Little Big Star
(free software, currently in beta - video
) it's the first guitar rythm game with support for real instruments. In the next months two more products of the same kind should be released, Disney Star Guitar
and Guitar Rising
. [more inside]
isn't exactly the scarlet letter, but it might be a sign of something we've seen before
(or maybe not
, depending who you ask.) Still, you should probably get yourself one of these
] if you're planning to cry wolf! (You can also make your own
.) [more inside]
Behind Pixar’s string of hit movies, says the studio’s president, is a peer-driven process for solving problems. How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity
(alternate print link
for those having trouble with the first link), by the co-founder of Pixar and the president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios Ed Catmull
. [more inside]
In January of 2004, Disney shut down
their Florida animation studio, part of their decision to move away from 2D
, or cell-shaded, animation for good
. Two years later, as part of the new deal with Pixar, John Lasseter and Ed Catmull were brought in as heads of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and promptly declared that 2-D Animation would thrive again on their watch. For their first new project, the team wanted to show support for the still-struggling New Orleans, and simultaneously introduce Disney's first Black Princess
in "The Frog Princess"
(Or The Princess and the Frog
, as it is now known), a fairy tale set in 1920's Jazz-era Louisiana, with Randy Newman providing a period-specific score
. Much response
to the project has been quite positive
, but as with all things, the devil is in the details
Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience
- “massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum. It is being designed by the firm that developed Disneyland.” Here's a quick roundup
of some commentary
. (last link with concept design sketches)
The last of Disney's Nine Old Men, Ollie Johnston, has passed away
at the age of 95. His work at Disney on several classic features and his books with Frank Thomas (The Illusion of Life
in particular), have long been inspiring to animators like myself. He was one of the great ones, and will be missed.
Can't afford to get to Disney this year? Worry not: ride the rides on YouTube. There's The Haunted Mansion
, The Pirates of the Caribbean
, Splash Mountain
, The Tower of Terror
, Peter Pan
and plenty more
. The best, though, are the ride-throughs for rides that are no longer there: EPCOT's Horizons
, World of Motion
and original Imagination
are ones I remember vividly from my childhood. Maybe you will too.
Peace on Earth
- 1939 Disney animation directed by Hugh Harman. And Goodwill to Men
, a 1955 remake by Hanna-Barbera.
Magic Highway U.S.A.
Disney's May 1958 view of the future of transportation. Some recaps
at 2719 Hyperion and Paleo-Future
. [IMDB; via]
In the early 1950's, Monsanto Chemical Company
, MIT and Disneyland collaborated
their resources and creative brainpower to build
"the house of 1986." Using 30,000 pounds of plastic (The building's structure, carpet, chairs, sinks, appliances and floors were all plastic. About $7,500 to $15,000 worth.), the Monsanto House of the Future
* was opened to an excited public in June of 1957. It was closed in 1967 as ideas of the future were beginning to change. Let's take a quick tour,
shall we? *(Not to be confused with Xanadu Homes of Tomorrow.) [more inside]
4 Artists Paint 1 Tree
, a segment from Disneyland
included on the recent DVD release
of Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty
, features the artistic process of one of my favorite painters and cartoon modernists
, Eyvind Earle
. If you've seen Sleeping Beauty
, Lady and the Tramp, Paul Bunyan or Peter Pan
, you're familiar with the fantastical and brilliant landscapes he produces. His paintings
show a particular fondness for Big Sur
and Central California.
Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue
was an animated drug prevention television special starring many popular cartoon characters from American Saturday morning television. Airing in 1990 and financed by McDonald's, it was simulcast on all three major American television networks. The VHS home video edition of the special also opened with an introduction from then-President George Bush Snr and Barbara Bush. And thanks to the wonders of the interwebs, you can watch the whole thing here
. And you really should. After all, where else are you going to get to hear cartoon characters like Garfield and Winnie the Pooh talking about smoking crack and shooting juice? [more inside]
For whatever reason, this girl
has uploaded over a hundred and fifty videos of Disney songs dubbed in Icelandic (as well as a few other languages). I just can't wait to be king
, Strange Things
, the Siamese cat song
Covering The Mouse
. An MP3 blog dedicated to cover versions of Disney songs. My favorite so far is Gene Simmons' cover of "When You Wish Upon A Star."
It's a Big World After All.
The Disneyland Small World ride is going to be closed for 10 months in 2008 due to refurbishing. The main reason for the refurbishing: the ride isn't built to accommodate today's average passengers' body weights.
Eldon Dedini NSFW
is one of several 1960's Playboy cartoonists
featured over at the Animation Archive. [more inside]
Remember the Town Disney Built? -- 50% of the homes in Celebration, Florida are up for sale
. A failure of corporate-owned and -planned Community™
? or just a fallout of the bursting of the housing bubble? And whither New Urbanism
? [more inside]
and Walt Disney
collaborated in 1946 on the short animation Destino. Disney had concerns about some of the graphics and it was never released. Lost for 56 years, it was restored in 2003 and has not yet been released for wholesale distribution. Tommorrow is your last chance to see it
at the Dali and Film
exhibit at the Tate Gallery. Previously.
The author of this site
takes screen-shots from long-pan scenes of classic animation and puts them together to re-create the original larger background images. Much cooler than it sounds, honest. [via MeFi's own kokogiak, sort of]
Mars and Beyond
- 50 years ago, this animated episode of Tomorrowland aired on Disneyland a few months after the launch of Sputnik - an entertaining melange of astronomy, sci-fi, pop culture, science, speculation, and surreality. Walt himself and Wernher von Braun make guest appearances and clip 5 is particularly trippy. (Parts 2
A Fair(y) Use Tale Single link YouTube
Cloned Disney cels: page 1 [Russian
, bad English
], page 2 [Russian
, bad English
Virtual Space Mountain
! Wheeeee! (Click on the second video where you sit in front. What are you, a wuss?)
Real video just can't
do Space Mountain justice, but it does a pretty good job of capturing some other rides. Feel like revisiting some original Magic Kingdom rides without leaving home? Well here you go... Pirates
, Mr. Toad
, Small World
, Haunted Mansion
, Tiki Room
, Thunder Mountain
, Star Tours
, Indiana Jones
, Alice in Wonderland
, The Jungle Cruise
, Roger Rabbit
, the late Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
and a bunch of people covered in lightbulbs dancing to the world's most excruciatingly annoying synthesized music
. During your virtual day at the park, please just remember to watch out for Goofy. That dude is nothing but a messed up troublemaker
. And don't forget... the parking trams do not go to aisles B as in Bambi & C as in Cinderella.
Who Delayed Roger Rabbit?
Rich Drees lays bare the backroom bickering and production studio drama behind one of the 1980s' most successful comedies
. For an encore, Drees reviews the unproduced script of Roger Rabbit II: Toon Platoon
. Weep for what might have been.
"All over Orlando you see forces at work that are changing America from Fairbanks to Little Rock. This, truly, is a 21st-century paradigm: It is growth built on consumption, not production; a society founded not on natural resources, but upon the dissipation of capital accumulated elsewhere; a place of infinite possibilities, somehow held together, to the extent it is held together at all, by a shared recognition of highway signs, brand names, TV shows, and personalities, rather than any shared history. Nowhere else is the juxtaposition of what America actually is and the conventional idea of what America should be more vivid and revealing."
"Welcome to the theme-park nation." [more inside]
The Reedy Creek Improvement District's
goal "is to provide effective and efficient services to the public and our taxpayers." The taxpayer is Disney, and the taxes are used to provide services for Disney by contracting the services to Disney
. The RCID
is a county-like entity in Florida, composed of the cities of Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake, which are also controlled by Disney. The government of the RCID is elected by the landowners - Disney executives who own five-acre plots, the only non-corporate and non-government landowners. The governments of the cities are elected by the residents - about 40 Disney employees split between Bay Lake
and Lake Buena Vista
. The Rotten Library (SFW article on a NSFW site)
discusses the district, which is administered from a SimCity 2000 construction site
David Gonterman is still alive.
Gonterman was last mentioned here five years ago
. Gonterman has become a long-time Deviant
. Gonterman is accepting comissions via his journal
. Gonterman is writing a "part autobiography"
about a boy who was teased in school and retreated into a fantasy land. Gonterman has made available the first part of this novel
(doc). Gonterman has made available the first part of his new furry PI comic series
(pdf). If you don't know Gonterman, you are fortunate: this is Gonterman.
Comic Strip Artist's Kit
Carson Van Osten's tips for cartoonists and animators, scanned huge for easy printout.
The 50 Greatest Cartoons Ever:
- including links to the full-length videos of the corresponding toons
. Based on a twelve year-old-vote by the animation industry, which explains why there are no appearances by Cartman, Bart, or Fry.
He had an awesome name for an animator
. He created Mickey Mouse.
He won two Academy Awards
. He invented rotoscoping
. Now he is mostly forgotten, except among cartoon aficionados. Also forgotten: Flip the Frog
. He was Ub Iwerks
In 1983, John Lassetter and Chris Wedge created some test footage that integrated CGI and traditional animation [YouTube]
for Disney. The work it was based on? Where The Wild Things Are
. The movie was never made and Lassetter left to start Pixar, which redefined how animated movies were created. Curious to see the shorts that led to Toy Story
and its followers? Pixar's put all their short films online.
Tom Hignite wasn't content owning one of Wisconsin's most successful companies, Miracle Homes. The evangelical contracting magnate had a dream. He would be the Walt Disney(sound)
of the 21st century. So he turned a portion of his 7,000 square foot house into a studio, hired a crew of veteran Disney and Warner Bros. animators, and proceeded to make a feature film QT
starring his own creation, Miracle Mouse
. This is the story of how it all went wrong.
Five go adventuring in Disneyland. Enid Blyton
, beloved British children's author, created tales
of child detectives Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy the dog
in the 1940s. Deemed outdated, or at times downright offensive
(.pdf), stories abound that the author's work has been banned from libraries or school reading lists
in the past for being sexist and/or racist. Debate sprang up earlier this year over the publisher's attempts to update the books for a modern audience
(read: American), which some interpreted as a politically correct attempt at sanitisation. The Famous Five was nevertheless voted by adults as their favourite series for children
Now owned by brand business Chorion
, the historic characters are being reimagined as Cole, Dylan, Jo and Allie in a 26-episode animated series from Disney. Some are delighted
, others are not amused
. Pour yourself some lashings of ginger beer
, and remember Kirrin Island
fondly. It may be the end of an era.