Friday, February 7, 2014

" As Dreamers Do " and " Walt Before Mickey " , Two New Movies About Walt Disney Early Years Coming Soon at a Theatre Near You !

Guess what? After "Saving Mr Banks", there is not less than TWO new movies about Walt Disney's life coming soon, and they're called "As Dreamers Do" and "Walt Before Mickey"! You didn't see these ones coming, did you? Me, too, but "As Dreamers Dois now ready for a release this spring and "Walt Before Mickey"is now in the middle of production and will have its premiere this summer! 

A trailer and production shots were released for "As Dreamers Do" - which will explore the early years of life, including during World War 1 - and it looks pretty good. Olan Rogers - picture below - is playing Walt Disney and Ryan Dunlap, Roy Disney.

As for "Walt Before Mickey" it stars Thomas Ian Nicholas (American Pie) as Walt, Jon Heder (Napoleon Dynamite) as his brother Roy, Disney alum David Henrie as an animator, and Jodie Sweetin (Full House) as Charlotte Disney. 

The movie is directed by Khoa Le, and based on a book by Timothy S. Susaninthat. Walt Before Mickey is set from 1919 to 1928, so it chronicles the life of Walt Disney up to the point Mickey Mouse was introduced to the world. 

Below, A young Walt Disney at school...

...and here Jon Heder as a young Roy Disney.

Here's a description of the book that the film is based on:

For ten years before the creation of Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney struggled with, failed at, and eventually mastered the art and business of animation. Most biographies of his career begin in 1928, when Steamboat Willie was released. That first Disney Studio cartoon with synchronized sound made its main character–Mickey Mouse-an icon for generations.

But Steamboat Willie was neither Disney’s first cartoon nor Mickey Mouse’s first appearance. Prior to this groundbreaking achievement, Walt Disney worked in a variety of venues and studios, refining what would become known as the Disney style. In Walt Before Mickey, 1919-1928, Timothy Susanin creates a portrait of the artist from age seventeen to the cusp of his international renown.

After serving in the Red Cross in France after World War I, Walt Disney worked for advertising and commercial art in Kansas City. Walt used these experiences to create four studios-Kaycee Studios, Laugh-O-gram Films, Disney Brothers Studio, and Walt Disney Studio. 

Using company documents, private correspondence between Walt and his brother Roy, contemporary newspaper accounts, and new interviews with Disney’s associates, Susanin traces Disney’s path. The author shows Disney to be a complicated, resourceful man, especially during his early career. Walt Before Mickey, a critical biography of a man at a crucial juncture, provides the “missing decade” that started Walt Disney’s career and gave him the skills to become a name known worldwide. 

More production shots...

I don't think we can expect something as good as Saving Mr Banks was, mainly because these two movies don't have the same kind of production or the same class of actors but, hey, you never know, sometime when they are directed with "spirit" independent movies can be surprising. And by the way, you can even already pre-order the Dvd of "Walt Before Mickey" for $20 if you wish, you'll find the offer on the movie Facebook page HERE.

Originals Disneyland Maps... and The Walt Disney Picture You Never Thought You'll See !

You all know the famous Peter Ellenshaw Disneyland Artwork that he did at the request of Walt. And he did it in two versions, one on "day light" which magically transformed in a "night" version when seen under dark light.

Now, the picture above showing Peter Ellenshaw is very known but the next picture below is amazing as it it one that probably you never thought you'll see: it shows Walt Disney inside Peter Ellenshaw painter's studio at the very moment he was painting this legendary artwork. And Walt and Peter are not alone as a third person is here too. Although you can't see his face i'm ready to bet that it was Marc Davis. And it seems they had some fun when the picture was shot!

As we talk about Disneyland maps i suggest we have a look at some others vintage ones and we'll start of course by the famous Herb Ryman artwork that Herb drew in one week-end with Walt over his shoulder. The legendary masterpiece includes small details such as a cowboy on a wild horse, squids in lagoons, and a church that was proposed to be for all religious denominations and is shown here in its rarely seen color version.

Artist and imagineer Sam McKim was the master of Disney's theme parks "fun maps" and here is the one he did for Disneyland back in 1958.

This last map below was done 42 years later by Nina Rae Vaughn, in 2000.  As you can see on these two pictures and the one of the Peter Ellensaw map, the prints were signed by two artists each time. It's because these were limited editions by the Disney Gallery and were available at the Gallery above Pirates of the Caribbean in New Orleans Square on the 45th anniversary of the opening of Disneyland—July 17, 2000. On that day six six key Disney Imagineers were present and signed the prints, Peter Ellenshaw, John Hench, Sam McKim, Blaine Gibson, Nina Rae Vaughn, and Tony W. Baxter. 

Pictures: copyright Disney

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Planes , Fire and Rescue Trailer 2 !

A new trailer was  released today for "Planes II : Fire and Rescue" and just like the first one the animation looks very good. Now, what about the story, you ask? Here is the Synopsis:

Planes: Fire & Rescue is a new comedy-adventure about second chances, featuring a dynamic crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty (voice of Dane Cook) learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous team, including spirited super scooper Dipper (voice of Julie Bowen), heavy-lift helicopter Windlifter, ex-military transport Cabbie and a lively bunch of brave all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero.

I liked the first Planes, the only issue i had with it was this race around the world. Although the idea provided great scenery i thought that the "race" idea reminded a bit too much Cars 2. It won't be the case with this one and the fire sequences should be very spectacular, too. The movie is released in the U.S July 18.

Pictures and video: copyright Disney

"The Pirate Fairy" , New Tinkerbell Movie Takes You Back to Neverland !

A new Tinkerbell movie is coming from Disney Toon Studios. "Tinkerbell and the Pirate Fairy" is the story of dust-keeper fairy Zarina (voice of Christina Hendricks) and young pirate James (voice of Tom Hiddleston). Directed by Peggy Holmes ("Secret of the Wings"), the film will be available on Blu-Ray and Dvd this Spring but is also released in theaters anytime soon!

The animation looks pretty good and even if the target of these fairies movies are obviously little girls the fact that the story happen at Neverland might interest boys and men too! Here is the synopsis: "When a misunderstood dust-keeper fairy named Zarina steals Pixie Hollow's all-important Blue Pixie Dust and flies away to join forces with the pirates of Skull Rock, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends must embark on the adventure of a lifetime to return it to its rightful place. However, in the midst of their pursuit of Zarina, Tink's world is turned upside down. She and her friends find that their respective talents have been switched and they have to race against time to retrieve the Blue Pixie Dust and return home to save Pixie Hollow. With comedy, heart and epic thrills for the whole family, "The Pirate Fairy" sets sail Spring 2014".

Below, the new trailer for Tinkerbell and the Pirate Fairy.

Disney also released three charming clips and here is the first one "Experimenting" which shows the "Pirate Fairy" creating blue pixie dust...

This next clip "Captain Zarina" shows the fairies arriving at the Pirate ship to discover that fairy Zarina is now the captain of the ship...

Last but not least "Who am I?" is another clip showing one of the musical moment of the movie.

Picture and videos: copyright Disney

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Paramount Park Murcia Project in Details , With Brand New 3D Artwork , Opening End 2015

We'll talk again today about Spain Paramount Park Murcia project. The project is not only going on but apparently they've found the funds and the 390M Euros project was even presented at Fitur, a big International Tourism Fair, in Spain. Brand new exciting 3D renderings were released as well as artworks in high-definition and more details about the rides, and these will give you a better idea of how will look this Paramount park which will be located at Alhama de Murcia when it will open, end 2015. 

The project, as i told you in my previous article, will also include the construction of another area called Lifestyle Center with condos and office buildings, leisure gardens, seven 4 or 3 stars hotels and one 5 stars hotels including a casino,  malls, dining and night life areas, business and convention center, an auditorium and exhibition hall for cultural events, etc... but today we will concentrate on what is the most interesting for us, i.e the theme park itself as it will include shows and rides, some from famous movies. Let's start with a great bird eye view of how will look the park and as usual click to enlarge all pictures.

The park will include five lands, so let's start by the entrance "Paseo Paramount" and the first 3D renderings.

Guests will enter the park and this land by going through a recreation of the legendary gate of Paramount Studios in Hollywood and will then find a entrance plaza with a fountain followed by the typical shopping street and services, and also a direct access to the park for hotel guests that will stay at the Paramount Park hotel.

Guests will then arrive to a large central square connecting to other lands, with on the right access to the Plaza Futura - Paramount Park "Tomorrowland" - and on the left to Adventure City. In that square will be the first of the attractions, a cybernetic fountain which will play with lights , music and water effects to create a great show welcoming the visitors.

Guests will also find on that square one of the main attractions of the park, "Paramount Live", a large auditorium with shows and musicals inspired from the most famous Paramount movies. Finally, it will also be the venue for the "Festival of Paramount Walk" , a parade with the main characters from Paramount which at night will become a light show.

The large central square is overlooking the lake with stunning views on the rest of the park, and with also a small garden promenade overlooking the lake that serves as a shortcut to communicate faster with The Enchanted Forest and Rango's West lands.

"Adventure City" will be the next land on the left, and here are 3D renderings and the map of the land which might look small but in fact include a large space for future expansion as they plan to add a large roller coaster a few years after park's opening.

However, Adventure City will be one of the most interesting land and should be attractive to the public as it is here that guests will find areas inspired by the Grease, Mission Impossible and The Godfather movies.

In Adventure City guests will find one of the E-Ticket attraction of the park, Mission Impossible 3D , in which visitors will be immersed in an espionage adventure moving across highways, flying over rooftops and through multiple zones with flames, explosions and 3D action. The attraction technology will be similar to the Spiderman ride at Universal parks, with a similar ride vehicle adapted with the improvements which have occurred in recent years on this type of attraction. The Paramount team is the one who has completely designed the storyboard of the attraction .

Unfortunately one of the attraction announced previously, dedicated to the Titanic has been cancelled, it was a kind of walk through museum ( see rendering below ) and they thought it was not attractive enough. It is replaced by a second attraction based on the Mission Impossible saga. This new attraction will use new technologies allowing visitors to interact with their smartphones and participate in the "impossible missions" in which they will be involved.

Another attraction found in this area will be "Greased Lightnin 'Bumper Cars"  a bumper cars for adults and will be set in a gas station of the 50's with colored lights to remember the atmosphere of the Grease movie.

Adventure City will also include two restaurants, the first being the Osteria Corleone, the famous restaurant of The Godfather trilogy and it will have a terrace overlooking the lake. The second themed restaurant is inspired by Grease, and will recreate a typical American restaurant.

Let's move to the next land: Rango's West, and this one seems to be the "Frontierland" of the park, but a funny one: "The Far-West will be the main character of this world within the Paramount park with a combination of performances, shops, rides and restaurants".

A Western land in theme parks is a classic but Paramount wanted to give a twist and have a different West, and here it will be designed as a small village in the American West with everyday elements of our lives like barrels, bottles, jars, etc... that have been transformed by insects in their homes and buildings. This way the visitor will have the feeling to be reduced at the size of a bug and will be constantly surprised to see everyday objects under a different light. A kind of western "Toy Story Land" or "Bug's Land", if i can say...

Rango's West will be the largest area of the park and the first major attraction that guests will find is "Spirit of the West ," a mine train which so far looks like a standard mine train coaster from Vekoma, but it seems that no deal is signed yet with a manufacturer. Mine trains are often very popular with families attractions, and hopefully it will not be finally the standard model from Vekoma but something new.

Continuing along the main street of this western village guests will find " Rango's Rootin Tootin 4D Spectacular ", a 4-D theater movie. Rango the sheriff will be the main character in "How the West Was Sung", an attraction in which visitors will help the character to restore order in the city. The 4D scenes will bring the guests to a world filled with legendary characters from the Paramount western movies.  

In the back of Rango's West guests will find the second major attraction of the land "Rango's Ragin' Rapids" a fast raft ride through the Wild West of Rango during which they shall overcome all the obstacles they will find on their way, unless they want to be completely wet at the end of it! The project include to have the mine train sometime crossing over the rapids, but it's not sure yet as it will depends of the feasibility and safety for the guests.

On the island created in the center of the rapids guests will find a small playground, " Oasis Play Zone", including water games, kids free fall  "Jumpin ' Beans" and what appears to be a path to the back of a horse, as well as slides and other attractions.

Let's move to the next land "The Enchanted Forest" which, just like Rango's West uses some not very successful or well-known franchises but with interesting premises to an area dedicated to magic and fantasy.

The area is divided into three distinct areas: Sleepy Hollow will be the first one and is inspired by the popular tale and the Tim Burton movie in which Johnny Depp was playing. Just like in the Tim Burton movie Sleepy Hollow will be a grim but fanciful place that will reflect the atmosphere of mystery and terror of the film. Upon entering guests will see the dead tree with the unmistakable Tim Burton style beside which they will find the 3D Sleepy Hollow show and it seems that projections effects will be mixed with real actors.

Stormhold is Enchanted Forest's second area with the village of Stormhold, a village from an alternate world where magic reigns, especially witches,  and is inspired from the Stardust movie, a not well known but good fantasy adventure movie that leads to the creation of an land dedicated to wizards and witches that kids love so much. The first thing that guests will encounter is a Carousel with fanciful characters, then the village of Stormhold, to arrive at a theater with interactive shows related to magic "Wizard Workshop".

The third area is called Spiderwick Chronicles. Leaving the town of Stormhold guests will enter what will be the forest itself, with a mythology and fantasy created for The Spiderwick Chronicles, another movie that did not had much success but with a story that focus on a happy forest full of magical creatures from fairies to evil ogres and other characters, a magical world created for the film which is now coming to the theme park. Among the attractions that appeared in the recreation showcase is a children's roller coaster set in mythological beings " Griffen Flyer", a large hedge maze, a small children's theater and a boat ride through a magical world filled with fairies "Fairytale journey". 

However, the major attraction of the land is "The Spiderwick Chronicles: Magical Mayhem", an interactive dark ride where visitors armed with magic wands will enter the enchanted forest and kill the ogre who wants to destroy the magical world. Nearby guests will find the Spiderwick mansion family that appears in the movie. 

Note that a hotel will be located in this area, which will also have a decorative effect as its theming will be based on magic. This hotel will have a direct access to the park from this area. According to the creatives guys, they wanted to play a lot in this area with water and vegetation, as Murcia 's climate is often warm, to cool the atmosphere. The land will be, according to them, the crown jewel, due to its landscaping and theming.

Let's move to "Plaza Futura", the "Tomorrowland" of this Paramount Park with exciting new 3D renderings!

Plaza Futura "will be dedicated to science fiction and to that uncertain future that many movies have described, with thrilling outer space adventures".

Like Adventure City, Plaza Futura will enjoy a very strong franchise - Star Trek - able to attract worldwide fans of the Star Trek movies. Plaza Futura is designed as a large retro -futuristic square in which guests will find the first attraction based on Star Trek, Starfleet Spain recruiting center, a 3D simulator ride that will be set in a recruitment center in which guests will live adventures in outer space.

According to the description, the next attraction will be a big roller coaster in which visitors will ride aboard spectacular trains equipped for all kinds of emotions. "Warp Speed ​​Coaster" will go up to 30 meters high, with a top speed of more than 100 km/h and will be 650 meters long with loops and even an underground section.

Guests will also find a set in the War of the Worlds restaurant but ultimately they didn't found an idea to turn it into an attraction so it will be used only as a decor. On the other hand the indoor Spinning coaster is cancelled so the park will open with 3 roller coasters, children, family and adult coasters.

As i told you the whole project include much more than the theme park and spanish Premursa company released a PDF file - from which the artwork above is coming - that you can download HERE. As to know when this exciting paramount Park will open, the works seems to be already underway and the park has a budget of 390 million euros. Premursa covers 100M with its capital and banks are financing about 130 or 140 millions. The park should be finished for an opening scheduled in late 2015 - early 2016!

Before ending this article i'd like to thanks the spanish Themeparkzone website who provided some of the precious  infos you've read in this article. They surely will have fresh infos about the Paramount park in the future so make sure to follow Themeparkzone! Below, a short video shot at the Premursa booth inside the Fitur International Tourism Fair at the end of January where guests could see model and 3D presentation.

Pictures: copyright Premursa - Paramount Parks