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Disney Parks, Past and Present

Plenty of people collect Disneyana, the toys, books, animation cels, and theme-park souvenirs. Then there are those fans who collect information and details on the Disney parks themselves, collecting official park maps or drawing up their own ride blueprints, assembling the design history behind the attractions, and even collecting vintage tickets and ticket books. Yesterland (previously: 1, 2, 3) is an ever-growing collection of Disneyland history, and has an updated collection of links to similar fan sites and Imagineering blogs, which is a whole collection of rabbit holes of nostalgia and behind-the-scense information. So grab a riding crop and pretend like it's the 60s all over again!
posted by filthy light thief on Mar 15, 2012 - 9 comments

The Anatomy of an Annoying Song

Why is "It's a Small World (After All)" so deeply, universally irritating?
posted by desjardins on Mar 14, 2012 - 111 comments

500 new German fairy tales discovered

"The Turnip Princess" is one of 500 German fairy-tales recently unearthed in an archive. They were collected by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth about 150 years ago, around the same time as the Grimm brothers were collecting fairytales. Some are variations of well known stories such as Cinderella, others are completely new like a Turnip Princess, or the story of a maiden who turns herself into a pond to escape a witch, who then attempts to drink the lake. A translator is working on an English edition.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 7, 2012 - 38 comments

Pay taxes. Kill Nazis. Keep Democracy on the March.

Donald Duck wants you to pay your taxes to fight Nazism, when he's not dreaming he's a Nazi. Of course, Disney didn't need Donald Duck in every propaganda film.
posted by hoyland on Mar 6, 2012 - 15 comments

There is just one moon and one golden sun

Robert Sherman passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Robert, along with his brother Richard Sherman, was a Disney legend. Together, they wrote the songs of "Mary Poppins", "The Parent Trap", "Bedknobs and Broomsticks", "The Jungle Book", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and of cousre, "It's A Small World." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 6, 2012 - 46 comments

Rich. Creamary. Butter.

Hey remember Lindsay Ellis' The Nostalgia Chick (previously) and her reviews of all things nostalgic and girly? She's done a lot more since then - Cruel Intentions- Jem! - The Craft - Mulan - and the Ne Plus Ultra of wish fulfillment Meg Ryan movies Kate & Leopold.
posted by The Whelk on Feb 25, 2012 - 27 comments

Gingerlocks

The Prize - a two minute clip/trailer from Pixar’s Brave. You can also see some lovely production art and sculptures here.
posted by Artw on Feb 23, 2012 - 90 comments

doo doo doo, doo doo doo, doo-doo-doo doo doo

A two part look back on Jim Jinkins' cartoon Doug.
posted by griphus on Feb 14, 2012 - 29 comments

Anti-employee collusion by SF bay area tech companies

Google, Apple, Intel, Adobe, Disney, Pixar, Intuit and Lucasfilm are facing a lawsuit for their for their "no poaching" agreements (Bloomberg, TechCrunch). [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jan 28, 2012 - 59 comments

Disney Face Swap!

Disney Face Swap!
posted by hermitosis on Jan 8, 2012 - 17 comments

(Disney) Princesses Gone Wild

Princesses Gone Wild is a tumblr blog of Disney princesses re-imagined with tattoos, piercings, dyed hair and band t-shirts. [more inside]
posted by slimepuppy on Jan 1, 2012 - 37 comments

Abandoned Disneyland in Beijing

As you leave Beijing traveling north on the road to visit the Great Wall of China you pass by this (map). It's unguarded, and various people have explored it, reporting back. There are two theories of its demise, local farmers, or Disney.
posted by stbalbach on Dec 13, 2011 - 12 comments

Single Link His Toons

D. on Ice, in honor of the 110th birthday of Walt Disney, kinda.
posted by oneswellfoop on Dec 5, 2011 - 13 comments

Lost at Sea

When Rebecca Coriam vanished from the Disney Wonder in March, hers became one of the 171 mysterious cruise ship disappearances in the past decade. So what happened? Jon Ronson booked himself a cabin to find out…
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 11, 2011 - 89 comments

Yes, but where is Nala?

Realistic portraits of the women of animated Disney films
posted by boygeorge on Oct 23, 2011 - 90 comments

A peak behind the curtain: the making of Disney animation

Journey back to the late 1930s, and see how Walt Disney cartoons are made, with a focus on that groundbreaking new Disney title, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Now let's dash ahead a few decades, to watch Ed Wynn and Jerry Colonna as they inspire the animators in a test-run of dialogue from Alice in Wonderland, synced with final animation for comparison.
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 5, 2011 - 12 comments

In competition with reality

Disney Agonistes: Night on Bald Mountain. [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian on Oct 3, 2011 - 27 comments

Here comes a Lion... oh yes, it's a Lion...

Nants ingonyama bagithi baba! It's been nearly two decades since that glorious savanna sunrise, and once again The Lion King is at the top of the box office. It's a good chance to revisit what made the original the capstone of the Disney Renaissance, starting with the music. Not the gaudy show tunes or the Elton John ballads, but the soaring, elegiac score by Hans Zimmer which, despite winning an Oscar, never saw a full release outside of an unofficial bootleg. Luckily, it's unabridged and high-quality, allowing one to lay Zimmer's haunting, pulse-pounding, joyful tracks alongside the original video (part 2, 3, 4), revealing the subtle leitmotifs and careful matching of music and action. In addition, South African collaborator Lebo M wove traditional Zulu chorals into the score, providing veiled commentary on scenes like this; his work was later expanded into a full album, the Broadway stage show, and projects closer to his heart. Speaking of expanded works, there were inevitable sequels -- all of which you can experience with The Lion King: Full Circle (download guide), a fan-made, three-hour supercut of the original film and its two follow-ups. Want more? Look... harder... [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 1, 2011 - 22 comments

Mickey Mouse Job

The Ropes at Disney's - 1943 Employee Handbook. The good old days when women got twice as much sick leave, the Penthouse club was accessible by "men only! - sorry gals...", and a violation of the U.S. Espionage Act could get you fired.
posted by madamjujujive on Sep 26, 2011 - 52 comments

Walt Disney's "The Black Hole"

To paraphrase a character in the film, The Black Hole walks "a tightrope;" if not between "genius" and "insanity," then certainly between "genius" and "banality". If you're looking at this movie as a Manichean exercise between darkness and light, then you can -- for at least a few hours -- entertain the "genius" part of that equation.
posted by Trurl on Sep 25, 2011 - 106 comments

3D liquids

Vladimir Jankijevic is a technical oriented artist at ‘Elefant Studios’ in Zürich. Here’s are his Various Fluid Experiments, Walts Rubber Mask, The Osiris project. His Vimeo channel includes other silent shorts. More examples of the Lagoa Multiphysics Simulation Software. His website [more inside]
posted by growabrain on Sep 18, 2011 - 5 comments

Bonjour, Girl!

Every Disney Princess has an inner queen, girl. slyt belleganza
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Sep 8, 2011 - 26 comments

Pixar, 1972

40 Year Old 3D Computer Graphics, created by Edwin Catmull and Fred Parke (with some help from Bob Ingebretsen) in... wait for it... 1972!
posted by cthuljew on Sep 2, 2011 - 53 comments

Lux Æterna, Disney Edition

Requiem for a Mermaid. Requiem for a Lion King. Requiem for Pocahontas. Requiem for a Hunchback. (Previously: Requiem for Ferris Bueller, Toy Story Requiem.)
posted by hermitosis on Aug 21, 2011 - 9 comments

Doctor Strange, the live-action movie(s)

Stephen Strange was an arrogant doctor, until a car accident damaged his hands, leading him try every cure possible. Eventually he made his way to the East, where the story progressed, and now he's Doctor Strange, master of magic! His thrilling tale is set to be the first Marvel superhero movie since Marvel was purchased by Disney. But there has been much history behind the latest movie, including a period when Guillermo del Toro was involved and wanted to include Neil Gaiman, a draft script by Alex Cox (1990, 5.1 mb PDF; review), and a draft script by Bob Gale (January 21, 1986, 3.5 mb PDF; review). Along with these incomplete attempts, there was the 1978 Dr. Strange TV movie, which you can watch online (full movie with Portuguese subtitles, or YT playlist). If you'd like another take, head to 1992 for the direct-to-video movie Doctor Mordrid. Depending on who you ask, it's a more or less entertaining/accurate take (warning: spoilers) on Dr Strange. Modrid is also online.
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 9, 2011 - 34 comments

Donald in Mathmagic Land

Donald in Mathmagic Land is a 27-minute Donald Duck featurette released on June 26, 1959. As Walt Disney said, "We have recently explained mathematics in a film and in that way excited public interest in this very important subject." (Wiki)
posted by twoleftfeet on Aug 9, 2011 - 49 comments

Blasphroggy

Weekend At Kermie's: The Muppets' Strange Life After Death. Elizabeth Stevens asks:
What if, in 1990, instead of recasting Kermit—something that had been done to Mickey and Bugs Bunny before him—the Muppets had continued on Kermit-less, as "The Simpsons" did after Phil Hartman died. Recall Susan’s words on "Seasame Street" about Mr. Hooper in 1982: “Big Bird, when people die, they don’t come back.” Let’s say Robin showed up saying his uncle Kermit had passed away? Or, if that was too dark for Disney, what if Kermit had left show business to go off to start a family with Piggy? Someone else could lead the gang of weirdoes.

It would’ve made more artistic sense than what happened
.

posted by zarq on Jul 14, 2011 - 67 comments

C-C-C-C-COMBO BREAKER

It was bound to happen eventually. After a quarter-century, 26 Academy Awards, and an unparalleled streak of eleven artistic and commercial triumphs, Pixar's latest project, Cars 2, is Certified Rotten. Critics have assailed the film as a slick but hollow vehicle for Disney's $10 billion-dollar Cars merchandising industry "lifestyle brand," replacing the original's serviceable tale of small-town redemption with zany spy games, hyperactive chase sequences, and even more lowbrow aww-shucks potty humor from Larry the Cable Guy. But it's not all bad news! Along with a fun new Toy Story 3 short, preceding today's (3-D) premiere showings is a first look at next year's Brave -- a darkly magical original story set in ancient Scotland featuring the studio's first female lead (and director). Evocative high-res concept art [mirror] is available at the official website, and character sketches have leaked to the web, with the apparently striking teaser trailer sure to follow. Also, be sure not to miss the sneak peak of Brave's associated short, "La Luna"!
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 24, 2011 - 263 comments

Shockingly, Aladdin is not a wonderland of historical accuracy

Shoomlah illustrates Disney Princess in historically accurate costumes, givs explanations for her choices, and shows us her process. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Jun 17, 2011 - 55 comments

The trick of the camera is in movement.

Walt Disney explains his invention, the MultiPlane camera (1957).
posted by Phire on Jun 6, 2011 - 16 comments

Hey Mick, who was that duck you were talking to?

An unfinished Donald Duck comic story, designed and roughed out with story complete, by Don Rosa! Written to promote the grand opening of Disney's MGM theme park, for one reason or another they dropped it before it could be completed. It's interesting because, in the comic book universe, Donald Duck isn't a movie star, but Mickey Mouse is -- so the duck seeks out his autograph. It even makes an explicit reference to a certain other duck....
posted by JHarris on May 20, 2011 - 18 comments

Will There Be Actual Seals in the Movie?

Walt Disney Co. has filed an application to trademark the name "Seal Team 6", the Navy Seal team that killed OBL in Pakistan earlier in May. [more inside]
posted by jeanmari on May 20, 2011 - 68 comments

Why Donald Duck is the Jerry Lewis of Germany

Dr. Fuchs’s Donald was no ordinary comic creation. He was a bird of arts and letters, and many Germans credit him with having initiated them into the language of the literary classics. The German comics are peppered with fancy quotations. In one story Donald’s nephews steal famous lines from Friedrich Schiller’s play “William Tell”; Donald garbles a classic Schiller poem, “The Bell,” in another. Other lines are straight out of Goethe, Hölderlin and even Wagner (whose words are put in the mouth of a singing cat). The great books later sounded like old friends when readers encountered them at school. As the German Donald points out, “Reading is educational! We learn so much from the works of our poets and thinkers.” [more inside]
posted by cgc373 on Apr 6, 2011 - 16 comments

Angry Birds Middle East Mashup

Russian designer Egor Zhgun (LiveJournal) remixes pop culture and politics, to humorous effect. His latest is a mashup of "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?"; the game Angry Birds; and current Middle Eastern politics into an animated political cartoon: Three Big Pigs.
via Eathan Zuckerman and Cartoon Brew
posted by artlung on Mar 30, 2011 - 9 comments

Never second best.

Nick Pitera. One Man Disney Movie. That is all.
posted by lazaruslong on Mar 26, 2011 - 34 comments

Chris Casady's work on Tron 1982

Chris Casady's work on Tron 1982
posted by namagomi on Feb 16, 2011 - 4 comments

Dear Stephen Schwartz.

“Is it possible to talk you out of doing a live action movie adaptation? Would you consider doing a traditionally animated adaptation? In my heart I think the musical needs the medium, and I think the medium needs your musical. I just love them both so much and hopefully that shows through in the story reel.” [more inside]
posted by kipmanley on Feb 10, 2011 - 50 comments

Able to leap tall buildings

"I've always loved the music from the Saturday matinee serial, and I figured a short that was animated to this music could be a really cool piece. I designed the character mixing all the traits from my favorite Superman actors from the past, and then looked at the work of Hugh Ferriss for inspiration on the background design." - Superman Classic (yt) - A Superman fan film by disney animator by Disney animator Robert Pratt.
posted by Artw on Feb 9, 2011 - 7 comments

Spencer Tracey, Kirk Douglas, and introducing Warren Hsieh in...

Walt Disney's Up (1965) [more inside]
posted by Artw on Jan 27, 2011 - 23 comments

The Beatles in film; the movies they never made (and then some)

The Lord of the Rings wasn't the only movie featuring The Beatles that never happened. Very early in their career, the group signed a three-movie deal with United Artists as a way to get increased publicity, with A Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! (1965) being completed in short time. An early contender for their third film was a western comedy. Going quite a different direction was a "morbid and dull" work called Up Against It, seen by others as dated satire that read "like a rather mediocre early [Monty] Python movie." Continue on in for more ephemera from other rejected film projects by The Beatles. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 22, 2011 - 11 comments

Mickey Mouse dice, "¡Come tus verduras!"

In the 1940's, Walt Disney Studios produced a series of animated public health films for distribution in South America. [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Jan 6, 2011 - 11 comments

It's a duck - blur!

The intro to Duck Tales in Arabic, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Portugese, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, and Swedish. (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by inedible on Dec 31, 2010 - 50 comments

Scott Pilgrim: The Last Airbender

Scott Pilgrim: The Last Airbender. [more inside]
posted by kmz on Dec 29, 2010 - 77 comments

Severe Head Trauma in Midwestern Adolescent Girls and the Decline of the American Musical

Early in 1903, the success of the New York production of the musical adaptation of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz got composer Victor Herbert and librettist Glen MacDonough thinking. They thought that it might be possible to duplicate that success by applying a Christmas theme to Baum's story and then sprinkling in a few Mother Goose characters. Later that year the resulting show, Babes in Toyland, was a rousing success. Thirty years later it was made into a movie starring two of the greatest motion picture actors of the era, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, produced by Hal Roach. But this post isn't about either of those productions; it's about the worst production. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Dec 17, 2010 - 22 comments

The Wonderful World of Babel

Unlike many cinematic exports, the Disney canon of films distinguishes itself with an impressive dedication to dubbing. Through an in-house service called Disney Character Voices International, not just dialogue but songs, too, are skillfully re-recorded, echoing the voice acting, rhythm, and rhyme scheme of the original work to an uncanny degree (while still leaving plenty of room for lyrical reinvention). The breadth of the effort is surprising, as well -- everything from Arabic to Icelandic to Zulu gets its own dub, and their latest project, The Princess and the Frog, debuted in more than forty tongues. Luckily for polyglots everywhere, the exhaustiveness of Disney's translations is thoroughly documented online in multilanguage mixes and one-line comparisons, linguistic kaleidoscopes that cast new light on old standards. Highlights: "One Jump Ahead," "Prince Ali," and "A Whole New World" (Aladdin) - "Circle of Life," "Hakuna Matata," and "Luau!" (The Lion King) - "Under the Sea" and "Poor Unfortunate Souls" (The Little Mermaid) - "Belle" and "Be Our Guest" (Beauty and the Beast) - "Just Around the Riverbend" (Pocahontas) - "One Song" and "Heigh-Ho" (Snow White) - "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo" (Cinderella) - Medley (Pinocchio) - "When She Loved Me" (Toy Story 2) - Intro (Monsters, Inc.)
posted by Rhaomi on Nov 12, 2010 - 31 comments

Cubic Mouth: Mickey & Friends

Cubic Mouth is a series of plush dolls and toys designed by Satoshi Fumihara, creator of MTV Japan's The World of Golden Eggs and some rather interesting ads for Nissan. (previously) If the dolls look familiar, it's not a coincidence nor is it an artistic imitation; these are legitimately licensed Disney products. (most links in Japanese but self-explanatory) Oh Disney, why do you have to be so buttoned up at home?
posted by 1adam12 on Oct 21, 2010 - 17 comments

Donald Duck And Glenn Beck Remixed In Cartoon (SLYT)

Right Wing Radio Duck "Donald's life is turned upside-down by the current economic crisis and he finds himself unemployed and falling behind on his house payments. As his frustration turns into despair Donald discovers a seemingly sympathetic voice coming from his radio named Glenn Beck. "
posted by Arthur Phillips Jones Jr on Oct 2, 2010 - 52 comments

Muppets + Disney = Jim Henson's last Muppets project

The Muppets at Walt Disney World is a television special starring Jim Henson's Muppets at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This was the last Muppets project that Jim Henson worked on before his death. parts: intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 [more inside]
posted by item on Sep 16, 2010 - 16 comments

QUAAAAAACK! Now that's a war face!

Always wished you could listen to a scene from Full Metal Jacket [imdb] with the voices provided by Disney(tm)-sounding characters? Well, then you'd like Full Metal Disney. (SLYT - nsfw - swearing).
posted by cavalier on Sep 7, 2010 - 7 comments

Fantasia, Americana, Wonderland.

Take a solo trek through the back streets of toontown or gaze upon pastoral fantasia. You'll find an astonishing variety of familiar and fantastic locales at Bob Richards' Animation Backgrounds blog. [more inside]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on Sep 3, 2010 - 7 comments

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