Saturday, September 14, 2013

" Escape From Tomorrow " Final Poster

Here above is the final poster for the controversial "Escape from Tomorrow" movie. You know, the one filmed entirely at WDW without Disney authorization and presented months ago at the Sundance Film Festival. The movie will be released in limited theaters and VOD on October 11. Provocative, the poster? Noooo, who said that?  ;-)

Am i curious to see it? Of course i am. Not because of the theme but because i'm curious to see if it's a GOOD movie or not. To film at WDW and make it look like a weird place is not difficult, what is difficult is to transcend this and to make out of it something which is art. And that's not given to anyone. Kubrick would have been perfect for that but Stanley is not anymore with us, unfortunately. But the movie score is really good, sounds more like a movie score from the 50's or 60's. But the music is not everything, too. So, now they have to be at the height of both the initial idea and the movie score, and that's what i'm curious to see. Answer next month, i presume.

Didn't watch yet the trailer? Here it is. I also remind you the synopsis: The film follows the last day of a family vacation for Jim White (Roy Abramsohn) and his family. The morning starts with Jim’s boss calling to tell him he’s laid off, but he chooses to keep the information to himself and spare his family’s good time. Unfortunately, his day takes a downward spiral, and the park starts to become a stream of disturbing encounters and visions. Jim becomes slightly infatuated with two French girls (Annet Mahendru and Danielle Safady) whose paths he keeps crossing, but even they eventually fall prey to Jim’s increasingly oddball hallucinations. Or are they hallucinations? 

New Movie Franchise Set in Wizarding World Announced by J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros !

The big news of the end of the week is of course the announcement of a new partnership between J.K Rowling, the author of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. Rowling will write the scripts for a new Wizarding World film series - but without Harry Potter this time as his adventures have ended - and  the films will be inspired "from Rowling’s world of witches and wizards, inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the adventures of the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander". The story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry Potter’s gets underway.

J.K Rowling declared "It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood. As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros. 

Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway".

You also have below the full Warner Bros press release but before, a thought about the consequences that might have this new film series on theme parks, and specially of course at Universal. We'll see what will happen and it's too early to say if Universal will create new rides or lands inspired by the new movies but chances are that they will think about it, specially considering the tremendous success of Harry potter Wizarding World. In this case all this can end to be a new nightmare for Disney - specially at WDW where they don't really need more Universal competition. We'll see...

Warner Bros Press Release:

Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced an expanded creative partnership with world-renowned, best-selling author J.K. Rowling. At the center of the partnership is a new film series from Rowling’s world of witches and wizards, inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the adventures of the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander. The announcement was made by Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment. 
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will be an original story and will mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut. It is planned as the first picture in a new film series. Set in the wizarding world, the story will feature magical creatures and characters, some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans.

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” said Rowling. “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”

“We are incredibly honored that Jo has chosen to partner with Warner Bros. on this exciting new exploration of the world of wizardry which has been tremendously successful across all of our businesses,” said Tsujihara. “She is an extraordinary writer, who ignited a reading revolution around the world, which then became an unprecedented film phenomenon. We know that audiences will be as excited as we are to see what her brilliant and boundless imagination conjures up for us.”

In addition to the film series, “Fantastic Beasts” will also be developed across the Studio’s video game, consumer products and digital initiatives businesses, including enhanced links with, Rowling’s digital online experience built around the Harry Potter stories. The Studio’s expanded partnership with Rowling also covers the continued expansion of its Harry Potter activities, including the wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in conjunction with partner Universal Parks and Resorts (currently in Orlando, FL; opening in Hollywood, CA and Osaka, Japan), digital initiatives (including Pottermore), video games, consumer products and visitor attractions.

In addition, Warner Bros. will serve as the worldwide TV distributor (excluding the U.K.) of J.K. Rowling’s upcoming television adaptation for the BBC of “The Casual Vacancy,” her best-selling first novel aimed at adult audiences. This miniseries begins production in 2014. The relationship will be managed in London by Neil Blair of The Blair Partnership, Rowling’s literary agency, and Josh Berger, President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain, who will serve as Warner Bros.’ chief business contact for all J.K. Rowling initiatives going forward.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Construction Footage Video

Here is an interesting construction footage video showing what was going on inside the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train construction site not too long ago.

It appeared four months ago - i missed it and i just discovered it on Screamscape - and first i was surprised as Disney generally never release videos showing the construction of a ride - to "preserve the magic" , as they say - ...until i realized that the video was not released "officially". So, watch it, because you might never see this kind of video again, specially an official one.

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Friday, September 13, 2013

Disneyland Haunted Mansion Holiday 2013 HD Video !

Disneyland's Haunted Mansion just reopened with its Holiday version - i.e the one inspired by Nightmare before Christmas - and thanks to ThemeparkHD , D&M contributor, we have already a video of the entire queue and ride for you - and in glorious HD, please!

DL Imagineers always try to add each year new scenes or effects and this year, Zero the dog appears and play around the morphing portraits, flying from one to another and interacting with them. Very nice effect, don't miss it in the video! As some of you probably know better than me this holiday version, if you see others new things, please let us know!

Video: copyright themeparkHD

Haunted Mansion Stretching Room Paintings Adapted With Disney Villains

The Disney Parks Blog just released some cool artwork created to promote "Unleash the Villains" a Friday 13th celebration taking place tonight at Disney's Hollywood Studios. 

As you have guessed already it's inspired by the famous Haunted Mansion paintings that guests can see in the pre-show room but here "Captain Hook takes the place of the ballerina who teeters precariously on a rope strung above a waiting alligator; Cruella De Vil and her henchmen sink in the quicksand; Maleficent sits atop a gravestone of a clobbered companion; and the Queen of Hearts stands atop a bucket of red paint (instead of a barrel of dynamite)". They did a good job, really!

Pictures: copyright Disney

New Posters For Thor " The Dark World "

Disney - Marvel have released new cool posters for the upcoming Thor " The Dark World ", characters including Loki, Odin, and more, and here they are in high-res. The movie will be released next November so, yes, there is one more Marvel Superheroes movie coming this year!

Pictures: copyright Disney - Marvel

First Look at New Godzilla From Upcoming Movie to be Released in 2014 for Godzilla 60th Anniversary

You might have heard that a new Godzilla movie will be released soon for the 60th Anniversary ( Godzilla first appearance was in 1954 ). It's produced by Legendary Pictures and the secret of its look was kept secret... until last week when a fan took a picture of a 3D poster during a trade show in Brazil and posted it on the net. He was then asked to removed it but someone sent it to me, so here it is. Surprisingly Godzilla's face in the new movie seems to look almost like the original one...

But here is more: during the last ComicCon 2013 Legendary Pictures had set up a "Godzilla Encounter". Basically, guests entered in a kind of small Japanese street, with shops and cafe where plenty of miniatures, pop artwork and set pieces from previous Godzilla films were on display... until something went wrong and without warning, alarms go off and people in hazmat suits usher participants into the next stage of the attraction, where footage of the American military preparing for the arrival of Godzilla in San Diego plays on the walls. After a few minutes, everyone was escorted in an “elevator” and taken to the “roof” of the building-  but once the elevator experiences technical difficulties, they were dumped into an office... waiting for Godzilla to appear. The first video below shot by Inside the Magic will show you only the part until guests were asked to get inside an elevator as after it was asked to stop filming...

...but you know how fans can be and when they are decided to shoot a video anyway, they do it! So here is what you are not supposed to see, the part when guests were taken inside an elevator and then an office room and watch to the appearance of Godzilla!

The production said that the design of Godzilla that visitors have seen at ComiCon Godzilla Encounter is not the final design that audiences will see in the final movie in 2014, but my guess is that it should be quite close to the one you can see in the video above.

Pictures: copyright Legendary Pictures

Videos: copyright Inside the Magic, Legendary Pictures

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Editor's Note: I remind you that i post each day cool additional posts on the Disney and more Facebook page, that you can access EVEN if you don't have a Facebook account. Have a look each day, it's right HERE.

" Escape From Tomorrow " First Trailer !

A first trailer has been released for "Escape from Tomorrow", this indie movie which was filmed almost entirely with no Disney authorization at Walt Disney World and Disneyland! The movie had its premiere at the Sundance film festival a few months ago and a first clip was released at that time, not showing anything of WDW. But the trailer you will see below has plenty of scenes shot at WDW!

Here is how L.A Times describes the storyline in its article: "Basically, the film is about a down-on-his luck fortysomething father (Roy Abramsohn) on the last day of a Disney World vacation with his henpecking wife and their two angelic children. As he takes his children to various attractions, the father is haunted by disturbing imagery; he is also, in the meantime (and with his children in tow), tailing two young flirtatious French girls around the park". 

What the L.A Times forgot to say in their synopsis is that the father learn by a phone call on the last day of his WDW vacation that he's fired from his job. And, even if he is suddenly shocked and depressed, decides to don't tell it to his wife and children. So, for the L.A.Times "Ultimately, Escape from tomorrow is a character study about a man who seems to have lost any sense of optimism in a place that’s overrun with it". 

But apparently it's more complicated than that with a third act which "takes on an increasingly macabre tone. And though the movie borrows tropes from horror movies (think young girls running out of sight and creepy smiling dolls) and 1950s futurism, it most often evokes David Lynch, both in its deadpan tone and its utter inscrutability". 

The movie will finally be released in limited theaters on October 11 in the U.S - as well as in VOD - and it seems that Disney finally decided to don't send his lawyers against the movie, which is good news as i'm really curious to see it.

So here is the trailer below and i remind you that the film was shot entirely with a Canon 5D Mark II, entirely in black and white, and the B&W looks gorgeous.

Don't miss also this short video interviews of the two main actors of the movie, which include additional sequences from the movie.

I remind you too that the movie score is already available for purchase and download online. It's always interesting to hear the soundtrack of a movie as he tells more about the mood of it and i have to say that i was surprised, just as they said in the production notes, by the romantic mood of Abel Korzeniowski score. To be honest, considering the film storyline i was expecting something more depressing, but finally not and the whole thing is really good. If you go HERE you'll be able to listen 30 sec of each track.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hong Kong Disneyland Halloween Season Starting Oct 4 - Media Event Tomorrow !

Hong Kong Disneyland Halloween Media Event will happen tomorrow Sept 12 but officially the Halloween season starts on October 4. Annual Pass Holder and media will be able to enjoy all the Halloween elements, the rest of September will be Halloween private parties, with the official Halloween kick off on Oct 4. 

In terms of special Halloween theming, Demon Jungle is gone to History since 2010 and has been replaced by The Revenge of the Headless Horseman since 2011. Haunted Hotel was also replaced by Graves Academy in 2012. No new haunted maze will be added this year BUT the street atmosphere and "the dark force" is going to expand to Toy Story Land and Grizzly Gulch, with for instance new photo ops like this picture above of Toy Story's Babyface placed in Toy Story Land!  More pics of HKDL Halloween coming soon!

Disney Second Screen Live , The Perfect Movie Fan Nightmare

You know how mad you can be when, watching a movie in theater, you hear cell phone ringing during the screening, just because they didn't "cut" their mobile, Well, it's hard to believe, but Disney is introducing one of the most insane idea i've ever seen with what they call "Disney Second Screen Live", a technology that will allow audiences to interact with the film and between each other of the audience members.

All they'll need to do is to download the free “Second Screen Live: The Little Mermaid' App to their Apple iPad and come with it in the theaters. Then, fans and families will be able to interact with the film, or play games, find hidden treasures and sing along, and finally compete with the audience to win prizes.

Sure it's a limited theaters release and it's done more for kids than adults, but most of all it's a new trick that Disney has found to bring more cash in. But for genuine movie fans it's just the perfect nightmare, and if you're not yet convinced how dumb is the idea and what the result will be, just watch the trailer below. We already had the annoying sounds of pop corn eaters and mobile ringing, not to mention people speaking in the row behind during all the screening, and frankly we don't need that. Sometime too much is really too much, so just say NO.

Picture and video: copyright Disney

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Walt Disney Studios Ratatouille Ride Update

I've got a big pictorial update for you today on the WDS Ratatouille ride, thanks to Max Fan, D&M contributor and Dlrp Welcome webmaster! So, there we go, let's move through the park entrance at opening time - Max was that day the very first guest to enter the park...

...and here we are, and as you will see the works on the Parisian facades is on some of them almost over; As a Parisian myself and knowing Paris building architecture i can tell you that DLP Imagineers  are doing a real good job in the making of these "fake" facades.

As you can see on the pictures above they start to remove the scaffoldings but on the part located on the right hand side where will be located part of the queue line and the merchandise shop they still have some works to do.

That said, may be once finished we'll have some visual intrusion... The picture below was shot from the entrance of Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Of course what we see the first is the tower of Toy Story Playland Parachute Drop...

...but if we zoom in the picture you'll see in the background the top of a Ratatouille building with metallic structure on the top of it, on which will be placed a giant sign / billboard that surely guests will see from the TOT entrance. That said, comparing to the Parachute Drop tower visual intrusion it will be nothing and probably even help WDS guests to find the Ratatouille area as it is located in a corner and not obvious to find for someone who don't know the park.

This week's DLP update is not over so come back tomorrow for the part two at DLP magic Kingdom. In the meantime I remind you that the Disneyland Paris book - in which you have the whole park in 320 pages with 750 photos including 250 WDI renderings - is still available but that unfortunately there is now less than TEN copies of the Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality book available in its ENGLISH collector's edition - the FRENCH edition is also available - so if you don't own the book yet, it's really now or never! 

And there is a special price right now with a $45 / 40€ discount on the normal price, so order your collector copy while there is still copies available as it's really the last english collector copies. You'll find below a one click Paypal button as well as a video showing the whole book. Also, you can have more infos about this gorgeous 320 pages book HERE.

Disneyland Paris From Sketch to Reality - Include shipping

Click on the image below to jump to the book presentation.

Picture: copyright Max Fan - DLRP Welcome

POTC 5 "Dead Men Tell No Tales" 2015 Release Cancelled, Postponed to Summer 2016

According to The Hollywood Reporter Pirates of Caribbean 5 "Dead Men Tell No Tales" July 2015 release date has been postponed to Summer 2016. Considering the number of big blockbusters scheduled for a release on this summer 2015 - see my previous article HERE - it's not a bad idea. But what seems to be behind this decision is something different apparently linked with the script written by Jeff Nathanson: 

"According to the producer, the Pirates filmmakers weren’t happy with screenwriter Jeff Nathanson’s initial script, and he’s now at work on a second attempt based on the well-received outline: “We have an outline everyone loves but the script is not done... we want a script that everyone’s signed off on and a budget that everyone’s signed off on"... A source says the studio thought the original Nathanson script "was too expensive but it was also really complicated and hard to follow."  

With Star Wars 7, Avengers 2 and Pixar's Inside Out and Finding Dory the same year Disney will have plenty to do so the postpone of POTC 5 is no big drama. And by the way, the Marvel Ant Man movie who was supposed to be released Nov 2015 will finally be released in July, not only because there is a date available now that POTC 5 cancelled its July release but also to don't have to face the November release of the next James Bond. 

In terms of theme parks the postpone of POTC 5 might have an effect on Disneyland Paris if the park was waiting for its release to introduce the Jack Sparrow AAs in the POTC attraction. In two words, DLP fans must not expect a POTC update before 2016 - and IF Disneyland Paris decides to do it, which is not sure yet.

Picture: copyright Disney

Jurassic Dream Theme Park Project

We'll have a look today at the Jurassic Dream theme park which will be built at Daqing Dream City in China. The park has been designed by Thinkwell, a company designing parks, rides and attractions for many theme parks around the world, including Universal and many others.

We have great renderings from Thinkwell to have a closer look and according to the description "This fully immersive, dinosaur-packed theme park will combine education, thrills, and state-of-the-art technology in a massive, indoor environment that provides the perfect climate year-round. Located in the northern Heilongjiang Province of China, this nineteen-acre, world-class park features interactive play areas, thrilling rides, and immersive shows in a spectacular environment that sets the imagination afire". "Unlike any other theme park development in Northern China, Jurassic Dream is a major component to Daqing Dream City, which combines the finest residential, retail, business, and entertainment offerings in one spectacular location".

As you can see on the model pictures and artworks, apparently a big part if not all of it will be indoor. I wish i'll have more details on the attractions but the renderings looks promising and if you click on the picture below you'll see that coasters and rides are included in this indoor theme park!

Pictures: copyright Thinkwell

Great Hayao Miyazaki Interview

A short post about Hayao Miyazaki - who confirmed last week that he decided to stop animated movies - with this interesting long interview filmed when he came in the U.S to be honored with the Berkeley Japan Prize ( 2009 - 2010 ). The Berkeley Japan Prize is a lifetime achievement award from the Center for Japanese Studiesto an individual who has made significant contributions in furthering the understanding of Japan on the global stage. 

This interview - with plenty of humor from the master - will interest particularly Miyazaki fans. You have to know that Miyazaki don't speak english and there is no subtitles. So, an interpreter translate to Miyazaki the questions of Roland Kelts, then Miyazaki answer in Japanese and his answer is then translate in english by the interpreter, so the whole process depending of the length of Miyazaki answer sometime takes some time, but if you're ready to be patient, this 1H33 min interview is a great one!