There’s only room for one Happiest Place on Earth on this Earth.
The folks at Cheap Flights have cross-examined ticket prices, acreage, and the number of character meet-and-greets to determine which of six Disney parks is the most jolly.
Scroll to the bottom for the big reveal!
Digital artist Eowyn Smith has created a map of the world highlighting the location where animated films by Disney and Pixar took place. The fan art maps 44 Disney animated films 13 Pixar films. It reaches as far back as Disney’s first film, Snow White, and includes Disney’s 2013 release Frozen.
In traditional cartography fashion, Wall-E, Monsters, Inc., Dinosaur, Treasure Planet, and Wreck-It Ralph are given an inset. The films are variously set in the future, prehistoric past, or alternate universes.
- Movie was placed based on the location IMPLIED IN THE DISNEY/PIXAR VERSION
- If the movie was too vague to determine a location, the original story/myth was consulted.
Source: Katherine M. Hill, Laughing Squid, February 11, 2014, http://laughingsquid.com/a-map-showing-the-geographic-locations-disney-and-pixar-films-around-the-world/.
Iconic film star from the 1930s, turned U.S. diplomat, Shirley Temple Black, passed away Monday at the age of 85. Although she never appeared in a Disney film, she knew Walt Disney, and has a unique place in their history including an animated caricature cameo in the Donald Duck short, “The Autograph Hound,” as well as her service as a member of the Disney board of directors in the mid-1970s.
But we have a special memory of Shirley Temple at the Disneyland Resort that some people may not be aware of.
In April 1957, Walt Disney invited Shirley to oversee the opening of the Sleeping Beauty Castle Diorama.Her daughters Lori and Linda can be seen in the background, along with her husband, Charles Black.She later said this was the last time she saw Walt Disney, whom she remembered fondly.“Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs”A photo of this iconic moment in Hollywood history hangs proudly in the hallway leading to the dining room of Carthay Circle Restaurant at Disney California Adventure park.Shirley: “I’m sure all the boys and girls in the whole world are going to be very happy when they find out the daddy of ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,’ Mickey Mouse, Ferdinand and all the others is going to get this beautiful statue. Isn’t bright and shiny! Aren’t you proud of it, Mr. Disney?”
Walt: “I’m so proud I think I’ll bust. You know I think that Mickey Mouse, Ferdinand, Snow White and all the dwarfs are going to be very proud that you presented it.”
Source: DLRPToday.com, Anthony Sheridan, Monday, February 11, 2013
Did you know that 85% of Disneyland Paris fans visit fan sites at least once a week. Let’s hope you’re not also one of the unfortunate 8% of fans who have never actually visited the resort (NOTE: I think the DLRPToday.com site is France or Europe-based; 8% seems low for us folks in the USA). These are just two of the many interesting key metrics recently mined in a huge infographic of 7,760 responses to the official Disneyland Paris Fan Survey we were asked to help promote last year. The full infographic is included below (you can click on the image to enlarge it).
What is revealed is that fans, who responded, visit Disneyland Paris on average 10 times a year, 71% are between 18 and 34 years old and 59% (versus 41%) are male, the results of the online survey also reveal what fans themselves want from Disneyland Paris and its communication with them. The official Facebook, YouTube and Twitter streams are given a perhaps surprisingly resounding thumbs up — 87% satisfied with the official Facebook page, 83% with Twitter — while a slightly lower 79% are satisfied with merchandise opportunities.
Though the simpler checkbox answers have generated some nice stats for this infographic, the more interesting text-based answers are what fans hope the resort listens and learns from. Most fans, as well as desiring special treatment from the resort, also want to see it succeed and improve in itself. After all, the more successful Disneyland Paris is, and the more people who understand the “magic” of the place, the more confident the fans will feel in providing their opinions to Disney. The suggestion of an official blog for news and backstage insights is still a great one, and probably brought up as much from our desire to read it as our belief that — like the excellent U.S. Disney Parks Blog — it would help in the resort’s promotion and communication with the wider public.
Likewise merchandise, which it’s noted fans want to see more “geared to the resort experience” (e.g., based around lands and attractions, rather than generic characters) — we want better merchandise so we can more happily part with our cash and support something dear to our hearts. Rather than improving for us, fans mostly want Disneyland Paris to improve for itself first.
I am posting commentary from The Walt Disney Family Museum blog regarding recent statements that have been made about Walt.
Walt was one of my childhood heroes (Houdini, Teddy Roosevelt, Albert Einstein were others). I also had the good fortune to work for The Walt Disney Company for a while. I have read most books and articles (both good and bad) about Walt over my lifetime.
Please take some time and read this commentary. I will let it speak for itself.
In the meantime, I am going to Disneyland.
In light of the recent rumors that have been spreading about Walt Disney, The Walt Disney Family Museum would be more than happy to debunk misconceptions that have been told as bold, un-sourced statements and wildly false accusations, as part of our mission to enlighten and educate.
In 1938, a letter was written from Walt Disney Productions to a female applicant, turning down her request to enroll in the Studio’s Animation Training Program. The letter, to the right, states that women did not perform the position of Animator at that time. What it did not say is that women were not capable of such work. This type of job restriction could be found not only at The Walt Disney Studios but at every other animation studio. Put into historical context, this letter illustrates the culturally accepted limited role of women in the workplace in the 1930s. At that time, most companies in America were mostly male-dominated with women providing smaller support roles. There were several prominent women within Walt Disney Productions, well before WWII made women the backbone of the American workforce. In speeches made to his employees on February 10 and 11, 1941, Walt observed that women artists could fully equal their male counterparts, and were being included in his studio animation training program:
|Courtesy Walt Disney Family Foundation © The Estate of Mary Blair|
Quite a few women played important roles at The Walt Disney Studios during Walt’s time, including artist Mary Blair—whose work in the animation department at The Walt Disney Studios heavily influenced the look and feel of Disney films for almost 30 years. Blair started at the Studios in the early 1940s and worked on classics such as Cinderella, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, and more. She also assisted in the design of the Disneyland Resort attraction it’s a small world, and a life retrospective of her work will be on view at The Walt Disney Family Museum starting March 2014. (Our current exhibition—Water to Paper, Paint to Sky: The Art of Tyrus Wong—focuses on the life’s work of 103-year old Asian American artist Tyrus Wong, who also worked at The Walt Disney Studios in the 1940s. To find out more about Walt and diversity, please skip down to the next section).
It was even before the 1950s when they started recognizing the employment and importance of women at The Walt Disney Studios. Notably, Hazel Sewell served as an art director on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was released in 1937—a year before the letter mentioned above was dated. Sewell also worked as an ink artist on the very first Mickey Mouse cartoon created in 1928, Plane Crazy, and was one of the artists who traveled to Latin America in 1941 as part of Walt’s goodwill tour.
Other notable females, besides Walt’s wife Lillian—who worked as an Inker & Painter before they married in 1925—were his Aunt Margaret, who provided Walt with his first drawing tablet and tools, and Margaret (MJ) Winkler, whose distribution deal with Walt’s Alice Comedies allowed him to establish the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studios in 1923.
WALT DISNEY AND DIVERSITY:
Walt Disney was a patriot—one only has to look at his work throughout the 1940s to witness his tour of Latin America of behalf of the United States Good Neighbor Policy, the US Army’s occupation of The Walt Disney Studios Lot, Walt’s countless military training films, which were made at cost, as well as shorts and films against the Axis like “Victory Through Air Power.” The Studios even won an Academy Award in 1943 for the short film “Der Fuehrer’s Face”—the easiest of Google searches will reveal the true patriotic message behind Donald Duck’s nightmare in “Nutzi Land.”
Walt was also a frequent contributor to Jewish charities, including the Yeshiva College and the Jewish Home for the Aged. Also, Walt Disney was made Man of the Year by the Beverly Hills Lodge of B’nai B’rith—the oldest continually-operating Jewish service organization, which fights anti-Semitism all over the world—in 1955, and was also awarded a recognition from Hadassah, a Jewish women’s organization that empowers youth in Israel and America. These awards can be seen in the Lobby of The Walt Disney Museum (or by clicking on the thumbnails above. Right: B’nai B’rith Heart of America Chapter, Kansas City, Missouri; Distinguished Service Citation, 1958. Left: Hadassah Recognition of Achievement, 1958.)
|Floyd Norman, 1956. © Disney|
Our good friend and Disney animator Floyd Norman also has been quoted saying: “The funny part was that minorities weren’t knocking at the gates to get in. The jobs were there if they wanted them and if they were qualified. It’s like the old ruse that Walt didn’t hire Jews, which was also ridiculous. There were plenty of Jews at Disney. Personally, I never felt any prejudice from Walt.” In fact, we encourage you to read the blog piece he recently published addressing the same factual misconceptions that we discuss here.
DECEMBER 15, 1966:
Lastly, let’s not forget to bust the most circulated (and possibly the most bizarre) myth of all. The Walt Disney Family Museum houses an entire gallery dedicated to the heartbreakingly sudden passing of Walt Disney—from acute circulatory lung collapse—on December 15, 1966. Two days later, Walt was cremated and interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA. In fact, the only time the phrase “Disney’s Frozen” is accurate is when it is in reference to the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ new animated feature.
It’s true that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but if you are still skeptical after looking over these facts presented above, we invite you to visit The Walt Disney Family Museum, or even send us your questions and concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.The Walt Disney Family Museum® Disney Enterprises, Inc. | © 2014 The Walt Disney Family Museum, LLC | The Walt Disney Family Museum is not affiliated with Disney Enterprises, Inc.
Written by Storyboard, On January 9th 2014 |
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Matterhorn ride, the folks at Disney created this infographic which gave us a rare inside look at the Matterhorn at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA.
Correction: My friend, Charles Apple, at the Orange County Register sent me an update to this blog post. Charles noted: “The folks at Disney”? No, I’m afraid that’s my colleague Scott Brown at the Orange County Register.
Thanks Charles for the correction on who created the graphic. You Editors catch everything!
Today, with deep sadness, The Walt Disney Family Museum shared that Diane Disney Miller has passed away. Diane died of complications from a fall.
Diane was the eldest daughter of Walt and Lillian Disney, wife to Ron Miller, mother of seven children, grandmother, great-grandmother, friend, and an inspiration to all. She was an extraordinary philanthropist and enthusiastic supporter of the arts. Diane carried on her father’s legacy with dignity, grace, and devotion.
While the family appreciates your thoughts and prayers, they kindly request that their privacy is respected at this time.
In lieu of flowers and gifts, donations may be made to the memorial fund that The Walt Disney Family Museum has created in honor of Diane Disney Miller. Donations will support the museum’s ongoing education efforts, exhibitions, and programs.
Donations and cards can also be sent to the family through The Walt Disney Family Museum, attn: Director’s Office; 104 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94129
Services will be private and the museum has not yet planned a public commemoration of Diane, but a possible program or event may be scheduled in the future.
Disney Legends Awards Ceremony
America’s Funniest Home Videos host Tom Bergeron and Disney CEO Bob Iger hosted the awards ceremony which began by honoring Imagineer Tony Baxter. Bob Iger introduced Baxter by mentioning he was the creator of EPCOT Center’s Dreamfinder and Figment characters, noting that Disney “learned the hard way” just how loved the characters are by fans.
Baxter’s acceptance speech centered on a discussion about his keys to success, recapping his early fascination with Disneyland, to his pursuit of a career with the company and how he achieved the things he did over his very rich history with Disney.
As well as the late Steve Jobs, who was largely responsible for Pixar Animation Studios being alive today. Pixar head John Lasseter, a close friend of Steve Jobs, accepted the award on his behalf with a very emotional speech.
Richard M. Sherman and Alan Menken: The Disney Songbook
Richard Sherman took to the piano first, sharing stories behind his classic Disney songs and performing a variety of hits from “Winnie the Pooh” to “Mary Poppins” to Disneyland’s “Enchanted Tiki Room” and beyond.
Alan Menken performed songs spanning his incredible career with Disney, from “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” to “Newsies” and “Tangled.”
The concert ended with an amazing duet of “It’s a Small World.”
On Friday, Disney Imagineer (and new Legend) Tony Baxter joined Imagineer Josh Shipley with an amazing presentation of rare color footage of Disneyland from its early years. Unfortunately, I missed this presentation but our friends at Disneyland Live have video that every Disneyland fan should see of Tony Baxter and Josh Shipley showing rare video of Disneyland’s Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland.
The presentation also included an announcement from Disney Parks head Tom Staggs that Disney will honor Tony Baxter with a window on Disneyland’s Main Street. Baxter later spoke with the LA Times’ Hero Complex blog about his career working at Imagineering.
The Art and Artistry of Aulani
Rohde and Lomboy discussed in-depth the design choices made for the new resort, which all go back to celebrating the people and culture of Hawaii. The Imagineering team went to great lengths to get the Hawaiian people involved with the development of the hotel, ranging from calling on local Hawaiians to create art for the property, to having local musicians create the background music for the resort, to having native Hawaiian spiritual guides help with the planning of the resort.
Broadcasts from Buena Vista Street
On Saturday, voice actors that make up the cast of the radio programs you can overhear on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure joined together and performed one of the programs you can listen to in its entirety live for the audience. It was a remarkably entertaining experience and afterward the cast talked about their careers and experiences working on Disney projects.
Sounds Delightful! An Illustrated Audio Adventure
On Sunday, Disney artist and historian Stacia Martin led a fantastic discussion on early Disney records, which included audio samples from rare recordings including early songs recorded about Mickey Mouse, to records from Mickey Mouse Club star Annette Funicello.
Stacia also treated the audience to demo recordings made for Walt Disney of songs from the never-completed “Rainbow Road to Oz” film. Stacia played demos of the songs that were made for the film and walked the audience through the movie’s story, explaining where the songs would have fit in. The songs had never been heard by the general public until this presentation.
Walt Disney Imagineering 60th: Craft of Creativity
The Imagineers talked about their history with the company (Kathy Mangum started out as a store clerk at the Adventureland Bazaar) and sharing their thoughts on what makes a good Imagineer (Joe Rohde: “To be an Imagineer, “you have to be the kind of person who wants to share.”)
Walt Disney Imagineering 60th: Leading a Legacy
Sunday also included a discussion between Imagineers Marty Sklar (former head of Walt Disney Imagineering) and Bruce Vaughn (current head of Imagineering) on leading Walt Disney Imagineering.
Thoughts on D23 Expo 2013
The 2013 D23 Expo has come and gone and proved to be a big success for Disney, with Friday and Saturday both selling out. The success of this year’s event prompted CEO Bob Iger to announce Saturday that the next Expo will take place in 2015.
Despite its success, not everyone in attendance was wowed by what Disney had to offer at this year’s event, with the main issue being the lack of big announcements and breaking news. It’s true that each Expo continues to grow in size and success for Disney, but how long can that success be sustained if Disney continues to pull back on its major announcements? The first Expo in 2009 set a precedent for the D23 Expo to be a major platform for Disney to showcase its future with unexpected announcements and in-depth previews of what was new and what was next. This year, however, Disney seemingly threw all of that out. Instead, major movie studio presentations mostly just expanded on projects that everybody was aware of, keeping the lid on things that would keep fans and the media talking for weeks. No new theme park announcements, no major movie announcements and hardly a peep on the recently acquired Lucasfilm or upcoming Star Wars sequel.
It would be one thing if Disney had never used the D23 Expo as a platform for major announcements, but the first two Expos were just that – the place for Disney to proudly show off its new toys and get people excited with big announcements on major new productions. Despite Disney announcing before the Expo that no new announcements would be made, the lack of information still stung fans and burned the blogosphere. Entertainment magazines and film blogs aren’t being shy about openly discussing the disappointment of Saturday’s live action presentation; Variety opens an article on the subject with “The disappointment was palpable at D23 Expo as Walt Disney Studios promoted 11 movies that it will release through the end of 2015.” Obviously, the biggest letdown from the studio was the lack of Star Wars announcements but that disappointment bleeds through to just about every other major division of Disney, including Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.
Are fans asking for too much? If Disney wants to host its own version of Comic Con then it needs to deliver something. You can’t buy up Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar and run the world’s premier vacation destinations without fans expecting you to make new announcements at your huge, biennial conventions. Aside from cosplaying and surprise celebrity appearances, major announcements are what conventions like this are known for. Instead, the 2013 D23 Expo just spent three days sharing information that had mostly been released already and celebrating the company’s history, rather than previewing the future. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating the company’s history, and D23 (a product of the Walt Disney Archives) does quite well at producing events that do just that. Still, those events are much smaller than the Expo and cater to a niche market. There’s certainly a place for Disney history at the Expo, but can the Expo really support company history as its primary draw? It’s a question that Disney is now going to have to weigh when they start planning the next Expo. It isn’t just the vocal Disney fan community voicing disappointment anymore – with Disney now owning Lucasfilm and Marvel, there’s more at stake than ever. Hopefully Disney will plan accordingly for the 2015 D23 Expo and bring their best game like they did in 2009 with major new announcements.
Despite the lack of breaking news or exciting new announcements, the D23 Expo improved greatly in other areas from the last convention in 2011. The most impressive improvements were increased capacity and better handling of crowds. Disney obviously listened to complaints and concerns from 2011 where attendees waited for hours to get into popular panel discussions only to be told there was no space left. Both Stage 23 and Stage 28 were significantly expanded with bigger seating and viewing areas and I had no issues getting into any of the presentations that I attended. Similarly, the D23 Arena included an overflow viewing area with screens for those who were unable to make it into the huge arena.
The new D23 Expo StagePass service was also a success, allowing attendees to secure seats for popular presentations in Stage 23 and Stage 28. I heard some frustrations from Expo attendees about waiting in long lines for StagePass, but I think it would be foolish to expect a first-year service like this to not have some kinks to work out. Hopefully StagePass returns in 2015 with improvements to the system, but its debut year seems to have been successful. I heard numerous attendees talking about how it allowed them to see more than they otherwise would have been able to, which is great.
Also worth noting is the continued growth of the D23 Expo’s show floor offerings. The trend here points toward bigger pavilions with more varied offerings and that’s great to see. The show floor in 2009 had a lot of potential for growth and it’s great to see Disney taking note of this and growing the show floor. There was always something happening – whether it be live performances, celebrity appearances, signings, demonstrations or giveaways. It’ll be interesting to see how the show floor continues to grow in the coming years.
So what the D23 Expo lacked in content this year, it made up for in production value, crowd management and event planning. From what I could tell, this was the easiest Expo to date for attendees thanks to smart scheduling, great planning and efficient crowd control. Congrats to the D23 Expo team for a successful event. Here’s to 2015!
Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives
Unfortunately, the exhibit wasn’t as large or as strong as the display put together for the 2011 D23 Expo. What was great was planned overflow queue and smart handling of crowds lining up for the exhibit. Inexplicably, however, crowds coming to see the impressive displays of Disney history were greeted with a series of designer gowns based on Disney princesses.
The exhibit picked up steam with its extensive display on Disney’s varied Oz efforts over the years. A great collection of art and artifacts from the canceled “Rainbow Road to Oz” production that Walt Disney worked on was on display.
The big success of the Treasures of the Walt Disney Archives exhibit was the huge “Mary Poppins” display. With the film approaching its 50th anniversary and the upcoming release of “Saving Mr. Banks,” the exhibit was a fitting tribute to the legacy of Walt Disney’s classic film.
Art and Imagination: Animation at the Walt Disney Studios
On Friday, the D23 Arena hosted its big presentation on Disney Animation, giving the audience a look inside what the teams at Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios and DisneyToon Studios are working on. The audience was introduced to new characters and some of the voice actors made special appearances including Judy Greer, Bill Hader and Lucas Neff from “The Good Dinosaur” (2014) as well as Bill Hader (again) and Phyllis Smith from Pixar’s 2015 release, “Inside Out.” Pixar also teased the upcoming “Finding Dory” movie.
Walt Disney Animation Studios gave an in-depth look at “Frozen,” which will hit theaters this winter. Actor Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf the snowman, made an appearance and talked about his character and working with Disney.
Disney also treated guests to a screening of the new animated Mickey Mouse cartoon, “Get A Horse!” The new short will debut for the general public in front of “Frozen” this winter. The new short is unique in many ways, but perhaps most notably because it features Walt Disney’s voice as Mickey Mouse using audio pulled and stitched together from Walt Disney’s previous performances of Mickey. The effect is seamless and it’s really special to hear Walt Disney as Mickey Mouse again in a new cartoon.
Also teased were Disney’s upcoming film “Zootopia” (2016) which takes us into a world of anthropomorphic animals without humans as well as the Marvel-inspired animated film “Big Hero 6″
Let the Adventures Begin: Live Action at the Walt Disney Studios
One of the biggest events at the Expo was the big Disney live action presentation in the D23 Arena. Fans had high expectations for the show, many with the hopes that Disney would make a big announcement for the upcoming Star Wars sequel. Despite fan hopes, Disney stayed true to their promise that no Star Wars news would come out of the Expo but fans were treated to presentations from Disney’s live action studio as well as Marvel Entertainment which featured sneak peeks, celebrity appearances and more.
Marvel brought out stars from Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy
“Maleficent” (2014) starring Angelina Jolie
As well as the upcoming “Saving Mr. Banks”
…and the upcoming “Tomorrowland” movie.