Since at least the late 1950s, Walt Disney Studios had a morgue on site
(auto-playing music, with option to pause
), but rather than a place to temporarily keep dead bodies, the name is a reference to "morgue files" kept by newspaper reporters
, where old materials were kept for reference. In 1989, the archives moved to larger, more modern facilities, renamed the Animation Research Library (ARL), a 12,000 square foot housed in a nondescript structure, which guests are required to not describe or identify by location or even neighborhood, as noted in this Telegraph article, The Jungle Book: the making of Disney's most troubled film
. Given the limited access and strict controls over what can be recorded in ARL, Ultimate Disney's 2006 tour write-ups with photos
and D23's Armchair Archivist interview with select Disney staff
may be the closest you can get to getting inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Aug 23, 2014 -
Best Selling author Douglas Preston
, along with 907 other authors, signed a letter
that ran as a double full-page ad in yesterday’s print edition of the New York Times
, asking Amazon to stop blocking or delaying the sale of books on their site as a tactic to lower the e-book prices that Amazon is charged by the publisher Hachette.*
The three month dispute between Hachette and Amazon previously prompted a response by Amazon’s self-published authors and readers
, but it took an odd turn Saturday night when Amazon posted this letter
on a site called ReadersUnited.com, after sending it as an email to all of its Kindle Direct Publishing
authors. In that letter they include Hachette’s CEO’s email, and have asked their KDP authors to write to Hachette’s CEO telling him what they think about cheaper ebooks. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on Aug 11, 2014 -
Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins
is an animated children's show about 6-year-old Dottie McStuffins, who wants to be a doctor like her mother, and pretends to be a doctor to her toys. Doc McStuffins
has done well as a TV show, but it's as a doll that Doc's success has been stratospheric
, with over $500 million in sales last year. “'When little white girls embrace Doc McStuffins, for them Doc McStuffins is a girl, and Doc McStuffins is powerful,' Dr. [Margaret Beale] Spencer said. 'For a little black girl, it may be all of those things, but also that she’s black
posted by ocherdraco
on Jul 31, 2014 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
is best known for their spin-offs of Walt Disney Animation Studios films, like the Tinker Bell
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -