Categories
Art Disney education

Imagineering in a Box

Working with the Kahn Academy, Disney Imagineering released a free course on theme park design called Imagineering in a Box.

Imagineering in a Box is designed to pull back the curtain to show students how artists, designers and engineers work together to create theme parks. We take a behind-the-scenes look that learners love and make it an active experience through student-driven projects. We do this by weaving together videos and exercises into lessons that culminate in a long form project. The goal is to make students aware of careers they never knew existed and deepen their understanding of the process, concepts and terminology of the creative workplace.

The course is comprised of 32 videos designed to encourage viewers to think about a wide range of skills including story development and conceptual design, math, physics and engineering. Completing the first three lessons, I agree with the write-up… this course, “ignite[s] curiosity, inspire[s] creativity, and cultivate innovation in the minds of students and teachers alike”, all the while creating a fun and engaging opportunity to explore new concepts. They say it’s aimed at middle school or high school so I’m not sure I would present it to my grade five class, but I sure am tempted. I live for this kind of thing.

(via Waxy)

Categories
Disney

Bob Chapek Named Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company

It’s the end of an era as Bob Iger steps down from his main role as CEO of The Walt Disney Company to move into his new role as Executive Chairman and focus on the company’s creative endeavours.

From the news release:

BURBANK, Calif., February 25, 2020—The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) Board of Directors announced today that Bob Chapek has been named Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company, effective immediately. Mr. Chapek most recently served as Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.

Robert A. Iger assumes the role of Executive Chairman and will direct the Company’s creative endeavors, while leading the Board and providing the full benefit of his experience, leadership and guidance to ensure a smooth and successful transition through the end of his contract on Dec. 31, 2021.

“With the successful launch of Disney’s direct-to-consumer businesses and the integration of Twenty-First Century Fox well underway, I believe this is the optimal time to transition to a new CEO,” Mr. Iger said. “I have the utmost confidence in Bob and look forward to working closely with him over the next 22 months as he assumes this new role and delves deeper into Disney’s multifaceted global businesses and operations, while I continue to focus on the Company’s creative endeavors.”

Mr. Iger added: “Bob will be the seventh CEO in Disney’s nearly 100-year history, and he has proven himself exceptionally qualified to lead the Company into its next century. Throughout his career, Bob has led with integrity and conviction, always respecting Disney’s rich legacy while at the same time taking smart, innovative risks for the future. His success over the past 27 years reflects his visionary leadership and the strong business growth and stellar results he has consistently achieved in his roles at Parks, Consumer Products and the Studio. Under Bob’s leadership as CEO, our portfolio of great businesses and our amazing and talented people will continue to serve the Company and its shareholders well for years to come.”

[…]

[Chapek] also served as President of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, where he spearheaded the successful “vault strategy” for the Company’s iconic films and transformed the primary format of home entertainment from DVD to Blu-ray.

The vault strategy was huge for Disney. I always admired (though didn’t really fall for) their bold supply and demand trick where Disney implied that the classic movies were soon headed for the vault so you’d better act now but knowing that they pull that trick every time a new technology comes out (DVD then Blu-Ray) made me realize the “vault strategy” wasn’t so scary. Still, I’m sure it made them a lot of money.

Categories
Disney

Sword in the Stone Removed by Disneyland Guest

If you’ve ever been to King Arthur’s Carousel in Disneyland you’ve probably imagined what it would be like to pull Excalibur, the “sword in the stone,” from its anvil.A failed attempt at pulling the sword from the stone.Image from my 2002 trip to Disneyland

Last week, using sheer brute force, a Disneyland guest successfully did just that, removing the iconic sword from its anvil “stone” in front of the King Arthur Carrousel. It was first thought that the sword was removed as part of a planned refurbishment but then a guest shed light on what really happened.

The sword is not removed for refurbishment. My friend Sam broke it last week on the 8th when we went to Disneyland. He literally ripped it out. The staff said that it was really old and that’s why he was able to do so. It was his first time at Disney and he’s a pretty buff dude, I told him if he pulled it out he’d win a prize and he just used brute force I guess lol. It was broken and jagged. The staff said they taped it off so no one would stick their fingers in and cut it on the broken piece left inside.

Unfortunately, the guest didn’t become king. The prop has since been updated with a shiny new sword and anvil.

Find photos of the ducked taped anvil and replacement sword at WDWNT.

(via BoingBoing)

Categories
Disney history

Not on Disney+

In contrast to the list of Disney+ content I posted recently, The Internet Archive has a pretty comprehensive collection of Disney movies/shorts that will not be hitting Disney+ any time soon. Take a peek at some of the racism, sexism, propaganda, and other controversial topics of media giant’s past after the jump:

Categories
Disney

Disney+ Coming Soon

Speaking of streaming services, Disney’s new offering will launch November 12 in the US, Canada and the Netherlands and a week later, on November 19, in New Zealand and Australia. It’ll be $6.99USD to watch the entire1 back catalogues of Disney, Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and 20 Century Fox, all in one place: Disney+. There aren’t as many new shows that are as intriguing as what Apple has to offer, but there is certainly just a lot more to offer kids.

As a side note, and I’m not exactly sure who they expect to watch the whole thing, but Disney has released a three-hour preview with just about everything they intend to include in their new streaming service:

See a complete listing after the jump.

1. Ok, due to previous licensing deals, some marvel titles (for example) won’t be available immediately. It depends on which region you are subscribing from which titles will be available.

Categories
Disney

D23 Expo 2019 Highlights

D23 Expo, the largest Disney fan event in the world, celebrates all the wonderful worlds of The Walt Disney Company under one roof, including the best of Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Star Wars across film, television, theme parks, products, online, music, live entertainment, and more. D23 Expo 2019 marks the sixth biennial Expo held in Anaheim.

Highlights from the first day of D23 Expo 2019:

Probably a lot more interesting to me is the trailer that was released for the Disney+ exclusive show “Star Wars: The Mandalorian”.

From The Mandalorian entry on Wikipedia:

The Mandalorian is an upcoming American space-opera web television series scheduled to premiere on Disney+ on November 12, 2019. Set in the Star Wars universe, the series will take place a few years after the events of Return of the Jedi and follows a lone Mandalorian gunfighter beyond the reaches of the New Republic.

Here are Saturday and Sunday’s recaps:

Categories
Disney

Disney-Pixar Deal

I’ve been hearing rumours about Disney buying Pixar in an all-stock deal for a couple of days. Here is the lowdown:

The Telegraph article was the first one that I heard of announcing the deal.

Today the New York Times reports that Disney may announce their acquisition of Pixar as early as tomorrow. According to the Times, the deal would combine Pixar with Disney’s animation unit and give Mr. Jobs a seat on Disney’s board.

The LA TIMES article Walt’s Shoes at Disney Could Be a Fit for Jobs draws an interesting parallel between Steve Jobs and Walt Disney.

Harry Mccracken has a collection of interesting questions about the Disney-Pixar merger on his blog posting, Disney+Pixar=?.

Update: Over at Cartoon Brew they have a copy of an email from Walt Disney Feature Animation President David Stainton as he prepares to hand over the position to John Lasseter. Especially interesting is the comment from an anonymous Disney director.

Categories
animation copyright Disney

"Vice presidents from Disney don’t contact just any old Joe Schmoe off the street."

After reading this Newsday.com (Updated link:) wdwmagic forum article about a scuba-diving dentist that claims Disney and Pixar Animation Studios stole the idea for the hit film “Finding Nemo” from him, I think he may have a case.

He claims he submitted an illustrated manuscript to Disney and talked on the phone about his story with a writer from Pixar. (The two companies have a distribution partnership.)

A Disney vice president told Sternberg in 1996 that although the story had “great potential,” it did not fit into the studio’s “development slate” at that time, according to the suit.

Seven years later, Sternberg was in a movie theater and saw a preview for the upcoming release of “Finding Nemo.”

“I thought, ‘Hey, I’m the scuba-diving dentist. Those are my characters, that’s my story,”‘ he told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Wednesday’s editions. “It made me sick to my stomach.”

One big similarity: Sternberg story has a character named “Nimo.”

The thing is, before he submitted his manuscript he signed a two-page waiver that said he would be entitled to only $500 if he were to claim that the company used his material without permission or authorization. His lawyer is asking the court to void that waiver.

Categories
crime Disney life

T I Double Geh Errrrrr

There is a mother that is suing a Walt Disney World worker accused of groping her 13-year-old daughter while dressed as Tigger.

I asked Anna-Maria what she thought about the possibility it was an accident since she has actually tried on some of the Disney costumes.

She says that, “[While wearing the costume] your vision is greatly, greatly reduced. Furthermore, the suit is not just one layer. You have, generally, an under layer of padding followed up by a fur costume with large mittens on your hands that are often three times your regular hand size.

I tried out many costumes. One was a cat costume, the cat from Pinochio and the sleeves go almost all the way to the ground on them so your hands are covered.

Your feet are the same, you have shoes on followed up with a big fur boot, or depending on the costume a giant rubber shoe or boot.

Also it’s so hot in there you don’t function properly. You’re biggest concern is getting enough oxygen. Definitely not groping someone — although I could be wrong. But I don’t think you could even think about that in that costume. It’s like a pure mental exercise just to stand wearing the costume.

If it was one of the face characters, Santa Claus, Aladdin I could see it. But those other costumes are just unbearable.

I danced for half an hour in one and I was gasping for oxygen. Even when I just tried it on I began to sweat and breath heavily as if I had just run a marathon completely untrained.”

So when I asked her one more time if she thought the accused was truly innocent she replied, “Do you think a fat kid with asthma being chased by a pack of wild dogs could think about that? Because that’s what it’s like being in one of those costumes with parents and kids trying to run you down. You are in survival mode.”

About a second after publishing this post I discovered this AP News Story. It turns out “Tigger” was acquitted earlier today.

The acquittal came less than an hour following a three-day trial during which the defense attorney for Michael Chartrand donned a Tigger costume in an effort to show jurors how difficult it is to maneuver and see in the outfit.

[…]

Chartrand’s defense attorney has contended that the girl’s mother was merely after money and planned to sue Disney. The mother also claimed Tigger touched her breast during the visit to Disney World last February, although no criminal charges followed her allegation.

Categories
Disney

Pixar Short

I’m guessing this short film Tin Toy will be featured at the beginning of one of the next two new Pixar movies (either The Incredibles or The Cars). But why wait, check it out now – it appears to be a test piece for Toy Story and it’s actually quite brilliant.