1950s. “Disneyland Voce” is distilled down from a dozen home movies, all shot in 1955, during the first five months that Disneyland was open to the public. Here’s one reason I love home movies: they reveal the vacation experience as taken by the average guest. Disney has produced reels of film documenting the park during its early years (most notably “Disneyland U.S.A.” in 1956 and “Gala Day at Disneyland” in 1959), but professional footage presents the park under ideal conditions. Home movies lay down the scenery as a typical guest would have experienced it. If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to visit Disneyland when it first opened, buckle into your DeLorean and hit the play button on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Jul 10, 2013 - 18 comments

What if Disney Princes were in a Boy Band?

What if Disney Princes were in a Boy Band? Appearances by: Ariel and Eric; Beauty and Beast; Cinderella and Prince Charming; Jasmine and Aladdin; Mulan and Li Shang
posted by zizzle on Jul 8, 2013 - 11 comments

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