Remain Seated Please is a short documentary about a couple of Disney super-fans who illicitly explore every nook and cranny of the Walt Disney World ride Horizons. It’s more suspenseful and touching than I anticipated.
From Main Street USA to Galaxy’s Edge The Sounds of Disneyland has all the music from the Walt’s California based theme parks (Disneyland and California Adventure).
A lot of the music only works as a short diversion in nostalgia but I particularly like playing the song Rancho Del Zocalo (from Frontierland) as background music when I’ve cooked a Hello Fresh recipe for the family. There’s something about the mandolin and guitar duet that simulates the restaurant experience.
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.
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.
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.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.
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:
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.
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.
Rumours abound that Disney is buying up property to build another theme park next to Disneyland. It seems more likely the company just wants to build more hotels, but if they did build another park… I would love it!
The [Disney] company has slowly but steadily amassed 460 acres in Anaheim, including a prime chunk of strawberry fields down Harbor Boulevard from Disneyland that is the designated site of a third park.
And someone is approaching the field’s neighboring landowners, trying to buy up land. Corona del Mar resident Benjamin Kraut, 81, said Disney offered to buy his 5 acres several years ago. Then, six months ago, a suitor Kraut declined to name offered him $14.5 million for the land where he co-owns a 90-unit apartment complex. He said it is not for sale.
Disney hasn’t unveiled plans for the Disney Resort—those typically come amid fanfare and orchestration&8212;but top executives have hinted at expanding existing markets and increasing its time-share offerings.
It’s fun to think about a new Disney theme park, but it’s safe to say that even if considerations for a new park are being thrown around, it will still be a good 25 years before anything comes to fruition. Disney’s California Adventure still needs more E-ticket attractions for one thing, and certainly in Disneyland itself they’ve got plenty of room to redevelop some of the less popular and less operational rides. (For example the revamping of the old Submarine Voyage into a Finding Nemo attraction.)
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.